Who We Are

There is an active Baha’i community in St.Lucia.We get together regularly and often to worship, study the sacred writings, celebrate holy days, and just to socialize. 

The Baha’i writings   address social issues as well as personal growth issues, and encourage us to work to
"carry forward an ever advancing civilization".
  Consequently, the Baha’is of St. Lucia also tend to be very involved in other community organizations -- particularly those which are in harmony with the Baha’i principles
painting of Ester Evans
Esther Evans, one of the first Baha'is on St. Lucia

On 13 October 1953  Esther Evans and Lillian Middlemast arrived from the United States as Baha'i pioneers. They were the first Baha'is on St Lucia

 They first stayed at the Villa Beach Hotel.  Lillian Middlemast had to return shortly thereafter to the United States, and Esther stayed for the rest of her life.  She is buried at Choc Cemetery.   



See:

ST. LUCIA – Barbara Hudson

n Part Two, she speaks of her families connection to Lillian Middlemast, who pioneered to St Lucia in 1953 along with Esther Evans and was consequently named a  Knight of Baha’u'llah for the Windward Islands,


 Because of their special services to the Baha'i Faith, both Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Middlemast were given the  title of Knight of Baha'u'llah by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of  the Baha’i Faith.

“Those pioneers who succeeded in establishing the Faith's first foothold in a country or territory were designated "Knights of  Baha’u’llah", and their names inscribed on a Roll of Honour destined, in time, to be deposited, as called for by the Guardian, under the threshold of the entrance to the Shrine of Baha’u’llah. Nothing testified quite so dramatically to the foresight embodied in Shoghi Effendi's successive Plans than the fact that, within each of the new nation-states born after the second world war, Baha’i communities and Spiritual Assemblies were already a part of the fabric of national life.”   (Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, p. 78)

At the bottom of this scroll at The Baha'i World Center which lists the names of all The Knights of Baha'u'llah, shows Esther Evan's name.

Ester's name on scroll


During the intervening years, until the Trutzas arrived in 1965 

number of travel teachers came to St. Lucia.


trutza  trutza
When the  Trutzas arrived, as pioneers, they   settled and a new significant change occurred with the first confirmed records of  those St. Lucians who were receptive and open to becoming  Bahá’ís. During 

Esther Evan’s time she had made many efforts  to present the Faith to the expatriate and the prominent people circles within which she moved. 


Up until the development of this web site The International Bahá'í Community, would of dated the establishment of the Bahá'í Community of St. Lucia, from this period.


 "The Bahá’í Faith was first established in Saint Lucia in the 1960s. Since that time, increasing numbers of people throughout the country have been finding inspiration and guidance in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Here, members of the Bahá’í community are working together with their neighbors and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.


"This is the Day in which God's most excellent favours have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things."

— Bahá’u’lláh


children koplsto

"Many community building activities that address society’s needs in both their spiritual and material dimensions are underway in Saint Lucia. Among the principles that inspire them are the oneness of humanity, the need for universal education and the elimination of all forms of prejudice. In Saint Lucia, the Bahá’ís and their growing numbers of friends offer opportunities to study and reflect upon spiritual topics, arrange meetings for communal worship, and provide classes for children and youth, emphasizing moral education."  




Children enjoy an arts activity during a class about developing spiritual values.

YouTube Video

It took 14 years from the arrival  of Esther for 
the first record of a St. Lucian to become a Bahá'í. On May 1967 the first recorded person born in St. Lucia to enroll as a Bahá'í occurred, this as Patsy Vincent, a youth of 16 years of age, of Pavee Road, Castries 123 years after the Declaration of The  Báb.  


See:  ST. LUCIA – Patsy Vincent


At this time the first adult believers are being enrolled as  oSeptember. Cecil Johannas of Hospital Road Castries is listed as the first adult St. Lucian to join the Faith. The first formal meetings, three times a week, began in Castries at the home of the Trutza’s on Pavee Road. On Mondays there were  open devotional meetings, Tuesdays  and Fridays firesides  (discussion gatherings in which some aspect of the Bahá'í Faith is presented), and Sunday were outreach activities to  outlying districts, Roseau, Jacmell,  Choiseul, and Laborie.

        “By 1968 there had been a number of enrolments (26 in the year) and there was a sufficient number of Bahá’ís to start a formal Bahá’í group in Castries. “


It took another year, until 1969, from the acceptance by the first St. Lucian Bahá'í until the first Local Spiritual Assembly formed. American Baha'i News reports this occurring by 1968 This had been a goal of National Baha'i Communities in the west for a long time.That first Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly was elected in Roseau, which includes Jacmel, and the first registered group (less than nine adults) of Bahá'ís forms in Castries. 


