A few years ago, I was visiting Violette and Roderic Haake at their home in Melbourne, Australia, and I was filled with joy as we sat around their kitchen table, drinking tea and sharing stories.
Mrs. Violette Haake was a former member of the International Teaching Centre. She was born in 1928 and dedicated her life to sharing the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, whether in Iran, the United States, Australia or many of the other places she visited as an Auxiliary Board Member, Counsellor or member of the International Teaching Centre.
I was so moved by the recollections that she shared with me that we organized an impromptu get-together that same night and invited some of the young Baha’is in Melbourne to come hear about some of her extraordinary experiences and delight in her wisdom and encouragement.
Thankfully, we filmed what she said that evening and I feel honored to be able to share this video with you.
Mrs. Haake passed away on 24 September 2020 and I’d like to express my deepest condolences to Mr. Roderic Haake, who is seen sitting by Mrs. Haake’s side in this video, and to their daughter, Susanne, at this hour of their loss. I’d also like to thank them for granting us permission to publish this video.
Special thanks also goes to Morris Salahifar for helping to organize the evening, and to Jordan Raj for bringing the camera and making it happen. I’d like to apologize: Mrs. Haake mentions my name a lot in the video, as this evening was, in many ways, a continuation of our earlier conversation and I was sitting off-camera. The Universal House of Justice wrote that “Violette possessed a character that blended extraordinary resilience, steadfastness, and inner strength with unfailing kindness, a nurturing instinct, and true joy.” I hope this video gives you a glimpse of those attributes and qualities that she possessed in abundance. If you’d like, you can read more of the Universal House of Justice’s tribute to her here.
In her talk, Mrs. Haake mentions reading and studying the messages from the Universal House of Justice, which she describes as “love letters”.
She also discusses studying the writings of Shoghi Effendi.
Mrs. Haake mentions many others who dedicated themselves to serving the Baha’i Faith. To name but a few:
* She mentions Dr. Peter Khan, former member of the Universal House of Justice. You can read about him here: What Makes a Person Great: A Tribute to Dr. Peter Khan
* She talks about living close to Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone. You can read about him here: 25th Anniversary of the Passing of Hand of the Cause of God Collis Featherstone You can also read about what a Hand of the Cause is here on Baha’i Blog: Who Were the Hands of the Cause?
* Mrs. Haake mentions Alvin Blum, who lived in the Solomon Islands. You can read a little more about him, and his biography, here: Of Wars and Worship – The Extraordinary Story of Gertrude and Alvin Blum
* Mrs. Haake was a family friend and she mentions my dad, Sirus Naraqi. You can read about him here: In Tribute of My Father: Sirus Naraqi
* Lastly, she mentions her uncle, the esteemed Mr. Samandari, who met Baha’u’llah and whose life was dedicated to serving Abdu’l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice.
For more Baha’i-inspired talks, please check out this playlist on Baha’i Blog’s YouTube channel.
Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy these recollections as much as I do.