Businessman Abhaye Valabhji dies |24 November 2017
Popular businessman, philanthropist and the rock of the Valabhji family, Abhaye Valabhji, died on Wednesday November 22 at the Seychelles Hospital.
Mr Valabhji, 84, passed away peacefully after suffering medical complications.
He was born at Victoria Hospital on June 17, 1933, to Valabhji Dharmachand and Chandubai and was the fourth of six siblings (Bhogilal, Ramniklal, Prasant ‒ all deceased ‒ Ashoka and Surekant, surviving).
Mr Valabhji married and is survived by his wife, Rukhsmani Shah, on May 18, 1959. They were blessed with five children -- sons Mukesh Valabhji (married Laura Alcindor) and Anil Valabhji (married Dolores Ernesta), and daughters Hemlatta Valabhji, Alpa Edmund (married William Edmund, deceased), and Neela Lakhmani (married Sanjay Lakhmani).
He is also survived by six loving grandchildren, Larissa Valabhji, Archard Ferrari, Nico Ferrari, Ashvin Valabhji, Rheya Lakhmani, and Aiden Valabhji.
Mr Valabhji founded his first shop on Albert Street in 1962 ‒ the launch of Abhaye Valabhji, Pvt., Ltd. He lived in his beloved Seychelles his entire life, with brief sojourns to the United States.
Defined by a genuine, contagious smile, the famous Abhaye smile, and a generosity that leaves all his children and family members humbled, Mr Valabhji did not hesitate in offering credit to all who needed it ‒ fishermen who needed outboard motors, families and taxi drivers in need of a car, musicians in need of instruments, housewives who needed household appliances.
He leaves his children with sad and heavy hearts, but with a well-defined path to follow – one with high principles and ideals of honesty, generosity, kindness, and hard work.
Friends and family are invited to a viewing and visitation today from 10.30am, followed by a service at 11.30am at Surya Memorial Hall, Mont Fleuri, Mahé. His body will later be cremated.
IN MEMORY OF A KIND MAN, MY BROTHER
With measured steps he went about his tasks daily
Executing them carefully and confidently
Whether it be repairing radios at night
Or working in the shop in daylight.
Out of his way he unflinchingly went
Helping those in need he was bent.
Always feeling absolutely capable
He invariably sorted out their trouble.
Always pondering his next move in words or action
He never failed to evoke a feeling of inspiration.
Smiling in his demeanor with an occasional
Burst of laughter he brought hope to one and all.
Naturally wanting to expand he opened his own shop
On Albert Street where many customers made a stop.
A permanent smile on his face Abhaye Smile
Was what he acquired to go the extra mile.
From home to shop he moved with dignity
Commanding respect in his natural ability
To sustain in his clients undying hope
And rarely to utter the word nope.
His name is Abhaye popularly known as Abay.
He helped his customers in every way.
His passing on has left a deep vacuum behind
Filled with memories of his being generously kind.
(WE WILL MISS YOU, AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE
IN OUR HEARTS. PLEASE WATCH OVER US ALL
WHEREVER YOU ARE.)