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Bahá'í Chronology Canada: years 198-

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198-

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1980 (In the year) The film Jubilee, commissioned by the Universal House of Justice and made by Elizabeth Martin, documented the dedication of the cornerstone for the House of Worship in Samoa.
  • She also made a second version was made of this film entitled Blessed Is the Spot which focused more directly on the dedication ceremonies.
  • The film The Bahá'ís was an introductory film on the development activities of the Bahá'í communities around the world was edited by Elizabeth Martin. [HNWE45] [key]
  • Toronto, ON film; Jubilee; Elizabeth Martin; Blessed Is the Spot; The Baha'is
    1980 Apr Those elected to the National Spiritual Assembly were: Jameson Bond, Glen Eyford, Husayn Banani, Hossain Danesh, Michael Rochester, Edmund Muttart, Elizabeth Rochester, Ruth Eyford, and Douglas Martin. [Baha'i Canada, vol. 2, no. 10, May/June 1980]
  • Photo.
  • National Convention; NSA, election; Jameson Bond; Glen Eyford; Husayn Banani; Hossain Danesh; Michael Rochester; Edmund Muttart; Elizabeth Rochester; Ruth Eyford; Douglas Martin
    1980 2 May The first Bahá’í International Conference on Health and Healing was held in Ottawa, Canada, under the sponsorship of the Association for Bahá’í Studies. [BW 18:201] [key] Ottawa, ON Bahai Studies, Associations for; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Health; Conferences, International; First conferences first Bahá’í International Conference on Health and Healing
    1981 - 2002 Persian-language Bahá’í quarterly journal entitled `Andalíb was published from 1981 to 2012 under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada. From issue no. 69, responsibility for the publication was moved to the Association of Bahá’í Studies in Persian (an agency of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada).
  • Journals from Year 1 (138-9 BE, 1981-2), Issue 1: Winter to Year 23 (162 BE, 2005-6), Issue 90: Spring are available on-line.
  • Thornhill, ON; Ottawa, ON Publications; Andalib; Association of Baha'i Studies in Persian; å
    1981 Apr Canadian Association for Studies on the Bahá’í Faith was renamed the Association for Bahá’í Studies. [BBD202; VV24–5] [key] Ottawa, ON Bahai Studies, Associations for
    1982 (In the year) Canadian Bahá’í International Development Service was established. [BBRSM154] [key] Development
    1982 20 Jan The passing of Mabel Harriet Pine (b. 1882 Bristol, England) in the Norword Auxiliary Hospital in Edmonton. [Bahá'í Canada Vol 4 No3 July/Aug 1982 p46]

    As a young woman born into a privileged class she was a suffragette and a reformer. She worked as a nursemaid and governess then moved to Algiers and then Chile. After returning home she decided to emigrate to Canada and lived first in Vancouver and then in Edmonton where she trained as a nurse and married.

  • After loosing one child and almost loosing a second, in 1925 they moved to Armstrong, BC where she first heard of the Faith. They didn't stay long in Armstrong but moved back to Alberta for work. It was while she was visiting England the following year that she stayed with Claudia Coles and became confirmed in the Faith.
  • After living in Scollard, AB (1926-1927) and Vermillion, AB (1928-1941) they moved to Edmonton where they stayed for a year for the education of their daughter, Allison. She joined Mary Fry who had been there since 1940, the first Bahá'ís to live in Edmonton since Esther Rennels (1911-1917). They lived in a few more small towns in Alberta and in 1947 she and her husband separated and she moved back to Edmonton. [OBCC122, 186]
  • In about 1952 she pioneered to Vernon, BC.
  • She moved to Calgary to help form an Assembly in 1953 and left in 1954 to return to Edmonton. [CBN No 56 September 1954 p5]
  • 1975 she was living in New Westminster and her daughter moved her back to Alberta to care for her.
  • In her honour the Edmonton Community has established the Mabel Pine Bahá'í School for the spiritual education of children. [Bahá'í CanadaVol 16 No 1 May 2003 p14]

