Bahai News - HARMERS HONORED TWICE BY BAHA'IS FOR SERVICE
HARMERS HONORED TWICE BY BAHA'IS FOR SERVICE
Earlier this month, Marjorie and Ellerton Harmer were honored by the National
Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the Virgin Islands for their 45 years of
service to the faith. The Harmers were given a beautiful framed calligraphy
with a quote from Baha'i writings. The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is
of St. Thomas will host their own dinner on Saturday for the Harmers. The
dinner will be attended by local Baha'is, family and friends from St. Thomas,
St. John, St. Croix and Tortola.
The Harmers came here on Jan. 12, 1956, without much knowledge of the
Caribbean but in response to the request to "plant the seeds of the faith"
in every locale. The Baha'i faith has no clergy and the expansion of the
religion is based on teaching efforts and the growth of the administrative
arms of the faith. The Harmers worked with other Baha'is in the region and
when the size of the communities grew there was a National Spiritual
Assembly of the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands. Proof of their efforts
is that for the past 35 years there has been the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Virgin Islands.
The Harmers have also been instrumental in working with Baha'is worldwide to
spread the message of their religion by hosting activities and taking part in
various local, national and international teaching activities. Their homes in
Sugar Estate and later Bonne Esperance have been affectionately referred to
as the "Harmer Hotel" and are like a revolving door to many esteemed members
of the Baha'i community and visitors to the islands.
Looking back on their experiences over the past 45 years, Marjorie and
Ellerton admit that there were difficulties but there were so many "golden
moments". The couple also celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on
Thursday. Their shared commitment to the Baha'i faith and their family have
provided them with the strength to face the major disappointments, including
the loss of their son Tony, damage to their home with Hurricane Hugo and
Hurricane Marilyn, and deteriorating hearing and vision.
They were both very involved in the activities and interests of their
children: Susan (a former speech pathologist, now travel agent), Tony
(pianist) and Michele (an elementary education teacher on St. Croix).
The family has grown with five grandchildren—Michael, Munirah taMicah
Jerme, Mikyba and Minkah—and an extended family of friends throughout the
islands. Both Marjorie and Ellerton are happy to have spent most of their
lives here. Ellerton, now 83, recalls that he was "only 39" when he came
here and has lived here longer than anywhere else. Marjorie will be 80 in
August and still feels the decision to come here was the right one.
In addition to raising the family and serving the faith in several
administrative positions over the years the Harmers were instrumental in
ensuring that Baha'i marriages are accepted as legal in the Virgin Islands
and that children from Baha'i families can be excused from school on Baha'i
The Baha'i faith is an independent world religion with principles including
the oneness of God, the oneness of religion and the oneness of humanity.
For more information on the Baha'i faith call 774-3648 or email: NSA@vi.bahai.org, or visit the Web
site at www.vi.bahai.org.
©Copyright 2001, St. Thomas Source
Page last updated/revised 040401
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