MEHER BABA'S 1952 VISIT TO THE WEST

 

* VISIT TO EUROPE & RETURN TO INDIA *

 

Meher Baba's colourized passport photo taken  29th September 1951
Meher Baba's colourized passport photo taken 29th September 1951

SYNOPSIS OF THE 1952 TOUR

 

Meher Baba and his entourage of male & female close followers ( mandali ) started their Western tour when they flew out of Bombay Airport on Friday 18th April 1952 flying with TWA Airlines.

Their destination was New York, USA, arriving on the 20th April at Idlewild Airport.

 

They then left by train to Florence, South Carolina at midnight, the same day. They arrived at Florence, SC., the next day at 11am ( 21st ), they were then driven to the Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach, SC, arriving at 3pm.

 

After a month stay on the Center, Baba and his women Mandali drove off in 2 cars for the West Coast. A few days later on the 24th May, at Prague, OklahomaBaba's car was involved in an serious accident with another motor vehicle.

Meher Baba  and some of the women in his car suffered serious injuries.

 

Following his treatment at the local hospital, he was transported along with the group back to Myrtle Beach to recover and seek expert treatment from nearby medical institutions. During this period he and the female mandali stayed at Elizabeth Patterson's home - Youpon Dunes, staying for 5 weeks.

Baba and his entourage of 15 drove to Florence, SC. and travelled by train back to New York City, staying in Scarsdale, N.Y. till the near end of July. During this time he & Mehera had appointments with medical specialists.

 

Baba and his women mandali and a couple of others flew from New York's Idlewild Airport on the 30th July via Gander, Canada to London, England, arriving the 31st.

 

They stayed a week, before flying to Zurich, Switzerland on the 6th August. Their destination was to Locarno near the Italian border, where Hedi Mertens lived. Here Baba was to continue his recuperation and his medical treatment. The women mandali explored the majestic surroundings nearby, until the 21st August.

 

This is the portion of their journey that will be examined on this webpage, before they all returned to India.

 

AZ

1952 : Eastbound route back to India via Europe & the Middle East.   Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Eastbound route back to India via Europe & the Middle East. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image cropped. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image cropped. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Map showing the return route by plane from New York City to London, heading back to India via Europe.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map showing the return route by plane from New York City to London, heading back to India via Europe. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Eastbound route to India via England & Europe. Map graphics by Anthony Zois
1952 : Eastbound route to India via England & Europe. Map graphics by Anthony Zois
Swissair timetable for flights between London & Zurich 1952
Swissair timetable for flights between London & Zurich 1952

 

 

ZURICH

 

Kloten- Zurich Airport, Switzerland
Kloten- Zurich Airport, Switzerland

 

Click on the button below to see images of Zurich.

Meher Baba and his entourage flew by Swissair to Zurich, Switzerland on the 6th August.

After Meher Baba and his entourage cleared Swiss Customs, they were driven in 2 cars to Locarno in the South, near the Italian border.

 

The 1st car, a 1947 Chrysler was driven by Irene Billo, which carried Meher Baba & his Women Mandali.

The 2nd car, a 1946-8 Packard, was driven by a hired driver, this carried the Men Mandali.

These vehicles were at Baba's disposal for his length of time in Switzerland.

 

This journey took a good part of the day.

 

There is no mention in any of the publications since, which exact route was taken by the cars.

The following 4 maps show the entire possible route taken, marked in Yellow. Click on the maps to enlarge them.

 

There was only one stop - break for this trip. Lunch was served at Andermatt about halfway to Locarno.

Map 1 : Map showing the City of Zurich & the Kloten-Zurich Airport to the North of the city and the route taken to the South of Switzerland.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 1 : Map showing the City of Zurich & the Kloten-Zurich Airport to the North of the city and the route taken to the South of Switzerland. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

       DELIA & MEHERA             MEHERU               MANI                 GOHER            CHARMIAN

1st Car :   1947 Chyrsler New Yorker 4-door sedan

- see below

This car carried Meher Baba, Mehera Irani, Mani Irani ( Baba's sister ), Meheru & Dr.Goher Irani. Irene Billo was the driver.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_New_Yorker

 Irene Billo leaning on her Chrysler car with Dr. Willian Donkin standing nearby. This is the car that Baba travelled throughout Switzerland. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Irene Billo leaning on her Chrysler car with Dr. Willian Donkin standing nearby. This is the car that Baba travelled throughout Switzerland. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.

The following images are of other vehicles of the same type. See more images of these vehicles click on the following web extension. Road Trips - 1952 : Switzerland

 

 

 

2nd Car :   1946-8 Packard Super Clipper Touring Sedan

- see below

This car carried the Men Mandali

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Clipper

https://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/brochures_1948_packard

Driving from Zurich to Locarno in a 1946 Packard motor vehicle. Image colourized by Anthony Zois
Driving from Zurich to Locarno in a 1946 Packard motor vehicle. Image colourized by Anthony Zois

 

The following images are of other vehicles of the same type. See more images of these vehicles click on the following web extension. Road Trips - 1952 : Switzerland

 

Map 2 : Central Switzerland with the route shown to the South of the country.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 2 : Central Switzerland with the route shown to the South of the country. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 3 : Close-up view - Central Switzerland with both routes showning around Lake Lucerne. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 3 : Close-up view - Central Switzerland with both routes showning around Lake Lucerne. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
The some of the men Mandali pose on their way to Locarno next to the 1947 Chrysler motor vehicle which transported Meher Baba & his women Mandali. ( L-R ) Meherjee Karkaria, Dr. Nilu Godse, Sarosh K. Irani & Adi K. Irani. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
The some of the men Mandali pose on their way to Locarno next to the 1947 Chrysler motor vehicle which transported Meher Baba & his women Mandali. ( L-R ) Meherjee Karkaria, Dr. Nilu Godse, Sarosh K. Irani & Adi K. Irani. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.

