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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 96-100

Letter of Nov. 20, 1951

Dear Bahá’í Friends: Nov. 20, 1951
Your letters to the beloved Guardian, dated April 3rd (two) 4th and 26th; May 4th and 25th; July 13th; and Oct. 16, with various enclosures, have been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Regarding various matters raised in your letters: The Guardian feels that as Mr. Audenwood clearly signified his belief in Bahá’u’lláh before his passing, his name should by all means be registered in your records as a believer. Please assure his wife of the Guardian’s prayers for the progress and happiness of his soul, and for her own services to the Faith to be richly blessed.
Shoghi Effendi feels it is better not to put the Greatest Name on Bahá’í graves. It is not forbidden to do so, but inappropriate.
Regarding Mr. … and Mr. … we all regret exceedingly the loss he afflicted this believer with. Your Assembly, if you have not already done so, should write both the Persian and Indian Assemblies exposing him, and asking if there is no way he can be reached and made to pay his debt. The last news the Guardian had of him he was in Cyprus and planned (?) to go on to Iran or India. It is most extaordinary to see the way this man, who breaks all the laws of his Faith and disobeys both the Guardian and the Assemblies, has been able to plant a firm faith in the hearts of sincere souls in Fiji, who are now devoted believers! Your Assembly should give this small community every aid and encouragement you can, for its members were born with a terrific test, enough to shake the belief of old and tried Bahá’ís.
The Guardian was very pleased to see the Racing Conference courteously changed the name of that horse which had been called Bahá’u’lláh.
He is also very glad you are in touch with dear, faithful Mr. Auskauli. You should keep up this contact and when you write please assure him of the Guardian’s appreciation of his steadfastness and of his loving prayers. He advises you to keep for your library the books sent you.
The Guardian has noted a new spirit of love and unity amongst the Australian and New Zealand Bahá’ís, which pleases him very much, as the atmosphere of harmony amongst the friends will attract the Divine Blessings and enable them to achieve a great deal more for the Faith. 97
He strongly feels that the time has come for the believers of Australia and New Zealand to arise as a conquering army and ensure the attainment of their goals under their Six Year Plan. They now constitute one of the strongest bodies of believers in the world, ranking with such active and well established communities as those of Canada, Great Britain and India. Their period of adolescence in the Faith has passed; they are now adults, and they must face the problems involved in fulfilling their Plan squarely and with maturity. The pleasant period of youthful irresponsibility, when they could look on the work of the American and Persian Communities as the feats of the strong, which they were not called upon to emulate, being too young, is now passed forever. They must sacrifice, concentrate on their tasks, plan their actions and carry on their pioneer work with determination, realizing they will have no one to blame for any failures, except themselves! The Guardian feels they are entirely capable of fulfilling their Plan. He is proud of the progress they have made and confident they can succeed if they really try.
He assures you all of his loving prayers for your guidance and for the success of your work, the progress of which he follows with the keenest interest.
With Bahá’í love,
R. Rabbani.
P.S. I am enclosing a receipt herein. I do not think this sum has been previously acknowledged, but if there is any duplication, please destroy it.
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
The Six-Year Plan, formulated by the elected representatives of the valiant Bahá’í communities in Australasia, is now entering its final and most critical stage. If successfully terminated it will mark the conclusion of a memorable chapter in the evolution of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the Antipodes, and will at the same time herald the opening of the initial phase in the establishment of the institutions of that Faith, beyond the borders of that far-off continent, in the numerous diversified and widely scattered Islands of the South Pacific Ocean. It will in fact signalize the third stage in the evolution of the Faith in that newly opened, highly promising, far-flung continent—an evolution which commenced, 98 during the concluding decade of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Ministry and of the Heroic Age of the Faith, with the birth and rise of the Bahá’í Administrative Order, and which was subsequently accelerated through the formulation during the opening years of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, of two successive Plans, designed to broaden and reinforce the foundations of that nascent Order in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. The inauguration of the third and most glorious phase in this historic and momentous development must now depend on the consummation of the tasks willingly shouldered by this youthful, this virile and greatly beloved community, which, despite its physical remoteness from the heart and world centre of the Faith, the smallness of its size, its limited resources and the vastness of the field under the jurisdiction of its elected representatives, has made such great strides since its inception, has shown such exemplary devotion and loyalty, and has preserved and reinforced so nobly the solidity of its foundations.
