I am Arvind Thakrar, son of Vithaldas Ratanshi Bhimji Thakrar. My father was married to Diwaliben (daughter of Hirji Manek) in 1930. She was born in Ranavav, near Porbandar, Gujarat, India in 1917. My father was born in Khambhodar, near Porbandar, Gujarat, India in 1902 and immigrated to Kampala, Uganda in 1934. He had 6 daughters and 3 sons. I have one brother and one sister younger than me. The remaining five sisters and one brother are older than me. All my siblings apart from my eldest brother and one sister are born in Uganda.
I was born in Kampala (Uganda) on 7 September 1952. My father died in Masaka (Uganda) in a car accident in 1960 when I was 8 years old. I was brought up by my elder brother Tulshidas.
I received my primary education at Old Kampala Primary School. I attended Old Kampala Senior Secondary School from 1968 to 1971 where I completed my GCSE “O” Levels in 9 subjects.
I came to England as a refugee in October 1972 when all Asians were expelled from Uganda. In England we were settled in Stockport, Cheshire, near Manchester. Initially I took up a job as a bus conductor and later as a bus driver before resuming my full time education. I studied “A” Levels in 4 subjects at Stockport College of Technology. I Graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in Civil Engineering from Manchester University. I became a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1986 and established a Consultancy Practice in 1989.
My mother died in Stockport in April 1974 when I was 21 years old.
In January 1979, I married a lovely lady from Rajkot, Gujarat, India. Her name is Asha, daughter of Pratapray and Bhagwatiben Davda.
We currently live in the London Borough of Croydon, Surrey.
Asha and I have two children. Our son Amit was born in 1985 and is a Doctor (B.Sc., MBBS). Our daughter, Alpa was born in 1991 and is a Pharmacist (MPharm) graduating from Huddersfield University. My wife Asha is an Executive Officer with the Home Office and I am a Civil Engineering Consultant, specialising in Highways.
Although the national retirement age in the UK is 66 years (soon to be 67 years) I retired at the age of 60 years on 7 September 2012.
Article written in 2016 by Arvind Vithaldas Thakrar