Sri Lanka Memon Family Genealogy
DHEDHI - Family #273
The history of the Dhedhi family, like most other Memon families, such as Bhoja's, Chana's and Patel's, is so inextricably linked to Kutiyana, a picturesque little town in Junagadh State in Gujarat. These details are based from the recollections of Dr Ibrahim Dangra, a veteran Memon whose dedication to the cause of his community is well known.
The Memons of Kutiyana, like the other communities here, lived in their respective Mahallas (areas). They figured very prominently in the social life of their town as they were a fairly wealthy community with families like the Dhedhi's, Chana's, Chalchal's, & Patel's leading the list. They were also reputed for their honesty and trustworthiness. They would never fail to repay their debts. Any landlord would always let out their premises to Memons and shopkeepers never denied credit to them on account of this strong character and discipline of honesty. They were also very well known for their meritorious acts of charity towards the destitute and the community.
Among these families, the Dhedhi Family stood out due to their immense contribution, not only to the Memons of Kutiyana, but also to the Islamic fraternity in general. Among their charitable endowments were the donation of a Girls' School, a Ladies Dawakhana, and a free dispensary to the town. The two most prominent members of this family are Haji Karim Seth and his nephew, and son-in-law, Sattar Seth Salay Mohamed. Like most other affluent Memon merchants, at that time, the Dhedhi men were addressed with the title 'Seth', a term derived from the Sanskrit 'Shreshtha' or "Great Man" and very often applied to a wealthy merchant suffixed to their names. This title borne by the wealthy Memons of those times distinguished them from their less fortunate brethren.
1 Vali Mohammed Abdul Rahman Seth Dhedi, leading textile merchant in Keyzer Street about the twentieth century.
2 Salay Mohammed Vali Mohammed Dhedhi, native of Kutiyana, arrived in Ceylon circa 1890 along with his three brothers and was employed at Seth Haji Jamal Perdesi's shop as a salesman. Later, started his own business, titled, Ahmed Salay Mohammed at Sea Street in The Pettah before moving on to establish the well reputed S T R Salay Mohammed & Company at Main Street, also in the Pettah, in the early 1900's. The name of the company was coined by Salay Seth who used the first, middle, and last alphabets of his sons name, Sattar, to form the prefix "S T R", by which the firm was popularly known then. Passed away after suffering a heart attack in Chandi Chowk in Junagadh Bazaar, leaving behind his young son Sattar who was about 7 years old at that time. Did much to promote understanding and friendship between the peoples of Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Introduced distinguished members of the pakistani business community to local social gatherings.
3  Sattar Seth Salay Mohammed Dhedhi, b:1916, d:31-Mar-1945, and was, initially, a sleeping partner in his late fathers business and was also well known for his generosity to one and al irrespective of caste, creed or ethnic origins. Regularly donated a monthly sum of money to destitute families, widows and orphans as charity. Every Thursday there would be a long queue of beggars for him to come out. He would attend to them, one by one, speaking politely to each and give them a Rupee each. He once told his business partner in Colombo who had chided him on this account; "it is not a nuisance but a pleasure for me to help those who are in need of help. It is the will of Allah that I help them. After all, what Allah Has Given to me is His and not mine." Such was Sattar Seth, a man who treated Prince and Pauper alike. Died in his sleep in Colombo on 31 Mar 1945 at the young age of 29 only. +  Hawwa Ma Haji Karim Seth (first cousin of Sattar Seth Salay Mohammed and daughter of Haji Karim Seth, his uncle)
4 Abdul Ghaffar Sattar Dhedi, b:1936, arrived in Colombo in 1947 together with his widowed mother and two brothers. It was here that he got an exposure to S T R Salay Mohammed & Company, at 245, Main Street, which was established by his grandfather in the early 1900's. The Company, at that time, was managed by Haji Salay Mohammed Sami and Osman Ismail Bhidiya. The family moved to Karachi in 1948 where a branch of STR at Newnham, opposite Gordhandas Market, had been established, in 1947. Around 1951, the Sattar brothers embarked on a sizeable Spinning & Weaving Mill with 250 looms in Karachi, and in a very short period merged their operation with those of Hussein Ibrahim and Latif Jamal to form Hussain Textile Mills. The family also bought a printing plant in Dacca under the name of G M G Industrial Corporation and also a Steel Re-rolling Mill in Chittagong known as Pak Steel The three brothers were awarded citizenship of the newly established State of Bangla Desh in 1971. Abdul Ghaffar returned to Sri Lanka and engaged himself in the activities and business of STR Salay Mohammed, Lanka Tobacco "a tobacco growing and cigarette manufacturing establishment" and Lanka Tricotting "a warp knitting plant". The Goverment of Ceylon, within its nationalizing policies, took over the lands belonging to Abdul Ghaffar and also closed down the tobacco factory on the basis that he was not a national of the Island and was an illegal immigrant. Lanka Tricotting and STR, nevertheless, continued unharmed and are presently managed by his brother in law Nizar Haji Omar, the first Memon to captain a national sports team (Rugby Football) who played against the Bosuns from England. + Hadiya Omar Bhoja, m:1959, daughter of Haji Omar Bhoja & a Syrian lady named Turkiya Safadi. Couple migrated to the USA in the mid seventies and started a fork lift company which closed down after running for 5 years. Hadiya was the first Memon woman contender for the Parliamentary seat at Negombo. (274)
5 Aamer Ghaffar Sattar, Computer Programmer, settled in Switzerland + Jasmin Pirin
6 Maya Aamer Sattar
4 Aziz Sattar Dhedhi
4 Yunus Sattar Dhedhi
2 Noor Mohammed Dhedhi Seth, started Noor Mohammed & Company
2 Adam Dhedhi Seth, started Osman Adam & Company
2 Haji Karim Dhedhi Seth, started Haji Abdul Karim & Company, known as "H A K" for short. Eventually took care of the family business after the demise of his eldest brother Salay Mohammed.
3  Hawwa Ma Haji Karim Seth +  Sattar Seth Salay Mohammed
Compiled by the Webmaster of the Sri Lanka Genealogy Website from available data in Sri Lankan archives together with data extracted from "Memons of Sri Lanka" - Men Memoirs Milestones, by Asiff Hussein & Hameed Karim Bhoja, May 2006, iSBN 955-1408-00-4, Published by The Memon Association of Sri Lanka