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Old 09-14-2011, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Birthday for a beacon

Sydney, 09 Aug 2011
A helicopter was used in the construction of the Temple


The Sydney Baha’i Temple, a beacon for the North Shore and the city of Sydney, is to celebrate its 50th anniversary from 18-25 September 2011.


A week-long public celebration will include special mini-services every week day and three services per day on the weekend of 24 and 25 September, guided tours and children’s events. (For more information, click here)


Since it opened in September 1961, the Baha’i House of Worship at 173 Mona Vale Road,Ingleside, has been a spectacular beacon from land, sea and air, its shining white dome rising above the surrounding bushland.


The Temple has also been a welcoming and inclusive spiritual beacon, open to all and encouraging a diversity of people to attend regardless of their spiritual beliefs or national and ethnic background.


The Temple’s nine sides symbolise the underlying unity of the world religions, and since its opening it has hosted interfaith services, a national pioneer in the field.
For the local community it has been a special spiritual haven to privately reflect, pray and meditate.


Many locals have also attended the regular 11am public services on Sunday.
Thousands from throughout Sydney, Australia and the world have also attended those services and special events focusing on such themes as peace, the equality of women and men, refugees, UN Day, and community harmony.


More than 10,000 attended a peace expo held in the Temple grounds, and other events over the years have also attracted big numbers. Two Governors-General of Australia have attended services.

Opened by a woman
The Temple is one of the few major religious buildings in Australia to be opened by a woman, appropriate for a faith which has gender equality as a key principle.
Madame Ruhiyyih Rabbani (1910-2000), a high official of the Faith, who opened the Temple, was given a special mayoral reception in her honour, hosted by Sydney Lord Mayor, Harry Jensen.


Even before its opening, the Temple attracted wide media attention when a helicopter was used to place the crown of the dome in place – there were no cranes tall enough in Sydney at the time.


Built before the Sydney Opera House was constructed, the Temple project was a challenge because builders were used to rectangular structures, not a nine-sided building with a 34 metre dome.


At the public inaugural service on Sunday, 17 September 1961, more than 2000 people were accommodated in two devotional services in the packed Temple auditorium.


Around the time of its opening, the Temple was the subject of stories in the Sydney Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, the Readers Digest and cinema newsreels, including Movietone News. Since then it has been the subject of countless media reports, features and footage.



In 2003 its image was seen around the world as bushfires reached, but did not cross, its boundaries.


As thousands converged for its opening a half century ago, a busy policeman was interviewed by a news reporter and received fleeting fame when he described the Temple as “the angel of Sydney”.


Source:


Birthday for a beacon
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Baha'i Temple turns 50 this year!

The 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Baha'i Temple will be held from Sunday 18 September - 25 September 2011.



Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations which will be marked by special services, open to all. Over the last 50 years, services have always included scriptures from all the major world religions.

Opening Service, Sunday 18 September 2011

Community leaders will be joining the service at 11am to open the week of festivities.
Mid-day Services, Monday 19 September 2011- Friday 23 September 2011

At noon each day, the Baha'i Temple hosts mid-day services. During this week, the service program will focus on community building themes. These include:

  • Monday: Families
  • Tuesday: The environment
  • Wednesday: Education
  • Thursday: Building community
  • Friday: Oneness of humanity
International Day of Peace, Wednesday 21 September 2011

To mark the International Day of Peace, an evening service is being held. The service will include a multi-faith program with readings by representatives of various religions. The A cappella choir will include performers from multiple community and religious groups. Guests are invited to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. The pathway and Temple building will be illuminated throughout the evening ceremony. You are welcome to extend an invitation to others.To download a copy of the invitation, click here.

Guided Tours,
Saturday 24 September 2011

Between 10am-4pm there will be guided tours at each hour, including a tour of the Temple grounds, viewing of the archives (historical relics associated with the Australian Baha'i Community) and the opportunity to participate in a short service. Bookings will be taken 15 minutes prior to each intake starting at the Visitor Information Centre.

Outdoor Community Day, Sunday 25 September 2011

The outdoor community day with activities for all age groups, including food stalls, children's activities, giveaway and exhibits. There will be three services: 11am,1pm and 3pm. The services at 11am and 1pm focus on giving thanks to those who have contributed to the development of the Temple over the last 50 years. The service at 3pm will be a special children's service including a children’s choir and children offering the readings.

Creative Artwork Contribution: "My piece in the peace puzzle" building peaceful communities

A display of children's artwork from both the local region and across NSW and ACT relating to their vision for peace and community building will be available for viewing through the week.

For more information, please contact (02) 9998 9222 or email opi@bahai.org.au.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Australian society "enriched and ennobled" by Baha'i temple


SYDNEY, Australia, 22 September 2011 (BWNS) –

On the fiftieth anniversary of Australia's Baha'i House of Worship, dignitaries have paid tribute to its contribution to the life of the community.

"Our society is enriched and ennobled by the temple," said the Mayor of Pittwater, Councillor Harvey Rose.

"It's a beacon from the sea, and the land and the sky...a beacon which lights the way to a better world – a world where antagonism and division is replaced by one of unity, of construction and of hope," Councillor Rose told a reception ahead of a special anniversary service.

