History

The history of the Bahá’í Faith on St Helena

 

The Bahá’í Faith was first introduced to St Helena by Elizabeth Stamp, an elderly widow from New York, in May 1954. She stayed on island for 10 years before returning to the United States. You can read more about Mrs Stamp on our Bahá’í visitors page.

The second Bahá’í to settle on St Helena was Jagdish (Jack) Saminaden, a young man from Mauritius, who lived and worked here from January 1960 to May 1962, during which time he made many friends who remembered him when he returned in 1998 (pictured) to open the new Centre. You can read more about Jagdish on our Bahá’í visitors page.

There was only one local Bahá’í remaining on St Helena until the arrival in 1966 of the Huxtable family from Canada. In the following years St Helena received a number of Bahá’í visitors from the USA, South Africa and Canada.

The first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of St Helena was formed in April 1973. The members (pictured) were: - local residents: Jennifer Corker, Basil and Barbara George, Eunice Honey, Cliff and Delia Huxtable; visitors: Vivien Combe and Richard Tranter from Canada, Eldon Dennis from USA. Regular meetings were held in homes and for several years after 1978, in Bennett’s Cottage (pictured) which became the Bahá’í Centre in Upper Jamestown.

In 1975, the Bahá’ís joined with other like-minded residents in an attempt to establish an island branch of the United Nations Association. Contribution to local radio Epilogues began in 1982.

In May 1992 Two local Bahá’ís attended the global gathering at the World Centre in Haifa, Israel, to commemorate the passing of Bahá’u’lláh 100 years earlier.

In 1997, the St Helena Local Spiritual Assembly launched the Lighthouse Project.

In May 2001, two St Helenian Bahá’ís attended the opening of the Terraces of the Bahá’í Shrine and Gardens on Mt. Carmel, the Mountain of the Lord, which is sacred to Jews, Christians and is also now the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá’í Faith - in Haifa, Israel. This Shrine and the beautiful gardens surrounding it have only last year been declared a World Heritage Site.

The local Bahá’í Community was registered as Charity No. C0004 on 3rd April 2006 under the new Charities Ordinance 2005.

The Bahá’í Information Centre in lower Napoleon Street, Jamestown (pictured) was opened in August 2008.

Bennett’s Cottage in upper Jamestown; the first Bahá’í Centre
Bennett’s Cottage in upper Jamestown; the first Bahá’í Centre

Local and visiting Bahá’ís performing on the Courthouse steps in Jamestown (1997)
Local and visiting Bahá’ís performing on the Courthouse steps in Jamestown (1997)

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Jagdish (Jack) Saminaden, greeted by Basil George on his return in June 1998
Jagdish (Jack) Saminaden, greeted by Basil George on his return in June 1998

Members of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of St Helena, formed in April 1973. Left-to-right, Back row: Basil George, Cliff Huxtable, Richard Tranter, Eldon Dennis; Front Row: Jenny Corker, Delia Huxtable, Eunice Honey, Barbara George, Vivien Combe
Members of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of St Helena, formed in April 1973

The Bahá’í Information Centre in Jamestown, opened in August 2008
The Bahá’í Information Centre in Jamestown, opened in August 2008


The Bahá’í Community on the Island of St Helena

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