On this day, the 3rd of October 2013, His Holiness inspected the Women’s Convention area in Australia also. The following is a sequence of events which occurred during this inspection.
4.30 pm: All volunteer duty holders were ready and positioned outside their respective departments. Each department had organised their individual areas and were patiently waiting for the arrival of their beloved Huzur (aba).
5.15 pm: Huzur (aba) entered the Women’s Convention Area from the side of the Khilafat Centenary Hall. He was greeted by the President (Sadr) of the Women's Auxiliary of Australia (Lajna Imaillah) Mrs. Anjum Khan and her assistant (also previous President of Lajna Imaillah), Mrs. Tamseela Saleh. The other members of the Inspection group consisted of two members of the Inspection Team, two members of the Women’s division of the Website Team, and a few other key volunteer duty holders. Members of the Women’s division of the security team were scattered throughout the Ladies Convention area and a few also accompanied Huzur (aba) throughout the Inspection.
5.16 pm: Huzur (aba) asked which direction he was to go in and was directed to the Exhibition Area situated inside a portion of the Khilafat Centenary Hall. Huzur (aba) entered the hall from the side door and viewed the exhibition items for a short while. He joked with the volunteers saying they looked like statues and for them to not be so nervous. Huzur (aba) then proceeded down towards the other portion of the Khilafat Centenary Hall and asked if this is where the Ladies prayers (Salat) were offered, to which Sadr Lajna replied during the course of the Jalsa (Convention), this area is being used for Mothers with young children to be able to view the Jalsa proceedings in a more child friendly environment. Huzur (aba) then exited the hall from the same door as he entered.
5.18 pm: Once Huzur (aba) was outside again, the portable toilets caught his attention, particularly the steps leading up to the cubicle. Huzur (aba) asked how the elderly or disabled women will use the toilets with these steps, to which Sadr Lajna stated that there were facilities for these women within the Khilafat Centenary Hall and Baitul Huda Mosque.
5.20 pm: Sadr Lajna requested Huzur (aba) to walk through the rest of the Women’s Convention Area where the other marquees were situated and volunteer duty holders were eagerly waiting. Huzur (aba) agreed and made his way down the path towards the other department marquees. During the walk through Huzur (aba) asked what each marquee was for and Sadr Lajna named each one as it was passed.
The following is the order in which the marquees appeared, their function and the comments/questions Huzur (aba) had:
- Women’s Accommodation Marquee: To accommodate Interstate and International members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat who are attending the Annual Convention. Huzur (aba) asked if it was warm enough inside for those utilising this marquee and if there were heating facilities available. Sadr Lajna informed Huzur (aba) that it is quite warm inside and there are multiple heaters present to cater for any cold weather.
- Guest Marquee: To cater for Non-Ahmadi and Non-Muslim guests’ needs and to answer any questions that they may have about Ahmadiyyat and Islam. It is also a means of educating Non Muslims about the women of our community and diversity among them.
- First Aid/Lost & Found Marquee: To dispense First Aid in case of light injury and minor ailments. This department also assists individuals with a wide range of lost and found items.
- Women’s Auxiliary Office: To convey messages to the intended recipients and other organisational items pertaining to the Annual Convention.
- Women’s Main Dining Marquee: To cater for breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea for all those attending the Annual Convention. This is a tradition started by the Founder of Ahmadiyyat, The Promissed Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) and the food is prepared in the Jamaat’s Kitchens. In front of this Marquee, young girls (Nasirat) of the Water Supply Team greeted Huzur (aba) with an enthusiastic ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum Huzur (the common way to greet someone in Islam. Its meaning is ‘peace be upon you’).
- Women’s Main Convention Marquee: This is where Women are able to view the proceedings of the Annual Convention. Video is relayed from the Men’s area onto large screens and audio is catered for by multiple speakers.
5.22 pm: Huzur (aba) exited the Women’s Convention Area and proceeded towards the Men’s Convention Area. As he left, he said ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum’ (peace be upon you) to the Women to which they replied ‘Walaikum – Assalam’ Huzur (peace be upon you too).
3rd October 2013, 10.50pm
Embreen Khan- Website Team, Women’s Division