Individuals and groups

Individuals and groups whose story doesn't fit into any other category.

Baha'is of the Santa Clarita Valley value unity and peace


Laurie Schumer reads the Tablets of Baha'u'llah. Schumer joined the Baha'i religion back in 2005. Baha'is seek peace and unity, and they view the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals his will and spiritual education to humanity. Francisca Rivas (The Signal)

As a child, Laurie Schumer was introduced to about six different religions as her mother sampled faith after faith.

"My mother changed religions a lot," said Schumer of Santa Clarita. "So I had a lot of information about a lot of religions."

But it wasn't until she was 57 years old that Schumer found a religion she truly connected with.

She wasn't looking, she said. The Baha'i Faith found her.

A woman in her apartment complex knocked on the wrong door. Instead of moving on, that woman invited Schumer to "a fireside."

That is where Schumer said she found "the most wonderful people in the world." They were a group of local Baha'is.

For the next few months, Schumer threw herself into a time of intense reading.

First she delved into "Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium," a book by William Sears exploring the mystery of the massive and fervent expectation of Jesus Christ's return during the 1840s. Sears presents the Baha'i faith as the answer to that mystery.

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Uncle Malcolm


The Monthly ยป November 2005, No. 7

“You should write about Uncle Malcolm,” Lenny Clarke told me one day. Lenny’s a Kirrae Wurrung man. He lives on his traditional lands, opposite the Framlingham forest, outside the Victorian town of Warrnambool. Fraser got to know the Clarke family – particularly Lenny’s late father, known to all as Uncle Banjo – when he was the local member during the 1970s or ’80s. Neither Fraser nor Lenny can be more precise about the date.

{josquote}While being Aboriginal in his views, [Banjo Clarke] gave his religion as Baha’i{/josquote}

The day Lenny told me to write about Fraser was the day Fraser launched Wisdom Man, the story of Uncle Banjo’s life, at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Fraser began by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land upon which he stood. He spoke about the discriminatory legal status under which Uncle Banjo lived most of his life, and then he told the largely Aboriginal audience that the people in immigration detention centres were, in effect, the new blackfellas. It was a forceful speech. At the end Fraser looked old and somewhat pale, white strands of hair plastered across his big pink head. Lenny was holding his arm. “Let’s find you a place to sit, uncle,” he was saying.

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Baha'i student wins car


Winner of the VW Polo Classic, Baha’i High School student Beketele Dlamini (16), which was up for grabs during a raffle draw by Word of Hope

"With God all things are possible and glory be unto Him" were the word of Beketele Dlamini (16) from Baha’i High School after winning a car during the Word of Hope raffle draw held on Saturday.

Beketele is the second born in a family of three and both her parents passed away, with his father in 2004 and the mother three weeks ago.

The second prize went to Bukakahle Samuel Ndzimandze who won a cow and the third prize winner was Bongane Dlamini who won a goat.

"I just thank God because with Him all this are possible and I take this car as a gift from him," she said.

{josquote}The second prize went to Bukakahle Samuel Ndzimandze who won a cow and the third prize winner was Bongane Dlamini who won a goat.{/josquote}

Beketele said soon after hearing the good news and seeing the car she knelt down and prayed.

"I just could not believe it when my aunt came with the car and told me it was mine. I was not able to attend the event where the raffle draw was held because I did not have bus fare," she said.

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So long, Crumpy (1996)


Barry Crump

The poet who first told Barry Crump to 'write it down' farewells the good keen man.

On radio and TV, the one thing everyone keeps saying is that, underneath all that gidday-mate exterior, there lurked a mysterious inner Barry Crump. He was a very private person.

Private? Tauranga's Baycourt Theatre has to be hired for his send-off. Toyota is said to have flown a plane down, complete with managing director Bob Field, though the word is getting around that Scotty has missed the trip. Hundreds have turned up from all over the country. Tim Shadbolt is rumoured to have arrived from the deep south with snow on his boots. Winston Peters is here to honour a famous constituent who told me only two or three years ago that he'd never voted in his life.

There's a picnic sun. No wind, no cloud. But, further south, Ruapehu is biffing lava bombs into the air and a huge, brown smudge of ash begins to spread our way. Most of the crowd lingers outside the theatre, chatting in the sunshine, though every now and again they peel off to go inside and pay last respects to the good keen man, who rests in his coffin in a tartan shirt with a stockman's hat lying on his chest.

Funny. I can definitely remember him stretched out exactly like that 40 years ago, pretending to be asleep, resting at our camp in the Ureweras in the late afternoon sun, after we'd been out all day setting possum lines. Suddenly, everyone seems to recollect special little scenes like that.

Then a woman storms past. She's escaping from a fusillade of electronic bleeps firing from the suits and swanndris around her, and she growls, "Bloody cell-phones. Can't they leave them at home even for a funeral?" {josquote}It's the first time I've attended a Baha'i ceremony, and it turns out to be tender, all-embracing and sincere, with a hint of proselytising.{/josquote}

I look around for the writers, but it seems that only Crump's old friend Jean Watson has managed to get here, driving up from Wellington. For all his 27 books and million-plus sales, this is not going to be a literary occasion. Perhaps it has something to do with the way he keeps appearing on a TV clip, lamenting that all our great writers have gone, with only Gary McCormick and Sam Hunt to keep up the tradition. Crump had a sense of grievance about the way he was put down by some of his contemporaries, and he had an equally developed sense of retaliatory, comic mischief.

Read more: So long, Crumpy (1996)

No pupil should drive to school -- Minister

MBABANE—Minister of Education Wilson Ntshangase does not want to see a pupil driving a car to school.

As a result, the minister implored principals to ensure ‘pupils remained pupils’.

Speaking to this newspaper, Ntshangase said principals should ensure that the school’s parking lot did not accommodate pupils’ cars. “I was a principal of a high school last year. I didn’t allow pupils to drive cars to schools. I expect my colleagues to regulate schools ethically and soundly and make sure that we don’t forget what we used to do in the past, that is, allowing children to enjoy life at child level, but I am disturbed when I see a child enjoying life at adult level,” said the minister of the crown.

He said he was greatly disturbed to see a child driving a Hummer to school, adding that he gathered that there were so many pupils who were driving vehicles to schools—further pointing out that such is a great cause for concern. “No Hummer to school. Why bring a Hummer to school? I expect the principal to make sure the children are not allowed to run the schools, but should remain pupils who had gone to school to learn, not to show off,” he said.

{josquote}Peter Matsimbe, who was doing Form Two at Baha’i High School, was spotted on numerous occasions driving the Hummer to school.{/josquote}

Peter Matsimbe, who was doing Form Two at Baha’i High School, was spotted on numerous occasions driving the Hummer to school. It is now reported that some parents had allowed their children to drive modest cars to the school. Consequently, pedestrian-teachers and those whose cars looked like ‘hammer mills’ felt embarrassed.

The Education minister cautioned the country that his admonition should not be mistaken for jealousy but wanted children to pass wisely and accordingly all the stages of childhood growth.

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