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Alphabetical Lists of Pioneers and Travel Teachers


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Martinique: Pioneers, Quote re: Pioneers and Pioneering, Travel Teachers, Quote re: travel teachers, and Events,  1953 to 1983


Compiled by Patricia Paccassi 1988, revised 1991, October 1994, March 2010, July 2011, September 2012

CODE: PIO:=pioneer:

Note: Data in brackets or parenthesis is my source of information:  see source page for details  SOURCES


 PIO: 1953: Toni Fillon; stayed 3 months: First pioneer, in response to call for pioneers to  virgin goals; An American or Canadian (??) who was already in Chili and came to Martinique from there. He was unable to obtain visas to remain.[AF/01. letter from NSA of Canada to Shirley Warde [WB/ vol.# 13, pg. 461] _____________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1967: 4 months, late to early 1968: Mr. & Mrs. Edvard Lindstrom, from USA via pioneer post in Switzerland, to  Fort-de-France, returning to Switzerland: [AF/01.a;NL/21.f] ______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1972: September: Margot  Margot  Guilbaught - Guadeloupe & Michel Michel Guilbaught - Guadeloupe Guilbault, Canadian. ______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1973: January 31 to February. 1974, to Haiti; Rowland & Vivian Estall Rowland and Vivian Taylor-Estall;

 Mr. Estall from Canada, Mrs. Estall from USA via Puerto Rico [prc][PF/25-04aEstall] 

PIO: 1973: February. 7; to ? Therese Rheame, Terri Rheume and Mother Angela Szepesci (and Mother, Angela Szepisi) Canada [lived with Estalls until April.] [PF/25-04aEstall] _______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1974: Early. to July 1975: David & Marie Sunstrom, Sunstroms Martinique Canada.  [livi/pio-rep] [French Islands info. 1972-1974]

PIO: 1974/5 ? Roy Massey.  Roy Massey [24/M54]

PIO: 1974??; Angela Szepisi, (see photo above with her daughter, Therese Rheame) Canada [24/M54] [PF/25-0.10] (did she  leave and come back in 1976? or did she come in 1976;)  Daniels records put the 5 yr. plan arrival, but did not specify if it was during the plan or at the  beginning, this also applies to R. Hanevold)

PIO: 1974: ??; Jim & Clara McDonald, Canada [PF/25-0.10] ______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1975: ??; Rene Jean-Baptist, ABM from Haiti [AF/24]

PIO: 1976: July to November 1979, Angela Szepesi [ see photo above] [PF/25-0.11] _______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1978: ??: Robert  Hanevold, Bob HanevoldUSA. [AF/21.E] _______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1979: March. Dorothy Scott to Guadeloupe ??; Dorothy Scott -Guadloupe Canada [PF/25-0.11]

PIO: 1986 to 1991: Ludi Johnson. Ludi_Johnson [PR 22: 12 - e-mail from her to PP, Jan 2012](



Compiled by Patricia Paccassi 1988, revised 1991, October 1994, July 2011


TT :=travel teacher from outside national area;

TTL:=West Indian travel teacher;

TTP:=travel teacher & pioneer in national area;

HND:=Hand of the Cause of God;

ABM:=Auxiliary Board Member;

CBC:=Member of Continental Board of Counsellors;

Data enclosed in Parenthesis [   ]  is my data source   (see source link above)


TTP: 1965: ??: Ellsworth Blackwell, USA, from Haiti [AF/24]

TTP: 1968: March: Henrietta Trutza, St. Lucia enroute to NSA meeting  [NL.21f] _______________________________________________________________________________

HND: 1970: May 25-29: 'Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, with Violette Nakhjavani [NL/21.R][PF/25-0.4G]


Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum (1910-2000) Appointed by Shoghi Effendi 26 March 1952

TT : 1971: several weeks: Shanta Murday, India [PF/25-ALP-RE] ____________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1973: ??; Meherangiz Munsiff [AF/24]

TT : 1973: February. Elizabeth Asbury [PF/25-0.11]

