There have been many people, over the years, who were part of the Plymouth Bahá'í Community and are now living elsewhere. They are spread all over the world, illustrating the worldwide nature of the Bahá'í Faith.
The people below recall their days in Plymouth.
Amal Ma'ani (South Africa)
We loved being in Plymouth during the summer of 1978 before pioneering and settling in St.Austell, Cornwall. It was a privilege to be in the Plymouth Community with the Mokhtaris, Sharghis, Farahanis and the Farahzads. During this period we witnessed the emergence of a very strong student body at the polytechnic. The community life and the youth group were wonderful and I personally made many close friendships with the members of the community.
I know My mum and dad (Mr and Mrs Ma'ani) and Eghbal, god rest their souls, are with us all and would agree with me that it was truly a bounty to live and be a part of this wonderful community.
As you know already, Sharon and I with our four children: Naseem 19, Shomaise 17, Daunya 12, and Zarrin 11, pioneered to South Africa 3 years ago, and are living in Pietermaritzburg in the Msunduzi Community in Kwazulu Natal.
We have launched the website http://www.dawntide.com from here, and we design and supply Bahá'í inspired publications to the rest of the world, material for all core activities as well as gifts for friends and family.
Please find attached a photo taken earlier this year. Also in the photo are Shirin and Socrates Maanian.
Please give our love to all. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Warmest love and regards
Geoff Smith (Cornwall)
I remember Plymouth as a wonderful community. I was an isolated youth and the Ma'ani family or Ruhi would continually invite me up from Cornwall, which kept me going.
Everyone seemed to hang out at Mrs Mokhtari's where there always seemed to be food ready at any time. Sally was truly a servant of the faith and I`m sure everyone would acknowledge her amazing warmth, generosity and service.
Another very hospitable home was that of the Mirzai's in Plymstock. There where some really dynamic characters there, and my fondest memory is of travelling in a car with Raymond Peter and Eghbahl Maani and someone said something and we just collapsed in laughter for about 30 minutes. I had to stop the car until we recovered.
Barry Thorne (Israel)
I lived in Plymouth between April 2002 and November 2005, in the Mutley area, while working as a broadcast journalist at the BBC.
I have wonderful memories of the Bahá'í community there! It was a time of considerable growth, and a time when the core activities of the Five Year Plan really began to flourish - study circles, devotional meetings and a children's class all took place (with varying degrees of regularity!)
It was a very multi-cultural community, embracing backgrounds such as Mauritian, Italian, German, Iranian and Scottish (plus the odd Janner or two of course.) And there was always plenty of that "other" lifeblood of the British Bahá'í community - tea.
A more hospitable community you could not hope to find.
Badi Brigolin (Croatia)
I have studied in Plymouth for two years, between September 2008 and October 2009. It has been my real first time away from my family and of course being in a different place, in a different culture and not speaking fluently the language was not so easy. However thanks to the small but lovingly Baha'i community I really felt more then safe and I remember those as being my best years of my life till now. Actually in Plymouth I felt I had at least some 5 mothers and do not know how many brothers and sisters who constantly watched upon me and did everything possible to make me feel at home. I will never forget the wonderful Devotional gatherings at the Plymouth Centre for Faith and Cultural Diversities.
When I did finished my studies at the University of Plymouth I was so tempted to remain in that warm community but after long consideration I decided to go back where I grew up and therefore I returned in Croatia. Now I am living in Zagreb and I am doing my best, together with other enthusiastic friends, to take care of the spiritual education of the children and junior youth of this city.I hope to come and visit the wonderful Plymouth Baha'i community very soon!!!