Message from the National Spiritual Assembly regarding the passing of Douglas Martin

Posted: 2020/10/01

30 September 2020 / 5 Will 177

All Local Spiritual Assemblies
All Regional Bahá’í Councils
All Registered Groups

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

As you know from our letter conveying the 29 September 2020 message of the Universal House of Justice, it was with grieving hearts that we learned of the passing, late on 28 September, of our dearly-loved friend, Douglas Martin. His singular contributions to the development of the Cause in Canada prompt us to add these words to the tribute offered in that stirring message.

The House of Justice described Mr. Martin’s decades of service to the Cause, some of which were during his youthful days during the Ten Year Crusade, including as a homefront pioneer and travelling teacher. As a long-serving member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada and as its Secretary for twenty years before leaving for the Bahá’í World Centre, he is particularly remembered for his unflagging defense of the Bahá’ís in Iran and for paving the way for the flow of believers fleeing persecution in that country to Canada in the 1980s. Reference was also made in the message to the special gifts he possessed, among which were the power of penetrating utterance, precise and eloquent. His authorship of many works, including The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion with Dr. William Hatcher, culminated in his final labour of love last year, a tribute to his cherished wife, Elizabeth.

Finally, the House of Justice referred to qualities that those who knew him recognized immediately: a soul resolute, ingenious and blessed with piercing insight. How we treasured his wise advice, offered with love for the Canadian Bahá’í community and appreciation for its unique characteristics, and often, with his unique humour. He will indeed be deeply missed.

The National Assembly convened for special prayers last night with the Counsellors, honouring the memory of one who never stopped asking himself how he might serve the Plan, how he might teach the Cause. We are moved to suggest that friends across the country consider how the memorials they will convene in response to the House of Justice’s call, as circumstances permit, might become ongoing devotional gatherings, offering regular spiritual sustenance in these final months of the Five Year Plan. Such a prospect would surely bring great joy to the soul of one who so longed to contribute to its progress.

The National Assembly’s prayers will join yours.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Karen McKye, Secretary