It took until April 1970, for the first Local Spiritual Assembly to form in Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, which has continued to exist every year since. It is interesting that this development the formation of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of Roseau, occurred in the Rosseau Valley, which included Jacmel and was therefore connected to opposition with the beginning of the establishment of The Bahá'í Faith on the island.

“There were more than 20 local Spiritual Assemblies by the time the first National Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1983. By 1990 there were 31. Sixty-four Spiritual Assembly areas have been identified. “


Many of these areas would now be considered neighborhoods which are a part of a larger Local Spiritual Assembly area. Over time the understanding of, the functioning of, and the purpose of these Local Spiritual Assemblies has developed in St. Lucia; as well as the understanding of what are the reasonable consistent borders for Local Assemblies. St. Lucia at present has three Local Spiritual Assemblies, with a potential for ten. A Local Spiritual Assembly area is defined as the smallest self-governance division that the country itself has divided into. "The St. Lucian Government divides St. Lucia into ten city, town, village, or district councils. In 2010 The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of St. Lucia revisited the division of Local Spiritual Assembly areas in St. Lucia and in consultation with the Universal House of Justice found out the number of local Councils was now 10 and what their boundaries where. St. Lucia is divided into 17 member of parliament constituency boundaries,however all the Castries Constituencies form the Castries City Council, both of the Vieux Fort constituencies form the Vieux Fort Council, both of the Dennery constituencies form the Dennery Council, and both of The Micoud constituencies form the Micoud Council. The others constituency areas form single  councils for each of those areas, except for the Canaries - Anse La  Raye constituency which is divided into two village councils.  Thus making 10 possible “smallest self- government areas” or possible Local Spiritual Assembly areas.As each area becomes a Local Spiritual Assembly, that Local Spiritual Assembly would strive to ensure the Bahá'í Community exists or has a presence in each of its’ neighborhoods. Many Bahá'í activities including study circleschildren’s classes, junior youth groups, and devotionals are based upon and organized by the Bahá'ís living in a neighborhood.


The history of the growth of The Baha'i Faith in St. Lucia is also the story of the visits by the

“Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the twin surging seas; upon the offshoots of the Tree of Holiness, the twigs of the Celestial Tree, they that in the Day of the Great Dividing have stood fast and firm in the Covenant; upon the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God that have diffused widely the Divine Fragrances, declared His Proofs, proclaimed His Faith, published abroad His Law, detached themselves from all things but Him, stood for righteousness in this world, and kindled the Fire of the Love of God in the very hearts and souls of His servants; upon them that have believed, rested assured, stood steadfast in His Covenant and followed the Light that after my passing shineth from the Dayspring of Divine Guidance -- for behold! he is the blest and sacred bough that hath branched out from the Twin Holy Trees. Well is it with him that seeketh the shelter of his shade that shadoweth all mankind”.      (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 438)

[For most people the closest example in Christianity of the station of a Hand of the Cause that they would think of would be the Disciples of Christ.  For them, in this day of God, The Hands of The Cause of God, visiting St. Lucia, would have been like in the day of Christ the disciples to have visited.]

For a fuller explanation of The Hands of The Cause click on this link.


'Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum (Hand of TheCause)
22 to 24 May 1970

When Ruhiyyih Khanum was here, she met with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands, which was The National Assembly responsible at that time for St. Lucia.  It was at that meeting that she suggested that the Caribbean be divided into two National Assembly areas.  The National Assembly really did not agree, feeling the area was too weak to sustain separate National Spiritual Assemblies.  However, it was right after that the area was, indeed, put into two separate National Spiritual Assemblies

When visiting St. Lucia all of the Hands of The Cause of God were given gracious and courteous interviews in the press, [for a list of Baha'i articles in "The Voice" click here ] on the radio and television.  They also said prayers at the grave sites of the Baha’is buried in Choc Cemetery.

   

Hand of The Cause Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir (1923-1979)
1974; Oct 5, Dr. Rahmatu’llah Muhajir (Hand of the Cause ofGod)  

Beverly March, a Jamaican Baha’i Pioneer living in St. Lucia at this time interviewed Dr. Muhajir for Radio St. Lucia.  

The time allotted was 15 minutes. Dr. Muhajir told Beverly not to worry about the time, but to keep asking him the questions they had worked out previously.  The interview went very well Beverly said afterwards that she was so nervous in the beginning she wasn’t sure she could speak.  The time however well exceeded the 15 minutes, and ending up 45 minutes long..  The next morning the station manager called saying that was a very interesting talk, but a bit long!


