Since the year 1928, there have been several illustrious mountaineers, mountain writers and researchers who have been members of The Himalayan Club. And then, there have been those who have not been members but have made invaluable contribution to the connection with Himalaya. The crème de la crème of these, are selected after great deliberation to be invited as Honorary Members of The Himalayan Club.
As this honour is so rarely conferred, it is deemed a great privilege to be invited and honorary members from all over the world acknowledge this privilege.
The title of Emeritus is generally conferred upon a learned or senior person who retires from a position but continues to be honoured and respected for years of selfless and excellent service to a cause. In order to recognize outstanding contributions of some sterling office bearers of THC, it was decided to confer upon them the honour of Emeritus. This is an Honour to be conferred only when deemed deserving.
Mr Jagdish Nanavati was honoured with the title of President Emeritus for his invaluable service. At present the title is with Dr MS Gill. For 35 long years as editor of The Himalayan Journal, Mr Harish Kapadia is Editor Emeritus.
The health of institutions such as The Himalayan Club is also measured by their Patrons. These Patrons strongly believe in supporting the spirit of adventure and exploration.
The Himalayan Club has amongst its Rolls some prominent patrons who have contributed substantially to the Club. The Himalayan Club humbly acknowledges this.
Our prominent Patrons include the Chief of Army Staff, The Godrej Family that has extended its support for decades, and other established industrial families in India. We are grateful for this patronage.
Kekoo Naoroji was an active member of The Himalayan Club for several decades. In various office bearing capacities, he helped strengthen and consolidate Club activities and his business experience enabled him to bring a very pragmatic sense to Committee dealings. Mr Naoroji was a passionate Himalayan wanderer and photographer. The photographs in his book Himalayan Vignettes reflect the onset of interest in the Himalayas among Indian mountaineers and trekkers in 1950s.
He passed away in December 2003. In 2005, the Himalayan Club in association with Naoroji and Godrej families set up an award for a book published during the year, relating to any aspect of the Himalaya such as mountains, mountaineering, people, culture, environment, politics or other related topics.
Jagdish C. Nanavati, Past President Emeritus, devoted much of his life to The Himalayan Club. He studied and analysed expeditions closely following their footsteps with the aid of maps and coordinates. He always challenged what he discovered as false claims. He made it his mission to promote good planning, execution and reporting of Indian expeditions in a professional way.
A special Award Jagdish C. Nanavati Award for Excellence in Mountaineering was instituted in his memory in 2013, which is managed by the Himalayan Club and funded by the Nanavati family. This award supports an Indian expedition in its planning, execution and report writing and has consistently attempted to improve the quality of expeditions in these areas.
In the 1930s, The Himalayan Club had introduced the Tiger Medal to distinguish outstanding Sherpas. This grew to be most coveted among Sherpas but the practice was discontinued in the 1960s.
Jagdish C. Nanavati also took keen interest in the welfare of the support staff on expeditions and treks. Back in the 60s and 70s he invited Sherpas to conduct climbing courses in Mumbai, thus encouraging youngsters to climb back then. He also supported them through various schemes run by the Club and the Nanavati family trusts. In 2013, The Himalayan Club decided to create The Jagdish C. Nanavati Garud Gold Medal for support staff across the Himalaya, managed by The Himalayan Club and funded by the Nanavati family.
At a Committee meeting of the Eastern Section of the Himalayan Club on 6th February 1939 it was decided to create a superior grade for experienced climbing porters, and to give them 8 annas (50 paise or half a rupee) a day extra pay beyond the rate paid to others, for work above the snow-line. It was suggested that these men should be given the name of ‘Tigers’, together with a badge representing a Tiger’s head. A year after the 1939 decision was taken The Himalayan Journal published a list of the first recipients of the TIGER badge.