1952 : VISIT TO SWITZERLAND
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, Oklahoma, Baba'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.
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.
ZURICH - KLOTEN AIRPORT
1st Car : 1947 Chyrsler New Yorker 4-door
- see below
This car carried Meher Baba, Mehera Irani, Mani Irani ( Baba's sister ), Meheru & Dr.Goher Irani. Irene Billo was the
2nd Car : 1946-8 Packard Super Clipper Touring Sedan
- see below
This car carried the Men Mandali
Meher Baba and his entourage in 2 cars stopped in Andermatt for lunch on the 6th August 1956.
ADI K. MEHERJEE SAROSH DR. NILU GUSTADJI
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.
Hedi Merten's home "Ronco Dei Fiori " Solduno,Ticino, Locarno
TRIP TO MALOJA
TRIP TO BELLA ISLAND ( ISOLA BELLA )