International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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27th World Vegetarian Congress 1984
Baltimore, USA

Pre-Congress publicity from The Vegetarian (Vegetarian Society UK) Jan/feb 1984:

July 30 - August 9, 1984

UMBC Catonsville. One of the apartment complexes.
at the University of Maryland Baltimore County

The next World Vegetarian Congress is being hosted by the North American Vegetarian Society and will be held at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland, about half an hour from the Capital, Washington DC. A full educational programme is being arranged covering such topics as: balanced menu planning, health, natural food sources, childrearing, animal rights, ecology, disease prevention and the speakers who have already agreed to attend include Nat Altman, author of 'Eating for Life', Peter Burwash, the vegetarian tennis professional, Dr.Alec Burton of the Australian Hygiene Society, Alex Hershaft of Vegetarian Information Service, Helen Nearing and from VSUK, Dr.Gordon Latto and Mr.M.G.Lee.

A variety of accommodation will be available on the campus in single and double rooms all with air conditioning, and also camping space for tents and trailers nearby. One third of the camping space is being reserved for overseas visitors until 15 May. There will also be a fully staffed centre where parents can leave young children while they are attending lectures and workshops. The Catering arrangements will cover the needs of lacto-vegetarians vegans and natural hygienists.

Films and other entertainments will be arranged; visitors will have the use of the swimming pool and other sports facilities. The 500 acre campus has spacious lawns, a pond and a nature trail. The nearby city of Baltimore has many historical attractions, monuments, parks, arboretum, European-style market. Bus tours of varying lengths will be laid on so visitors can see something of Baltimore, Washington and other places of interest.

The cost of attendance will depend on when you book. The Conference Registration Fee is at its lowest for bookings by 20 Februsry 1984. It is hoped a package tour can be arranged which will reduce the flight cost (it may be possible for travellers to return home independently without extra cost). Anyone wishing to attend the Congress should write to the IVU General Secretary as soon as possible for full details and booking forms. Please send a large stamped addressed envelope. Write to: Mr M.G.Lee, 10 Kings Drive, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 6NQ.

Congress Report from The Vegetarian (Vegetarian Society UK) Nov/Dec 1984:

Some of the British contingent at Baltimore

Heat, humidity, health foods and happiness were just some of the ingredients which comprised the 27th World Vegetarian Congress at the University of Maryland in the County of Baltimore, USA.

The first impression one has of the 400 acres of campus is the wide open spaces. It seemed as if some twenty years ago giant bull-dozers found their way on to the site to destroy the natural growth, making way for the erection of 26 red brick buildings and 13 large concrete car parks.

Young trees have been planted to provide welcome shade for future students to obtain relief from the intense heat when away from the air conditioning. A coach provided transport for the less active.

The Conference followed the usual pattern of lectures, some 200 or so being listed in the over-crowded programme. Of these, some were repeats necessitated by many lectures running concurrently. Over 20 subjects were covered including topics ranging from nutrition, health, cookery, vegetarian philosophy, psychology to animal welfare.

Several films were shown in the lecture theatre and these were repeated from time to time. Yoga exercises and meditations were provided as well as instruction on relaxation.

Time estimated for the Council meetings and the General meeting, always difficult to judge in advance, was over-run, causing some minor adjustments to the programme. During the General Meeting reports from delegates representing societies were given, each one indicating the vegetarian activity in many parts of the world.

Dr.Gordon Latto was re-elected Hon.President; Herr Ulrich Schroter Hon Deputy President; Mr Maxwell Lee Hon Secretary and Mr William Parrott Hon Treasurer. These all hold office until the 1986 Congress which is to be held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.

It was agreed that the 1988 Congress shall be held in Mexico.

The Mankar Trophy was awarded to Mrs Rukmini Devi Arondale, a prominent Indian and a Fellow of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. This trophy is awarded at each IVU Congress to the person who has given outstanding service and activity to the vegetarian cause.

On Saturday 4th August the North American Vegetarian Society celebrated its tenth anniversary with a 'banquet'. The 350/400 people sat down to tables lit by candles and embellished with paper mats specially printed for the occasion.

This event certainly emphasised the American preference for informality. The male guest from overseas put on their ties and the ladies their long dresses or saris to give the air of an occasion, but where were the waiters or the menu cards?

It was a little surprising to find the menu written up on a large board adjacent to the area where we collected our trays to take our food in normal self-service style and carry it to the table.

Cubes of cheese were available for the lacto vegetarians who until then had lived on a vegan diet and enjoyed the apples, plums, pears and peaches in addition to the large variety of cereals and cooked items.

Various fruit drinks were in abundance, apple juice, grapefruit, grape and orange juice as well as colourful and refreshing water melon.

For the more conventional there was tea and coffee with soya milk. It was a pity some of us, because of the acoustic problems, were unable to hear the only speech of the evening by Patricia Takacs, the President of the NAVS.

There are inevitably hazards and hitches when organising a large international gathering many months in advance and the NAVS organisers were not immune from some of the problems which can beset the most carefully planned conference.

Many problems which are created, frequently by circumstances unforseen, are beyond the organiser's control.

The dining hall which had been scheduled for our use was closed because the University Authorities were having to carry out urgent re-construction work. This necessitated a transfer to a cafeteria and the use of paper plates.

The disappointment for some people was that the splendid swimming pool was not available during the latter part of the conference period.

The failure of the air conditioning in the ballroom which served for the assembly hall was fortunately rectified by the use of large fans. In spite of these and other minor hiccups, the NAVS organisers did their utmost to provide for our comfort, even to the extent of buying about 50 blankets to help to keep the coldest residents warm and happy at night.

Three very enjoyable tours were organised for our pleasure. To Baltimore where we saw the result of an ambitious plan of re-development around the harbour area and the oldest sailing ship, the Constellation.

To Berkley Springs and other places in West Virginia where we partook of the healing waters and at Coolfront Park we relaxed in a house surrounded by tress and listened to music played on a piano while we sipped cool water.

To Washington DC, that beautiful city of government with its Capitol Building, its museums and art galleries.. We were able to see the White House from our coach and to walk in the 1,100 acre Arlington National Cemetery. Towering above the spaciously laid-out city we could see the Washington Monument 500 feet high like a giant Cleopatra's Needle.

The Congress ended officially on Wednesday evening 8th August when farewell speeches were made by the President Dr Gordon Latto, Dr Barbara Latto and the NAVS President Patricia Takacs. Thus ended the 27th World Vegetarian Congress, many of us having made new friends and renewed many friendships previously made at other congresses. Most of us must have come away with a feeling of goodwill and friendship towards people from other nations, which in addition to the lectures is one of the great plus features of all IVU Congresses.

N.J.le Grice