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Bahá'í Chronology Canada: years 192-

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1920 (in the year) This is considered the date of active participation in the Bahá'í Faith in Canada in Vancouver, the second centre of activity after Montreal. [CBN No 82 November, 1956 p1] [key] Vancouver, BC statisitcs
1920 (Summer) The arrival of well-known Bahá'í scholar and travel teacher Jináb-i-Fádil accompanied by Ahmad Sohrab. They travelled with Marion Jack and Martha Root and visited Saint John, NB, Montreal, QC, Gagetown, PE, Woodstock, NB, Brockville, ON, Toronto, ON, Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC. [SoW20Aug1920, OBCC193] [key] Saint John, NB,; Montreal, QC; Gagetown, PE; Woodstock, NB; Brockville, ON; Toronto, ON; Vancouver, BC; Victoria, BC Jinab-i-Fadil; Marion Jack; Martha Root; Ahmad Sohrab
1920 Jun The first Regional Teaching Committee in Canada was appointed by the Executive Board of the Bahá'I Temple Unity. The members were May Maxwell, Elizabeth Cowles and Mabel Rice-Wray of Detroit. [SoW24Jun1920] [key] May Maxwell; Elizabeth Cowles; Mabel Rice-Wray first Regional Teaching Committee in Canada
1922 22 Mar William Edward Harris was a farmer who had homesteaded in the Gull Lake area where he and his wife (Annie E. Rehm b. 1869, Fedonia. Wis. m. 7 July, 1892, d.22 March, 1922, Carmichael, SK) had moved from North Dakota in 1908 or 1909. He was the first Bahá'í known to have lived in Saskatchewan. After his passing only his son, Edward W. Harris (b.13 March, 1902, Milwaukee, Wis. d. 17 February, 1981 Prince Rupert, BC) continued to operate the family farm with his mother. After the passing of his mother he abandoned the farm at what appeared to have been at a moment's notice taking only his clothes with him when he left. His next know address was Haysport, BC from 1950. He is believed to have lived his latter days in Prince Rupert and is buried there.
  • Beatrice Magee moved to a neighbouring farm in 1951 when she married. The Harris home was still there with its linens, furniture, books, photos and even a coffee pot on the stove. She said she would often go there and speculate why someone would walk out on a lifetime of work and memories. She admitted to "spiriting out" a large apple box full of early Bahá'í literature that she had recovered from the dirt and the bird droppings. Although she had never met this mysterious man, she would often think of him, wondering what he had been like, why he left so suddenly and what happened to him. She resolved to someday search through the box of literature and when she did, in 1978, she became a Bahá'í.
  • Another curious thing is that the gravestone of the elder Harris, (Edward William Harris (b.19 March 1871, London, England, d. 22 March, 1922, Carmichael, SK) is marked with a tombstone bearing "The Greatest Name", a Bahá'í symbol often found on the headstones of those who have followed the Faith. Where had this man learned of the Faith and how did he managed to maintain his convictions in isolation for all those years?
  • Find a grave Edward and Annie Harris.
  • Find a grave Edward Harris Jr in the Fairview Cemetery in Prince Rupert, BC.
  • Gull Lake; SK Edward William Harris; In Memoram
    1922 (In the year) A school teacher, Mrs Dora Bray of Dawson, YT was the first Yukon resident and the first African Canadian woman to enroll in the Faith. She did so as a result of the visit of Marion Jack and Emogene Hoagg. [OBCC123] [key] Dawson,YT Dora Bray; Marion Jack; Emogene Hoagg the first Yukon resident to enroll in the Faith; the first African Canadian woman to enroll in the Faith
    1922 5 Mar Shoghi Effendi wrote that "in every locality where the number of adult declared believers exceeds nine" Assemblies should be elected. [BA37]
  • From this time forward the term "Assembly" meant a duly-elected local spiritual assembly and not a group. [BA20] [key]
  • Local Spiritual Assembly
    1922 (Summer) Marion Jack visited PE to paint at the invitation of Isander Wanda Wyatt. [OBCC110] [key] PE Marion Jack; Isander Wanda Wyatt
    1922 (Summer) Orcella Rexford entered the Yukon Territory from Skagway and via the White Pass Railroad arrived in Whitehorse. She held talks on the Faith to passengers aboard a stern-wheel riverboat as it travelled north. In Dawson City she lectured to some 550 people and received positive press coverage from the Dawson Daily News. [CBN No 117 Oct 1959 p1; [key] Skagway,AL; Whitehorse YT; Dawson City,YT Travel teaching; Orcella Rexford
    1922 10 Dec The election of the first Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Montreal. [BW8:639, OBCC157; CBN No 82 November 1956 p2] [key] Montreal,QC Local Spiritual Assembly, formation The election of the first Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Montreal.The first Spiritual Assembly in Canada.