    [With thanks to Allion Stecyk for her tribute to her mother Mabel Harriet Pine: Unsung Heroine of Canada and to Joan Young for her research assistance.] [key]

  • Edmonton,AB; Scollard, AB; Vermillion, AB; Calgary, AB; Armstrong, BC; Vernon, BC; New Westminster, BC Mabel Pine; In Memoriam; Mabel Pine; Claudia Coles; Allison Stecyk; Joan Young; Mary Fry; Esther Rennels
    1982 10 - 11 Apr Bahá’í International Health Agency was established as an affiliate of the Association for Bahá’í Studies. [BW18:201; VV25] [key] Bahai Studies, Associations for; Health
    1982 Ridván The first closed National Convention was held. In addition to the delegates, those who attended included Hands of the Cause William Sears and John Robarts, Counsellor Lloyd Gardner, and some Auxiliary Board Members.

    In addition to the open style of the agenda and the Thursday supper, another new feature of the Convention was Friday’s lunch at which everyone had a chance to discuss particular issues at differently designated tables. The closed nature of the Convention permitted the delegates, along with the Hands of the Cause, Counsellor, Board Members, and National Assembly members to get together for talks and discussions over meals and at breaks without getting caught up in the always festive, often overwhelming atmosphere of recent National Conventions which have seen upwards of one thousand participants.

    Elected to the National Spiritual Assembly were; Glen Eyford, Douglas Martin, Elizabeth Rochester, Michael Rochester, Edmund Muttart, Husayn Banani, Ruth Eyford, Jane Faily, and Hossain Danesh. [CBN Vol14 No 3 July/Aug 1982 p22] [key]

    National Convention; Nation Assembly, election; Glen Eyford; Douglas Martin; Elizabeth Rochester; Michael Rochester; Edmund Muttart; Husayn Banani; Ruth Eyford; Jane Faily; Hossain Danesh
    1982 2 – 5 Sep Bahá’í International Conference to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Greatest Holy Leaf was held in Montreal, Canada, attended by 9,400 Bahá’ís from 101 countries. [BW18:100; VV61]
  • For the message of the Universal House of Justice see BW18:161–2.
  • For a pictorial report see BW18:151–4.
  • A two-member team was appointed by the National Assembly to coordinate the event: Jim Heidema, who was at that time manager of the National Centre and who handled all the logistical planning, and Elizabeth Martin who was made responsible for staging and program arrangements. [HNWE37] [key]
  • Montreal, QC Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, International; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Jim Heidema; Elizabeth Martin
    1983 (In the year) film Heritage of the Martyrs, made by Elizabeth Martin, documented the fate of the Bahá'ís in Iran. [HNWE45] [key] Toronto, ON Film; Elizabeth Martin; Heritage of the Martyrs; Elizabeth Martin
    1983 Ridván In 1983 the institution of the National Convention went through another of its periodic bouts of growing pains. Attendance again was limited to the delegates and the members of the two participating Institutions, the Board of Counsellors and the National Spiritual Assembly, although members of the Auxiliary Board were also welcome as guests and observers. Prior to the Convention, the National Spiritual Assembly had sent to all delegates a list of questions on which it felt the incoming membership of the Assembly would most urgently need the delegates' advice. In the same mailing, the delegates received the Annual Report from the National Assembly and reports from each one of the national committees.

