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Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Australia, 1971 reprint
  • Pages:
  • 140
Go to printed page GO
Pages 134-140

Letter of July 19, 1957

Haifa, Israel,
July 19, 1957
Mr. Noel P. L. Walker, Secretary,
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia.
Dear Bahá’í Brother:
Your Assembly’s communications with their enclosures and material sent under separate cover have all been safely received by the beloved Guardian; and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf, and to acknowledge receipt of your letters dated: August 14, September 6, October 14 and 29, and December 3, 1956, and February 17 and March 24, May 9, June 12 and 19, 1957. 135
In connection with various matters raised in your letters:
The photograph of the Shrine on Mt. Carmel was sent to Dr. Brasch, and we hope that he received it safely.
As regards the “Herald of the South” magazine, in view of the important work lying ahead of your Assembly, and the fact that this magazine is a drain on the limited resources of the Community, he thinks it would be quite all right to suspend publication until a future date when the financial situation permits such expenditures to be made with relative ease. He leaves, however, the final decision to your Assembly.
The Committee responsible for the publication of this magazine has certainly laboured valiantly throughout the years, and the publication will be missed by its readers. However, it is some years since the American Bahá’í Magazine was abandoned for similar reasons, and the Guardian feels that you can do so in Australia, and the funds be used to better advantage, at this time. However, now that you have found a printer in Sydney and appointed a new committee, he thinks you should continue it and give the new Plan a try.
The progress your Assembly has been making on the plans for the Temple, in conjunction with the evidently very able and cooperative architect whom you have found in Sydney, greatly pleases and encourages the beloved Guardian. He is particularly happy to know that Mr. Brogan is pliable in his ideas, and enthusiastic about getting the Temple constructed, even though the original design is not his own. Unfortunately, owing to the age of Mr. Remey and his duties at the International Center, it is impossible for him to carry out, himself, the execution in detail of his plans or to supervise the construction; and consequently both the Kampala Temple and the Sydney Temple have been entrusted to reliable firms.
The influence that this Mother Temple of the whole Pacific area will exert when constructed, is incalculable and mysterious. The beloved Master told the American friends that their Temple would be the greatest silent teacher, and there is no doubt that this one building has exerted a profound influence on the spread of the Faith, not only in the United States and the Western Hemisphere, but throughout the world. We can therefore expect that the construction of another “Mother Temple” in the heart of Australasia, and one in the center of Africa, as well as one in 136 the heart of Europe, will exert a tremendous influence, both locally and internationally.
He is eagerly waiting to receive pictures of the inauguration of the work on the Temple site, and has recently mailed your Assembly under separate cover a piece of the plaster from the Room in the Fortress at Máh-Kú where the Báb was confined, as well as a letter requesting that dear Mother Dunn place this, as his representative, in the foundations of the Temple. He would like very much to have a good photograph of this ceremony for reproduction; and he also urges your Assembly to give as much publicity to this occasion, and to the Temple work in general, as possible.
The teaching work carried on by the Australian friends throughout the region of the Pacific under their jurisdiction, has been very satisfactory, and he is proud of the truly immense progress which has been made. The publication of literature in so many additional languages, the School opened by Mrs. Dobbins in the New Hebrides, the increase in the number of native believers throughout the islands, are all indications, not only of the great power of this Faith to touch the hearts of those who are spiritually receptive, but also of the consecration and devotion of the Australian believers.
As regards various questions you asked in your letter of February 17th:
It is of the utmost importance to keep the pioneers in their goals. If, for reasons over which you have no control, they are forced to leave a certain pioneer area, then he would strongly recommend that, instead of returning all the way to their home base, they be routed to another base in the Pacific where they can serve the Faith. This is both economical, and hastens the attainment of our goals. Matters of detail as to how these plans are best worked out, are naturally left to the discretion of the National Body responsible for the area in question.
In your letter of August 14th, you mention a small translation of a Timorese language has been secured from Dili. The Guardian would like to know what the specific name of this language is, and, if it has been printed, he would like to receive a copy.
He was very sorry to hear that dear Mother Dunn’s son had died. This, no doubt, in spite of her devotion and fortitude, 137 must have been a severe blow to her at her age; and he hopes the friends will do all they can to comfort and take care of this precious soul—the mother of their Community. Please assure her that he prays for the progress of the soul of her son in the holy Shrines.
The successful culmination of the long standing partnership of the Australian and New Zealand believers thru the emergence of the New Zealand N.S.A. is a source of great satisfaction to the Guardian, and no doubt to all the members of both communities. He feels sure this will mark a turning point in the work in the Antipodes and the neighbouring islands and give a new lease of life to the teaching work throughout that area. Both your Assembly and that of New Zealand have now emerged into your permanent form as pillars of the future International House of Justice. The bones of the skeleton of the World Order are growing strong, but only the teaching work can clothe them with flesh.
