International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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2nd World Vegetarian Congress 1909

Manchester, England

The following Pre-Congress Notices are from the Vegetarian Messenger, (the monthly magazine of the Vegetarian Society, based in Manchester, England) :

March 1909
The International Vegetarian Union. - The Committee of the International Vegetarian Union (A.Meyroos, LL.D., Rotterdam ; Dr Nyssens, Brussels ; Dr Selss, Baden-Baden ; and Mr A, Broadbent, Manchester), met at Rotterdam, on the 14th February. The arrangements for the 1909 International Congress to be held in Manchester were made. It was decided to elect Mr.W.E.A.Axon, LL.D., president for the year, and to begin the Congress with a Reception on Friday, October 15th. To hold the Conferences on Saturday the 16th, at 11 a.m. and 2-30 p.m., and afterwards to join in the 62nd Bible Christian Church celebrations, and Anniversary celebrations of the Vegetarian Society. The International Union will have no financial basis ; the countries in which Congress is held are to be asked to bear the expense for the current year.


The Vegetarian Messenger got the two celebrations a bit mixed up! It was actually the centenary of the Bible Christian Church - one reason for holding the Congress in Manchester - and the 62nd Anniversary of the Vegetarian Society.

Dr. Nyssens of Brussels was not present at the Congress in Dresden and this is the first time he is mentioned. Presumably he joined the Committee at this meeting by invite of the other members.

The Vegetarian Messenger, throughout 1909, lists 'Mr W E A Axon, Esq. LL.D., F.R.S.L., Manchester.' as a Vice-President of the Vegetarian Society. Later in that year it gives a review of his newly published book 'The Bible Christian Church 1809-1909' along with a photograph (to be added here later) - he is shown as an elderly gentleman with a very large white beard. His book suggests that he was a long time member of the Bible Christian Church. His role as President, also decided by the Committee, appears to have been largely ceremonial and was just for the one Congress.

May
Vegetarianism at Brussels Exhibition
-The Vegetarian Society has secured space at the International Exhibition to be held in Brussels in 1910, for a vegetarian restaurant. Further particulars will be given next month.

This becomes more significant when the venue for the 1910 IVU Congress is decided later.

August
The International Vegetarian Congress
will be held in Manchester on October 16th, and will be followed on Monday, the 18th, by the 62nd Anniversary of the Vegetarian Society. Full particulars will be given in the September "V.M.".

The link with the Vegetarian Society anniversary was becoming more important than the Bible Christian Church centenary, as will be seen below.

September
The International Vegetarian Union
will meet for the Second Annual Congress at Manchester on Saturday, October 16th. The delegates will be welcomed by the Executive of the Vegetarian Society on Friday evening, October 15th. On the 16th, there will be Conferences at 10-30 a.m. and 2-30 p.m., after which the delegates will take part in the Social Gathering and Re-union, and the Sixty-second Anniversary of the Vegetarian Society.

October
The International Vegetarian Union will hold its second Congress at 5, Fountain Street, Manchester, on October 16th, at 11 o'clock a.m., and 2-30 p.m., Mr. W.E.A. Axon, LL.D, in the chair. There will be reports by delegates from several foreign societies, and plans discussed of methods of future work. At the conclusion of the afternoon conference the Congress will merge into the Annversary Meetings of the Vegetarian Society. The Executive of the Vegetarian Society will welcome the foreign delegates on Friday, October 15th, at 6-30 p.m., at 5, Fountain Street.

[the two photos below show Fountain Street, Manchester in October 2002. In the first picture, number 5 would have been just inside, on the left. The building now housing 'Primark' has a foundation stone dated 1912 - there was probably a row of small shops there before, and the restaurant must have been demolished with them. The building on the right corner is older and would have been there at the time of the Congress. The second picture shows 'The Shakespeare' pub which is directly opposite where number 5 would have been - but given the anti-alcohol views of most of the delegates they are unlikely to have used it... ].

This issue also gives full details of Vegetarian Society's 62nd anniversary meeting - at the Whitworth Institute, Whitworth Park - and mentions that papers will be presented there by Dr Meyroos, Dr Nyssens and Dr Selss.

Vegetarianism at Brussels Exhibition - The erection of the Vegetarian Society's restaurant at the International Exhibition to be held in Brussels in 1910, from April to November, has been commenced. It will consist of two rooms, and we give a drawing of the building.

They did give a drawing of the building, the 'two rooms' must have been very large as the building is at least twice the size of an average house (the picture will be added here later).