Featured pages :
Note : This is a historical web page, events that occurred in the early to mid-1930s.
Certain images such as flags from that period are displayed because they were relevant then as the official flags, which were
superceded some 17 years later by the current state flag.
Within the Shanghai page the city of Hangzhou is featured and within the North China page, the city of Dairen ( Dalian ), Peking ( Beijing ) and other locations are highlighted during Herbert Davy's many train journeys through China and his correspondence are also featured.
Meher Baba visited mainland China twice. The first visit was in June 1932 staying for 6 days and the second was in late January 1935 for a day ( or part of ).
On both occasions the Chinese Nationalist governed China and had their capitol in Nanking. Japan was occupying Northern China and this brought about a resistance by the Chinese which lasted till the end of 1945.
When Nanking was captured by the Japanese, beginning in the 13th December 1937, it paid a heavy price when the Japanese massacred a huge part of its population.
When the Japanese armed forces lost the war it retreated out of China and Korea in
1945, the Nationalist then struggled against the Chinese Communists
who proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China
in Beijing on October 1, 1949. They still rule till the present day.
During this same period in late 1949 to early 1950, defeated, the Nationalist forces retreated to the island of Formosa, now named Taiwan.
Herbert Davy was from London, England and was one of the first to follow Meher Baba when he met him in East Challacombe in mid-September 1931. Herbert departed England on 17th September, taking up a teaching position at Nanking University in China employed by the League of Nations. He traveled on the SS HAKONE MARU, arriving in Shanghai in late Sept., early October 1931.
The first letter Herbert posted was to "Chanji"
Dadachanji which was written on the 23rd September 1931 when he had reached Singapore on his voyage to China.
Because of Herbert's presence in China, Meher Baba utilized his skills and connections in planning his first visit which was accompanied by some of his male Mandali in June 1932.
A month earlier Baba
had sent another party of his men Mandali to China and await his arrival. Herbert took care of all these arrangements.
1932 : 1st visit to China.
** Webmaster :
Rustom Irani and 5 other men mandali had arrived in China ( prior to Meher Baba's arrival) by the ship S.S. Chenonceaux from Colombo, Ceylon to Shanghai, China on the 24th March 1932, arriving on the 29th April 1932 staying with Herbert Davy in Nanking.
Prior to going to Nanking, Herbert took the newly arrived men on a short visit to another big city south of Shanghai called Hangzhou by train. They then returned to Shanghai and proceeded by train to Nanking.
Within a week, Baba orders 2 of his men - Vishnu & Raosaheb to return to India, immediately.
Rustom had received a telegram from Baba to meet him in Honolulu on the 9th June, which he did. Baba departed
2 days later for Japan & China on the 11th June
Meher Baba on the 4th June 1932 along with his 4 men Mandali had completed a 17 days visit to mainland United States and then a further 5 days travelling from Los Angeles on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Monterey to Honolulu, Hawaii and staying for 2 days, a total of 24 days.
Meher Baba's Mandali member - Rustom K. Irani was waiting for Baba and his entourage in Honolulu. On the same day Baba arrived, he was given instructions to travel on the same ship to Australia, via Fiji & New Zealand.
Once he arrived at the Australian ports of Sydney & Melbourne he was not allowed to disembark because of the then harsh "White Australian Policy" against coloured peoples.
He returned by the same ship back to Honolulu and then by various ships back to India.
S.S. EMPRESS OF JAPAN
This is the ship in which Meher Baba and 4 of his men Mandali sailed from Honolulu, Hawaii on the
11th June 1932 at noon for the 11 day journey to China.
The 4 man Mandali who accompanied Meher Baba from Bombay to Europe then to the USA across the continent, and finally across the Pacific to Shanghai, China.
They were : Chanji, Kaka, Adi Jrn and Beheram.
When Meher Baba and his men arrived in Shanghai 3:00 PM on the 22nd June, they were met by Herbert Davy and Jal S. Irani ( Baba's brother ). Meher Baba was wearing his white suit and Panama hat when he arrived. After they had disembarked on the Eastern side of the Whangpu River called Pootung and ferried onto the Western side of the river and then transported by cars a couple of miles to the Palace Hotel on the Bund. Baba later explored parts of the city.
On the following ( 23rd ) day at 11 PM they all boarded the Jinghu train to Nanking, inland - then the capital of the Nationalist Government. The remaining men Mandali who had arrived earlier on the 24th April, were waiting there to greet Baba and his men.
After staying for 3 days in Nanking they all took the train back to Shanghai, leaving at 11 PM and arrived at 8 AM., leaving later the same day at 4 PM on the S.S. Kaiser-i-Hind for Bombay on the 28th.
Meanwhile, Herbert was given directions to train leaving on the 4th July for Dairen in Northern China then onto various train lines connecting at Chita, Russia with the Trans Siberian Railway, reaching Moscow, then to Warsaw, onto Berlin , Amsterdam and finally London. Later that month in Marseilles with his sister Kitty he met Baba on the 29th July.
Baba who had travelled by boat through Asian ports such as Hong Kong - Kowloon 1st July, then Singapore on the 6th July, Penang - 9th July, then sailed to Colombo, Ceylon and finally to Bombay reaching it on 11:45 PM on 15th July.
MEHER BABA'S MID-1932 ITINERARY
1935 : 2nd visit to China
Meher Baba concluded his 2nd coast to coast trip across the United States, finishing atVancouver, Canada, his first and only visit to this nation.
He and his men Mandali departed on the SS Empress of Canada from Vancouver on the 12th January 1935 for Honolulu, which they arrived on the 17th. at noon. After a short stay, the ship continued onto Yokohama arriving on the 25th followed by Kobe on the 26th.
Meher Baba and his companions arrived in Shanghai on the 30th January, they were met byRustom K. Irani who had arrived two days earlier from India.
After making ship booking arrangements, etc., Baba gave Rustom instructions for him to go to the USA to assist with a possible film production of a script approved by Baba.
The following day Meher Baba and his other men mandali continued their journey to Hong Kong arriving on the 2nd Febuary. On the same day they visited Kowloon and transfer to another ship SS Fushimi Maru and departed on the 3rd.
Arrived in Singapore 7th Feb., then Penang on 10th and then Colombo on the 13th Febuary.
It took the party another 3 days to arrive in Meherabad, India on the 16th.