Just over fifty years ago,
on 2 May 1937, one hundred delegates and observers attending the
national Bahá'í convention in Sydney, travelled down the
winding Mittagong Road to the small village of Yerrinbool. A
ceremony was held, to coincide with convention, to officially
open the property which had been bought by Stanley and Mariette
Bolton, for the purpose of holding Bahá'í "summer
Since that opening
ceremony, the Yerrinbool Bahá'í School has been gradually
expanded, its facilities upgraded, and its activities both
diversified and multiplied. The participants in activities at the
Yerrinbool School over the fifty years would number several
thousands, and the memories of their time spent there are even
greater in number. The changes in the Australian Bahá'í
community in half a century have been vast, and the story of the
Yerrinbool School reflects some of these changes. Thus it would
seem timely to look back to the beginnings of the Yerrinbool
School, to recall some of the memorable events, and to celebrate
the progress that has been made.
In 1934, the year the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Australia and New
Zealand was established, the Australian Bahá'ís numbered about
one hundred, and only two Local Spiritual Assemblies existed in
Australia - Sydney and Adelaide - while a third Assembly had been
established in Auckland, New Zealand. The distances across the
Australian continent (and the Tasman Sea) were so vast, that only
the few Bahá'ís who were able to travel to the annual
convention had the opportunity of meeting each other personally.
The 'tyranny of distance', which historians consider to be a
feature of Australia's past was no stranger to the early
At the 1937 opening
ceremony, chaired by Stanley Bolton Snr, prayers were read,
addresses were given, trees were planted, and tea was served. The
local Bahá'í communities of Australia and New Zealand had been
notified of the event, and invited to each send a representative.
A brief report of the official opening appeared in Bahá'í News
for February 1938. The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, welcomed news of
the formation of Australia's first summer school, and urged the
Bahá'ís, in a letter addressed to Hyde Dunn, "to help by
every means in their power to further the interests of that
institution". If maintained and developed, Shoghi Effendi
pointed out, it would be "of invaluable teaching help to the
In the first years, summer
school programs were arranged by a committee appointed by the
Sydney Local Spiritual Assembly. It was decided that summer
schools be held in the December-January period, and that the
first be scheduled for 8 - 23 January 1938. The committee met in
the Bahá'í Centre, Margaret Street, Sydney, and at other times
at Dr Bolton's chiropractic clinic, Martin Place. At the time the
first schools were held, "Bolton Place" did not have
the various buildings and facilities that exist today. Sessions
were held in the Yerrinbool Community Hall, (on the corner of
Everest Street and Sunrise Road) which had been built with
voluntary labour, and completed so as to coincide with the summer
school opening. Some participants were accommodated in the Bolton
residence, while others billeted with various Yerrinbool
Clara and Hyde Dunn, who
had brought the Bahá'í teachings to Australia in 1920, were
both present at the first school, in January 1938. Their topics
were " Bahá'í Administration" and
"Victory". In addition, the Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá were
studied, and members of the National Spiritual Assembly -
Sydney's Oswald Whitaker, Auckland's Emily Axford, and Adelaide's
Robert Brown and Hilda Brooks - each spoke briefly. Several
friends of the Bahá'ís were also invited to address the
occasion: Mrs Laura Gapp, who had travelled to Vancouver, Canada,
as a delegate to the Pan-Pacific Conference, spoke on
"Unity"; and Mrs Annie Dains, from Bowral, addressed as
her subject "The great hunger satisfied". The local
newspaper, the Mittagong Star, carried advertisements for
the first public meeting held at Bolton Place, addressed by
Adelaide's Miss Dorothy Dugdale.
The sudden increase in
activity in the region prompted several local residents to
enquire about the Bahá'í Faith, and evening sessions were
hastily arranged for them (the fruit picking season kept them
busy on their farms during the daylight hours). The first summer
school was considered a resounding success, and full reports
appeared in the Haifa Newsletter, Bahá'í News,
and the Australian Bahá'í Quarterly. Many of Australia's
first Bahá'ís had now met each other in person for the first
time. Gretta Lamprill from Hobart had corresponded with Maysie
Almond in Adelaide for twelve years before the two women met in
person at this historic first school.
The progress of the
Yerrinbool school was observed, guided and encouraged by Shoghi
Effendi. He had cabled to the participants at the first summer
CONGRATULATIONS LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS SUCCESS
Horace Holley, secretary
of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United
States and Canada wrote to the Sydney Assembly, congratulating
its members for the "important step" which had been
taken by the Australian community, and offering best wishes for
the future development of the school.
Summer schools continued
to be held annually, despite the great difficulties to be faced
during the years of the second world war. Each school sent a
cable of greeting to Shoghi Effendi, and eagerly awaited his
reply. He urged participants of the second summer school, in
January 1939, to:
TEACHINGS DEEPEN SPIRIT BAHA'I FELLOWSHIP EXTEND SCOPE
Cables were also received
from Bahá'ís in various distant places who were unable to
attend: Auckland, Perth, Melbourne, Goldsborough, Adelaide, and
Soon after the first
summer schools were held, some local residents became interested
in the Bahá'í teachings. Regular study classes began in the
home of Mr and Mrs Maginnis in September 1940. On alternate
Wednesday nights, either Dr or Mrs Bolton (and sometimes both)
travelled to Yerrinbool from Sydney. Whenever possible they
brought other Bahá'ís with them, and in the first year the
Yerrinbool group met Hilda Brooks (secretary of the National
Spiritual Assembly), Dawn Ryan, Glad Pollard, Ostwald Whitaker,
Clara Dunn, Rose Hawthorne, and Gretta Lamprill. In August 1943,
the Boltons moved from Sydney to become part of the Yerrinbool
The Yerrinbool Bahá'ís
looked forward to the annual influx of visitors, sometimes
hosting sessions in their homes, and invariably providing
accommodation for summer school attendants. Other Yerrinbool
residents also enjoyed the event. In the 1940s members of the
Yerrinbool Social Club helped organize picnics and sports days,
as part of the summer school program. Mr Whitely, the Yerrinbool
Station-master, was happy to help the planning, and Mr Edson, the
secretary of the Social Club, "deemed it an honour" to
be on the children's sports committee.
At the fifth school,
January 1942, the Yerrinbool residents shared in a "motion
picture night" (where Stanley Bolton showed film of the
North American House of Worship under construction); a musical
evening (where Mrs Thompson thrilled with her beautiful singing
voice); and even a dance at the local hall. So many invitations
had been issued, remarked Jean Hutchinson-Smith, that Mr Duncan's
post office would be "doing big business". In the years
that followed, Yerrinbool residents continued contributing to the
success of the schools. Several women gained temporary employment
as cooks, and even Mr Scott, the local school-master, assisted
with the loan of a blackboard!
