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Bahá'í Chronology: years 195-

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195-

date event locations tags firsts see also
1950 (in the decade) John Z. T. Chang arrives in Hainan Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Hainan Island John Z. T. Chang; Knight of Baha’u’llah first pioneer Hainan Island
1950 Clifford and Catherine Huxtable arrive in the Gulf Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh (albeit in 1957 see LNW93). [BW13:457] Gulf Islands Clifford Huxtable; Catherine Huxtable; Knight of Baha’u’llah first pioneers Gulf Islands
1950 By this year the Bahá’í population of Black Africa is probably no more than 12. [BBRSM190–1] Africa
1950 The Court of the First Instance in Karkúk, Iraq, registers a Bahá’í marriage certificate. [MBW4; uD248]
  • This is the first time in the East, outside Israel, that a Bahá’í marriage is recognized as being legal, an important precedent for other Oriental countries. [MBW4; UD248]
Iraq first Bahá’í marriage recognized in the East (outside Israel)
1950 (in the decade) In Iran, the Hujjatiyya Society is started by Shaykh Mahmúd Halabí to persecute and harass the Bahá’ís. [s1296]
  • During the Pahlaví era it confined itself to this end and was called the Anti-Bahá’í Society. [SI296]
Iran Hujjatiyya Society; Shaykh Mahmud Halabi; Anti-Baha’i Society; religious persecution
1950 The publication of Prescription for Living by Rúhíyyih Rabbani by George Ronald. Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
1950 Ghulam Reza Akhzari and his son Nur Allah are killed near Yazd and Bahram Rawhani is murdered in Taft. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.] Yazd; Taft; persecution
1950 20 Jan World Religion Day is first observed in the United States. [BBD242]
  • Its purpose is to associate the term ‘world religion’ with the Bahá’í Faith. [BBD242]
USA World Religion Day
1950 3 Feb Dr Sulaymán Birgís is martyred in Káshán, Iran. [BW18:390]
  • For his obituary see BW12:684–5.
Káshán; Iran Sulaymán Birgís; martyr; religious persecution
1950 Mar In March 1950, Shoghi Effendi would send a further cable: "Faithless brother Hussein, already abased through dishonorable conduct over period (of) years followed by association with Covenant-breakers (in) Holy Land and efforts (to) undermine Guardian's position, recently further demeaned himself through marriage under obscure circumstances with lowborn Christian girl (in) Europe". [Bahá'í News, No. 229, p.1]

Shoghi Effendi would later defend the use of the term "lowborn Christian girl" as follows: "Regarding his cable concerning Hussein: he has been very surprised to note that the terms 'low-born Christian girl ' and 'disgraceful alliance' should arouse any question; it seems to him that the friends should realize it is not befitting for the Guardian's own brother, the grandchild of the Master, an Afnán and Aghsán mentioned in the Will and Testament of the Master, and of whom so much was expected because of his relation to the family of the Prophet, to marry an unknown girl, according to goodness knows what rite, who is not a believer at all". [Bahá'í News, No. 236, p.4]

BWC Covenant-breakers; Husayn Rabbani; Hussein Rabbani
1950 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the Africa Campaign in a cable to the British national convention. [BW12:52; UD245–6]
  • The British community is to lead the campaign supported by the Bahá’ís of the United States and Egypt. [UD245]
  • For the objectives of the campaign see UD245–6.
  • For the importance of the enterprise see UD260–3.
  • The plan is to be launched after a year’s respite but the British Bahá’ís begin to implement the plan immediately. [CB317]
United Kingdom; United States; Egypt Plans; Africa Campaign
1950 25 Apr Shoghi Effendi cables the Bahá’í world with the successes of the Bahá’í work in the past year. [MBW3]
  • The number of sovereign states and dependencies where the Faith is established reaches 100, an increase of 22 countries since 1944.
1950 25 May Dr Khodadad M. Fozdar, a medical officer of the State Railways in India, arrives in Singapore, the first pioneer to the country. [BW13:393]
  • His wife, Shirin Fozdar, joins him in September 1950.
Singapore Khodadad M. Fozdar; Shirin Fozdar first pioneer to Singapore
1950 Jul The British Six Year Plan is successfully completed. [BW11:25; MBW4] Britain Six Year Plan
1950 4–30 Jul The third European Teaching Conference is held in Copenhagen. [BW12:49]
  • 177 Bahá’ís from 22 countries attend.
Copenhagen
1950 9 Jul The Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Báb is commemorated.
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the Bahá’ís on this occasion see BW12:191–3.
  • For accounts of commemorations around the world see BW12:205–8.
  • A small group of Bahá’í pilgrims visit the site of the Báb’s martyrdom and other places associated with His life. [BW12:217–26]
  • The columned arcade and parapet of the Shrine of the Báb are completed. [ZK284–5]
Haifa; Mount Carmel; Iran; Worldwide Centenaries; Bab, Martyrdom of; Bab, Shrine of
1950 Sep - Oct Four Bahá’ís in Iran are arrested on trumped-up charges. The trial lasts until 1954, when the accused are given prison sentences. [BW18:390] Iran religious persecution
1950 23 Oct Nur Ali, a well-known and respected public servant in Suva, becomes a Bahá’í, the first to accept the Faith in Fiji. Fiji Nur Ali first Bahá'í in Fiji
1950 Nov Brian Burland, the first Bermudian to become a Bahá’í, accepts the Faith in Canada. Canada Brian Burland first Bermudian Bahá'í
1950 Nov From Switzerland, Shoghi Effendi invites five Bahá’ís—Lotfullah Hakim, Jessie and Ethel Revell, Amelia Collins and Mason Remey—to Haifa. [PP251]
  • They, together with Ben and Gladys Weeden who are already there, are told that they will constitute the International Bahá’í Council. [PP251–2]
International Bahai Council; Lutfullah Hakim; Jessie Revell; Ethel Revell; Amelia Collins; Charles Mason Remey; Ben Weeden; Gladys Weeden
1950 near end of year Shoghi Effendi entered into negotiations with the government of Israel to exchange some farm land near the border with Jordan for the same acreage in the vicinity of the Shrine and the Mansion in Bahjí. The difficult and protracted talks lasted two years and involved Mr Hautz and Leroy Ioas, who in March 1952, had become the General Secretariat of the International Bahá'í Council as so had become the lead on the negotiations. [SETPE1p124-125] Bahjí; Bahji
1950 12 Nov Mírzá Badí‘u’lláh, the youngest son of Bahá’u’lláh, (b.1867 in Adrianople) described by Shoghi Effendi as the ‘chief lieutenant’ of the ‘archbreaker’ of the ‘divine Covenant’ dies. [CB340, 355–6; CF89, BIC162, MSBR63, BBR460, RoB3pg230, CH209, SoB92, CoB340, 355-6, CoF89] Mirza Badiullah; Covenant-breakers
1950 Dec Jalál Nakhjavání arrives in Tanganyika, the first Bahá’í pioneer to the country. [BW18:79] Tanganyika Jalal Nakhjavani first Bahá’í pioneer to Tanganyika
1950 16 Dec The Guardian appeals directly to Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to recognize the interest of the Bahá’í community in the property known as Mazra‘ih as a holy place. After a protracted struggle to obtain ownership of the property, then a Moslem religious endowment, he leases the site from the Department of Moslem and Druze affairs in the Ministry of Religions. [DH93, GBF137, PP290, CB331, MBW7, Bahá'í News, no. 244, June 1951, p. 4] Israel Mazraih; David Ben-Gurion
1951 Portuguese Bahá’ís Mr António and Mrs Ema Rocha, Mrs Guedes DeMelo Rocha and Mrs D. Laura Rodriquez, the first pioneers to Angola, take up residence in Luanda. Luanda; Angola António Rocha; Ema Rocha; Guedes DeMelo Rocha; D. Laura Rodriquez; pioneer first pioneers to Angola
1951 Muhammad Kayvani is murdered in Najafabad. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.] Najafabad persecution; martyrdom
1951 Shoghi Effendi receives the original manuscript of The Kitáb-i-Íqán, in the handwriting of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with some marginal additions by Bahá’u’lláh, and places it in the International Bahá’í Archives. Haifa International Bahai Archives; Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude)
1951 Throughout Iran, the government introduces repressive measures against Bahá’ís. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are dismissed from government positions. [BW18:390]
  • Fifty Bahá’í employees of the public hospital in Mashhad are dismissed. [BW18:390]
Iran; Mashhad religious persecution
1951 Bahá’ís in Árán, Káshán, Iran, are attacked, and one dies. [BW18:390] Árán; Káshán; Iran religious persecution
1951 The Nineteen-Month Teaching Plan (1951–3) for India, Pakistan and Burma is launched. [BBRSM158; DND148–50] India; Pakistan; Burma Nineteen-Month Teaching Plan
1951 Bahá’í women in Egypt are extended the right of membership on local spiritual assemblies. [MBW12]
  • Shoghi Effendi calls this ‘a notable step in the progress of Bahá’í women of the Middle East’. [MBW12]
Egypt LSA
1951 By this year the first Canadian Inuit has become a Bahá’í. Canada first Canadian Inuit Bahá'í
1951 Palle Benemann Bischoff the first to become a Bahá’í in Denmark, settles in Aasiaat, becoming the first Bahá’í to live in Greenland. [MC22]
  • He is best known for being the first person to teach the Greenlanders to ski and for having organized the first ski competition in West Greenland.
Greenland Palle Benemann Bischoff first Bahá’í in Denmark; first Bahá’í resident in Greenland
1951 3 Jan Jalal Nakhjavani from Iran is the first Bahá'í s to arrive in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Dar-es-Salaam; Tanzania; Tanganyika; Jalal Nakhjavani the first Bahá'í s to arrive in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
1951 9 Jan Shoghi Effendi announced the formation of the International Bahá'í Council. [MBW7,8]

Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Bahá'í Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already established in twin cities of 'Akká and Haifa....

  • See UD261 for the significance of the establishment of the International Bahá'í Council.
Between 1951 and 1957 Shoghi Effendi directed the members and used the Council to create an image of an international body handling the Bahá'í affairs in Haifa. According to Shoghi Effendi, the Council's responsibilities were to:
  • establish links with the Israeli authorities, and
  • negotiate with them concerning an establishing of a Bahá'í court to deal with personal matters,
  • Shoghi Effendi to complete the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb
  • as an international Bahá'í secretariat.

    This body functioned until the election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963.

