Florence George aka “Mother” George
Death: November 4, 1950
Place of Birth: London, England
Location of Death: London, England
Burial Location: No cemetery details
I was introduced to Mrs. George at Walmar House, the first Center of the London Bahá’í Community, then recently acquired.
My first impression of her was of a rather formidable personality-tall, erect, dark, direct and rather brusque in speech. But more intimate contact soon revealed her warm, sympathetic understanding and progressive character.
To her intimates Florence George revealed her pride. She was proud of the distinction “Mother,” bestowed on her by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. She liked to speak of her pilgrimage to Haifa, of her Master’s personal care that the individual needs of the pilgrims were provided for; of His humor and His wisdom; of how He taught humility to the ostentatious and raised to dignity the self-abased. She prized the injunction He gave her that she was to be a Mother to the younger generation of Bahá’ís and train them in the love and knowledge of the Cause. This injunction she obeyed faithfully.
Mother George was proud, too, that she had been instrumental in making known the Faith to Dr. Esslemont. Following on a series of happenings which must have been preordained, the doctor wrote to Mrs. George. The correspondence led to his attending a Bahá’í meeting in London, which meeting marked the beginning of his devotion to and his magnificent work for the Cause. Later, during her stay in Bournemouth, Mrs. George devoted herself to the further instruction of Dr. Esslemont and Sister Challis. But hers was not the pride of successful achievement; it was akin to the pride of a child who had been singled out for a special distinction, and having been so honored, must show herself worthy of the responsibility which the distinction imposed.
Now that I look back an those earlier days, I feel that in her work for the Cause, Mother George tried to reflect the Light she had received from the Master in the days of her pilgrimage to Him. It was in the spirit of His Light that she conducted the Sunday afternoon meetings in her Chelsea home. These gatherings were marked by simple dignity; they were instructive, inspiring and without formality. Her hospitality, without “fuss,” was warm and unstinted. We knew that the work her hospitality entailed, the comfort provided and the good things we enjoyed, sprang from the loving service of her daughter Dorothy Wellby. We may have failed to properly acknowledge this at the time, but we, who benefited by her service, never forget.
She liked to have young people to come to see her. She loved to teach them; she prized their affection. She went forward from the guidance of the Master to that of the Guardian without hesitancy and without question. To her the Master’s Will was the authority; the later period was the fitting sequel to the earlier. In the course of her last letter to me, the script of which betrayed the weakness of the hand that wrote, she said: “I cannot get to the meetings now and you can imagine my feelings. But I do some teaching of young Bahá’ís and I try to entertain at my home Bahá’ís who need help.” And, “I think the pioneers have done good work.”
So, there has passed from this earthly life another of the links who bring to our Formative Period the spirit and the blessed aroma of the Apostolic Age, passed to the Abha Kingdom, there to unite with them who have gone before, to supplicate on our behalf, to contribute their love and their prayers so that we who remain here may be aided by the Supreme Concourse in the work and sacrifice which it is our privilege to contribute to the progress of the Cause we love.
The Guardian cabled:
“Grieve passing distinguished indefatigable promoter Faith ardently supplicating progress soul Abha Kingdom her notable meritorious services unforgettable.”
The Bahá’í World. Kidlington, Oxford: George Ronald Publisher. Volume XII pp 697-698; -Tribute by Alfred Sigar -Permission given by George Ronald, Publishers
Art Desgin by Joe Paczkowski