It was after the unexpected success of the first friendly football tournament in 1998, organised by Ramesh Thakali, Min Prasad, Min Bahadur Gurung “saila”, Himal, Kamal, Dipak, Chandra, Surya, Nabin and Hitkaji, that the seed for establishing a Tamudhee Association in the UK was really sown. Though the tournament was organised on such a small scale, the turnout of spectators, predominantly Nepalese, was just overwhelming. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day taking the organizers by surprise as this was indeed contrary to their expectations. This positive turnout was an immense boost to the idea of forming an association.
Gaining much confidence and impetus from this, a small “Lhochhar Celebration” (Gurungs’ New Year) was organised in the Gurkha Village Restaurant in North Camp in Farnborough on 2nd January, 2000 which was instigated by Professor Chandra Bahadur Gurung. The restaurant was then owned by Min Prasad and Min Bahadur Gurung “saila” who kindly let the venue for free. Again, despite organising the event without much fanfare, the event was a great success with lots of Gurungs and other Nepalese tribes joining in the merriment to welcome the New Year. It was the success of “Lhochhar Celebration” that spurred the organizers to form an ad-hoc group formed there and then under the provisional chairmanship of Min Prasad Gurung to start paving the way in establishing an association.
The ad-hoc group wasted no time and immediately began to work in earnest from day one and came up with a simple vision and objective after holding a series of meetings in the Gurkha Village Restaurant. After much deliberation, they felt that the association should be formed to uplift the social and welfare state of its members, to observe and maintain Tamu traditions, customs and cultures and to help members in social and financial predicament. It was also decided to organise events that would not only help to bring the Tamu community together but also to entertain and welcome all other Nepalese citizens in the UK. With these clear visions and objectives in mind, the association was aptly named “Tamudhee Association UK” and was established in January, 2000. It was formally registered under the Company Act in England and Wales in the same year.
Since its humble beginning, Tamudhee has really grown in stature within a span of few years. It now has large members that consist of both life and ordinary members. The membership is burgeoning rapidly each year. There is a general consensus that there are now over 40,000 Gurungs living in the UK. This figure is bound to rapidly increase with more and more retired Gurkhas coming to settle in the UK after the Home Office announcement in May 2009 allowing those who served for 4 years or more from 1948 to July 1997 to settle in the UK.
Tamudhee has gone from strength to strength and has gained high status for its organising ability to raise funds for charitable causes by holding various charitable events. It is also renowned for holding annual events like the Gurkha Cup Tournament, Nepali Mela and Lhochhar Celebration. Furthermore, it is also held in high regard for helping those who have unfortunately fallen into social, welfare and financial predicament. The turnout for each event has been truly astounding despite stiff competition from other organisations. The Association has also donated money from its own fund to various charitable organisations especially for victims of natural disasters both in the UK and in Nepal. Besides financial donations and support, the Association continues to provide close moral and welfare support to its members in welfare, social and financial needs.
From the outset, Tamudhee has always been an independent, non-political, non-religious and non discriminative Association and welcomes everyone to their functions irrespective of their race, religion, colour, sex or creed. Tamudhee continues to stand proud of its achievements and the high profile it has built over the years. It is truly recognised by all Nepalese citizens and communities as one of the best and outstanding Association in the UK. It successfully received its charity status on 3 August 2007. Tamudhee continues to work hard to maintain and ameliorate its high standard.
Captain (Retired) Gary Ghale