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Arohanui: Letters from Shoghi Effendi to New Zealand

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of Suva, Fiji Islands, 1982 edition
  • Pages:
  • 104
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Pages 98-99

Note 8. (Letter No. 23)

Mrs Emily Axford was born in Huddersfield, England on October 19th, 1870 and was an infant teacher before her marriage. In 1907, the family emigrated to New Zealand where her husband practiced medicine in Te Aroha until his passing in 1912, after which Mrs Axford moved to Auckland so as to educate her three children. Having rejected conventional Christianity, she was attracted by the New England Transcendental Movement until she became aware of the Bahá’í Faith through her friendship with Sarah Blundell and was enrolled as a member 99 in 1923. Three years later, Mrs Axford was elected Chairman of the first Local Spiritual Assembly in Auckland and for many years conducted classes in public speaking to help the friends overcome their shyness and reticence so that they might teach the Faith effectively. Emily was one of three New Zealand delegates who attended the National Convention held in Sydney during 1934 and the following year was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand. She continued to work staunchly for the Faith, being appointed in 1946 to the Regional Teaching Committee responsible for formulating teaching plans throughout New Zealand. The following year, she assumed the delicate task of conducting negotiations with the immigration authorities so that Bahá’ís from Persia might be permitted to enter New Zealand as University students, and was actively engaged in this work up to the time of her passing on December 26th, 1949.