    Those elected to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly were: Douglas Martin (sec'y), Hossain Danesh [chair), Jane Faily, Ed Muttart (treasurer and ass't sec'y), Ruth Eyford, Michael Rochester (vice), Glen Eyford, Husayn Banani, and William Hatcher. [CBN Vol5 Issue3 July/Aug 1983 p23; CBN Vol5 Issue 2 May/Jun 1983 p20] [key]

    Guelph,ON National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election; Douglas Martin; Hossain Danesh; Jane Faily; Ed Muttart; Ruth Eyford; Michael Rochester; Glen Eyford; Husayn Banani; William Hatcher
    1983 May  Seyed Mahmoud arrived in Lethbridge, Alberta — his original assigned city – and where he has resided every since. (Alberta Baha’i Council 2015 “Mohsen and Donna Seyed Mahmoud biography”). Lethbridge, AB Mohsen Seyed Mahmoud; Donna Seyed Mahmoud
    1983 1 Sep In a message addressed to the National Spiritual Assembly of Norway the Universal House of Justice included a six-point summary of 'the essential requisites for our spiritual growth'. Written on behalf of the House of Justice, this significant letter expressed its confidence that if the believers practised the suggested disciplines they would penetrate the 'miasma of materialism' impeding the growth of the Faith in Europe. The suggestions have been gleaned from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and were stressed again and again in the talks and Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The points were:
    1. The recital each day of one of the Obligatory Prayers with pure-hearted devotion.
    2. The regular reading of the Sacred Scriptures, specifically at least each morning and evening, with reverence, attention and thought.
    3. Prayerful meditation on the Teachings, so that we may understand them more deeply, fulfill them more faithfully, and convey them more accurately to others.
    4. Striving every day to bring our behavior more into accordance with the high standards that are set forth in the Teachings.
    5. Teaching the Cause of God.
    6. Selfless service in the work of the Cause and in the carrying on of our trade or profession.

    They also suggested that in their private meditation the believers use the repetition of the Greatest Name, Alláh-u-Abhá, ninety-five times a day which, although at that time it was not yet applied in the West, it was among the Laws, Ordinances and Exhortations of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

  • See Personal Pathway for Spiritual Growth : A Personal Commentary on the Universal House of Justice's Six Requisites for Spiritual Growth by David and Carol Bowie.
  • BWC Meditation; Spiritual growth; Materialism
    1983 21 - 23 Nov A brief entitled The Future of Canada: A Bahá’í Perspective was presented to The Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects of Canada on behalf of the Canadian Bahá’í Community through the National Spiritual Assembly in Saskatoon. [The Future of Canada: A Bahá’í Perspective]
  • Photographs in this publication were contributed by Elizabeth Martin. [HNWE44] [key]
  • Saskatoon, SK Social action; Ethics; Economics; Consultation; Agriculture; Women; Native Americans; Elderly; Education
    1985 7 Mar The passing of Continental Board of Counsellor Lloyd Gardner. [Mess63-68p660]
  • See BW19p663-665
  • In Memoriam; Lloyd Gardner
    1985 28 Apr The passing of Samson Knowlton in his eighty-third year. Samson and his wife Rosie, who died in 1981, were among the first six members of the Piikani First Nation (Peigan Reserve), one of the three branches of the Blackfoot tribe, to proclaim their faith in Baha’u’llah. Their acceptance of the Faith in 1958 resulted from a visit to southern Alberta of the Hand of the Cause John Robarts. The Knowltons quickly became effective Bahá'í teachers, assisting in the formation in April 1961 of the first Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Peigan Reserve.
  • Samson was also a member of the Band Council, and was instrumental in the passing of a resolution to permit Bahá'ís to visit and teach the Faith on the Peigan Reserve. He made many teaching trips throughout North America, fostering a spirit of harmony between native and non—native communities.
  • In 1960, Samson accompanied Canada’s first native Senator, James Gladstone, a Blood Indian, to Ottawa to present to the federal Government a proposal urging it to extend to native people the right to vote in federal elections. He was also instrumental in having eliminated the ‘permit system’ which prevented First Nations people from leaving the reserve. [BW19p668-669] iiiii
  • Peigan, ABPiikani First Nation (Peigan Reserve), AB In Memoriam; Sam Knowlton, Rosie Knowlton
    1985 21 Jul Prior to this time, some national communities elected their delegates to the National Conventions on the basis of areas that had Local Spiritual Assemblies, while in other larger national communities, delegates were elected on the basis of electoral units in which all adult believers had the vote. From this time forward, all were to use the Electoral Unit system. There would be no change in the number of delegates elected to attend the National Convention.

