Bahai News - Bahá'í Council for Northern Ireland
Issue 55 - 14 Sultán 157 BE / 1 February 2001 CE
Winter School 2000
Northern Ireland's Winter School took place at a new location this year -
Portaferry, County Down - from 24 to 28 December 2000. It was held in the
Barholm Guest House, wonderfully located right across from the Strangford
ferry and overlooking the Lough. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and the
Exploris, there was a good choice of things to do when not participating in
the offerings of the school.
The house itself was warm & inviting, once everyone had moved in and
settled. The turnout was good, almost filling the capacity. The rooms were
warm, and the kitchen large. It was nearly always filled with the beautiful
aromas of Vida Lake's lovingly-made meals. Food was more than abundant, and
no one went away hungry - that's for sure!
Edwin and Susan did a marvelous job of organising everyone and getting us
settled in for the 5 days. Over the ensuing days, we were treated to speakers
who all truly spoke from the heart: Dr. Keith Munro, Dr.Les Gornell, Betty
Reed, Brian Corvin, Kevin Brogan, and Ian Long.(thank you!) All of these
people presented very thorough talks, and gave us plenty of food for thought.
Their enthusiasm was catching...
A memorial meeting was set aside for Mr. Hassan Sabri, who recently passed
away, although famous the Bahá'í world over, he and his wife
had attended our Summer School in Portrush two years running. While I never
had the privilege of meeting this gentleman, I know from all that he had
done in his life, and the impression he had made on others, that he will be
Even the weather cooperated, with glorious sunny days and a made-to-order
snowstorm for the children. (and, truth-be-known, for some adults as well!)
Speaking strictly for myself, I think the Winter School was the perfect way
to spend what was going to be an uncomfortable time of year. It enabled me
to get away from the commercialism of the holiday season, and experience
thefeeling of camaraderie and oneness of purpose with my newly-found Baha'i
friends. It offered an opportunity to re- affirm shared values and ideals. I
hope that everyone who came to the Winter School this year left - as I did
- with a better understanding of what it means to be a Baha'i.
Marie and Pat's Travel Teaching Trip
Marie Whiteside and Patricia Jamshidi had a wonderful travel teaching trip to
Southern Ireland form the 12-19th of Nov. Their itinerary took them from
Cavan and Sligo in the North down through Clonmel and finally to Ennis and
Shannon communities in the South. We started out with Patricia slumped in the
front seat hung over from night duty trying to sleep it off with Marie at the
wheel. The car made it into Cavan just in time for a devotional meeting at a
hotel in the centre of town. On entering the hotel one of us made a beeline
for the loo to be sick while the other nearly passed out during the
devotional. Quality travel teachers are rare. They were scraping the bottom
of the barrel with us!
A lasting impression was made by this intrepid twosome when later that
evening an AV presentation could not be got up and running despite painstaking
tuition from Arjang Agahi prior to the trip. However the Cavan friends rallied
round and it was discovered that we needed a power lead for the speakers!
Further consultation unearthed the fact that polarisation needed to be
corrected and wonder of wonders it worked. Our thanks to Arjang and the Cavan
friends. We were welcomed everywhere with warmth and kindness and gave
services ranging from talks, baby sitting, radio interviews to just mixing and
listening to the friends. There were few coffee shops en route that did not
come under our notice as suitable stopping off points just to lubricate our
vocal cords for communication purposes. As is often the case we got a lot
more form the visit than we gave. Our sincere thanks to all the friends who
put up with us or put us up.
QUIET ROOM AT AIRPORT
Travellers passing through Belfast International Airport at Aldergrove will
be aware of the Quiet Room, a place of prayer, peace, and meditation. (Other
airports have chapels or Prayer Rooms, Aldergrove a Quiet Room - presumably
quiet is less contentious than prayer in Northern Ireland.) It is on the
corridor as you leave the arrivals area and its sign includes the symbols of
the various religions represented, one being a nine-pointed star.
The Room is a successful initiative of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith
Forum, a body with which Baha'is have been involved since its beginning.
Literature and scripture of the Baha'i and other religions are available in
it. As a regular user of Aldergrove I have always found the Quiet Room a
place of true tranquillity and spirituality and I recommend it to any Baha'is
with a little time to spend at the airport. They can also tell their friends
about it. And on the principle that (a) a good thing should be encouraged
and (b) there are always those to criticise, so it is good to balance them
and accentuate the positive, I suggest that visitors not only sign the book
in the Quiet Room they also - this might be even more important - complete
one of those "customer comment" forms lying around the airport, to let the
management know that you have used the Quiet Room and that it is an
appreciated service to travellers.
Iain S. Palin.
Cavan hears about the Right of God
Patricia Jamshidi, as representative for Ireland for Huquq'u'llah, and as a
part of a planned program, met with the Cavan Community on the 12th Nov. The
evening was designed to help us reach our own understanding of this law of
Baha'u'llah. This was done by role-play initially to help stimulate thought.
It was then followed by excerpts from the writings on the subject which after
being read were discussed. Patricia hopes to go next to the Sligo community.
©Copyright 2001, CommuNIqué, Bahá'í Council for
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