Rahimtoola M. Chinoy
Born in Bombay
- Prominent Khoja community representation at the Legislative Council over the decades included the Currimbhoy Family (Sir Ebrahim, Sir Fazalbhoy, Gulamhussain, Rahimtoola, Mohammedbhoy), Rahimtoola Family (Sir Ibrahim, Jaffer, Hoosenally, Sir Fazal), Chinoy Family (Fazalbhoy, Sir Rahimtoola, Sir Sultan, NoorMuhammad), Laljee Family (Hoosenbhoy, Jaffer), Rahimtulla Sayani, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and more.
Arriving from Bhuj at the end of the 1800s, Meherally Chinoy acquired the agency for Shell by 1904. On obtaining the Chevrolet contract in 1916, his sons successfully added several General Motors models to their kitty besides a bunch of petrol pumps.
“During his Mayorship, Meherally’s son, Rahimtoola Chinoy gave Lord Irwin his first welcome speech in 1926,” says Sir Rahimtoola’s grandson Zahir.
That was the same year Meher Building—chosen as the joint family home by another of Meherally’s sons, Sir Sultan Chinoy—readied to introduce the automobile giant Bombay Garage. Sprawled across 45,000 square feet, the showroom debuted sleek Pontiacs, Lanchesters, Vauxhalls and Armstrong Siddeleys.
An interesting 1939 sepia image from the collection of the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady, USA, showing Zahir’s stiff-suited, bespectacled grandfather, is captioned: “Sir Rahimtoola Chinoy of Bombay, India, intercepting ray of sun for relaying signal for opening of San Francisco’s World Fair”.
"How green were my gullies" by Meher Marfatia, Mumbai