BWC International Baha'i Council
1951 9 Jan Shoghi Effendi announces the establishment of the International Bahá’í Council. [BBD118; BBRSM127; GBF109; MBW7–8; PP252]
  • It is a forerunner to the Universal House of Justice. [BBD118]
  • For its functions see MBW7–8.
  • Its seat is the Western Pilgrim House. [BBD178]
  • For the stages of its evolution see CB324.
Haifa International Bahai Council; Universal House of Justice; Western Pilgrim House
1951 25 Jan or 4 Feb Claire Gung arrives in Tanganyika, the second Bahá’í pioneer to the country. Tanzania Knights of Bahaullah
1951 Mar The Bahá’ís of El Salvador call on the president of the republic to dispel any suspicions that the Bahá’í community is linked to communism. El Salvador
1951 2 Mar Shoghi Effendi announces the completion of the restoration of the House of ‘Abbúd. [MBW8] ‘Akka House of Abbud; Restoration
1951 12 Mar Bahá’ís in Taft, Iran, are attacked and one dies. [BW18:390] Taft; Iran religious persecution
1951 Ridván The Bahá'ís of the British Isles launched a Two Year Plan (1951-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Britain Teaching Plans; Two Year Plan
1951 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of India, Pakistan and Burma launch the Two Year Plan (1951-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] India; Pakistan; Burma Teaching Plans; Two Year Plan
1951 Ridván Several National Spiritual Assemblies-Britain, Egypt, India, Iran and the United States, join forces in their first collaborative teaching effort called the Africa Campaign (1951-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46, BBRSM158, MBW135-140] United Kingdom; United States; Egypt; India; Iran Plans; Africa Campaign
1951 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Central America is elected at a convention in Panama City. [BW12:60]
  • 25 delegates representing 12 countries are present at the convention. [BW12:60]
Panama City NSA of Central America first NSA of Central America
1951 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of South America is elected at a convention in Lima, Peru. [BW1 2:60]
  • 18 of the 27 delegates are present at the convention. [BW12:60]
Lima; Peru NSA of South America first NSA of South America
1951 25 Apr The Bahá’í International Fund is established. [MBW13–14] International Fund
1951 25 Apr Shoghi Effendi cables the Bahá’í world with the successes of the Bahá’í work in the past year. [MBW11–13]
  • The number of sovereign states and dependencies open to the Faith is 106, while some of the writings have been translated into more than 80 languages. [MBW11]
1951 23 May Jamshed and Parvati Fozdar arrive in Kuching with their son, Vijay, the first Bahá’ís to settle in Sarawak. Kuching; Sarawak; Malaysia Jamshed Fozdar; First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í residents in Sarawak
1951 Jun Bahá’ís in Fárán, Iran, are attacked and several houses burned. [BW18:390] Fárán; Iran religious persecution
1951 Jul Mr P. K. Gopalakrishnan Nayer, an Indian, becomes a Bahá’í in Dar-es-Salaam, the first person to accept the Faith in Tanganyika. [BW12:53] Dar-es-Salaam P. K. Gopalakrishnan Naye first Bahá'í in Tanganyika
1951 30 Jul Louis Gregory, Hand of the Cause of God, passes away in Eliot, Maine, near Green Acre. [BW12:666; TMW310, LOF98]
  • Soon after his passing he is designated by Shoghi Effendi the first Hand of the Cause of his race. (On 5 August, 1951) [BBD91; BW12:666, MoCxxii]
  • See TG114, 117-8 for a description of his passing .
  • For his obituary see BW12:666–70.
  • For biographical information on Hand of the Cause Louis Gregory see Gayle Morrison, To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (Wilmette, IL, USA Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982, 1999 printing).
  • For short biographical information see Bahá'í Encyclopedia]
Eliot; Maine Louis Gregory; Hand of the Cause; In Memoriam; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi first black Hand of the Cause
1951 2 Aug Músá and Samí‘ih Banání; their daughter, Violette and her husband, ‘Alí Nakhjavání; their baby daughter, Bahíyyih; and Philip Hainsworth from England arrive in Kampala, the first pioneers to Uganda. Kampala; Uganda Musa Banani; Samiih Banani; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; Philip Hainsworth; First Bahais by country or area first pioneers to Uganda
1951 3 Aug The establishment of the Faith in Uganda with the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Músá Banání, Mrs. Violette and Mr. Ali Nakhjavani, of Iran, with their baby daughter Bahiyyih, and Mr. Philip Hainsworth arrived in Kampala. [Wiki Bahá'í Uganda] Kampala; Uganda; Africa Musa Banani; Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; Bahiyyih Nakhjavani; Philip Hainsworth; Knights of Bahaullah
1951 Oct Marthe Jeanne Molitor, the first Belgian Bahá’í to settle in another country, leaves for the Belgian Congo (Zaire) one day after becoming a Bahá’í. Belgian Congo Marthe Jeanne Molitor first Belgian Bahá’í to settle in another country
1951 11 Oct Edmund (Ted) Cardell, arrives in Kenya, the first Bahá’í pioneer to the country in the Africa Campaign. [UD488]
  • Marguerite Preston, the wife of a tea grower, has been living in Kenya since August 1945. She is killed in an air crash in February 1952.
Kenya Edmund (Ted) Cardell; Marguerite Preston first pioneer to Kenya in Africa Campaign
1951 22 Oct Ethel Stephens, the first black American pioneer to Africa, arrives in Accra, the first Bahá’í pioneer to Ghana. Ghana Ethel Stephens first black American pioneer to Africa; first pioneer to Ghana
1951 30 Nov Shoghi Effendi announces plans for the Great Jubilee commemorating the centenary of the birth of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh in the Síyáh-Chál. [BW12:24–6, 115–16; MBW16–18] Haifa Great Jubilee; centenary of birth of Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh
1951 Dec Shoghi Effendi's brother Riáz Rabbáni was the last of his siblings to become a Covenant-Breaker. "With feeling profound concern, grief, indignation, am compelled disclose Bahá'í world recent developments Holy Land furnishing further incontestable proof relationship established old and new Covenant-breakers demonstrating increasing boldness, marked, tragic decline in character and spiritual condition grandchildren `Abdu'l-Bahá. Their shameful attitude and conduct receiving approbation their elders. Evidences multiplying attesting Ruhi's increasing rebelliousness, efforts exerted my eldest sister pave way fourth alliance members family Siyyid Ali involving marriage his granddaughter with Ruha's son and personal contact recently established my own treacherous, despicable brother Riaz with Majdi'd-Din, redoubtable enemy Faith, former henchman Muhammad-'Ali, Archbreaker Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant. Convey information all National Assemblies." [MBW16, CoB358, 362, 364] BWC Covenant-breakers; Riaz Rabbani
1951 Dec Brothers-in-law Fred Bigabwa, a Mutoro, and Crispin Kajubi, a Muganda, become Bahá’ís in Uganda, the first to accept the Faith in that country. Uganda Fred Bigabwa; Crispin Kajubi first Bahá'ís in Uganda
1951 20 Dec Roy C. Wilhelm, (b.17 September, 1875) passes away in Lovel, Maine. [BW12:662]
  • On his passing Shoghi Effendi designates him a Hand of the Cause of God. (23 December, 1951) [MoCxxii, BW12:662]
  • For his obituary see BW12:662–4.
  • Find a grave
Lovel; Maine Roy C. Wilhelm; Hand of the Cause; In Memoriam; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi
1951 24 Dec Shoghi Effendi appoints 12 Hands of the Cause of God, the first contingent of Hands to be appointed. BBRSM127; BW12:38–40, 374–5; BW13:333–4; MBW20]
  • They are Sutherland Maxwell, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins (she had been appointed in 1946, but her appointment had not been made public), Valíyu’lláh Varqá, Tarázu’lláh Samandarí, ‘Alí-Akbar Furútan, Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker, Leroy Ioas, George Townshend, Herman Grossmann and Ugo Giachery [GBF110–11; MBW20; PP253–4]
Haifa Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Sutherland Maxwell; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Valiyullah Varqa; Tarazullah Samandari; Ali Akbar Furutan; Horace Holley; Dorothy Baker; Leroy Ioas; George Townshend; Herman Grossmann; Ugo Giachery
1952 Eric Manton and his son Terry arrive in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), the first Bahá’ís to settle in the country. Northern Rhodesia Eric Manton; Terry Manton first residents in Northern Rhodesia
1952 Mr Narain Das, a textile salesman from India working in Singapore, becomes a Bahá’í, the first person in the country to accept the Faith. A few months later Mr Teo Geok Leng, a Chinese Singaporean, becomes a Bahá’í, the first native of Singapore to accept the Faith. Singapore Narain Das; Teo Geok Leng first Bahá'í in Singapore; first Chinese Singaporean Bahá'í
1952 Bahá’ís and their homes are attacked in Najafábád, Iran, and several houses are set on fire. [BW18:390] Najafábád; Iran religious persecution
1952 Dudley Smith Kutendere from Zomba in the south of Malawi becomes a Bahá’í in Dar-es-Salaam, the first African to become a Bahá’í in Tanganyika and the first in all of Central and East Africa. Dar-es-Salaam Dudley Smith Kutendere first African Bahá’í in Tanganyika, and Central and East Africa
1952 Walli Khan, a Fiji Indian, becomes a Bahá’í, the first person in Fiji to accept the Faith. Fiji First Bahais by country or area first Bahá'í in Fiji
1952 Feb Enoch Olinga becomes a Bahá’í, the third Ugandan and the first of the Iteso tribe to accept the Faith.
  • See TG160 for the story of how he became a Bahá'í.
Uganda Enoch Olinga first Bahá'í of Iteso tribe
1952 29 Feb Shoghi Effendi appoints the second contingent of Hands of the Cause of God. [BW12:375–6; CT202–3 MBW20–1; PP254; ZK47]
  • They are Fred Schopflocher, Corinne True, Dhikru’lláh Khádem, Shu’á’u’lláh ‘Alá’í, Adelbert Mühlschlegel, Músá Banání and Clara Dunn. [BW12:375–6; MWB19–20]
  • Shoghi Effendi describes their two-fold function: propagation of the Faith and preservation of its unity. [BW12:376; MBW21]
Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Fred Schopflocher; Corinne True; Dhikrullah Khadem; Shuaullah Alai; Adelbert Muhlschlegel; Musa Banani; Clara Dunn
1952 Mar Mariette Bolton of Australia visits New Caledonia, the first Bahá’í to visit the islands.
  • During her visit Mlle Françoise Feminier becomes a Bahá’í, the first person in New Caledonia to accept the Faith.
New Caledonia Mariette Bolton; Françoise Feminier first Bahá’í to visit New Caledonia; first Bahá'í in New Caledonia
1952 Mar The octagonal second component of the Shrine of the Báb is completed. Haifa; Mount Carmel Bab, Shrine of
1952 4 Mar Shoghi Effendi describes plans for a marble colonnade to encircle the Shrine of the Báb as an intermediate step to building a superstructure for the Shrine and sends his ideas to Italy for scale drawings and estimate. [SE133–4] Haifa; Mount Carmel; Italy Bab, Shrine of
1952 8 Mar Shoghi Effendi announces the enlargement of the International Bahá’í Council to eight members. [MBW22; PP252–3]
  • Its members are Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery, Leroy Ioas, Jessie Revell, Ethel Revell and Lotfullah Hakim. [BW12:379; MBW22]
Haifa International Bahai Council; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Ugo Giachery; Leroy Ioas; Jessie Revell; Ethel Revell; Lutfullah Hakim
1952 26 Mar Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, passes away in Montreal. (b.14 November, 1874) [DH143; MBW132; PP246]
  • For his obituary see BW12:657–62.
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
  • For his relationship with Shoghi Effendi and work on the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb see PP236–43.
  • Shoghi Effendi names the southern door of the Báb’s tomb after him in memory of his services.
  • On June 16th, 1952, friends for the Montreal area gather at the grave to place, under the headstone, an alabaster box that had been sent by the Guardian. The box contains a piece of plaster taken from the walls of the prison in Máh-Kú where the Báb had been incarcerated in 1847. Another piece of plaster from the same source had been placed under the first golden tile of the dome of the Shrine of the Báb. The superstructure of the Shrine had been designed by Sutherland Maxwell. [TG55]
Montreal; Canada Sutherland Maxwell; Bab, Shrine of; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
1952 26 Mar Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum is appointed Hand of the Cause of God to replace her father. [GBF111; MBW132–3] Haifa Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; ; Hands of the Cause, Appointments
1952 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Central America launch a One Year Plan (1952-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Central America Teaching Plans; One Year Plan
1952 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of Uganda is established in Kampala.
  • Enoch Olinga is a member.
Kampala LSA first LSA of Uganda
1952 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Tanganyika is established in Dar-es-Salaam. Dar-es-Salaam LSA first LSA in Tanganyika
1952 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of Singapore City is established. [BW12:573; PH58, 67] Singapore City LSA first LSA Singapore City
1952 Ridván The National Convention of the Bahá'ís of Central America was scheduled to be held in a prestigious hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. When a distinguish believer, Mr Matthew Bullock, was not allowed to register at the hotel because of his race, the National Assembly moved the Convention to another venue and registered guests moved to small pensions rather than staying at the hotel. [SDSC65]
  • Matthew Bullock was one of the early African-American believers in the United States. He became an enrolled believer in 1940 after 15 years of knowledge of the Faith. In 1952 he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly and along with fellow NSA member Elsie Austin, represented that institution at the first Intercontinental Teaching Conference in Uganda in 1953. [LoS108, SDSC102]
San Jose; Costa Rica National Convention; Regional Assembly of the Baha'is of Central America; Matthew Bullock; Elsie Austin
1952 27 Apr Hyde Dunn is posthumously appointed a Hand of the Cause of God in a cable sent to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand. [BW13:861; SBR169] Hyde Dunn; Hand of the Cause
1952 18 May The case brought against Shoghi Effendi by the Covenant-breakers in connection with the demolition of a house adjoining the Shrine and Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí is removed from the civil courts by the government of Israel. [CB330; GBF138–9; PP233–4, 290]
  • For the history of this case and the outcome see BW12:384–7.
Israel Shrine and Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh at Bahjí; Covenant-breakers
1952 Jun or Jul Mr C. C. Cheng, a newspaper reporter; Professor L. S. Tso, a professor of engineering; and Miss Rosie Du (Ruthy Tu) become Bahá’ís in Taiwan, the first people to accept the Faith in the country. Taiwan; Asia First Bahais by country or area first Bahá'ís in Taiwan
1952 Jun Aaron (‘Arthur’) B. Wellesley Cole, a Sierra Leonean barrister, returns to Sierra Leone from England, the first Bahá’í to enter the country. Sierra Leone First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í resident Sierra Leon
1952 c. Jun Dudley Smith Kutendere returns to his home in Nyasaland, becoming the first Bahá’í in the country.
  • He teaches the Bahá’í Faith to his brother, who becomes the first person to accept the Faith in Nyasaland.
Nyasaland Dudley Smith Kutendere first Bahá’í resident in Nyasaland; first Bahá’í in Nyasalan
1952 1 Jun In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian by the Assistant Secretary, the National Spiritual Assembly was informed that Ahmad Sohrab had cabled the Israeli Minister of Religion to influence the court case brought by the Covenant-breakers, against the Guardian, and which resulted in complete vindication of the Guardian's control of the Bahá'í Shrines and properties. Sohrab's cable identified the Caravan with the Covenant-breakers and stated that the organization was not under the authority of Shoghi Effendi. In a letter dated May 25, 1941, the Guardian wrote through his Secretary that Sohrab "is no doubt the most subtle, resourceful and indefatigable enemy the Faith has had in America." United States Covenant-breakers; New History Society; Ahmad Sohrab
1952 26 Aug The martyrdom of Nuri'd-Dín Fath-'Azam near Tehran. [BW12p690-692] Tehran; martyrdom; Nuri'd-Din Fath-'Azam
1952 8 Oct Holy Year, "The Great Jubilee", October 1952 to October 1953, is inaugurated. [BW12:116; DG84; PP409–10; SBR170–1]
  • Centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s mission are initiated. [MBW16–18]
  • Four international conferences are scheduled in Kampala, Wilmette (dedication of the Temple), Stockholm and New Delhi. [SETPE2p31-43]
Kampala; Uganda; Wilmette; United States; Stockholm; Sweden; New Delhi; India Holy Years; Centenaries
1952 8 Oct Shoghi Effendi announces his decision to launch ‘the fate-laden, soul-stirring, decade-long world-embracing Spiritual Crusade’ in the coming year. [BW12:253–5; MBW411
  • For the objectives of the Crusade see BW12:256–14.
  • Among the goals to be achieved is the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives building. [BBD22; DH168; MBW43]
  • He calls upon the Hands of the Cause to appoint during Ridván 1954 five auxiliary boards to act as their adjuncts or deputies to work with the national spiritual assemblies to execute the projected national plans. [MBW44, BW13p335]
Haifa Spiritual Crusade; International Bahai Archives; Hands of the Cause; Auxiliary Board Members and assistants; NSA
1952 12 Nov Dagmar Dole, pioneer to Alaska and Denmark, passes away in Glion, Switzerland.
  • Shoghi Effendi says she is the ‘first to give her life for the Cause in the European project’. [BW12:702; ZK66–7]
  • For her obituary see BW12:701–2.
Glion; Switzerland Dagmar Dole first to give life for Cause in European project
1952 12 Nov The government of Israel exchanges 145,000 square metres of land surrounding Bahjí for property at Ein Gev on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee belonging to the descendants of Bahá’u’lláh’s brother Mírzá Muhammad-Qulí and given to the Faith for this purpose. [DH118, 208; PP233, SETPE1p134-125, MBW454-46]
  • Bahá’í holdings at Bahjí up to now amount to only 4,000 square metres.
Israel Bahji; Mirza Muhammad-Quli
1953 Bahá’ís and their houses are attacked in Bushrúyih and Fárán, Iran. [BW18:390] Bushrúyih and Fárán; Iran religious persecution
1953 The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Dr. K. M. Fozdar on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. [BWNS271] Andaman Island; Nicobar Island Knights of Bahaullah
1953 The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Edith Danielsen in the Cook Islands. [BWNS265] Cook Islands; Pacific Knights of Bahaullah
1953 The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Dr. Mihdi Samandari and Mrs. Ursula Samandari (Newman) in Mogadishu, Somalia [BWNS230] Mogadishu; Somalia Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Áqá Rahmán Kulayní-Mamaqání is martyred in Durúd, Iran. [BW18:390] Durúd; Iran Áqa Rahman Kulayni-Mamaqani; martyrdom
1953 Katharine Meyer arrives on Margarita Island and is named Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Margarita Island Katharine Meyer; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Alfred Amisi (Maragoli), Jacob Kisombe (Mtaita), Laurence Ouna (Mluhya), Labi Mathew (Zulu), and Zablon Bob (Luo) are among the first Kenyans to become Bahá’ís. Kenya Kenya first Kenyans Bahá’ís find reference
1953 Grant Mensah, a Ghanaian, becomes a Bahá’í in Ruanda-Urundi, the first person to accept the Faith in that country. Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) Grant Mensah first Bahá’í in Burundi find reference
1953 Anjoman-e Hojjatieh ("Society of Allah's Proof Over Creation"), also called the Hojjatieh Society founded specifically as an anti-Bahá'í organization by a charismatic Shiite Muslim cleric, Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi in the aftermath of the coup d'état of 1953. Between the early 1950s and the early 1970s a great number of the future elite of the Islamic revolution were trained by Hujjatieh. During the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Society was to play an important role in stirring animosity against Bahá'ís. However, in part because of differences in theology—among other things the Hojjatieh believe a truly Islamic state cannot be established until the return of the 12th Imam—the Society fell into disfavour and was banned by the regime in 1984. [Hojjatieh Society, Wiki] Iran Hojjatieh Society; Persecution
1953 12–18 Feb The first Intercontinental Teaching Conference is convened by the British National Spiritual Assembly in Kampala, Uganda. [BW12:121, MBW135-140]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the conference see BW12:121–4.
  • For a report of the conference see BW12:124–30.
  • It is attended by ten Hands of the Cause, Bahá’ís from 19 countries and representatives of over 30 tribes. [PP413]
  • Over a hundred new African believers attend as personal guests of the Guardian. [PP413]
  • With this conference the Ten Year World Crusade is launched. [BBRSM158–9; BW12:253; MBW41]
Kampala; Uganda Hands of the Cause; Guardianship; Ten Year World Crusade; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; First conferences first Intercontinental Teaching Conference; first international conference held in Africa
1953 19 Mar Suhayl Samandarí arrives in Mogadishu and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Italian Somaliland. [BW13:452]
  • Within a short time, Sa‘íd ‘Alí Masqatí, a Somali from the port of Baraawe, becomes a Bahá’í, the first person to accept the Faith in Somalia.
Mogadishu; Italian Somaliland Suhayl Samandarí; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh; Sa‘íd ‘Alí Masqatí first Somali Bahá’í
1953 25 Mar Enayat Sohaili, an Iranian, arrives in Mozambique from India, the first Bahá’í pioneer to the country. [BW13:290]
  • He is imprisoned and deported in June 1953. [BW13:290]
Mozambique Enayat Sohaili; pioneer; religious persecution first Bahá’í pioneer Mozambique
1953 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Finland is established in Helsinki. Helsinki LSA first LSA in Finland find reference
1953 19 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces plans to build a House of Worship in Frankfurt. [BW13:733; LDG191–2]
  • For the difficulties in pursuing the project see BW13:733–7.
Frankfurt; Germany Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
1953 Ridván The Ten Year Crusade (1953-1963) is launched. See MBW151-156, MBW151 Also see Ali Nakhjavani's paper for The 22nd Hasan M. Balyuzi Memorial Lecture entitled The Ten Year Crusade.

The four primary goals of the plan were outlined as follows:

  • the development of institutions at the World Centre
  • consolidation of the twelve countries where the Faith was well established
  • consolidation of all other territories already open
  • the opening of the remaining "chief virgin territories" around the globe (131)

“…Sometimes people strive all their lives to render outstanding service. Here is the time and opportunity to render historic services; in fact the most unique in history, aiding in the fulfillment of Daniel’s Prophecies of the Last Day, and the 1335 days, when men are to be blessed by the Glory of the Lord, covering the entire globe—which is the real goal of the Ten Year Crusade. [DG54-55]

To those Bahá’ís who arose to open new territories to the Faith during the Ten Year Crusade, the title 'Knight of Bahá’u’lláh' was given. In 1992, the Roll of Honour containing the names of all the Knights of Bahá’u’lláh was deposited beneath the entrance door to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh.

A map of goals for the Ten Year World Crusade by Shoghi Effendi can be found in Bahá'í World, Vol. 12 (April 1950-1954). Electronic versions, in both medium and large format can be found here.

The achievements of the Ten Year Crusade were celebrated at the Most Great Jubilee in April and May 1963, which commemorated the Centenary of the Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission. Two historic events transpired during that time: the International Convention, convened in Haifa, Israel, to elect the first Universal House of Justice; and the World Congress held in London, England.

