Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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4420WESTERN SAHAVAS, 19581958

The site lay 75 miles north of Brisbane. Francis felt he had found the right place. Francis cabled Baba a detailed description. Baba cabled back that the spot was "excellently suitable."

Using money received from the late Baron von Frankenberg's estate, Francis purchased the property, which Baba later named Avatar's Abode. Being on the summit of a 450-foot hill, Avatar's Abode had 360-degree views — out as far as the Pacific Ocean (some six miles to the east). The region — the Sunshine Coast — was sub-tropical, renowned for its surf beaches, rainforest waterfalls and small fruit and dairy farms. It was an area dotted with tiny church halls — one of the most religious regions of Australia. 

For the 1958 Sahavas in Australia, Baba and the mandali flew from San Francisco on Qantas Flight 743/032, at 11:00 A.M., on Saturday, 31 May 1958. After stopping in Honolulu at 6:15 P.M., where they had a four-hour layover (and a complimentary dinner, courtesy of Qantas), crossing the international date line and again stopping in Nadi, Fiji the following morning at 8:00 A.M. for half an hour (where they had tea), they arrived in Sydney at 3:30 P.M. on 2 June.

Upon arrival at the Sydney Airport, they were met by newspaper reporters. In talking with them, Adi said, "Meher Baba knows everything. He knows what you are thinking now."

One reporter asked, "What am I thinking now?"

Exchanging a glance and smile with Baba, Adi replied, "Baba knows but he won't tell you."

From Sydney Airport, Baba and the mandali departed by Trans Australian Airlines for Brisbane at 6:15 P.M. They arrived that night around 8:45 P.M. Baba walked slowly across the tarmac steadied by Eruch's arm. They were met by Francis, Bill Le Page and John Bruford and stayed at the Bellevue Hotel overnight. Bill had chosen the spot because at the time it was the most scenic area of Brisbane — adjacent to Brisbane's tropical Botanic Gardens and the State's majestic Parliament House. Also the Bellevue was a beautiful hotel that contained a small ground-level cottage where Baba could enjoy some privacy. Thus Bill was quite disappointed when Baba complained he had one of his "very worst nights" there. Unforeseen by Bill, trucks used the night hours to unload large quantities of beer barrels for the hotel's use. The noise from this had apparently kept Baba awake.

The next morning, Tuesday, 3 June 1958, Baba called Francis and Bill into the cottage of the hotel and asked them about arrangements for the journey, checking that all had been done.

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