Address of the President of the Royal Geographic Society
Professor Sir Ron Cooke, Dsc
Harish Kapadia has made a unique contribution to our knowledge of the Himalaya: as editor of the Himalayan Journal, one of the most authoritative and comprehensive records of exploratory activity in the Himalaya; through his numerous guide books and as a leader and organiser of countless expeditions over the years. He has been assistant editor and then editor of the Himalayan Journal since 1978 and has consistently improved both its content and its production. His guidebook and works on the Himalaya are erudite and practical, skilfully combining historical, geographical and practical guidance to increase our understanding of the region.
As an expedition leader, he has initiated a series of joint expeditions with climbers from the United Kingdom, France, Japan and the United States to explore and climb throughout the Indian Himalaya. The quality of exploration and the full and detailed reports that he has issued have provided superb background information about these areas.
Furthermore, Harish has been a tireless campaigner for the resolution of the Kashmir conflict through the Siachen Peace Park initiative in the Karakoram region. He is an outstanding modern explorer in the finest traditions of the great Himalayan pioneers.
It is most fitting, that this year, in which we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest, we honour Harish Kapadia. On behalf of the Society’s Council, I have great pleasure asking Mr Kapadia to receive our Patron’s Medal for contributions to geographical discovery and mountaineering in the Himalayas.
Sir Ron Cooke
Royal Geographical Society
2nd June 2003