  • See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol 14, no. 3-4, 2004 for the essay The Ten Year Crusadeby Ali Nakhjavani.
Ten Year Crusade; Teaching Plans
1953 Ridván Mrs Meherangiz Munsiff, the wife of an Indian diplomat in London, arrives in Madagascar and is acknowledged as the first Bahá’í in the country. [news.bahai.org/story/288]
  • There was one other Bahá’í in Madagascar before Mrs Munsiff but he was not a Bahá’í in good standing.
  • Suffering ill health, Mrs. Munsiff left in January 1954 a day after Danile Randrianarivo, 29, accepted the Faith, becoming the first Malagasy Baha'i.
Madagascar Meherangiz Munsiff; Danile Randrianarivo; First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í in Madagascar
1953 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Kenya is established in Nairobi. Nairobi; Kenya LSA first LSA in Kenya
1953 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Italy and Switzerland is established. NSA first NSA Italy and Switzerland
1953 Ridván Bahjí is lit for the first time by 99 four-branched wrought iron lamp posts. [GBF32; PP89–90] Bahjí first time Bahjí lit
1953 29 Apr In a moving ceremony, Shoghi Effendi places a silver box containing a fragment of plaster from the ceiling of the Báb’s cell in Máh-Kú under a tile in the golden dome of the Shrine of the Báb. [BW12:239; ZK285] Haifa; Mount Carmel; Mah-Ku; Iran Bab, Shrine of; Mah-Ku
1953 29 Apr - 2 May The All-American Jubilee celebrations begin. [BW12:149] United States Centenaries
1953 May Mary and Reginald (Rex) Collison, an elderly Canadian-American couple, arrive in Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) from Uganda and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
  • For the story of Mary Collison’s life see BW15:486–8.
Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) Mary Collison; Reginald (Rex) Collison; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 1 May The House of Worship in Wilmette is consecrated in a simple ceremony for Bahá’ís only. [BW12:143, 152; ZK93]
  • For details of the dedication see BW12:152–4.
Wilmette; US House of Worship; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
1953 2 May The House of Worship in Wilmette is dedicated in a public ceremony. [BW12:142, BWNS218]
  • For the text of the Guardian’s message of dedication see BW12:141–2.
  • For an account of the event see BW12:154–63.
  • Towards the end of his life in Tehran, Ahmad (of "Tablet of Ahmad" fame) had entrusted the original Tablet to his grandson Jamal who in turn, out of the purity of his heart and his devotion to the Faith of God offered it as a gift to Hand of the Cause, Trustee of Huqúq, the son and brother of two illustrious martyrs, Jinab-i-Valiyu'llah Varqá. When Jinab-i-Varqa, according to the instructions of the beloved Guardian, was sent to take part in this dedication ceremony he brought this most precious Tablet as his offering to the archives of the Bahá'ís of the United States. [A Flame of Fire by A.Q. Faizi.]
Wilmette; US House of Worship; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
1953 3 – 6 May The All-America Intercontinental Teaching Conference is held in Chicago. [BW12:133]
  • For the texts of Shoghi Effendi’s messages to the conference see BW12:133–41 and MBW142–6.
  • Twelve Hands of the Cause are present. [BW12:143]
  • At the conference, five members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States resign from that body in order to go pioneering: Elsie Austin, Dorothy Baker, Matthew Bullock, Mamie Seto and Dr William Kenneth Christian. [ZK102]
  • Extract from the cecond message to All-American Intercontinental Conference from Shoghi Effendi... [MBW150]
    .....the lands contributed in Latin America for a similar purpose approximate one-half of a million square meters, ninety thousand of which have been set aside near Santiago, Chile, for the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of South America..
Chicago; US; Santiago; Chile; Latin America Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; Hands of the Cause; Pioneering; Elsie Austin; Dorothy Baker; Matthew Bullock; Mamie Seto; William Kenneth Christian; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Chile; Land purchases first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in South America
1953 28 May In a message addressed on the eve of the 61st anniversary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, at the opening of the Ten Year Crusade, Shoghi Effendi encouraged 70 pioneers to arise to fill the goals promising that a Roll of Honour with their names would be deposited at the entrance door of the inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh. [MBW48-49]
  • He further elaborated in a message addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada. See the message of the 8 June 1953. [MtC177]
  • See 1992 28 May.
BWC Pioneer; Roll of Honor; Roll of Honour; Sanctuary of the Tomb of Baha’u’llah; Shrine of Baha'u'llah
1953 Jun Ghulám ‘Alí Kurlawala arrives in Daman and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Daman Ghulam ‘Ali Kurlawala; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Jun Dunduzu Chisiza, a Nyasaland student who has recently become a Bahá’í in Uganda, arrives in Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) Dunduzu Chisiza; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 6 Jun ‘Izzatu’lláh Zahrá’í (Ezzat Zahrai) arrives in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Zimbabwe; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 20 Jun Shoghi Effendi designates the Maxwell home in Montreal as a Shrine. [MtC179] Montreal Shoghi Effendi; Baha'i Shrine; Montreal Shrine first Bahá'í Shrine in North America
1953 Jul Rawshan Áftábí and Fírúzih Yigánigi arrive in Goa and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Goa Rawshan Áftabi; Firuzih Yiganigi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Jul Arthur and Ethel Crane arrive in Key West and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW16:453] Key West Arthur Crane; Ethel Crane; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Jul Sa‘íd Nahví arrives in Pondicherry and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Pondicherry Sa‘id Nahvi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Jul Jack Huffman and Rose Perkal arrive on the Kodiak Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Kodiak Islands Jack Huffman; Rose Perkal; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Jul Jenabe and Elaine Caldwell arrive in the Aleutian Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Aleutian Islands Jenabe Caldwell; Elaine Caldwell; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 21 – 26 Jul The European Intercontinental Teaching Conference is held in Stockholm. [BW12:167]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the conference see BW12:167–71.
  • For a report of the conference see BW12:171–8.
  • Fourteen Hands of the Cause are present. [BW12:171]
  • 374 Bahá’ís from 30 countries attend, of these 110 come from the ten goal countries. [BW12:171]
Stockholm; Sweden; Europe Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; Hands of the Cause
1953 27 Jul Siegfried (Fred) Schopflocher, Hand of the Cause of God, passes away in Montreal and is buried beside the grave of Sutherland Maxwell in Mount Royal Cemetery. He was born in Germany in 1877. [BW12:664-666, LOF390, TG119, CBNS 24 July 2014, Bahá'í Chronicles, SCRIBD, Schopflocher, Siegfried (1877–1953) by Will C. van den Hoonaard]
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the second contingent on the 29th of February, 1952. [MoCxxiii]
  • See TG32, 228 for a short biography.
  • See Schopflocher, Siegfried by Will C. van den Hoonaard.
  • For his obituary see BW12:664–6.
  • He was known as the “Temple Builder” because of his great contributions to the completion of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West. [BW12:664-666]
Montreal; Canada Siegfried Schopflocher; Hand of the Cause; In Memoriam; Appointment Hand - Second Contingent; Temple Builder
1953 Aug ‘Abbás Vakíl arrives in Cyprus and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cyprus Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Aug Shiyam Behari arrives in Pondicherry and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Pondicherry Shiyam Behari; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Aug Amír Húshmand Manúchihrí arrives in Liechtenstein and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Liechtenstein; Europe Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Aug Salísa Kirmání and Shírín Núrání arrive in Karikal and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Karikal Salisa Kirmani; Shirin Nurani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Aug Amín and Sheila Banání, a Persian-American couple, settle in Athens-Kifissia in August 1953 and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Greece. [BW452] Athens-Kifissia; Greece Amin Banani; Sheila Banani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Aug Eskil Ljungberg of Sweden, aged 67, arrives in the Faroe Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451]
  • He is the only Bahá’í on the islands for over a decade.
  • For the story of his life see BW19:658–61.
Faroe Islands Eskil Ljungberg; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Aug Edythe MacArthur arrives in the Queen Charlotte Islands (now Haida Gwaii) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Queen Charlotte Islands Edythe MacArthur; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Aug Udai Narain Singh arrives in Sikkim and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455; PH63] Sikkim Udai Narain Singh; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 2 Aug Fred Schechter, an American, arrives in Djibouti and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for French Somaliland. [BW13:451]
  • Mr Schechter went on to pioneer to several Latin American countries, he spent thirteen year on the Continental Board of Councillors for the Americas and served on the International Teaching Centre. He passed away on 27 January 2017 in California, U.S.A. He was 89 years old. [BWNS1149]
Djibouti; Africa Fred Schechter; Knights of Bahaullah; Councillors; International Teaching Centre; In Memoriam
1953 11 Aug Virginia Orbison arrives in the Balearic Islands from a pioneer post in Spain and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Balearic Islands. [BW13:449] Balearic Islands Virginia Orbison; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 26 Aug Ella Bailey passes away in Tripoli. [BW12:687]
  • She is 88 years old.
  • She is elevated to the rank of the martyrs. [MBW170]
  • For the story of her life see PSBW131–42.
  • For her obituary see BW12:685–8.
Tripoli Ella Bailey; martyr
1953 28 Aug Mildred Clark, a pioneer in Norway, and Loyce Lawrence (née Drugan), a nurse and hospital matron, arrive in the Lofoten Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453]
  • Mrs Lawrence begins teaching the Saami.
Lofoten Islands Mildred Clark; Loyce Lawrence (née Drugan); Knight of Bahá’u’lláh; pioneer
1953 Sep Brigitte Hasselblatt arrives in Shetland and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Shetland Brigitte Hasselblatt; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Ada Schott, Elizabeth Hopper, Sara Kenny and Ella Duffield arrive in the Madeira Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. BW13:453] Madeira Islands; Portugal; Europe Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Sep The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Enayat Sohaili in Nyasaland (now known as Malawi) [BWNS240] Nyasaland; Malawi; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Sep Kathleen Weston arrives in the Magdalen Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Magdalen Islands Kathleen Weston; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Nellie French arrives in Monaco and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Monaco Nellie French; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Julius Edwards arrives in the Northern Territories Protectorate and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Northern Territories Protectorate Julius Edwards; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Doris Richardson arrives on Grand Manan Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Grand Manan Island Doris Richardson; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Brigitte Lundblade (nee Hasselblatt), (b. 1923 - d. 17 May 2008) arrived in the Shetland Islands and was later honoured with being named as Knight of Bahá'u'lláh. [Bahaikipedia] Shetland Islands; Scotland; United Kingdom Knights of Bahaullah; Islands
1953 Sep Cora Oliver arrives in British Honduras (Belize) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] British Honduras (Belize) Cora Oliver; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Helen Robinson arrives on Baranof Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Baranof Island Helen Robinson; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Dick Stanton arrives in Keewatin and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Keewatin Dick Stanton; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Howard Snider arrives in Key West and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Key West Howard Snider; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Diá’i’lláh Asgharzádih and Evelyn Baxter arrive in the Channel Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Channel Islands Dia’i’llah Asgharzadih; Evelyn Baxter; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Elsa Grossman arrives in the Frisian Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Frisian Islands Elsa Grossman; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Sep Hugh McKinley and his mother, Violet, arrive in Cyprus and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cyprus Knights of Bahaullah
1953 8 Sep Jameson and Gale Bond arrive in Arctic Bay in the District of Franklin and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451, SDSC127] Arctic Bay; Franklin Jameson Bond; Gale Bond; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 9 Sep José (d. 1985) and Hilda (née Summers) Xavier Rodrigues, a Portuguese-English couple, arrive in Bissau from Portugal as the first Bahá’í pioneers to Portuguese Guinea (Guinea Bissau) and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Bissau; Portuguese Guinea (Guinea Bissau) José Xavier Rodrigues; Hilda (née Summers) Xavier Rodrigues; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 18 Sep Dwight and Carole Allen arrive in Athens and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Greece. [BW13:452] Athens; Greece Dwight Allen; Carole Allen; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 20 Sep The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Mr. Max Kanyerezi in Middle Congo (now called Republic of Congo) [BWNS246] Congo, Republic of; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 23 Sep Ted and Joan Anderson arrive in Whitehorse, Canada, and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Yukon. [BW13:457] Whitehorse; Canada Ted Anderson; Joan Anderson; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 26 Sep The martyrdom of Rahmán Kulayní Mamaqání. He was stabbed by a ruffian in a mob. [BW12p710-711] Durúd; Iran martyrdom; Rahman Kulayni Mamaqani.
1953 27 Sep Tábandih Paymán arrives in San Marino and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh in November. [BW13:455] San Marino Tábandih Paymán; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 30 Sep Manúchihr Hizárí and Hurmuz Zindih arrive in Tangier and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Morocco (International Zone). [BW13:454] Tangier; Morocco Manúchihr Hizárí; Hurmuz Zindih; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 Oct The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Emma Rice, followed one week later by Knights Stanley and Florence Bagley and their three teenage children, Susan, Gerrold and Carol in Palermo, Sicily. [BWNS254] Sicily; Italy Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Lionel Peraji arrives in Mahé and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Mahé Lionel Peraji; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Charles Dunning arrives in the Orkney Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
  • In probably it was October of 1954 Harold and Marzieh Gail depart from St Matthew's Quay in Aberdeen destined to pay a visit to Charles Dunning in Kirkwall. On the island the diminutive Charles Dunning is referred to as "a wee chappie". [OPOP55-59]
Orkney Islands Charles Dunning; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Geraldine Craney arrives in the Hebrides and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Hebrides Geraldine Craney; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Marie Ciocca arrives on Sardinia and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Sardinia Marie Ciocca; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Earle Render arrives in the Leeward Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Leeward Islands Earle Render; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Salvador and Adela Tormo arrive on the Juan Fernandez Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Juan Fernandez Islands; Chile Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Zunilda de Palacios arrives on Chiloé Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Chiloe Island; Chile; Latin America Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Elly Becking arrives in Dutch New Guinea and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Dutch New Guinea Elly Becking; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Gertrud Ankersmidt and Ursula von Brunn arrive in the Frisian Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Frisian Islands; Netherlands Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Frederick and Jean Allen and Irving and Grace Geary arrive on Cape Breton Island and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cape Breton Island Frederick Allen; Jean Allen; Irving Geary; Grace Geary; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Richard and Lois Nolen arrive in the Azores and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13p44g] Azores Richard Nolen; Lois Nolen; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Shirley Warde arrives in British Honduras (Belize) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] British Honduras (Belize) Shirley Warde; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Dr Malcolm King, an American pioneer in Jamaica, arrives in British Guiana and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] British Guiana Malcolm King; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Rolf Haug settles in Crete and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for that island. [BW13:450] Crete Rolf Haug; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Albert Nyarko Buapiah becomes a Bahá’í in Ghana, the first Ghanaian to become a Bahá’í in the country. Ghana First Bahais by country or area first Ghanaian Bahá’í find reference
1953 Oct Muhammad Mustafá Sulaymán, an Egyptian, arrives in Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. BW13:456]
  • For the story of his life see BW18:768–71.
Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara) Muhammad Mustafa Sulayman; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Max Kanyerezi, a Ugandan, is brought to Brazzaville by Violette and ‘Alí Nakhjavání and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for French Equatorial Africa. [BW13:451] Brazzaville; French Equatorial Africa Max Kanyerezi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct ‘Amín Battáh, an Egyptian, arrives in Río de Oro (Western Sahara) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Western Sahara; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Bertha Dobbins arrives in Port Vila on the island of Efate from Adelaide, Australia, and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the New Hebrides Islands (Vanuatu). [BW13:454] Port Vila; Efate; New Hebrides Islands (Vanuatu) Bertha Dobbins; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Jean and Tove Deleuran arrive in the Balearic Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh in December. [BW13:449] Balearic Islands Jean Deleuran; Tove Deleuran; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Mrs (Alexandra) Ola Pawlowska arrives in St Pierre and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Miquelon Island and St Pierre Island. [BW13:454] St Pierre; Miquelon Island Ola Pawlowska; Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Oct Gail and Gerald Curwin and Maurice and Ethel Holmes arrive in Nassau and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Bahama Islands. [BW13:449] Nassau Gail Curwin; Gerald Curwin; Maurice Holmes; Ethel Holmes; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Claire Gung arrives in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Claire Gung; Knight of Baha’u’llah find reference
1953 Oct Edmund (‘Ted’) Cardell arrives in Windhoek and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for South West Africa (Namibia). [BW13:456]
  • He is later joined by his wife Alicia and the first German Bahá’ís to pioneer to Africa, Martin and Gerda Aiff and their children.
Windhoek; West Africa (Namibia) Edmund (‘Ted’) Cardell; Knight of Baha’u’llah; Martin Aiff; Gerda Aiff first German Bahá’ís pioneers to Africa
1953 Oct The superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb is completed. [BBD210; CB324–5; PP235; ZK85–6]
  • Marble for the Shrine of the Báb came from Chiampo, Italy as did marble for the Archives Building, the Resting Place of Shoghi Effendi, the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Terraces Project, the Monument Gardens and the Houses of Worship in India and Samoa. [BWNS1223]
Haifa; Mount Carmel; Chiampo; Italy Bab, Shrine of; Marble
1953 7 Oct William Danjon Dieudonné arrives in Andorra and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW12:449]
  • He continues to live in the country.
Andorra; Europe Knights of Bahaullah
1953 7 – 15 Oct The Asian Intercontinental Teaching Conference is held in New Delhi. [BW12:178]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s message to the conference see BW12:178–81.
  • For a report of the conference see BW12:181–8.
  • This is the first international Bahá’í gathering ever to be held in the East. [BW12:181; SBR171]
  • It is attended by 489 Bahá’ís representing 31 countries. [BW 12:181]
