13. Alibhai Premji Tyrewala, Itmadi - page 39
Alibhai Premji Tyrewala was born in Bombay in 1898. Nothing is known of his early life. He started a small shop of second-hand tires on Grant Road, Bombay. He gradually erected two big stores of tires and old cars.
His career in jamati services began when he became a lifetime member of the Ismailia Students Library, Kandi Mola, Bombay in 1923 till his death. He was also the Treasurer of the Central Panjibhai Club, Bombay.
Itmadi Alibhai was one of the founders of the Fidai Academy, Andheri, Bombay, and served it since its existence in 1928 till his death. He was its Supervisor, Treasurer, Hon. Secretary and Vice-President (1959-1966).
He also founded the Fidai Girls Educational Institute in 1944. The Imam appointed him as its first President (1944-1964). During his longest service of 20 years, he funded this institution with massive sums on several occasions. In 1946, he also launched a trip to East Africa to raise funds. In 1966, he was made member of its managing committee.
He was the Hon. Secretary of the Aga Khan Legion, Karimabad. As Vice-President of the Central Panjibhai Club, he made excellent arrangements for the lodging of Ismailis in 1946 during the Diamond Jubilee in coordination with the Volunteer Corps.
He was also the Hon. Secretary of the Platinum Celebration Committee. When Prince Aly S. Khan visited India to attend the token ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee, Alibhai Premji Tyrewala was also included in the delegation.
He had been in Geneva when Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah expired on July 11, 1957. He had the honour to participate in the group photo of the leaders with Hazar Imam in Barkat Villa and was the first to take the dastboshi of Hazar Imam amongst the leaders. He also went to Aswan with the leaders on July 17, 1957 to attend the burial ceremony of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah.
He also rendered incredible services for 20 years in the Volunteer Corps. His services to the Ismailia Helping Society were admirable as well. He served for six years as a Managing Member of the Masalawala Cooperative Bank Ltd. He regularly donated to the H.R.H. The Aga Khan Girls Academy, Rajkot. He used to offer a sewing machine to each marrying girl of the academy. In appreciation of his long meritorious services, the Imam conferred upon him the title of Itmadi in 1958.
Itmadi Alibhai Premji Tyrewala died on Thursday, July 21, 1966 in Bombay at the age of about 68 years. The Imam sent the following message on October 4, 1966:
I was much grieved to hear of the sad demise of Itmadi Alibhai Tyrewala. I send my most affectionate paternal maternal loving blessings for the soul of late Itmadi Alibhai Premji, and I pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace.
Kindly convey my most affectionate paternal maternal loving blessings to the family of late Itmadi Alibhai for their courage and fortitude in their great loss.
My spiritual children of India and myself will always remember Itmadi Alibhai Premji's devoted services to my jamats of India. His example of selfless work for the jamat and myself will be kept alive for many years by the memory of such a fine and much loved person. Our jamat has lost a remarkable member whose work will no doubt be continued by all those who admired him, which is my deepest wish.
In view of his social services, the Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation gave the name Shri Alibhai Premji Marg to the Lamington Cross Road in Bombay. R.A. Patel, the Minister of Industries, Electricity, and Printing Presses of Maharashtra State inaugurated the opening in a ceremony on January 25, 1969.
Wazir Ali Muhammad C. Padamsi, the President of the Federal Council for India declared the opening of the 'Itmadi Alibhai Tyrewala Gate' in loving memory of Alibhai Premji Tyrewala on December 29, 1969 at Fidai Bagh during the celebration of the Fidai Institution's Triple Jubilee Year. On that occasion, the family members of Itmadi Alibhai Tyrewala also pledged the 'Fidai Kaniyadan Fund.'