The Bahá'í community of
Yerrinbool expanded in 1947 with the transfer in of the Johannson
family from Adelaide, and Dr Jack Bean (brother of the war
historian C.E.W. Bean), from Goulburn. A Local Spiritual Assembly
was established in 1948, and Stanley and Mariette Bolton were
elected as the community's delegates to annual convention.
Several local papers carried news of the Yerrinbool Bahá'ís,
and of activities held at the school. The Mittagong Star
carried regular reports, and in 1943 published a lively exchange
of letters to the editor between two local clergymen, and their
Bahá'í respondents. In 1946, after the Bahá'ís had tried for
ten years, the Four Mails, a Bowral paper, carried a
Bahá'í news item, and at this time, too, the Picton Post
printed Bahá'í articles.
Over a period of many
years, the Yerrinbool school property has been expanded, and
improved. Various necessary buildings have been constructed, and
adjoining blocks of land have been acquired, to enlarge the size
of the school. The Boltons had first bought three and a half
acres in 1936. They had travelled to Yerrinbool to visit their
friends, the Brocklehursts, and fallen in love with the adjacent
land, which happened to be for sale at the time. The first
building constructed was the residence, for which Hyde Dunn laid
the foundation stone on 11 October 1936. The Canadian Bahá'í
(later appointed one of the Hands of the Cause) Siegfried
Schopflocher, suggested when visiting the property, that it be
named "Bolton Place".
The Hyde Dunn Memorial
Hall was opened at the 1943 summer school. The Boltons had wished
to name it in memory of Hyde Dunn, as it was he who had
introduced them to the Bahá'í teachings. They met especially
with Clara Dunn to consult on the wording of a plaque placed
inside the hall. Clara Dunn pronounced the Hall open, and led the
visitors inside for the first time. Mr Bolton read telegrams from
inter-state Bahá'ís, including nine who were prevented from
attending by war-time travel restrictions. Clara Dunn spoke of
the "spiritual highlights" of her life in America,
Palestine (she had been on pilgrimage in 1932) and Australia.
Shortly after, the "Hilda Gilbert" cabin was
constructed, and dedicated by Clara Dunn at the June 1943 winter
school. The cabin, capable of accommodating four people, was
named after the Sydney Bahá'í, a member of the original summer
A NATIONAL INSTITUTION
Shoghi Effendi's advice to
the National Spiritual Assembly (in December 1941) that, while
the affairs of the summer school could be overseen by a committee
of a Local Spiritual Assembly, they were "national in
character and not purely local", led the National Assembly,
in 1943, to shift responsibility for the summer school from a
committee of the Sydney Local Assembly to a committee of the
National Assembly. The importance of the summer school as a
national institution was gradually being recognised.
In 1946, at a time when
the school could accommodate twenty-two residents, the Boltons
acquired from Mr Mason, "Brockwood", the house where
they had stayed during their first visit to Yerrinbool. It was
subsequently known as "the annex", and, for the first
time, the school had proper kitchen and dining facilities.
Furniture for the annex was supplied by the Boltons, and the
various kitchen utensils were provided by the Sydney and
Carringbah (Sutherland) Bahá'ís. The annex was officially
opened by Clara Dunn at the January 1947 summer school, but
post-war rationing made it difficult to complete the
provisioning: early in 1948 an application for 96 coupons to
purchase tea towelling and sheeting was granted by the Rationing
Commission, allowing the school committee to make 24 tea towels
and 8 table cloths!
By 1948, the school
committee was expecting as many as fifty residents at the next
summer school, and accommodation continued to be a challenge. Dr
Bean donated to the school a caravan that he had earlier acquired
from the Johannson family. In 1949 Albert Styles donated to the
school a block of land, and shortly after, Miss Thelma Perks
donated a block of about nine acres. These blocks, together with
the land purchased by the Boltons, Bolton Place, and the land
behind it, meant that the school now occupied five acres, with
eleven acres on the opposite side of Sierra St remaining to be
utilised at a later date.
HOW MANY SCHOOLS?
Even though summer school
dates were well publicised among the Australian and New Zealand
communities, often the distances to be covered, and the travel
costs involved, prevented many Bahá'ís from attending. For at
least the first ten years, summer schools received cables from
distant communities whose members could not attend. The New
Zealand Bahá'ís, of course, were most disadvantaged, and so
began, as early as 1940, to hold their own schools. The New
Zealand Bahá'ís bought their own school property in 1949.
During the years of the
second world war, Adelaide Bahá'ís felt lucky if they could
obtain the special permits required for inter-state train travel.
Bertha and Joe Dobbins, together with Mrs Thompson and Mrs
Beaumont, travelled from Adelaide to Yerrinbool to meet the
eastern-state Bahá'ís for the first time, in January 1942. The
following year, nine Bahá'ís were prevented by travel
restrictions from attending the opening ceremony of the Hyde Dunn
Memorial Hall. A lucky few - Eloise Greenlaw and Kit Crowder from
Hobart, Bertha and Joe Dobbins and Grace Thompson from Adelaide -
were able to attend once the school committee wrote to the
"Land Transport Board" in Melbourne, certifying that
they were all delegates from their states, to the summer school.
Shoghi Effendi had given
praise to the Bolton's offer of the Yerrinbool property to the
National Spiritual Assembly, but cautioned that the community,
subject to the judgements of the National body, should be
"left free to select any spot that will prove most
convenient for the majority of their summer schools." In a
subsequent communication Shoghi Effendi expressed the hope that
the summer school would increasingly attract students of the
Faith, "anxious to deepen their knowledge of its wonderful
Eventually, and partly
because of the great difficulties that had been encountered in
travelling to the Yerrinbool school, inter-state communities
wished to hold their own summer schools, and even to purchase
their own properties. The Adelaide Bahá'ís had conducted a
successful winter school in 1941, attended by Stanley and
Mariette Bolton, and not long after, Adelaide Local Spiritual
Assembly took the initiative, and purchased a property at Belair,
in the Adelaide Hills.
Although the National
Assembly had initially approved purchase of the property, Shoghi
Effendi instructed otherwise. The Australian community, he stated
emphatically, required at the time only one summer school. The
Guardian's secretary wrote:
He does not
consider it either wise or necessary at the present time
to have more than one Bahá'í summer school in
Australia, and as Yerrinbool is equipped to accommodate
the friends on Bahá'í property, so to speak, he would
suggest that Yerrinbool continue to be used as the
Australian Bahá'í Summer School...He has also done the
same thing in America - limited the number of Summer
Schools - as the friends in their enthusiasm to
inaugurate new institutions wanted to have very many
Summer Schools which would have not only weakened,
instead of strengthening, the older schools, but also
would have dissipated the energy of the friends.
While some Adelaide
Bahá'ís hoped for a summer school in South Australia, others were
happy to make the long trip to Yerrinbool. In January 1947,
Collis and Madge Featherstone attended their first school. Others
attending were Bertha Dobbins, Selma Taylor (Galvin) and Florence
Fitzner, who also returned a year later, in January 1948, to
conduct one of the study classes.
A second issue resolved
with the passage of time was the relationship between Dr and Mrs
Bolton, as individual owners of the school property, and the
summer school, as an institution of the National Assembly. There
can be no doubt that without the ceaseless energies of both
Mariette and Stanley Bolton, the Yerrinbool Bahá'í School would
have neither commenced, nor continued as successfully as it has
done. Their contribution to the development of both the property,
and to the institution of the summer school, was the significant
factor in the continued existence of the school. In addition to
donating the property to the National Assembly, and financing all
of its initial development, the Boltons were active in the
development of school programs, in fostering the Yerrinbool
Bahá'í community, and in establishing cordial relations with
residents (including clergy and professional people) of the
surrounding townships - Picton, Bargo, Mittagong, and Bowral.
Despite such whole-hearted
efforts to establish and consolidate the Yerrinbool School (or
perhaps because of them), differing views developed in the
community as to how the summer school should be administered, and
developed into the future. Such tensions were related to wider
developments in the Australian Bahá'í community, in the years
1944-47, and were attributed by Shoghi Effendi to the
"immaturity...extreme zeal and sincerity" of the
Bahá'í's of the time. His instruction to the National Assembly
was to "not give up Yerrinbool because of any inharmony over
it, but to administer and support it properly and remove the
inharmony..." Furthermore, the National Assembly was advised
to "...appoint a committee for the school, purchase any
extra equipment needed for the comfort and accommodation of the
attendants..." Summer schools in North America had already
emerged following a similar pattern: "they were ...the
property of individual believers who resided on them, but they
are administered by committees appointed by the N.S.A. and which
usually include, out of courtesy and consideration, the
owners". The Boltons had intended that the property remain
legally theirs until their deaths, but a change in property law
in the state of New South Wales made it more expeditious to
transfer the property sooner, than later. Thus legal transfer of
the property, which had begun in 1949, was completed in March
ROOM FOR ALL?
Accommodation at the
Yerrinbool school was one of the most pressing issues facing the
school committee, and the National Assembly. The school committee
required twenty-eight beds for the 1947 summer school, and was
expecting increases to thirty at the coming winter school, and
perhaps as many as fifty at the next summer school! Twenty
attendants at the 1947 winter school (including Clara Dunn)
signed a petition urging the need for "further accommodation
due to the greater number attending" schools, while a second
letter informed the school committee that 56 pounds had been
raised as a contribution toward the erection of a much needed
Evidently the National
Assembly felt that it could not comply with the request to build
a dormitory, and the collected funds were eventually used to
purchase two large tents. Facing an accommodation shortage at the
1948 summer session, the school committee had sought the
assistance of Mrs Vickers of the Yerrinbool Progress Association.
At the 1949 school, seventeen participants met in the Hyde Dunn
Hall to discuss the erection of permanent accommodation. Collis
Featherstone reported to the National Assembly that 152 pounds
had been donated by those present, toward a dormitory fund.
The National Spiritual
Assembly, meeting in Melbourne, acknowledged the accommodation
shortage, and approved expenditure of 200 pounds on a dormitory.
Other urgent needs, however, intervened. Following an appeal from
the Guardian, the National Assembly had redirected the collected
moneys toward completion of the Shrine of the Bab. Several years
later, in 1956, the "Ethel Dawe" cabins were
constructed, and the accommodation level finally increased from
the ceiling of thirty-six occupants that had existed in 1949.
PROGRAMS AND SCHOOL
The task of attracting to
the summer school competent speakers and co-ordinating the best
possible school program has been the challenge confronting school
committees since the time of the first summer school. Initially,
Bahá'ís in the various communities were invited to submit
written papers. If it was not possible to present them
personally, then another would read the paper on their behalf. In
this manner, the New Zealand Bahá'ís Dulcie Burns (Dive) and
Ethel Blundell forwarded papers they had written, as did the
Perth Bahá'ís, although such was little comfort to Annie
Miller, who wrote to the committee, "Alas! Our own funds do
not permit our sending anyone this year. No-one of our little
Assembly are financial enough to afford so long and expensive a
The Hobart Bahá'ís chose
as topics for the 1941 summer school "comparative
religion", "Christian, Muhammadan and Bahá'í marriage
laws", and a study of "The Brilliant Proof".
Florence Fitzner travelled from Adelaide in January 1948 to lead
a study on Shoghi Effendi's "The Rising World
Commonwealth". In the years prior to the passing of Shoghi
Effendi, in 1957, summer schools often took the opportunity to
study his long letters to the Bahá'í world, and his
translations of Bahá'í writings, soon after first receiving
them. Thus, for example, Stanley Bolton conducted a study of
"The Promised Day is Come" in January 1946, and
Katherine Harkus led study of "God Passes By" in the
winter of 1948.
From the early years,
Bahá'í youth contributed much to the success of summer and
winter schools. In the 1940s, many events were organized by the
"Werriwa youth group", established in 1944 when Frank
Wyss and his sister Lilian (now Ala'i), two youth living at
nearby Tahmoor, who became Bahá'ís at the 1944 winter school,
combined with the Yerrinbool youth - Mariette, Antoinette and
Stanley P. Bolton. Following their time spent studying
chiropractic in North America, the school committee looked
forward to these youth returning to Australia with first-hand
knowledge of American summer schools.
Many topics studied in the
1940s remain relevant in the 1980s: "Abdu'l-Bahá, Our
Exemplar", "The importance of Bahá'í
Administration", "a new solution to the economic
problem", "tests", "the abolition of racial
prejudice", "prayer", and many more. In later
years, other program formats were experimented with. One that has
endured is the treatment of one topic or theme by an individual
throughout the course of the summer school. Shoghi Effendi had
suggested that the Australian summer school could be patterned on
the schools which were being conducted in North America. He
further suggested that the sessions be longer, and that, in
addition, a 'winter session' could be held.
