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from the Chronology

date event locations tags see also
1874 14 Nov Birth of William Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, in Montreal. Montreal; Canada Sutherland Maxwell; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths
1902 8 May May Bolles married Sutherland Maxwell in London and moved to Montreal later in the year. [BW8:635; GPB260, BFA2:156 ] London; United Kingdom; Montreal; Canada May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell
1907 (In the year) It was estimated that there were from 1,000 to 1,100 believers in North America by this date, with about 12 believers in Montreal and six Bahá'ís in other localities in Canada. [BFA2:230] United States; Montreal; Canada Statistics
1909 (In the year) Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, became a Bahá'í. [BFA2:156]

In the same year he was married to May Bolles. [WMSH16-17]

Montreal; Quebec; Canada Sutherland Maxwell; Hands of the Cause
1912 30 Aug `Abdu'l-Bahá left Malden for Boston. He left Boston by train for Montreal, arriving at midnight. [239D:132; AB132; BW8:637]
  • He stayed in Montreal for ten days, living for four nights at the Maxwell residence. [239D:132]
  • See also `Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada.
  • Malden; Boston; Montreal; Canada Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Trains; Maxwell residence; Montreal Shrine; Abdul-Baha in Montreal; May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell
    1912 1 Sep 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk at the Church of the Messiah, corner of Simpson and Sherbrooke Sts in Montreal. (Architects: The Maxwell Bros. Built 1907, destroyed by fire 1937) [PUP297]
  • Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, (now 1548 avenue des Pins, ouest) Montreal, Canada. [PUP302]
  • Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, (now 1548 avenue des Pins, ouest) Montreal, Canada. [PUP306]
  • Montreal; Quebec; Canada Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at churches; Abdul-Baha, Talks at homes; May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell; Abdul-Baha in Montreal
    1912 2 Sep Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, 716 Pine Avenue West, (now 1548 avenue des Pins, ouest) Montreal, Canada. [PUP308] Montreal; Canada Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at homes; May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell; Abdul-Baha in Montreal
    1912 5 Sep Talk at St. James Methodist Church, 463 Saint Catherine Street, West, Montreal, Canada. [PUP312]
  • See the film Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada.
  • Montreal; Canada Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at churches; Abdul-Baha in Montreal
    1912 9 Sep `Abdu'l-Bahá was taken to the Grand Trunk Railway station where departed Montreal on His way to Buffalo arrived in Buffalo by train from Montreal. [239D:139; AB265] Montreal; Canada; Buffalo Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Trains; Abdul-Baha in Montreal
    1916. Oct The North American Bahá'í community began a teaching campaign aiming to teach the Faith in the many states named in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and Montreal was designated the centre of the Northern Territory of the Campaign, which was assigned the responsibility of teaching the Faith in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava, Franklin Island, and Greenland .[SoW Vol 7 No 12 16 October 1916 p112] Montreal; Canada Tablets of the Divine Plan
    1922 10 Dec The first local assembly of Montreal was formed. [BW8:639, OBCC157, TG26] Montreal; Quebec; Canada Local Spiritual Assembly
    1927 29 Apr - 1 May The third 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]
  • It was attended by 32 of the 95 elected delegates, others voting "by wire".
  • Those elected to the National Spiritual Assembly were: Allen McDaniel, chairman; Roy C. Wilhelm, vice-chairman; Horace Holley, secretary; Carl Scheffler, treasurer: Mesdames Florence R. Moron, May Maxwell and Amelia Collins, Messrs. Alfred E. Lunt and Louis G. Gregory. This reference contains a very complete report of the Convention including letters from the Guardian. [BN No 18 June 1927 p2-9]
  • See FMH41-42.
  • A major subject of which was race relations. Edwina Powell spoke on the subject, as she had been asked by Shoghi Effendi. In her address, Sadie Oglesby recalled her conversations with Shoghi Effendi on the subject of race. [TMW178–80]
  • Montreal; Quebec; Canada; United States Conventions, National; Allen McDaniel; Roy C. Wilhelm; Horace Holley; Carl Scheffler; Florence R. Moron; May Maxwell (Bolles); Amelia Collins; Alfred Lunt; Louis Gregory; Edwina Powell; Sadie Oglesby
    1928 11 - 12 Feb The ‘Conference for Inter-Racial Amity' was arranged by Inter-Racial Amity Committee of the Bahá’ís of Montreal’. There were three sessions in three venues: the YMCA, Channing Hall, and the Union Congregational Church. Speakers included Louis Gregory (‘International Lecturer on Race Relations’) and Agnes MacPhail, first Canadian woman Member of Parliament. [The Bahá'í 'Race Amity' Movement and the Black Intelligentsia in Jim Crow America: Alain Locke and Robert Abbot by Christopher Buck page 34, Bahá'í Studies Review, 17, pages 3-46, 2011, BW7p660]
  • See BW6p659-664 for the essay by Louis Gregory entitled "Racial Likenesses and Differences: The Scientific Evidence and the Bahá'í Teachings".
  • Date conflict: "The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898-1948 by Will C. van den Hoonaard on page 90 says: "and on 2-4 March 1930 The Montreal Bahá'ís held Race Amity meeting." His source was the National Bahá'í Archives Canada, Notes on Montreal Bahá'í History.
  • SYH147 confirms the conference in Montréal was in "mid-February".
  • Montreal; Quebec; Canada Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity; Agnes MacPhail; Louis Gregory
    1929 16 Mar In December of 1925 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of United States and Canada adopted the "Unified Plan of Action" and among the resolutions was to raise some $400,000 over the following three years to construct the first unit of the superstructure of the Temple. By the end of 1926 only $51,000 had been collected and the following year was just as disappointing. At the National Convention in 1928 Fred Schopflocher's donation of $25,000 inspired contributions and the Fund rose to about $87,000 by March 1929. On this day Fred and Lorol Schopflocher contributed a further $100,000. [LoF388-389, SETPE1p162-163]
  • See May 1937 for another contribution of $100,000 from the Schopflochers.
  • Montreal; Canada; Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Fred Schopflocher; Lorol Schopflocher; Unified Plan of Action; Funds
    1937. 11 Apr The passing of Dr. Zíá Bagdádí (b. February 9, 1882, Beirut, Lebanon) in Augusta, Georgia. He was buried in Westover Memorial Park, Augusta, Georgia.
  • Dr. Bagdádí attended the American University of Beirut and graduated as a physician. In September 1909, on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s advice, he moved to Chicago to further his medical studies and soon emerged as a pillar of the Chicago Bahá’í community. A major translator of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s tablets into English and the editor of the Persian pages of Star of the West, he accompanied ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on much of His North American travels in 1912. In the year 1929, Dr. Bagdádí wrote a book telling of his birthplace and travels in the Orient under the title, Treasures of the East. He wrote of his experiences in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh as a child.
  • He married Zeenat Khanum who was the daughter of Hasan Aqa Tabrizi, aunt of Ali Nakhjavani who went to the Holy Land to give information relating to the restoration of the house of ‘Abdu’llah Pasha. Zeenat’s sister was Fatimih Khanum (Ali Nakhjavani’s mother) who spent her youth in service to the Greatest Holy Leaf. These two sisters, when they were young girls in ‘Akka, nine and eleven years old, were accepted into the household of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. They were married in the first Bahá’í marriage in Montreal, Canada which took place on April 30, 1914. [Bahá'í Chronicles] iiiii
  • Augusta, Georgia; United States; Beirut; Lebanon; Montreal; Canada In Memoriam; Zia Bagdadi; Bagdadi family (Baghdadi family); Star of the West; Zeenat Khanum; Hasan Aqa Tabrizi; Fatimih Khanum; Ali Nakhjavani; House of Abdullah Pasha; American University of Beirut; Restoration
    1950 (Early June) In 1950 Sutherland Maxwell suffered from a severe illness from which he never recovered. He returned to Montreal in early June, 1951. [From CBN undated Memorial Issue] Haifa; Montreal; Canada Sutherland Maxwell
    1952 25 Mar Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Montreal. He died in the very room that the Master had slept in during His visit to Canada. (b.14 November, 1874) [DH143; MBW132; PP246; CBN undated Memorial Issue]
  • For his obituary see BW12:657–62.
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
  • For his relationship with Shoghi Effendi and work on the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb see PP236–43.
  • Shoghi Effendi named the southern door of the Báb’s tomb after him in memory of his services.
  • On June 16th, 1956, friends of the Montreal area gathered at the grave to place, under the headstone, an alabaster box that had been sent by the Guardian. The box contained a piece of plaster taken from the walls of the prison in Máh-Kú where the Báb had been incarcerated in 1847. Another piece of plaster from the same source had been placed under the first golden tile of the dome of the Shrine of the Báb. The superstructure of the Shrine had been designed by Sutherland Maxwell. [TG55; CBN No 80 September 1956 p2]
  • Find a grave.
  • For a brief biography see LoF276-286.
  • The Canadian Bahá'í News published a special Memorial issue.
  • Montreal; Canada Sutherland Maxwell; Architects; Fortress of Mah-Ku; Gifts; Relics; Bab, Shrine of; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
    1953 20 Jun Shoghi Effendi designated the Maxwell home in Montreal as a Shrine. [MtC179] Montreal; Canada Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Montreal Shrine; Maxwell residence; Firsts, Other
    1953 27 Jul Siegfried (Fred) Schopflocher, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Montreal and was buried beside the grave of Sutherland Maxwell in Mount Royal Cemetery. He was born in Landkreis Fürth, Germany 26 September 1877. [BW12:664-666, LOF390, TG119, CBNS 24 July 2014, Bahá'í Chronicles, SCRIBD, Schopflocher, Siegfried (1877–1953) by Will C. van den Hoonaard]
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the second contingent on the 29th of February, 1952. [MoCxxiii]
  • See TG32, 228 and LoF384-390 for short biographies.
  • Bahá'í Encyclopedia for a biography written by Will van den Hoonaard.
  • See Schopflocher, Siegfried by Will C. van den Hoonaard.
  • For his obituary see BW12:664–6.
  • He was known as the “Temple Builder” because of his great contributions to the completion of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West. [BW12:664-666]
  • For a brief biography see Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • Find a grave.
  • Montreal; Canada Siegfried Schopflocher; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Second Contingent; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette
    1962. 10 May The passing of F. St. George Spendlove (b. 23 April, 1897 in Montreal) in Toronto. [BW13p895-899]
  • He was part of the community of early believers in Montreal where he learned about the Faith after returning from the war in Europe.
  • He was a curator of the Canadian Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Face of Early Canada, published in 1958, was illustrated with pieces from this collection. A second book, Collectors’ Luck, followed in 1960. [BW13p895–899]
  • See Bahá'ís of Canada.
  • Toronto; Montreal; Canada George Spendlove; In Memoriam
    1970 26 Sep The passing of Florence Evaline (Lorol) Schopflocher (b.1886 in Montreal. QC) in the Green Acre area. She was buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Eliot, Maine [Find a grave]
  • Wife of Hand of the Cause of God Siegfried Schopflocher. For his "In Memoriam" see BW7p664.
  • She circled the globe nine times on travel teaching tours and visited some 86 countries, many of them multiple times. She travelled to Iran twice visiting parts not previously visited by Western Bahá'ís.
  • She visited the Guardian 11 times.
  • She had several audiences with King Feisal in Iraq and discussed the question of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád with him.
  • Favourite themes for her public talks were the World Order letters of Shoghi Effendi and the emancipation and education of women.
  • A radiant star went from the West to the East. [BW15p488-489]
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • See her account of her travels in her autobiographical book Sunburst.
  • Montreal; Quebec; Canada Lorol Schopflocher; Siegfried Schopflocher; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; House of Bahaullah (Baghdad)
    1971 11 Feb The Montreal Municipality issued a permit recognizing the Maxwell home as a Bahá'í Shrine after nine years of negotiations and delays. With this struggle came a hidden blessing. For years the Shrine had been used as a Bahá'í Centre by the Montreal community, open also to friends of the area as a place to hold public meetings, open Feasts, and certain activities not always suited to it as a Shrine. The realization was made that it was a National Bahá'í Shrine and as such should not be used as a centre. [CBNApril1971p10]

