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|1985 6 Feb
||The passing of Claire Gung (b. 3 November, 1904, Gladbeck, Ruhrgebeit, Germany, d. Kampala, Uganda). She was buried in The National Bahá'í Cemetery of Uganda. [BW19p653-657]
She had worked as a children's nurse or housekeeper in Germany, switzerland, Austria, the Italian tyrol, Belgium, Holland and finally settled in England in 1930. She became a Bahá'í in Torquay and after a time in Eastleigh, Dovon, later joined the small Bahá’í group in Cheltenham in 1940. She moved to the Manchester area and later pioneered to Northampton in November 1946 to become member of the first Spiritual Assembly there. In 1948 she again pioneered to help form the first Spiritual Assembly in the “Pivotal Centre” of Cardiff then to Brighton and to Belfast. In 1947 she became a naturalized British subject. In 1950, during the “Year of Respite”, Claire became the first pioneer to actually move from the British community to settle in Africa when Shoghi Effendi called for Bahá'ís to open Africa. She sailed on the "Warwick Castle" on 4 (or 25) January, 1951 and landed in Tanzania where she obtained a post as assistant matron in a school in Lushoto,150 miles from Dar-es-Salaam. [CG158-159]
She became a "Knight" for Rhodesia. Mr. Zahrai was actually the first Bahá'í to come to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) during a Ten Year Crusade. He was followed soon after by Claire Gung, Eyneddin and Tahirih Ala'i, and Kenneth and Roberta Christian. All six received the accolade of Knight of Baha'u'llah from Shoghi Effendi. Subsequently the Guardian gave her the title, "Mother of Africa".
Later she moved to Uganda where she started a Kindergarten school. She was affectionately known as "Auntie Claire".
After being in the country since 1957 Auntie Claire was granted he certificate of residence for life from the Republic of Uganda date the 11th of May, 1978. [CG118]
[BWNS275; Wikipedia; Wikipedia; Historical Dictionary of the Bahá'í Faith p.209; UD211, 482]
Also see Claire Gung Mother of Africa by Adrienne Morgan and published by the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of South Africa; (1997).
||Rhodesia; Zimbabwe; Uganda; Tanzania
||In Memoriam; Knights of Baha'u'llah; Claire Gung; Auntie Claire; Eyneddin Alai; Tahirih Alai; Ken Christian; Roberta Christian