One such winter session
which proved to be very successful took place in August-September
1947. A series of public lectures on "The Nine Great
Religions", included two non- Bahá'í speakers, Harold
Morton, a Sydney radio announcer, and Fazel (Frank) Khan, a
Muslim businessman living near Yerrinbool. Harold Morton returned
to Sydney to report on his 2GB radio program "Book
At this very time
a winter school is being held down at Yerrinbool by a
group of people who are adherents of the Bahá'í World
Faith ...it was my good fortune to be invited to deliver
the address during this session, on Buddha ...so a couple
of nights ago I travelled down to Yerrinbool and was
taken to Bolton Place where Bahá'í members were
Several months later,
during the 1948 summer school, Harold Morton interviewed Mariette
Bolton and Arthur Tunks on the same program. Inviting a Muslim to
speak at the Yerrinbool school in the 1940s was a bold deed. A
few years before, newspaper publicity given to the opening of the
Hyde Dunn Memorial Hall had provoked a local clergyman to
describe the Bahá'í Faith as an "outcrop of Islamic Faith
in a nineteenth century Mahdi" and as an
"anti-Christian abberation", to which Stanley W. Bolton
and Hilda Brooks had written articles in reply. The National
Spiritual Assembly had felt that it was premature to include
study of the Quran in school programs. Despite these
reservations, however, Mr Khan had heard of the Bahá'í Faith
from Mariette Bolton, and was prepared to speak on the school
program about his own Islamic Faith:
At the close of
Frank's talk one of the friends asked him could he read
Persian. Frank read Arabic and understood Persian but not
well. He was handed some poems of Tahirih's. He stood
reading and kept repeating, "These are so beautiful!
These are so beautiful!. Tears streamed down his cheeks.
No-one ever got the translations. He was so moved. Mr
Featherstone stayed at the Khans' home that March and was
told by Frank that when he and Bibi arrived home from
that school they fasted for a week, they were so shaken.
Following a year and a
half of close investigation, Frank Khan and his family became
Bahá'ís at the 1949 summer school. The committee cabled to
LOVING GREETINGS 13TH SUMMER SCHOOL COMMENCED WITH MUSLIM FAMILY ACCEPTING FAITH
STOP SUPPLICATING PRAYERS FRUITFUL ACHIEVEMENTS
to which the Guardian
ATTENDANTS NEWLY ENROLLED FAMILY LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS MAY SCHOOL
SESSIONS PROVE LANDMARK PROGRESS FAITH LEND
TREMENDOUS IMPETUS UNFOLDMENT PLAN DEEPEST LOVE SHOGHI
The Khans' acceptance of
the Bahá'í Faith was a momentous and significant event in the
evolution of the Australian Bahá'í community. The Khans were
the first Bahá'ís of Islamic, and of Indian background, to
enter the community. Frank and Bibi, and their children Peter and
Joy (Vohradsky), living nearby to the Yerrinbool school, were
quite soon involved in the planning of school activities.
In 1947, the Australian
community had commenced its first systematic teaching plan. It
was to be six years duration, and so provide a framework for
activities until 1953. The summer school became an occasion to
learn of the progress that the community was making, and of the
requirements of the plan at the time. In 1950, midway through the
six year plan, the school committee described the summer school
just passed as a "consolidating influence in the life of the
Australian Bahá'í community", and "an institution
playing an important role in the six year teaching plan".
Stanley P. Bolton had conducted a study of Bahá'í
Administration, and Meg Degotardi and Elsie Griffith (possibly
the first Perth Bahá'í to attend a summer school) together had
run a course on "The New Civilization".
Not all Bahá'ís felt
able to prepare talks, or lectures, and made their contributions
in other ways. Effie Baker, when asked to prepare a talk for the
1939 summer school exclaimed:
...my dear I've
never attempted such a thing in my life. Afraid like the
countryside in which I am at present residing my brain is
very droughty and to compose a few thoughts into passable
English on paper would amount to almost a miracle for me
- but then again droughts are liable to break any moment
so lets keep cheerful and hopeful in the circumstances...
Marie Dunning, a school
teacher from Qurindi who shared Effie Baker's retiring
personality, hoped to attend the 1949 summer school as
"ex-officio washer-up and President of the Tea-Pot",
We can't all be
lecturers and I like to feel I am contributing something
to the success of the school.
Summer schools, from the
very first held, had been occasions for teaching the Bahá'í
Faith, as much as deepening those who were already Bahá'ís.
People had become Bahá'ís at each of the first eight schools,
the committee recorded proudly in 1945: a further three declared
at the 1948 summer school, and a total of nine declared at the
1949 summer and winter schools. Although expenditure on
"teas and suppers" at the 1948 summer school had
resulted in a seven pound loss, explained the school committee to
the National Assembly, this was justified, because: "the
cost of the loss is commensurate with the value of teaching work
done amongst non-Bahá'ís resident in Yerrinbool, Mittagong,
Bowral and Tahmoor"!
Participants at many
schools in the 1940s and 1950s were privileged to be in the
company of Clara Dunn, known affectionately to all as
"mother" Dunn. Appointed as one of the Hands of the
Cause in 1952, Clara Dunn often attended schools as the guest of
the school committee, accommodated in her specially reserved
room, adjacent to the Hyde Dunn Hall. She attended her last
summer school in 1959, a year before her passing, in 1960.
In the 1940s, Clara Dunn
was a regular participant on school programs. Inevitably, those
present would gather around to hear her speak of her life in
America, her meeting with Abdu'l-Bahá, and with Shoghi Effendi;
and of the early years in Australia, when she and her husband
Hyde Dunn travelled through each state to spread the Bahá'í
teachings. Such was the case at the 1945 winter school, on the
last night, huddled in the annex around a log fire!
In these early years, the
atmosphere created by the coming together of Bahá'ís from
distant regions was an important part of each school held. When a
group remained together for a week or longer, free of other
disruptions, close bonds of friendship and communication were
created. Furthermore, a sense of shared commitment to deepening
their understanding of the Bahá'í teachings came about. Not all
schools produced a similar feeling, of course, and the physical
conditions encountered at Yerrinbool produced their own effects:
the brave participants at the 1941 winter school remembered
sessions limited to 2-5 pm by the extreme cold; while those at
the 1942 summer school according to a report in the Mittagong
Star, experienced the "terrific heat" (reportedly
107 degrees,) while sitting in a tent listening to Bertha Dobbins
speak on "The Day of God and the Age of Science". In
contrast, the 1950 winter school had to be cancelled at the last
minute, as incessant rains had made the roads impassable.
