Celia Carr of Levin, New Zealand, passed away very suddenly on Friday morning, May 19, aged 88. Although she had not been well for some time, a result of having congestive heart failure, her passing was very unexpected. However, she was not sick nor in any pain, and was as usual fully lucid and in good spirits up until the very moment of her departure.

Celia celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Bahá'í in grand style last September. We are grateful to all those around the world who sent her greetings on that occasion.

The funeral took place in Levin, Tuesday 23rd May, followed by interment at Kelvin Grove cemetery, Palmerston North, which was her wish (as her late husband, John Carr, is buried there). The Prayer for the Departed was recited at the graveside.

Among those who spoke at her funeral remembering Celia was New Zealand's Race Relations Conciliator, Dr Rajen Prasad, a long-time family friend. The main eulogy was delivered by her son, David, who recalled his mother's constant devotion to the Faith for over 60 years.

Celia Carr grew up in London, England, but emigrated with her husband John to New Zealand in 1953. Both Celia and John were, for a long time, hard-working stalwarts of the Auckland Bahá'í community. John served on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand for 11 years, for much of that period as its Treasurer.

Among the numerous jobs Celia had was being responsible for meeting overseas visitors and newly arrived Bahá'ís who came to live in this country, and making them feel welcome. She was also a long-serving member of the Auckland Local Spiritual Assembly.

They moved to Levin in 1979, where John passed away a year later. Over the years, Celia attended numerous Bahá'í conferences worldwide, including both the First and Second Bahá'í World Congresses in 1963 and 1992 respectively. She also visited the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, on several occasions.

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand sent a message of condolence, which read in part: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of dear Celia, who will be missed immensely for the quiet, steadfast contribution she made to the Faith over many decades. We are, however, uplifted to know that she took her flight effortlessly...."

@copyCopyright 2000, David Brown-Carr

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