TTP: 1973: February-April & June-November, Hedy Deuschle, St. Thomas and St. Croix. [AF/01.a] [PF/25-ALP-NTC]

ABM: 1973: March: Marjorie Harmer, St. Thomas 

TTP: 1973:  March: With Marjorie Harmer. Joyce Owen & daughter, Nancy PF/25-ALP-RE]

TT : 1973: May 1-June; Andre McLaughlin [PF/25-ALP-RE]

HND: 1973: mid, 12 days; Dr. Varqa [AF/18]


Ali-Muhammad Varqa (1911-2007)  Appointed by Shoghi Effendi 15 November 1955

ALL: 1973: August. early. .for CBC Conference. [PF/25-ALP-RE]

TT : 1973: August. 4 days; Jeanne & Maylo Murday, USA [PF/25-ALP-RE]

TT : 1973: September Huguette James, Canada [PF/25-ALP-RE] [PF/25-0.11]

ABM: 1973: ??; Rene Jean-Baptiste, Haiti [AF/24][PF/25-ALP-NTC]

TT : 1973: December. Bob Philips [PF/25-ALP-NTC] [PF/25-0.11] __________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1974: February; Mr. Yazdi [PF/25-ALP-NTC] [PF/25-0.11]

TT : 1974: January, Lea Nys, Belgium. [BNWI/20]

TT : 1974: April, Mrs. Dahl ,USA [AF/24] ___________________________________________________________________________________

HND: 1975: March 6. John Robarts. [24/M7,27]


John Aldham Robarts (1901-1991) Appointed by Shoghi Effendi in final Contingent of Hands in October  1957

ABM: 1975: August/September, 2 months, Rene Jn-Baptiste,  Haiti [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1975: December, 1 week, Roy Massey, USA [PF/25-0.5] ______________________________________________________________________________

CBC: 1976: January, a few days, Paul Lucas, Mexico, [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1976: January/February, several days Lea Nys, Belgian [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1976: February 27-March 14, 1 week Dempsey Morgan, USA [PF/25-0.5]

ABM: 1976: March, few days, R. Jean-Baptist, Haiti [AF/24][PF/25-0.5]

TTS: 1976: April, 10 days, Ben & Martine Levy, USA [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1976: April 28-May 18, several days, Joyce Dahl, USA [AF/24][PF/25-0.5]

CBC: 1976: mid; Rowland Estall 4 days..[AF/24-m34TR]

TTP: 1976: Daniel Caillaud, 2 days [AF/24-m34TR] 

TTP: 1976:  Shamsi Sedaghat from Trinidad, 4 days, same days as Estall [AF/24-m34TR] ________________________________________________________________________________

HND: 1977: February 27: Paul Haney.  [24/M7,27]


Paul Haney  (20 September 1909 - 3 December 1982) Appointed by Shoghi  as a replacement for Dorothy Baker(deceased) 19 March 1954

HND: 1977: March 19: Enoch Olinga & wife Elizabeth. [24/M134,137]


Enoch Olinga (1926-1979) Appointed by Shoghi Effendi in final Contingent of Hands in October 1957 

HND: 1976/1977 ??: Dr. Varqa. [24/M137]

TT:  23-31 October 1977: Dr. Sirus Homayun: Canada: [Teaching report,  21 February 1978 from Dr Homayun to National Teaching Committee, Canada.,  [PR-22: 12]

CBC: 1978: August 14. Dr. Hedi Ahmadiyyih. [24/M19][AF/24] _____________________________________________________

TT: 1978/80: 2 months: Lucille Maloney: Canada

TT : 1980: December, Michael and Chris Day, New Zealand


CBC: 1983: ??; Sara Pereira, USA [AF/24]

TT : 1983: December. Lea Nys, Belgium [AF/24]

TT : 1983: December, 1-week: Sirus Homayun, Canada [PF/25-0.6 and PR: 12]

TT : 1983: November, 1-week, Linda O' Neil, Canada [PF/25-0.6] __________________________________________________________________________________


