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Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Australia, 1971 reprint
  • Pages:
  • 140
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Pages 37-39

Letter of April 19th, 1941

Haifa, April 19th, 1941
Dear Bahá’í friends:
Shoghi Effendi has instructed me to answer your letter of March 16th, 1941.
He was very pleased to learn that Mother Dunn has accepted in such a noble and exemplary Bahá’í spirit the loss of dear Father Dunn, and that the friends of Sydney are preparing a full description of his death and the funeral. The Guardian would like very much to receive all such histories and reports for the next Vol. of “Bahá’í World”. He would also like you to send him three good photographs of Father Dunn and some of his grave and tombstone—whenever the latter are available. 38
The truly remarkable services of Hyde Dunn will never be forgotten. They have added a golden page to the history of the Formative Period of our Faith. The whole-hearted response to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s call, raised more than twenty years ago, which he and Mother Dunn made; their quiet and unassuming sacrifices for the Cause; the wisdom and permanence with which he laid the foundations of the work in Australia and New-Zealand; and the faithful love with which both of these noble souls tended the growing institutions of the Faith—all constitute a landmark in the victorious progress of the Faith. He is indeed the spiritual conqueror of that continent!
The Guardian was very impressed by your Assembly’s recent statement published in the January issue of “Bahá’í Quarterly”. So much so that he felt impelled to have the American N.S.A. publish it in “Bahá’í News” and also have it read at the annual Convention. He feels that in excellent form you have presented the very essence of the Bahá’í attitude on these matters. This has further strengthened his conviction that the Bahá’ís of Australia and New-Zealand display a remarkable soundness in their views on all matters concerning the Faith, a characteristic which greatly pleases him.
Concerning your question whether a Bahá’í Burial Service can be conducted for non-Bahá’ís if requested by them: if non-Bahá’ís desire that the believers should conduct such a service there is no objection at all.
The contemplated teaching trip of Miss Brooks, Mrs Hawthorne and Mrs Moffit to Queensland, meets with the Guardian’s whole-hearted approval. He will pray in the Holy Shrines that its outcome will be richly blessed and fruitful.
He was very sorry to learn that Miss Stevenson has passed on. He will pray for her joy and advancement in the Worlds beyond. She had the great honour and blessing of being the first New-Zealand believer and her reward must be great.
With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi’s most loving prayers for you all and with Bahá’í greetings,
Yours in His Service,
R. Rabbani.
P.S. He wishes me also to thank you for the Naw-Rúz and Riḍván greetings from all the dear friends in Australia and New Zealand. 39
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
The community of the Most Great Name in these far-off islands have lost a great leader, a stalwart upholder of the new World Order of Bahá’u’lláh. The influence he has exercised will however continue to live, and the example he has set will inspire the rising generation to perform deeds as great and brilliant as those which will ever remain associated with his name. Our dear friend, Mr. Hyde Dunn, will, from his exalted station intercede on your behalf, and you should, on your part strive to emulate one whom Bahá’í historians will recognise and acclaim as Australia’s spiritual conqueror. I will pray for his dear spiritual children from the depths of my heart.
Your true brother,
The passing of yet another staunch and indefatigible worker, Miss Stevenson, constitutes yet another loss to the believers in that continent. The work which that exemplary pioneer has achieved however is imperishable. Kindly assure her relatives of my deepfelt sympathy.