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from the Chronology

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2011. 30 May The passing of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Gayle Wollson (b. 2 June 1913 Crookston MN) in Wilmette, IL. She was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Skokie, Illinois [Find a grave]

Born in the USA to Muslim, Arab-speaking parents of Syrian origin she learned of the Faith through her father. Mr Abas had been introduced to the Bahá'í Faith by a Syrian friend. As a youth she taught children's classes and was one of the very first youth travelling teachers in the US accompanying Marguerite Reimer (later Sears) and Mable Ives. She had already been pioneering in Latin America for fourteen years when in early 1954 she opened the Galápagos Islands to the Bahá'í Faith, thus earning the title ‘Knight of Bahá'u'lláh'. Although her time there was brief, the story of her rich and varied life, dedicated to building up Bahá'í communities throughout Latin America, serving and empowering others, makes fascinating and inspiring reading. Her work with children's education, particularly through the Children's Public Speaking Project where she taught children to memorize passages from the Bahá'í Writings, to present them in public, and to express what they learned in service, was a precursor of the process of learning and practice now finding systematized expression in the worldwide Bahá'í community.

She was appointed to the Auxillary Board and served for 14 years in Ecuador. In 1961 sh was elected to the National Assembly.

From 1970 she served for five years at the World Centre where she did translation work. ‘Future generations will extol your labours, follow in your footsteps, and derive inspiration from your pioneer activities.' Shoghi Effendi to Gayle Woolson in Costa Rica, 1942 [KoG224-225]

In 1971 her book, Divine Symphony was published by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of New Delhi. The book was reprinted in 1976 and 1977. [Collins7.2771; p156]

For her biography see The Art of Empowering Others – A Biography of Knight of Baha'u'llah Gayle Woolson by Juliet Gentzkow and published by George Ronald.

Crookston; MN; USA; Wilette; IL; USA In Memoriam; Gayle Wollson; Knight of Bahaullah

from the Chronology Canada

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