Orlando Bahai Center goes up in flames

Arson investigators were looking Tuesday into two fires in three days that destroyed the Orlando Bahá'í Center in Orlando.

The first fire in the one-story wood building on Hillcrest Street was reported at 4:48 a.m. Sunday. When the Orlando Fire Department responded to the second blaze at 12:55 a.m. Tuesday, flames were shooting through the roof.

"It is unusual for something like that to happen, especially this much down time between the two," said Orlando Fire Department Commander Vicki Robles.

{josquote}It could be a good thing, you never know what God’s plan is.{/josquote}

A spokesperson for the Bahá'í Center said the fires are baffling to the members, who number about 300 in the metropolitan Orlando area. Prior to the fires, there had been no threats, vandalism, or break-ins at the center, said Kelsey Vargas, secretary for the center's governing assembly.

Full story and video 2nd Suspicious Fire Destroys Religious Center

An odd-looking temple outside Chicago houses a high-minded faith

The nine-sided, dome-topped building above, which faces Lake Michigan near Chicago in Wilmette, Ill., is sometimes locally and irreverently referred to as "God's orange squeezer." Though odd looking, the structure houses a high-minded religion called Baha'i, whose purpose is to unite under one God nine of the world's faiths. Founded 87 years ago by a Persian mystic named Baha'u'llah, Baha'i now has members in 78 countries, 6,000 of them live in the U.S.

When the U.S. members met this year for their 42nd annual convention, they were especially happy to pose for the group portrait. Under construction since 1921, their temple is almost completed. Through the years its cost - about $2.5 million - has been met almost entirely by the U.S. membership, contributions from nonmembers being refused. When the Baha'i members meet again next year, the temple will be finished inside as well as out.

Full story...

Joy, Happiness, and a Meaningful Life - cancelled

As a lingering reminder of the recent area fire, the smoke on and surrounding the Bosch campus is not going away as quickly as we had hoped. Today the air quality is actually worse than yesterday.

{josquote}...we have decided to cancel Joy, Happiness, and a Meaningful Life...{/josquote}

Therefore, after careful deliberation and consultation both with local environmental health agencies and with session coordinators––and in our wish for everyone to have a wonderful experience at Bosch Baha'i School––we have decided to cancel Joy, Happiness, and a Meaningful Life that was to begin tomorrow, August 21. The organizers of this weekend will be consulting about alternate dates for re-scheduling the program soon.

Full story...

Maxwell International School Reopens Under Guidance of the Dwight School, New York

SHAWNIGAN LAKE, BC (March 2, 2009) – Led by an experienced team including Jerry Salvador, Assistant Director of Pearson College, Stephen Spahn, Chancellor of the Dwight School, and Susan Xu, General Manager of Century Ventures, Maxwell International School will reopen in July 2009 as the Dwight International School. The new school will offer a non denominational education catering to both residential and day students (grades 8-12) with the goal to produce students who excel academically and are leaders in their communities.

{josquote}"We believe that every student has a spark of genius, and our goal is to nurture that potential.{/josquote}

Dwight International School is modeled after the Dwight School in New York, one of the oldest IB schools in North America. Each school offers a holistic education based on the IB curriculum, aimed at developing future leaders, entrepreneurs, and responsible citizens. In relating the school’s philosophy and vision, Mr. Salvador states on the school website, “We believe that every student has a spark of genius, and our goal is to nurture that potential. We strive to develop inquisitive, informed, and ethical citizens who, with a sense of global kinship, will take action to build a better world”.

Full story...

Related stories:
New York firm buys Shawnigan private schools
New school opening on old Maxwell site

Maine's state-wide digital museum

Renowned Baha'i men at Green Acre
From left to right: Horace Holley, Jenabe Fazel, Louis Gregory and Siegfried Schopflocker [Schopflocher] in front of the Eirenion Hall at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine circa 1920.

The Maine Memory Network, a project of the Maine Historical Society, provides access to thousands of historical items belonging to over 180 organizations from across Maine. Search for or browse these items, explore online exhibits, or create your own collection of images from the database.

View many more Baha'i-related historical photos...