by G. Reeves-Brown
The famous Himalyan Brotherhood lodge owes its origins to a Masonic lodge established in Calcutta in 1773. Members of descendant lodges organized Himalyan Brotherhood in 1838 in the Indian hill station of Simla, where British rulers spent the hot summers. Over the years the lodge attracted a veritable Who’s Who of the famous, including the explorer Sir Richard Burton and the author Rudyard Kipling. When India became independent in 1947, the lodge moved to England, but it retains its traditions – the collection for charities is taken with an old army helmet with a bullet hole in it, and the director of ceremonies carried a field marshal’s baton.