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Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 18:44 GMT
Profile: Christopher Ondaatje
John Prescott, Margaret McDonagh, Tony Blair
Labour receives a cash boost ahead of an election
Labour's latest millionaire donor is a retired businessman with a taste for adventure, philanthropy and cricket.

Christopher Ondaatje, 67, who has joined Lord Sainsbury and Lord Hamlyn in the exclusive club of Labour's millionaire donors, was born in what used to be known as the British colony of Ceylon, although he was educated at Blundell's School in Tiverton, Devon.

As a young man he moved to Canada where he made his fortune as a businessman and won a place in the country's Olympic bobsleigh team.

Christopher Ondaatje
Ondaatje has given generously
Married with three children and 12 grandchildren, Mr Ondaatje is now based in London when he is not travelling the world.

His lust for adventure has fuelled several books - most famously Journey to the Source of the Nile.

But his brother Michael is perhaps even more famous for his writing talents as the author of the novel The English Patient - later turned into an award-winning film.

Like Lord Hamlyn, Mr Ondaatje made his fortune in publishing and now administers his own charitable foundation and actively supports a number of UK organisations.

He was appointed CBE in June last year for his charitable work.

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See also:

03 Jan 01 | UK Politics
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02 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Labour's 11 ennobled donors
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Profile: Lord Sainsbury
02 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Lord Hamlyn: Labour's donor
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