Curry King given bronze bust at University of East London’s Stratford campus
PUBLISHED: 09:30 21 June 2018
A commemorative bust of a former University of East London chancellor was unveiled on Tuesday.
The unveiling of the bronze bust of Lord Noon was attended by East Ham MP Stephen Timms, the secretary general of the Commonwealth Baroness Scotland, and Lord Noon’s daughter, Zeenat. The current chancellor of UEL, Shabir Randeree CBE, performed the unveiling.
The bust will reside at UEL’s Stratford campus, alongside a ‘Wall of Noon’ – a series of prints telling the story of how he rose to prominence.
Lord Noon was born in India. He became known as the UK’s ‘Curry King’ after building a vast food business empire through selling supermarket curries.
He was given an MBE for his services to the food industry in 1994 and in 2002 was knighted.
He was made a life peer with the official title Baron Noon of St John’s Wood before becoming UEL’s chancellor two years later, in 2013.
Zeenat said: “This is a very emotional, wonderful occasion for me and my family and I know my father would be smiling right now.
“He was so proud to be chancellor of the UEL. He passionately shared the university’s values of equality, justice and social mobility, especially with such a diverse body of students, and he loved working with young people and interacting with them.
“The bust and the story of his life will help students understand his journey, what he went through and what he did for the University – and hopefully they will take something from that.”
Lord Noon was also involved in philanthropy, with his charity work focusing mainly on two initiatives.
He built a hospital in his ancestral hometown, Bhawani Mandi, in India, and founded the Noon Centre for Equality and Diversity in Business at UEL.
The centre supports research into workplace diversity and helps students from various backgrounds find employment.
Shabir Randeree said: “We are very proud of our connection with Lord Noon and the unveiling of the bust is a small token of our appreciation.
“It is a privilege to honour him in this way and I hope the bust and the story of Lord Noon will be an inspiration to our students.”