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from the Chronology Canada

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1911 (In the year) The first Alberta Baha'i, Esther Rennels, is reported to have lived in Edmonton from 1911-1917. The Bahá'í community has been in continuous existence only since 1940. [OBCC152; History of the Bahá'ís of Edmonton] Edmonton, AB Esther Rennels
1913 (In the year) Esther R. Rennels was first recorded Bahá'í in Alberta. [Edmonton Bahá'í History; OBCC306; A.Pemberton-Pigott Thesis p23] Edmonton, AB Esther Rennels
1940 (In the year) Mary E. Fry moved to Edmonton from Vancouver. [OBCC217] Edmonton, AB; Vancouver, BC Mary Fry; pioneer
1940 (in the decade) The Baha'i group in Edmonton made contact with "liberal Christians, Theosophists, and others [A.Pemberton-Pigott Thesis p3] cited in OBCC217. Edmonton, AB Teaching
1941 (In the year) Long-time Alberta resident Mabel Pine moved to Edmonton from Vermilion. [OBCC:217; Edmonton Bahá'í History]
  • She had first arrived in Edmonton in 1912 where she studied to become a nurse. Some time after graduation she moved to BC where she accepted the Faith.
  • In 1925 she returned to AB where she spent the rest of her life promoting the Faith. [The Distance Traversed a presentation by Bev Knowlton and Joan Young 2022]
  • Vermillion, AB; Edmonton, AB Mabel Pine
    1942 (In the year) Muriel Warnicker moved to Edmonton from Vancouver and Marcia Atwater moved to Edmonton from the United States.[ OBCC217] There were only a few isolated Baha'is living in Alberta. [A.Pemberton-Pigott Thesis p8] Edmonton, AB; Vancouver, BC Muriel Warnicker; Marcia Atwater
    1942 (In the year) In the Baha'i group in Edmonton as in other groups, it was not uncommon to find women among the first believers or "pioneers." Although there was a Baha'i group in Edmonton in 1911, apparently the Bahá'í community has been in continuous existence only since 1940. [OBCC152]
  • The Vancouver Bahá'í Archives has a photo of the first Bahá'í group in Edmonton in 1942 with Anne McGee, Lyda Martland, Milwyn Davies, Kay Rimell, Anita Ioas (later Chapman). This photo is Plate 30 in OBCC152.
  • Edmonton, AB Anne McGee; Lyda Martland; Milwyn Davies; Kay Rimell; Anita Ioas; Anita Chapman
    1942 (In the year) Four others joined the Faith in Edmonton in 1942. [Edmonton Bahá'í History] Edmonton, AB enrollment
    1942 Sep Ina Trimble, a widow, was the first Edmonton resident to become a Bahá'í (Edmonton Bahá'í Community 2012)." Shortly after in the same year, four people from Edmonton became Baha'is. [OBCC217; Edmonton Bahá'í History] Edmonton, AB Enrollment
    1943 Apr As of this date the Edmonton Bahá'í Community had formed a Spiritual Assembly, the ninth Local Spiritual Assembly in Canada. It was composed entirely of women. [OBCC217; Edmonton Bahá'í History]
  • "Their two goals were to gain male Bahá'ís, and increase membership from ethnic communities, longing to be "a truly international group"
  • Edmonton, AB Local Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1943 12 Nov The Edmonton Baha'i community organized a Race Unity meeting with Muslims, Jews, Ukrainians and one Chinese in attendance. [Edmonton Bahá'í History] Edmonton, AB Race Unity; Interfaith
    1945. c. Mar The establishment of the Friends of the Indians Society in Edmonton. Its chief aims "to assist in the promotion of better understanding and grealter cooperation between the Indians and the Canadian people in general" and "to aid in the establishment of the Indian people as an important part of Canadian society." [CBN No63 Apr 1955 p2]
  • Note: The Committee of Friends of the Indian (after 1951 known as the Friends of the Indians Society), was led by Reta Rowan. [Seen but Not Seen: Influential Canadians and the First Nations from the 1840s to Today by Donald B. Smith]
  • Edmonton, AB Friends of the Indians Society
    1946 (In the year) The first male Bahá'í in Edmonton, Roland McGee, arrived with his wife Anne, in 1946. [Edmonton Bahá'í History] Edmonton, AB Roland McGee; Anne McGee
    1947 Oct Noel Wuttunee (Eagle's Tail Feathers) a Cree from Calgary was the first Indigenous Canadian to join the community. [Bahá'í Canada Site; OBCC153]
  • Mention in CBN No38 Feb 1953 p6, "Gerda and Noel Wuttunee are at present residing in this community at 10958 - 84th Avenue and will remain in Edmonton for the winter."
  • In 1950 he served on the "Prairies Indian Committee". [CBN No 15 September 1950]
  • He may have been a resident of Winnipeg originally. [OBCC209-210, 227]
  • See OBCC144 for a photo.
  • See BW12p793 for a photo of Noel and his wife.
  • Edmonton, AB; Calgary, AB noel wuttunee; Eagles Tail Feathers; Prairie Indian Committee
    1953. 17 May Following his attendance at the Intercontinental Conference in Wilmette Hand of the Cause Furutan made a tour of Canada with an interpreter, Mr M Anvar. They visited several communities in Western Canada and attended the Feast of Grandeur in Edmonton. [CBN No 41 June, 1953 p3]
  • Visits were also made to Winnipeg,London, Ottawa, Toronto, and Kingston and others. [CBN No 42 July, 1954 p5]
  • The tour concluded in the Maritimes with visits to Moncton and lastly Saint John. [CBN No 43 August, 1953 p2]
  • Winnipeg, MB; Edmonton, AB; Ottawa, ON; London, ON; Kingston, ON; Moncton, NB; Saint John, NB Hands of the Cause; Ali Akbar Furutan
    1953 Jun Hand of the Cause Siegfried Schopflocher made a tour of Western Canada to inform the friends of his trip to Haifa, his talks with the Guardian and his plans for the Ten Year Crusade. Stops were made in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton. [CBN No 43 August, 1953 p2] Winnipeg, MB; Regina, SK; Saskatoon, SK; Calgary, AB; Edmonton, AB Hands of the Cause, Activities; Siegfried Schopflocher; Travel teaching
    1955. c. Feb A celebration to mark the 10th anniversary in Edmonton of the Friends of the Indians Society was held with some four hundred white and Native people in attendance.