    Bahai.ca: Bahá’í Shrine in Montréal

    Montreal; Quebec; Canada Montreal Shrine; Recognition (legal)
    1975 (In the year) The release of the film entitled Invitation produced under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada by Elizabeth Martin, with the help of Chris Lyons. It was a memoir of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum incorporating footage from Khánum's Andean trip along with memories of her childhood years in Montreal. [HNWE36]
  • The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada invited Hand of the Cause Amatu’l-Bahá to the re-opening of the Bahá’í Shrine in Montreal following the completion of renovations to the historic Bahá’í site. This film documents inspired talks she gave from August 30th to September 7th, including the on given in the Church of the Messiah, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had given an address in 1912. She shares reminiscences related to her childhood home which was later designated by Shoghi Effendi as a Shrine.
  • The film was originally shot in 16mm and was digitally remastered in 2003.
  • Montreal; Canada; Latin America Film; Invitation (film); Elizabeth Martin; Chris Lyons; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, Journeys of
    1982 2 – 5 Sep A 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.
  • Montreal; Canada Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, International; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf)

    from the Chronology Canada

    date event locations tags see also
    1874. 14 Nov Birth of William Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, in Montreal. Montreal William Sutherland Maxwell; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths
    1902 8 May May Bolles married Sutherland Maxwell in London and moved from Paris to Montreal. [BW8:635; GPB260] It can be said that the history of the Bahá'í Faith in Canada began at this point. London, ON; Montreal, QC, May Bolles, Sutherland Maxwell
    1906 (In the year) Alí Kuli Khán, his wife Florence Breed and son Rahím, then living in Washington, DC, visited Montreal early in the year becoming the first Persian Bahá'í to visit Canada. During their nine-day visit May Maxwell rented a house for them and he taught the Faith to large gatherings. [OBCC35] Montreal, QC Ali Kuli Khan; Florence Breed; May Maxwell
    1906 16 Sep Abdu'l-Bahá addressed a tablet to the Montreal Community through Percy Woodcock. [BFA2p157, Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, vol.II, pp.531-3] Montreal, QC Percy Woodcock
    1908 (In the year) There were 16 Bahá'ís in Montreal.
  • Percy Woodcock resided briefly in and occasionally visited Brockville, ON
  • Dr James Oakshette resided in Toronto [BFA2p157.
  • Montreal, QC; Brockville, ON; Toronto, ON Percy Woodcock; James Oakshette
    1909 (In the year) Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, became a Bahá'í. [BFA2:156] Montreal Sutherland Maxwell; Hands of the Cause
    1912. Jan (Early) Letter from May Maxwell to Star of the West... "Early in January we received a visit from Mirza Ahmad Sohrab who announced the coming of Abdul-Baha to America and spoke of his visit to England and France. Among those who heard this address was the leader of the Socialist party of Montreal and other Socialists, the editor of the leading newspaper of Canada and several people connected with public work. Later this paper published a very good article on the Bahai Message and the coming visit of Abdul-Baha." [SoW Vol 3 No 1 March 21, 1912] Montreal, QC Ahmad Sohrab; May Maxwell
    1912 Jan Letter from May Maxwell to Star of the West... A few weeks later another talk given by a Montreal Bahai, on the significance of Abdul-Baha's visit to the occident, which was shortly followed by an address by Mr. Honore Jaxon, of Chicago, who presented the Bahai Message from the standpoint of the working class movement. Mr. Jaxon had just returned from England where he had been doing a work of seed-sowing and preparation among the organized labor people and socialists, and in his very broad and comprehensive talk in Montreal he showed the vital connection between these world-wide movements and the Teachings of Baha'o'llah. Mr. Jaxon spoke to several bodies and societies in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec in such a spirit as to arouse interest and establish ties of good-will and fellowship, which will no doubt be the means of opening wide many doors for the reception of Abdul-Baha and the all-embracing Truth. [SoW Vol 3 No 1 March 21, 1912] Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; Toronto, ON; Quebec, QC Honore Jaxon; May Maxwell
    1912. 30 Aug (Friday) `Abdu'l-Bahá left Malden for Boston. He left Boston at 9AM by train for Montreal, arriving at midnight and was met by Sutherland Maxwell. He took only two of His attendants with Him, Mírzá Ahmad Sohrab and Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání, HIs chronicler. [239D:132; AB132; BW8:637]
  • In spite of the lateness of the hour a group of friends and a newspaper publisher, Mr John Lewis of the Montreal Daily Star were waiting to see the Master at the Maxwell home. That newspaper and The Gazette provided extensive coverage of the visit. It is noteworthy that the newspaper coverage in the Montreal papers were noticeably free of journalistic quirks and extravagances. [AB256-257; MD226-227]
  • He stayed in Montreal for ten days, living for four nights at the Maxwell residence. [239D:132]
  • See also the film `Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada by Fred Rohani.
  • Malden; Boston; Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Maxwell residence; Montreal Shrine
    1912. 31 Aug (Saturday) His first act in the morning was to heal the sick child of a neighbouring family, the Birks. The nine year old had been an invalid all her life. Caressingly He laid His hands on her head and shoulders and then told the family that she must go out every day, in the middle of the day, on the ground, and that in time she would be entirely healed. Nine months later, she was perfectly healthy and strong. On leaving their home He went directly to their store and bought a number of watches and rings which He used as gifts on the rest of His trip. [ABC53]
  • In the morning the pastor of the Unitarian Church came with several others to visit 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Master discussed the elimination of religious superstitions and prejudices which are contrary to science and commons sense and which are obstacles to the attainment of the foundation of truth of the divine religions. [MD227]
  • He granted an interview with a newspaper reporter. His questions were about His life and the history of the cause. [MD228]
  • In the afternoon, at the invitation of Mr. Maxwell, 'Abdu'l-Bahá went for a ride in the carriage. His comment, when He saw the college buildings was:
    "As only material education is imparted and only natural philosophy is taught, these universities do not produce highly talented scholars. When both the natural and divine philosophies are expounded, they will bring forth outstanding souls and evince great advancement. The reason for the success of the Greek schools was that they combined both natural and diving philosophies". [MD228]
  • They visited the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame. He gazed at the vast cathedral, its ornamentation and numerous statues and spoke of its grandeur and embellishments. Standing in an open sped at the entrance, He said:
    "Behold what eleven disciples of Christ have accomplished, how they sacrificed themselves! I exhort you to walk in their footsteps. When a person is detached, he is capable of revolutionizing the whole world. The disciples of Christ met together in consultation on top of a mountain. They pledged themselves to undergo all manner of hardships, to accept every affliction as a bounty and to consider all difficulties easy to overcome. 'He who is tied to a family, let him arrange to leave it; he who is not should remain single. He should forgo his comfort and his life'. Consulting thus, they descended from the mountain and each on went a different way and never returned. It is for this reason that they were able to leave behind such achievements. After Christ, the disciples truly forgot themselves, and not merely in word." [MD228-229]
  • In the evening there was a well-attended meeting at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's residence and following the talk many requested private interviews. Among those was the president of the socialist organization who invited the Master to speak to his group. [MD230]
  • Among those who came was the Reverend F.J. Griffin, the minister of the Church of the Messiah, Unitarian, who was to introduce Him to his congregation on the following morning. 'Abdu'l-Bahá presented him with an armful of American Beauty roses. [ABC57]
  • The list of those attending this first reception included: Martha McBean, a cousin of Sutherland Maxwell, someone who shared with him the distinction of being one of the two first declared believers of Canadian birth, Mrs V S Pomeroy with her daughters, Mary and Elise and Elizabeth Cowles, Miss Anne Savage (librarian), Mrs George S Thompson, Percy Woodcock, Prof Armstrong (McGill University), Dr Carmichael, Dr Johnson, Mr Wright, Mr John Lewis (editor of the Montreal Daily Star) and Mr Archie Eddington and his wife. [Excerpts from the account of Amine De Mille from ABC55-57]
  • Attending as well were the two children of the Maxwell household Mary Maxwell and Eddie Elliot, the mother of a servant. He would later become a member of the Montreal Local Assembly and was the only member of his race to become a Bahá'í in Montreal in his lifetime. [Excerpts from the account of Amine De Mille from ABC55-57]
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Maxwell residence; Montreal Shrine; Reverend F.J. Griffin; Martha McBean; Eddie Elliot;
