Antigua & Barbuda


British Virgin Islands




Guadeloupe & Marie Galante



St. Croix

St. Eustatius

St. John

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Martin, Anguilla, Saba, St. Barts

St. Thomas

St. Vincent

Alphabetical Lists of Pioneers and Travel Teachers


To make comments or queries, please write:

Welcome to St. Thomas

 New  Photo Gallery Includes Stories, Video Clips and More

St. Thomas,  Pioneers,Quote re: Pioneers and Pioneering, Travel teachers ,Quote re: travel teachers, and Events:  1948  to  1981


Compiled by Patricia Paccassi as of 1988; revised April. 1991; October 1994, March 2010, July 2011, September 2012

CODE: PIO:=pioneer;

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


1948: November. to 1951; Douglas P. Hillhouse, a captain in the United  States Military was stationed on St. Thomas to work on the San Jose project. [BE/29.8] _____________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1953: October. 1953-?? 1954: Earle Render; from USA, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Leeward Islands[AF/01.a]  ______________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1954: February. 21; Charles & Mary Dayton; USA to Charlotte Amalie Knights of Bahá’u’lláh for Leeward Islands  Left St. Thomas 1968?  Charles deceased April 28, 1969. Mary Dayton Visits St. Thomas Fall 1969. [NL?21.O][AF/01.a]


Charles & Mary Dayton


PIO: 1956: January 12: to present (1991); Ellerton & 1966_EllertonHarmer_thumb Marjorie Harmer, Margorie Harmer - St Thomas USA to Charlotte Amalie [AF/01.a]. [BE/29.8]


1963: or 1963 ?? to present (1994) to late 1965 to St. Croix: Douglas Covey [AF/01.a]: Douglas Covey Doug Covey St Croix. 2jpg [pr/5d]  ______________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1964: Late to January 1969 (to Chili): Katharine Meyer, Kathy Meyers - St Thomas USA  via Island of Margarita, Venezuela, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh  [NL/21.j]

PIO: 1964: Fall to April 1966; Victor Tom  Victor Tom St Thomas USA [NL/03.a:AF/01.a]]

PIO: 1964: Fall to June 1979; Tom Millington Tom Millington St Thomas USA, to Sugar Estates [pkc/20;AF/01.a][24/M137]

PIO: 1964: Fall to ??; Melvin Barber Melvin_Barber_a USA [pkc/20] [AF/01.a] _______________________________________________________________________________________________
PIO: 1965: January-April 1965, to St. Croix: Patricia & William Sheppard [AF/01.a]

PIO: 1965: June 1965-February 1967,  Mr. Thomas Thompson Tom Thompson -  St  Thomas from USA June 1965-December 1966, Mrs. Lucia Thompson, 3 children from USA. [NL/03.b:AF/01.a]

PIO: 1965: October to early 1966: Mrs. Marie Gravet, USA [AF/01.a]  ________________________________________________________________________________________________
PIO: 1966: August 1968, to St. Croix: Ethel Harris, Ethel Harris USA   [LVI/pio-rep]

PIO: 1966: July to October 1971, to Barbados; Frank and Patricia Paccassi, Pat and Frank in  BDS daughters, Lynn  Lynn Paccassi  - St Thjomas   and Judith,  Judy Paccassi - St Thomas from USA via Puerto Rico  [NL/03.h]

PIO: 1966: July to October 1971, to Barbados; Elsie Mollie Snyder Elsie Snyder St Thomas (grandmother of Patricia Paccassi, from USA via Puerto Rico. [NL/03.h]

PIO: 1966: July to 1969, Dorothy Behar Dorothy Behar -  St Thomas from USA via Puerto Rico:  [s/prc]

PIO: 1966: July to ?: Mildred Sayles,  Mildred Sayles - St ThomasUSA [Af/01.a]

PIO: 1966: August 23-December 1966, Iris Reaves, USA [NL/03.h,i][AF/01.a]

PIO: 1966: September-mid 1968, to Africa; Gerald Van Deusen; Gerald Van Duesen St Thomas US [NL/03.i]  [AF/01.a]

PIO: 1966: October 30 to ??; Lorana Kerfoot, Lorana Kerfoot - St Thomas USA via Lucern,  Switzerland [NL/03.i: AF/01.a] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1967: January-August 1968, to St. Croix: Ethel Harris Ethel Harris [AF/01.a]

PIO: 1967: February-1969,  Thomas Tom Hooper GND & Erlene Hooper, Erlene Hooper St Thomas children, Linda, Daryn; USA [NL/03.j: AF/01.a]

PIO: 1967: ?? to early 1969: Naomi Washington Naomi Washington - St Thomas [AF/01.a:NL/21.l] _______________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1968: Early; Winifred Morris,  Winifred Morris - St Thomas children, Kimberly, Kimberly Morris - St Thomas Jeffery, Jeffery Morris - St Thomas from USA via British Honduras post. Husband, David and son David David Morris Jr - St Thomas join in 2 months. [NL/21.f]. Winifred & Family leave, mid 1970 [NL/21.S] _______________________________________________________________________________________________
PIO: 1970: September-June 1973, (to Martinique): Hedy Deuschle, Hedy Deuschle USA did she return to St. Thomas from 1973 to 1977  when she did go to St. Croix January-September 1977 ? [AF/01.a] _________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1971: Late. John & Joyce & daughter,  Jody & Joyce Owen thumb Nancy Owen,  Nancy Owen - St Thomas USA via  Antigua. [NL/21.Y] John returns USA August 1980 [PF/25-0.5]

PIO: 1971: September-August 1972,  Juliette & William Soderberg, Bill Soderberg - USA, via Grenada. [NL/21.Y] [PR/22.8]

PIO: 1971: July-June 1972, to Leewards: George & George Mather - St Thomas Shirley Mather , Shirley Mather 2 - St Thomas daughters Melinda and Pamela &  son Jeffery, to Bonne Esperance, joined by son, Jeffery in December.[AF/01.a],USA   [LVI/pio-rep.] ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1974: June-???, Mrs Jan Conly, Jan Connely - St Croix to Red Hook, USA [LVI/pio-rep.]