The Mayor added that the temple and the Baha'i community have "an important role not only in our community, but in the broader Australian community."

The reception held last Sunday launched a week of events marking the golden jubilee of the temple's inauguration. The service that followed was characterised by the Baha'i principle of unity in diversity – with singing in the Aboriginal Wirradjuri language, as well as Arabic, English and Samoan. Passages from Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Islamic scriptures were also read.


"A silent sentinel of faith"

Located in beautiful hills and bushland above Sydney's northern beaches, the House of Worship opened in September 1961 after four years of construction. It is one of only seven such temples in the world.

Open to all people, the purpose of Baha'i Houses of Worship is to provide a central gathering place for prayer and meditation as well as, in time, a range of facilities to serve the social and educational needs of the population.

Pittwater's Member of Parliament, Rob Stokes – who read at Sunday night's service – said that the temple "stands as a silent sentinel of faith, of inclusion, of a real spiritual strength."

Activities marking the fiftieth anniversary have included daily programs at the House of Worship, a children's art show on building a peaceful community, and an exhibition. This coming weekend, there will be guided tours and a program at which visitors can sample Baha'i community building activities.

Last night, neighbors and visitors from further afield approached the illuminated temple along a candle-lit path for a special interfaith prayer ceremony to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Australia's Channel 10 broadcast its three weather segments from the temple gardens. Other media coverage of the anniversary has included articles in the local press, mentions in the Sydney Morning Herald and an ABC radio breakfast show segment outlining the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.


"A momentous occasion"

In a special message, Barry O'Farrell MP – the Premier of New South Wales – wrote that the House of Worship's golden anniversary is "a momentous occasion not only for the Baha'i religion, but for New South Wales as a whole."

"The Baha'i community plays an important part of New South Wales' diverse social fabric, and it is important that we continue to promote and celebrate diversity, tolerance and community in the State," said the Premier.

"This idea encapsulates the ethos of the Baha'i religion as it seeks to unify all religions and humanity. This temple and the Baha'i community have indeed achieved this.

"I believe that there is a lot to be learned from the Baha'i Faith, which through its values of unity and equality has only enhanced the multicultural tapestry of New South Wales."







To read the article online and view photographs, go to:
Australian society "enriched and ennobled" by Baha'i temple - Bahá'í World News Service
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

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Old 09-23-2011, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Religions unite in harmony at Baha’i Temple in Sydney

Sydney, 22 Sep 2011
The Baha'i Temple in Sydney on 21 September 2011 (Photo:Qi-Jie Oh)


The religions came together in harmony in Sydney last night at a Temple whose very design symbolises the unity of religion.

Representatives of seven of the world’s major religions read their sacred scriptures at an International Day of Peace service in the Baha’i Temple, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week.

The nine sides of the Temple symbolise the underlying spiritual unity of the great religions of the world, a theme that has been a hallmark of this Ingleside holy place since 1961 when it became one of the pioneers of the interfaith movement in Australia.

Those attending the 21 September service included local residents as well as people from throughout Sydney and beyond. They walked along a candle-lit path to the illuminated Temple which cast its light on to a beautiful backdrop of eucalyptus bushland.

As with the opening in 1961, media interest was strong, including a TV live broadcast by Network 10 before the service as well as articles in preceding days in the Manly Daily and Pittwater Life, mentions in the Sydney Morning Herald and an ABC radio breakfast show segment outlining the Faith’s teachings and the anniversary program.

The interfaith service began with songs of worship performed by the Temple choir in Arabic, English, Hindi and Samoan. Soloists also sang at intervals during the program.

The scriptural extracts had the theme of peace and some were read in the original languages. The 10 readers represented the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Zoroastrian communities.

The readers were:

Baha’i Faith: Ms Judith Navidi and Mr Chris Heggie ( Baha’i Council for NSW and ACT).

Buddhism: Mr Ranmal Samarawickrama (Buddhist Council of NSW).

Christianity: Rev Meredith Williams (National Council of Churches in Australia); Rev Manas Ghosh (Uniting Church).

Hinduism: Mr Vijai Singhal (Hindu Council of Australia).

Judaism: Ms Lynda Ben-Menashe (Jewish Board of Deputies for NSW).

Islam: Mr Suhail Noor and Ms Rahile Ansari (Affinity Intercultural Foundation).

Zoroastrianism: Mr Minoo Batliwalla.

The anniversary program continues until Sunday.

A public mini-service will be on Friday. A service and guided tours on the hour between 10am and 4pm will be held on Saturday.
On Sunday there will be a community day which involves food stalls, children’s activities and public services at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. The service at 3pm will be a special children's service featuring a children’s choir and children presenting the reading
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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50th Anniversary Vimeo

50th Anniversary Australian Baha'i Temple on Vimeo
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Temple is for all

Mr John Walker, who attended the inauguration 50 years ago, said the Temple is for the benefit of all people, regardless of religion, race, class or nation.

Mr Walker said the decision to build the Temple was made when one planned for Tehran could not go ahead due to persecution of Baha’is in that country.

