Australian Baha'i Sites

‘A most precious gift’: Auxiliary Board members gather at Mother Temple of Antipodes 

100 Auxiliary Board members from across the Pacific visited the Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney as part of the recent Australasian Auxiliary Board members’ conference 2024. 

The conference was one of 14 being held across the world, bringing together Auxiliary Board members and those serving on the institution of the Counsellors – an institution of appointed individuals who encourage action, foster individual initiative, and promote learning within the Baha’i community. 

Auxiliary Board members from Australia and 17 other nations in the region including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu were in attendance, visiting the temple both at the beginning of the conference and at its culmination. 

Several friends expressed feelings of attending pilgrimage in the Holy Land as they visited the temple, immersing themselves in a sea of love, unity and devotion.  

Auxiliary Board member and Rockhampton resident Mehraban Farahmand said visiting the temple at the beginning and end of the conference made a lasting impact. 

“The visits were memories that we will keep reminding ourselves of the bounties of being in the shadows of the (House of Worship),” he said. 

New Zealand’s Matt Hitti said the spiritual forces set the tone for the entire conference, while Jeffrey Sabour said he felt spiritually restored and strengthened from the prayers and devotions in the company of those from across the Pacific. 

“The moments of prayer in the temple were the highest heaven,” Jeffrey said. 

Samoan Auxiliary Board member Faafetai Falaniko said the bounty of visiting the temple not only restored and strengthened the Board members spiritually but assured them with confirmations of Divine assistance for when they returned to their communities. 

The Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney is considered the Mother Temple of the Antipodes, with other temples in Australasia also located in Samoa and Tanna in Vanuatu. 

The fourth Australasian House of Worship is set to open in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea at the end of May. With a unique woven exterior inspired by traditional weaving, its design is symbolic of unity and the coming together of people of different backgrounds from across PNG. 

One of the Auxiliary Board members from PNG expressed the honour and bounty of being able to visit the Sydney Baha’i House of Worship, saying it was a “heart throbbing experience” communing with their maker. 

“My heart cried and flow(ed) with tears when chanting and prayers recited in various languages.” 

PNG’s Bira Badu echoed these sentiments, saying it was a great bounty to visit the House of Worship in person and to recite prayers and songs.  

“The prayers and songs were chanted and recited in different tones, but it seems that they were so harmonized together as one reality. 

“l could see with my inner eye that ‘Abdul-Baha was walking around slowly in the temple and every one of us were showing tribute to Him. l could not notice that l was sitting but l sensed that l was floating.” 

Appointed by the Continental Boards of Counsellors, Auxiliary Board members serve specific geographical areas and territories within their continental region. Together with the Counsellors and the Auxiliary Board assistants, they work to stimulate the growth and vibrancy of the Baha’i community, promoting the development of its spiritual, intellectual, and social life. 

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The institution of the Counsellors

The institution of the Counsellors was established by the Universal House of Justice in 1968. Its members, who have no legislative, executive, or judicial authority, encourage action, foster individual initiative, and promote learning within the global Baha’i community.

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Published in April, 2024, in Baha'i Institutions > Events

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/bahai-institutions/a-most-precious-gift-auxiliary-board-members-gather-at-mother-temple-of-antipodes/

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