PIO: 1974: June-???, Mrs Jean Jean Randazzo - St Croix Randazzo, to Red Hook, USA   [LVI/pio-rep.] ________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1975: September-???, William Farmer, USA [LVI/pio-rep] ________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1977: As of: via Antigua to?: Karyn LeVine, USA [LVI/pio-rep]

PIO: 1977: As of: via Barbuda to?: William Nedden, Bill Nedden USA [LVI/pio-rep] _________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1978: June to May '1981; Juliette Soderberg [PR/22.8]

PIO: 1979: August to present (94): Julie Armbruster, Julie Armbruster - St  Thomas to Charlotte  Amalie, via , USA [LVI/pio-rep.]

PIO: 1979: October 10, Letter of intro. from International Goals Committee  re: James & Barbara Carr [24/M11955]

PIO: 1979: October to present (92):Marc & Florence Towers, to Water Island; USA. [24/M137,11955] [LVI/pio-rep.]

PIO: 1979: October-??? Helga & Irwin Berger to East End, Red Hook, USA.  [24/M--:] [LVI/pio-rep.] _________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1980: September-to???, Arnold & Seronie Stein, to Hull Bay, USA   [LVI/pio-rep.] _________________________________________________________________________________________________

PIO: 1981: July to September 1986, Ms. Susan Lewis to Wintberg,  USA [LVI/pio-rep]  _________________________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE: see St. Thomas events for explanation of cutoff date...pp



Compiled by Patricia Paccassi as of 1988; revised April 1991, October 1994, March 2010, 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;

CBC:=member of the Continental Board of Counsellors;

ABM:=Auxiliary Board Member:

NSA:=member of a National Spiritual Assembly;


TT : 1956: Bill de Forge [pr/5b

TT : 1956: Gayle Woolson [pr/5b] ____________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1957: Winston Evans [pr/5b] ____________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1958: Matthew Bullock [pr/5b]  ____________________________________________________________________________________

HND: 1959: Dr. Giachery [pr/5b]


 Dr. Ugo Giachery  (13 May 1896 - 5 July 1989) Appointed by Shoghi Effendi in 24 December 1951


TTs: late 1950's & early 1960's: Sheila Rice Wray and Dr. Edris Rice Wray played important part in development of St. Thomas, Sheila traveling from Dominican  Republic, Dr. Rice from  Puerto  Rico [pr/5b]  _____________________________________________________________________________________

ABM: 1963: Artemus Lamb US PIO from Guatamala [pr/5c: letter from  Maureen Kraus, secretary Western Teaching Committee, . September 16,1963]

TT : 1965: Ellsworth & Ruth Blackwell, pioneers to Haiti frequent teachers [pr/5b]

TT : 1965: Early; Philip Trutza, USA [NL/03.a]

TT : 1965: Early; Dan & Charlotte Milden USA [NL/03.a]

TT : 1965: Early; Thom Thompson USA [NL/03.a]

TT : 1965: Early; Mrs Purdue USA [NL/03.a]

TT : 1965: May: 2 weeks; Mrs Loretta Turney from USA [NL/03.b]

TT : 1965: November or December. 5 days, Don Larsen, USA [NL/03.e]

TTP: 1965: September, Belle Lennox, Puerto Rico [NL/03.d] _________________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1966: April, a few days, Jessica Gaver USA, [NL/03.g]

TT : 1966: May, a few days, Mildred Burkett, USA [NL/03.g]

ABM: 1966: July 25-27; Ellsworth Blackwell, Haiti,[NL/03.h]

TT : 1966: July or August. Sid and Joanie Bulkin, USA[NL/03.h]

TT : 1966: August 3-5, Francis A. Foss, USA [NL/03.g/h]

TT : 1966: September, a few days; Dorothy Munson, USA [NL/03.h] _________________________________________________________________________________________

TTS: 1967: early; Margaret & Peter Jensen [PF/25-0.12]

TT : 1967: January. Elizabeth Thomas, USA [NL/03.j]

HND: 1967: April, Dr. Ugo Giachery and Mrs. Angelia Giachery [AF/24]

TT : 1967: September 19-20, Rhoda Vaughn, USA [NL/21.c]

ABM: 1967: Ellsworth Blackwell, Haiti [NL/421.d]

NSA: 1967: Late; one night; Dwight Allen USA NSA: [NL/21.e] ____________________________________________________________________________________

CBC: 1968: November, Artemus Lamb [NL/21.j]

TTL: 1968: December, Louis Guy, St. Maartin [NL/21.k]


TT : 1969: Early. Marjorie Nedden, USA. [NL/21.L]

TT : 1969: Early. Margaret, with leader Dog Pete, Walker, Eric & Katie Jensen, USA. [NL/21.M]