The anniversary celebrates the achievements and dedication of a small band of about 380 Baha’is living in Australia at the time of construction-- now there are 19,000 Baha’is, he said.

“Australia as a whole has changed much over the past 50 years, becoming a dynamic, outward-looking multicultural society,” Mr Walker said.

“This process will continue over the next 50 years and the Baha’i community stands ready to work together with other Australians in making the world a better place. “

The reception began with a "welcome to country" by Michael West on behalf of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Other special guests attending the reception and service were State MP for Burwood Charles Casuscelli; the Mayor of Warringah Michael Regan; prominent Australian jurist Justice John Dowd; and the son of the architect who supervised the Temple's construction, John Brogan. About 10 people at the reception indicated they had attended the inauguration in 1961.

At the reception a “Friends of the Baha’i Temple” facility was launched so that interested people can receive information about coming events, what’s happening at the Temple and how they can be involved.

State and community leaders pay tributes at anniversary
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Plaster from the Mah-Ku in the foundations...!

I found the following of interest:

Known affectionately among Bahá'ís as "Mother" and "Father" Dunn, they carried the Message of Bahá'u'lláh from New South Wales to Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, across the desert to Perth and to tropical Queensland and became the spiritual parents of Australia. After "Mother" Dunn returned from a lone pilgrimage to the Holy Land, "Father" was elected a member of the first National Spiritual Assembly of 1945 95 the Bahá'ís of Australia and New Zealand in 1934. After his passing on February 17th, 1941, "Mother" Dunn's dedication to the Bahá'í Faith continued unabated and in 1952 she was elevated to the station of Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith: "Father" Dunn was subsequently elevated to the same station posthumously.

Despite her advanced years, "Mother" Dunn returned to New Zealand in 1957 as representative of the Guardian at the formation of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand. In March, 1958, at the request of the Guardian, she placed plaster from the Castle of Mah-Ku in the foundations of the Australasian Bahá'í House of Worship in Sydney during the Australian Inter-Continental Conference. Until her passing to the Abha Kingdom in 1960 at the age of 91 years, "Mother" Dunn retained her memory of many Bahá'í prayers and was reciting these at the time of her death."

(Shoghi Effendi, Arohanui - Letters to New Zealand, p. 94)


"....In March, 1958, at the request of the Guardian, she placed plaster from the Castle of Mah-Ku in the foundations of the Australasian Bahá'í House of Worship in Sydney during the Australian Inter-Continental Conference."

What was the significance of Mah-ku?

'Abdu'l-Bahá states that the Báb's incarceration in the castle of Mah-Ku lasted nine months. According to Nabil-i-A'zam, on the twentieth day after Naw-Ruz (April 9th 1848), He left that mountain fastness on the Russian and Turkish frontiers.(11)

At Mah-Ku the Báb revealed the Dala'il-i-Sab'ih (The Seven Proofs) and began the composition of the Persian Bayan[1] (Exposition or Utterance).

[1 A copy of the Persian Bayan, in the handwriting of Siyyid Husayn-i-Yazdi, to whom He dictated it, exists in the International Archives of the Bahá'í Faith.]

(H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 132)
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

A bit of irony: the Sydney Temple ("Australasian House of Worship" is its official name) was designed by Mason Remey, who was a professional architect before becoming a close associate of Shoghi Effendi, and then causing the "Orthodox Baha'i" schism when he declared himself Shoghi's successor.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Yes I've heard that too.. No body says Mason Remey didn't make contributions to the Faith for many years!
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

Sort of an inversion of Shakespeare's line (in Julius Caesar I think?) that "the evil men do oft lives after them, while the good is interred with their bones." His beautiful buildings are still in service, while his little splinter sects are fading. I was re-reading about the Great Schism (of the 14th-15th century Catholic church) and it struck me that Remey seemed like a re-incarnation of Pedro de Luna (worth a Google, fascinating story): both were intelligent, interested in architecture, and highly respected for their work for the church before their roles in the schism; both lived to the age of 100, with a reputation for crazy obstinacy in their last days, and left behind persistent if small groups of followers (tracts purportedly from the "Black Pope" continued to surface in France for decades, and no-one knows when the last successor of de Luna's line finally breathed his last).
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 50th Anniversary for Sydney Baha'i Temple

I don't think we Baha'is look on Remey as "evil" nor would we I think compare him to an "anti-Pope".

There have been several people who rose to champion the Faith and have later turned against it in one way or another..It's not that novel a thing.

At the time this happened, when people lost the Guardian in 1957 it was unexpected and rather traumatic for them.. No one knew much about the Universal House of Justice at the time even though it was mentioned by Abdul-Baha. So in this confusion and gap there were those who thought they could fill the void.

After 1963 however and the House was elected by fifty National Spiritual Assemblies the Baha'is met at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the void was filled. Six thousand Baha'is attended the first World Congress meeting.

The Second Baha'i World Congress was held in 1992 in New York and thirty thousand people attended including my family.. The House of Justice has proved itself I feel many times worthy to fill the needs of the Faith and is the Center of the Cause.
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