2 beautiful photos from 1957 of a blessed day in the lives of Sadruddin and Sakerkhanu Velji: Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, performs their marriage

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

Aga Khan Takhtnashini ceremonial installation visit to Dar es Salaam. Blessing a newly married couple.
Sakerkhanu Velji garlands Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, moments before he blesses her marriage to Sadruddin Velji during his Takhtnashini visit to Dar es Salaam in October 1957. Photo: © Sadruddin Velji Family Collection.

Two framed photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, hang prominently on a wall in Sadruddin and Sakerkhanu Velji’s apartment in Burnaby, British Columbia. They live across from the Vancouver Ismaili Centre. The photos are 62 years old from 1957, when Mawlana Hazar Imam performed their marriage ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (then Tanganyika) during his Takhtnashini (ceremonial installation) visit in October 1957.

The Velji’s gladly allow me to take the frames to my mum’s home for scanning. I also notice a memorable photo of a young Julius Nyerere greeting Mr. Velji. The picture is of good quality and I take that photo too. Their place soon starts feeling “empty” without the photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam; I soon realize that, and after a couple of days I return them, hanging them on the same spot. Their eyes light up once again.

Sadruddin Velji was born in a small town near Tabora; Sakerkhanu too was born in a small town – Manyoni, near Dodoma. They met each other when Sadruddin was assigned to a teaching project in Manyoni. They got married a year later in 1957, and went on to settle in Dar es Salaam. My family always addresses them as Mukhisaheb and Mukhianima because they held those esteemed and respectable positions in the Ismaili Jamat sometime during their lifetime. A day doesn’t pass without my mum having a talk with her beloved “Mukhianima” whom she regards as her own sister.

Aga Khan blessing the marriage of Sadruddin and Sakerkhanu Velji. Simerg and Barakah.
A garlanded Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan (see previous photo), conducts the marriage of Sadruddin and Sakerkhanu Velji during his Takhtnashini visit to Dar es Salaam in October 1957. Photo: © Sadruddin Velji Family Collection.

Mr. and Mrs. Velji migrated to Canada in 1985, and made Kitchner in Ontario their first home. They later settled in Burnaby. They are blessed with three daughters and four grandchildren.

Barakah sincerely thanks the Velji family for sharing their beautiful memories with our readers, and invites other families to submit their own unique and memorable collection of photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family for publication on this blog. We have mentioned before that there are khajanas (treasures) of memorable and historical photographs all around the world, and we are doing our best to bring those to you. Your photo submissions will be deeply appreciated and I invite you to write to me at Simerg@aol.com to discuss your collection and how we can best post them in this blog Barakah, which is dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

Julius Nyerere, Tanzania, greeting a young Velji. Barakah and Simerg
In this rare photo, date unknown, Sadruddin Velji is seen greeting Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere, with a watchful crowd looking on. Photo: © Sadruddin Velji Family Collection.

Date posted: December 16, 2019.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

2 comments

  1. My name is Zeeba Pirani. We lived in Kitchner for almost 10 years and know the Veljis very well. After moving to Dallas, we lost contact. I recognized Sadrubhai and Sakerbai right away from the pictures. Would love to get in touch with both of them if I could get their contact after relating to them.

    Like

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