Compiled by Patricia Paccassi 1988, 1991, revised October 1994, July 2011

NOTE: listed below are the NSA's who were responsible for the French Islands and the dates the responsibility was assigned:


*1953 South America/North America;

1957 Greater Antilles;

1962 Brazil;

1964 United States;

1967 Leeward, Windward & Virgin Islands;

1977 French Antilles;

1984 Martinique.


LSA = Local Spiritual Assembly:   NSA = National Spiritual Assembly:   UHJ = Universal House of Justice

NSALWI: National Spiritual Assemblies of the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands: NTC: National Teaching Committee:  CBC: Continental Board of Counsellors:    ABM: Auxillary Board Member:


1953: From a letter dated September 17, 1953 from NSA of Canada to Shirley Warde in California;  "With respect to Martinique, the Guardian has included it in our consolidation goals because Toni Fillion of Chili had spent a few months there while waiting for visas for some of the countries of the Antilles. Nobody there became a Bahá'í (it is deeply rooted in Catholicism),  and although Toni had planned to go back, it seems he was not able to.  Therefore, should you  wish to consider Martinique you might explain to your sponsors that, although a Bahá'í has been  there it can be considered only one degree off from virgin territory"______________________________________________________________________________________

1958: or there about, needs checking; quote from report from Rowland Estall to NSALVI, February 8, 1974;  "As you know, the Cause was established through the arrival of Guy Martail, who, though a native Martiniquais, had been confirmed by a pioneer in Cayenne ,French Guiana, during his stay there 16  years ago (hence the 1958 date).  Some seven or eight years later, his wife became a Bahá'í and a few  other members of his family were enrolled. Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum visited  here in 1970,  deepening these few believers.  Shanta Murday came in 1971 for several weeks, during which time I had a brief glimpse of Martinique for the first time on a quick trip through the islands" [PF/25-ALP-RE]


Guy Martail

1966: April, Rídvan message calls for formation of NSALWVI at April, 1967 [NL/03.g] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1967: Late: Janet and Edvard Lindstrom of Fort-de-France hold joint activities with Mr. Guy Martail from St. Pierre, [first known Martinique Bahá'í] [NL/21.e] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1968: ??; one group was Mr. Guy & Mme Constance Martail [AF/18]

1968: Early; Lindstroms to former post in Switzerland. [NL/21.f] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1969: Early: New committee appointed to help with teaching in French & Patois. Members: Guy Martail, Martinique; Norbert Sombe, Guadeloupe; Jean Contnaret, Guadeloupe; Jean Desert, Guadeloupe, advisor. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1971: ??; 3 locations, 6 Bahá'ís [who & where?] [AF/18] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1972: December &  January 1973: Month long mass teaching project requested by UHJ; called "Caribbean Project" coordinator, Poova Murday from Canada with team of 4 French speaking Canadians; established 1st. 6 LSAs formed; 500 new Bahá'ís [AF/18][AF/24] 

1973: November 20. Margot Guilbault sent in a report of follow-up teaching work in Forte de France.- [AF/24:54]

1973: Martinique Teaching committee has 5 of 8 "Martiniques" [who?] ____________________________________________________________________________________________

1974: January 1; 3 radio interviews "Open Heart", 2 hours and TV in Fort-de-France with Lea Nys, this was in spite of the station policy not to mention religion on air. She meets various officials [PF/25-ALP-VE]

1974: 4 February. Report by Vivian Estall: declarations by Mme Martin & Mme Montabord, "...both of whose husbands are  now serving on the NTC." [French Islands info. 1972-1974]  Mme Ginette  Montabord becomes first woman chairman of French Antilles National Spiritual Assembly.  February; report by Rowland Estall, nine families firm

1974: ??; first institute in Carbet [Western shore], given in three successive day long sessions on Sunday. [PF/25-ALP]

1974: June. as of; 7 LSAs, 3 groups, 3 isolated; 15 localities; 526 Bahá'ís [LVISAS]

1974: August. Pierre Rosin, serves on LSA-French Antilles Teaching Committee for one year [UMC;iaf]