Physical conditions aside,
school participants were sometimes acutely aware of the purpose
for which they gathered. Such, no doubt, was the case at the 1952
summer school, which took as its theme the significance of the
Great Jubilee Year (October 1952 October 1953), and the momentous
decade to follow.
THE TEN YEAR CRUSADE
1953 - 1963
In the significant decade
1953 - 1963, the challenges given to the Australian Bahá'ís by
Shoghi Effendi brought also some changes to the Yerrinbool
school. Numerous Bahá'ís who had attended the summer schools,
as participants and speakers, in the 1940s, left Australia to
pioneer in the Pacific Islands. These included six members of the
1953 National Spiritual Assembly (Lilian Wyss, Stanley P. Bolton,
Gretta Lamprill, Dulcie Dive, and Alvin and Gertrude Blum), in
addition to several others, including Glad Parke, Frank Wyss,
Bertha Dobbins, Vi Hoehnke, Irene Jackson (Williams), Harold and
Florence Fitzner, all of whom left Australia before 1955.
Perhaps the bold new
ventures facing the Australian Bahá'ís overshadowed the
Yerrinbool school for a time. Winter school was cancelled in
1953, in deference to a "Pacific School" conducted at
the National Hazira, 2 Lang Road, in Sydney; and toward the end
of the Crusade, the 1962 summer school was cancelled (for the
first time) so that the community's resources could be directed
to the completion of the House of Worship in Sydney.
Other changes occurred
also. When Stanley and Mariette Bolton moved from their
residence, Bolton Place, to live in Orange, New South Wales,
their keen oversight of the property needed to be replaced. From
now on, good caretakers for the property were cherished, and
their departure lamented. The days of direct contact between
school sessions, and the Guardian, ended with his passing in
November 1957. Likewise, the passing of Clara Dunn in 1960 marked
the end of a special period in Australian Bahá'í history.
With the diversification
and expansion of the community's activities, summer school (and,
to a lesser extent, winter school) changed from being at the
centre of the Bahá'í calender, to playing a supporting role -
and, as one example - the 1954 summer school stands out as one of
the most significant Bahá'í gatherings to be held in Australia.
Shoghi Effendi had sent to Australia Hand of the Cause Ali Akbar
Furutan, accompanied by Abdul Qasim Faizi (who was also, three
years later, appointed one of the Hands of the Cause), to
encourage and deepen the Australian Bahá'ís. In addition to
visiting numerous Bahá'í centres, Mr Furutan and Mr Faizi
attended summer school in January 1954.
Because these two
distinguished Bahá'ís were the first Persians that most
Australians had met, about seventy Bahá'ís were attracted to
the summer school, from nearly all states in Australia, and New
Zealand. Hand of the Cause Furutan, who was not at that time
fluent in English, had his talks translated by Mr Faizi. On the
first evening he spoke on the importance of summer schools, and
pointed out that Australia was in a fortunate position, having
the Yerrinbool school to develop into the future. The
participants cabled to Shoghi Effendi:
SEND DEVOTED GREETINGS BELOVED GUARDIAN JOYFUL THANKS
HAND CAUSE FURUTAN RECORD YOUTH ATTENDANCE
To which the Guardian
LOVING APPRECIATION SUPPLICATING ATTENDANCE SCHOOL ABUNDANCE BLESSINGS GREAT VICTORY
Because of Mr Faizi's
Persian background, reported the school committee, his talks on
the Dawnbreakers "were absorbed with rapt attention -
a new horizon opened, flooding hearts with devotion and awe, as
the series progressed through the history of Christianity, Islam,
and the early Bahá'í Faith. The students were eager to further
their studies of Nabil's Narrative, the Dawnbreakers". On
four successive nights, Mr Furutan spoke on the Will and
Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá, and the youth requested special
sessions with him.
In addition to the
presence of two special visitors, five Bahá'ís described their
recent pilgrimages, and meetings with the Guardian. The
Australian Bahá'ís were becoming increasingly connected to a
wider international Bahá'í community, and the purely national
character of earlier schools was being replaced with a concern
for, and awareness of, the role to be played by Bahá'ís in an
emerging global community.
Bahá'ís moving to and
from Pacific goal areas, who were able to visit Yerrinbool, added
an international dimension to the sessions of the 1950s and
1960s. In January 1954 Alvin and Gertrude Blum attended summer
school prior to their departure for the Solomon Islands, and in
January 1955, Stanley P. Bolton and Margaret Rowling described
their respective experiences in Tonga, and New Caledonia. Harold
and Florence Fitzner, pioneers to Portuguese Timor, were present
at the 1965 summer school.
Collis and Madge
Featherstone were among the regular attenders of summer schools
in the 1950s, driving from Adelaide with a caravan, and children,
in tow. Numbers at the summer schools continued to rise, and
pressure on the facilities available continued to increase. In
1955, the National Assembly decided to appoint a school property
committee (Hazel Reynolds, Stanley W. Bolton and Margaret
Rowling) to oversee maintenance of the physical aspects of the
school. Buildings erected in the 1930s and 1940s were in need of
repair, and larger school sessions required improvement of other
necessary facilities: water tanks, showers, and toilets. The era
of the Yerrinbool "working bee" was at hand...
So, also, was the 1950s
the era of a new generation of Bahá'í speakers. Peter Khan,
whose twenty first birthday was re-celebrated at the January 1958
summer school (he had another, just before it) delivered a series
of lectures on Bahá'í administration. According to the school
report, he "related the path of social evolution to the
evolution of religious systems, noting at each stage the
limitations of each form. Then followed, logically, an
examination of the Bahá'í form of administration, showing the
ways in which it meets the faults and frailties of former systems
and applies so aptly to the stage of social evolution which is
now emerging". As well as including other young speakers,
this school was fortunate to have two Hands of the Cause present,
Clara Dunn, and Collis Featherstone, as well as their Auxiliary
Board Members, Thelma Perks and Eric Bowes.
Although school programs
were as popular as they had ever been, doubts were once more
raised about the location of the summer school. Would it not be
better, asked the school committee of the National Spiritual
Assembly, if land be purchased somewhere more accessible to
public transport, and to the general public? If a property was
acquired near the House of Worship, the committee, ventured, long
distance visitors could be accommodated all year round. The
National Assembly replied that no change of location was to be
contemplated. It felt that the Yerrinbool School had been
securely established and that what was required was commitment to
improving the facilities already existing. Recommendations to
National Convention in 1958, urging that a comprehensive plan be
devised for future developments at Yerrinbool, and again in 1967,
urging that the National Assembly adopt a 'forward plan',
indicated a commitment in the community to the Yerrinbool
School programs continued
to evolve, reflecting change and growth in the Bahá'í
community. The 1960 summer school included for the first time a
number of educational sessions for children, arranged by Miss
Joanne Rodwell. A trained kindergarden teacher supervised
plastecine modelling, finger painting and games, while the
presence of a television set, used to occupy the children at
other times "contributed to the serenity of the lecture
In 1963 and 1964, the
first two children's camps were held, organized by John and Joy
Stevenson, Madge Painter, John Milne. The children were divided
into four troops named for the first days of the Bahá'í week.
