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7

 

Francis, with helpers from Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland, worked feverishly to have this site made ready in time to welcome our Beloved Baba and his mandali. This included road building and also accommodations had to be provided for more than 50 people who came from Victoria and New South Wales. to stay the week at Kiel Mountain. The original farmhouse was moved to a site lower down the hill to be used as the women's quarters and cooking house, and a new building was built on the old farmhouse site for Baba and the mandali. The men guests were accommodated in tents on another location near the main entrance drive.

 

To have everything completed by 3rd June. Francis and his helpers worked day and night building the house for Baba and the mandali; working often in the rain, as the cyclonic rains came late this year. The workers were very tired as they labored till late into the night of 2nd June: but at last they were satisfied with all the arrangements for the comfort of Baba and his mandali, and the accommodations of the guests. Most people's nerves were like a taut string, sensitive and ready to break at the least irritation. The tension was mounting. and as guests arrived they sensed this atmosphere of bustling activity and nervous expectation.

 

All the guests had arrived by 'Monday, and had settled into their quarters. The work of preparing meals, cooking, sweeping, woodchopping, dishwashing, etc., had been allocated to guests on a roster system. The rains that had made the paths and roads sticky with mud had vanished, and Tuesday 3rd June the sun shone. We had been advised to expect Baba some time after 11 a.m. There was much eager bustling that morning; meals had been prepared ahead, and all were ready early and looking towards the road for the first glimpse of the cars bringing Meher Baba and the mandali. The men had been told to be at the farmhouse to welcome Baba. but they were caught unaware when they heard cars approaching their tents, as Baba had arrived earlier than they expected. The first hint the people at the farmhouse had of Baba's arrival, was the scurrying of men racing down the hill, shouting "He's here, He's here, Baba's here!"

 

It was 11:40 a.m. when Baba arrived at Kiel Mountain. We were all gathered outside the farmhouse, which is below the road which winds to the house prepared for Baba. Faces were beaming with joy as we excitedly waved our welcome to Baba in the car, as he was driven slowly towards the house by John Bruford. Francis and Bill LePage followed in other cars with the four mandali.

 

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