    Given the wide variety of geography in the Bahá'í world, each National Spiritual Assembly was directed to establish the most effective means for the election of the delegates to its National Convention and for providing for an opportunity for consultation among the electors. [Message 21 July 1985] [key]

    BWC National Convention; elections; National Spiritual Assembly, election
    1986 9 Mar The passing of Continental Board of Counsellor member Angus Welldon Cowan (b.12 September 1914 in Bishopton, Quebec) at his home in Invermere, BC. [BW19p703–70; BCNS]
  • The message from the Universal House of Justice Mess63-86p723.
  • See his biography Angus: From the Heart: The Life of Counsellor Angus Cowan by Patricia Verge, Springtide Publishing, Cochrane AB, 1999.
  • Bishopton, QC; Invermere, BC Angus Cowan; In Memoriam; Patricia Verge
    1987 (In the year) The film, Heart of the Lotus, made by Elizabeth Martin, documented the dedication of the House of Worship in New Delhi. [HNWE45] [key] Haifa; BWC film; Elizabeth Martin; Heart of the Lotus
    1988 8 May The passing of Beatrice Owen Ashton (b. 17 May, 1890, Cleveland). She was buried in the Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland. [BW20p896-899]
  • She graduated from Vassar College in 1911 and in 1918 she learned of the Faith in Urbana, IL from Dr Jacob and Anna Kunz after meeting some Bahá'ís who had been picnicking. (See BW16p520 for In Memoriam for Anna Kunz)
  • In August of 1918 she married Frank Ashton at Green Acre. In post-war 1945, the National Spiritual Assembly appointed her as the international relief representative for Germany and the Philippines. During the summers from 1947 to 1953 she undertook teaching trips to Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In April of 1952 she went on pilgrimage and met the Guardian for the first time. [BN no262, December, 1952 p5-7]
  • In addition to administrative tasks she worked on the production of Bahá'í World XIII and taught summer school classes at Green Acre, Louhelen and Geyserville as well as Beaulac, Banff and Toronto in Canada.
  • She pioneered to Lethbridge, Alberta from 1958 to 1966 and taught the Faith on the Peigan Reserve (now Piikini First Nation). When the Bahá'ís of Lethbridge elected their first Local Spiritual Assembly she went back to European teaching and made four trips to Norway by 1970.
  • From 1970 she served in Haifa in the Research Department, cataloging and indexing the Guardian's letters and correspondence but in 1972 she had to return to the US due to failing health.
  • In her latter years she made an index for Citadel of Faith as well as for Messages to America and indexed the Writings of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh that Shoghi Effendi had translated.
  • Find a grave.
  • Lethbridge,AB Beatrice Owen Ashton; Beatrice Ashton; Travel teaching; summer school
    1988 30 Jun - 3 Jul The Bahá’í Arts Council, Canada, held the first arts festival, ‘Invitation 88: A Festival of the Human Spirit’ at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. [BINS179:2] [key] London, ON Baha’i Arts Council, Canada
    1989 (Summer) The founding of the Maxwell International Bahá'í School. It was a co-ed Bahá'í school located on Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, Canada. It offered day students and boarding students from many parts of the world instruction from grades 7-12. Its educational philosophy was based on the principles of the Bahá'í Faith. The school was opened in a ceremony with guest of honour Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum (Mary Maxwell, daughter of May and Sutherland) and wife of the Bahá'í Faith's Guardian, Shoghi Effendi). A tree was planted in dedication to the opening of the school. In the early 2006-2007 school year, the school board decided to drop "Bahá'í" from its name, changing it to "Maxwell International School". The school closed on its 20th anniversary in 2008. [Wiki] [key] Shawnigan Lake, BC Maxwell International School; Bahai schools; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Maxwell International School
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