Each troop was rostered for duties, such as table setting,
washing up, and cleaning; while other activities included talks,
bush walking, and craftwork.
Reflecting the increased
participation of children and youth at school sessions, evenings
were given over more to plays, musical evenings, even fancy dress
parties, and the attendance continued to increase: the 24th
summer school, January 1962, registered a record one hundred and
twelve attendance. It was at schools such as this, that the
practical brilliance of such people as Aubrey Lake was most
appreciated - crisis management meant working in very hot, very
crowded, conditions, digging up drains which simply had to
contributions particularly with maintenance and just
keeping the property going, with buildings,
modifications, alterations, patching the plumbing, has to
my certain knowledge, been what kept the property going.
Aub was always planning improvements and had the vision
before him of what the School will be - he is always a
seeker after perfection...Most of his efforts were not
recorded and only noted by those of us who from time to
time worked with him. His work undoubtedly saved the
funds. His skills cover a very wide range.
No summer school was held
in 1962, then one hundred and eight people gathered in January
1963 for the final summer school of the Ten Year Crusade.
Emphasis was placed on the fundamentals of Bahá'í
Administration, for many of those present came from one or other
of the thirteen new Local Spiritual Assemblies which had been
established at Ridvan, 1962.
The history of the
Yerrinbool school nearly finished at this time, as a government
plan proposed to reserve about one third of the Mittagong Shire
as a water catchment area. The whole village of Yerrinbool would
have been affected, and only the highway and railway station left
untouched. Aub Lake, Frank Khan and John Stevenson, together with
other shire residents, attended a tribunal hearing in Mittagong,
at which Yerrinbool won a reprieve from the commissioner,
allowing use of the property to continue.
THE NINE YEAR PLAN 1964
During the years of the
Nine Year Plan (1964-1973) further developments occurred in the
administration of the school property. With annual attendances of
approximately one hundred (seventy accommodated, plus thirty in
tents and caravans), the 1966 summer school was for the first
time divided into two sessions, the first 25-31 December, 1965,
and the second 1-6 January, 1966. The National Assembly had
decided to reduce the numbers attending schools to a maximum of
sixty to seventy, so that the standard of accommodation, and
facilities, could be improved so as to meet the requirements of
the Local Government Council.
Following adoption of a
suggestion at annual convention, separate committees were
established in 1967 to cope with programming, administration, and
maintenance of the school.
Pam Ringwood, a member of
the program committee, reported that the 1967 summer school:
"reached a deeper level of discussion and dedication to
study in a faster time than previous schools ...partly due to
building on the development of earlier years and partly to a
natural maturing of our understanding of the school..."
Schools were, she felt, "growing in their happiness and
depth of study and spiritual activity."
At other times of the
year, vital maintenance work had to be completed. A weekend in
June 1967 spent fixing the ablutions block to meet the Mittagong
Shire Council requirements meant that: "...digging,
cementing, plumbing and carpentering opened up new channels of
interest and earnestness to learn from 'the other fellow'".
This working bee occurred during the Seven Day war between Israel
and Egypt. At one time an absorption trench was being dug by two
men of Jewish background, two from Muslim backgrounds (one
Egyptian, one Turkish), one Dutch, one German, and a lone
Although many Bahá'ís
contributed their skills in carpentry, electrical work, plumbing,
and other fields, to maintenance of the property, the cost, in
the early 1970s, was more than the combined cost of maintaining
the House of Worship and the National Hazira, 2 Lang Road.
Although the National Assembly did have to resolve, for a time,
to limit spending on the school property, it also encouraged
greater use of the facilities. The Yerrinbool School had to, more
than in the past, help pay its way.
In 1971, spring and autumn
schools were incorporated into the calender. Each school was nine
days long, and accommodated fifty people. A trial "Ridvan
school" was held in 1965 which, although a success in
itself, did not continue in subsequent years. A more enduring
event, focused on Bahá'í youth, emerged from the "Bahá'í
Youth Convention", first held over Easter 1969. More than
seventy Bahá'ís, mostly youth, consulted with Hand of the Cause
Collis Featherstone, and visiting Auxiliary Board Member Marc
Towers, on matters affecting young Bahá'ís. The convention
received a special lettter from the Universal House of Justice,
and presented to the National Assembly a series of
recommendations, including the establishment of a National Youth
Committee, (not the first - one had been appointed in the 1940s)
and a set of youth goals toward completion of the Nine Year Plan.
Following a second youth
conference at Yerrinbool in 1970, and a decision not to hold one
in 1971, this youth movement flowered in a series of National
Youth Conferences in Canberra (1972), Adelaide (1973), Perth
(1974), Canberra (1975), Brisbane (1976), Sydney (1977), Hobart
(1978), and Melbourne (1979). The Yerrinbool Bahá'í community,
which at times fell below Assembly status, continued to support
the school's events. When at times the property was without
caretakers, members of the Yerrinbool community stoically assumed
THE FIVE YEAR PLAN 1973
Following the move to use
Yerrinbool as a "deepening, regenerating and teacher
training centre" which had inspired the Ridvan schools,
there followed a series of intensive deepenings held during the
Easter period. A nine day institute in May 1973 attracted 17
participants to an intensive study of Bahá'u'lláh's works The
Hidden Words and The Seven Valleys. Such deepenings,
which required a smaller number of participants in contrast to
the several hundreds attending the youth conferences, evolved
into a series of "Youth Institutes", held annually
between 1975 and 1979.
Present at the 1975 Youth
Institute were Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone, and Mrs
Featherstone, who spoke of their pilgrimage, and meeting with the
Guardian; Dr John Davidson, who led research into the Dawnbreakers;
National Assembly members Beverly Stafford and Pieter de Vogel,
and National Teaching Committee member Terry Spratt. The
enthusiasm generated at this first institute ensured that those
of later years, encouraged particularly by Drs Janet and Peter
Khan (as members of the National Spiritual Assembly and
Continental Board of Counsellors respectively), and Auxiliary
Board Member Dr John Davidson, were also very successful. The
youth present caught an enthusiasm for deepening, and a new
confidence in their teaching efforts.
