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21 March 1964 Mahomet Allum

 21 March 1964   Mahomet Allum

On 21 March 1964 Hanji Mahomet Allum died in Adelaide at the age of 106. Mahomet Allum was born in Kandahar, then capital of Afghanistan, in 1858. As a young man he sold horses to the British Army in India and travelled to Persia and Saudi Arabia and eventually to England.

In the 1890s he came to Western Australia and worked as a camel driver in outback WA, SA, NSW and Queensland. Among other occupations he worked at surveying, carpet dealing, and had shops in Lismore and Wilcannia. He also worked for a time in the mines in Broken Hill.

In the early 1920s he arrived in Adelaide and lived at 181 Sturt Street near the Mohammedam Mosque. He became a herbalist, healer, and friend of the sick and needy. When he was over 80 years he married a young girl, and when he was 83, and she 20, a daughter was born. In 1955, at his wife's request, he took her to Afghanistan where she contracted smallpox and died. He came back to Adelaide with his daughter and settled on the Anzac Highway where he continued to treat people who sought his help, asking for no payment, but accepting gifts of fruit and flowers.

One of his cures was called 'Blackjack', this being a mixture of butter, honey and senna pods, for stomach cleansing. He was a well known and colourful character in Adelaide for many years.

Madeline Brunato, 'Mahomet Allum and "Blackjack"', South Australian Scrapbook, M. Brunato (ed), Rigby, 1979, pp. 21-24.

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