At Byfleet

On the afternoon of September 9th, a number of working women of the

Passmore Edwards' Settlement, who were spending their holidays with Miss

Schepel and Miss Buckton at Vanners, in Byfleet, a village some twenty

miles out of London, had the great privilege of meeting 'Abdu'l-Baha. They

wrote a short record of his sayings to keep for themselves. The following

is an extract:--

We gathered round him in a circle, and he made us sit beside him in the

window seat. One of the members, who was ill, had a specially beautiful

greeting from him. 'Abdu'l-Baha began by saying, as he seated himself:

Are you happy? and our faces must have shown him that we were. He then

said: I love you all, you are the children of the Kingdom, and you are

accepted of God. Though you may be poor here, you are rich in the

treasures of the Kingdom. I am the Servant of the poor. Remember how His

Holiness Jesus said: 'Blessed are the poor!' If all the queens of the

earth were gathered here, I could not be more glad!

'Abdu'l-Baha knew that we had a treasury box from which we try to help

people less fortunate than ourselves. Presently he rose, and said: You

are dear to me. I want to do something for you! I cannot cook for you (he

had previously seen us busy in the kitchen) but here is something for your

fund. He went round the circle to each, with a beautiful smile, shaking

hands with all, and giving the Baha'i greeting: Allah'u'Abha!

Later on he walked in the village, and many poor children came to him, and

mothers with sick babies and men out of work. He spoke to them all,

through an interpreter. At tea-time other friends joined us. 'Abdu'l-Baha

liked the cottage garden at Vanners, the little orchard and the roses. He

said: This is like a Persian garden. The air is very pure.

On leaving for London he presented every one with a purple heartsease from

the garden, and said again and again: Good-bye in English.

On the 28th September, 'Abdu'l-Baha again visited Vanners, the little farm

house on the old royal manor that dates back to the time of Edward II. He

motored down from London and stayed over night, returning on the evening

of the second day.

'Abdu'l-Baha was much struck during the drive by two detachments of Boy

Scouts tramping the road. When told of the Scouts' motto, Be Prepared,

and that an act of kindness each day is one of their laws and that some of

these boys had put out a fire and assisted at a recent railway accident,

he said. This makes me very happy.

Arriving at Vanners, he found a large, strangely mixed crowd, assembled

about the gate to welcome him, from the quite poor to the wealthy who had

motored over from their country places. A great number followed him and as

many as could do so pressed into the garden and sat down around him. The

silence was most impressive. The same attention and eagerness to hear was

noticed among the people each time 'Abdu'l-Baha appeared in the village.

After expressing his joy at being with them, he began to speak to the

little group in answer to a question about the elaborate civilization of

the West.

At Brooklands At One Time We Address The People Of The Torah And Summon facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail