Baha’i followers celebrate birth
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.