Friday, 20 September 2013
Ten minutes ago I sat down to link to these pictures of a mansion which hasn't been touched for 30 years. I assumed that the former owner, Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji, who was knighted for using his massive wealth in the allied cause during WW1, would be a colourful sort of character, and that I could quote bits of his Wikipedia page to prove this. No Wikipedia page. Wikiwhack!
I am sure I could find obituaries, certainly in the real world, and I'd like to, but I am incredibly busy and I'd be surprised if it ever gets up the priority list.
On the other hand, Kenneth Gandar-Dower. A friend of mine wrote about him for a book on touring cricket clubs. He was a rich youngest son, multi-blue, aviator and explorer. He played an unorthodox game of tennis, based on fitness (nickname 'the undying retriever') and an even more unorthodox game of real tennis, a game he threatened to break by volleying too much. His real sport was fives.
When he got back from Africa in 1937, he brought a dozen cheetahs with him and started racing them at Romford. On the upside, he disproved the then-held belief that nothing was faster than greyhounds. On the downside, it never really worked because the cheetahs didn't care enough about chasing the hare. (It's like a metaphor about capitalism.)
K G-D took photographs of gorillas, helped the Kenyan government relate to its native population and was sunk to death by the Japanese.