In addition to the new
events being held at Yerrinbool, summer schools continued in the
December-January period. Programs increasingly facilitated the
attendance of whole families, with children’s classes being
organized in addition to the adult program. A classroom, designed
by Robert Chaffers, was constructed during 1975-76. Several
schools to instruct parents and teachers were organized by the
Childrens Department. Other specialist programs were conducted,
such as an Aboriginal Teaching Institute, in February 1967. Hand
of the Cause A.Q. Faizi returned to summer school in January 1977
for the first time since his 1954 visit.
THE SEVEN YEAR PLAN
1979 - 1986
Among the goals of the
Seven Year Plan was a call for greater use of the Yerrinbool
School. David and Rosemary Merideth, who followed Nigel and
Ursula Hall as caretakers in 1981, worked successfully with the
school committee to diversify and increase the number of events
held at Yerrinbool. By 1983, the annual calendar included summer,
spring and autumn schools, three deepening institutes, and an
annual studies conference, in addition to numerous other weekend
events. The Sydney youth, in July 1983, held a "Third World
Awareness" weekend, and in August, a "public speaking
workshop" was conducted. A Buddhist group, yoga, and
meditation groups held several sessions at the school. Also,
institutes were being held annually for the training of
assistants to the Auxiliary Board Members. Agricultural
initiatives resulted in fruit and vegetables for school menus
being grown at the school. A new kitchen-dining complex, designed
by Mr Haddad, was completed in time for the 1985 summer school.
Programs for the major
schools were organised by the National Community Development
Committee, and the studies conferences, between 1982 and 1984, by
the University of Tasmania Bahá'í Society. Following the
establishment of an Association for Bahá'í Studies in
Australia, the annual conference was once again held at
Yerrinbool, in 1985, before moving to Macquarie University in
1986 (as part of the Peace Exposition), and to Griffith
University, Brisbane, in 1987.
Although events which
began at Yerrinbool, such as the studies conferences, and before
them, the youth conferences, moved on to other locations, the
school property was instrumental in their nurturing. In the 1980s
summer schools and institutes were held increasingly, and
regularly, in all Australian states. The era of one summer school
for the whole continent has, apparently, ended. The evolution of
the Yerrinbool School, however, has only just begun.
SCHOOL: THE FUTURE?
Could those Bahá'ís who
gathered at the dedication of Bolton Place, in May 1937,have
imagined the role that it was to play in the growth of the
Australian Bahá'í community? Could they have imagined how many
people would later become Bahá'ís having first experienced the
fellowship of a summer school? The first half-century of the
Yerrinbool school included soul-stirring events which will never
be repeated. In 1985 the community paid tribute to Stanley W.
Bolton (1892 - 1966) and Mariette Bolton (1900 - 1968), as
founders of the school, by laying a memorial stone in the grounds
in their honour.
But it is not only the
well known Bahá'í speakers, or the most joyous and productive
sessions, which will be remembered. Many will recall, as young,
or new, Bahá'ís, their first "proper talk", given in
the Hyde Dunn Hall. There are the many youth, as well as adults,
who made their closest friends at a summer school (and made it
the place of their annual reunion); who washed and wiped more
dishes that at any other time in their life; who acted in their
first play, or chaired their first session; who learnt the joy of
studying the Bahá'í writings in depth; who met people of
cultures and backgrounds they didn't even know existed; who
learnt the requirements of the teaching plan of the time; who
became more knowledgeable in the texts of the Faith; who resolved
to return again to Yerrinbool...
By looking at the past
fifty years of activities at the Yerrinbool Bahá'í School, and
at the role it has played in the evolution of the Australian
Bahá'í community, it is possible to gain an appreciation of the
institution called the "summer school". The issues of
the schools' location, function, maintenance, and method of
organisation, have been raised, and, for the most part, resolved.
The Australian Bahá'í community must anticipate, now that it is
considerably larger than when the school was first established,
the taking of further steps to develop the Yerrinbool Bahá'í
School according to the vision outlined by Shoghi Effendi:
...as a center for
the preparation and training of prospective teachers and
pioneers, and for the commingling and fellowship of
various elements in the Bahá'í community ...(and) its
development into that ideal Bahá'í University of the
future, which should be the aim of every existing
Bahá'í Summer School to establish in the fullness of
footnote numbers were lost in this online version.
. The first meeting of the school
committee took place on 15 March, 1937. Dr and Mrs Bolton met
with Mrs Whitaker and Mrs McLachlan at the Bahá'í Centre,
Margaret St, and it was decided to hold a picnic at Yerrinbool,
on 2 May. The following week, 22 March, Mrs Moffitt also met with
the committee, and a program was devised for the 2 May picnic.
Yerrinbool Bahá'í School Committee. Minutes 1937-45. 0577/0186.
. Bahá'í News 114,
February 1938, p8.
. Shoghi Effendi to Hyde Dunn,
quoted in Bahá'í Quarterly 5, October 1937, p4.
. Bahá'í News 118, August
. Bahá'í Quarterly 7,
January 1938, p5-6.
. National Spiritual Assembly of
the United States and Canada (Horace Holley) to Sydney Local
Spiritual Assembly (Hilda Gilbert), 7 April 1938. NSA of
Australia and New Zealand. Yerrinbool Bahá'í School Committee.
Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
. Bahá'í Quarterly 11,
1939, p3. A full report of the 1939 summer school appeared in
Bahá'í News 128, August 1939, p8.
. G. Edson to Yerrinbool School
Committee, 19 April 1940. Yerrinbool Bahá'í School Committee.
Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
. Mrs Jean Hutchinson-Smith to Mrs
Mariette Bolton, 8 December 1942. Yerrinbool Bahá'í School
Committee. Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
. Stanley and Mariette Bolton to
the National Spiritual Assembly, 26 July 1942. Yerrinbool
Bahá'í School Committee. Correspondence. 1937-39. 0302/0110;
Yerrinbool School Committee to the National Spiritual Assembly,
12 October 1942. Yerrinbool Bahá'í School Committee.
. Letters from the Guardian to
Australia and New Zealand 1923 - 1957, p42. The
national, rather than local, character of summer schools was
reiterated in the Guardian's letter of 18 April 1942, p45.
. Annual Report of the Yerrinbool
Bahá'í School Committee for the Year ending 30 March 1948.