    1912 1 Sep (Sunday) 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk at the Unitarian Church, the Church of the Messiah, located on the corner of Simpson and Sherbrooke Sts in Montreal. (Architects: The Maxwell Bros. Built 1907, destroyed by fire 1937) [PUP297; ABC17-22; MD261]
  • Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell. [PUP302; ABC17-22]
  • Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell. [PUP306ABC23-25] It was during this address that His taj fell from His head and His hair tumbled down. He continued to speak in this state for more than half an hour. [MD236-237]
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell
    1912. 2 Sep (Monday) On this day He and HIs companions moved into the Windsor Hotel where He rented three rooms. At the hotel He was able to accomodate much larger numbers of seekers. [HD237]
  • Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell. [PUP308; ABC26-30]
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell
    1912. 3 Sep (Tuesday) 'Abdu'l-Bahá addressed Socialtists and Labour leaders of the day in Coronation Hall, 204 St. Lawrence Street. [ABC31-36, 48] Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Coronation Hall
    1912. 5 Sep (Wednesday) He was visited by the Bishop of Montreal visited Him and expressed his pleasure at the meetings being held and gratitude for "the address concerning the purpose of the Manifestation of Christ and the other holy Manifestations." 'Abdu'l-Bahá invited him to the talk in the Methodist Church later that day. [239D136]
  • Talk at St. James Methodist Church, 463 Sainte Catherine Street, West, to a gathering of 1200. In the talk He indicated that Canada shared much the same destiny as the United State. [PUP312; ABC37-43, 48; AB264-265]
      Praise be to God! I find these two great American nations highly capable and advanced in all that appertains to progress and civilization. These governments are fair and equitable. The motives and purposes of these people are lofty and inspiring. Therefore, it is my hope that these revered nations may become prominent factors in the establishment of international peace and the oneness of the world of humanity; that they may lay the foundations of equality and spiritual brotherhood among mankind; that they may manifest the highest virtues of the human world, revere the divine lights of the Prophets of God and establish the reality of unity so necessary today in the affairs of nations.
  • See the film Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada by Fred Rohani, produced by Faramarz Rohani and narrated by Laylee Delaine.
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, St James Methodist Church; film; Fred Rohani; Faramarz Rohani; Laylee Delaine
    1912. 6 Sep (Thursday) 'Abdu'l-Bahá had caught a cold the previous evening and so His departure was delayed for a few days. During this time He only went to the Maxwell home and many came to visit Him at the hotel. [MD247] Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
    1912. 7 Sep (Friday) A group of people came to visit Him at His hotel. He explained that just as in the physical world, in the realm of religion there is a time of heavenly and spiritual springtime.
  • In the afternoon the Master spoke about the oneness of the fundamental truths of the religions of God. [MD248]
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Windsor Hotel
    1912. 8 Sep (Saturday) On His last full day in Montreal with the friends 'Abdu'l-Bahá said: "I have sown the seed. Now water it. You must educate the souls in divine morals, make them spiritual, and lead them to the oneness of humanity and to universal peace." [239D137]
  • See 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada: A compilation from written accounts by Marlene Macke.
  • Montreal, QC Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
    1912. 9 Sep (Sunday) The hotel bill for $700 was paid and the party was taken to the railroad station. The chief officer at the Customs and his assistants passed the baggage through indicating that the baggage of the Bahá'ís did not have to be inspected.
  • A grand party of well-wishers were on hand to bid Him farewell. The train departed for Buffalo at 9AM. [HD250] iiiii
  • Montreal, QC; Buffalo, NY
    1914 30 Apr The marriage of Dr Zia Bagdadi, an Arab from Syria and devoted companion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Zeenat Khánum, daughter of Hasan Aqá Tabrízí, a personal attendant of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Akká. It was the wish that these two Middle-Eastern Bahá'ís should be married in the Maxwell home. It was the first Bahá'í marriage in Canada. [OBCC73] Montreal, QC Marriage; Zia Bagdadi; Zeenat Khanum
    1916. Oct The North American Bahá'í community began a teaching campaign aiming to teach the Faith in the many states named in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and Montreal was designated the centre of the Northern Territory of the Campaign, which was assigned the responsibility of teaching the Faith in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Mackenzie, Keewatin, Ungava, Franklin Island, and Greenland .[SoW Vol 7 No 12 16 October 1916 p112] Montreal, QC Tablets of the Divine Plan
    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] 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
    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] Montreal, QC Local Spiritual Assembly, formation
    1922 11 Dec First formal Nineteen-day Feast held in Montreal (Feast of Questions) [OBCC159] Montreal, QC Feast
    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] 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] 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 Bagadi. [OBCC76] Montreal, QC; Toronto, ON Jinab-i-Fadil; Zia Bagadi
    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] Montreal, QC Queen Marie of Romania
    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 Sala, Mary Gillis, (later 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]
  • When advised of the formation of this group Shoghi Effendi replied, in part
      ...I urge them to study profoundly the revealed utterances of Bahá'u'lláh and the discourses of Àbdu'l-Bahá and not to rely unduly on the representations and interpretation of the Teaching given by the Bahá'í speakers and teachers. [MtC30-31]
  • A Bahá’í youth group had been started in California in 1912, but the Montreal group was the first in North America to systematically study the Teachings—an exercise that had a long—lasting influence on the development and growth of the Bahá’í community in Canada and elsewhere. Members of the group would later distinguish themselves as some of the best-known teachers, administrators, pioneers, and writers of the Bahá’í Faith. [BWM46]
  • 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
    1927. 24 - 28 Apr Just prior to the National Convention, the Bahá'í Community of Montreal organized a "World Unity Conference". It was attended by Louis Gregory. [OBCC90] Montreal, QC Race Amity; Louis Gregory
    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]
  • 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]
  • Montreal, QC National Spiritual Assembly; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions (Bahai); By-laws; Recognition (legal)
    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 Elliot, 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]
  • Montreal, QC Willard McKay; Doris McKay; travel teaching; Gifts; Eddie Elliot; Emeric Sala; Roland Estall; Rosemary Sala; Youth Group
    1930 2 Mar First Race Amity meeting held in Montreal. [OBCC90] Montreal, QC Race Amity
    1932 Jan The first known use of radio to spread knowledge of the Faith was in Montreal by Martha Root. [MR381-382] Montreal, QC Radio; Martha Root
    1935. 25 Mar The Spiritual Assembly of Montreal became incorporated, the first Bahá'í governing body in Canada to do so. [BW6p323-328] Montreal, QC Local Spiritual Assembly, incorporation
    1939 27 Aug Gerrard Sluter-Schlutius— German-born, former U-boat captain, enrolled in November of 1932 and was a member of the Montreal Bahá’í youth group. He moved to Toronto in March 1935 and to Guatemala in 1939 as the second overseas pioneer. [OBCC97, 104-105]
  • He also pioneered to Honduras and later to Colombia. In the middle of 1940's Gerrard Sluter was removed from the rolls by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Shoghi Effendi later declared him a Covenant-breaker for his persistent political involvement. Later Sluter appealed to the judicial courts of Colombia to demand the cancellation of the legal status of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Bogota. He failed in all his lawsuits against the Assembly. [BNVol2p315]
  • Montreal, QC; Toronto, ON; Guatemala; Honduras; Bogota, Columbia Gerrard Sluter-Schlutius; Covenant-breakers
    1939. before Sept Rowland Estall combined his business travel with teaching visits to Calgary and Regina as well as Vancouver and West Vancouver. He had earlier laid the foundation of his business in visits to Toronto and Montreal, in both of which cities he lectured, as well as in St. Lambert. He also made excellent contacts with two University professors who, with a few others, have started an important social and religious reform movement in Canada and have published a popular textbook of the movement. During July Mr. Estall taught regularly in Winnipeg a study group of six to eight inquirers, following an outline of seventeen lessons which he developed on the World Order, using as a basis of each discussion a different free literature pamphlet which was distributed. The first result of his Winnipeg work was the registration of Miss Lillian Tomlinson. Dr. Mariette Bolton also visited and spoke in Winnipeg to the Quota Club. [Bahai News No 131 November 1939 p4] Calgary,AB; Regina,SK; Vancouver,BC; West Vancouver,BC; Toronto,ON; Montreal,QC; St Lambert,QC
    1940. 1 Mar May Bolles Maxwell (b. 14 January 1940 in Englewood, NJ) passed away in Buenos Aires. [BBD153; TG49]