You may be sure that he will ardently pray for the success of your work, and that you may be strengthened and guided to discharge your important duties and to fulfil your goals under the Ten Year Plan.
With warm Bahá’í love,
R. Rabbani.
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
The progress achieved in recent years, rapid and extraordinary as it has been, by the Bahá’í Communities labouring so patiently, so methodically, and so faithfully, for the consolidation and expansion of the institutions of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh in the Antipodes, has been highly gratifying and has served to deepen my confidence in their ability to achieve their high destiny, and to evoke sentiments of ever-increasing admiration for the manner in which they have acquitted themselves of their task in the face of varied and almost insurmountable obstacles.
Particularly commendable, and indeed exemplary, has been the share of the Australian believers in enabling the New-Zealand Bahá’í Community to make such rapid strides, in recent years, strides that have prepared it for the assumption of its sacred and vital function as an independent community, and which culminated 138 in the formation of a body qualified to take its place, and assume the weighty responsibilities incumbent on it, as a distinct and separate member of the world-wide family of Bahá’í national and regional Spiritual Assemblies. The great and signal honour, conferred upon their homeland through the selection of one of the most highly advanced, the most populous, and one of the most progressive of its cities—enjoying already the distinction of being the first among them to be opened to the Message of Bahá’u’lláh and to be warmed by the rising Sun of His Revelation—as the site of the Mother Temple of the Antipodes, and indeed of the whole Pacific area, moreover, proclaims their right to be considered the vanguard of His hosts, and the defenders of the stronghold of the Administrative Order of His Faith, in that vast area of the globe, an area endowed with unimaginable potentialities, and which, owing to its strategic position, is bound to feel the impact of world shaking forces, and to shape to a marked degree through the experience gained by its peoples in the school of adversity, the destinies of mankind.
The emergence of a new Regional Spiritual Assembly in the North Pacific Area, with its seat fixed in the capital city of a country which by reason of its innate capacity and the spiritual receptivity it has acquired, in consequence of the severe and prolonged ordeal its entire population has providentially experienced, is destined to have a preponderating share in awakening the peoples and races inhabiting the entire Pacific area, to the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, and to act as the Vanguard of His hosts in their future spiritual conquest of the main body of the yellow race on the Chinese mainland—the emergence of such an assembly may be said to have, at long last, established a spiritual axis, extending from the Antipodes to the northern islands of the Pacific Ocean—an axis whose northern and southern poles will act as powerful magnets, endowed with exceptional spiritual potency, and towards which other younger and less experienced communities will tend for some time to gravitate.
A responsibility, at once weighty and inescapable, must rest on the communities which occupy so privileged a position in so vast and turbulent an area of the globe. However great the distance that separates them; however much they differ in race, language, custom, and religion; however active the political forces which tend to keep them apart and foster racial and political 139 antagonisms, the close and continued association of these communities in their common, their peculiar and paramount task of raising up and of consolidating the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh in those regions of the globe, is a matter of vital and urgent importance, which should receive on the part of the elected representatives of their communities, a most earnest and prayerful consideration.
The Plan, which it is the privilege of the Australian Bahá’í community to energetically prosecute must, simultaneously, be assured of the unqualified, the systematic and whole-hearted support of its members.
Theirs indeed is a twofold task which must under no circumstances be either neglected or underrated. The one aims at the consolidation, the multiplication and expansion of the institutions so laboriously erected throughout the length and breadth of the Australian commonwealth and in the islands beyond its confines, in strict accordance with the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan, while the other is designed to forge fresh links with its sister communities, and particularly those situated in the North, in anticipation of the Mission which the newly fledged Bahá’í communities, now rapidly multiplying throughout the length and breadth of that area, are destined and are collectively called upon to discharge.
Whilst addressing itself to the meritorious twofold task with which it is now confronted, this wide-awake, swiftly expanding, steadily consolidating, highly promising community must lend whatever assistance is possible to its newly emerged sister community in the South, and enable her, as her institutions develop and become firmly grounded, to share in a befitting manner, in the collective enterprises that must, sooner or later, be launched and carried to a successful conclusion by the island communities situated in the Northern and Southern regions as well as in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
May this community which, with its sister community in the North, has had the inestimable privilege of being called into being in the lifetime of, and through the operation of the dynamic forces released by the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, continue, with undimmed vision, with redoubled vigour, and unwavering fidelity and constancy, to discharge its manifold and ever increasing duties and responsibilities, and lend, as the days 140 go by, an impetus such as it has not lent before, in the course of almost two score years of its existence, to the propagation of the Faith it has so whole-heartedly espoused and is now so valiantly serving, and play a memorable and distinctive part in hastening the establishment, and in ensuring the gradual efflorescence and ultimate fruition, of its divinely appointed embryonic World Order.