. This is acknowledged by Shoghi
Effendi in his letter to the National Spiritual Assembly, 22
August, 1949. Letters to Australia and New Zealand,
. Bahá'í News Bulletin 13,
1949, p4. cf: letter from Shoghi Effendi 28 June 1950. Letters
to Australia and New Zealand, p83.
. Bertha Dobbins to Yerrinbool
School Committee 15 December 1941. Correspondence. 1937-39.
. Adelaide Local Spiritual Assembly
(Harold Fitzner) to Yerrinbool School Committee 16 December 1942.
Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
. 15 January 1943. Yerrinbool
School Committee Minute Book, 1937-45. 0577/0186.
. Letters to Australia and New
Zealand, 18 April 1942, p44; and 19 March 1943, p48.
. 12 December 1944, Letters to
Australia and New Zealand, p52.
. Shoghi Effendi 13 May 1945, Letters
to Australia and New Zealand, p56.
. In 1949, when Mariette Bolton was
secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly, Ruhiyyih Rabbani
had written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi: "He wishes to thank
you and dear Mr Bolton for the loving gift of Bolton Place to the
Bahá'í community of Australia. This is an excellent example,
and befitting gesture, for it has many associations with the
spread and development of the Faith in Australia, and has further
enriched the record of your historic services to the Faith",
4 September 1949. Letters to Australia and New Zealand,
p82; cf Bahá'í Bulletin 111, October 1963.
. Yerrinbool School Committee to
National Spiritual Assembly, 7 February 1947. Correspondence.
. Letter from 20 signatories to
Yerrinbool Summer School Committee 6 September 1947; D. Dive, M.
Bolton and H. Reynolds to Yerrinbool Summer School Committee, 22
September 1947. Correspondence. 0240/0060.
. D. Dive, H. Reynolds and M.
Bolton to Yerrinbool Summer School Committee 13 January 1948.
Correspondence. 0240/0060; Yerrinbool School Committee to Mrs
Vickers, 29 September 1947. Correspondence. 0239/0060; Collis
Featherstone to National Spiritual Assembly, 25 January 1949.
Correspondence 1948-49. 0249/0061.
. National Spiritual Assembly to
Yerrinbool Summer School Committee 3 March 1949. Correspondence.
0240/0060; Bahá'í Bulletin 38, August 1957, p12;
. Annie Miller to Yerrinbool School
Committee, 19 April 1937. Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
. Letters to Australia and New
Zealand, 25 March 1946, p60.
. Harold Morton's Book Review on
Radio 2GB Friday 5 September 1947. Correspondence. 0240/0060.
. Of the event, the National
Assembly reported in July 1943: "An extraordinary amount of
unexpected free publicity has been afforded by newspaper
correspondence resulting from a report of the opening of the Hyde
Dunn Memorial Hall during the Yerrinbool Summer School sessions
in January. The "Mittagong Star" gave a lengthy report
of the proceedings on the front page of the paper. A Roman
Catholic priest sent a long letter denouncing the Faith and
contending that a news-paper serving a Christian community should
not make itself an instrument to propagate "this outcrop of
Islamic Faith in a nineteenth century Mahdi", this
"anti-Christian Islamic aberration". But the newspaper
ignored the priest's reprimand and published further letters of
considerable length over a period of six weeks..." Bahá'í Quarterly
28, July 1943, p3.
. Madge Featherstone, personal
. Yerrinbool School Committee to
Auckland Summer School, 13 January 1949. Correspondence 1948-49.
. Report of Bahá'í Summer School
31/12/49-12/1/50. Correspondence. 0240/0060.
. Effie Baker to Yerrinbool School
Committee 5 December 1938.
Correspondence 1937-39. 0302/0110.
In fact, Effie Baker was an accomplished letter writer, and had
written an account of her travels through Persia, 1930-31, taking
the photos required by Shoghi Effendi for inclusion in Dawnbreakers.
. Marie Dunning to Yerrinbool
School Committee, 18 October 1948. Correspondence 1948-49.
0249/0061. Miss Dunning contributed to the school properties in
other ways, such as anonymously paying for the cost of connecting
electricity to the annex, 1947. Marie Dunning to Yerrinbool
School Committee (Dulcie Dive) 20 February 1947. Minutes 1946-48.
. Report of the Yerrinbool Bahá'í
School Committee for the Bahá'í Year 105 (1948-49).
. Yerrinbool School Committee to
National Spiritual Assembly 25 February 1948. Correspondence.
. Report of the Fifth Annual
Yerrinbool Bahá'í Winter School (April 1945). Correspondence.
. Mittagong Star, 9 January
. An incomplete listing of
caretakers: "Urgently needed at the school is a suitable
caretaker." - Bahá'í Bulletin 111, October 1963.
"Caretakers still to be finalized" Bahá'í Bulletin
134, October 1965, p2.
Barry and Wendy Hall March 1967 -
Sue and Chris Borleis 1970 -
Neville and Helene Foskey
Harry and Margaret Headland
Rae and Jim Rhodes
Ursula and Nigel Hall February 1980
- July 1981
David and Rosemary Merideth July
1981 - July 1984
Sima and Quadrat Motallebi April
1985 - December 1986
Sue and Edwin Humphries February
1987 - present
. Shoghi Effendi's last cable to a
Yerrinbool summer school, January 1957, read:
ASSURE ATTENDANTS LOVING FERVENT
PRAYERS URGE CONCENTRATION OBJECTIVES PLAN DEEPEST APPRECIATION
National Spiritual Assembly.
Annual Report, Bahá'í Year 113 (1956-57),
. Report of the 18th Bahá'í
Summer School, 31 December 1953 - 10 January 1954.
. Report of activities, Yerrinbool
Bahá'í School 27/12/57 - 6/1/58. Correspondence. 0241/0060.
. School Committee to National
Spiritual Assembly, 2 April 1959. Correspondence 0241/0060.
. School Committee to National
Spiritual Assembly 9 September 1959. Correspondence. 0241/0060.
. Bahá'í Bulletin 67,
February 1960, p12.
. John Stevenson, personal
. Bahá'í Bulletin 125,
January 1965, p8.
. Bahá'í Bulletin 154,
June 1967, p32.
. Bahá'í Bulletin 155,
July 1967, p32.
. "And of course, in perfect
harmony." John Stevenson, personal communication.
. For a brief account of their
lives, see Stanley W. Bolton, "In Memoriam", Bahá'í World,
vol. XIV (1963-1968), p323-5; Mariette G. Bolton, "In
Memoriam", Bahá'í World, vol. XV (1968-1973),
. From a letter written on behalf
of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United
States and Canada, 29 July, 1939. Lights of Guidance,