    Shoghi Effendi called her "the spiritual mother of Canada" Montreal "the mother city of Canada. [OBCC35]

  • Shoghi Effendi awarded her the honour of a ‘martyr’s death’ and designated her as a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [BW8:631; MA38]
  • She was the first Bahá'í on European soil and the "mother" of both the French and the Canadian Bahá'í communities. [PP149]
  • For her "In Memoriam" and tribute written by Marion Holley see BW8p631-642.
  • Hooper Dunbar quoted Shoghi Effendi in his cable to the friends in Iran announcing her passing:
      May Maxwell, the severed teacher firebrand of the love of God and spreader of the fragrances of God Mrs Maxwell, forsook her native land and hastened to the most distant countries out of love for her Master and yearning to sound the call to the Cause of her Lord and her inspiration, until she ascended to the highest summit attaining the rank of martyrdom in the capital of the Argentine. The furthermost boundary the countenances of paradise invoke blessings upon her in the glorious apex saying, may she enjoy with healthy relish the cup that is full and brimming over with the wine of the love of God for the like of this should the travaillers travail. Inform all the friends of the announcement of this mighty victory. [A talk] given by Mr Dunbar 28:08]
  • Shoghi Effendi asked her husband, Sutherland Maxwell, to design her tomb, which was to be a ‘historic centre’ for ‘pioneer Bahá’í activity’. [BW8:642]
  • For an account of the erection of the monument to her see PSBW83–6.
  • Montreal, QC May Maxwell (Bolles); Sutherland Maxwell; Architecture; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; First Bahais by country or area.
    1941. 28 Jun - 2 Jul First summer School in Canada in Montreal was held in three different homes, the Schopflochers', the Salas' and the Maxwells'. Reports of the number of people attending vary from 17 to 25 to 30. Those attending were from Montreal, St. Lambert, Moncton, Hamilton, Toronto, (among them a new believer named John Robarts), Ottawa Rouyn, and Winnipeg. Three non-Bahá'ís also attended and enrolled shortly thereafter.

