During the festival of Ridvan, Baha’is all over the world hold their national conventions. Inside, pretty much the same delegates gather as they have in previous years, they eat the same sort of snacks and give the same sort of empty speeches and finally, they hold elections for the new National Spiritual Assembly members.
Through a very similar process, the new NSA of Canada was elected yesterday morning. And I use the word ‘new’ rather loosely. Of the 9 members from the previous NSA, 8 were re-elected. The one member that wasn’t re-elected was long time NSA member and treasurer, Husayn Banani.
Mr. Banani (below) was afforded an
unofficial retirement (there is an understanding that he will not be reelected) and given two standing ovations as thanks for his multi-decades of hard work and dedication to the Baha’i AO.
In his place, Dr. David Smith was elected as the ninth member. If that name is familiar, it is because it is the same Dr. David Smith that just retired a few weeks ago as a Continental Board of Counsellor for propagation – a position he had held for a dozen or so years.
Having hardly stepped out of the appointed arm of the AO, Dr. Smith has now entered the elected arm in a big way. He will have to juggle his duties as a member of the NSA with those of being on the LSA of Toronto.
Dr. Smith (right) is a pediatric ophthalmic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine. He is a member of the Breakwell Education Association, which intends to establish the Stratford College of Liberal Arts. Before becoming a Baha’i Dr. Smith was a Christian and an elder in his Church.
Baha’i Rants wishes them all the best of luck and hopes that their dry-cleaners are up for the Herculean task of removing the stench of incumbency from their hallowed robes.
UPDATE: Dr. David Smith resigned from his position as a member of the LSA of Toronto, to serve on the NSA of Canada.