  • The design for the International Bahá’í Archives is revealed to the Bahá’ís of the world for the first time at this conference. [DH168]
New Delhi; India; Asia International Bahai Archives; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; First conferences first international Bahá’í gathering in the East
1953 11 Oct Fawzí Zaynu’l-‘Ábidín and his wife, Bahíyyih ‘Alí Sa‘di’d-Dín, and their sons Kamál and Sharíf arrive in Tetuán from Egypt and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Spanish Morocco. [BW13:456]
  • For the story of Fawzí Zaynu’l-‘Ábidín’s life see BW16:544–6.
Tetuan; Spanish Morocco Knights of Baha’u’llah
1953 13 Oct Una Townshend arrives in Malta and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454, BWNS234] Malta Una Townshend; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 13 Oct Esther Evans and Lillian Middlemast arrive in Castries, St Lucia, and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Windward Islands. BW13:457] Castries; St Lucia; Windward Islands Esther Evans; Lillian Middlemast; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 13 Oct Frederick and Elizabeth Laws arrive in Basutoland (Lesotho) and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449, news.bahai.org/story/262 ]
  • For the story of the life of Elizabeth Laws see BW17:459–60.
  • Chadwick Mohapi and his wife become the first Bahá'ís in Basutoland (Lesotho). [TG166]
Basutoland (Lesotho) Frederick Laws; Elizabeth Laws; Knight of Baha’u’llah; Chadwick Mohapi first Bahá'ís in Basutoland (Lesotho)
1953 14 Oct Shoghi Effendi announces the settling of 13 further Knights of Bahá’u’lláh, with 178 territories now open to the Faith. [MBW173] Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 14 Oct Gertrude Eisenberg arrives in Las Palmas and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Canary Islands. [BW13:450] Las Palmas; Canary Islands Gertrude Eisenberg; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 14 Oct Robert and Elinor Wolff arrive in Dutch Guiana and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Dutch Guiana Robert Wolff; Elinor Wolff; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 14 Oct Edith M. Danielsen arrives on Aitutaki Island, 150 miles north of Rarotonga, before leaving for Avarua, Rarotonga, five days later and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Cook Islands. [BW13:450]
  • For the story of her life see BW19:625–6
.
Cook Islands Edith M. Danielsen; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Oct Enoch Olinga arrives in Victoria (Limbé) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the British Cameroons. [BW13:449]
  • The first Cameroonian to become a Bahá’í in British Cameroon is a youth, Jacob Tabot Awo.
  • The first Cameroonian adult to become a Bahá’í is Enoch Ngompek of the Bassa tribe.
  • The first Cameroonian woman to become a Bahá’í is Esther Obeu, the wife of David Tanyi.
Victoria (Limbé); British Cameroons Enoch Olinga; Knight of Baha’u’llah; Jacob Tabot Awo; Enoch Ngompek; Esther Obeu first Cameroonian youth Bahá’í; first Cameroonian adult Bahá’í; first Cameroonian woman Bahá’í
1953 15 Oct Eberhard Friedland arrives in French Guiana from the United States and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] French Guiana Eberhard Friedland; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 16 Oct Benjamin Dunham Weeden and his wife Gladys (née Anderson) arrive in Antigua and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Leeward Islands. [BW13:453]
  • For the story of Ben Weeden’s life see BW15:478–9.
  • For the story of Gladys Weeden’s life see BW18:692–6.
Antigua; Leeward Islands Benjamin Dunham Weeden; Gladys (née Anderson) Weeden; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 17 Oct The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Bertha Dobbins in Vanuatu. [BWNS256] Vanuatu; Oceania Knights of Bahaullah; Islands
1953 18 Oct George and Marguerite (Peggy) True arrive on Tenerif with their 12-year-old son Barry and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Canary Islands. [BW13:450] Tenerif; Canary Islands George True; Marguerite (Peggy) True; Barry True; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1953 20 Oct Frances Heller arrives in Macau and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the island. [BW13:453; PH73]
  • She is the first Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to settle in Chinese territory.
Macau Frances Heller; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh first Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to settle in Chinese territory
1953 24 Oct Elsie Austin arrives in Tangier from the United States and Muhammad-‘Alí Jalálí, an Iranian, also arrives. They are both named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Morocco (International Zone). [BW13:454] Tangier; Morocco Elsie Austin; Muhammad-‘Ali Jalali; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 24 Oct Luella McKay, John and Erleta Fleming, and Alyce Janssen arrive in Spanish Morocco and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Morocco Knights of Bahaullah
1953 29 Oct Opal Jensen arrives on Réunion Island from the United States and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
  • She is later declared a Covenant-breaker.
Réunion Island Opal Jensen; Knights of Bahaullah; Covenant-breakers
1953 29 Oct Gladys (‘Glad’) Irene Parke and Gretta Stevens Lamprill arrive in Papeete from Australia and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Society Islands, French Polynesia. [BW13:455]
  • For the story of Gladys Parke’s life see BW15:457–8.
  • For the story of Gretta Lamprill’s life see BW15:534–5.
Papeete; Society Islands; French Polynesia Gladys (‘Glad’) Irene Parke; Gretta Stevens Lamprill; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov Mary Olga Katherine Mills (née Bieymann) arrives in Malta and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Malta Mary Olga Katherine Mills (née Bieymann); Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Kamil Abbas in the Seychelles. [BWNS272] Seychelles; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Nov Samíra Vakíl arrives in Cyprus and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cyprus Samira Vakil; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov Dr Mihdí Samandarí arrives in Italian Somaliland and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452]
  • His wife Ursula (née Newman) arrives in 1954 and is also named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh.
Somalia Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Nov Labíb Isfahání arrives in Dakar from Egypt and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for French West Africa. [BW13:452] Dakar; French West Africa Labib Isfahani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov Dr Khodadad M. Fozdar, an Indian of Parsi background, arrives in the Andaman Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449]
  • For the story of his life see BW13:892–3.
Andaman Islands Khodadad M. Fozdar; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov Husayn Rawhání Ardikání and his wife, Nusrat, arrive in Tangier with their daughter, Shahlá, and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Morocco (International Zone). [BW13:454] Tangier; Morocco Husayn Rawhani Ardikani; Nusrat Rawhani Ardikani; Shahla Rawhani Ardikani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Nov ‘Alí Akbar Rafí‘í (Rafsanjání) and his wife, Sháyistih, and their 19-year-old son, ‘Abbás, arrive in Tangier and all are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Morocco (International Zone). [BW13:454] Morocco Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Nov Matthew W. Bullock of Boston, Massachusetts, arrives in the Dutch West Indies and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Dutch West Indies Matthew W. Bullock; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 11 Nov Shoghi Effendi announces the settling of a further contingent of Knights of Bahá’u’lláh in 21 virgin areas, bringing the number of territories open to the Faith to 200. [MBW52–3] Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 11 Nov Ottilie Rhein (1903-79), an American of German origin, arrives in Mauritius and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the island. [BW13:454]
  • For the story of her life see BW18:703–5.
  • On her first expedition to provide necessities for living, she met the proprietor of a shop, Mr. Yim Lim, who became the first resident of the country to join the Faith. [BWNS274]
Mauritius Ottilie Rhein; Knight of Baha’u’llah first Bahá'í in Mauritius
1953 13 Nov Kámil ‘Abbás arrives in the Seychelles from Iraq and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
  • For the story of his life see BW18:722–3.
Seychelles Knights of Bahaullah
1953 20 Nov The formation of the Israel Branch of the Bahá'ís of Canada. BWC Israel Branch of the Baha'is of Canada find reference
1953 Late in the year ‘Abdu’l-Karím Amín Khawja becomes a Bahá’í in Algeria, the first person to accept the Faith in that country. Algeria; Africa First Bahais by country or area first Bahá'í in Algeria find reference
1953 Dec Kay Khusraw Dahamobedi, Bahíyyih Rawhání and Gulbár Áftábí arrive on Diu Island and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Diu Island Kay Khusraw Dahamobedi; Bahiyyih Rawhani; Gulbar Áftabi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 Dec Adíb Baghdádí arrives in Hadhramaut and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Hadhramaut; Yemen Knights of Bahaullah
1953 Dec The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Labib Isfahani in Senegal. He was followed by his brother Habib Isfahani in April of 1954 who also received the honour. [BWNS283] Senegal; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1953 7 Dec Jalál Kházeh is appointed a Hand of the Cause of God after the passing of Hand of the Cause of God Siegfried Schopflocher. [GBF111–12; MBW55] Jalál Kházeh; Siegfried Schopflocher; Hand of the Cause
1953 8 Dec Loretta and Carl Scherer arrive in Macau from Milwaukee and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for that island. [BW13:453; PH73]
  • For the stories of their lives see BW18:738–40.
Macau Loretta Scherer; Carl Scherer; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1953 13 Dec A separate department for the Bahá’í Faith is established by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs. [GBF137; PP 291; PP320] Israel laws of personal status
1953 19 Dec Yan Kee Leong becomes a Bahá’í, the first person to accept the Faith in Malaya. Malaya Yan Kee Leong first Bahá'í in Malaya
1953 27 Dec Gilbert and Daisy Robert, a French couple, become Bahá’ís in Madagascar, the first people to accept the Faith in the country. Madagascar Gilbert Robert; Daisy Robert first Bahá'ís in Madagascar find reference
1954 The first native Fijian, the first Pygmy, the first Berber and the first Greenlander to accept the Bahá’í Faith enrol. [MBW262] first native Fijian; first Pygmy; first Berber; first Greenlander
1954 The first Tlinget from Alaska to become a Bahá’í, Eugene King, enrols. Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area first Tlinget Bahá'í find reference
1954 The first person to become a Bahá’í in the Balearic Islands, C. Miguel, enrols. Balearic Islands C. Miguel first Bahá’í in Balearic Islands
1954 ‘Aynu’d-Dín and Táhirih ‘Alá’í arrive in Southern Rhodesia and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Zimbabwe Knights of Bahaullah
1954 Grace Bahovec arrives in the Baranof Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Baranof Islands Grace Bahovec; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Mr and Mrs Sandikonda, Eliam Chisengalumbwe, Mr Musonda, Peter Chitindi and Elias Kanayenda become Bahá’ís, the first African Bahá’ís to enrol in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). BANANI BULLETIN, 1 AUG 1954] Zambia first African Bahá’ís in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia)
1954 José Mingorance Fernandez and his wife, Carmen Tost, a Spanish couple, accept the Bahá’í Faith, the first to enrol in Andorra. Andorra José Mingorance Fernandez; Carmen Tost first Bahá’ís in Andorra
1954 Mehraban Isfandiar Sohaili arrives on Mayotte and stays for two months, the first Bahá’í to visit the island. Mayotte Mehraban Isfandiar Sohaili first Bahá’í to visit Mayotte
1954 The purchase of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Istanbul is concluded. [SS38] Istanbul House of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb Elise Schreiber (later Lynelle) arrives on St Thomas Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] St Thomas Island Elise Schreiber (later Lynelle); Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 c. Khodadad Irani settles in Zanzibar, the first Bahá’í to do so. Zanzibar Khodadad Irani first Bahá’í pioneer in Zanzibar
1954 Feb Shirin Fozdar arrives in Saigon, the first pioneer to Vietnam. Saigon; Vietnam Shirin Fozdar; pioneer first pioneer to Vietnam
1954 The arrival in Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia) of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Izzat'u'llah Zahrai, Douglas Kadenhe, Nura Faridian (now Steiner), Enayat and Iran Sohaili, Shidan Fat'he-Aazam (later member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for Africa) and his wife Florence. [BWNS275] Zimbabwe; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1954 The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Violet Noehnke on the Admiralty Islands, now Manus Province in Papua New Guinea. [BWNS307, BWNS312] Admiralty Islands; Manus Province; Papua New Guinea Knights of Bahaullah Find date
1954 The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Dulcie Dive in the Cook Islands. [BWNS265] Cook Islands Knight; Dulcie Dive
1954 The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Ted Cardell in South West Africa (now called Namibia). [BWNS280] South West Africa; Namibia Knight; Ted Cardell
1954 Jan Jean Sevin arrives in Tuamotu Archipelago and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:457] Tuamotu Archipelago Jean Sevin; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan Charles M. Ioas arrives in the Balearic Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Balearic Islands Charles M. Ioas; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Abdu'l Rahman Zarqani, in the Seychelles. [BWNS272] Seychelles; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
1954 Jan Munír Vakíl, a former general in the Iraqi army, settles on one of the Kuria-Muria Islands in the Arabian Sea and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453]
  • For the story of the hardships of his pioneering post see ZK99–101.
Kuria-Muria Islands Munir Vakil; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan Elizabeth Bevan (later Mrs Golmohammed) arrives in Rhodes and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Rhodes Elizabeth Bevan (later Mrs Golmohammed); Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan Virginia Breaks arrives on the island of Truk and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Caroline Islands. [BW13:450; MBW57] Truk; Caroline Islands Virginia Breaks; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan Kenneth and Roberta Christian arrive in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Kenneth Christian; Roberta Christian; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Jan Andrew and Nina Matthisen arrive in the Bahamas and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Bahamas; Caribbean Knight of Bahaullah
1954 Jan John and Audrey Robarts with their two younger children, Patrick and Tina, leave Toronto for their pioneer post in Mafeking (later Mafikeng), Buchuanaland (later Botswana and formerly Bophuthatswana). Older children Aldham and Gerald pioneered to Nigeria and a homefront post respectively. [LOF485-6]
  • Later the same year he is appointed to the newly established Auxiliary Board by Hand of the Cause of God Músá Banání. They would return to Canada some 13 years later. [LOF486, 491]
Canada; Botswana; Nigeria; Africa John Robarts
1954 3 Jan Howard and Joanne Menking arrive in the Cape Verde Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cape Verde Islands Howard Menking; Joanne Menking; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 10 Jan Dorothy Baker, (b.21 December, 1898) Hand of the Cause of God, dies in a plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea, near the island of Elba. [BW12:670]
  • For the Guardian’s cable see BW12:670, CF161.
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed her among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
  • For her obituary see BW12:670–4.
  • See also Freeman, From Copper To Gold.
  • See TG229 for a short story about her and a comment from her on the Long Obligatory Prayer.
Mediterranean Sea Dorothy Baker; Long Obligatory Prayer; In Memoriam; Appointment Hand - First Contingent
1954 14 Jan Lilian E. Wyss arrives in Apia from Australia and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Samoa Islands. [BW13:455] Apia; Samoa Islands Lilian E. Wyss; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 15 Jan ‘Abdu’l-Rahmán Zarqání, from India, arrives in the Seychelles and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Seychelles; Africa; India Knights of Bahaullah
1954 18 Jan Mrs Dulcie Burns Dive arrives in the Cook Islands from Australia and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450, 925] Cook Islands Dulcie Burns Dive; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 25 Jan The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Dr. Stanley Bolton in Tonga. [BWNS286] Tonga; Oceania Knights of Bahaullah
1954 25 Jan Stanley P. Bolton, Jr. arrives in Nuku’alofa, on Tongatapu Island, from Australia and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Tonga Islands. [BW13:456] Tonga Islands Stanley P. Bolton; Jr.; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 Feb Rahmatu’lláh and Írán Muhájir arrive in Mentawai Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u‘lláh. [BW13:454]
  • For the story of their pioneering activity see Muhájir, Dr Muhajir, Hand of the Cause of God, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh.
Mentawai Islands; Indonesia Rahmatullah Muhajir; Iran Muhajir; Knights of Bahaullah; Islands
1954 Feb ‘Azízu’lláh and Shamsí Navídí arrive in Monaco and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Monaco Azizullah Navidi; Shamsi Navidi; Knights of Bahaullah
1954 Feb Joan Powis arrives in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Joan Powis; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb Bernard H. Guhrke arrives on the Kodiak Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Kodiak Islands Bernard H. Guhrke; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb Gail Avery arrives in the Baranof Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Baranof Islands Gail Avery; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb John and Audrey Robarts and their son Patrick and young daughter Tina arrive in Mafikeng and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Bechuanaland (Botswana). [BW13:449] Mafikeng; Botswana John Robarts; Knights of Bahaullah
1954 Feb David Schreiber, an American, arrives in Antigua and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Leeward Islands. [BW13:453] Antigua; Leeward Islands David Schreiber; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb Faríburz Rúzbihyán (Feriborz Roozbehyan) arrives in The Gambia and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] The Gambia Fariburz Ruzbihyan (Feriborz Roozbehyan); Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Feb Husayn Halabi arrives in Hadhramaut and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Hadhramaut Husayn Halabi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 10 Feb John Leonard arrives in the Falkland Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Falkland Islands John Leonard; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 15 Feb Charles Duncan (a musician) and Harry Clark, both Americans, arrive in Brunei from Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton) in Sabah, where they have been waiting for several weeks, and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451; PH63] Brunei Charles Duncan; Harry Clark; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 21 Feb Charles (‘Chuck’) and Mary Dayton from the United States, settle in Charlotte Amalie, on St Thomas, and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Leeward Islands. [BW13:453] Charlotte Amalie; St Thomas; Leeward Islands Charles (‘Chuck’) Dayton; Mary Dayton; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 Mar Qudratu’lláh Rawhání and Khudárahm Muzhgání arrive in Mahé and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Mahé Qudratu’llah Rawhani; Khudarahm Muzhgani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
1954 Mar Olivia Kelsey and Florence Ullrich arrive in Monaco and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454]
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles for the story of the life of Florence Maria Ullrich Kelley (b. November 3, 1932 d. February 17, 2016)
Monaco Olivia Kelsey; Florence Ullrich; Knight of Baha’u’llah; Florence Kelly
1954 spring The Síyáh-Chál is acquired by the Bahá’ís. [BW12:64–5; SE153; SS45]
  • The purchase cost is $400,000. [BW12:65]
Tihran; Iran Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Property purchases
1954 1 Mar The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Alvin and Gertrude Blum in the Solomon Islands. [BWNS291] Solomon Islands; Oceania Knights of Bahaullah; Islands
1954 1 Mar Alvin J. Blum and his wife, Gertrude (née Gewertz), arrive in Honiara and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for the Solomon Islands. They are accompanied by their eight-year-old daughter Keithie. [BW13:456] Solomon Islands; Oceania Knights of Bahaullah; Islands
1954 1 Mar Shirin Fozdar visits Cambodia to receive the first medallion and Certificate of Satrei Vatthana (Champion of Women) from His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk. She is the first Bahá’í to enter the country.
  • She is not able to teach the Faith openly but she does speak about it to the king’s parents.
Cambodia Shirin Fozdar; King Norodom Sihanouk first medallion and Certificate of Satrei Vatthana (Champion of Women) recipient; first Bahá’í in Cambodia
1954 4 Mar The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Elena (Marsella) and Roy Fernie in Kiribati. [BWNS301, BW13:452]