    The varied program provided daily talks and discussions based on the outline ‘Deepening the Spiritual Life’; study of the first part of ‘The Promised Day Is Come’ (led by Miss Winnifred Harvey); separate talks on ‘Bahá’í Administration’ (Siegfried Schopflocher, Ragnar Mattson, and Lou Boudler); ‘Bahá’í Attitude towards Christianity’ (Mrs. Agnes King); and ‘Post-War Reconstruction’ (John De Mille). Lorol Schopflocher contributed an account of her journeys to Central America and the British West Indies, and Emeric and Rosemary Sala gave us stories of their experiences in Venezuela and Columbia. [OBCC268; BW9:28; TG84; BN No 149 December 1941 p5]

    Montreal, QC Summer schools; Winnifred Harvey; Siegfried Schopflocher; Ragnar Mattson,; Lou Boudler; Agnes King; john De Mille; Lorol Schopflocher; Emeric Sala; Rosemary Sala; John Robarts
    1941. (Summer) The war years brought an unexpected development in the Bahá’í community in Canada. Government restrictions on foreign currency exchange reduced the attendance by Canadian Bahá’ís at the Green Acre and Geyserville summer schools in the United States. After the 1941 National Convention, Rowland Estall was charged with the start—up of Bahá’í summer schools and conferences in Canada. With the financial help of Siegfried Schopfiocher, the first such gathering took place in Montreal from late June to early July of that year. A month later the Ontario Bahá’ís hosted a summer school at Rice Lake, and a summer session took place in Vernon, British Colombia. From then on summer schools became a regular feature of Canadian Bahá’í life. [BWM48-49] Montreal, QC; Rice Lake, ON; Vernon, BC Summer schools
    1948 Ridván The following were elected to the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Montréal: Siegfried Schopflocher, Gwen Inwood, Arthur Irwin, Milli Tina Gordon, Eddie Elliot, Adline Lohse, Bert Rakovsky; Amine De Mille; and René Roy. [OBCC146, 153] Montreal, QC Local Spiritual Assembly, election; Siegfried Schopflocher; Gwen Inwood; Arthur Irwin; Milli Tina Gordon; Eddie Elliot; Adline Lohse; Bert Rakovsky; Amine De Mille; René Roy
    1948 24 - 25 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of the Dominion of Canada was established. [BBRSM:186; BW13:856; MBW143; PP397; BW11p20]
  • It was attended by 112 Bahá'ís, 19 of them delegates. The country-wide membership was less than 500. [BC Vol 9 No 8 October 1987 p17]
  • Those elected were: John Robarts (chair), Emeric Sala (vice), Laura Davis (sec'y), Siegfried Schopflocher (tres), Rowland Estall, Lloyd Gardner, Ross Woodman, Rosemary Sala, and Doris Richardson. [BN No 207 May 1948 105BE p3]
  • See BW11:160, 184, Bahá'í Historical Facts for pictures.
  • The first National Convention was held in the Maxwell home (in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's home as will be the election of the Universal House of Justice some 15 years hence.) with 13/19 delegates from all the provinces attending. (Six were unable to attend due to a flood.) Those elected to the first National Spiritual Assembly were: Laura Davis, Rowland Estall, Lloyd Gardner, Doris Richardson, John Robarts, Emeric Sala, Rosemary Sala, Siegfried Schopflocher, and Ross Woodman. [TG110, OBCC269-272]
  • For a picture of the first Canadian National Spiritual Assembly see OBCC148.
  • For Ruhiyyíh Khanum's Message to the first Canadian Convention see BN212 October 1948 pg2-t and Part II of the same address can be found at BN213 Novembe3r 1948 pg10-11.
  • Montreal, QC National Spiritual Assembly; National Convention; Laura Davis; Rowland Estall; Lloyd Gardner; Doris Richardson; John Robarts; Emeric Sala; Rosemary Sala; Siegfried Schopflocher; Ross Woodman; National Spiritual Assembly, election of
    1950's (Early) The editor of the Canadian Bahá'í News was Miss Vicki Bond of Montreal. [CBN No 13 May 1950] Montreal, QC Vicki Bond; Canadian Bahai News
    1951. 27 - 29 Apr Canada's fourth National Convention was held in the Vancouver Hotel. Those elected were; John Robarts (chair), Rowland Estall (vice-chair) Laura Davis (secretary), Emeric Sala (treasurer) Rosemary Sala, Lloyd Gardner, Mae McKenna, Winnifred Harvey, and Siegfried Schopflocher.
  • For a list of delegates (18) see CBN No 18 Mar 1951 p2. For the agenda see CBN No 19 April 1951 p10-11.
  • Amelia Collins attended the Convention and gave the Canadian Bahá'í Community a lock of hair of Bahá'u'lláh as a gift from Shoghi Effendi. In addition, she gave a piece of Burmese alabaster from the Tomb of the Báb, These precious relics were placed in the Maxwell home archives in Montreal. [UC31]
  • Vancouver, BC; Montreal, QC National Spiritual Assembly; National Convention; relics; Amelia Collins; John Robarts; Rowland Estall; Laura Davis; Emeric Sala; Rosemary Sala; Lloyd Gardner; Mae McKenna; Winnifred Harvey; Siegfried Schopflocher; National Spiritual Assembly, election of
    1951. 14 Jun All will note with interest the increasing use of plays and playlets as a teaching medium. The Montreal community produced one entitled "Fireside Chatter", written by Harold Hamwee. They report "The Maxwell Home was crowded for the event, and it was an exciting evening, not only for the audience, but for the 9 Montreal Bahá'ís in the cast, some of whom had never been on stage before, and were rather surprised to find out that in the new era one also ACTS. The play takes place in the home of a couple who had pioneered to a new city and are holding a fireside. The discussion is typical of most Bahá'í firesides where Bahá'u'lláh's remedies for a better world are discussed. The most outstanding character was Alix, whose thinking was obviously mixed up, but who bravely wore a bright red shirt in honour of her ideas. Rena Gordon deserves praise for the character study of this pathetic but comic figure. Alex had prejudice against everything except names. ·She had no difficulty with the word Bahá'u'lláh. "My own name is Yosopovitch", she said, "which does not includemy three middle names!" The play had no dramatic action, but it had continuity and held the attention of the audience. It presented the Baha'i Faith. to new contacts in a more vivid manner than any speaker could have done." [CBN No23 November 1951 p6] Montreal, QC Play; Harold Hamwee
    1951. 22 Oct After two preliminary meetings, the Montreal District Youth Group got away to a good start. Under the direction of John Pollitt, of St. Lambert, this group reviewed Prescription for Living. There were plans to do something by way of social activity during the coming season and every effort was made to interest young people in Bahá'í activity. [CBN No 25 January 1952 p8] Montreal, QC Montreal District Youth Group; John Pollitt
    1952. 29 Feb Shoghi Effendi appointed Siegfried Schopflocher among the second contingent of Hands of the Cause of God. [BW12:375–6; CT202–3 MBW20–1; PP254; ZK47]
  • Shoghi Effendi described their two-fold function: propagation of the Faith and preservation of its unity. [BW12:376; MBW21]
  • Haifa; Montreal, QC Siegfried Schopflocher; Hands of the Cause
    1952. 25 Mar Sutherland Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Montreal. (b.14 November, 1874) [DH143; MBW132; PP246]
  • For his obituary see BW12:657–62.
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the first contingent on the 24th of December, 1951. [MoCxxiii]
  • For his relationship with Shoghi Effendi and work on the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb see PP236–43.
  • Shoghi Effendi named the southern door of the Báb’s tomb after him in memory of his services.
