Dr. Giachery's Outstanding Record of Service Touched on Many Areas
The Hand of the Cause of God Ugo Giachery, who died July 5 while visiting Western Samoa, had a long and distinguished record of service to the Faith in many areas.
Dr. Giachery, who played a leading role in the construction of the outer building of the Shrine of the Bab and the International Archives building in Haifa, Israel, was among the first contingent of 12 Hands of the Cause of God appointed by the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, on December 24, 1951.
Dr.Giachery was born May 13, 1896, in Sicily, and served in his 20s as an officer in the King of Italy's Grenadier Guards.
He earned two degrees from the Royal Technical Institute of Palermo, Sicily, and received his doctorate in chemistry from Palermo's Royal University.
After teaching for a number of years at the university level he entered the field of scientific research, and in the 1930s became interested in foreign banking and the tourist trade, spending the next two decades in developing tourist travel to all continents.
Dr. Giachery's hobby was archaeology, a topic on which he lectured extensively. He was the author of many articles in English and Italian and of the book Shoghi Effendi: Recollections [online at bahai-library.com/giachery_shoghi_effendi_recollections].
Dr. Giachery and his wife, Angeline, were instrumental in the translation of the major writings of Bahá'u'lláh, 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi into the Italian language.
During World War II the Giacherys lived in New York City and after the war, at the urging of the Guardian, Dr. Giachery withdrew from all personal activities to devote his full time to the affairs of the Cause.
Dr. Giachery served for a number of years as permanent Bahá'í observer to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, where he collaborated in drafting the Charter of Human Rights in 1948, and as a special delegate to many NGO conferences.
A few months after his appointment as a Hand of the Cause, he was named a member-at-large of the International Bahá'í Council, forerunner of the Universal House of Justice, and in that capacity was sent by the Guardian on special missions to India, Iran and many European countries.
Dr. Giachery represented the Guardian at the convention to elect the first Italo-Swiss National Spiritual Assembly, and was elected chairman of that Assembly for nine consecutive years.
He also attended the inaugural Conventions of Spain, Venezuela and Haiti, British Honduras, the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands, and the Near East, and, as the Guardian's representative, took part in International conferences in Stockholm (1953), Chicago (1958) and Australia (1967) among others.
Having returned to Italy with his wife as pioneers in 1947, Dr. Giachery represented the Guardian from 1948-57 in procuring the carved marble and other materials such as structural steel, lumber, cement, tiles,window frames,stained glass and electrical equipment for the construction of the outer building of the Shrine of the Bab, the international Archives and embellishment of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahji.
Dr. Giachery also supervised the construction of the memorial for Shoghi Effendi in London's Great Northern Cemetery.
He served as a Hand of the Cause for Europe from 1951-64, after which his territory was expanded to include 14 countries in Central America and the Antilles.
From 1969 his activities revolved around 15 European countries and some in the Near East, as he and Mrs. Giachery made their home in the Principality of Monaco,in southern France.
The Universal House of Justice praised "Dr. Giachery's outstanding qualities of zeal, fidelity, determination and perseverance," which, it said, "all combine to richly adorn annals Faith over period his superb, assiduous exertions, and undoubtedly assure him bountiful reward in Kingdom on High."