|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
18th World Vegetarian Congress 1965
THE VEGETARIAN MOVEMENT AND 18th
WORLD CONGRESS, 1965
Part 3: The International Vegetarian Union
The International Vegetarian Union's 18th World Congress in 1965, at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, will be the fourth to be held in England.
The first occasion was in 1909 at Manchester under the auspices of The Vegetarian Society and to coincide with the centenary cele-brations of the Bible Christian Church, whose members were vege-tarian and who were instrumental in starting the vegetarian move-ment in Britain.
The second was in London in 1926 under the auspices of The Vegetarian
Society and the London Vegetarian Society, Mr. James Hough and Mr. Frank
Wyatt, the respective Secretaries, making the arrangements with the
Vegetarian Social Club and the Hon. Miss
The third English Congress was held under the Presidency of Mr. W. A. Sibly, M.A., J.P., at Wycliffe College, where he was headmaster. This was in 1947, after a gap of nine years caused by the Second World War, and was in The Vegetarian Society's centenary year.
The sequence of Congresses after the founding of The I.V.U. at the
diamond jubilee celebrations of The Vegetarian Society in 1907 is as
Mention must be made of the First American Vegetarian Convention held in 1949 at Lake Geneva, near Milwaukee, which was a truly international event, and although it was not under the auspices of The I.V.U., many of its officers attended, and made close bonds were made with American vegetarians.
There had been a number of vegetarian gatherings in different countries
prior to 1907. There were, for instance, active societies in France,
Holland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Rumania and Denmark. One of
the speakers at The Vegetarian Society's Dnamond jubilee celebrations
was a Mr. Procharoff of Moscow, where there was once an active vegetarian
society (we are delighted learn of the recent establishment of Nature
Cure Centres with Government recognition and support at Baku, Kirovobad,
No time was lost in putting the resolution into effect, and the following year saw the first International Congress in Dresden, arranged by Mr. Albert Broadbent, Secretary of The Vegetarian Society, and Herr Förster, Secretary of the Dresden Vegetarian Society. There were representatives from England, including one from the Society of Friends; from Holland, Germany and Norway - it is interesting to note that telegrams of good wishes were read from the American, Barcelona, Belgian, Vienna, Danish, French, Norwegian, London, Russian, Scottish and Swedish Vegetarian Societies, showing that the movement was building up quickly at the beginning of the century. Finland, Russia and Spain sent delegates to the Manchester Congress in 1909.
The number of countries represented at Congresses increased at each succeeding gathering. We can now expect to have delegations from Africa, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Burma, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland (which boasts about 1,000 vegetarians), India (which counts its vegetarians by the million), Israel (which has vegetarian communities), Italy, Japan, Malaya, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America. Other countries support The I.V.U. and keep contact even though they are unable to take an active part.
At the "Fabulous Fifteenth" Congress in India, when Bombay, Delhi, Benares, Patna, Calcutta and Madras staged public meetings and gave lavish hospitality to the touring delegates, we were enter-tained by Mr. Nehru, then Prime Minister, and Dr. Prasad, then President of the Republic, as well as by Governors of the States visited, Ministers of the Government and Maharajahs. Audiences numbering several thousands were frequent, and on some occasions loudspeakers relayed the talks into the streets.
The I.V.U. has been most fortunate in having honorary officers willing to devote their time to the movement. The first to be elected as President was the leader of the German Vegetarian Bund:-
The last named is still the President and will preside at the coming Congress in England.
Until 1950 all the work of The I.V.U. was done by honorary officials. Mr. Oluf Egerod, M.A., a Danish educationalist and a brilliant linguist, was appointed as Honorary Secretary as long ago as 1926 and retired only in 1950 after serving in various capacities from Secretary, Treasurer, Deputy President, and became a Vice--President on retiring.
A wealthy American, Mrs. Gloria Gasque, became interested in the Union in about 1950, becoming President three years later, and through her generosity it was possible to establish an office in London with a small paid staff until her death in 1959. The first two full-time Secretaries were Mr. Hanworth Walker (1950) and Mr. Harry Harris (1956), who retired at an advanced age in 1958. The writer was asked to keep matters moving in an honorary -capacity and has been struggling against impossible odds with the temporary appointment ever since, hoping that someone with the necessary time will be found, for much could now be done to expand the international field. However, some relief was forthcoming with the establishment of a Regional Secretary in India and America in accordance with a resolution passed at the Indian Congress in 1957. Shri J. N. Mankar, a well-known worker in the animal welfare movement and who organized the Indian Congress, was the first Secretary for the East and still serves that area; Dastur Framrose Bode worked in America during Mrs. Gasque's Presidency, and then the appointment passed to Dr. Jesse Mercer Gehman - a dynamic personality in the American natural health movement and a good friend made at the first American Convention
VICE-PRESIDENTS of The I.V.U.:
COMMITTEE : - The President (Marquis de St. Innocent); Deputy President,
Geo. Hiller (Germany); Treasurer, Mrs. Isabel James; Assistant Treasurer,
Mr. G. L. Rudd; Dr. B. P. Allinson, Dr. Douglas Latto, Dr. Gordon Latto,
Dr. Jean Nussbaum, Dr. C. A. Skriver, Mr. J. Vinkenborg, The Rajkumar
of Vizianagram. Dr. Barbara Latto to act with Mrs. James to assist the