More than 600 people attended the funeral service of popular businessman and philanthropist Raman Ranchhod held on Friday, June 9, 2017 at the Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium located at 100-102 St Johns Road, Meadowbank, Auckland.
Earlier, Hindu religious rites were held at the Manning Funerals in Parnell, attended by members of the Ranchhod family and a few close friends.
Mr Ranchhod passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 8 am at his residence in Grafton, Auckland after a brief illness. In his death, a loving family lost a husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather; and in no less a measure, we at Indian Newslink, and this writer, who had known him closely for more than a decade.
Mr Ranchhod was unwell for about three months but remained cheerful and calm until his last breath at which the members of his immediate family were present.
He was 79 years old and left behind his wife Lalita, son Mahesh Ranchhod, daughter Remela, daughter-in-law Tejal, son-in-law Chetan Patel and his grandchildren Divya, Kaushal, Simrin and Rishin.
Fine human being
Mr Raman Ranchhod was one of the finest human beings that the world ever had – gentle, understanding, compassionate, ready-to-help anyone at any time and most important of all, a bearer of goodwill and love towards all.
He was a resident of New Zealand for about 65 years.
Commencing his working life when he was 16 years old as fruits and vegetables vendor in Wellington, Mr Ranchhod launched into car business 16 years later, and over the next 35 years, expanded it to account for four dealerships with rental and finance divisions in the greater Wellington region.
He launched into property business with his son Mahesh, who obtained a graduate degree in Property. Success in the sector encouraged him to sell his car business and invest in properties across New Zealand and Australia. He established the Ranchhod Group to manage various properties and businesses.
Commitment to people
Mr Ranchhod was a philanthropist with a deep commitment to community welfare. The Wellington Indian Association, which his late father Rama Ranchhod established with his peers, had the benefit of his services for several years. His commitment and support were central to the purchase of a community hall, now called, ‘Bharat Bhavan,’ a major venue for Indian festivals and programmes.
Over the years, he helped scores of new and young migrants from India to resettle with emotional and financial support.
Deeply religious, Mr Ranchhod had a sound knowledge of the rites and rituals.
He conducted several Hindu weddings in New Zealand. A Justice of the Peace, he made his services available to everyone at all times.
The Ranchhod Foundation
The most outstanding attribute of Mr Ranchhod was the establishment of the Ranchhod Foundation in 2011, which works towards the betterment of humankind, undertake charity work, and offers solace and comfort to those in need in New Zealand and India.
The Foundation constructed the ‘Laduben Ranchhod Urban Hospital’ in Navsari, Gujarat, the birthplace of Mr Ranchhod. The Medical Centre provides several medical services free of cost to people in rural areas.
Among the other beneficiaries are the Starship Children’s Hospital, At Heart New Zealand, CBM Foundation of New Zealand, a rural hospital in Tanzania and a number of villages in India.
Recognising his great work to the community, Queen Elizabeth II decorated him with a Queen’s Service Medal in 2015 recognising his services to the community.
- Former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae honouring Raman Ranchhod with a QSM on May 7, 2015 at Government House in Auckland
- Raman Ranchhod at the launch of ‘Electionlink’ of Indian Newslink by Prime Minister Bill English at Raviz Restaurant, Botany Junction, Auckland on February 27, 2017