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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 65-68

Letter of March 14th, 1947

March 14th, 1947.
Dear Bahá’í Sister:
Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer your letters dated Sep. 2nd and 16th, and Oct. 22nd and 25th, 1946, and to acknowledge receipt of enclosures sent in some of them, and also material forwarded under separate cover. He regrets very much the delay in replying to these N.S.A. communications, but he has been very preoccupied with various pressing matters the last few months, and his mail has consequently had to wait.
In regard to the various points you raised in your letters: There is no objection to individual Bahá’ís sending Naw-Rúz cards if they want to; also the N.S.A. can send them out occassionally, but it should not become a fixed custom.
He has already cabled you that he approves of increasing the delegates to the Annual Convention to 19.
He feels that Committees should be left free to elect their own officers. 66
Prayers translated by other people may be used and memorized by the friends; they need not be confined to his translations.
He considers that the N.S.A. has every right to examine the ballots if there is some doubt as to the election having been properly conducted. By “preservation” of the ballots is meant that they are preserved in the National files.
A Convention delegate should certainly be given an opportunity to report to the community his or her experiences at Convention and impressions.
As to the whole matter of the incorporation of assemblies: he cannot go into the details of such things, as this is the work of the N.S.A. What he wants is that the spiritual assemblies in New Zealand and Australia should be legally empowered to hold property in their own names; how this can be done, the best way of doing it, are matters for your Assembly and its legal advisers to decide.
He feels very strongly that the main thing for your Assembly and all the believers of both Australia and New Zealand to concentrate on are teaching plans. The United States, India, Persia and England are all embarked on ambitious and bold teaching campaigns, and it is a great pity that Australasia, where the Cause is now firmly established and boasts an active National Assembly, should not have a definite plan, with fixed goals, of its own.
When the believers are embarked on a definite teaching schedule there will be less time for them to constantly occupy themselves with purely secondary administrative points of procedure. Teaching is their need, and the solution to any problems they may feel they have.
He was delighted over the report of the work in Brisbane; this is a step in the right direction, and should be followed through vigorously. Please convey to those who have devotedly served there and brought this group into being his warm thanks and his admiration for their services.
You may be sure he deeply values the loyal and persevering efforts of your Assembly to promote the Faith in all its aspects in Australia and New Zealand. His loving prayers are offered on your behalf and for the success of your labours.
With Bahá’í greetings,
R. Rabbani. 67
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
I wish to appeal, through you, to the members of the entire community in both Australia and New Zealand, to arise, in these opening years of the Second Bahá’í century, and lend, through their concerted, their sustained, and determined efforts, an unprecedented impetus to the growth of the Faith, the multiplication of its administrative centers, and the consolidation of its nascent institutions. The initiation of a Plan, carefully devised, universally supported, and designed to promote effectively the vital interests of the Faith, and attain a definite objective within a specified number of years, would seem, at the present hour, highly desirable and opportune, and will, as a magnet, attract, to an unprecedented degree, the blessings of Bahá’u’lláh on the members of both communities, both individually and collectively.
Now that the structural basis of the Bahá’í Administrative Order has been firmly and definitely laid in those far-away lands, and the National Headquarters of that Order established, a systematic effort must be exerted to widen the basis of that Order, by multiplying the Administrative institutions and forming the necessary nucleii, which, as they develop and are consolidated, will have to be utilized as the divinely ordained and most effectual instruments for the proclamation of the Faith to the masses.
I fully realize how small are your numbers, how circumscribed are your means, how vast the distances that separate the centres already established. But I firmly believe that the initiation of a Plan to remedy the very deficiencies from which the infant Administrative Order is now suffering, and a firm resolve to carry out its provisions, as well as a sustained effort to make the necessary sacrifices for its consummation, will set in motion forces of such magnitude, and draw upon both communities blessings of such potency, as shall excite the wonder of the believers themselves, and cause their Faith to enter an era of unprecedented expansion and marvellous and fruitful development.
The concluding years of the first Bahá’í century have witnessed a notable progress in the development and consolidation of both communities. The first decade of the succeeding century must synchronize with a no less remarkable extension of that essential administrative foundation on which the future institutions 68 of a flourishing Faith must repose, and on which its destinies and security must ultimately depend.
May the Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh guide, sustain and inspire you in the discharge of the noble and formidable tasks which will face you in the years to come.
Your true and grateful brother,