In October 1907 the Vegetarian Society celebrated its 60th anniversary
with an international gathering at the Annual General Meeting in Manchester.
The Deputy President of the French Vegetarian Society made a long, and
impassioned, plea for an International organisation to link together all
the Vegetarian Societies around the world. This was taken up by Albert
Broadbent, the Secretary of the Vegetarian Society, resulting in the first
Congress, held in Dresden in 1908.
The following extracts are from the Vegetarian Messenger and record
the British involvement:
International Vegetarian Federation. - Arrangements are in progress
... for the inauguration of an International Federation of Vegetarian
Societies. ... For the organisation of which the Vegetarian Society is
International Vegetarian Congress at Dresden. - ... Mr. William Harrison,
Mr. William Simpson, Mr. Hamilton Harris, and Mr. Albert Broadbent will
represent the Vegetarian Society. Miss F. I. Nicholson will represent
the London Vegetarian Society, ... The Vegetarian Society is responsible
for the organisation of the Congress.
The International Vegetarian Union
... Mr. Albert Broadbent, who on behalf of the Vegetarian Society, had
called together the Congress, then explained the proposal to found an
International Vegetarian Union had emanated from Dr. Danjou, vice-president
of the French Vegetarian Society, ... Dr. Selss (Baden-Baden), Dr. Meyroos
(Rotterdam), and Mr. Albert Broadbent (Manchester, England), were appointed
to act as a Committee. ... It was decided that the next Congress should
be held in England, as the Centenary of the Bible Christian Church - out
of which the Vegetarian movement grew - would be celebrated in 1909 at
... A good deal of interest was aroused by a description by Mr. Broadbent
of the very practical work undertaken in Great Britain ; such as the work
done in London by the London Vegetarian Association in providing cheap
meals for school children, the lectures and cookery demonstrations; the
success in inducing steamship companies and railways to cater for vegetarians;
the publication of simple and easy recipes; the operations of the Vegetarian
Society's Summer holidays; the establishment of restaurants at exhibitions,
the Cookery lectures given under the Education Committees of Glasgow,
Manchester and Salford. ... Mr. Albert Broadbent gave an address on Vegetarianism:
its past, present, and future. ...
The restaurant built by the British Vegetarian Society in Brussels.
The wording below the roof says: 'Restaurant Vegetarien'. The people,
just visible in the upper floor windows give an idea of the size.
The International Exhibition at Brussels is announced to open on the 22nd
of April. We are hopeful that the Vegetarian Society's Restaurant will
prove an interesting feature of the Exhibition. The organisation has been
carried through by our Secretary, Mr. Broadbent, and will be under his
direction throughout the term of the Exhibition. The propaganda at our
restaurant will be of an international character, and some of the literature
of all the chief Vegetarian Societies will be exhibited for sale. There
will be waitresses of Belgian, Dutch, German and English nationality,
and there will be tables at which the English, Dutch and German are spoken
; each will carry a miniature flag of the country represented by the waitress.
The manager, Miss Linke, speaks fluently English, French and German, as
do also other of our helpers at the restaurant. Breakfasts luncheons,
teas and evening dinners will he supplied. Breakfasts and teas at 75 centimes.
Four-course dinners at one franc. The position of our restaurant is one
of the most beautiful in the Exhibition. It is under the shelter of the
magnificent Bois de Cambre, and we have been fortunate in the Exhibition
authorities having decided to make a public entrance at our door from
these beautiful woodlands.
Third Congress of the International Vegetarian Union.
The two delegates from Manchester, representing the Vegetarian Society,
were Dr. Wm. E.A. Axon and Miss Hompes. Dr. Axon gave a few words of greeting
in true hearty English, and then Miss Hompes read a fairly full report
- substantial Dr. Nyssens called it - of the organisation and work of
our Society, showing our various modes of propaganda and the success which
has attended our publications, gatherings, MESSENGER, restaurants, and
feeding of the poor in times of distress, Miss Nicholson's work among
the school child-ren of London, the Summer Schools, etc.. Dr. Axon also
read a short paper in French on "Vegetarianism and the Intellectual
Life" at a later date in the Congress. All our efforts were fully
appreciated. It is probable that Miss Hompes report may be printed later.
The delegates of the Vegetarian Society, Rev A.O.Broadley and Miss
Mahilde Hompes, spoke respectively on "The Vegetarian Church in Salford"
and "Vegetarianism and Peace." The latter was read in Dutch
before the Public Meeting on Monday evening. Both were well received.
The following is a list of the papers:- [from UK]
Those marked with an * were read.
Mr. Emary, of London, *"Vegetarianism in England."
Dr. Alex. Haig, of England, "The Vegetarian Ideal."
Miss Hompes, of Manchester, *" Vegetarianismn and Peace."
J. A. Gill, of Tunbridge Wells, *"Two Green Subjects."
Rev. A. O. Broadley, of Manchester, *"The Vegetarian Church."
Dr. Jos. Oldfleld, of Bromley (England), "Diet in the Treatment of
Dr. A. B. Olsen, of Caterham (England), *" Protein Problem of Vegetarianism."
Dr. Robert Bell, of London, "The Cancer Scourge and how to Destroy
On Tuesday evening it was suggested that the International Union should
nominate a Secretary, and that the various Societies belonging to it should
contribute towards a fund for the Union. This was deferred to the General
Committee, which met later in the day. Rules for raising a fund were drawn
up and Miss Mathilde Hompes, of Manchester, was elected Hon. Secretary
of the International Vegetarian Union.
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