  • On June 16th, 1956, friends of the Montreal area gathered at the grave to place, under the headstone, an alabaster box that had been sent by the Guardian. The box contained a piece of plaster taken from the walls of the prison in Máh-Kú where the Báb had been incarcerated in 1847. Another piece of plaster from the same source had been placed under the first golden tile of the dome of the Shrine of the Báb. The superstructure of the Shrine had been designed by Sutherland Maxwell. [TG55; CBN No 80 September 1956 p2]
  • Find a grave.
  • For a brief biography see LoF276-286.
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • The Canadian Bahá'í News published a special Memorial issue.
  • Montreal, QC Sutherland Maxwell; Fortress of Mah-Ku; Relics; Bab, Shrine of; In Memoriam
    1953 29 Mar The funeral for Hand of the Cause Sutherland Maxwell was chaired by John Robarts, the then chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly.
  • Mr. Eddie Elliott, member of the Spiritual Assembly of Montreal and son of a former servant in the Maxwell household sang the spiritual "Steal Away".
  • Mr Rowland Estall, the vice-chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly read some Writings and then delivered the eulogy.
  • A cable that had just arrived from the Guardian announced that the southern door of the Tomb of the Báb would be named after him.
  • Mr. Estall read the Prayer for the Departed.
  • Mr Horace Holley, secretary of the National spiritual assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United states and Mr Fred Schopflocher, a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, both distinguished Hands of the cause, had the honour to represent the Guardian at the service. Each of them read a prayer at the interment in Mount royal Cemetery. [CBN undated Memorial Issue]
  • Montreal, QC Sutherland Maxwell; John Robarts; Eddie Elliott; Rowland Estall; Horace Holley; Fred Schopflocher
    1953 The Hazira Committee was replaced by The Hazira and Temple Committee. [CBN No 41 June 1953 p2] Montreal, QC Haziratu’l-Quds
    1953. 9 or 10 May Following her attendance at the Intercontinental Conference in Wilmette Ruhiyyih Khanum met with Bahá'í friends in her former home. She discussed the donation of the Maxwell House to the National Spiritual Assembly as a shrine and suggested how it might be suitably used.
  • The following day friends gathered in Mount Royal Cemetery for a commemorative service for her father, Sutherland Maxwell. Rose petals from the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh were scattered on the grave. [CBN Vol 13 No 3 July 2000 p5]
  • She was accompanied by Hand of the Cause and member of the International Council Amelia Collins. [CBN No 41 June 1953 p3; CBN No 45 October, 1953 p3]
  • Montreal, QC Amelia Collins; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Sutherland Maxwell; Shrine
    1953. 21 May Ruhíyyih Khánum gave the Maxwell home at 1548 Pine Avenue West in Montreal, to the Canadian Bahá'í Community. [UC41] Montreal, QC Montreal Shrine; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
    1953. 20 Jun Shoghi Effendi designated the Maxwell home in Montreal as a Shrine. [MtC179; CBN No 45 October 1953 p1] Montreal, QC Shrine
    1953. 10 Jul The accidental death of Eddie Elliot, the first African-Canadian Bahá'í. He was a hydro-line worker and met his death while working on a high-voltage transformer. [CBN No 45 October, 1953 p4]
  • He had grown up in the same household as Mary Maxwell because his mother was employed as a maid and lived in the house.
  • He was a long-time member of the Local Spiritual Assembly and was often called upon to chair. He also maintained his membership in a Christian Church and came to the Faith through Rev Este's church, the Union United Church, the only African Canadian church in Montreal. [OBBC91-92]
  • Only a few months previous to his passing the Guardian had invited him to Haifa and then he continued on to attend the African Intercontinental Teaching Conference in Kampala in February, 1953 as a representative of the National Spiritual Assembly. [CBN No 43Aug 1953 p2; BN No 267 May 1953 p5-7; CBN No 45 October, 1953 p4]
  • Eddie Elliot is considered the first Black Canadian Bahá'í. [MC2p184]
  • Montreal, QC In Memoriam; Eddie Elliott
    1953. 14 Jul Gale Keass and Jameson Bond were married in the Maxwell home, the first marriage to be performed there since it was declared a Shrine. [UC43] Montreal, QC Gale Keass; Jameson Bond; Marriage; Shrine
    1953 27 Jul Siegfried (Fred) Schopflocher, Hand of the Cause of God, passed away in Montreal and was buried beside the grave of Sutherland Maxwell in Mount Royal Cemetery at the Guardian's suggestion. He was born in Germany in 1877. [BW12:664-666, LOF390, TG119, CBNS 24 July 2014, Bahá'í Chronicles, SCRIBD, Schopflocher, Siegfried (1877–1953) by Will C. van den Hoonaard; CBN No 43 August 1953 p4; CBN No 44 September 1953 p2; MtC185-187]
  • Shoghi Effendi had appointed him among the second contingent on the 29th of February, 1952. [MoCxxiii]
  • See TG32, 228 and LoF384-390 for short biographies.
  • See Schopflocher, Siegfried by Will C. van den Hoonaard.
  • For his obituary see BW12:664–6.
  • He was known as the “Chief Temple Builder” because of his great contributions to the completion of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West. [BW12:664-666]
  • He made significant contributions to Green Acre both financially and administratively.
  • During the period 1924 to 1947 he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada fifteen times. He served on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada from its formation until his passing.
  • He was instrumental in the purchase of the first property for the Haziratu'l Quds.
  • For a brief biography see Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • Find a grave.
  • His funeral was held on the 31st of July presided by the chair of the National Spiritual Assembly John Robarts. The eulogy was delivered by the vice-chair, Rowland Estall. [CBN No 46 November, 1953 p7-10]
  • On August 23, the Montreal Assembly arranged a memorial service in the Maxwell Home which was attended by members of the National Assembly and friends, mainly from the Montreal area. This service in Fred's home community was intimate and personal. Many people recalled with loving gratitude personal associations with Fred, kindly and helpful things he had done in his unobtrusive way, gifts of hospitality or consideration that they had treasured sometimes for many years. [CBN No 46 November 1953 Insert]
  • A memorial service was held in the Temple in Wilmette on the 28th of August. [CBN No 46 November, 1953 p3]
  • Montreal, QC Siegfried Schopflocher; Hands of the Cause; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Second Contingent; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette
    1953. 7 Nov At a National Assembly meeting in Montreal the Hazira ·and Temple Committee reported on a proposed purchase was discussed in detail and some questions on it were referred to the Guardian. [CBN No 47 December 1953 p2] Montreal, QC Hazira
    1953 c. Dec The legal transfer of the ownership of the Maxwell House was transferred to the National Spiritual Assembly. {CBN No 45 October 1953 p2] Montreal, QC Shrine
    1954 (Early in the year) Florence Mayberry made a tour of Eastern Canada with stops in Bellville, Kingston, Montreal, St Lambert, Westmount, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Ingersoll, Hamilton, and Peterborough. [CBN No 51 April, 1954 p5] Bellville, ON; Kingston, ON; Montreal, QC; St Lambert, QC; Westmount, QC; Quebec City, QC; Charlottetown, PE; Ingersoll, ON; Hamilton, ON; Peterborough, ON Florence Mayberry; Travel Teaching