TT : 1969: mid. Wayne Hoover, USA, several meetings [NL/21.N]

CBC: 1969: December 5, Alfred Osbourne. [NL/21.O,NL/21.P] _____________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1970: February, George Howard, St. Vincent. [NL/21.Q]

TT : 1970: March,  Mr & Mrs Tom Baumgartner and Eskimo daughter, Becky. Alaska. [NL/21.Q]

HND: 1970: June 10-13: Ruhiyyih Khanum & Violette  Nakhjavani [NL/21.R/S]

TT : June to August: Julian MacQueen

HND: 1970: August 18-25, Enoch Olinga [NL/21.S, NL/221.T]

HND: 1970: June 10-13: Ruhiyyih Khanum, Israel [PF/25-0.4G] ___________________________________________________________________________


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

TT : 1971: ???, Shanta Murday, Mauritius [PF/25-ALP-RE]

CBC: 1971: Late, Alfred Osborne. [NL/21.Y]

TT : 1971: November 28,  Phillip & Deborah Christiansen. [NL/21.Y] _______________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1974: February or March; Elizabeth Thomas, USA [PF/25-ALP-NTC]

HND: 1974: September 22, Dr. Muhajir meets with NSALVIs. [24/M7,27]


Rahmatu'llah Muhair (1923-1979)   Appointed by Shoghi Effendi in final Contingent of Hands in October  1957


HND: Rídvan 1974/Rídvan 1975? Khazeh


Jalal Khazeh (Jalal Khazih) (1897-1990)  Appointed by Shoghi Effendi in final Contingent of Hands in October 1957

Colonel Khazeh & Mr. Robarts. [24/137]


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


TTs: 1975: July, a few days, Betty & Victor de Araujo, USA [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1975: October, 1-week, Wytze Bos, Canada [PF/25-0.5]

TTs: 1975: November/December, few days, Ray & Edna Fechtner, USA [PF/25-0.5] ____________________________________________________________________________________

CBC & TT: 1976: ??: Counsellor Artemus Lamb and Shamsi Sedaghat from Trinidad:


Left to Right: Bill Nedden, Shamsi Sedaghat, Counsellor Lamb, ABM Shirley Mather

TT : 1976: March, several days, Mable Garis, USA [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1976: March 22-April 2, a few days, Elizabeth Thomas ,USA [PF/25-0.5]

TT : 1976: April 10-17, several days, Anthony Scimeca, USA [PF/25-0.5]

TTs: 1976: April 30-May 8, few days, Edith Johnson & Albert Segen  [PF/25-0.5] _______________________________________________________________________________________

HND: 1977: March 1, Paul Haney. [24/M7,27,137]


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

HND: 1977: 1 April: Enoch Olinga & wife Elizabeth. [24/M7,27,134,137]

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


Elizabeth Olinga

TT : 1977: July, several days, Pauline Oungst [PF/25-0.5]

TTs: 1977: August, few days, Victor & Betty DeAraujo, BIC [PF/25-0.5]

TTP: 1977: October/November several days, S. Sedaghat, Trinidad [PF/25-0.5]

CBC: 1977: December 2-4, Counsellors from Central America [PF/25-0.5] ________________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1979: 11-16 July. Cora Langstrom, Winslow AZ; Mina Haidarian, Village, OK. [24/M156]

TT : 1979: Winter. Barbara Hubbart, Shreveport, LA.[24/M156]

TTs: 1979: SA 7-12. 1-2 weeks, Cora & Mira Danch, USA [PF/25-0.5] ________________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1980: February 20-March 8 David Stuart, Honolulu, HW [24/M156]

TT : 1980: February,  2-weeks. Nancy Mondschein, Baha’i International Community, NY  [24/M156]

TT : 1980: Mid. Letter from National Pioneer Committee, Canada re: arrival of  Tom Wilson August 2-14 [24/M156]

TT : 1980: August 23-September 7, Paul & Ellie Jacobi, Madison, WI.[24/M156]

TT : 1980: November to early January 1981. Letter from National Pioneer Committee, Canada. sending  Meherangiz Munsiff & Gol Aidun to NSALVI  area.[24/M156] _____________________________________________________________________________________

TT : 1981: March: Seema Aidun, Canada.[to Antigua as pio.] [24/M11955] 

NOTE: see St. Thomas events for explanation of cutoff date ..Patricia Paccassi


Compiled by Patricia Paccassi as of 1988; revised 1991, October 1994, March 2010, July 2011

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


1953 South America & North America;

1957 Greater Antilles;

*1962 Dominican Republic;

1964 United States;

1967 Leeward, Windward & Virgin Islands;

1972 Leeward & Virgin Islands;

1981 Virgin Islands.

*=First time listed specifically instead of being included as part of  a larger grouping; i.e. "Leeward Islands"

#=Virgin Islands was included in "Leeward Islands" grouping by Shoghi Effendi and stayed there until the date listed under "*".