    The anniversary meeting of the Society, at which Cree First Nations danced with the skill of professionals, First Nations handicrafts and artifacts were displayed, and a full-blooded Haida spoke. His message was directed to the Native people to take up their responsibilities as citizens, to avail themselves of education and adapt themselves to the encroachment of modern civilization.

    The Friends of the Indians (First Nations) Society did much during its 10 years of existence to promote its aims, through monthly meetings to which Indians are invited, through representations to government bodies, by enlightening public opinion through press releases, and through direct welfare and charity when needed. Its present executive committee include a Roman Catholic priest, a Unitarian minister, a Mormon elder, a Bahá'í, and others who are able to work together in harmony and unity. {CBN No63 PE 1955 P3]

    Edmonton, AB Friends of the Indians Society
    1958 Apr The Canadian Bahá'í News reported that as of this date 10 Local Assemblies had been incorporated in Canada. They were: Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Scarborough, Toronto, North York Vancouver Vernon, and Winnipeg. [CBN No 99 April 1958 p3] Edmonton, AB; Hamilton, ON; Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; Scarborough, ON; Toronto, ON; North York, ON; Vancouver, BC; Vernon, BC; Winnipeg, MB Local Spiritual Assembly, incorporation
    1970. 12 Jan An animated presentation entitled "The Community of Baha'u'llah" made its initial presentation at the Art Centre in Ottawa. They had just come from their trial run in St. Lambert, Quebec and had a plan to visit Oshawa, Hamilton, Guelph, North Bay, Fort William (Thunder Bay), Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Kelowna, Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria before doing their final presentation in Toronto just before the National Convention.
  • The hosts for the presentation were: Al Houdek, Gerry Bourassa; Leslie Houdek, Sandra Kostaschuk, Garry Berteig; Larry Brown, and Valerie Berteig with Dick Stanton as the Tour Manager.
  • Travelling exhibit was intended as a vehicle to introduce the Message of Baha'u'llah. They utilized film, sound and slides, as well as traditional art forms. The plan was to have the local communities integrate interested person into the community after the team had made the initial contact. The eight member team made the three month trip in two vehicles, an Econoline van and a station wagon. [CBN No 236 January-February 1970 BE 126 p1]
  • The tour continued into the Maritimes for several more months with some changes in the team to include Gale Bundy, Fred Ward, and Bob Kingdon. The tour ended at Rochdale College in Toronto. [email exchange with Garry Berteig 4 January 2020] iiiii
  • St Lambert, QC; Ottawa, ON; Oshawa, ON; Hamilton, ON; Guelph, ON; North Bay, ON; Fort William, ON; Thunder Bay, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Brandon, MB; Regina, SK; Saskatoon, SK; Edmonton, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Kelowna, BC; Vancouver, BC; Nanaimo, BC; Victoria, BC; Toronto, ON Proclamation; The Community of Bahaullah; Al Houdek; Gerry Bourrassa; Leslie Houdek; Sandra Kostaschuk; Gary Berteig; Garry Brown; Valerie Berteig; Dick Stanton; Fred Ward; Gale Bundy; Bob Kingdon
    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.]

  • 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
    2003 3 Mar The passing of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Una Dean, née Townshend, in Edmonton, Canada. Una lived a full life of Bahá'í service. In 1946 she was the first Bahá'í in Dublin and was later a member of the first spiritual assembly. She also helped to form the first spiritual assembly in Liverpool. In October 1953 she was the first Bahá'i in Malta, a goal of the Ten Year Crusade. In 1954 she returned to Ireland to tend to her ailing father and to assist him in writing Christ and Bahá'u'lláh. After his passing in 1957 she moved to America, met and married her husband, Dick Dean, and moved to Edmonton where she served on the Local Assembly until 1987. [BW02-03p269; Find a grave]
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • Edmonton, AB; Canada; Malta; Ireland; Liverpool; Dublin Una Dean; Una Townshend; Knights of Bahaullah; In Memoriam; Dick Dean
    2012 (In the year) There were 400 Baha'is in the Edmonton Baha'i community representing "a wide variety of races, cultures and social classes. [Edmonton History] Edmonton, AB Statistics
    2014 1 Apr  Allison Healy, a residential school survivor and member of the Bahá'í community of the Kainai First Nation, Alberta, spoke regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final national event in Edmonton, "The truths have been told, we all have learned about the horrible truths; now we really have to move forward to reconciliation and act." [CBNS. 2014]. "Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final National Event concludes in Edmonton." Canadian Bahá'í News Service. Edmonton, Alberta). Kainai First Nation, AB; Edmonton, AB Allison Healy; Truth and Reconciliation Commission
    2019 (Fall) The publication of Hidden Words and Sounds: Tracing Iranian Legacies and Traumas in the Music of the Bahá'ís of North America by Daniel Akira Stadnicki, a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. This dissertation examines music in North American Bahá'í communities and artistic contexts by focusing on the Faith's legacy of Persian culture, aesthetics, and history of religious persecution. Edmonton, AB Daniel Akira Stadnicki; thesis
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