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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 113-116

Letter of June 23, 1953

Haifa, Israel,
June 23, 1953
Miss Gretta S. Lamprill, Secretary,
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand
Dear Bahá’í Sister:
Your letters of June 18, July 29, October 7, 21 and 24 (2), November 10 and 18, 1952, and February 19, May 18 and 21, 1953 have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. The various enclosures as well as material forwarded under separate cover were also received.
Owing to extreme pressure of work here, which is getting worse all the time, he has not been able to answer any N.S.A. letters from any country for almost a year. He regrets this but unfortunately it was unavoidable. As you can see, all your communications reached him, but he was too busy to reply.
He appreciated your Assembly’s gift of books gotten out by the Child Education Committee, and assures you that the four copies of the bulletin “Herald of the South”, “Bahá’í Youth Journal” and other material which you sent, are quite satisfactory.
The thing that is most difficult for the Guardian is to have to read through a sheaf of material in order to extract the salient information on such vital subjects as pioneer activities, important decisions of the National Assembly or the Teaching Committee etc. Two words in the text of your letter might convey important items in a succinct and summarized manner.
He was delighted to hear that as many as thirty of the Australian believers are planning to attend the New Delhi Conference, and that a large number of N.S.A. members, if not all, will be present. In a way, the New Delhi Conference is one of the most important of all four conferences to be held during the 114 Holy Year, because at it, eight National Assemblies must be represented and their joint teaching endeavor covers vast areas of the globe, areas practically hitherto untouched by the Message of Bahá’u’lláh.
He was glad to hear that the Convention this year and the Pacific School held afterward had been such a success.
He was sorry to learn that after all, it was not possible for Mr. and Mrs. Katzmann to go to New Britain. He hopes that they or others will follow through this project, as it is an extremely important one.
The best photographs available of the Shrine of the Báb at present are to be obtained from the American N.S.A., as films are placed at their disposal, and they can fulfill your requirements. He suggests you get in touch with Mr. Holley.
Shoghi Effendi hopes that at the New Delhi Conference the contribution which the representatives from Australia and New Zealand will make will be vital and will carry the work forward much faster. It will be a truly unique opportunity for the representatives of so many National Assemblies to consult about the vast pioneers regions which will be entrusted to their care, and every advantage should be taken of it, as it may not recur again ever.
With warm Bahá’í love,
R. Rabbani.
P.S. The Guardian has been greatly encouraged by the way the believers of Australia and New Zealand succeeded in their Plan carried out the last few years. He hopes for still greater things from them in the days to come!
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers:
The victorious conclusion of the Plan formulated by your Assembly, which posterity will recognize as a landmark of the utmost significance in the development of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the Antipodes, has filled my heart with joy and thanksgiving, has evoked profound admiration in the hearts of the followers of the Faith in both Hemispheres, and fully qualified the Bahá’í Communities in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania to embark upon their Ten-Year Plan, which constitutes so important and vital a phase of the global Crusade launched by their sister Communities in every continent of the globe. 115
This new milestone in the history of the Faith in Australasia signalizes the opening of a new chapter in the progressive unfoldment of the Mission of these communities—a Mission that embraces both their homelands as well as the neighbouring Island of the South Pacific Ocean and where their most brilliant exploits, testifying to their heroism and devotion, must be achieved and their greatest victories won.
A twofold task of far-reaching importance, at once thrilling and arduous, now faces them, involving the steady multiplication and consolidation of the nascent institutions of the Faith in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania and the erection of the Administrative structure of the Faith in the islands and archipelagos beyond the shores of the Australian continent.
The despatch of pioneers to the seven virgin islands assigned to the National Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Australia and New Zealand is the first and most vital objective of the newly launched Ten-Year Plan, requiring urgent consideration, careful planning, and energetic action, in the course of the current year. Every effort should be exerted and the utmost sacrifice should be made, to ensure, ere the opening year of this great and historic Plan draws to a close, the settlement of at least one pioneer in each of these Islands—an achievement which will seal with success the opening phase of the collective enterprise auspiciously launched by your Assembly on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Mission.
Second in importance and far-reaching in its repercussions is the selection and purchase by your assembly—an undertaking to which Bahá’í National Assemblies, as well as I myself, will contribute—of the site of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in the Antipodes, to be situated either within or in the immediate outskirts of, the city of Sydney, the leading and oldest Bahá’í Centre in the Australian continent, and which already houses the National Administrative Headquarters of your assembly.
These two essential obligations, as well as the task of consolidating steadily the prizes already won in the administrative field in that continent, must take precedence over all other obligations assumed by the prosecutors of the Plan, and will, if fulfilled in time, constitute a splendid prelude to its systematic execution and eventual consummation.
The valiant and youthful Bahá’í communities established in 116 Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania, which despite their limited resources, the smallness of their numbers, their relative inexperience, and the various obstacles which have confronted them in the past, have proved themselves capable of such memorable feats, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, will, surely, refuse to hesitate or falter at this crucial and challenging hour in the unfoldment of their destiny, and will never allow themselves to be outdone by their sister-communities who share with them the high and inescapable responsibility of contributing to the final triumph of this, the most gigantic and momentous collective undertaking launched since the inception of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation.
I appeal to their elected national representatives to direct, with all the means at their disposal, the operations of the Plan, and encourage constantly the members of the Communities they represent to lend, each according to his or her resources and capabilities, every possible assistance to this common task. I entreat, moreover, all local assemblies, groups and isolated believers to support, unstintingly, every measure devised for the effective prosecution of this same task, and to continue in this meritorious endeavour until every single objective of the Plan is attained.
May the followers of the Faith in that far-off continent, who can already boast of such a proud record of stewardship to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, illuminate its annals, in the course of the coming decades by deeds of still greater renown, by acts of still more glorious sacrifice, and prepare themselves to worthily contribute, at the appointed time, to the world-wide celebrations which will commemorate the Centenary of His Declaration.