( A name/affix sometimes used by Nora Coombes )
(by Steve Tillotson, October 2017)
Mrs Nora Combs was an exhibitor of Afghan hounds in England in the late 1920's and early 1930's. You can read all about her in a Lyall Payne authored article here. Since Lyall's article was published we have learnt more about the word "Dhunjibhoy" so we have prepared these additional notes as supplementary to Lyall's article.
Nora owned a total of five Afghan hounds, here are their names -
- Sitarch Iran Of Ghazni
- Shahez Sheereef of Wahsdarb
- Miryam of Baberbagh
- Ch Raj
- Dhunjibhoy Rizer
We note that only one hound has the word Dhunjbhoy associated with his name. The above names are as registered with the English Kennel Club. However we find that occaionally Nora would add the word Dhunjibhoy to another hound (Raj), So we wondered why she would do this, Here is an example where she entered Dhunjibhoy Rizer and Raj at a Kennel Club Show but used the word Dhunjibhoy on both of these hounds -
We have found multiple show entries by Nora where both Raj and Rizer have the word Dhunjibhoy in front of their name. It's too regular to be accidental so we must presume she used the word informally rather like a kennel name/affix? Staying with that hypothosis then the next question arises - why would Nora choose that particular name? Our thoughts -
Nora lived in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England all her life. A famous Indian Merchant - Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji had a 250 acre estate in Bombay, India and three homes in England, one of which was the Pinehurst mansion at Harrogate. Sir Dhunjibhoy spent half his time each year living in India and the other half living in England. Sir Dhunjibhoy made his fortune in Mumbai in jute and shipping. He was knighted in 1922 for his services to Britain's war efforts in World War I, Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji spent each autumn at Pinehurst and ensured the house was a suitable venue to entertain their friends. And the list of their circle reads like a social history: Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the legendary World War I hero, Field Marshal Lord Haig and the Duchess of Westminster amongst lesser peers and mere generals. But Sir Dhunjibhoy seems not to have been a snob; he once planted a kiss on Greta Garbo's forehead.
Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji were very generous benefactors and contributed a huge amount of money to various English charitable causes. The town of Harrogate was one such benefificiary of this genorisity. As a younger man Sir Dhunjibhoy visited England for medical treatment for a respitory problem. The doctors prescribed exercise/swimming, and this appears to have worked. Many years later Harrogate needed to build a new building housing a swimming pool. Sir Dhunjibhoy offered 2500.00 pounds sterling towards the cost of the building and pool. This is a good example of his commitment and genorosity to Harrogate. He was held in very high esteem and affection by the people of Harrogate for his involvement and contribution to the community.
Back to the issue of why Nora used the name Dhunjibhoy. Truth is we don't know her reason. Our thoughts are that maybe, like many natives of Harrogate, Nora thought highly of Sir Dhunjibhoy and considered having a formal kennel name/affix and settled for a name she liked and, which she used occasionally.
Ghazni Afghan hounds
Nora Coombes UK
Dhunjibhoy - Sunday Guardian, India
Dhunjibhoy - Daily Mail, England
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