Bahá'í Youth Pacific Conference, Apia, Samoa, 1969


An international Bahá'í Youth Pacific Conference was held in Apia, Samoa, in December 1969. Over 60 youth came from the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and California, with a programme featuring Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizí, and members of the Auxiliary Board and of National Spiritual Assemblies. One day, we climbed up Mount Vaia behind Apia to the grave of author Robert Louis Stevenson, "Tusitala" or teller of tales to the Samoans. We sang, enjoyed Samoan dances, picnicked along the beach and went swimming in the lagoon. After the conference a number of us took the ferry to the other main Samoan island of Savai'i, where we were received by the Bahá'ís in the village of Puleia. The conference helped to build a Pacific-wide Bahá'í identity, and forged links between communities across the region.

With a new Bahá'í Youth Conference planned for Apia in mid-2013, as one of 114 youth conferences across the Pacific and around the world, it seems appropriate to remember this pioneering conference 44 years before.


Baha'i Youth Pacific Conference
The Bahá'í Youth Pacific Conference 1969


Samoa . Fiji . Tonga
The delegations from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga

New Zealand . Australia . Am. Samoa, Hawaii, New Caledonia
Delegations from New Zealand, Australia, and American Samoa/Hawai'i/New Caledonia

Auxiliary Board Members . A.Q. Faizi
Auxiliary Board Members Niu Tuitaga (Samoa), Margaret Rawlings (New Zealand) and Mosese Hokafono (Tonga); Hand of the Cause A.Q. Faizi

 group photo
Group photo of the conference


playing maori stick game . games . outside
We played Maori stick games and sports, sang songs and enjoyed Samoan dances

singing . singing


 walking into town . walking into town . walking into town
We stayed at Aubrey and Greta Lake's large house near the port in Apia, and walked into town along the Beach Road

 . waiting at Aggie Grey's Hotel . waiting at Aggie Grey's Hotel . at Aggie Grey's Hotel
For Mr. Faizi's departure, we all waited outside Aggie Grey's Hotel to wish him goodbye

Mr. Faizi coming out of Aggie Grey's Hotel . at Aggie Grey's Hotel
When Mr. Faizi came out, we had some last moments with him before his departure

Climbing Mt. Vaia behind Apia, to the tomb of Robert Louis Stevenson

in the bus . Bus to Mt. Vaia . climbing Mt. Vaia
In the bus; getting ready for the climb; walking to the base of Mt. Vaia

climbing Mt. Vaia . view from Mt. Vaia . Vailima from Mt. Vaia
Climbing Mt. Vaia; the view over Apia from the top; looking down on Vailima, former residence of Robert Louis Stevenson, and then of the Head of State

Stevenson's grave, Mt. Vaia . Stevenson's grave, Mt. Vaia . Stevenson's grave, Mt. Vaia
At the tomb of Robert Louis Stevenson on top of Mt. Vaia

Stevenson's grave, Mt. Vaia . Stevenson's grave, Mt. Vaia

swimming after coming down Mt. Vaia . swimming after coming down Mt. Vaia
After climbing down the mountain, we cooled off in a stream


Picnic at the beach near the ferry landing for boats to Savai'i
beach picnic . beach picnic . beach picnic

beach picnic . beach picnic . beach picnic



Traveling from Upolu to Savai'i after the conference

sunrise from Savai'i . Puleia . crossing the river by Puleia
Sunrise from the boat landing on Savai'i, with our ferry on the left; Puleia village; crossing the river near Puleia village

traditional welcome, Puleia . traditional welcome, Puleia
We received a traditional welcome from the Bahá'ís of Puleia

traditional welcome, Puleia . traditional welcome, Puleia
Traditional gifts of food, including a roast pig

The Bahá'í Youth Pacific Conference left its mark in the spirit of all those who attended, and scattered its influence across the Pacific.


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Last updated 2 July 2013

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 1969