International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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13th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1953

Sigtuna, Sweden

From minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting October 22, 1950, in Manchester, England:

Mr.Egerod reported fully upon a suggested programme, submitted by Mr.Pederson, for the next congress fixed at Sigtuna, N.W. of Stockholm, Sweden.

The general arrangements were approved subject to amendment in one or two details.

THE DATE OF THE CONGRESS - 9th -16th AUGUST 1953 was suggested on account of catering difficulties in Sweden at an earlier period, but the opinion was expressed that August was a difficult month for several members of the Union and that a date in June or July would be much better if this were possible.

The idea of having a big propaganda meeting, to be addressed by prominent speakers, was considered excellent, but it was strongly emphasised that five speakers were too many for such a meeting and that 8pm to 11pm was too long if an effective result were to be achieved. Two hours were considered to be a more acceptable period.

It was suggested that there should be a lecture inserted in the programme for Monday (at 3.00pm).

A recommendation was made that there should be at least one lecturer of international repute included in the programme. A suggestion was put forward that Dr.Frank Wokes, Director of Research at Ovaltine Laboratories, and a life vegetarian might be asked.

It was agreed to recommend that all speeches and lectures be printed beforehand in both English and German and translated for the press.

Witha view to saving time during the actual Congress it was suggested that all resolutions from Constituent Societies should be sent to the Secretary of the Union on a fixed date pior to the commencement of the Congress.

From minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting July 17, 1951, in London, England:

Mr.Pedersen [IVU Treasurer from Sweden] reported on the progress of the arrangements for the 1953 I.V.U. Congress in Sweden. He stated that a congress committee had been formed and a draft programme drawn up. Further progress would be reported to the committee.
It was agreed to invite Dr.Frank Wokes to deliver a suitable lecture at the Congress.

From minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting April 10/11, 1952, near Haarlem, Holland:

Mr Josef Pedersen reported fully on progress made with the 1953 Congress & that the secretary had visited Sweden & that together they had decided on The Humanist College, at Sigtuna, north of Stockholm as the location of the Congress. The date is to be 1st to 8th August. It was agreed that the Swedish Congress Committee and the Secretary of the I.V.U. should keep in close touch & that the latter should send out notices & information concerning the Congress.

The programme was discussed & it was decided to leave this in the hands of the Swedish Congress Committee.

It was agreed to invite Dr Frank Wokes the well-known British Nutritionist expert to deliver a topical address at the Congress, the Secretary to send the invitation.

Mrs Gasque said that she might consider inviting Dr Szekely to the Congress.

an extract from The First Century of Health Foods by Kathleen Keleny:

After the first few years of living in Gloucestershire, I realised that my son, Christopher might never meet a Vegetarian girl. He was still at a Boy's Public School so in the school holidays, encouraged by Grace and Terence Lane, who appointed me to represent the Friends Vegetarian Society, I decided to take him to the International Vegetarian Congress which was being held in Sweden in 1952. We went by ship where I knew all the other English Vegetarians.
- as quoted in A Reason for Celebration: 90 Healthy Vegetarian Years (EVU)

from Arne Winquist:

In 1952 I went to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California, and stayed there until 1954. While in California, I went over to Sweden to participate in the IVU Congress 1953, which was held in Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden. I was invited to speak about vegetarianism in the USA. After the congress I returned to California for another year.

The minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting, October 18, 1953, in London record:

Following a general discussion on the matter of Congresses it was agreed that a properly organised Press Conference should be arranged to avoid a repetition of irresponsible press interviews given in Sweden at the 13th Congress with the resultant unsatisfactory press reports.

The minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting, May 1-2, 1954, in Paris record:

The chairman expressed the opinion that all arrangements at Sigtuna were excellent and this was agreed warmly and unanimously.