ANNUAL REPORT 1897
THE Jubilee Year of the Vegetarian Movement is past and gone and
I am reminded that I must render a resumé of work
for 1897. This, as in previous years, has been chiefly among Temperance
and other Societies for making the world better who are now beginning
to realize that there is something in Vegetarianism worthy, of earnest
and sincere thought. They admit the arguments; they are fully convinced
that we are right. They acknowledge it is best and there they stop.
The habits they have already formed are bard to break off; like
alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking, they admit them to be wrong
- but like them, and as such cling to them tenaciously. Still, on
the whole the work has been very cheering and shows just cause for
Meetings held. - During the year I have addressed 229 meetings,
Birmingham and neighbourhood absorbing 135, the other 96 being distributed
as follows :- Astwood Bank 1, Atherstone 1, Bedford (Purvey) 1,
Bournville 3, Brierley Hill 3, Bilston 3, Coventry 18, Cradley 1,
Dudley 4, Derby 5, Harborne 2, Kidderminster 3, Leeds 2, Moseley
1, Northampton 3, Nuneaton 1, Odbury 1, Pensnett 1, Redditch 2,
Rugby 5, Selly Oak 3, Smethwick 1, Stourbridge 3, Sutton 1, Tividale
1, Wednesbury 3, West Bromwich 3, Wolverhampton 16, and Worcester
Other meetings that I have attended, not being included in the
above, were the Grand Lodge I.O.G.T. at Brighton (Easter), the Principal
and Congress Meetings of V.F.U. in London, Danielite, Anti-Vaccination,
Anti-Vivisection, and the Vegetarian Society's Meetings at Manchester.
Literature. - At these meetings specimen copies of the Vegetarian,
Vegetarian Review, and other publications of the V.F.U. were distributed,
some 4 cwt. having been sent from the offices. Cookery books sold,
those being in most demand are :- "Best Penny Cookery,"
and "Best Way to Begin," 2d. "Best Diet for a Working
Man' running pretty close.
Formation of Societies.- On May 27th the Wolverhampton Vegetarian
Society was formed with eight members and associates. The meetings
have been held monthly at Mrs. Pearson's. I am sorry to say that
at present it does not make much progress. Wolverhampton is very
much behind in Vegetarian teaching, and, if possible, I would suggest
that the V.F.U. make some special effort here during the present
year. I have been present at each of the meetings since its formation.
The Vegetarian Societies at Birmingham and Coventry still continue
to absorb a large portion of my time in secretarial duties.
New Experiments Tried.- I have also been acting as secretary
to the new venture being made in Birmingham by the formation of
a Vegetarian Hotel, Restaurant and Food Stores. After putting the
claims of our cause before a meeting, the question has arisen in
course of debate, "If, as you say, Vegetarianism is such a
good thing, why don't you bring it more prominently before the public,
by the formation, on a sound commercial basis, of a Vegetarian Cobden,'
(the Cobden Hotel of Birmingham being known all over the country).
To meet this demand, some of the most influential members of the
Birmingham Vegetarian Society (knowing well the educational power,
behind a well-conducted restaurant) met, and decided to start another
branch or two in the city.
The scheme ultimately developed into the proposal to form a company
to carry out the ideas of the promoters, and shortly Birmingham
will be in the proud position of being possessed of the Pioneer
Hotel, Restaurant and Food Stores, where every want of the Vegetarian,
in shape of good accommodation, food stuffs and other requisites
car be supplied. The building, we think, will be unique, as it will
be heated from basement to attics by high pressure steam, which
will also do the cooking. We hope that Vegetarians throughout the
country will support us in this venture by becoming shareholders
and helping on this propagandist work, which by its success will
cause other large centres to copy. We had anticipated that the building
would be opened during the Jubilee Year, but owing to unavoidable
delay of the builders it will be well into 1898 before completion.
Such is my report of the past year. If the work accomplished merits
your approval, I shall be encouraged for greater earnestness during
the present year -Yours faithfully,
ALFRED H. SAUNDERS,
Provincial Secretary, 36, Heath Street, Birmingham.
Vegetarian Federal Union index
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