NOTE: As St. Thomas was made the headquarters of the NSA of the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands which formed in 1967, certain events or reports that effect the whole national area will be recorded in this file:

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

       NTC = National Teaching Committee           BVI = British Virgin Islands


1948: November-1951; Douglas P. Hillhouse, a captain in the United States Military was stationed on St. Thomas to work on the San Jose project. [BE/29.8] ____________________________________________________________________________________

1953: Earle Render arrives, works in a hotel, stays less than a year; is given  title Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Leeward Islands [BE/29.8] [BW, Vol.13] _____________________________________________________________________________________

1954: February. 14: Knights of Bahá’u’lláh, Charles (American) & Mary Dayton (English) arrive; "wended" their ways and did not mention the Faith until (about) 6 months. Edris Rice Wray came on weekends from San Juan Puerto Rico.  Held outdoor barbecues which attracted many newcomers; some thought they were fire worshipers because of good charcoal [scrap wood] fires in backyard  (after the Harmer’s arrive, pr/5d).  Bill de Forge came from New Jersey [Miami?], US for weekend public  meetings, 20-30 attend.[pr/5b.c]  Dayton’s moved 21 times on Island. Early in 1969  Chuck became ill with old service disability and they returned to USA [pr/pr/5d] Photo of Mary Dayton with Harmers in St. Thomas in 1985 [pr/5a]

Regular radio programs using US scripts, Charles good friends with manager of radio station [pr/5d] ______________________________________________________________________________________

1956: January. 12: Ellerton & Marjorie Harmer arrive  as pioneers.[pr/5b]

1956: Regular radio programs continue, but are now "home made" sounds of dogs barking and/or donkeys heard in the background  [pr/5d]

1956: March 2, William DeForge speaks at Harmer or Dayton’s, #101 Contant, news article, radio [pr/5c]

1956: December: Gayle Woolson speaks at  Harmer’s,  newspaper article l.[pr/5c] ______________________________________________________________________________________

1957: January. 27: "letter written on behalf of Guardian (signed by Leroy Ioas) acknowledge letter from group and contribution to International Fund.  Guardian called Daytons and Harmers heralds of the Faith,' You are heralds of the Faith in that land..'" [pr/5b]

1957: March. Winston Evans speaks on Naw Ruz at Harmers, newspaper article. pr/5c]

1957: May 13: Dr. Rice Wray speaks at #101 Contant. [pr/5c] ______________________________________________________________________________________

1958: December. Matthew Bullock speaks at Women’s League Hall, newspaper article;  Rotary Club [pr/5c,d] _______________________________________________________________________________________

195?: ???, Mr. Jean La Mothe arrives from USA, says he is a Bahá'í, but formally joins Faith in St. Thomas, is buried in St.Thomas [pr/5b]


Jean La Mothe

?????,  Tom Shoemaker moved from Bahamas to take position in Hilton Hotel,  left for USA in ??[pr/5b] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1961: ???,  Knud Jensen, enrolled in Harmer's home, becomes first  Bahá'í  in Virgin Islands, Father of Dannish origin, mother St. Thomian, Knud born in Denmark, 1917 is brought to VI as baby. Dies in St Croix 1987. [pr/5a.b]



1963: July 18, Daytons, Harmers, Knud Jensen, Jean La Mothe, Tom Shoemaker listed as Bahá'í s of VI.[pr/5c]

1963:??: Bill & Louise Dickerson arrive, Bill first to work at Post Office, Louise (already a Bahá'í), Bill joins Faith here (8/1963). [pr/5b.c]

1963: June 19: Augustin Rowland, he was just elected Sec. of the Committee of Virgin Islands from Manzilla, Rep.Dom. [pr/5c]

1963: August. Harmers hold firesides on Wednesdays: Feasts at Harmers & Daytons:  le/frmd-DR [pr/5c]

1963: ??: Douglas Covey arrives as pioneer, moves to St. Croix later.[pr/b] Doug had served as LSA chairman in Boston. [pr/5d]


1964: April, First LSA of the Virgin Islands, Ellerton & Marjorie Harmer,  Charles & Mary Dayton, William Dickerson, Mr.Jean La Mothe, Douglas Covey,  Knud Jensen, Tom Shoemaker.(2 St. Thomians) [pr.5a] By joint declaration [pr/5c] ____________________________________________________________________________________________

1965: January 10. Letter from CGC to LSASTT. Asks LSA to start acquiring properties,  ie: temple site, Hazira, & endowment.    [ Files of LSA Charlotte Amalie]

1965: Letter from NSA/USA Property Goals Committee to LSA/STT, re:  cost of Hazira property to be $10-12 000. [LSA of Charlotte Amalie]

1965: March 19, Incorporation of LSA St. Thomas [NL/03.a] photo in Bahá'í News  PF/25.0.12

1965: March/April,  activities include firesides, institutes, Naw Ruz celebrations.  Marguerite Sears present.[NL/03.a]

1965: April,  First issue of NEWSLETTER published in St. Thomas for Caribbean area. [NL/03.a]

1965: Early believers; Allison Miller [NL/03.a]

1965: May, June, activities above continue, plus showing of Haifa pilgrimage  slides shown at private meetings and in Victor Tom's school.[NL/03.b]

1965: July 29: Wide publicity for Ellsworth Blackwell, spoke to St. Thomas Women’s League.

1965: August & with Katherine Meyer re: World Congress meeting, plus overall good media. [NL/03.c]

1965: August. St. Thomas begins children’s classes.  [NL/03.c]

1965: June, Alma Lake, first native St. Thomian enrolled.[NL/03.b]


Alma Lake

1965: Early believer; September???, Walter Pickering, native.[NL/03.d]

1965: Early believers; September???, Ruben Bettencourt. [NL/03.d]

1965: September.  Foreign Goals talking of new NSA formation[pr/5c]  mentions Don & Doris Corbin as still in islands.