 

 

LUCERNE

 

Panorama views of Lucerne, Switzerland
Panorama views of Lucerne, Switzerland
Map 4 : Closer view of Central Switzerland , route South of Lucerne. Lunch taken in Andermatt, then further South again.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 4 : Closer view of Central Switzerland , route South of Lucerne. Lunch taken in Andermatt, then further South again. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

 

ANDERMATT

 

ANDERMATT
ANDERMATT

Meher Baba and his entourage in 2 cars stopped in Andermatt for lunch on the 6th August 1956.

Map 5 : South-East Switzerland showing the route to Locarno.   Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 5 : South-East Switzerland showing the route to Locarno. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

 

LOCARNO

 

        ADI K.            MEHERJEE             SAROSH                   DR. NILU                    GUSTADJI

Hedi Merten's home "Ronco Dei Fiori " Solduno,Ticino, Locarno

 

Hedi Mertens was a Swiss artist and follower of Meher Baba since the mid-1930s. She and late husband Walter had travelled to India and toured with Meher Baba then. They had also hosted him at their then home in Zurich during his travels through Europe in the mid-1930s.

 

When Meher Baba and his group arrived to stay with Hedi, she was leasing her home at that time. She had also secured the next door property for Baba's use to aid in his recovery from the horrific automobile accident in Oklahoma, USA earlier in the year.

1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image colourization by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image colourization by Anthony Zois.

The original B/W images of the 'colourized' images of Meher Baba are courtesy of MN Publications.

The terrace at Solduno, Ticino, Locarno
The terrace at Solduno, Ticino, Locarno
Some of Baba's men mandali.  ( l-r ) Gustadji Hansotia, Adi K.Irani, Sarosh K. Irani & Meherjee Karkaria.   Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Some of Baba's men mandali. ( l-r ) Gustadji Hansotia, Adi K.Irani, Sarosh K. Irani & Meherjee Karkaria. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba assisted by Meherjee ( left ) & Adi K. Irani. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba assisted by Meherjee ( left ) & Adi K. Irani. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba getting therapy advice from Dr. Donkin at Locarno. Image colourized by Anthony Zois. Trimmed image..
Meher Baba getting therapy advice from Dr. Donkin at Locarno. Image colourized by Anthony Zois. Trimmed image..
Meher Baba doing exercises to heal his wounds. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba doing exercises to heal his wounds. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba being assisted by Dr. Donkin & Meherjee Karkaria ( hidden ) & Sarosh Irani ( far right ). Image colourization by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba being assisted by Dr. Donkin & Meherjee Karkaria ( hidden ) & Sarosh Irani ( far right ). Image colourization by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba being assisted by Dr. Donkin ( t-shirt ) & Meherjee Karkaria also Sarosh Irani (behind Baba ). Image colourization by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba being assisted by Dr. Donkin ( t-shirt ) & Meherjee Karkaria also Sarosh Irani (behind Baba ). Image colourization by Anthony Zois.
Image colourized by Anthony Zois
Image colourized by Anthony Zois
Meher Baba getting exercise at the Locarno property. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba getting exercise at the Locarno property. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image cropped.
1952 : Meher Baba recouperating at the Merten's home, Locarno, Switzerland. Image cropped.
Some of the men mandali at the entrance of Hedi Merten's residency in Locarno, where some of them stayed. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Some of the men mandali at the entrance of Hedi Merten's residency in Locarno, where some of them stayed. Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
S-E Switzerland map. Additional graphics by Anthony Zois
S-E Switzerland map. Additional graphics by Anthony Zois

MALOJA

Image courtesy of the Glow Int. magazine
Image courtesy of the Glow Int. magazine
Image colourized by Anthony Zois.
Image colourized by Anthony Zois.

TRIP TO BELLA ISLAND ( ISOLA BELLA )

Bella Island
Bella Island
Map 1 : Overview map of road route from Locarno to Bella Island in Italy.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 1 : Overview map of road route from Locarno to Bella Island in Italy. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 2 : Detail of the 1st part of the road to Bella Is, Italy.   Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 2 : Detail of the 1st part of the road to Bella Is, Italy. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 3 : Detail of the 2nd part of the road to Bella Is, Italy.  Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 3 : Detail of the 2nd part of the road to Bella Is, Italy. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 4 : Detail of the 3rd part of the road to Bella Is, Italy. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map 4 : Detail of the 3rd part of the road to Bella Is, Italy. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Detailed Eastward plane & road routes through Europe heading to India. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Detailed Eastward plane & road routes through Europe heading to India. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Detailed Eastward plane & road routes through England, Europe & Middle East to India. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1952 : Detailed Eastward plane & road routes through England, Europe & Middle East to India. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.