Harilela clan mourns second patriarch

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 February, 2007, 12:00am

A second senior member of one of the city's leading business families has died in less than two months.

The death of Mike (Mohan Naroomal) Harilela yesterday at the age of 61 follows that of his elder brother, George, 86, who died in hospital on December 8 of complications following non-invasive surgery.

No details have been given about the cause of Mike Harilela's death.

Mike Harilela was a director of the Harilela Group, which was founded in 1959 by his three brothers, George, Hari and Peter.

He was a past president of the Tsim Sha Tsui East branch of the Rotary Club and vice-president of the club's Kowloon North branch.

Harilela's body was at the family's Kowloon Tong compound last night and will be cremated at Cape Collinson Crematorium in Chai Wan tomorrow afternoon.

The family has urged well-wishers not to send flowers but to make donations to charities of their choice.

Harilela is survived by his wife, Kamilla, three children, two grandchildren, three brothers and a sister.

The Harilela rags-to-riches story began in the 1920s when Mike's father, Naroomal Harilela, set up a trading company in Guangdong before moving to Hong Kong in the early 1930s.

The Harilela family built up a tailoring business, catering to the military forces in Hong Kong, before expanding into the world of trading, hotels and hospitality.

It moved into the hotel business in 1961 with the acquisition of the Imperial Hotel. Since then, it has taken a stake in many hotels of distinct brands internationally, including Holiday Inn and Sheraton.

The group also invested in the healthcare and food and beverage sector in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.