Arohanui
Arohanui
(Picture of:) Margaret Stevenson
(Picture of:) Sarah Blundell
(Picture of:) Emily Axford
(Picture of:) Ethel Blundell
(Picture of:) First National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Australia and New Zealand, 1934.
Standing (from left): Mr P. M. Almond, Miss E. Blundell, Mr O. A. Whittaker, Mr R. S. Brown.
Seated (from left): Mrs S. M. Jackman, Mrs C. Moffitt, Mr H. Hyde-Dunn, Miss M. B. Stevenson, Miss H. M. Brooks.
(Picture of:) First National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand. Seen here with "Mother" Dunn, 1957.
Seated (from left): Beryl Van Der Vaart, Margaret Harnish, Dora Weeks, Ella Brightwell, Florence De Lisle, "Mother" Dunn, Shirley Charters, Hugh Blundell. Foreground (from left): John Carr, Precy Leadley.
(Picture of:) Marked spot on hilltop indicates center of New Zealand, where the dust from the Holy Land was placed by Bahá'ís. The city of Nelson is in the valley below. (See Note 1.)
(Picture of:) First Bahá'í Feast held in Auckland, New Zealand, January, 1923.
Mr and Mrs Dunn in center standing.




Introduction

Miss Margaret Stevenson is recognised as the first Bahá'í in New Zealand, and, indeed, of Australia and the South Pacific Ocean area, during or about 1912. This was during the lifetime of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

In 1974 I met Maurice Chambers in Havelock North. He told me about his having accepted the Faith prior to his departure to Egypt in 1914. Mr. Chambers learned of the Faith from Dr. Robert William Felkin* who was a Bahá'í. Dr. Felkin presented him with two Bahá'í ring stones; one Mr. Chambers had set in silver and which was lost in Egypt; the other, set in gold, is still in the possession of a New Zealand believer. Historically, there is little known about Dr. Felkin except that he had an article on the Bahá'í Faith published in a local newspaper about the same time.

John Henry and Clara Hyde-Dunn arrived as pioneers to the continent of Australia on 18th April, 1920. During Mr. Dunn's holidays at the end of December, 1922, and early January, 1923, they visited New Zealand. Meetings were held in the home of Mrs. Sarah Blundell, "Lymbury", Ridings Road, Remuera, and it was there that Miss Margaret Stevenson met the Dunns and records the surprise of Mr. Dunn at meeting another Bahá'í. Margaret Stevenson writes, "On being introduced, I noticed the Bahá'í ring on his finger. I was also wearing one and turned my hand to him. When he

*We have been asked, however, to state that inasmuch as Mr. Maurice Chambers, who is known to be one of New Zealand's earliest Bahá'ís, himself testifies that Dr. Felkin was a Bahá'í and, in fact, that it was Dr. Felkin who taught Mr. Chambers the Faith, there seems to be no reason to doubt that Dr. Felkin was a believer."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand, 29th June, 1976.)




saw my ring his pleasure and astonishment will always be something to remember, for when Mr. and Mrs. Dunn arrived in Auckland they did not know there was a believer in New Zealand". This was the first recorded Bahá'í meeting in New Zealand. After Mr. Dunn returned to Australia, Mrs. Dunn stayed in New Zealand and formed a study group which was held in Miss Stevenson's home, "Clunie", in Cowie Road, Parnell. It was here that what Mrs. Dunn called "the first Bahá'í Feast" took place.

In 1925, the first group of pilgrims from the Antipodes attained the presence of the Holy Shrines and met the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi. The party was made up of Miss Margaret Stevenson, Mrs. Sarah Blundell, Miss Ethel and Mr. Hugh Blundell, although Hugh had not then accepted the Faith, and were joined by Miss Effie Baker, the first woman believer in Australia, who later remained in Haifa to serve at the World Centre. In the same year the first issue of a Bahá'í magazine in New Zealand was published by Mr. Bertram Dewing and given its name by Shoghi Effendi, "Herald of the South".

The first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í's of Australia and New Zealand, which was elected at Ridván, 1934, had two members from New Zealand. Progressively, local spiritual assemblies were established and a summer school and a temple site acquired during the Six Year Plan, 1947-1953, and the early years of the Ten Year Crusade. Under the direction of the Guardian and as part of the Ten Year Crusade, New Zealand became a separate National Spiritual Assembly at Ridván, 1957, with Hand of the Cause Clara Dunn as Shoghi Effendi's representative on this historic occasion.

The messages of the Guardian have always been a source of guidance, inspiration and love to all Bahá'í's. Those now published in "Arohanui" are addressed to both individuals and institutions. This compilation of messages from the



Guardian should be read in conjunction with those sent to Australia and New Zealand and published by the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia on the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of Mr. & Mrs. John Henry Hyde-Dunn in Sydney, Australia.