    1956. 16 Jun A group of friends from the Montreal area gathered at the grave the beloved Hand of the Cause of God Sutherland Maxwell. The purpose of the gathering was to fulfill the instructions of the Guardian to deposit, under the headstone, a piece of plaster from the walls of the prison at Mah-Ku where the Báb had been incarcerated in 1847. The box containing the plaster was placed in a special excavation in the foundation stone under the headstone and attar of roses, sent by the Guardian for the purpose, was poured over the alabaster box which was then permanently sealed with tile and cement in the foundation stone.
          This was followed by a brief statement on the life of Mr Maxwell and his historic services to the Faith as recalled in the Guardian's cable at the time of his passing. The Guardian had pointed out that another piece of plaster from the same source had been placed under the first golden tile of the dome of the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. The superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb had been designed by Sutherland Maxwell. [CBN No 80 September, 1956 p2]
          To pay further tribute Mr Maxwell's contribution as the architect of the Arcade and the Superstructure built over the Sepulchre built by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Guardian named one of the eight doors Báb-i-Maxwell. [CBN No 82 November, 1956 p3]
    Montreal, QC In Memoriam; Sutherland Maxwell
    1957 Jul Hand of the Cause Dhikru'llah Khádem met with the National Spiritual Assembly. He had come from Central America and was visiting in the United States and Canada before returning to Haifa. He, his wife, and their daughter spent ten days in Canada and visited the friends in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and London. [UC68-69] Hamilton, ON; Toronto, ON; Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; London, ON Hands of the Cause; Dhikrullah Khadem
    1957 Jul Hand of the Cause Dhikru'llah Khádem met with the National Spiritual Assembly. He had come from Central America and was visiting in the United States and Canada before returning to Haifa. He, his wife, and their daughter spent ten days in Canada and visited the friends in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and London. [UC68-69, 70; MtC269] Hamilton, ON; Toronto, ON; Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; London, ON Hands of the Cause, Activities; Dhikrullah Khadem
    1958. 6 Feb Hand of the Cause John Robarts arrived in Canada to begin his extensive tour of Canada. He had been sent to Canada by the Hands in the Holy Land because the Guardian had been concerned about the slow progress in the objectives of the 10-year plan in Canada The first stop was in Moncton where a three-day conference was held with Mr. Robarts. [CBN No 98 March, 1958 p2]
  • He had made a stop in Iceland en route to Gander where he met with Bruce Matthew and Bill Howell. [CBN No 99 April 1958 p7]
  • He shared with the friends his pioneering experience in Africa, the meeting of the Hands in London and in the Holy Land after the passing of the Guardian as well of the dedication of the Temple in Kampala that he attended just prior to his departure for Canada.
  • Mr. Robarts focused on the revitalization of the believers and constantly emphasized the power of prayer in beseeching assistance in winning the goals with special emphasis on the Prayer for Canada, the Tablet of Ahmad and the Long Obligatory Prayer. [CBN No 126 July 1960 p4]
  • He spent several weeks visiting communities in Quebec and Ontario, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and others. [CBN No99 April, 1958 p7]
  • In Saskatoon he performed the marriage of Ericka Janzen and Tom Gossen. [CBN No 100 May, 1958 p3]
  • Moncton, NB; Montreal, QC; Toronto, ON; Hamilton, ON; London, ON; Ottawa, ON John Robarts; Ericka Janzen; Tom Gossen
    1958. 24 Feb Judgement was rendered by the Honourable Associate Chief Justice W. B. Scott of the Superior Court in Montreal in favour of the National Spiritual Assembly against the City of Montreal. This achievement was the result of an action commenced on the 5th of October, 1955, to require the City of Montreal to recognize the Bahá'í Faith as an independent religious body and grant exemption to it from Municipal Taxes for the Bahá'í Shrine as a place primarily devoted to religious worship, and eligible for tax exemption under the city's own chart and by-laws.
  • The National Spiritual Assembly received a refund of taxes paid since the acquisition of the property. [CBN No 99 April, 1958 p2-3]
  • Montreal, QC Bahai Shrine
    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
    1962. 10 May The passing of F. St. George Spendlove (b. 23 April 1897 in Montreal) [BW13p895-899; Bahá'ís of Canada]
  • He was part of the community of early believers in Montreal where he learned about the Faith after returning from the war in Europe.
  • He was a curator of the Canadian Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Face of Early Canada, published in 1958, was illustrated with pieces from this collection. A second book, Collectors’ Luck, followed in 1960. [BW13p895–899]
  • See Bahá'ís of Canada.
  • Montreal, QC; Toronto, ON George Spendlove; In Memoriam
    1970. 26 Sept The passing of Florence Evaline (Lorol) Schopflocher (b.1886 in Montreal. QC) in the Green Acre area. She was buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Eliot, Maine [Find a grave]
  • Wife of Hand of the Cause of God Siegfried Schopflocher. For his "In Memoriam" see BW7p664.
  • She circled the globe nine times on travel teaching tours and visited some 86 countries, many of them multiple times. She travelled to Iran twice visiting parts not previously visited by Western Bahá'ís.
  • She visited the Guardian 11 times.
  • She had several audiences with King Feisal in Iraq and discussed the question of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád with him.
  • Favourite themes for her public talks were the World Order letters of Shoghi Effendi and the emancipation and education of women.
  • A radiant star went from the West to the East. [BW15p488-489]
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • Montreal, QC; Eliot, MA, USA Lorol Schopflocher; Siegfried Schopflocher; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; House of Bahaullah (Baghdad)
    1971 11 Feb Montreal Municipality issued a permit recognizing the Maxwell home as a Bahá'í Shrine after nine years of negotiations and delays. With this struggle came a hidden blessing. For years the Shrine had been used as a Bahá'í Centre by the Montreal community, open also to friends of the area as a place to hold public meetings, open Feasts, and certain activities not always suited to it as a Shrine. The realization was made that it was a National Bahá'í Shrine and as such should not be used as a centre. [CBNApril1971p10] Montreal, QC Montreal Shrine; Recognition (legal)
    1957 Jul Hand of the Cause Dhikru'llah Khádem met with the National Spiritual Assembly. He had come from Central America and was visiting in the United States and Canada before returning to Haifa. He, his wife, and their daughter spent ten days in Canada and visited the friends in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and London. [UC68] Hamilton, ON; Toronto, ON; Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; London, ON Hands of the Cause, Activities; Dhikrullah Khadem
    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; BC Vol 3 No 8 p3-16]
  • 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]
  • Montreal, QC Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, International; Bahiyyih Khanum (Greatest Holy Leaf); Jim Heidema; Elizabeth Martin
    1990. 5 Sep The passing of Emeric Sala (Emereich Szalvetz ) (b.12 November, 1906 in Havas Dombrovitza, Hungary (later Romania)). He was buried in Royal Oak Burial Park Cemetery in Victoria, BC. [Find a grave]

