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Alphabetical Lists of Pioneers and Travel Teachers

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Introduction:

Background_To_The_Development_Of_This_Project .

The Growth and Development of the Baha’i Faith in the

Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands from the Virgin Islands in

The North, to Grenada in the South”

August 2011

   It started over 20 years ago when I realized after the death of a few of our dear  friends in the islands that  we could not sit and listen as to how it was in the ”old-days” of  serving the Faith in our Caribbean Islands. Their struggles and victories, the tears and the laughter could no longer be shared with new  comers and those who had similar experiences in other islands.

This would not do, someone needed to collect other stories and  experiences!  Many shared this regret and desire, but because of  our long years of service, plus traveling  in the area, Frank and I were, perhaps, the best ones available to do it.  I realized also that the only islands that I would feel comfortable researching would be those islands where our family had been pioneers and/or travel teaching.

To start, I began traveling to the Baha’i National Headquarters of United  States and Canada, gathering information on both the pioneers and travel teachers to the islands. At a later date, I went to the national  headquarters in Barbados, and the Leeward and Windward Islands. There, I gathered additional information on the events held on each island.

Our next step was to compile a chronological listing of all the above  information, Pioneers, Travel Teachers and events on each island.  Danielle Cailaud, a pioneer in the French Islands sent me their  information in English. Copies of these were sent to each National  Spiritual Assembly and the Baha’i World Centre.

The third step came about in the mid-nineties. During a trip to California, we met two Baha’is, Linda Cicada and Oma Richmond, who had a small  independent film company and they became interested in our project. We  finally decided to start in Grenada and travel up the islands, to  capture the stories and experiences of those who had helped to establish the Faith in our Islands both on video and audio. Unfortunately, Oma  and Linda had to return to the States after Saba, so the video recording stopped there.

At this point, I began to get lots of encouragement to write a book. This  really had no interest for me. I did inquire at one of the Baha’i  Publishing Trusts about the feasibility of the publishing of a book like this, with stories, etc. It was their opinion that at this stage of the Faith, there probably wouldn’t be much interest.   

After this stage, my time and interests lay in more outreach efforts for the  Faith. It wasn’t until several years later, my research again reached  the top of my priority list.  The explosion of the Internet was now available, and it was easier to assemble my material in a manner  suitable to this medium.

This is the first step in making the information available on a global  scale. It is not definitive. My hope is that those who can, will help by adding, correcting, or sending me more photos, stories, etc.

My next step will to ask others to help me transcribe the 85 CD’s I have  as well as the many DVD’s. This is where the research will come alive.  The stories and the faces of those who helped will be preserved. In this age, there is really no excuse for not making this information  available, not only for now, but also for those who come after us.

I have also included in this web site the articles that were   written for the Bahá'í Encyclopedia Project in the mid nineties. This  project has since been delayed, but I have received permission to  publish them in this web site with the following proviso: 

"The following articles were written for possible inclusion in the  Bahá'í Encyclopedia, an ongoing project of the  National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States,  currently being presented in an online format. These drafts have not  been edited and will not appear in the Encyclopedia in their present  form. Hence they should not be considered representative of the  project."

Its hard to name all those who have already helped, but special mention has to be made of Joyce Olinga scanning in hundreds of photos belonging to  Tom Millington, the Nedden family and from the estate of Lorana Kerfoot, Arthur Winner, who contributed many wonderful photographs and his help with Grenada history, and Rick Berry who did the photo editing of most of these very old photos as well as all of his extensive and varied work on this web site .

My goal was to trace, as much as I could find, the growth and development  of the Faith in the  islands from their beginning, up to the  formation of each ones own National Spiritual Assembly.  These are the dates I am using as the cutoff period for this research  document. The following years will have to be done by others.

It needs to be noted that I have received permission to publish this  material from all of the relevant National Spiritual Assemblies and  Administrative Committees.

Creative Commons License
Baha'i History in the Caribbean by Pat Paccassi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

* The author also asks to be notified if any material from this site is used in any way. *

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