Collis Featherstone.
Rockhampton. April, 1982




Index

This guide to subjects treated in the letters is not exhaustive. It does so more than provide the reader with an initial step in the study of the compilation. Listings are made by the number of the letter.

'Abdu'l-Bahá connection with, 1 home of, 21 intuitive knowledge, 80 laws of nature, 75 no finality in statements of, 80 philosophers of West and East, 80 shrines, 4 Administration Australian jurisdiction, 59, 67 consolidation of, 44 half-yearly reports, 49 institutions, 33, 60 meetings in Australia, 54 multiplication of centres, 61 Alcohol legislation, 74 prohibition, 74 Allenby, 11 Báb, the centenary of Declaration, 55 photographs of Shrine, 4 Bahá'í Cause broad minded, 7 denunciation of, 19 dynamic spirit, 15 first Dutch believer, 3 growth of, 1, 8, 50, 57, 61 liberal, 7 need to follow Bahá'í law, 38, 39 obtain a hearing, 6 pioneer services, 6, 10 progress of, 19 purpose of, 1 selfless service in, 24, 53 significance of, 19 South African seeker, 32 unique and mighty, 10 universal faith, 36, 37 Bahá'í ring, 5 Bahá'í World Committee in America, 25 Baha'u'llah connection with, 1 invincible power, 16 salvation of world, 22 sufferings, 11 significance of Revelation, 37 Baptism no Bahá'í ceremony, 34 secondary matter, 34 Believers chosen people, 1 deepening, 4, 23 devoted and whole-hearted, 4 enemies of Islám, 16 enthusiasm, 4 obstacles and trials, 12 receptive hearts, 1 regeneration, 1 sound understanding, 14, 36 travels, 21, 22, 33 unity, 4, 31, 58 vicious criticism, 39 worid-wide fellowship, 31 Bereavement earthly separation, 28 In Memoriam, 57 passing of Oscar Blundell, 9 passing of Miss Stevenson, 52 passing of Mrs Blundell, 26, 28 peace and joy, 28 prayers for departed, 28, 52 Divine help and guidance, 3, 20 Divinity attributes of, 23 mercy and justice, 23 punishment, 23 Education divinely inspired Educators, 75 mottoes, 1 Endowments need for, 61 Esperanto, teaching of, 16 Esslemont, J.E. health of, 2, 3, 5 relatives, 5 Evolution beginning of creation, 75 man evolved, 75 Funds contributions, 6, 8, 12, 17, 42, 43, 65 heavy demands on, 37 inauguration of National Fund, 64 love and devotion, 17 God justice of, 23 perfection, 23 power of, 1, 15 wrath of, 23 Hazíratu'l-Quds means of unity, 41 purchase of building, 60, 61 Herald of the South contributions, 77 desire to help and promote, 4 difficulties, 78 drain on resources, 67 expansion of, 7 extension of sphere of, 16 first issue, 7 high hopes for, 14 high standard of, 15 inspiration, 7 letters from Haifa, 4 link in chain, 7 need to persevere, 76 object and purpose, 7, 13, 79 photographs of shrines, 4 prayers for, 15 printed form, 15 reflects dynamic spirit, 76 regular copy to Guardian, 13 subject matter, 7, 15, 79 teaching medium, 77 title, 4 youngest Bahá'í magazine, 7 Holy Family Greatest Holy Leaf, 2, 3, 5, 8 Holy Mother, 2, 3, 8 Holy Ghost power of, 1 Holy Land cancellation of trip, 31, 35 disturbances in Palestine, 34, 35 safe journey, 46 visit to, 21 Hospitality English Bahá'ís, 2, 20, 29 German friends, 3, 5 love and affection, 6 Sister Challis, 2, 5 Individual qualities affection, 31 commitment, 66 disheartened, 5 herald of the Message, 18 high-minded, 66 receptive hearts, 1 sacrifice, 15, 27 service to Cause, 2, 6, 9 trust, 5 unceasing labour, 5 unity, 4 zeal and determination, 15, 38, 76 Islám fanatical mullahs, 16 Jesus Christ disciples, 1 saviour, 1 Local Spiritual Assembly of Auckland efforts of, 18 half-yearly report, 49 prayers for friends, 19 registration of, 47, 48 Maoris active participation of, 64, 66 contact with tribes, 69 conversion of, 60, 64 noble qualities, 66 pamphlets, 23, 44 Marriage recognition of Bahá'í certificate, 64 Mashriqu'l-Adhkár foremost objective, 66 select site, 64 size and economics, 66 Material civilization evils of, 1 materialistic philosophers, 80 negligence of mankind, 1 no political solution, 37 Missionaries attitude to the Cause, 10 seekers misled, 10 wrong source, 10 