    He was a founding member of the Montreal Youth Group along with Rowland Estal and George Spendlove, the first organized youth class in the Western Hemisphere. From that youth group came a Hand of the Cause of God, a member of the Universal House of Justice, two members of the Continental Board of Counsellors, three members of National Spiritual Assemblies, and the authors of three Bahá’í books.

    He and Siegfried Schopflocher were instrumental in purchasing and developing the first Canadian Bahá'í property at Beaulac, north of Montreal.

    In 1940 he and his wife Rosemary pioneered for one year to Venezuela and served as travelling teachers throughout South America.

    In 1945 he published This Earth One Country. He wrote about such revolutionary concepts as a "planetary economy", "a supranational community" and a "world plan". [TG86-92]

    Both he and Rosemary were elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada when it was formed in 1948.

    In 1953 they tried to pioneer to the Comoro Islands but could not get residential status from the French government so they settled in Eshowe Zululand, now South Africa. When the government would not renew their licence to trade they moved to Port Elizabeth.

    They returned to Canada briefly in 1963 and pioneered to Guadalajara, Mexico and travelled extensively throughout Central America. Rosemary died at her post in February of 1980.

    In 1980 he married his second wife, Donya, and together they travelled through the Americas, China, India and Europe until they both passed. [BW20 p993-995; Bahá'ís of Canada]

    His biography and that of his wife Rosemary, Tending the Garden was written by his niece Ilona Sal Weinstein. This publication is also available in the e-book format.

    Victoria,BC; Montreal, QC; Beaulac, QC; Eshowe; South Africa; Port Elizabeth; South Africa; Guadalajara; Mexico Emeric Sala; In Memoriam
    1992. 11 Nov The passing of Doris McKay (b. Doris Henrietta Hill 29 September, 1894) in Charlottetown.
  • She married Willard Judd McKay 30 June 1923. In 1925 she and Willard attended a fireside given by Howard and Mabel Ives. In 1929 she made her fist travel teaching trip to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Boston, Portsmouth and to Montreal. She was a frequent lecturer at Green Acre. In 1939 she returned to Canada to staff the Bahá'í booth at the Canadian National Exhibition and to visit communities in Hamilton, Montreal and Moncton where she took up residence in 1942. In the fall of 1943 they moved to Prince Edward Island to help win a goal of the Seven Year Plan by establishing a local spiritual assembly in Charlottetown.
  • In 1928 while still a resident in the US and a member of the Outline Bureau of the National Teaching Committee she developed "36 Lessons", some of the first deepening materials and study outlines for the American believers. She was a contributor to the Star of the West and later The Bahá'í World.
  • Her autobiography Fire in Many Hearts, written with Paul Vreeland, was published in 1991 by Nine Pines Publishing and was republished by George Ronald under a new title Fires in Many Hearts - Memoirs of an early American believer. [BWIM30-32]
  • Charlottetown, PE; Montreal, QC; Moncton, NB; Hamilton, ON; Toronto, ON In Memoriam; Doris McKay; Fire in Many Hearts
    1996 10 Jan The passing of Ruth Eyford in St. Albert, AB. (b. Ruth Monk 12 June, 1930, NS). [Find a grave]

    She became a Bahá'í in Montreal in 1956 and married Glen Eyford in 1957. She and Glen served in Iceland and in India. Returning to Canada she served as an Auxiliary Board Member and as chair of the National Spiritual Assembly as well as a number of local and national committees. [BW1995-1996p313]

    St. Albert, AB; Montreal, QC; Canada; India; Iceland Ruth Eyford; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Pioneering; Auxiliary Board Members
    1998 Ridván The National Convention was held in the Bahá'í Shrine in Montreal the location of the first National Convention 50 years previous. Those elected were: : Husayn Banani, Glen Eyford. Judy Filson, Margot Leonard, Susan Lyons, Karen McKye. Reginald Newkirk, Louise Profeit-Leblanc, and Enayat Rawhani. [CBN Vol 11 No 3 Jul 1998 p11] Montreal, QC National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Husayn Banani; Glen Eyford; Judy Filson; Margot Leonard; Susan Lyons; Karen McKye; Reginald Newkirk; Louise Profeit-Leblanc; Enayat Rawhani
    2002 Ridván Four newly-amalgamated communities began a new stage of community life at Ridván. The Spiritual Assemblies of Montreal, Gatineau, Longueuil, and Quebec City were elected for the first time from among believers who lived in 27 former communities. The largest of these communities, Montreal, had more than 600 believers as a result of the merging of 17 communities. [BC Vol 15 No 2 June 2002 p25] Montreal, QC; Gatineau, QC; Longueuil, QC; Quebec City, QC Local Spiritual Assembly, election
    2007. 9 - 11 Nov The Bahá’í Medical Association of Canada (BMAC) held an international conference in Montreal on the theme “Balancing the Social and Spiritual Determinants of Health”. It was attended by 110 people and was chaired by National Spiritual Assembly member Dr David Smith. [Canadian Bahá'í News Service 23NOV2007] Montreal; QC Baha'i Medical Association of Canada
    2016. 7 Sep The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada paid tribute to Professor Irwin Cotler at the Reception Centre of the Bahá'í Shrine in Montreal. They expressed the gratitude of the Bahá'í community for his unwavering defence of the Bahá'ís in Iran over more than 25 years in public life and presented him with a beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy – the second of Bahá’u’lláh’s “Hidden Words” – that highlights justice as “the best beloved of all things in My sight”.

    Professor Cotler was the Director of the Human Rights program in the Law Faculty at the University of McGill and was a Member of Parliament from 1999 until 2015. During this time he served as Justice Minister from 2003-2006.

    After his retirement from public life Mr Cotler founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. [CBNS 27 Sep 2016]

    In late 2022 the film First to Stand: The Cases and Causes of Irwin Cotler was released. It was written, directed and produced by Irene Lilienheim Angelicco and Abbey Jack Neidik and follows international human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler and his team of young activists at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre as they take on the cases and causes of political prisoners and human rights activists including Raif Badawi and Shaparak Shajarizadeh, battling against the world's most repressive regimes.

    Montreal,QC
    2022. 15 Mar The passing of John Charles (Jack) Bastow (b. 21 April 1929 Montreal) in Nelson, BC. Jack was a teacher, a professional photographer, magician, historian, and a Bahá'í scholar. A Bahá'í since the age of 19 when he was taught by John Robarts and Angus Cowan. In 1976 he and Gretchen Jordon of New Denver were married in Nelson in a ceremony officiated bye the Nelson Spiritual Assembly. [Tribute Archive] Montreal,QC; Nelson,BC In Memoriam; Jack Bastow

    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Abdu'l-Baha in Montreal, by Jack McLean (2007-09-12). Overview of Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Canada in 1912, written in commemoration of its Centenary. [about]
    2. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Encounter with Modernity during His Western Travels, by Wendi Momen, in Lights of Irfan, 13 (2012). Abdu'l-Bahá's responses to the West's technology and innovations on the one hand, vs. its archaic racist and sexual philosophies on the other. [about]
    3. 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Canada: A Compilation from Written Accounts (2012-08). Lengthy collection of passages from the books Origins of the Bahá’í Community in Canada, Maxwells of Montreal, Mahmúd’s Diary, and Abdu’l-Bahá in Canada, the newspaper Montreal Gazette, and other sources. [about]
    4. Convention Report, 1927, by Lucy Jane Marshall (1927-05-19). Short summary of the 19th Bahá'í national Bahá'í convention, held in Montreal, May 19 1927, taken from the report of Lucy Marshall, delegate from San Francisco; this was the first convention of the Baha'is to be held in Canada. [about]
    5. May Maxwell and the Maxwells of Montreal, by Jack McLean (2019-10). Presentation of Violette Nakhjavani's book The Maxwells of Montreal. [about]
     
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