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An occasional newsletter from the Honorary Secretary
The word 'New' is in great vogue, sparked off, of course, by Tony Blair with 'New Labour'. But we are now truly in a new Millennium and I think we can say also that we are in a 'new era' for E.A.B. I reported in the last Update that we would be appointing Paul Hewitt on a short-term part-time contract to be our Director. Already Paul has been hard at work and produced two detailed, but interim reports:
a) on our future publications policy and
b) on our future direction, which will be thoroughly discussed at future Management Committee meetings and during our Annual General Meeting at Appleby on Sunday 23 April.
Only 14 members replied to the 4 questions on future publications policy which were in the last issue of Update. Were you one of the 14? If not, do you intend to contribute to formulating our future? I await your letters.
Incidentally! We wish to thank all those members who have supported us and sent their good wishes during this interim period This is most encouraging and shows that they appreciate that we are trying to get things completely in order ready for the new challenge that faces us at Barlaston, which is to revitalise the British movement and to concentrate on the main purpose of EAB: education, information and promotion of the language.
If you make use of UEA services, go to Universalaj Kongresoj or subscribe to overseas Esperanto magazines, please read carefully the appropriate part of this newsletter. In the last issue, as several members have reminded me, I forgot to mention details of the sale of 140 Holland Park Avenue. We received £927,000 for the premises, and out of that we paid for professional and legal costs, about £19,000.
I was astounded to receive an incredibly generous cheque from EAB, representing your kind contributions, My wholehearted thanks to you all! It has Been a great privilege for me to serve the movement, and the years have passed so quickly, I have met many wonderful members, several of whom have altruistically dedicated much time and effort to the movement's progression, whether
My warm and hearty thanks to all, and may we ever strive to further our positive attainments in this new millennium and new era for EAB, which needs all our support
Yours sincerely, Martyn Hugh McClelland.
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 2]
An attempt was made at the beginning of this year to organise an Internet discussion forum on Esperanto but it never got off the ground. I now learn that Wedgwood Memorial College and Workers Educational Association have got such a Forum with an Esperanto subsection. Anyone who would like to join this Esperanto Forum should contact Derek Tatton at the college.
In the last issue, in the item on courses on the internet, I made a mistake in the address of Ian Fantom's course. Not a very big one, I put a '.' instead of a /, but, in these matters, even a full stop instead of a comma will ruin it for you. The correct address of Ian's course is http://esperanto.org/espviva
Here are brief mentions of a few of the many Esperanto events which might be of interest.
TAIZE. This is an annual Christian event for young people which occurs in this village in the south of France. Attendance is massive, up to 100,000. It is a bit like Glastonbury. From reports I have heard, it is very non-dogmatic with an emphasis on help your neighbour and also third world countries. For the last 3 years there has been an Esperanto element. During 13 to 20 August will be the 4a Junulara Ekumena Esperanto-Tendaro. For info contact Bernhard Eichkorn, Romausring 20, DEO-78050 Villingen, Germany.
La 22-a CeBalta Esperantista Printempo 30 May to 11 June, 2000. This is a very pleasant Esperanto holiday with an international atmosphere. It takes place at the Polish small seaside town of Mielno. Your secretary went there in 1999 and can vouch for it. Leaflets are available from the office if you send a s.a.e.
Polish Health Spa Rest Cure. Your secretary is organising this which will take place during July in Polanica Zdroj, a Spa in the Sudety Mountains in south west Poland near the German and Czech frontiers. It will be very cheap. It will be a lazy holiday with plenty of time to stroll around and sample the waters etc. Total cost including coach travel from London for around £260! Send a s.a.e. to Eric Walker for details.
Internet Calendar. A very, very detailed list of events throughout the world can be found at www.hungary.net/esperanto/kalendar.htm
Following the catastrophic floods in China, a letter has been received from Wan Xigen who is a UEA delegito. He appeals for money to be sent to help build a new school with the name 'Espero'. He requests funds be sent to their UEA account at Rotterdam. The account number is xwan-q. Ordinary British sterling cheques can be sent direct to UEA at Rotterdam. There will be no bank charges to pay. Send with your cheque a note saying to pay into xwan-q.
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 3]
We are always very pleased when members write in with questions and comments. Naturally we provide an answer as soon as practicable. But sometimes we feel that the point raised is of such general concern that an explanation in EAB Update is appropriate.
One such point, for example, concerns our future plans for Barlaston if we do not have Esperanto speakers readily at hand, and if our new Office Manager, initially, doesn't speak it.