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand Australian support, 64, 67 efficiency, 66 epoch-making event, 64 formation of, 25, 64 independent Assembly, 60, 67 need for strong basis, 59, 61 organic nature, 66 responsibilities of, 67 separation from Australia, 59 significance in Pacific Area, 64 Naw-Rúz blessed occasion, 51 greetings, 51, 53 spirit of service, 51 New Delhi conference, 40 accommodation, 40 Newspapers references to the Cause, 14 New Zealand development of Cause, 9, 14, 19, 61 difficulties in progress of the Faith, 24 distant and troubled, 7 far-away outpost, 18, 29 Guardian requests localities, 66 land of promise, 7, 10 newly opened, 6 no traditional drawbacks, 14 open-minded and receptive, 9, 14, 16 prayer for New Zealand Bahá'ís, 12, 39 seeking souls, 15 social conditions, 10 Persia cable to Írán, 68 danger to Bahá'ís, 16 incitement of people, 16 money sent from New Zealand, 17 persecution, 16 spread of Faith, 16 Philosophy Western and Eastern teachings, 80 Pilgrimage hopes and plans, 31, 35 permission for, 49 prevented by disturbances, 31, 35 renewal of zeal, 30, 46 spiritual refreshment, 3 strengthening of believers, 4 welcome assured, 29, 35 Pilgrim House contributions to, 8, 11 removal to, 9 work on, 8, 9 Politics ambition of politicians, 37 no party in agreement with all Bahá'í teachings, 37 party membership, 37 Prayer additional daily prayer not needed, 11 daily prayer, 11 effect of, 1 healing, 11 Property Bahá'í endowment, 56 development of, 56, 58 naming of, 56 purchase of, 56 Summer School site, 56, 57 Prophets divinely inspired Educators, 75 Psychic practices conjecture, 79 not authenticated, 79 Publications (see also Herald of the South) Bahá'í World, 45, 47 circular letter, 44 Dutch translation, 3 editors require reports, 17 Maori pamphlets, 23, 44 News Letter, 36, 63 Quarterly, 36 Religion growth of, 1 inexhaustible capital, 1 living religion, 80 primary adherents, 1 small numbers, 1, 12, 14 Ridván, feast of, 2, 3 Rumania, Queen of acknowledges Muhammad, 16 articles written, 16 Sacrifice, 1, 27, 28, 51 Science truth of, 75 Scout Movement discipline, 81 educational value, 81 evils of war, 81 Shoghi Effendi appreciation for Mr and Mrs Dunn, 1 collecting newspaper references, 14 health of, 2, 5, 8 high estimation for New Zealand friends, 1 letters source of joy, 11 manuscripts, unable to review, 37 memory of New Zealanders pilgrimage, 9, 10 no prominence to writings, 27 pleased with devotion of friends, 53 prayer or Australasian friends, 3, 4, 10, 11 recording of voice, 27 work on Gardens, 2, 3 Shrines 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 2, 3 gardens laid out, 2, 3 Guardian's work on, 39 photographs, 4 safeguarding neighbourhood, 42, 43 Six Year Plan Holy Days, 64, 66 Maoris, 64, 66 marriage certificate, 64, 66 National Fund, 64 numerical strength, 64, 66 South Island, 64, 66 stepping-stone to achievement, 66 swift expansion, 66 Temple site, 64, 66 Soul and Spirit definition of, 82 immortality, 82 Summer School inspiration from, 60 visit by Mrs Dunn, 60 Teaching capacity of believers, 1 consolidation, 14, 29 gratification of Guardian, 29 impetus to, 67 judgement and tact, 18 literature to South Africa, 32 mottoes of education, 1 most urgent task, 65 needs of seekers, 18 obligation universal, 24 obstacles, 11, 15 patience and perseverance, 6 Power of God, 1 prayers for, 30 problems in Persia, 16 public speaking, 24 Regional Teaching Committee, 63 responsibility of young and active, 24 sacrificial effort, 1 sowing the seeds, 1, 8 trustees of Divine Message, 22 vision and zeal, 11, 38 visiting teachers, 24 work among Maoris, 66 Tests benefits from, 31 courage in, 31 use of, 31 United Kingdom visits by New Zealand pilgrims, 2, 3, 5, 6, 29, 35 Vivisection no Bahá'í teachings, 62 Voting removal of name, 38 conduct of friends, 38 World Order of Baha'u'llah skeleton of, 67 solution to problems of the world, 37 Page References for Letters
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