Baha'i Community Celebrates 50th Anniversary

July 26, 2004

Source: Baha'i World News Service

On July 26, 2004 the Baha'i World News Service reported, "The Baha'is of Papua New Guinea are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a community that includes thousands of Baha'is living in more than 3,000 localities in all 19 provinces of the country. Rather than hold the festivities in a central location of this mountainous country where communities are often separated by difficult terrain, the celebrations are being held at variety of venues. Some 700 Baha'is from the New Ireland region and their guests gathered on 8 May 2004 for the anniversary festivities in Madina where in 1958 the country's first Local Spiritual Assembly was formed. There are now 252 of those nine-member local Baha'i administrative councils spread throughout Papua New Guinea. To mark the occasion, the local Baha'is built a memorial pool at the Madina Baha'i center as a tribute to the Baha'is who introduced the Faith to the area. Colored lights illuminated two large stars that were placed in the middle of the pool to symbolize Baha'u'llah and the Bab. The guest of honor was Rodney Hancock, who came to Papua New Guinea in July 1954 from New Zealand to help establish a Baha'i community."