They had left their home in Panama and their service on the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama to pioneer. They arrived on the island of Abaiang (aka Charlotte Island, of the Gilbert Islands), on March 4, 1954 and for this service they were named Knights of Baha'u'llah. About the first of June 1954, former Catholic seminarian and mission teacher Peter Kanere Koru became the first convert on the island.

Their teaching work brought opposition from the Roman Catholic priest who told his congregation not to attend the Bahá'í meetings. He began to criticize them in the Roman Catholic newsletter and actually contributed to the knowledge of the Faith because the newsletter had a wide distribution.

The priest persisted in his opposition by informing his bishop who asked the government to send the Fernies away and to send Peter Kanere back to his native island of Tabiteuea. At the time, to be a registered religious organization required a membership of at least 100 believers so the government approved sending the Fernies away however, in a single night some 300 people registered. A certificate of registration was issued on the 24th of September, 1955, but not before they managed to send Roy Fernie away. Elena continued the teaching work on her own and was responsible for firmly establishing the Faith on Abaiang.

Meanwhile, Peter Kanere, back on his home island, managed to teach a Protestant minister who was under discipline of his church at the time. Together they spread the Faith on Tabiteuea. [Island Churches: Challenge and Change by Makisi Finau page 101]

Tabiteuea; Kiribati; Oceania; Gilbert Islands Knights of Bahaullah; First Bahais by country or area first Bahá'í on Kiribati (Gilbert Islands) cro ssreference URLs; title; title
1954 19 Mar Paul Haney is appointed Hand of the Cause of God following the death of Hand of the Cause of God Dorothy Baker. [GBF111; MBW57] Paul Haney; Dorothy Baker; Hand of the Cause
1954 21 Mar Shoghi Effendi announces that there are Bahá’ís in 219 countries. [MBW57]
1954 25 Mar The passing of Marion Jack (General Jack) at her pioneer post in Sofia, Bulgaria at the age of 87. She had been at her post since 1931. [BWNS385, Never be Afraid to Dare p. 227]
  • See also Marion Jack: Immortal Heroine by Jan Jasion
  • See CBNOctober1979 for tributes as well as a photo of her gravesite.
  • Sofia; Bulgaria Marion Jack; General Jack; pioneer
    1954 25 Mar Marion Jack passes away in Sofia, Bulgaria. [BW12:674; CF163]
    • Shoghi Effendi calls her ‘a shining example to pioneers of present and future generations of East and West’. [CF163]
    • For her obituary see BW12:674–7.
    • See also BFA2155; MC359.
    • For a photo of her gravestone see CBNOct1972p.10.
    Sofia; Bulgaria Marion Jack; pioneer
    1954 25 Mar Leland Jensen arrives on Réunion Island from the United States and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
    • He is later declared a Covenant-breaker.
    Reunion Island; France Leland Jensen; Knights of Bahaullah; Covenant-breakers
    1954 28 Mar Suhráb Paymán, together with his five-year old-daughter Ghitty, arrives in San Marino from Tihrán to join his wife. He is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh in April. [BW13:455] San Marino Suhráb Paymán; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 Apr Mrs Mehrangiz Munsiff pioneers to the city of Douala in the French Cameroons (later Cameroon). Both she and Mr Samuel Njiki were honoured as Knights of Bahá'u'lláh for this territory. [Bahá'í Journal UK Vol 20, No 5 Jan/Feb 2004, BW13:451] Cameroon; Douala Meherangiz Munsiff; Samuel Njiki; Knights of Bahaullah Knight of Bahá'u'lláh for Cameroons
    1954 Apr Bahá’í women in Iran are accorded full rights to participate in membership of both national and local Bahá’í assemblies. [MBW65]
    • This removes the ‘last remaining obstacle to the enjoyment of complete equality of rights in the conduct of the administrative affairs of the Persian Bahá’í Community’. [MBW65]
    Iran NSA; LSA
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight Mr. Enoch Olinga in British Cameroon [BWNS291] British Cameroon; Africa Knight; Enoch Olinga
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight Samuel Njiki in French Cameroon [BWNS249] French Cameroon; Africa Knight; Samuel Njiki
    1954 Apr Dr John Fozdar arrives in Brunei in April 1954 and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Brunei John Fozdar; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight David Tanyi in Togoland (Now Togo) [BWNS249] Togoland; Togo; Africa Knight; David Tanyi
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight Edward Tabe in British Togoland (now part of Ghana) [BWNS249] British Togoland; Ghana; Africa Knight; Edward Tabe
    1954 Apr Edward Tabe and Albert Buapiah arrive in British Togoland and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] British Togoland; Ghana Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight Martin Manga to Northern Territories Protectorate (Now part of Ghana) [BWNS249] Northern Territories Protectorate; Ghana; Africa Knight; Martin Manga
    1954 Apr Benedict Eballa arrives in Ashanti Protectorate and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Ashanti Protectorate Benedict Eballa; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Martin Manga arrives in the Northern Territories Protectorate, Australia, and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Northern Territories Protectorate; Australia Martin Manga; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Habíb Isfahání arrives in Dakar and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for French West Africa. [BW13:452] Dakar; French West Africa Habib Isfahani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Gayle Woolson arrives in the Galapagos Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Galapagos Islands Gayle Woolson; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Kay Zinky arrives in the Magdalen Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Magdalen Islands Kay Zinky; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Howard Gilliland arrives in Labrador and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Labrador Howard Gilliland; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr The arrival of Knight Benedict Eballa to Ashanti Protectorate (Now part of Ghana) [BWNS249] Ashanti Protectorate; Ghana; Africa Knight; Benedict Eballa
    1954 Apr Samuel Njiki, the first Bahá’í of the Bamiliki tribe, arrives in French Cameroons from British Cameroons and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. French Cameroons Samuel Njiki; Knight of Baha’u’llah first Bahá’í of the Bamiliki tribe
    1954 Apr Corporal Richard Walters and his wife, Evelyn, and Richard and Mary L. Suhm arrive in Tangier from the United States and are all named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Morocco (International Zone). BW13:454] Tangier; Morocco Richard Walters; Evelyn Walters; Richard Suhm; Mary L. Suhm; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr John and Marjorie Kellberg of Oak Park, Illinois, arrive in the Dutch West Indies and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Dutch West Indies John Kellberg; Marjorie Kellberg; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr Robert B. Powers, Jr., a member of the U.S. armed forces at the Navy Air Station, arrives in Guam and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Mariana Islands. [BW13:454] Guam; Mariana Islands Robert B. Powers; Jr.; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Apr The site for the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Holy Land is selected. [DH175; MBW63] Haifa Mashriqu’l-Adhkar first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Holy Land
    1954 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that plans for the International Bahá’í Archives have been completed and that steps have been taken to begin its construction. [BBD22–3; DH169; GBF117–8; MBW64] Haifa International Baha’i Archives
    1954 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that there are Bahá’ís in 228 countries and that Bahá’í literature has been translated into 130 languages. [MBW61–2]
    1954 6 Apr Five Continental Bahá’í Funds are inaugurated by Shoghi Effendi. [MBW59] Continental Baha’i Fund
    1954 6 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the creation of five Auxiliary Boards with the following number of members: Asia 7; America 9; Europe 9; Africa 9; Australia 2. [MBW59]
    • Their function is to ‘act as deputies of the Hands in their respective continents’, to ‘aid and advise them in the effective prosecution of the’ and to assist them ‘in the discharge of their dual and sacred task of safe-guarding the Faith and of promoting its teaching activities’. [MBW63]
    • See also BBD26; BBRSM127; MC3.
    • These boards were mandated with the propagation of the Faith.
    Auxiliary Board Members and assistants; Hands of the Cause; Ten-Year Plan
    1954 11 Apr Bula Mott Stewart arrives in Swaziland and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Swaziland Bula Mott Stewart; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 12 Apr Shoghi Effendi accepts the bid made by the firm of Enrico Pandolfini of Pietrasanta in Tuscany, Italy for the supply of the obelisk will mark the place of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Holy Land. After the delivery of the materials circumstances did not allow for the obelisk to be erected. The Universal House of Justice completed the project in August, 1971. BWC; Pietrasanta; Tuscany; Italy Enrico Pandolfini; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar; obelisk find reference
    1954 13 Apr David Tanyi, a tailor, arrives in French Togoland from British Cameroons and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] French Togoland David Tanyi; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 18 Apr John and Valera Allen arrive in Swaziland and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Swaziland Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 Ridván In his cablegram of October 8, 1952, Shoghi Effendi called upon all 15 "continental" Hands to appoint, during Ridván, 1954, five Auxiliary Boards, one on each continent, composed of nine members each to work as their deputies along with the National Assemblies to assist in the execution of the twelve teaching plans. [BW13p335, MBW44, 63] Auxiliary Board Members and assistants
    1954 Ridván Adelaide Sharp, who had been in Iran since 1929, is elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, the first woman elected to that body. [BFA2:361] Iran Adelaide Sharp; NSA; First women; Women first woman elected NSA Iran
    1954 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in the Malay Peninsula is established in Seremban. Seremban; Malay LSA first LSA Malay Peninsula
    1954 Ridván The first all African local spiritual assembly in Tanganyika is formed in Bukoba. Bukoba; Tanganyika LSA first all African LSA in Tanganyika
    1954 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly is formed in British Cameroons. British Cameroons LSA first LSA British Cameroons
    1954 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly is formed in Ruanda-Urundi. Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi) LSA first LSA Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi)
    1954 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Algeria is formed in Algiers. Algiers; Algeria LSA first LSA Algeria
    1954 21 Apr Bruce Matthew arrives at Goose Bay and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Labrador. [BW13:453] Goose Bay; Labrador Bruce Matthew; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 26 Apr President of Israel Ben Zvi and his wife visit the Shrines on Mount Carmel, the first official visit paid by a head of a sovereign state to the Shrines of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. [GBF139–140; MBW68; PP2923] Haifa; Mount Carmel Ben Zvi; Presidents; Prominent visitors; Bab, Shrine of; Firsts, Other first official visit head of a sovereign state to Shrine of the Báb
    1954 May Elinore Putney arrives in the Aleutian Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u‘lláh. [BW13:449] Aleutian Islands; Alaska; United States; Russia Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 May Elise Schreiber (later Lynelle) arrives in Bata, the capital of Rio Muni, and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for a second time, this time for Spanish Guinea. [BW13:456] Equatorial Guinea Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 May Haig Kevorkian arrives in the Galápagos Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452] Galapagos Islands; Ecuador Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 2 May The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Mavis Nymon and Vivian Wesson in French Togoland (now called Togo). [BWNS329 ] French Togoland; Togo; Africa Knight; Mavis Nymon; Vivian Wesson
    1954 2 May The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Cynthia Olson in the Mariana Islands. [BWNS303] Mariana Islands Knight; Cynthia Olson
    1954 2 May Cynthia R. Olson of Wilmington, Delaware, settles in Barrigada, the largest village in Guam, and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Mariana Islands. [BW13:454] Barrigada; Guam; Mariana Islands; Oceania Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 2 May Mavis Nymon and Vivian Wesson, both Americans, arrive in French Togoland and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:451] Togo; Africa Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 4 May Shoghi Effendi closes the Roll of Honour, except for those pioneers who have already left for their posts and those first arriving in the remaining virgin territories inside and outside the Soviet Republics and satellites. [MBW69] Roll of Honour
    1954 4 May Elizabeth Stamp, an Irish-American widow from New York City, arrives in St Helena and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] St Helena Elizabeth Stamp; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 5 May Sabrí and Fahima (Ra’isa) Elias, an Egyptian couple with four children, arrive in Djibouti and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for French Somaliland. [BW13:451] Djibouti; French Somaliland Sabrí Elias; Fahima (Ra’isa) Elias; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 17 May The arrival of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Elise Lynelle (then Schreiber) in Bata, Spanish Guinea, now Equatorial Guinea. [BWNS330] Bata; Spanish Guinea; Equatorial Guinea Knight; Elise Lynelle; Schreiber
    1954 26 May Shoghi Effendi, Rúhíyyih Khánum and Leroy Ioas return the visit of President Ben Zvi by visiting him in Jerusalem. [GBF140; PP293–4] Jerusalem; Israel Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; ; Leroy Ioas; Ben Zvi; Presidents
    1954 Jun Harold and Florence Fitzner arrive in Portuguese Timor and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Portuguese Timor Harold Fitzner; Florence Fitzner; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Jun Louise Groger arrives on Chiloé Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Chiloé Island Louise Groger; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Jun Shawqí Riyád Rawhání (Shoghi Riaz Rouhani), an Iranian from Egypt, arrives in Las Palmas and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Canary Islands. [BW13:450] Las Palmas; Canary Islands Shawqi Riyad Rawhani (Shoghi Riaz Rouhani); Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 18 Jun The first islander to become a Bahá’í in the Seychelles, Marshall Delcy, a local school teacher, enrols. Seychelles Marshall Delcy first islander Bahá'í in Seychelles
    1954 19 Jun The first Canary Islander to become a Bahá’í, Sr. José Jacinto Castillo y Gonzalez, enrols. Canary Islands José Jacinto Castillo y Gonzalez first Canary Islander Bahá’í
    1954 24 Jun Shápúr Rawhání and Ardishír Furúdí, Iranian residents of India, arrive in Bhutan by foot and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. They spent about two months in Bhutan. However, circumstances did not permit them to remain longer in Bhutan and they had to return to India. [BW13:449]
    • They are accompanied to the Bhutan border by the prime minister of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji.
    • In about 1961 Dr. Anayat Soroosh Yaganagi, a Bahá'í of Zoroastrian background from Bangalore pioneered to Bhutan. See the brief history of his family and the development of the Faith in the country in "Bahá'í Recollections" written by one of his daughters, Geeti Yaganegi.
    Bhutan Shapur Rawhani; Ardishir Furudi; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Jul c. The first person to become a Bahá’í in Brunei, Daphne Hassan, enrols. Brunei Daphne Hassan first Bahá’í in Brunei
    1954 Jul José Marques arrives in Portuguese Timor and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455] Portuguese Timor José Marques; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Jul Dr John George Mitchell, an English physician who became a Bahá’í in 1950, arrives in Malta and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Malta John George Mitchell; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1954 Jul Reginald Stone and Allan Delph become Bahá’ís in British Guiana, the first two people to accept the Faith in that country. British Guiana; Latin America First Bahais by country or area first Bahá'ís in British Guiana
    1954 Second half of the year The first Somali to become a Bahá’í in Djibouti, ‘Alí ‘Abdu’lláh, a 21-year old employee of a commercial firm, enrols. Djibouti; Somalia; Africa First Bahais by country or area first Somali Bahá’í find reference
    1954 5 Jul Violet Hoehnke, an Australian, arrives in Papua New Guinea and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the Admiralty Islands. [BW13:449] Papua New Guinea; Admiralty Islands Knights of Bahaullah
    1954 Jul 12 The arrival of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Dudley Moore Blakely and his wife Elsa (Judy) Blakeley in Tonga. They shared the honour with Dr. Stanley Bolton. [BWNS286] Tonga; Oceania Knight; Dudley Moore Blakely; Elsa (Judy) Blakeley; Stanley Bolton
    1954 12 Jul Dudley Moore Blakely, an artist, sculptor and designer, and his wife, Elsa (‘Judy’), British citizens living in Maine, arrive on Tongatapu and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Tonga Islands. [BW13:456] Tonga Islands Dudley Moore Blakely; Elsa (‘Judy’) Blakely; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 15 Jul The first person to become a Bahá’í in Macau, Harry P. F. Yim (Yim Pui Foung), a 45-year-old small business proprietor born in Canton, China, enrols. Macau Harry P. F. Yim (Yim Pui Foung) first Bahá’í in Macau
    1954 7 Aug Marcia Steward de Matamoros Atwater arrives in the Marshall Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454] Marshall Islands Marcia Steward de Matamoros Atwater; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 28 Aug Mihribán Suhaylí (Mehraban Sohaili) arrives on the Comoro Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Comoro Islands Mihribán Suhaylí (Mehraban Sohaili); Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1954 Sep Four people had become Bahá’ís in Zanzibar by this date. Zanzibar
    1954 6 Sep The first people to become Bahá’ís in Bechuanaland (Lesotho), Chadwick and ‘Maselai (Mary) Mohapi, enrol. [BW17:449–52] Bechuanaland (Lesotho) Lesotho; Africa first Bahá’ís in Bechuanaland (Lesotho)
    1954 26 Sep The first native Greek to become a Bahá’í, Emmanuel Petrakis, enrols in Crete. Crete Emmanuel Petrakis first native Greek Bahá’í
    1954 Oct The first person to become a Bahá’í in Nassau, Bahamas, Winfield Small, a young police officer from Barbados, enrols.
    • Mr Small opened Barbados to the Faith.
    Nassau; Bahamas; Barbasos First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í in Nassau, Bahamas
    1954 1 Oct Anthony and Mamie Seto arrive in Hong Kong. Hong Kong; Asia Knights of Bahaullah find reference
    1954 1 Oct Shoghi Effendi announces that there are Bahá’ís in 235 countries and territories and over 3000 centres around the world. [MBW69–70]
    1954 1 Oct The title of the a parcel of land on Mount Carmel is transferred to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, Israel Branch. The title deed is for Parcel No. 304, Block 10811 Mount Carmel, Haifa. Mount Carmel; Haifa; Israel. BWC; title find reference
    1954 22 Oct Mr and Mrs Suleimani arrive by ship in Keelung, Taiwan. Keelung; Taiwan Knights of Bahaullah find reference
    1954 Nov A plot of land of slightly less than half an acre owned by Farah Sprague, a Covenant-breaker, is purchased, overcoming the final obstacle to beginning the construction of the International Bahá’í Archives. [DH169; MBW73–4] Haifa Farah Sprague; Covenant-breakers; International Bahai Archives Was she the Iranian-born wife of Sidney Sprague? See BFA2p155
    1954 20 Nov The first person to become a Bahá’í in Tonga, Harry Terepo, born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, enrols.
    • He is a teacher, interpreter and guide living in Ohonua on the island of Eua.
    Tonga Harry Terepo first Bahá’í in Tonga
    1954 27 Nov Shoghi Effendi describes the significance of the world administrative centre of the Faith and the ‘structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice’ to be ranged along a ‘far-flung arc’. [MBW74] Haifa Guardianship; Hand of the Cause; UHJ
    1954 8 Dec Bahá’ís in Ádharbáyján are dismissed from their employment in the Ministries of Health and Public Highways. [BW18:390] Ádharbáyján; Iran religious persecution
    1955 to 2007 The fifth Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was 'Ali-Muhammad Varqá. He inherited both the Trusteeship and the station of Hand of the Cause of God from his father upon his passing. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
    • During his tenure the compilation Huqúqu'lláh was published (1985) by the Universal House of Justice.
    • The delegates gathered at the National Convention of the Bahá'ís of the United States in 1984 petitioned the Universal House of Justice to make the Law of the Huqúqu'lláh applicable in their country. (Up to this point the law only applied to Bahá'is of Persian origin.) The Universal House of Justice replied that it was not yet time for such a measure but did agree to make more information available in preparation for such a time. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 3 January, 1985, AWH30]
    • Friends in Austria and the United States had published codifications on the Law of the Huqúqu'lláh and so the the benefit of the believers everywhere the Research Department at the World Centre was asked to prepare a brief history and a Codification. This information was sent to all national assemblies in the Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1987.
    • In 1991 the Central Office of Huqúqu'lláh was established in the Holy Land under the direction of the Chief Trustee in anticipation of the worldwide application of the law. Subsequently regional and national boards were established. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 1991]
    • With the publication of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in English in 1992 the law of the Huqúqu'lláh became universally applicable.
    • In 2005 an International Board of Trustees of the Huqúqu'lláh was established to guide the regional and national boards. Three members appointed to the Board were Sally Foo, Ramin Khadem, and Grant Kvalheim. Their term of office was to be determined. [Ridván 2005]