1974: ??; M & M Guilbault start guest house [PF/25-0.11] ______________________________________________________________________________________

1975: ??; committee working on radio scripts in French [LVISAS]

1975: ??; ABM Rene Jean-Baptist arrives to pioneer, cannot get visa ______________________________________________________________________________________

1976: September, report: 2 LSAs functioning, 2 groups, 5 pioneers , Massey listed, but not arrived;  teaching committee formed and functioning; September. report; Estall visit 4 days, 2 radio shows, second one a young man shows up saying he's been looking for the Bahá'ís and declares [who was it?]; district Haziratlu'-Quds purchased [where?];  Bob Hanevold appointed an assistant to the ABM [AF/24-m34TR]

1976: November. 18; first Bahá'í wedding, [dual] whose? [AF/24-m34TR] _______________________________________________________________________________________

1977: April 22-24 first NSA Of French Antilles elected in Guadeloupe,: Formation of 1st NSA of French Antilles,  Dr. Varqa, UHJ representative, CBC Rowland Estall.  Talks were given by Guy Martail, Lea Nys, Francis Griffith on history  of French Islands (was this session taped?) Friday, April 22, the national Hazira was  dedicated in Guadeloupe, 48 rue Francois, ARAGO, Point-a-Pitre [pr/5c]


1978: August. 20; International Teaching Conference; Hooper Dunbar, International Teaching Committee, CBC's,  Artemus Lamb, Alfred Osbourne, Hedi Ahmadiyyih, Carmen Burafato [AF/18]

1978: August. CBC Dr. Ahmadiyyih using "new teaching method", 96 new declarations & 5 new LSAs. Within 4 weeks of teaching, French Antilles had achieved their goals for 5 Yr. Plan, 25 new LSAs, 1975 localities, & 293 new believers.[AF/24:M94]


L to R: Ellerton Harmer, John Yates, __, Marjorie Harmer, Tom Millington, ____, Bob Hanevold, ___, ____, Lorana Kerfoot, ___ Hedi Ahmadiyyih, ___

1978: 23-31 October: Teaching trip of Dr. Sirus Homayun. Firesides, plus Deepenings and consultation with local believers were held. A  presentation was made by Dr Homayun and Michele Guileauit to the Mayor of Bellefontain on the 25 October. A Teaching Conference was held at the inauguration of Baha’i Centre of Fort De France on 29 October at which Counsellor Rowland Estall presided. That evening, Dr Homayun gave a talk on “Science and Religion” at another public meeting. [PR: 22.- 12]

1983: November, teaching team to ?? [NL/27-V2-E1 __________________________________________________________________________________

1984: ??; more difficult for pioneers to stay, French citizenship needed [AF/24]

1984: April. Martinique forms its own NSA [need details]  

The photo below is of the NSA meeting in Martinique, however, the date is not known at this time.

no date- NSA in Martinque jpg_a

L to R: ____, Daniel Caillaud, Charles Fitzsimmons, Joyce Owen, John Yates,  ____, Barbara Joyce, Bill Nedden, Lorana Kerfoot

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NOTE: My goal was to trace the growth and development of the Faith in the  islands from their beginnings, as far as I could find, up to the formation of each ones own National Assembly. As 1984 was the formation of the first NSA of Martinique and information  is available from this time on in Martinique, I am using it as the  cutoff date for this research document. The following years will be done by other researchers.

 This document is neither exhaustive nor definitive, we learn as we go,  but what I have, and/or discover, will be changed or added as necessary.

 Hopefully, I can put this material into a form which, through the  medium of oral history, will breathe the life into the bare facts and  statistics.  I feel that it is our stories and  impressions and feelings that help to convey the enormous process that  is taking place in the Bahá'í World during this period of development. I am only sorry that it was not done earlier, we have lost so many  stories already.

I truly appreciate all the help given to me in this research and can only hope it is helpful to others.  PP...November. 1994

Published with permission and approval  of the Administrative Committee of Martinique 1 May 2012