EAB News 2014-04-18 to 21: British Esperanto Congress
The British Esperanto Congress 2014 in Sheffield
The Circle in Sheffield was the venue for this year's British Esperanto Congress, from April 18th to 22nd. It was attended by around 50 Esperantists - mainly from Britain but a few from further afield. Sheffield had previously hosted British Esperanto congresses in 1914, 1974 and 1992.
The opening evening's buffet, optional buffet lunches, and a constant supply of tea and coffee meant that there were plenty of opportunities for casual meetings and conversations.
Participants enjoyed a continuous and varied programme of events, talks and activities over the four days, ranging from general interest themes to specialised and technical topics - and all in Esperanto .
- Headline guest speaker Chuck Smith spoke about Vikipedio (the Esperanto version of Wikipedia), the OUYA games console, and organising Urba Semjanfino (City Weekend) events for Esperantists in North America.
- Anna Lowenstein spoke about the Channel 4 television series (broadcast in 2000) on the 1900 house, in which a modern family tried to live as late Victorians in 1900.
- Ed Robertson explained the Common European Reference Framework for language exams (KER) and walked through some sample questions from the various levels.
- Hilary Chapman spoke on the early days of Esperanto in Britain, and the challenge of maintaining and preserving archives from the British Esperanto pioneers.
- Jack Warren spoke about the city of Sheffield, and the origins of the story of Robin Hood.
- Judith Meyer related some of her experiences as a poly-linguist, and highlighted ways of learning a foreign language using free resources.
- Commemorating the outbreak of war in 1914, Paul Gubbins spoke on Esperanto and the First World War.
- Renato Corsetti spoke about Claude Piron and the development of his language style, espoused in his book la bona lingvo.
- Gillian Cartledge gave a guided walk around Sheffield, and led a second walk to "Esperanto Place" (inaugurated during a previous Esperanto Congress in Sheffield, in 1974).
- Elizabeth Stanley organised a lively session for beginners (and post-beginners) which was often punctuated by laughter.
- The congress spanned the Easter weekend, and on Easter Sunday Hilary Chapman and others led an ecumenical service.
- Viv O'Dunne ran the Esperanto bookstall, selling new publications and also giving new life to second-hand books.
The Annual General Meeting of Esperanto-Asocio de Britio received the trustees' and treasurer's report, elected the new Management Committee, and discussed and debated suggestions and comments from the membership.
The congress was followed by an evening banquet in Zizzi's restaurant, and on the next day 20 participants took part in an excursion to nearby Brodsworth Hall, enjoying a guided tour of the hall, and the opportunity to admire the hall's gardens and nearby Brodsworth Church in the warm Easter bank-holiday sunshine.
- Vilĉjo Walker
The 2015 British Esperanto Congress is to be in Brighton, in Spring 2015. Look out for details on the British Congress website.
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