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Return to Tyendinaga
The Story of Jim and Melba Loft, Baha'i Pioneers

Authors: Evelyn Loft Watts, Patricia Verge
Product Code: RTTS
ISBN: 978-0-9835561-1-4
Publisher: One Voice Press
Availability: Not currently available.
(Backorder policy)

In 1949, Melba and Jim Loft abandoned a comfortable middle-class existence in Marysville, Michigan, to teach their Faith in the land of Jim's forefathers, the Tyendinaga Mohawk Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Despite hardship and tragedy, the Lofts persevered, fulfilling Jim and Melba's cherished dream of bringing Baha'u'llah's word to First Nations people. This, their daughter Evelyn's memoir, is the record of that challenging and exhilarating time.

“I have often pondered and wondered about this wonderful family’s motivation to heed divine guidance with instant, exact and complete obedience . . . your book is especially timely and beckons us to follow in the Lofts’ heroic footsteps. Thank you for enabling us to enjoy the perpetual fragrance of these flowers in the Divine garden.” - Kevin Locke (Lakota)

“This brings to mind many memories, for those of us that have lived on and off the reserve. . . . It should certainly be read by today’s youth as it will demonstrate the importance of their history and family ties. It is through faith, courage and love that we build character and strengthen our families. “ - Verna Thompson (Ojibwe)

“Through Loft Watts’s dedicated research and Verge’s lively prose, Jim and Melba, their lives and their legacies, are animated in vivid detail. . . . [a] compelling Loft family and Bahá’í community history, at once and at one.” - Chelsea Horton, Ph.D University of British Columbia

“Born into a society that denigrated . . . the Aboriginal peoples of Canada . . . Jim and Melba . . . achieved nobility of heart, mind and soul. Melba and Jim “walked the spiritual path, the good ‘Red Road’ with practical feet”. Theirs is a story of love, forbearance, steadfastness, unific family ties, and, above all, a love for their birth communities and for all humankind. Underlying all of this was their undying love of an desire to please the Creator.” - Reggie Newkirk


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Showing 1 Review:

by Rezal
on 5/8/2018
from Los Angeles
Inspiring Story
I was very excited to find this book at my local Baha'i bookstore in Los Angeles. I've been spending time lately reading memoirs of different Baha'is and was curious to know about the sacrifices made by early believers of the Faith. I had not yet read many books about First Nations Baha'is and was excited to hear their story. I was so moved to read about the sacrifices the Loft family made for their community, and for their Faith. I found it especially exciting to read about the needs of the Faith during Shoghi Effendi's time and what life was like for the Lofts on the Mohawk Reservation. Evelyn does a great job of bringing out her mother's voice and sharing her wisdom. I found often myself reflecting on Melba's words of advice that she would give to her friends & family. I highly recommend reading this book to deepen one's understanding of our rich Baha'i history.
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