Hand of The Cause Enoch Olinga (1926-1979)
1977; March, Enoch Olinga (Hand of the Causeof God) and his wife Elizabeth, stayed at Planters Inn on Brazil St., Castries. 


 Perhaps he is the Hand who was most remembered?  He was the only African hand, a big happy, laughing man, who embraced everyone he met.  He was also one of the youngest Hands, and it shocked the Baha’i World when he and some of his family were murdered by bandits in Uganda


See:  ST. LUCIA – Nancy Cole-Auguste & Moses Auguste

Moses became a Baha’i in 1978 on his 15th birthday, after having heard of the Faith from his sister, Juliana, and attending children’s classes in Sans Souci.
 

YouTube Video




1979; Oct., Dr. Rahmatu’llah Muhajir (Hand of the Cause ofGod).  

During this second visit, several meetings were held for him. For one of these he spoke at a hall in La Clery, above a small grocery store.  The hall was filled and Dr. Muhajir was very happy with the meeting itself.  It is sad to note that this teaching trip was Dr. Muhajir’s last one.  From St. Lucia he went to South America and had a heart attack while at a meeting in Quito, Ecuador.  He was one of the youngest Hands.  The other Hands, all expected that the two youngest Hands, Mr. Olinga and Dr. Muhajir to outlast them all, but God has His Own Plan.


1979 by Val Carnegie 

1979 by Beverly March http://www.bahaihistorycaribbean.info/photo_galleries_and_more/stories/1979-by-beverly-march/



Hand of The Cause John Aldham Robarts (1901-1991)
1980; Feb., JohnRobarts (Hand of the Cause of God), and his wife Audrey visited St. Lucia.

 

Mr Robarts  visit was filled with media interviews and sessions with the Baha'is on the Island






Tim and Helen wedding
On the 26 November 1980  Tim and Helen Delphus had the first Baha'i wedding in St Lucia.

 






See:  ST. LUCIA – Helen Delphus

Helen became a Baha’i in Gros Islet, St Lucia in 1979. 

YouTube Video


See:  ST. LUCIA – Tim Delphus

Tim became a Baha’i in 1979 through his partner Helen who had heard of the Faith from pioneers Keith and Stephanie Bloodworth. Helen also embraced the Faith the same year. The following year in 1980, they had the first Baha’i wedding on St. Lucia.

YouTube Video




Hand of The Cause `Alí-Muhammad Varqá (1911-2007) [1955]
In May 1981, Dr. Vargha (Hand of The Cause)  visited St. Lucia going to radio stations and visiting Baha'is around the island, at Vigie, Dennery, and Jackmell.

 






See:  ST. LUCIA – Nancy Cole-Auguste & Moses Auguste

Nancy first came to St Lucia for a summer teaching project held in St Lucia in 1981. She fell in love with the country and people and returned as a pioneer in December of the same year. She later married Moses Auguste who had also served on the teaching project. http://www.bahaihistorycaribbean.info/photo_galleries_and_more/video-clips/st-lucia-nancy-cole-auguste-moses-auguste/ 

YouTube Video


See:

The Grandma Snyder Project


See:  ST. LUCIA – Barbara Hudson

Barbara arrived from the United States as a pioneer to St Lucia in February 1982.

YouTube Video





Hand of The Cause Dhikru'lláh Khádim (1904-1986)
1983; May 27 – 28, Dhikru’llah Khadem (Hand of the Cause of God), visited for the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Lucia













Ester, Ruth, and Khadem
 Esther Evans, far right, at National Convention, in 1983 with friends and Hand of  The Cause, D. Khadem, 2nd from right and Counsellor Ruth Pringle 3rd from right



The first National Convention for the Baha’is of St. Lucia took place in April 1983 on the Morne.




1st National Assembly

The members elected to the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Lucia were: Larry Clark (Secretary) Tim Delphus, Frank Paccassi (Treasurer) Florus Lubin, Keith Bloodworth, Martin Devaux, Peter St. Rose, Vice-Chair, Barbara Hudson, and Pat Paccassi (Chairperson).  Counsellor Ruth Pringle represented The Universal House of Justice. 


See:  ST. LUCIA – Martin Devaux

Martin became a Baha’i very easily and quickly in 1979, remaining an active member for many years. His services to the Faith include participation as one of the coordinators in a large teaching project held in St Lucia in 1981. He was also elected as a member of the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is St Lucia, and served on that body for many terms.