1965: November. first indication from Foreign Goals Committee of  possibility of formation of NSA of LWVI in 1967 [9 Year Plan] LSA Thomas given task of conducting conferences to prepare region. [NL/03.d]

1965: November.[as of] Bahá'í Faith now listed in telephone directory, public  meetings, study continues.[NL/03.d].

1965: December. Tourists come to meetings from Faith mentioned in local government  literature. [NL/03.e) ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1966: Land at Megen's Bay. 25 acre lots available at $5000 per acre. LSA of Charlotte Amalie]

1966: February: Don Larsen gives report of visits to area to LSA  St. Thomas, (check their files) [NL/03.f]

1966: February: Bahá'í children give gifts to children's ward at Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital[NL/03.f]

1966: February: Intercalary Party included wiener / marshmallow roast;

1966: March, Children's Classes continue on Sunday. Send drawings to UHJ,  receive letter back [NL/03.f]

1966: March 26_27, First Children's Conference 18 attend from St. Thomas, St. Croix,  Puerto Rico [NL/03.g]

1966: April, Rídvan message calls for formation of NSA OF LWVI at Rídvan, 1967 [NL/03.g]

1966: September, firesides at Harmers', Wed, Paccassis', Sat.

1966: Late: Dwight Allen helps with Temple site search, gives firesides and  public meeting as well.[NL/03.i]

1966: Late; Application made to school authorities for Bahá'í Holy Days excuse.[NL/03.i]

1966: Late; Early believer, Enid Espinoza [NL/03.i] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1967: January. St. Thomas Bahá'ís notified of responsibility of hosting and planning  of 1st. National Convention of the LWVIs.  Delegates [9] from 5 communities to be elected February 26[NL/03.i]

1967: Early believers; Raul Rivera, Ted Brown.[NL/03.j]

1967: February 6: Letter from NSAUSA naming delegate areas: Grenada; St. George's, 1; St. John's, 1; Guadeloupe 2. Virgin Islands: Christiansted, St. Croix 2;  St. Thomas, 3. [pr/5c]

1967: April,  Cable to UHJ from First National. Convention: "Rejoice election first National Spiritual Assembly. Culminating point inspiring message.  Pledge achieve goals. Barbuda fulfilled.  Gratitude presence Hand Giachery.  Dynamic spirit unity prevails.  Devoted Love.  Convention   Leeward, Windward, Virgin Islands."


First cable from UHJ to 1st. National Convention LWVIs:

 "Election first National Assembly Leeward, Windward, Virgin Islands Presence Hand Giachery, Result stirring responses call raised Beloved Master fifty years ago send pioneers islands West Indies fills our hearts with  gratitude guidance His Divine Plan. Delighted accomplishment Barbuda. Appreciate pledge fill goals assigned new pillar House of Justice. 

Loving greetings. --Universal House of Justice."

 First NSA: Edwin Miller (Grenada),Chairman; Jean Desert  (Guadeloupe), Vice Chairman; Katharine Meyer,(St. Thomas), Corresponding Secretary; Henrietta Trutza (St. Lucia),  Recording Secretary; Ellerton Harmer (St. Thomas), Treasurer;  Thomas Hooper (St. Thomas); Lorraine Landau (Saba); Jeffery Lewis (Grenada); Dorothy Schneider (St. Croix).


1967: Rídvan: Message from UHJ setting out goals of new assembly [PF/25-0.4G]

1967: May; Message from UHJ to Bahá'ís of LIWIVI w/goals;  Highlights of Rídvan Message to Bahá'í World.[NL/21.a]

Good Convention report pages 4 & 5 in May 1967 issue  newsletter  "Bahá'í News of the Lesser Antilles"

First budget for National area published in same news letter listed above, page 8.

1967: April, Early believer: Angela Francis, native St. Thomian

1967: May: Total 8 LSAs elected at Rídvan; new ones, St. Vincent,  St. Kitts, Fredricksted, St. Croix [NL/21.a]

 Note: next newsletter states that there are not 8, but  7, as St. Johns, Grenada was not re-elected.

1967: June: US Bahá'í News gives full report on 1st National Convention of the LWVIs  w/ background & brief inter views [PF/25-0.4G]

1967: July 1-2: First NTC region 1 teaching conference held at  Women's League Hall.  Good coverage in St. Thomas "Daily News". [NL/21.b]

1967: July, 16 mm CBS film presentation on the Bahá'í Faith "His Name Shall be One"  which was aired in the US twice on national TV now available for presentations in National. area.[NL/21.b]

1967: Mid: Goals of the Nine Year Plan listed including revision of Redondo. [NL/21.c]

1967: August???: Early believer, Joseph Lilliedahl. [NL/21.c]

1967: September 1-4, ABM E. Blackwell meets with NSA:  [NL/21.d]

1967: September 23-24; Region 1 NTC Institute held at College of the Virgin Islands; Bahá'ís from St. Thomas, St. Croix, plus non-Bahá'ís attend; Speakers, TT's, Ellsworth Blackwell, & Rhoda Vaughn [NL/21.d]

1967: November. NSA calls for election of delegates to National Convention for the LSAs  in National area to be held on  February 4, 1968 [NL/21.d]

1968 January:  news of increase of delegates from 9 to 19, allocated: Christiansted 2; Fredricksted 1; Guadeloupe 2; St. George's Grenada 3; St. Kitts 3; St. Thomas 5; St. Vincent 3. [NL/21.e]