    • The last Hand of the Cause of Cause and Trustee of the Huqúqu'llah, Alí Muhammad Varqá, passed away in Haifa on the 22nd of September, 2007. [BWNS579]
    BWC; Haifa Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Ali-Muhammad Varqa; Varqa; Hands of the Cause
    c. 1955 The first person to become a Bahá’í in The Gambia, Mr Nichola Banna, a Lebanese merchant, enrols. The Gambia Nichola Banna first Bahá’í in The Gambia
    1955 The first indigenous Samoan to become a Bahá’í, Sa’ialala Tamasese, enrols.
    • He is a member of one of the three royal families of Samoa. [BINS, No. 100, 1 MARCH 1979, p. 1]
    Samoa Sa’ialala Tamasese first indigenous Samoan Bahá’í
    1955 Labíb Isfahání arrives in Abidjan, French West Africa, from Dakar, the first Bahá’í to settle in what is now the Ivory Coast. Abidjan; French West Africa Labib Isfahani first Bahá’í to settle in Ivory Coast
    1955 The first person to become a Bahá’í in Spanish Sahara, ‘Abdu’l-Salam Salím Al-Sbintí, enrols. Spanish Sahara; Africa First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í in Spanish Sahara
    1955 Twenty–two African Bahá’ís are expelled from the Belgian Congo. Belgian Congo religious persecution
    c. 1955 The first person to become a Bahá’í in Grenada, John Protain, a waiter at the Santa Maria Hotel, enrols. Grenada John Protain first Bahá’í in Grenada
    1955 Jan Dorothy Senne becomes the first Bahá'í in South Africa. [BWNS270] South Africa Dorothy Senne First Bahá'í in South Africa.
    1955 c. Jan The first Tswana Bahá’í, Stanlake Kukama, enrols in Mafikeng. Mafikeng Stanlake Kukama first Tswana Bahá’í
    1955 18–22 Jan Five Bahá’ís are arrested and beaten in Hisár, Khurásán, Iran; four of these are dragged around the town; Bahá’í houses arc attacked, looted and set on fire. [BW18:390] Hisár; Khurásán; Iran religious persecution
    1955 Feb The first local person to become a Bahá’í in Mauritius, Mr Yam-Lim, a Chinese Catholic, enrols. Mauritius First Bahais by country or area first local Bahá’í in Mauritius
    1955 4 Feb Bahá’í women in Hisár, Khurásán, Iran, are assaulted. [BW18:390] Hisár; Khurásán; Iran religious persecution
    1955 8–15 Feb The first people to become Bahá’ís in Réunion, Paul and Françoise Tayllamin (8 Feb) and Jean Donat and Julien Araye (15 Feb), enrol. Réunion Paul Tayllamin; Françoise Tayllamin; Jean Donat; Julien Araye first Bahá’ís in Réunion
    1955 Mar The first person to become a Bahá’í in the Solomon Islands, William Gina, a 43-year-old Solomon Islander from the Western Solomon Islands, enrols. Solomon Islands; Oceania First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í in Solomon Islands
    1955 Mar Kamálí Sarvístání arrives on Socotra Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456] Socotra Island Kamali Sarvistani; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1955 4 Mar The first Tongan to become a Bahá’í in Tonga, Tevita Ngalo’afe, enrols. Tonga Tevita Ngalo’afe first Tongan Bahá’í in Tonga
    1955 14 Mar The first person to become a Bahá’í in Guam, Charles T. Mackey, a United States civil service employee, enrols. Guam Charles T. Mackey first Bahá’í in Guam
    1955 20 Mar Shoghi Effendi announces the commencement of the excavation for the foundations of the International Bahá’í Archives. [MBW75] Haifa International Bahá’í Archives
    1955 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the acquisition of 36,000 square metres of land for the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Holy Land. [DH175; MBW78–9]
    • The entire sum for the purchase was donated by Amelia Collins. [MBW79]
    Haifa Mashriqu’l-Adhkar; Amelia Collins first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Holy Land
    1955 Apr The first person to become a Bahá’í in the Bahamas, Molly Newbold, enrols.
    • As she did not remain a Bahá’í, Arnold Wells, a tinsmith who became a Bahá’í on 20 April, is regarded as the first Bahá’í. Christine Thompson, who owned a small fruit and vegetable shop, and Frank Ferguson, who owned a gas station, also enrolled on 20 April.
    Bahamas Molly Newbold; Christine Thompson; Frank Ferguson first Bahá’í in Bahamas
    1955 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that the Bahá’í Faith is represented in 236 countries, in 3,200 locations, by over 40 ethnic groups. Bahá’í literature is translated into 176 languages. [MBW76–8]
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Zanzibar is formed. Zanzibar LSA first LSA in Zanzibar
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Réunion is formed. Réunion LSA first LSA in Réunion
    1955 Ridván The first five local assemblies in Bechuanaland (Lesotho) are formed in Seqonoka, Maseru, Mafeteng, Maphohloane and Sephapos’ Gate. Seqonoka; Maseru; Mafeteng; Maphohloane and Sephapos’ Gate; Lesotho LSA first five LSAs in what is now Lesotho
    1955 Ridván The first four local spiritual assemblies in The Gambia are formed in Bathurst (Banjul), Serrekunda, Lamin and Brikama. Bathurst (Banjul); Serrekunda; Lamin and Brikama; The Gambia LSA first four LSAs in The Gambia
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) is formed in Salisbury (Harare). Salisbury (Harare); Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) LSA first LSA in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of French Togoland (Togo) formed at Lomé. Lomé; French Togoland (Togo) LSA first LSA in French Togoland (Togo)
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual in Mozambique is established in Lourenço Marques. [BW13:290] Lourenço Marques; Mozambique LSA first LSA in Mozambique
    1955 Ridván The first native Mozambican Bahá’í, Festas Chambeni, takes the Bahá’í Faith to Angola. [BW13:290] Angola Festas Chambeni first native Mozambican Bahá’í
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Italian Somalia is formed in Mogadishu. Mogadishu; Italian Somalia LSA first LSA in Italian Somalia
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Madagascar is formed in Tananarive (Antananarivo). Tananarive (Antananarivo); Madagascar LSA first LSA in Madagascar
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in the Seychelles is formed in Victoria. Victoria; Seychelles LSA first LSA in Seychelles
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in the Bahamas is formed in Nassau. Nassau; Bahamas LSA first LSA in Bahamas
    1955 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Vietnam is formed at Saigon-Cholon (Cholon is the Chinese section of Saigon).
    • This body is also the first local assembly to be formed in Indochina.
    Saigon-Cholon; Vietnam LSA first LSA in Vietnam
    1955 23 Apr Ramadán begins. Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí Falsafí makes an inflammatory speech against the Bahá’ís from a mosque in Tihrán. [BW18:390]
    • This is broadcast on national radio and stirs up the people against the Bahá’ís. [BW18:390]
    • Beatings, killings, looting and raping go on for several weeks, usually incited by the local ‘ulamá. [BW18:390–1; MC16–17; ZK215–6]
    • The House of the Báb in Shíráz is attacked and damaged by a mob led by Siyyid Núru’d-Dín, a mujtahid.
    Tihran; Shiraz; Iran Shaykh Muhammad-Taqi Falsafi; House of the Bab (Shiraz); Siyyid Nurud-Din; Persecution
    1955 May-Jul Persecutions against the Bahá’ís continue throughout Iran. BW18:391]
    • Many Bahá’ís are beaten, including women and children.
    • Bahá’í houses and shops are looted and burned.
    • Bahá’ís employed in government service are dismissed.
    • Bodies of dead Bahá’ís are disinterred and mutilated.
    • Young Bahá’í women are abducted and forced to marry Muslims.
    • Several Bahá’í women are publicly stripped and/or raped.
    • Crops and orchards belonging to Bahá’ís are looted and destroyed.
    • Bahá’í children are expelled from schools.
    • The House of the Báb in Shíráz is damaged.
    Shiraz; Iran Persecution; House of the Bab (Shiraz)
    1955 2 May The police lock the doors of the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán thus preventing the holding of the final day of the National Bahá’í Convention. [BW18:390] Tihrán religious persecution; National Bahá’í Convention
    1955 4 May Sylvia Ioas is appointed to the International Bahá’í Council as its ninth member. [BW19:612; GBF110; MBW86; PP253] Haifa Sylvia Ioas; International Bahai Council
    1955 7 May The Iranian army occupies the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán. [BW18:390] Tihrán religious persecution
    1955 8 May Bahá’ís are beaten at Dámghán, Khurásán, Iran. [BW18:390] Dámghán; Khurásán; Iran religious persecution
    1955 8 May The Bahá’í centre at Rasht, Iran, is attacked and taken over. [BW18:390] Rasht; Iran religious persecution
    1955 9 May Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted at Shíráz, Iran. [BW18:390] Shíráz; Iran religious persecution
    1955 9 May The Bahá’í centre at Ahváz, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:390] Ahváz; Iran religious persecution
    1955 16 May The Bahá’í centre at Isfahán, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:390] Isfahán; Iran religious persecution
    1955 17 May The Iranian Minister of the Interior announces in parliament that the Government has issued orders for the suppression of the ‘Bahá’í sect’ and the liquidation of the Bahá’í centres. [BBRSM174; BW18:391] Iran religious persecution
    1955 22 May The dome of the National Bahá’í Centre in Tihrán is demolished with the personal participation of several high-ranking army officers. The publication of the pictures of this episode encourages a widespread outburst of persecution of Bahá’ís throughout Iran. [BW18:391]
    • After the coup in 1953 the Shah was indebted to the clergy for their support and so they were given a greater latitude to persecute the Bahá'ís. In an attempt to show his gratitude the Shah sent a high ranking officer to ask if they had any special requests and they called for the Bahá'í Centre in Tehran to be destroyed. The army occupied the Centre and high-ranking officers and clerics jointly demolished the dome. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.]
    • For pictures see BW13:293–4.
    Tihrán religious persecution
    1955 23 May The Bahá’í International Community submits its Proposals for Charter Revision to the United Nations for the Conference for Revision of the UN Charter. [BW13:788, 795–802] New York; US Baha’i International Community; UN Charter
    1955 24 May The Bahá’í centre at Karaj, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:391] Karaj; Iran religious persecution
    1955 27 May The Bahá’í centre at Máhfurúzak, Iran, is demolished. [BW18:391] Máhfurúzak; Iran religious persecution
    1955 30 May Bahá’ís are attacked and wounded and their houses attacked at Ábádih, Iran. [BW18:391] Ábádih; Iran religious persecution
    1955 1 Jun The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tákur, Mázandarán, Iran, is taken over. [BW18:391] Tákur; Mázandarán; Ira House of Bahá’u’lláh; religious persecution
    1955 2 Jun The first pioneer to settle in Laos, Dr Heshmat Ta’eed, arrives in the country from Thailand. Laos Heshmat Ta’eed first pioneer to Laos
    1955 4 Jun Frank Wyss of Australia arrives on Cocos and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:450] Cocos Frank Wyss; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1955 28 Jul Seven Bahá’ís are stabbed and beaten to death by a mob in Hurmuzak, Iran. [BW18:391, Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.]
    • Several other Bahá’ís, including women, are beaten and injured; Bahá’í houses and property are damaged. [BW18:391]
    • See also M. Labíb, The Seven Martyrs of Hurmuzak.
    • See entry for 26 September, 2016.
    Hurmuzak; Iran religious persecution; Martydom
    1955 Aug Appeals are made by National Spiritual Assemblies around the world through the Bahá’í International Community to the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to ask the Iranian government to halt the attacks on the Bahá’ís. [BW13:789–91; BW16:329; MBW88–9; PP304, 311]
    • The intervention of the Secretary-General of the UN, along with the efforts of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, bring an end to the physical persecution of the Bahá’ís, although their human rights are still denied. [BW13:790; BW16:329]
    • This marks the first time the Faith is able to defend itself with its newly born administrative agencies. An “Aid the Persecuted Fund” was established.
    • Historian Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi noted that the 1955 anti-Bahá'í campaign was both the apogee and the point of separation of the state-clergy co-operation. The Shah succumbing to international pressure to provide human rights, withdrew support. The result was that the period from the late fifties until 1977-1978 was a period of relative safety. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.]
    New York; US Baha’i International Community; Dag Hammarskjöld; NSA; religious persecution
    1955 23 Aug Shoghi Effendi announces plans to begin construction on the House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda. [MBW90; PP312] Kampala; Uganda House of Worship; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
    1955 Sep-Oct Bahá’ís in Iran continue to be dismissed from their employment. Bahá’í students are expelled from Shíráz University. [BW18:391] Iran religious persecution
    1955 Sep Travelling by foot, Udai Narain Singh arrives in Tibet from Gangtok, Sikkim., and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh, his second such distinction.
    • He is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh in spring 1956. [BW13:456]
    Tibet Udai Narain Singh; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1955 Sep Fowzieh Sobhi arrives in British Somaliland from Egypt, the first Bahá’í to reside in the country. British Somaliland Fowzieh Sobhi first pioneer to British Somaliland
    1955 23 - 25 Sep International Teaching Conference held in Nikko, Japan. [Japan Will Turn Ablaze p87, 97] Nikko; Japan Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching; First conferences first conference held in Japan
    1955 Oct Daniel Haumont arrives in the Loyalty Islands and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:453] Loyalty Islands Daniel Haumont; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1955 12 Nov Hand of the Cause of God Valíyu’lláh Varqá passes away in Stuttgart.
    • For his obituary see BW13:831–834.
    • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
    Stuttgart; Germany Valiyullah Varqa; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
    1955 15 Nov ‘Alí Muhammad Varqá is appointed a Hand of the Cause to succeed his father. [GBF111; MBW91] Ali-Muhammad Varqa; Hand of the Cause, Appointments
    1955 Dec The first Samoan woman to become a Bahá’í, Mrs Lotoa Refiti (later Lotoa Rock), enrols. [Koala News, No. 22, February 1956] Samoa Lotoa Refiti (later Lotoa Rock) first Samoan woman Bahá'í
    c. 1956 Shoghi Effendi acquires the title to the Pilgrim House at Bahjí from the Israeli government as part of the exchange for the Bahá’í properties at Ein Gev. [BBD177; DH226] Bahjí Pilgrim House at Bahji
    1956 The first indigenous person to become a Bahá’í in Dutch Guiana (Suriname), George van Axel Dongen, enrols. Dutch Guiana (Suriname) George van Axel Dongen first indigenous Bahá’í in Dutch Guiana (Suriname)
    1956 The first Tlinget to become a Bahá’í in Alaska, Joyce Anderson Combs, enrols. Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area first Tlinget Bahá’í in Alaska
    1956 Shoghi Effendi buys the ruined house known as the Master’s Tea House. ‘Akká Master’s Tea House
    1956 The first people to become Bahá’ís in Cape Verde enrol. Cape Verde first Bahá’ís in Cape Verde
    1956 The first indigenous person to become a Bahá’í in New Guinea, Apelis Mazakmat, a school teacher and member of the local government council, enrols. New Guinea Apelis Mazakmat first indigenous Bahá’í in New Guinea
    1956 Kedarnath Pradhan, from neighbouring Sikkim, arrives in Nepal, the first pioneer to the country. [Bahá'í Faith In Nepal by Prof. Anil Sarwal] Nepal Kedarnath Pradhan first pioneer to Nepal
    1956 A Roman Catholic priest lodges a complaint against the Bahá’ís of Morocco with the Moroccan Security Service. Morocco religious persecution
    1956 c. The first person in Tibet to become a Bahá’í, Chiten Tashi, a young businessman from the village of Chombethan, enrols. Tibet Chiten Tashi first Bahá'í in Tibet
    1956 The publication of Religion for Mankind by Horace Holley. Religion for Mankind; Horace Holley
    1956 Jan The first Bahá’í pioneer in what is now the Central African Republic, Samson Nkeng, arrives in Bangui from the British Cameroons. Central African Republic Samson Nkeng; pioneer first pioneer in Central African Republic
    1956 12 Feb The first four people to become Bahá’ís in Hong Kong, Nari Sherwani, Ng Ying Kay, Chan Lie Kun and Chan Lie Fun, enrol. [PH75] Hong Kong First Bahais by country or area first four Bahá’ís in Hong Kong
    1956 25 Feb Husayn Uskuli, (b. 1875) long-time pioneer to Shanghai from ‘Ishqábád, passes away in Shanghai at the age of 82 and is buried in the Kiangwan Cemetery in Shanghai. [PH29, BW13p871-873]
    • He heard about the Faith at the age of 18 from Mírzá Haydar-'Alí. After his marriage he moved to 'Ishqábád where he was very active in the community. After his move to Shanghai his home was the centre of activity and hospitality for all those passing through. He was the only foreign-born Bahá'í to remain in China after the regime change. The xenophobic attitude of the government precluded any meaningful contact with the local citizenry.
    • He was survived by four daughters and a son.
    ‘Ishqábád; Shanghai Husayn Uskuli; In Memoriam
    1956 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that the Bahá’í Faith is established in 247 countries, in 3,700 localities and that there are more than 900 local spiritual assemblies, of which 168 are incorporated. Bahá’í literature has been translated into 190 languages. [MBW92–3]
    1956 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces the extension to Egyptian Bahá’í women of the right to be elected to the national spiritual assembly and to participate in the national convention. [MBW96–7] Egypt NSA
    1956 7 Apr The first indigenous person to become a Bahá’í in Micronesia, 22-year-old Joe Erie Ilengelkei from Palau, Caroline Islands, enrols. Palau; Caroline Islands Joe Erie Ilengelkei first indigenous Bahá’í in Micronesia
    1956 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa is formed with its seat in Johannesburg, South Africa. [BW13:284]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is the Union of South Africa, Basutoland, Zululand, Swaziland, Bechuanaland, South West Africa, Angola, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Mozambique, Madagascar, Réunion Island, Mauritius and St Helena Island.
    Johannesburg; South Africa NSA first Regional Spiritual Assembly of South and West Africa
    1956 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa is formed with its seat in Kampala, Uganda. [BW13:284]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Uganda, Tanganyika, Kenya, Belgian Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, French Equatorial Africa, Zanzibar, Comoro Islands and Seychelles Islands.
    Kampala; Uganda NSA first Regional Spiritual Assembly of Central and East Africa
    1956 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of North West Africa is formed with its seat in Tunis, Tunisia. [BW13:284]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco (International Zone), Spanish Morocco, French Morocco, Rio de Oro, Spanish Sahara, French West Africa, Gambia, Portuguese Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gold Coast, Ashanti Protectorate, British Togoland, French Togoland, Nigeria, British Cameroons, French Cameroons, Spanish Guinea, St Thomas Island, Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands and Madeira.
    Tunis; Tunisia NSA first Regional Spiritual Assembly of North West Africa
    1956 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of North East Africa is formed. [BW13:284]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, French Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia and Socotra Island.
    NSA first Regional Spiritual Assembly of North East Africa
    1956 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly is formed in Morocco (International Zone). Morocco LSA first LSA Morocco
    1956 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Taiwan is formed in T’ainan. T’ainan; Taiwan LSA first LSA Taiwan
    1956 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Bermuda is formed. Bermuda LSA first LSA Bermuda
    1956 Ridván The first local spiritual assemblies in Korea are formed at Seoul and at Kwangju. Seoul and Kwangju Korea; LSA first LSAs Korea
    1956 Ridván With the enrolment of the first Micronesian Bahá’í, the first local spiritual assembly of Guam is formed. Guam LSA first LSA Guam
    1956 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of Hong Kong is formed. Hong Kong LSA first LSA Hong Kong
    1956 Ridván The local spiritual assembly of Addis Ababa incorporates, the first one in Africa to do so. [BW13:287] Addis Ababa LSA first LSA to incorporate in Africa
    1956 Ridván Formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Tainan, Taiwan Tainan; Taiwan LSA first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Tainan, Taiwan
    1956 Ridván Formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Guam. Guam; LSA first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Guam. find reference
    1956 May Mary Zabolotny (later Mrs Ken McCulloch), of Polish background, arrives on Anticosti Island, Canada, and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:449] Anticosti Island; Canada Mary Zabolotny (later Mrs Ken McCulloch); Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1956 20 May Louisa Mathew Gregory, whose wedding to Hand of the Cause of God Louis Gregory in 1912 was the first interracial western Bahá’í marriage, passes away in Eliot, Maine. [BW13:878]
    • For her obituary see BW13:376–8.
    Eliot; Maine Louisa Mathew Gregory; Louis Gregory; Hand of the Cause first interracial western Bahá’í marriage
    1956 11 - 12 Nov First All-Taiwan Teaching Conference held in Tainan, Taiwan. Tainan; Taiwan Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Teaching; First conferences first Teaching Conference held in Taiwan find reference
    1956 9 Dec The passing of Juliet Thompson (b. Washington, DC 1873 - d. December 9th, 1956 New York). [BW13:862-864]
    • For her memorial service at the House of Worship see Bahá'í News p475, 493.
    • After learning of the Bahá'í Faith in Washington DC near 1898 she traveled to Paris at the invitation of Laura Dreyfus-Barney's mother. Later in 1901 in Paris she met Thomas Breakwell, who gave her Arthur de Gobineau's description in French of the Execution of the Báb which confirmed her faith. In Paris she took classes on the religion from Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl. [Wiki]
    • She published her book I, Mary Magdalene in 1940. It is available at bahai-library.com/.
    • The Diary of Juliet Thompson was published by Kalimat Press in1983 from her 1947 typescript.
    • The restoration of Juliet's grave took place on December 5, 2010. After a 54 year delay, the new gravestone, commissioned by the NSA, was unveiled in the Beechwood Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York, engraved with this moving tribute from Shoghi Effendi:

      "Deplore loss of much-loved, greatly admired Juliet Thompson, outstanding, exemplary handmaid of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Over half-century record of manifold, meritorious services, embracing the concluding years of Heroic and opening decades of Formative Ages of Bahá'í Dispensation, won her enviable position in the glorious company of triumphant disciples of the beloved Master in the Abha Kingdom. Advise hold memorial gathering in Mashriqu'l-Adhkar to pay befitting tribute to the imperishable memory of one so wholly consecrated to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and fired with such consuming devotion to the Center of His Covenant."

      [December 6, 1956] (Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 170)

    New Rochelle; New York; Juliet Thompson; In Memoriam
    1956 20 Dec The publication in the Official Gazette of the government of Israel of the issue of an expropriation order against the Covenant-Breakers in possession of the holy Shrines at Bahji. This order was immediately appealed by the Covenant-Breakers to the Supreme Court. BWC Bahji; Covenant-breakers find reference
    1957 The first indigenous person to become a Bahá’í in the Dutch West Indies, Rhoma Matthew, enrols. Dutch West Indies Rhoma Matthew first indigenous Bahá’í in the Dutch West Indies
    1957 The first member of the Newari ethnic group of Nepal to become a Bahá’í, Rishi Prasad Joshi, enrols. Nepal Rishi Prasad Joshi first Newari Bahá'í of Nepal
    1957 Charles Winfield Small, a native of Barbados and the first to become a Bahá’í in the Bahamas, returns to Barbados, the first Bahá’í to settle in the country. Barbados; Central America First Bahais by country or area first Bahá’í in the Bahamas; first Bahá’í to settle in Barbados
    1957 The Berbers in Algeria are first contacted by the Bahá’ís and a number of Berber families enrol. Algeria first Berber Bahá'ís
    1957 Bahá’í activity in Czechoslovakia is banned by the authorities, several members of the Prague community are arrested and Vuk Echtner is imprisoned for two years. Prague; Czechoslovakia Persecution
    1957 Nagoya, Japan, becomes the only spiritual assembly to be made up entirely of Japanese believers. Nagoya; Japan LSA first LSA all Japanese
    1957 c. The first local person to become a Bahá’í in Cambodia, Mr Lim Incchin, a young Chinese, enrols. Cambodia Lim Incchin first Bahá’í in Cambodia
    1957 3 Feb Enoch Olinga arrives in the Holy Land, the first black African Bahá’í to go on pilgrimage. Haifa Enoch Olinga first black African Bahá’í on pilgrimage.
    1957 25 Mar Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend passes away in Dublin, Ireland. (b.14 June, 1896) [BBD226, BW02-03p169]
    • For his obituary see BW13:841–846.
    • See also David Hofman's biography, George Townshend.
    • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
    • /ul>
    Dublin; Ireland Hand of the Cause; George Townshend; In Memoriam; Appointment Hand - First Contingent
    1957 27 Mar Agnes Alexander is appointed a Hand of the Cause of God on the passing of Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend. [GBF112; MBW174; PP255] Agnes Alexander; Hand of the Cause; George Townshend
    1957 c. Apr - 1958 Apr The first Tuareg to become a Bahá’í enrols in Rabat, Morocco. Rabat; Morocco first Tuareg Bahá’í
    1957 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that the Faith has been established in 251 countries, that there are more than a thousand local spiritual assemblies, that Bahá’ís live in more than 4,200 localities, and that every territory mentioned in the Tablets of the Divine Plan has been opened to the Faith. Bahá’í literature has been translated into 230 languages. [MBW105–6] LSA
    1957 Apr Shoghi Effendi announces that the Treasury Department of Israel has issued an expropriation order for the remaining property held by Covenant-breakers at Bahjí, mainly the dilapidated building north of the mansion. [MBW109] ‘Akká Bahji; Covenant-breakers
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Benelux Countries is formed with its seat in Brussels, Belgium. [BW13:274]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
    Brussels; Belgium NSA first NSA Benelux Countries
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly for the Iberian Peninsula is formed with its seat in Madrid, Spain. [BW13:274] Madrid; Spain NSA first NSA Iberian Peninsula
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Mexico and the Republics of Central America is formed at Panama City, Panama. [BW13:257] Panama City; Panama NSA first NSA Mexico and the Republics of Central America
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia is formed at Buenos Aires, Argentina. [BW13:257] Buenos Aires; Argentina NSA first NSA Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela is formed at Lima, Peru. [BW13:257] Lima; Peru NSA first NSA Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Greater Antilles is formed with its seat in Kingston, Jamaica. [BW13:257] Kingston; Jamaica NSA first NSA Greater Antilles
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia is formed with its seat in Tokyo, Japan. [BW13:304]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Japan, Korea, Formosa, Macau, Hong Kong, Hainan Island and Sakhalin Island.
    Tokyo; Japan NSA first NSA North East Asia
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of South East Asia is formed with its seat in Djakarta. [BW13:302]
    • Its area of jurisdiction is Borneo, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya, Sarawak, Siam, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Philippines, Dutch New Guinea, Mentawei Islands, Cocos Islands, Portuguese Timor and Brunei.
    Djakarta NSA first NSA South East Asia
    1957 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Pakistan is formed. Pakistan NSA first NSA Pakistan
    1957 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of New Zealand is formed. New Zealand NSA first NSA New Zealand
    1957 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska is formed and incorporated immediately upon formation.
    • This is the first time a political entity (i.e. the United States) is subdivided to form a national spiritual assembly. [BW13:270]
    Alaska; United States NSA; First National Spiritual Assemblies first NSA Alaska; first time a political entity subdivided to form NSA
    1957 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Laos has already been formed in Vientiane. Vientiane; Laos LSA first LSA Laos
    1957 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Brunei has already been formed. [BW 13:302] Brunei LSA first LSA Brunei
    1957 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Cape Verde is formed in Praia. Praia; Cape Verde LSA first LSA Cape Verde
    1957 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Nyasaland is formed at Lilongwe. Lilongwe; Nyasaland LSA first LSA Nyasaland
    1957 Ridván The International Bahá’í Archives is completed. [DH169; GBF63–4; PP264–5]
    • For details of its construction and photographs see BW13:403–33.
    Haifa International Baha’i Archives
    1957 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of Scandinavia and Finland is formed with its seat in Stockholm, Sweden. [BW13:274] Stockholm; Sweden NSA first NSA Scandinavia and Finland
    1957 Ridván The formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canberra, the last capital city in Australia for form. Canberra; Australia LSA first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canberra find reference
    1957 May Pouva Murday of Mauritius arrives in the Chagos Archipelago and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. Chagos Archipelago Pouva Murday; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1957 7 May Shoghi Effendi sends a fragment of the plaster from the room of the Báb in the Fortress of Máh-Kú to Australia to be set in the foundations of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. [LANZ134; SBR172] Australia Mashriqu’l-Adhkár; Fortress of Máh-Kú
    1957 31 May The Supreme Court of Israel finds in their judgement against the Covenant-Breakers resulting in their removal from the properties in Bahjí. Bahji Bahji; Covenant-breakers find reference
    1957 Jun The Covenant-breakers completely abandon Bahjí. [CB367–9; DH215; MBW120–2; PP233–4] ‘Akká Bahji; Covenant-breakers
    1957 4 Jun Shoghi Effendi adds protection of the Cause to the duties of the Hands of the Cause. [BBRSM127; CB380; MBW122–3] Haifa Hand of the Cause
    1957 8 – 21 Jun Hokkaido Island is opened to the Faith by Rouhollah Mumtazi and Gekie Nakajima with the enrolment of new believers Kinkichi Shimatani and Yoshiro Sasaki of Sapporo, Japan. Hokkaido Island; Japan first Bahá'í on Hokkaido Island
    1957 Jul Margaret Bates and her daughter Jean Frankel of the United States arrive in the Nicobar Islands and are named Knights of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:454; PH63] Nicobar Islands Margaret Bates; Jean Frankel; Knight of Baha’u’llah
    1957 6 Sep Shoghi Effendi announces ‘the complete evacuation of the remnant of Covenant-breakers and the transfer of all their belongings from the precincts of the Most Holy Shrine’. [MBW124]
    • See VSE166 for Audrey Robarts' observation of the Covenant-breakers at Bahjí during her pilgrimage in 1955.
    ‘Akka Bahji; Covenant-breakers; Bahaullah, Shrine of
    1957 28 - 30 Oct First Bahá'í Summer School held in Taiwan. Taiwan Summer School first Bahá'í Summer School held in Taiwan find reference
    1957 Oct The third contingent of Hands of the Cause of God is appointed: Enoch Olinga, William Sears, John Robarts, Hasan Balyuzi, John Ferraby, Collis Featherstone, Rahmatu’lláh Muhájir and Abu’l-Qásim Faizí. [GBF111; MBW127; PP254, 442; SS47]
    • See TG160 for the story of how Enoch Olinga reacted to the news of being appointed a Hand of the Cause of God
    Haifa Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Enoch Olinga; William Sears; John Robarts; Hasan Balyuzi; John Ferraby; Collis Featherstone; Rahmatullah Muhajir; Abul-Qasim Faizi
    1957 Oct Shoghi Effendi designates the Hands of the Cause the ‘Chief Stewards of Bahá’u’lláh’s embryonic World commonwealth’. [MBW127] Haifa Hand of the Cause
    1957 Oct Shoghi Effendi calls for the convocation of a series of Intercontinental Conferences to be held successively in Kampala, Uganda; Sydney, Australia; Chicago, United States; Frankfurt, Germany; and Djakarta, Indonesia. [BW13:311–12; MBW125] Haifa
    1957 Oct Shoghi Effendi announces the appointment of a second Auxiliary Board responsible for the protection of the Faith. [MBW127–128; PP442] Haifa Auxiliary Board Members and assistants
    1957 4 Nov Shoghi Effendi passes away in London of coronary thrombosis after a bout of Asian influenza. [CB377; PP446]
    • He was in London to purchase some furniture to complete the interior of the International Archives Building. [PP445]
    • For a tribute to Shoghi Effendi written by Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum see BW13:58–226.]
    • See also Rabbání, The Guardian Of The Bahá’í Faith and The Priceless Pearl.
    London; United Kingdom Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; International Archives Building; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; - Basic timeline
    1957 9 Nov The funeral of Shoghi Effendi takes place in the Great Northern Cemetery, London. [BW13:222; PP448]
    • See BW13:222 for details of the funeral service.
    • See BW13:222–5 and PP449–50 for a description of the funeral.
    London Shoghi Effendi
    1957 10 Nov The Hands of the Cause meet in London. [TG157]
    • See SDSC191-195 and SDSC430 note 8 for excerpts from the transcript of the talk recorded in shorthand by Rose M Wade and given by Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum to the gathered Hands and other friends.
    London; United Kingdom Hands of the Cause; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
    1957 15 Nov Hands of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins and Leroy Ioas, accompanied by Hand of the Cause Ugo Giachery, enter the apartment of Shoghi Effendi and seal with tape and wax the safe where his important documents were kept as well as the drawers to his desk. [BW13:341]
    • The keys to the safe are placed in an envelope, which is sealed and signed by the five Hands and then placed in the safe of Leroy Ioas. BW13:341]
    Haifa Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Leroy Ioas; Ugo Giachery
    1957 18–25 Nov The first conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. Twenty-three Hands were present. [BBRSM128; DH215; MC8–11, TG158]
    • This is the first meeting of the Hands of the Cause as a group.
    • For a personal account of the Conclave by Hand of the Cause Zikrullah Khadem. see ZK119.
    • For the nature of the six Conclaves see MC9–10, 12.
    ‘Akká Bahji; Hand of the Cause; Zikrullah Khadem
    1957 18 Nov The Hands of the Cause conduct a memorial meeting for Shoghi Effendi in the Haram-i-Aqdas. [BW13:341; MC35] ‘Akká Hand of the Cause; Haram-i-Aqdas
    1957 19 Nov Nine Hands of the Cause are chosen by Rúhíyyih Khánum to examine Shoghi Effendi’s apartment. [BW 13:341]
    • These are the five members of the International Bahá’í Council (Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Ugo Giachery and Leroy Ioas), an Afnán (Hasan Balyuzi), a representative of the Hands of the Western Hemisphere (Horace Holley), a representative of the Hands of the African continent (Músá Banání) and the Trustee of the Huqúqu’lláh (‘Alí Muhammad Varqá). [BW13:341]
    • After seeing that the seals are intact, the Hands examine the contents of Shoghi Effendi’s safe and desk. [BW13:341]
    • The nine Hands sign a document testifying that no Will or Testament of any nature executed by Shoghi Effendi has been found. This is reported to the entire body of Hands assembled in the Mansion of Bahjí. [BW13:341]
    • See CB378–9 for an explanation of why Shoghi Effendi left no Will.
    Haifa; Bahji Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; International Bahai Council; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Ugo Giachery; Leroy Ioas; Hasan Balyuzi; Horace Holley; Musa Banani; Ali-Muhammad Varqa
    1957 25 Nov A proclamation is issued stating that Shoghi Effendi left no heir and made no appointment of another Guardian. [BW13:341–5; MC25–30]
    • See LOG310 for an explanation of the various meanings of the word ‘Guardianship’.
    • See CB388–9 for a discussion of the continuation of the institution of the Guardianship.
    Haifa Guardianship
    1957 25 Nov Nine Hands are chosen to serve as Custodians of the Faith residing in the Holy Land. [BBD57; BW13:342; DH215]
    • The Hands residing in the Holy Land are established as a legal body under the title ‘The Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith’.
    • The Hands chosen as first Custodians are Rúhíyyih Khánum, Mason Remey, Amelia Collins, Leroy Ioas, Hasan Balyuzi, ‘Alí Akbar Furútan, Jalál Kházeh, Paul Haney and Adelbert Mühlschlegel. [BW13:345–6; MC40–1]
    Haifa Shoghi Effendi, Passing of; Hands of the Cause; Custodians; Ruhiyyih Khanum; Charles Mason Remey; Amelia Collins; Leroy Ioas; Hasan Balyuzi; Ali Akbar Furutan; Jalal Khazeh; Paul Haney; Adelbert Muhlschlegel
    1957 Nov-1963 Apr The six year ministry of the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land, or ‘Custodians’. [BW16:90; WG45–6]
    • This period is known as the ‘interregnum’. [BBD 120]
    • See BW14:467 for a summary of the work of the Hands of the Cause during this period.
    • The International Bahá’í Council continues to perform its duties at the World Centre under the direction of the Custodians. [BBD118]
    • See also The Ministry of The Custodians 1957–1963.
    Haifa Hands of the Cause; Custodians; International Bahai Council
    1957 Dec The first summer school in Malaysia is held at Malacca. Malacca; Malaysia first summer school in Malaysia
    1957 2 Dec On the advice of their lawyer, Dr Abraham Weinshall, the Custodians ask each National and Regional Assembly to send a letter recognizing them as the supreme body in the Cause. [MC40–1] Haifa NSA
    1957 2 Dec The title to the Shrine of the Báb, the Mansion of Bahjí, and all other buildings and lands which the Covenant-Breakers had owned were transferred to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. BWC Covenant-breakers; Ownership find reference
    1957 25 Dec The Hands of the Cause announce the destruction of the long, two-storey house previously occupied by Covenant-breakers which was located near the garden wall of the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh and of which Shoghi Effendi had acquired legal possession shortly before his passing. [MC11, 51]
    • The rubble is used to complete the terraces begun by Shoghi Effendi north of the mansion and completing the northern gardens planned by him.
    ‘Akka Bahji; Covenant-breakers
    1958 The first local spiritual assembly of Nepal is formed in Kathmandu.