    1922 11 Dec First formal Nineteen-day Feast held in Montreal (Feast of Questions) [OBCC159] [key] Montreal,QC Feast First formal Nineteen-day Feast held in Montreal and in Canada
    1923 2 Jan The Guardian's first letter to Canada sent in c/o the Spiritual Assembly of Montreal. [Messages to Canada, 2nd Edition p5] [key] Montreal,QC Local Spiritual Assembly
    1923 12 - 26 Oct Jináb-i-Fádil went to Montreal on October 12th as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Schophlocker, He spent a few weeks teaching in Montreal after which he journeyed westward, reaching Chicago about the middle of November. [SoW Vol14 Issue 8 November 1923 p248] [key] Montreal,QC Travel Teaching; Jinab-i-Fadil
    1923 15 Oct - 4 Nov The second visit of Jináb-i-Fádil to Montreal and Toronto accompanied by Dr Zia Baghadi. [OBCC76] [key] Montreal,QC; Toronto,ON Jinab-i-Fadil; Zia Baghadi
    1925 (In the year) The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada was established. National Spiritual Assembly, election first National Spiritual Assembly in America.
    1925 4 Jul - 9 Jul The Seventeenth Annual Convention of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was held at Green Acre. [GAP117; SBR94]
  • National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was elected for the first time. [GPB333, SETPE1p107]
  • Like the previous attempts at electing a National Assembly in 1922, 1923 and 1924, the delegates didn't fully understand the Bahá'í election procedure. Nine members were elected as well as nine alternates whose purpose was to replace absent members at meetings. [SETPE1p108]
  • The members were: Alfred Lunt, Harry Randall, May Maxwell, George Latimer, Louis Gregory, Elizabeth Greenleaf, Mariam Haney and Keith Ransom-Kehler with Horace Holley becomes its first full-time secretary. [BW13:852; SBR233, SETPE1p108] [key]
  • Green Acre Alfred Lunt; William Harry Randall; May Maxwell (Bolles); George Latimer; Louis Gregory; Elizabeth Greenleaf; Mariam Haney; Keith Ransom-Kehler; Horace Holley; NSA; First National Spiritual Assemblies; National Spiritual Assembly, election National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was elected for the first time.
    1925 Dec "A Plan of Unified Action to Spread the Bahá'í Cause Throughout the United States and Canada January 1, 1926-December 31, 1928" was formulated by The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada in response to Shoghi Effendi's message to the annual National Convention. [BA86-89; BN No 10 February 1926 p1]
  • It can be found at [Plan] The goals were (1) to unify the American Bahá'í community's efforts, (2) to increase the number of Bahá'ís, (3) to "penetrate the consciousness of the public with the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh", and (4) to raise $400,000 so that the construction of the first unit of the Temple's superstructure could begin. [SBBR14p160, BFA1p110]
  • This was the first of two Plans developed by the North American National Assembly in the years from 1926 to 1934 the second being "A New Plan of Unified Action To complete the Bahá'í Temple and promote the Cause in America (1931-1934)". [SBBR14p155-197]
  • The above two plans were the first to have the expansion and development of the Bahá'í community as a primary goal and it is likely that they provided the model for other plans organized by Shoghi Effendi and other National Assemblies. [SBBR14p155]
  • The first Plan of Unified Action indicates the ascendancy of those Bahá'ís who supported a centralizing authority over those who wanted a more amorphous system or no organization at all.[BiW177-8]
    • For an essay on this subject see "Some Aspects of the Establishment of the Guardianship" by Dr Loni Bramson-Lerche in SBBR5p253-293
  • During the years of these two plans the National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada developed practices commonly used in subsequent plans, organized propagation, a central budget and the modern form of the Nineteen Day Feast. [SBBR14p160] [key]
  • Canada Teaching Plans; Teaching Plans, National; NSA first teaching plan
    1926 (In the year) Green Acre came under the direct supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. [GAP118] [key] Green Acre Green Acre; NSA United States and Canada
    1926 26 Sep An article by Queen Marie of Romania appeared in the Toronto Daily Star. Its syndication carried it to newspapers around the world. [HEC76] [key] Toronto,ON Queen Marie; Toronto Daily Star
    1926 26 - 27 Sep The visit of Queen Marie of Romania to Toronto. She stated her allegiance to the Bahá'í Faith publicly in an interview given to the Toronto Daily Star (pub. 28 October, 1926). [OBCC104] [key] Toronto,ON Queen Marie; Toronto Daily Star
    1926 27 Oct The visit of Queen Marie to Montreal. She visited McGill University, Montreal College and a convent. No public mention of the Faith was made. [OBCC77] [key] Montreal,QC Queen Marie
    1928 28 Oct The visit of Queen Marie to Ottawa. No public mention of the Faith was made. [OBCC77] [key] Ottawa,ON Queen Marie
    1926 30 Oct The visit of Queen Marie to Winnipeg en route to Minneapolis. No public mention of the Faith was made. [OBCC120] [key] Winnipeg,MN Queen Marie
    1927 (In the year) The formation of a Bahá'í Youth Group in Montreal, perhaps the first in the Western World. [OBCC78, 85]
  • Some of the members were: Mary Maxwell, George Spendlove, Rowland Estall, Emeric and Rosemary Sala, Teddy Edwards Alizade, Norman McGregor, Judie Russell Blakely, Dorothy and Glen Wade, Edward Dewing, Gerrard Sluter, David Hofman, Rena Gordon and Eddie Elliot.