1967: November. Early believers; Mrs. Cindy Lilliedahl, Miss Rio Rita Matthew. [NL/21.d]

1967: November. 1970 attend outdoor celebration of Bahá’u’lláh's   birthday [NL/21.d]

1967: November. Counsellor Alfred Osbourne speaks at an alien organization meeting. [pr/5a]

1967: December??, St. Thomas LSA transfers entire stock of retail Bahá'í stock to  NSA (check to see if that means donated)[NL/21.e] ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1968: January. St. Thomas starts 12 weeks of Bahá'í ads in newspaper[NL/21.e]

1968: February. NSA receives incorporation papers from Virgin Islands Government [NL.21.f]

1968: March 5, LSA of Virgin Islands passes resolution to change  name to LSA of St. Thomas, Incorporated and change administrative jurisdiction to NSALWVI, from NSAUSA.  [pr/5c]0

1968: March. NSA calls for pioneer settlers to goal areas where there are no Bahá'í s; Saba, Anguilla, & islands of the  Grenadines; Bequia,  Union Island, Petit Martinique, Canouan [NL/21.f]

1968: March. World Religion observance reported in 2 papers. Plus, letters &  pamphlets sent to 24 Clergy in St. Thomas & St. John. [21.f]

1968: March. Bahá'í display in public library for 2 weeks.[NL.21.f]

1968: March/April/May: Well attended meetings for Naw Ruz, Rídvan &  Declaration of the Bab.[NL/21.g]

1968: May 2: Letter from VI Government stating that NSA is exempt from Federal  Income tax [pr/5d]

1968: May 25-26: 2nd. National Convention in St. Thomas.[NL/21.f]   See extensive report in "Bahá'í News of the Lesser Antilles" July 1968

1968: June 2, Feature article on Faith by Radcliffe Joe in "Focus", a supplement to St. Thomas Home Journal [NL/21.g]

1968: July, Fernando Moscoso & Nancy St. Kitts have Bahá'í Marriage ceremony.[NL/21.h]

1968: July 9,  1/2 hour radio broadcast of Commemoration Martyrdom of the Bab, station WSTA.[NL/21.h]

1968: August. Reported that Marjorie Harmer has been appointed as Auxiliary Board Member for Propagation for LWVI & Puerto Rico by first Board of CBC [NL/21.h]  August. One enrollment listed, no name given.[NL/21.h]

1968: August 17, Letter to UHJ, re: Letters from the Administrator of  St. Vincent  & VI Governor Paiewonsky on receipt of copies of "The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh." (see notes p23) [24/1-UR]

1968: September 15, First radio program on WSTA called "Man in Touch" hosted and produced by Bahá'í Joe Lilliedahl, aired   weekly, Sundays, 11:30am-12:00 noon. Subjects covered, for the most part by Bahá'í speakers, were on both direct and indirect teachings from the Bahá'í Faith.[NL/21.i]

1968: November. early; 1st. visit from member of newly appointed Continental Board of Counsellors, Mr. Artemus Lamb, joint meeting with St. Croix to explain functions,   etc.; speaks on WSTA  [NL/21.j]

First appointed Continental Board of Counsellors for Central America (21 June 1968)


Artemus Lamb


Carmen Burafato


Alfred  Osbourne

1968: Late: Early believers; Stewart George, Howard Gumbs, Alfred Thomas,  Adocia Todman.[NL/21.j] ____________________________________________________________________________________________

1969: January 10, Patricia Paccassi by-elected to NSA replacing Katharine Meyer.[NL/21.k]

1969: January,  Katharine Meyer leaves St. Thomas post to pioneer in Chili. [NL/21.k]

1969: January,  World Religion Day celebrated [NL/21.k]

1969: February. National. treasurer reports sale of used stamps nets $103.50 for fund [NL/21.k]. Names listed [NL/21.N]

1969: ??: Early believers, Amanda Wrighton, Conrad Rogers  [NL/21.k]

1969: ??: Visit of Glenford Mitchell, Secretary General of the United States NSA


 Left to Right: Wilfred Bart, Henrietta Trutza, Glenford Mitchell, Ed Miller, Beverlee Miller, Patricia Paccassi 

1969: April 26: Report on National  Convention. Newly elected NSA: Edwin Miller,  Chairman; Lorana Kerfoot, Corresponding .Secretary; Ellerton  Harmer, Treasurer; Henrietta Trutza;  Wilfred Bart; Patricia  Paccassi; William Nedden, Recording Sec.; Tom Millington, Vice-Chairman; Beverlee Miller [NL/21.L; NL/21.M]

1969: Intercalary Day Celebration at home of Louise & Bill Dickerson. (Funny story.) [NL/21.L] 

1969: April 26-27: 3rd. National. Convention held at Harmer home. 19 delegates from  7 LSAs. Of note is that St. Thomas held it's Carnival same weekend,  making all arrangements  difficult. [NL/21.k]

1969: Early. Margaret, Walker, Eric & Katie Jensen interviewed by Joe Lilliedahl on his program "The Man in Touch". [NL/21.m]

1969: mid. National Institute held. [NL/21.n] __________________________________________________________________________________________

1970: 28 August. check on letter from Barbados community to NSALWVI, re: Enoch Olinga.

