London: Lord Gulam Noon, one of Britain’s most prominent Indian-origin peers and “curry king” of the UK, passed away yesterday at the age of 79.
Curry king: Lord Gulam Noon's funeral will take place in London today. Pics/GettyIMages
Mumbai-born Lord Noon founded the £200-million (R2,000-crore) Noon Products business which is credited with Britain developing a taste for “chicken tikka masala”. He had been battling with liver cancer for the past two years. He had briefly recovered following chemotherapy but his health deteriorated over the last six months.
“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 United Kingdom," said Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP.
The funeral will take place in London today and there will be a minute’s silence at the Tiffin Cup final to pick the UK’s favourite curry restaurant at the House of Commons on Tuesday evening. A memorial meeting will be held in Parliament on November 2. Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swaraj Paul described Lord Noon as a “good friend and a great colleague.”
Lord Noon, who also served as Chancellor of the University of East London, counted Prince Charles and his father, Prince Philip, among his friends. He was an avid cricket fan and his London office was adorned with a vast selection of cricket