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Vegetarian Federal Union 1889-1911

From The Vegetarian (London), January 18, 1890:

The Vegetarian Federal Union

The third gathering, under the auspices of the Vegetarian Federal Union, took place on the 7th inst., in the Library of the Memorial Hall. Shortly after 3 o'clock in the afternoon the representativesof the various Societies assembled under the presidency of the Chairman of the Union, who with Mrs. Hawkins and Mr. C. W. Forward, represented the London Vegetarian Society. Mr. Axon attended as a delegate from teh Vegetarian Society, Manchester ; Mr. Smith, from Guildford ; Messrs. Dixon and Driver, from Cambridge ; Mr. J. G. C. Bull from the Northern Heights Society, Mrs. Boult, the Secretary, and Mr. Theobald, treasurer of that Society, being also present ; Mr. Newbold represented the South East London Society ; whilst Mr. Josiah Oldfield appeared in the double capacity of treasurer of the Union and representative for West London.

Two or three hours were occupied in the discussion of such questions as the "Penny Dinner Fund," the cataloguing of Vegetarian publications, the formation of "Ladies Councils," grants to local Societies, and other matters of interest ; and it was close upon six o'clock when the proceedings terminated, the next meeting being fixed to take place at Norwich.

Perhaps the mst gratifying incident was the readiness with which, one after another, each representative expressed willingness on the part of his Society to contribute to a central fund on behalf of newly-formed and struggling Societies. This spirit of commonweal is just what requires fostering, and the Vegetarian Federal Union will do good work if it only tends to develop such a feeling.

With the arrival of six o'clock, a goodly number of people might have been seen making their way towards the "Central" restaurant, where the 'delegates dinner' was to be served ; and the resources even of that establishment were considerably taxed for the space of an hour. So crowded was the first floor, that many of those present had to make their way to the one above, where extra tables had been laid. The dinner was tastefully and tastily carried out, and the guests did full justice to it.

As we entered the Library of the Memorial Hall, shortly after seven o'clock, the band in the balcony was playing some lively music, the strains of their melody, combined with the buzz of conversation and the multitude of smiling and laughing faces, combining to make a tout-ensemble that would have softened the stoniest heart our opponents could muster. The selection announced on the programme was from "Lucrezia Borgia," but it sounded like a Caledonian version of it to our ears. Speeches followed by Mr. Hills, Mr. Axon, and Mr. Josiah Oldfield, and more music, vocal and instrumental, came after. Mr. Robertson gave an effective rendering of "There is a green hill far away," and delighted his audience with "Tom Bowling," and "Sally in our Alley." There were present altogether very nearly four hundred people ; and, judging from the delightful manner in which the whole of the proceedings passed off, it would be safe to prophesy a brilliant future for the Federal Union, if it continue after the fashion on which it has begun.

- Chas. W. Forward.