1970: March. Non-Bahá'í Teacher in High School has given his 11 & 12 year students assignments to write term papers on the Faith. [NL/21.Q]

1970: New believer. Ethelinda Sutton. [NL/21.Q]

1970: May/June, Meetings with Ruhiyyih Khanum [pr/5a] June 13, She speaks at Rotary [photo], TV interview [pr/5c] She & delegation of Rubin Bettancourt, Lorana Kerfoot, Ellerton Harmer meet with Governor Melvin Evans, June 11 @10am[pr/5a]

1970: June,  Appointment of Circuit Teachers: Phil Wood; Ivor Ellard; Jeffrey Lewis; Joe Bellas; Shirley Howard. [NL/21.S]

1970: August, Enoch Olinga speaks at Charlotte Amalie High School, reception with friends   and guests at Grand hotel, 18 August.[pr/5a] Meets with Governor  Melvin Evans [pr/5a]

1970: mid. New believers: Mary Archibald, Enrick C. R. Duporte, Castillo Richards. [NL/21.S]

1970: late. Winifred Jerrels, St. Croix, by-elected to replace Henrietta Trutza on the NSA. [NL/21.U] 

1970: November: A series of meetings began @ campus of College of Virgin Islands   with Ethel Harris, Hedy Deuschle, Frank & Patricia Paccassi as speakers. [NL/21.V]

1970: December 8, Recognition of Bahá'í Marriage by Legislature of   Virgin Islands.  Passed an amendment to V.I. code. Actual approval of bill, 23 December 1970.  Act # 281982, Bill # 41961955   [NL/21.V][NL/21.V] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1971: 7 January: Publicity on Faith in Daily News. Concerning ABM Member Marjorie Harmer. [NL/21.V]

1971: January. 28: LSA St. Thomas shares NSA goals for St. Thomas :1) legal Bahá'í Marriage  2) recognition of holy days 3) temple site 4) national center states that Marriage goal already accomplished [pr/5d]

1971: Early. New Believer. Fernando Moscoso. [NL/21.V]

1971: Early. New Believers. Peter Gass (Y), James Greenidge (Y).  [NL/21.W]

1971: March 24: letter from UHJ states that the NSA  of Windward Islands will form at  Rídvan 1972, the area of jurisdiction will be Grenada, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, St. Lucia & Barbados, with seat in Bridgetown [PF/25-0.4G]

1971: May. In 3 days, 172 new believers. 600 Bahá'ís visited St.  Thomas from Jamaica Conference [NSAL/A]

1971: mid. Acquired new Bahá'í Centre in Charlotte Amalie. [NL/21.X]

1971: July 16, Memorial Service held for Hand of the Cause of God, Agnes Alexander.[NL/21.X]

1971: July 17,  Kathryn Langois spoke at Centre. [NL/21.X]

1971: Treasury reps appointed 12 islands including St. Thomas [AF.23]

1971: mid: @ N.T.C.s appointed, one for the Leeward & Virgin Is. and one for the Windward Is. Other committees appointed:  National Public Information; National Book Distribution.; Island. Teach. Committees; National Goals Committee.; Refer. Library & Archives; Bahá'í News, Lesser Antilles; National Fund. Personnel listed , p.7. National Bahá'í Directory listed: LSAs & Groups  p.8. [NL/21.X]

1971: Late. First Bahá'í Marriage under newly revised Marriage code. Ann Abbott  & Robert Jeffries. [NL/21.Y]

1971: December 28: Letter from UHJ: ..jurisdiction of LSA should coincide with parish boundaries[PF/25-0.4G] _____________________________________________________________________________________________

1972: July: Temple site acquired, Fortuna Rd. 0.1981 acres. [24/M148]  (photo with CBC  Osborne looking, check this) [pr/5a] 

1972: September/October.?: First Haziratu'l-Quds purchased in St. Thomas, 6a Commandant Gade [pr/5a]

1972: November 20, Amendments made within Articles of Incorporation which included the following:  1) change name of LSA of Bahá'ís of  the Virgin Islands, Inc. to Spiritual Assembly  of the Bahá'ís of St. Thomas, Inc.  2) change name of corporate affiliation from NSA of the Bahá'ís of USA to NSA of the Bahá'ís LVI.  3) change address of resident agent, Ellerton Harmer, from #9 2nd St.,  Lockhart Gardens, St Thomas, VI to 2-25 Bonne Esperance, St. Thomas, VI..

1972: November 21, Letter from UHJ to NSALVI acknowledging receipt of status  report re: 46 enrollments (A, Y, C) during period April 21, 1977 to October 21. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1973: January 26, Letter from UHJ, re: Accomplishments. (See notes,p22) [24/1-UR]

1973: April,  Dedication of 1st. Hazira, after extensive renovation.   [pr/5a]

1977 Natl Baha'i Center_a

The National Center is the two story building with the gate.

1973: April,  For the first time in VI, there are excused school absences for children  for their religious Holy Days [pr/5b] Act #3422. [24/M53].

