In 1906, two young Indian men, Bhana Fakir and Mani Fakir, from a small village in Gujarat (Mahatma Gandhi’s home province) came to New Zealand with their father, Fakir Chiba.
Mani had no children. When Bhana Fakir died in 1981 his sons Harivadan (Harry), Narenda (Nan), Arvind and Pravin, took over the shop.
Now, after 80 years, the four Bhana brothers have called it a day. There are grandsons of Bhana Fakir, but they have all chosen other careers, most after graduation from Auckland University. Ponsonby people will miss the Bhana brothers. I have fond memories of daffodil days outside Bhanas. They would bring thousands of daffodils from the South Island, supply them free of charge, and volunteers like me would sell them to a very generous local public.
Over the years Bhanas won many ‘best of’ awards, and are remembered for their place in the iconic Robin Morrison calendar of the 1970s.
Go well boys - Harry, Nan, Arv and Prav. You are a tribute to your heritage, and will be remembered for your dedication and commitment to your local community. You will be missed. The shop will remain a fruiterer. (JOHN ELLIOTT)