Baha’i fol­low­ers cel­e­brate birth

Ruapehu Press - - Your Local News - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Tau­marunui’s most faith­ful fol­low­ers of Baha’i Faith are pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate the birth of their founder along­side 100 com­mu­ni­ties in New Zealand.

A spe­cial event will be held on Sun­day Oc­to­ber 22 at 1pm at the Tau­marunui Do­main Hall on Tu­raki St.

Open for ev­ery­one to at­tend, the world­wide event marks the 200th an­niver­sary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah who was born in Iran.

Matiere res­i­dent, Thomas Mor­timer said fol­low­ers are still per­se­cuted in Iran for prac­tic­ing their be­liefs.

Protests to the Gov­ern­ment to end hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions are ig­nored.

‘‘Baha’u’llah es­tab­lished a re­li­gion whose prin­ci­pal teach­ings are the one­ness of hu­man­ity, the one­ness of re­li­gion and the one­ness of God.

‘‘The bi­cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions are in­tended to recog­nise the sig­nif­i­cance of Baha’u’llah’s teach­ings for the well­be­ing and progress of hu­man­ity, and show how Baha’is and their friends are work­ing to­gether to serve their com­mu­ni­ties.’’

Lo­cal fol­low­ers meet weekly to study and build their ca­pac­ity for ser­vice in the com­mu­nity.

Mor­timer be­came a Baha’i in 1996.

Prin­ci­pals of peace, equal­ity and racial har­mony at­tracted him to the faith.

‘‘It’s ba­si­cally the green move­ment, the po­lit­i­cal move­ment of democ­racy, it’s the women’s lib move­ment, it’s a race move­ment, it’s a peace move­ment and this is all the stuff from the 60’s when I was a teenager and I couldn’t find any­thing that com­bined all this un­til I turned 45.’’

A Youth of Ser­vice has been ac­tive for a year fo­cus­ing on pro­vid­ing vol­un­tary ser­vice projects in the com­mu­nity.

Danasha Ta­u­falele and Niko Toleafoa over­see the Youth Ser­vice.

Both young men have grown up in the faith and work closely to­gether to make a dif­fer­ence in the com­mu­nity.

Ta­u­falele un­der­stands the chal­lenges young peo­ple face and is avail­able to of­fer sup­port.

‘‘I saw all the is­sues in the world and I wanted to find a way to solve it.’’

The Baha’i Faith has been in Tau­marunui since the 70’s where it was ac­tively in­volved within the com­mu­nity.

The Tau­marunui Rail­way Sta­tion Mu­seum Build­ing Com­mit­tee have held their first man­age­ment meet­ing since the Ruapehu Dis­trict Coun­cil com­pleted suc­cess­ful lease ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ki­wirail.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive and Com­mit­tee Chair­per­son, Clive Man­ley said it was very ex­cit­ing to be fi­nally start­ing the process of plan­ning the setup of the mu­seum space.

‘‘There is a lot that needs to be done be­fore dis­plays can be set up and the mu­seum opened to the public.’’

The com­mit­tee have agreed on a theme for the mu­seum dis­plays based around Tau­marunui’s jour­ney through his­tory.

This will see dis­plays that cap­ture and re­flect the town’s past from early Maori his­tory, to the river, rail, milling, farm­ing, tourism and to­day.

‘‘We are ask­ing for any­one who has items of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance that help tell the story of Tau­marunui or the dis­trict that they would be happy to dis­play in the mu­seum to con­tact coun­cil.’’

The fu­ture of the 21-me­tre model rail­way up­stairs at the sta­tion has come un­der ques­tion.

The model now needs a lot of work to fix be­fore it can form part of a dis­play.

Un­less more model train en­thu­si­asts can help with re­pair and main­te­nance, it will most likely be put into stor­age.

The next meet­ing is sched­uled for Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 30.

‘‘I saw all the is­sues in the world and I wanted to find a way to solve it.’’ Danasha Ta­u­falele

Faafou Fatu Po­liko, Thomas Mor­timer, Pixi Robert­son, Sauaga Po­liko, Niko Toleafoa and Danasha Ta­u­falele.

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