    Prof. Anil Sarwal says it was 1960-1961

    The first Local Spiritual Assembly was established in the capital city Kathmandu in 1961. [Yellow Place]

    Kathmandu; Nepal LSA first LSA Nepal
    1958 The first Aleut to become a Bahá’í, Vassa Lekanoff, enrols in Unalaska. Unalaska; Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area first Aleut Bahá’í
    1958 1 Jan The passing of Lillian Stevens, a founding member of the first Torquay Spiritual Assembly in 1938. Torquay Lillian Stevens; In Memoriam find reference
    1958 23–28 Jan The first Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Kampala, Uganda. [BW13:317]
    • Hand of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by Dr Lutfu’lláh Hakím.
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC56–60.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:317.
    Kampala; Uganda Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Lutfullah Hakim; Bahai conferences first Intercontinental Conference at the mid-point of Crusade in Kampala
    1958 26 Jan The foundation stone of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of Africa is laid by Hands of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and Músá Banání. [BW13:317] Kampala; Uganda Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Foundation stones; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Musa Banani first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of Africa
    1958 21–24 Mar The second Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Sydney, Australia. [BW13:319]
    • Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative and who is the architect of the Mother Temple of Australasia, attends, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:317]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC72–5.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:319–21.
    Sydney; Australia Hand of the Cause; Charles Mason Remey; Mother Temple; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar; Intercontinental Conference; Conference
    1958 22 Mar The foundation stone of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Antipodes is laid by Hands of the Cause Charles Mason Remey and Clara Dunn. [BW13:321] Sydney; Australia Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Charles Mason Remey; Clara Dunn; Foundation stones first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Antipodes
    1958 20 Apr Mírzá Ahmad (Esphahani) Sohrab, the Covenant-breaker who rebelled against Shoghi Effendi, dies. [MC90]
    • For the story of his defection from the Faith see CB343–7.
    • He is burried in the Saint Paul Episcopal Church Cemetery, Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York.
    Glen Cove; Nassau County; New York Ahmad Sohrab; Covenant-breakers; New History Society
    1958 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in the Kingdom of Tonga is formed at Nuku’alofa. Nuku’alofa; Kingdom of Tonga LSA first LSA Kingdom of Tonga
    1958 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of Macau is formed. Macau LSA first LSA Macau
    1958 26 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of France is formed.
    • For the message of the Custodians to the French National Convention see MC86–9.
    France NSA first NSA France
    1958 May The first local spiritual assembly in Papua New Guinea is formed in Madina Village, in New Ireland.
    • This is the first all-indigenous local spiritual assembly in the South Pacific.
    Madina Village; New Ireland LSA first LSA Papua New Guinea; first all-indigenous LSA in South Pacific
    1958 2–4 May The third Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Wilmette, Illinois. [BW13:323]
    • Hand of the Cause Dr Ugo Giachery, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:323]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC90–8.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:323–5.
    Wilmette; Illinois Hand of the Cause; Ugo Giachery; Intercontinental Conference; Conference
    1958 12 Jun The Custodians release the ‘Statement regarding the Guardianship’, explaining that Shoghi Effendi had left no heir, that only he could appoint a second Guardian and that the Bahá’ís must dismiss all hopeful expectation that a Will appointing a second Guardian will be found. [MC100-2] Haifa Guardianship
    1958 26 Jun Paul Adams, from Reading, England, having obtained permission to accompany Svalbard’s chief hunter on a fishing tour in the summer and to spend the winter with him in Sassen Fjord, arrives Spitzbergen and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:456]
    • See also Adams, Arctic Island Hunter.
    Spitzbergen Paul Adams; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1958 25–29 Jul The fourth Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Frankfurt, Germany. [BW13:327]
    • Amelia Collins, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by ten other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:327]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC102–6.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:327–9.
    Frankfurt; German Amelia Collins; Hand of the Cause; Intercontinental Conference; Conference
    1958 14 Sep c. A week before the fifth Intercontinental conference is due to convene in Djakarta, Indonesia, the government withdraws the permit to hold the conference. [BW13:331]
    • For the story of why the permit was revoked see DM83–5.
    • The cancellation of the conference in Djakarta begins a period of severe repression of the Faith in Indonesia which eventually leads to the Faith being banned in 1962. [DM85, 88]
    Indonesia religious persecution
    1958 21 Sep Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas arrives in Indonesia and is plunged into negotiations regarding the holding of the conference. He meets with local Bahá’ís and anoints them with attar of roses as they pass to the room to view the portrait of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:331–2] Indonesia religious persecution; Hand of the Cause; Leroy Ioas
    1958 23 Sep Chartered planes take the conference delegates to Singapore. Singapore
    1958 27 – 29 Sep The fifth Intercontinental Conference held at the mid-point of the Crusade convenes in Singapore. [BW13:331]
    • Hand of the Cause Leroy Ioas, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attends, accompanied by eight other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:331–2]
    • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC111–6.
    • For a report of the conference see BW13:331–2.
    Singapore Hand of the Cause; Leroy Ioas; Intercontinental Conference; Conference
    1958 1 Nov The monument marking Shoghi Effendi’s resting place is completed. [MC117]
    • Dust from the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh is placed in the foundations. [MC117]
    • For a description of the resting place see BBD194–5 and MC135–6.
    • The monument is paid for from a Memorial Fund established after Shoghi Effendi’s passing. Money in excess of the amount required is spent on the teaching work and on the construction of the Temples. [MC132]
    • Marble for the monument came from Chiampo, Italy as for the Archives Building, the Shine of the Báb, the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, The Terraces project, the Monument Gardens and the Houses of Worship in India and Samoa. [BWNS1223]
    London Shoghi Effendi; Shrine of Baha’u’llah
    1958 21–28 Nov The Second Conclave of the Hands of the Cause convenes at Bahjí. [BW13:347–8; MC118]
    • It is attended by 25 of the 27 Hands of the Cause. [BW13:347; MC118]
    • The Hands of the Cause call for the election of the Universal House of Justice at the time of the Most Great Jubilee in 1963. BBRSM129; BW13:351; MC122]
    ‘Akká Bahá'í; Hand of the Cause; Most Great Jubilee
    1959 The mansion at Mazra‘ih is renovated. [MC219] ‘Akka Mazraih; Bahaullah, Houses of; Restoration
    1959 The first Eskimo in Alaska to become a Bahá’í, William Wiloya, enrols in Nome. Nome; Alaska; United States First Bahais by country or area; Eskimos first Eskimo Bahá’í Alaska
    1959 The first contacts with the Aboriginal people were made in Kampong Jus in Malacca by Saurajen, as reported at a special meeting held with Hand of the Cause of God, Dr. Muhajir in Malacca on 29 December 1957. [Jewel Among Nations, Splendour Publications, Author A. Manisegaran. Pages 221-222] Kampung Jus; Malacca; Malaysia Rahmatullah Muhajir; Saurajen; Aboriginal people; Firsts, Other first contact with aboriginal population of Malayan peninsula
    1959 Bahá’í communities in the United States begin the observation of World Peace Day to call attention to the need for world peace. [BBD175]
    • This was replaced in 1985 by the observance of the UN International Day of Peace, which occurs on the third Tuesday in September. [BBD175]
    United States World Peace Day; United Nations; International Day of Peace; Peace
    1959 The House of ‘Abbúd is renovated and restored. [MC219] ‘Akka House of Abbud; Bahaullah, Houses of; Restoration
    1959 1 Feb The ‘first Dependency of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Wilmette’, the Bahá’í Home for the Aged, opens. [BW13:747]
    • For the history of its building see BW13:743–8.
    • For pictures see BW13:742, 744–7.
    Wilmette Bahá’í Home for the Aged first Dependency the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár Wilmette’
    1959 Mar A number of Bahá’ís, members of the local spiritual assembly, are arrested in Ankara, Turkey. [MC306]
    • The incident receives wide coverage in the press and the Bahá’ís are eventually released from prison. [MC306]
    • A court case is subsequently brought against the Bahá’ís by the public prosecutor, who claims that the Faith is a ‘Tarighat’, a sect forbidden by the law of the land, and lengthy litigation follows. [MC306–7]
    Ankara; Turkey religious persecution; LSA
    1959 10 Apr Representatives of the Bahá’í International Community present to the President of the Human Rights Commission, Ambassador Gunewardene of Ceylon, a statement endorsing the Genocide Convention. [BW13:791–4] New York BIC; Human Rights Commission; Genocide Convention
    1959 Ridván Separate national spiritual assemblies are formed for Germany and Austria. [BBRSM186]
    • For the letter of the Custodians to the national convention of Austria see MC158–60.
    Austria NSA first NSA Austria
    1959 Ridván Separate national spiritual assemblies are formed for India and Burma.
    • For the letter of the Custodians to the national convention of Burma see MC155–7.
    Burma NSA first NSA Burma
    1959 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Turkey is formed.
    • For the letter of the Custodians to the national convention see MC148–51.
    Turkey NSA first NSA Turkey
    1959 Ridván The Regional Spiritual Assembly of the South Pacific Islands is formed with its seat in Suva, Fiji.
    • Its area of jurisdiction comprises ten island groups: Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. [BW13:308]
    • For the letter of the Custodians to the national convention see MC151–5.
    Suva; Fiji NSA first NSA South Pacific Islands
    1959 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Grenada is formed in St George’s Parish. St George’s Parish; Grenada LSA first LSA Grenada
    1959 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Cambodia is formed in Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh; Cambodia LSA first LSA Cambodia
    1959 Ridván The Custodians announce that the number of national and regional spiritual assemblies has risen to 31, the Faith is established in 255 countries, Bahá’ís live in over 5,200 localities and have formed nearly 1,275 local spiritual assemblies, and Bahá’í literature has been translated into 261 languages. [MC137–8] Haifa Custodians
    1959 Ridván The Custodians announce that the resting place of the remains of the father of Bahá’u’lláh has been identified. [MC144] Haifa
    1959 2 Jun The first Greek woman to become a Bahá’í, Ketty Antoniou, enrols in Greece. Greece Ketty Antoniou first Greek Bahá'í woman
    1959 14 Jun The Hands of the Cause announce that the remains of the cousin of the Báb have been identified and have been transferred to a cemetery. [MC161] Haifa Hand of the Cause
    1959 18 Aug Cheong Siu Choi (John Z. T. Chang), the Chinese headmaster of the Leng Nam Middle School and a highly respected leader in Macau, arrives with his family on Hainan Island and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:452]
    • PH75 says this was August 1958.
    Hainan Island Cheong Siu Choi; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
    1959 19 Oct The Hands of the Cause announce that the remains of the father of Bahá’u’lláh, Mírzá Buzurg, have been reinterred in the Bahá’í burial ground in the vicinity of the Most Great House in Baghdád. [MC165] Baghdad; Iraq House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); Mirza Buzurg
    1959 23 Oct - 1 Nov The third Conclave of the Hands of the Cause of God is convened at Bahjí. [BW13:351; MC161–2]
    • For the agenda of the meeting see MC163–4.
    • Charles Mason Remey unsuccessfully attempts to convince his fellow Hands that the Guardianship should continue. [BBRSM130; MC217]
    ‘Akka Bahji; Hands of the Cause; Charles Mason Remey; Guardianship; Covenant-breakers
    1959 4 Nov The Hands of the Cause issue a message from their third Conclave. [MC166–70]
    • The date for the election of the Universal House of Justice is fixed at Ridván 1963. [MC166]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1961 of 21 national spiritual assemblies in Latin America. [MC167–8]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1962 of 11 national spiritual assemblies in Europe. [MC168]
    • They call for the election at Ridván 1961 of the International Bahá’í Council by postal ballot of the members of the national and regional spiritual assemblies constituted at Ridván 1960. [MC168]
    • The name of Hand of the Cause Charles Mason Remey is missing from the list of signatories to this letter. [MC170]
    ‘Akka Hands of the Cause; Universal House of Justice, Election of; International Bahai Council; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers
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