Lord Gulam Kaderbhoy Noon died after a prolonged illness….reports Asian Lite News
Labour leader and senior MP Keith Vaz has expressed his deepest condolences after the death of Lord Gulam Noon .
“Today we have lost a giant, not only of the British Asian community, but also of British entrepreneurship. A decent, honourable and generous man, who was dedicated to his family, but also to his country, the UK,” said Vaz
“Rightly known as Britain’s first ‘Curry King’, he brought curry to the high street. There are thousands of people in Britain, in India and throughout the world who have benefited from his enterprise, jobs he created, and his big heart. The world of cricket will also miss one of its most devoted followers.
“He was the epitome of everything a first generation immigrant can achieve, someone who literally came with nothing, but was also grateful to Britain for giving him the life chances to prove what an extraordinary man he was, whilst never forgetting his roots in India. Our community has lost one of its greatest stars.”
Lord Noon was originally from Mumbai, India. He has founded and operated a number of food product companies in Southall, London, specialising in Indian cuisine. His main business has been Noon Products, which he established in September 1987, manufacturing chilled and frozen ready meals, predominantly for UK supermarkets, mainly in the Indian and Thai ready meal categories. In 2005 Noon Products was taken over by Irish food conglomerate Kerry Group. In 1994 a fire in his factory destroyed everything, however within 10 weeks of this fire the company had begun selling its products again. He kept all his staff in employment during this period.
In the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 he was placed in 888th position with an estimated fortune of £65 million.
In March 2006 he came to wider notice as one of the businessmen embroiled in the “Cash for Peerages” scandal when it emerged that he had loaned £250,000 to the Labour Party. He was given an MBE for services to the food industry in 1994 (under a Conservative government) and knighted in 2002. It was widely implied that Sir Gulam had been given a knighthood, and promised a further peerage, in return for lending money to and hosting fundraisers for the Labour Party.
He was a declared backer of the former Britain in Europe group, a pro-European pressure group.
He was a “castaway” on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs in 2004. He is also known as “Curry King” of Britain.
He was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of East London on 12 November 2009.
He is a former trustee of the Maimonides Foundation, a charitable organisation promoting dialogue between Jews and Muslims.
As of 2013, Lord Gulam Noon is currently the chancellor of the University of East London.