The opening ceremony and buffet reception was held in the Eastbourne town hall, where the deputy mayor counsellor Margret Salsbury welcomed us to the town, and local MP Stephen Lloyd gave his welcome address in well-spoken Esperanto - a gesture that was warmly applauded.
(L-R) MP Stephen Lloyd (speaking in Esperanto) with congress organisers Sally Phillips and Ivor Hueting, deputy mayor counsellor Margret Salsbury and EAB president John Wells; Peter Bowell provided a musical interlude; Eastbourne town hall.
The rest of the congress was held in Eastbourne college, which provided a spacious main hall for the programme of talks and lectures, several smaller rooms for beginners' conversation circles and specialist meetings, and a communal dining room for the Esperantists to dine together. We were particularly fortunate to enjoy warm spring weather, and many people enjoyed meeting old friends and new in the Eastbourne sunshine. "Official business" included the Annual General Meeting of EAB (Esperanto-Asocio de Britio), which is covered in a separate report, and presentations to winners of the EAB writing and photo competition
Eastbourne College, venue for the Esperanto Congress.
Teabreak in the cricket pavilion; lunch to the sound of Esperanto conversation.
The congress programme contained a wide range of talks, lectures and presentations (all in Esperanto, of course), many related to the congress theme of "lighthouses, lights and luminaries". Pictured below are: Sally Phillips talking on lighthouses; John Wells talking on colour in languages; Paul Gubbins introducing a forthcoming anthology of original Esperanto works translated into English; Peter Bolwell introducing an astronomy exhibition; Joyce Bunting, Hecate Waters, Elena Hiard and Helen Fantom each talking about personal experiences and inspirations; Ivor Hueting presenting the voices of several Esperanto luminaries; Stephen Thompson and Jack Warren performing some musical diversions; Terry Page explaining the science of light; Keiko Sampei giving some moving personal experiences of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan; Tim Owen demonstrating some ways that computers and the Internet can be useful to Esperanto speakers; a static exhibition showing Esperanto's use in Amateur radio
Talks and presentations.
Paul Gubbins introduced a new series of DVD video-talks "Barlastono Bis!", published by EAB in time for the Congress. The congress bookstall took over £600, selling these DVDs along with new and second-hand Esperanto books.
The Esperanto bookstall; Paul Gubbins launches the new DVD series "Barlastono Bis!"
Sally Phillips and Peter Bolwell performed a moving new play Voĉoj by Paul Gubbins; a fictional exploration of some of the consequences following the traumatic events in London, in July 2005.
Sally Phillip and Peter Bolwell in "Voĉoj".
Following the congress itself, several Esperantists stayed on to enjoy a series of "post congress" events including a boat trip to see Beachy Head lighthouse from the sea, and excursions to Dungeness, Hastings and Herstmonceux observatory.
A boat trip to see Beachy Head lighthouse from the sea.
An excursion to Herstmonceux observatory.
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