This Community, which owes its birth to the revelation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan, must now brace itself, during the fleeting months that lie ahead, for a supreme, a concerted and sustained effort to ensure the attainment of the objectives of the present Plan, and thereby acquire the spiritual potentialities essential to the launching of a mighty Crusade, in collaboration with the Trustees of the Plan, conceived by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, and with its neighbouring sister communities in Latin America and in the Indian Sub-continent, destined to culminate in the fullness of time in the Spiritual conquest of the multitudinous islands of the South Pacific Ocean.
So exalted a mission, so strenuous a task, so weighty a responsibility call for, while the Present Preparatory Plan speeds to its end, an unprecedented demonstration on the part of young and old, or both men and women, whether administrators or teachers, veterans or neophytes, of solidarity, determination, zeal and constancy, a still greater display of self-sacrifice, a wider dispersion of forces, a more energetic discharge of duty, a clearer vision, a firmer grasp, of the requirements of the present hour, and a more complete dedication to the purposes of the present-day enterprise.
The steady multiplication of Bahá’í Administrative institutions; the rapid consolidation of these basic agencies on which the speedy expansion of the community beyond its borders must 99 ultimately depend; the early incorporation of all steadily functioning assemblies as a means of further reinforcing a newly erected administrative structure; the systematic and vigorous dissemination of Bahá’í literature, and the gradual proclamation of the Faith through the Press and Radio; the initiation of measures designed to forge friendly links between these newly-fledged assemblies and local civil authorities, and a parallel effort aimed at the strengthening of the ties binding the Bahá’í Supreme Administrative Body with both the Federal and State authorities—above all the constant deepening of the spiritual life of the individual believers, the enrichment of community life, the promotion of greater unity, harmony and cooperation among the rank and file of the followers of the Faith—these are the essential prerequisites to which special attention should be directed in preparation for the great campaign destined to be launched in that remote corner of the globe, by one of the most youthful and promising Bahá’í national communities, on the morrow of the world-wide celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic Mission.
Afire with the vision that now opens before their eyes; conscious of the substantial share of responsibility they must assume, in conjunction with the Indian, the Pakistani, the North American, and the Latin American followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, in uplifting the banner of the Most Great Name amidst the dwellers of these scattered, distant and in some cases isolated, Islands of the South, and in drawing them into the orbit of His constantly evolving Administrative Order; fortified by the magnificent progress they themselves have achieved in their own homelands; and confident of the irresistible and mysterious power instilled by the Hand of Providence in every agency associated with His Most Holy Name, let the members of these rapidly maturing, fast evolving, soundly established, Bahá’í communities throughout Australasia arise, as they have never heretofore done, and during the concluding phase of their present fate-laden Plan, to seal their high endeavours with total and complete victory, and thereby open a chapter of undreamt-of glory that will add an imperishable lustre to the annals of an immortal Faith.
Just as their first collective enterprise, through its resounding success, contributed its particular share of tribute to the memory of the Herald of their Faith, on the occasion of the 100 centenary of the birth of His Revelation, may their present collective enterprise, through its consummation, qualify and empower them to play a distinctive role in the celebration of the Great Jubilee that will mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Prophetic Mission.
A great opportunity lies before them. Much of their present mighty task still remains to be achieved. Immense virgin fields stretch before them, flanked, on the one side, by a sister community in the South American continent, and on the other by another sister community in the vast Indian sub-continent, both ready and eager to extend their help in prosecuting a memorable, a gigantic and supremely arduous task. May they, when the hour strikes, be found ready and well equipped to assume the onerous responsibilities that will fall to their share.