  • The Bahá'í youth group was a social club organized by Ruhiyyih Khanum called the "Fratority Club." By this word, Ruhiyyih Khanum meant to put together the words "fraternity" and "sorority" and had invited to belong to it people, mostly young students at McGill, who would otherwise not have been able to find membership in the exclusive fraternities and sororities around the campus. [Black Roses in Canada's Mosaic: Four Decades of Black History by Will C. van den Hoonaard and Lynn Echevarria-Howe] [key]
  • Montreal,QC Youth Group; George Spendlove; Rowland Estall; Emeric Sala; Rosemary Sala,; Teddy Edwards Alizade; Norman McGregor; Judie Blakely; Russell Blakely; Dorothy Wade; Glen Wade; Edward Dewing; Gerrard Sluter; David Hofman; Rena Gordon; Eddie Elliot first Bahá'í Youth Group in Montreal
    1927 (In the year) Ugo and Angeline Giachery spent two days in St. John's, NL on a stopover while on a cruise ship. St. John's,NL Ugo Giachery; Angeline Giachery
    1927 (In the year) The second local spiritual assembly in Canada was elected in Vancouver. [OBCC125]
  • Those elected were: George Monroe (chair), Stanley Kemp (tres.), Evelyn Kemp (sec'y), Rhoda Harvey, Thursa Murwood-Clark, Christina Monroe, Isobel Seifert, Florence Sherborne, and Katherine Warnicker. [OBCC130] [key]
  • Vancouver, BC LSA; Local Spiritual Assembly, formation; George Monroe; Stanley Kemp; Evelyn Kemp; Rhoda Harvey; Thursa Murwood-Clark; Christina Monroe; Isobel Seifert; Florence Sherborne; Katherine Warnicker
    1927 29 Apr - 3 May The nineteenth National Convention of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada was held at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, the hotel where 'Abdu'l-Bahá stayed during His visit in 1912. [Bahá'í News No. 17 April, 1927]
  • The Declaration of Trust and By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly was accepted with its implications for more restricted membership. [OBCC166]
  • The question of race "was discussed at length and with unprecedented frankness". [OBCC90]
  • Edwina Powell spoke on the subject, as she had been asked by Shoghi Effendi. [TMW178]
  • In her address, Sadie Oglesby recalled her conversations with Shoghi Effendi on the subject of race. [TMW178–80] [key]
  • Montreal, QC National Convention; Declaration of Trust and By-laws; Edwina Powell; ; Oglesby
    1927 May The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada drew up and published a ‘Declaration of Trust’ and ‘By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly’. [BW2:89, BW10:180]
  • For text see BW2:90–8.
  • The Guardian described it as the Bahá’í ‘national constitution’ heralding ‘the formation of the constitution of the future Bahá’í World Community’. [GPB335; PP302–3]
  • The drafting was largely the work of Horace Holley with assistance from the lawyer Mountfort Mills. [SBR234]
  • In subsequent years the National Assemblies of India and Burma, of Egypt, Iraq, Persian and the British Isles all adopted this example almost verbatim. [UD101, BA134-5, SETPE1p145-6] [key]
  • NSA; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions; By-laws; Recognition; \ The first document of this sort to establish a clear legal basis for the National Spiritual Assembly
    1929 25 Dec Willard and Doris McKay , then living in Geneva, NY, arrived in Montreal, the last stop on their first major teaching trip. They had visited Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Boston, Portsmouth, NH before arriving in Montreal by train.
  • They were guests of the Maxwells for a week and spoke seven times during their visit.
  • During their time there they were dinner guest of Ernest Harrison and his family. Years later Ernest, then separated from his wife, would be a pioneer to Prince Edward Island.
  • They met Mary's "Youth Group", the second formed in North America and the first to be dedicated to a deeper understanding of the Writings. Many were students at McGill where Mary was taking special classes and others were Eddie Eliot, an electrician who had been raised in the Maxwell house (son of the maid), Emeric Sala, Roland Estall, Rosemary Gillis (later Rosemary Sala).
  • During their time there they slept in the bed of 'Abdu'l-Bahá that May covered with "the Robe of Bounty". It was a gown that had belonged to the Greatest Holy Leaf and had been given to Lua Getsinger and Lua had given it to May. [FMH97-102] [key]
  • Montreal,QC; Willard McKay; Doris McKay; travel teaching; Robe of Bounty; Eddie Eliot; Emeric Sala; Roland Estall; Rosemary Sala; Youth Group first youth group in Canada
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