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||Margaret Stevenson was the first believer in New Zealand. [New Zealand Bahá'í News, May 1997]
- See 11 February, 1941 for biographical information.
- For a photo see Encyclopedia of New Zealand
- She was the first New Zealand Bahá'i, and for 10 years from 1912, the only one. When the first New Zealand Bahá'i group formed in 1924, Stevenson was elected its president. Her two sisters also joined the faith. Stevenson remained secretary of the Bahá'i Spiritual Assembly in New Zealand until her death in 1941.
||Margaret Stevenson; First Bahais by country or area; Z****
|1926 14 Feb
||Dust from the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh brought back by pilgrims (including Margaret Stevenson) from the Holy land, was placed in a ceremony into the soil of New Zealand at the Stevenson's home. [Arohanui pg94]
||Margaret Stevenson; Pilgrims
|1941 11 Feb
||The passing of Margaret Stevenson, the first New Zealand Bahá’í (b. 30 November 1865, in Onehunga) in Auckland. She is buried in Hillsborough Cemetery.
She initially heard of the Bahá’í Faith through reading an article in "The Christian Commonwealth" sent to her by her sister, Amy, who was studying music in London. Margaret, though, later admitted that she “did not think any more about it”. However, in 1913 Miss Dorothea Spinney, a professional actress who performed in many parts of the world, arrived in Auckland from California and stayed at the Stevenson home in Devonport. During that visit there were many opportunities for Miss Spinney to tell the Stevenson family about the Bahá’í Cause.
After embracing the new Faith, Margaret began to speak to others of her new found beliefs – a courageous act for a middle-class woman in the then conservative society where following a new religion was considered odd. As New Zealand’s only Bahá’í, she held on steadfastly to her faith for many years. Finally, after the visit of the first Bahá’í travelling teachers to New Zealand in December 1922, a handful of individuals from Margaret’s social circle also became Bahá’ís. A class was established at her home in Parnell to study the Teachings in more depth and was held there regularly for 10 years. In January 1923 the first Bahá’í Nineteen Day Feast was held at her home. Margaret held various administrative roles within the Bahá’í community and remained an active and dedicated Bahá’í until her passing. [from a post by Tricia Hague-Barrett in Facebook page "Women of Bahá"]
||Dorothea Spinney; Margaret Stevenson; In Memoriam; Z****