Bernard Bruford has had a lifetime of devoting himself to Meher Baba and His home in Australia, Avatar’s Abode. Bernard’s story is a unique one in the Baba world. He met Baba both in 1956 (at age 13) and in 1958 in Australia, and then again in India at the 1962 East-West Gathering. He also attended the 1969 Great Darshan.
His father, John, had met Francis Brabazon at art school in Melbourne in the 1930’s. Subsequently, John and his wife, Joan, became Sufis with Francis Brabazon in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Francis became Bernard’s godfather, and Bernard was named after him. (Francis’s first given name was Bernard.) In 1956, Baba visited the Bruford family home in Melbourne. At the 1958 Sahavas at Avatar’s Abode, Baba called Bernard and his older sister, Joanna, to briefly join the interview with their parents. The siblings were asked by Baba what they thought of coming to live at Avatar’s Abode. Both answered, “If that is what our parents are doing.” The formal directive for the Bruford family to live there came shortly after their return to their home in Melbourne. The family moved to Avatar’s Abode in December, 1958, joining Robert and Lorna Rouse with their two-year-old daughter, Radha, from Sydney, who had also been directed to live on the property.
In 1965, Baba directed Bernard to become qualified in a profession of his choice. He chose teaching, and in 1970, he began a teaching career. In 1971, he married Jo-Anne. They subsequently gave birth to three children, who were all raised on Avatar’s Abode.
Bernard is one of the directors of the Avatar’s Abode Trust and he also serves as its treasurer and accountant. This is while he is not mowing acres and acres of fields, helping to maintain the grounds, and overseeing contractors. On this tour in America, he will for the first time be away from the annual celebration of Baba’s 1958 Sahavas at Avatar’s Abode. For many years, he has served as co-chairman of the Anniversary Planning Committee. (The 60th anniversary celebration, held in June of 2018, was a 7-day event with over 200 guests from around the world.)
Please note that Bernard’s presentations at the 2019 Northeast Gathering will be unique and different from the talks that he will be giving elsewhere in the New Jersey/New York City area.