Canada hosts memorial for Douglas Martin

July 20, 2021
Canada hosts memorial for Douglas Martin

Douglas Martin, a beloved former member of the Universal House of Justice, passed away at the age of 93 on September 28, 2020.
To honor his memory, the Baha’is of his home country, Canada, are presenting this video recording which will premier Sunday, August 1, at 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

Douglas Martin was born February 24, 1927, and raised in Chatham, Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Western Ontario and worked in advertising and public relations, but later turned to studies in history, receiving a Master’s degree in history from the University of Waterloo.

In 1953 Mr. Martin became a member of the Baha’i community, embracing the principle of the oneness of humanity, and principles of the equality of women and men and the harmony of science and religion.

In 1960 he was elected to the national governing council, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada, serving until 1985, often as general secretary. He was instrumental in establishing with the Canadian government a Baha’i refugee program, providing protection to several thousand Iranian Baha’is who came to Canada after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that led to violent persecution of Iran’s Baha’is, persecution which continues.

He was a founding member of the Association for Baha’i Studies, co-authored, with Dr. William Hatcher, “The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion,”  published articles and scholarly monographs and lectured widely on the Baha’i Faith. In 1985, he began serving as the director-general of the Baha’i International Office of Public Information at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel. He served as the editor-in-chief of “One Country,” a Bahá’í international news magazine, and “The Baha’i World,” a series of annual reference volumes. He served in that capacity until 1993 when he was elected to the Universal House of Justice. He retired from the House of Justice in 2005 due to considerations of age and related needs of the Faith.

After his service on the Universal House of Justice, 1993 to 2005, he returned to Canada. He passed away in Toronto. Elizabeth, his wife, passed away in 1999.  While he leaves no children, he leaves an enormous family of loving friends throughout Canada and the world, along with several generations of those who will, with grieving hearts, long remember him and the impact he had on their lives.

(Adapted from Globe and Mail obituary published on




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