YouTube Video

  Mr Khadem’s visit was a great honor to St. Lucia.  He represented the Universal house of Justice at the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Lucia.  He was here several days and met with the friends and persons who were interested in the Faith.  There was a large article about him and the event in the Voice. [for a list of Baha'i articles in "The Voice" click here ]  The meeting was held on the Morne and Baha’is from all over St. Lucia attended this historic event.  As was customary, the Continental Board of Counsellors also sent a representative, Ruth Pringle, who, at the time, was the Counsellor for the island.

    As this area of the Caribbean was rapidly growing. Dominica, who had been part of a National Assembly including St. Lucia, was also forming its own National Assembly.  Mr. Khadem, Counsellor Pringle and the secretary of the mother National Spiritual Assembly of The Windward Islands, Pat Paccassi, went to Dominica and all three were present for the formation of Dominica's first National Spiritual Assembly.


1984; April, Collis Featherstone (Hand of the Cause of God), and his wife Madge.
Hand of The Cuse Harold Collis Featherstone (1913-1990)















His visit coincided with the dedication of the property on the Morne that was to be the site of the first National Baha’i Centre.  This event was also blessed to have Knight of Baha’u’llah, Ester Evans present, who addressed the friends after Mr. Featherstone.  A large group of Baha’is were present as well.  The Counsellor asked who was the “oldest’ St. Lucia Baha’i present, and was told that Juliana Auguste (Day), (who was in her late teens at the time) was the “oldest Baha’i present” (Being the St. Lucian present whjo had been a Baha'i the longest .  Juliana was then asked to do the first ceremonial-dig of dirt on the property. Complications arose with this site however, and several years later the National assembly bought the present National Baha’i Center in Entrepot.

        

ester on morn with featherstone














Esther Evans on the Morne at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 1st National Center property in 1984.  Hand of the Cause Featherstone at the left.


ST. LUCIA Juliana Auguste-Day

After learning about the Faith, Juliana became a Baha'i at the age of 12. She was an active devoted Baha’i for many years. Her services to the Faith include being a Baha’i teacher, traveling to other Caribbean Islands as a representative of the Faith as well as being the Baha’i representative on the National Council of Women of St Lucia. She was also the first St Lucian to be appointed as an Auxiliary Board Member by the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Americas.


YouTube Video


convention
National Convention 1985

The next event of historical importance that took place, on 4 January 1988, was the first Baha'i burial of a St. Lucian.  Cusheen Duboulay, the child of Cadosia Duboulay, who had been born on 7 August 1986 had dcied.  He had also had a baby naming ceremony, in December 1986, at Negar and Barwize Babahanni's in  San Souci where Moses Henery had been the Civil Status Officer.  Cusheen was buried in Choc Cemetery.


 The Baha'i Faith in St Lucia by Pat Paccassi

Pat Paccassi and her family have been pioneers in the Caribbean Islands since 1965. They served on St Lucia from 1977 to 1990. In this clip she shares her views and thoughts about the development of the Faith there, as well some of the most active local believers in the early days.


This clip was taken from an interview by Linda Cacada and Oma Richmond in 1995.

continued on the next page with "The Following decades after St. Lucia was its own National Bahá'í Community"


For more information about the history of The Baha'i Faith in St. Lucia go to http://www.bahaihistorycaribbean.info/html/st__lucia.html


 The members of the St. Lucian Baha’i community work in many different fields: education, business, science, technology, and many more.  They come from  different racial and cultural groups.  Some of the Baha’is in St. Lucia were raised as Baha’is, but most have discovered and embraced the Faith as a result of their own spiritual search.  This latter group comes from a wide range of religious backgrounds including many Christian denominations and even former agnostics and atheists.
 

On a world wide basis, one will find Baha’is who have come out of every religious background: Traditional and primitive religious backgrounds, as well as Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Shinto, and Islam,

Since the Baha’i Faith has no clergy, the community depends upon an elected body of 9 adults called the National Spiritual Assembly to run the affairs of The Faith in St. Lucia. At a community level, there is an elected  body of 9 adults called the Local Spiritual Assembly.  Both provide guidance and direction for the community.  To support its activities, the community also has a national and local monetary fund to which only Baha’is are allowed to give.

There are many on going activities  in St. Lucia and we invite you to join us.  You will find a diverse, spiritually-based, welcoming group of warm, friendly people.

Click here to go to the next page " The Decades After the The Formation of St. Lucia's own National Baha'i Community"

 

                                                     

9 pointed star symbol all religions with earth


Email the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of  St. Lucia

 

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Baha’is of St. Lucia official site. Sponsored by  The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Lucia, Caribbean, West Indies

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