March 29, 2015

1934: First Annual Convention of the Baha'is of Australia and New Zealand

The first Annual Convention of the Baha'is of Australia and New Zealand was held at Sydney, May 15, 16, 17 and 18, 1934. Details of this meeting, so significant in the unfoldment of the Baha'i world order, are made available in reports issued by the National Spiritual Assembly formed by that Convention:

"A little more than a decade after the landing in Sydney of those two indefatigable Baha'i pioneers, Mr. and Mrs. Hyde Dunn, has seen the outward and visible consummation of their labors in the formation of a National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Dominion of New Zealand. This was the outstanding achievement of the Cause in these southern lands in 1934, and itself bears witness to the sincerity, enthusiasm and faith of the believers.

"Baha'is from Adelaide, Melbourne, New Zealand and other places met in Sydney where the first Baha'i Convention was held.  It was a wonderful experience in cooperative effort and a powerful means of spiritual attraction. A reporter from the Sydney 'Sun' attended the opening session and an outline of the Baha'i Principles appeared in the next issue of that newspaper.

"This first Convention was of historic importance to the Baha'i Cause in that it was for the purpose of forming a National Spiritual Assembly for this southern continent, and so becoming another link in the chain for the establishment of the future International House of Justice.

"The New Zealand delegates were the first to arrive, and a special meeting of welcome was arranged at which a happy time was spent in contacting the Sydney friends. Later in the week the Adelaide delegates, and friends from both Melbourne and Adelaide, arrived, and these received a similar warm-hearted welcome, so that before the Convention opened a feeling of true Baha'i friendliness and fellowship was established, and all were filled with an anticipatory joy in being privileged to take part in such a momentous event.

"The elected delegates were:-

"New Zealand - Mrs. Emily M. Axford, Miss Margaret B. Stevenson, Miss Ethel A. Blundell.
Adelaide - Mrs. Silver Jackman, Miss Hilda Brooks, Mr. Robert Brown.
Sydney - Mrs. Routh, Mr. Hyde Dunn, Mr. O. Whittaker." 
(The Baha’i World 1934-1936)