1973: Minutes April 10-14, item #41973. Endowment property bought in Montserrat with  money from Etta Woodlen Estate (See notes page 21) [24/1-UR]

1973: Rídvan. 9 new LSAs formed: 6 in Martinique, 2 in Guadeloupe, 1 in Isle de Saintes

1973: May 26. Newly elected members of NSALVI: Joyce Owen, Lorana Kerfoot, William Nedden, John (Jody) Owen, Charles Fitzsimmons, Nelson Brignoni,  M. Laury, Barbara Joyce, Tom Millington.   [24/1-]

1973-4 NSA LVI crop_a

Left to Right: Charles Fitzsimmons, Joyce Owen, Jody Owen, Lorana Kerfoot, M. Laury, Nelson  Brignoni, Barbara Joyce, Tom Millington, Bill Nedden 

1973: June 5, Letter from UHJ: "Your Assembly has set an exemplary record since its formation and we anticipate your winning even greater victories for the Cause." 24/1-UR]

1973: September 23 Letter from UHJ increasing # of delegates from 19 to 38.[24/1-UR] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1974: February 15: Letter from  Department. of Education, VI Government giving excused absences  for Bahá'í students on March 21, April 29, May 2, May 23, May 29, November 12. [pr/5c]

1974: ??: Hand Jalal Khazeh meets  with the friends;


Left to Right: Doris Smith, Lorana Kerfoot, Hand of the Cause of God, Jalal Khazeh, Auxillary Board Member, Shirley Mather


1975: Rídvan. Annual report: 1st National Youth Committee appointed.; 1st National Committee for Women & Children. appointed. [24/M137]

1975: Rídvan. National Convention 1st time 2 local Bahá'ís from French Antilles elected to NSA. [24/137]

1975: May; Attach on Faith by reporter Peter Godwin who obtained copy of  Zimmer(Covenant breaker) book in '1974 [AF/24]

1975: June. free radio time is obtained and 52 fifteen minute talks about the Faith begin.[PF/25-0.5]

1975: October 25, Articles of Inc. amended to central office at #6A Commandant Gade O.V. Queens Quarters. 1st Hazira.[24/M36] _____________________________________________________________________________________________

1976: VI Government giving excused  absences for Bahá'í teachers on Holy Days [BE/29.8]

1976: Rídvan. Annual Report, 88 new believers. [24/137] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1977: March 1, one hour radio interview on "Conversation with HND Paul Haney [BE/28.8];  1955 attend Feast @ Harmers

1977: April 1-3, Radio interview & taped interview with HND Olinga. 

1977 Hand Olinga and Elizabeth  crop-S_a

Left to Right: ABM Shirley Mather, Elizabeth Olinga, Hand Enoch Olinga 

Firesides @: Mather's home with 35 attending; Toni Isaac's with 20 present.  Public meeting @  Bluebeard's  Castle w/1970 attending. Also met with British Consul, Mr. O'Neal. [24/M7,27,134]1977: Rídvan: Members of new NSA: Sandra Egerer; Marjorie Harmer; Tom Millington; Cedric Nathan; William Nedden; Joyce Owen; John Owen; Pauline Paul; Alan Smith.  [24/M137]

1977: Rídvan: Cable to UHJ. 1st 2 LSAs to be formed during 5 Year. Plan by joint Declaration,  St. John, St. Kitts; St. John, USVI. Also reference to "fruitful" teaching in Virgin Gorda & proposed "intensive teaching" schedule set for BVI following proclamation in Tortola. S. Sedaghat in area at that time.   [24/M137]

1977: August 14, Letter from UHJ to NSALVI informing them of proposed trip thru their area by Dr. Muhajir. [24/M134]

1977/1978: December/January; 5 CBCs.. TV program.. firesides, etc. [AF/24.b] ____________________________________________________________________________________________

1978: June, John Rushford appointed ABMA to Jody Owen [AF/24.d] ____________________________________________________________________________________________

1979  ??: Local believer donates antenna for National Center.

1979 NSA Leeward and Virgin Islands_a

1979: March, local endowment, .8 acre in Bordeaux/Fortuna [AF/24]

1979: November 17, NSALVI asks Alan Smith and Ellerton Harmer to make proper changes in bylaws and articles of incorporation to accommodate jurisdiction change & name of LSA of St. Thomas to Spiritual Assembly of Charlotte Amalie. [pr/5c] _______________________________________________________________________________________________

1980: January 3, Letter from UHJ to NSALVI giving OK 1 LSA on Barbuda, & 7 LSAs on Montserrat. Names listed.[24/M136]

1980: January 4, Letter from UHJ to NSALVI giving OK for LSA areas in  BVI. Tortola 4; Virgin Gorda, 2; 1 each for Anegada, Beef Is. & Jost van Dyke. Names listed.  [24/136]

1980: January 7,  Letter from UHJ to NSALVI giving OK for new boundaries on  St. T. for 8 assemblies;  St. Thomas J. 2 assemblies; St. Croix. to work more on proposed  5 assembly boundaries. Names   listed.  [24/M136]

1980: Rídvan: UHJ determines that St. Martin will fall under jurisdiction of  new NSALI. [24/M94]

1980: November 27/30 Winter School [PF/25-0.5] ______________________________________________________________________________________________

1981: January. Goals for NSAVI for remainder of 7 Year. Plan from UHJ: see notes for list. [24/M137]

1981: April 24-25, Formation of 1st. NSAVI, Windward Passage Hotel 15th convention)  needs names, etc. [pr/5c]

1981: April 28, Cable from UHJ to NSAVI with congratulations re: formation of new NSALI. [24/M137]


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 1981 was the formation of the first NSA of the Virgin Islands, this is  the cutoff date for this research document, the following years will be  done by others.

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

Hopefully, I can put this material into a form which, through the medium of oral  history, will breath 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

 New  Photo Gallery Includes Stories, Video Clips and More

Published with permission of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Virgin Islands 

Date:  20 May 2012 

Postal Address:  PO Box 302488,  St. Thomas, VI 00802 USA

Location Address:  129 Estate Contant, St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands 

Email Address:  Website: