The Bombay Parsee Association (BPA), founded in 1920, celebrated its 96th Anniversary and Annual Prize Distribution function on 10th December, 2016 at Albless Baug, by honouring five Zoroastrians who have achieved eminence, namely Lion Armaity Aspi Cooper, the first Parsee lady Governor of the Lions Club of East Bombay, Arzan Khambatta, excelling in many Arts, especially sculpture and photography; Kayan Motashaw, a successful entrepreneur, who built her dream enterprise LivRite Foods LLP which markets nutritional products of natural honey; Ervad Shahvir Dastur, the Panthaky of the Avabai Wadia Idawalla Agiary, who ordained Navar and Maratab at the age of 9 from Banaji Limji Agiary at Fort and performed his first Navjote ceremony at the age of 11. At the age of 13, he performed a wedding ceremony in 2009 and his first Geh Saarna ritual in Seychelles in 2010. And finally Roshny Munshi, a bright student who excelled in the Elementary and Intermediate examinations conducted by the Directorate of Art, Maharashtra State and achieved brilliant results in Hindi and mental mathematics academic levels, as well as in karate and other sports.
Commencing with a jasan, followed by a humbandagi and a minute of silence in the pious memory of departed souls, the Chief Guest for the evening was Er. Xerxes Dastur while the Guest of Honour was Errick Elavia.
President Er. Vispi S. Dastur welcomed the gathering, and Rusi Bhumgara introduced the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour, following which, the dignitaries on the dais and other special invitees were felicitated with floral tributes. Committee member, Pervin Sidhwa extolled the activities of the Bombay Parsee Association since 96 years.
Over and above encouraging Zoroastrian religious growth by way of holding prayer competitions, Kusti weaving and spinning contests, essay, elocution and Shahnameh competitions, the BPA offers educational and medical help, it also promotes academic and athletic activities and training camps through FOZAWAC.
In the past, the Association had also conducted a marriage bureau and organized many religious classes. Previously, the BPA has provided relief across the country during natural calamities and is currently supporting the Save Udvada Trust, too.
In addition to awarding the persons named above, the Bombay Parsee Association also rewarded children and adults who excelled in prayer as well as Kusti weaving and spinning competitions, sponsored by the Kathawalla family, in the memory of Navaz Jimi Kathawalla. The prize winners hailed from the Dadar Athornan Institute, Gamadia School, Avabai Petit Girls’ High School, J.B. Vachha High School and many other Athornans and Behdins from all fields and of all ages.
The vote of thanks by Aloo Shroff was followed by renditions of ‘Chhaiye Hame Zarthoshti’ and the National Anthem by Jamshed Kotwal, concluding with sumptuous dinner catered by Jimmy Gadiwalla.