September 20, 2014

A Tribute to Shoghi Effendi – a talk by Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins given in July 1958

(The following address was delivered by Amelia Collins, Hand of the Cause, Haifa, Israel, at the Intercontinental Baha'i Conference held in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, July 25-29, 1958, which she attended as the chosen representative of Shoghi Effendi, late Guardian of the Baha'i Faith.)

How can ever find words to bring you what is in my heart about our beloved Guardian! I feel we must each so fill ourselves at this time with his spirit and his wishes that it will carry us through the next five years of the glorious Crusade he initiated and enable us to consummate his every hope and wish. This, the fulfillment of his own Plan, is the living memorial we must build in his memory.

When I first heard of the passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha, I was a very young believer and after the provisions of His will became known, my whole heart and soul turned to that youthful Branch, appointed by Him to watch over and guide the Faith of Baha'u'llah. How I prayed that God would help me to make him happy!

In 1923 I first met our beloved Guardian in Haifa. He was just a young man then, full of determination to carry forward the great work entrusted to his care. He was so spontaneous, so trusting and loving and outgoing in the buoyancy of his beautiful heart. Through the years we all watched with wonder and ever-deepening devotion to him and appreciation of his God-given gifts, the unfoldment of Baha'u'llah's Divine Order which he built up so patiently and wisely all over the world. But, oh friends, at what great cost to himself! 

In 1951, when the beloved Guardian called some of the friends to serve in Haifa, I began to learn of what he had passed through. His face was sad, one could see his very spirit had been heavily oppressed by the agony he went through for years during the period when the family pursued their own desires and finally abandoned the work of the Faith and their Guardian to go their own way. I can truthfully say that for a number of years we who served him at the World Center seldom saw him smile, and very often he poured out to us his woes and confided some of the things he had passed through. I do not know in any great detail the day to day afflictions of Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha, but sometimes I wonder if they could have been any more heartbreaking than those of our beloved Shoghi Effendi.