The World Zoroastrian House - A lasting gift to the Zoroastrian community
– A Report and an Appeal by WZO President Mr Sammy Bhiwandiwalla
Welcome to the World Zoroastrian House, a centre for the advancement of our religion and community.
We know it has been a long and sometimes painful journey but like all endeavours it has been worth the wait.
The World Zoroastrian House first opened its doors by holding an Open Day on 17th March at WZO House when some 200 members and guests flocked to admire and enjoy the facilities.
They were greeted by our committee members as they arrived and chaperoned around the building for about two hours.
Committee members explained how the three floors were to be utilised with the ground floor redesigned as a hall to be used for seminars/lectures and social functions and to rent to other communities for their own events thereby generating an income for WZO.
The capacity of the hall is 120 for social events and 170 theatre style.
In the refurbishment of building, sadly we did sacrifice a lot of space due to heating ducts, lift installation etc.
The first floor comprises a Setayash Gah which is commemorated in the name of Dr Mrs Shirinbanoo and Dasturji Dr.Sohrabji Kutar the past High Priest of UK.
There is also an office and committee meeting room for WZO use and a caretakers flat.
Soon we will have a small reference library housing the collection of books that our beloved Farrokh Vajifdar had collected during his lifetime.
It will be commemorated in the memory of Dr Xerxes S Captain, Chairman Shahpur Captain’s son who passed away at a very young age.
A section of the first floor will be available to rent to suitable tenants.
The second floor is open plan and also available for rent.
This will in the future give us an income to manage the building and toward our charitable activities.
Of course the project is still not complete and it will take another few years to fully implement.
How do you get rid of antiquated plumbing and a leaky roof in an old building with limited resources?
Clearly our guests were delighted to see what we had done and the extent of this project.
They expressed their thanks and gratitude for opening up a centre which would facilitate a community centre, education for the young in our religion, a play area under supervision as
the building sits in a park like setting.
At 3 pm we held our first Boi ceremony in the Setayash Gah which was very well received and appreciated by all the guests.
This was followed by a welcome speech from the Chairman, Mr Shahpur F Captain, in the main hall who thanked the audience for being present in such large numbers.
He informed them that WZ house would be open to all Zoroastrians and their families and to those who shared and believed in the Zoroastrian way of life.
Shahpur Captain thanked Mrs Benafsha Engineer Mulla and her husband Mohammad Mulla for the very generous donation of food and refreshments that would be served on the open day.
He also praised both Armaity Engineer and Mrs Benafsha Engineer Mulla for working ceaselessly for weeks, burning the midnight oil, preparing WZO house for the open day and thanked all committee members for their efforts to make this a big success.
This was followed by a Jashan performed by Ervad’s Jimmy Madon, Zubin Writer, Phiroze Motafram and Zal Motafram
The afternoon ended with the happy guests mingling and making further visits to the premises and Setayash Gah to offer their prayers.
It will offer all the facilities required of a community centre, and we are appealing to you for continued support to complete this project as our own resources are severely limited.
The centre consists of :
a) A worship room (Setayash Gah) named after Dasturji Sohrabji and Shirinbanoo Kutar with appropriate facilities which will be open to all.
b) Accommodation for a priest/ caretaker on the premises.
c) A bar/reception area with a community hall with full audio-visual facilities and supporting facilities for Jashans, lectures and social events.
d) A reference library and reading room on Zoroastrian Religion, History and culture with books and periodicals on Zoroastrians and Zoroastrianism. A further small Meeting room to hold educational classes.
e) A small car park (22 spaces) with an adjoining public car park. A rear garden with benches and plants for outdoor events.
Future Financial Sustainability:
WZO does not wish the centre to be a financial burden to the next generation within the community.
With this in mind, the top floor and part of the first floor are being refurbished so that they can be leased to a third party.
It is anticipated that the revenues earned will cover some of the running costs of the property and also to enable WZO to carry on doing our charitable activities which is the primary function of the association.
In addition, the facilities of the hall and the meeting rooms will be available for hire for private functions and events for all communities when not used by WZO.
How you can help today’s and future generations:
There are various ways you could help WZO serve the community:
1. WZO requests you to become Life Members, if you are not one already, and encourage your family members and others to do the same.
2. Volunteering your time and knowledge for the successful running of WZO, the community centre and its amenities.
3. Generously donate to a variety of necessities. It will leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
1) Donation via cheque to WZO, UK:
Please make your cheque payable to: ‘The World Zoroastrian Organisation’ and post to:
World Zoroastrian Organisation
World Zoroastrian House
5 Hanworth Road
Please mention “WZ House” at the back of the cheque.
Also do mention the necessity for which you are donating to the WZO.
2) Donation through the WZO website:
Please visit the WZO website https://www.w-z-o.org/ and on the right hand side of the home page you will see a Donations box.
You will be able to make secure PayPal payment through this. Please mention “WZ House” in the description box.
If you do not have a PayPal account, you can still make your donations using your Credit card by clicking 'Continue' just below the text 'Don't have a PayPal account?'.
Your payment will be made on PayPal's secure server in a currency of your choice.
UK residents can claim 'Gift Aid' for their donation.
After you have made your donation, please indicate your donation amount and how would you like the WZO to use your donation with a reply to this email to Mr Sammy Bhiwandiwalla at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to donate for more than one item, your donation will be equally split between your choices.
Necessities that require your support
We will allocate your donation to the most pressing expenditure we face.
Supporting the resident priest.
A community that looks after its priests who serve the flock with fairness and consideration must be supported by the laity.
You can contribute towards this expenditure on a one off or regular basis. You can pay by a monthly standing order.
Items for the Worship room.
Cover the cost of purchasing a small Afargan for Jashans etc and furniture such as the diva table, and for the purchase of sukhad and kathi etc.
Reading room furniture.
Cover the cost of tables and chairs. WZO is pleased to inform you that through the generosity of a donor we have inherited the library of our beloved Farrokh Vajifdar.
Audio visual equipment.
This is required in the community hall for our lectures, seminars, religious and social events.
Security and maintenance of the community centre.
While WZ House sits in a pleasant garden setting, there are many security and maintenance issues in a public area. Therefore, we need to secure the grounds around the property with protective landscaping.
Sometimes the least interesting subject is often overlooked so please consider this very worthy cause.