There can be no question at all of calling on the Principal of the Wedgwood Memorial College except in the direst of dire emergencies; he has the College to run.
That our future permanent staff member should eventually be proficient in Esperanto goes without saying. Nobody on your Management Committee has ever suggested anything else. The appointment will most certainly be conditional on proficiency being achieved within quite a short period.
So what do we do in the meantime?
Our experience here in Ipswich indicates that we can manage very well indeed with a non-Esperanto speaking office worker. Neither of the two members of the Management Committee who live locally can possibly be on hand all the time.
In the first four months of operating from Ipswich we have had just two telephone calls in Esperanto and one of those was from a British EAB member. Both calls were answered in Esperanto. We get some letters in Esperanto from members although we ask them during this transition period to write in English. (By the way special thanks to the member who writes in both, line by line!). We get a mass of e-mails, most of which are irrelevant but among which are usually one or two which need an immediate reply. They also come in Russian, Spanish, Italian, German and French. We also use the BT call divert system so that any calls which come in while Mick Webb (our part- time employee) is not working, and no Esperanto speaker is in the office, go directly to somebody who does speak Esperanto.
If this really became a problem at Ipswich (or Barlaston) - which seems unlikely - we should take steps to tackle it: a recorded message promising to return the call or something of that sort.
At Barlaston e-mails would be forwarded as necessary to the Director or one of the Management Committee and would be dealt with promptly.
In practice, our office worker Mick Webb, who speaks and writes excellent German and has done so on our behalf, after just a few weeks is able to determine the gist of an Esperanto written communication. There is no reason to suppose that a similarly efficient person at Barlaston could not do the same long before he/she reached the Intermediate stage.
It is absolutely essential that the affairs of EAB be run in a competent, professional and efficient manner. We are a Registered Charity with substantial assets and subject to Charity Commission scrutiny.
With regard to finding staff when the office moves to Barlaston it is the policy of the Management Committee to place relevant experience, energy and efficiency at the head of the list of requirements rather than immediate competence in Esperanto and idealistic commitment to the Movement.
The post will, of course, be open to idealistic, committed Esperanto speakers provided that they meet the prime requirements.
The task given to the "Administration Committee" (Eric Walker, Paul Hewitt, Fraser Dunbar) was not only to arrange the relocation on a temporary basis to Ipswich but to organise the routine work of the office in such a way that it could be run from Barlaston; and that is what all these changes are designed to achieve.
A great deal of hard, and indeed at times exasperating, work has been done, and not just by the three members of this Committee. As mentioned elsewhere Joyce Bunting, assisted by Doreen Dunbar, has spent an unimaginable amount of time resolving accounting problems. We have a new Course Director, we have tutors for the Free Correspondence Course, we have new information material and the Book Service and Tape Library ceased operation for less than a week during the move.
A great deal more needs to be done and there can be no guarantee of success at Barlaston. That will depend on your support and decisions taken by future Management Committees.
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 4]
Your Committee has found it necessary to introduce changes to some apparently time- honoured procedures which had the effect of producing enormous complications in our accounts to the inevitable detriment to what we consider the main aims of EAB should be: Education and Information.
We are convinced that the changes which we have introduced will be to the great benefit of members in that costs will be reduced and resources better directed.
Up to now we have had a complicated system of "personal accounts" held by relatively few members. Credits have been made to these accounts in respect of "services rendered to EAB", and payments made from them by EAB on behalf of the member who would otherwise have made a direct payment for his/her book, magazine, subscription, congress fee etc. We have also been making payments to UEA and other organisations on behalf of members who may or may not have "personal accounts" with EAB and/or UEA. In effect we have been acting as a private bank with associated overdrafts, bad debts and miscellaneous complications, including VAT calculations on the small commission which we deducted from various payments to UEA (either 5 or 10 per cent). We have even been asked to pay a member's Congress Fee and arrange for foreign currency to be available on arrival.
The accounting procedures involved and hitherto carried out by both the paid staff and the volunteers in London have led to endless complications and queries. Both Joyce Bunting the Honorary Treasurer helped by Doreen Dunbar, the wife of one of the Trustees have spent an enormous amount of time (on a totally unpaid basis) sorting out the complications. Virtually all these complications were the result of attempting to implement an impractical, unworkable system. Even if such a system were desirable, which we are convinced it is not, it would be impossible to operate from our eventual location at Barlaston without a totally disproportionate allocation of our resources.
Perfectly straightforward alternatives exist and are being put into effect with the complete agreement of UEA.
"Personal Accounts" are being wound up and the Honorary Treasurer is repaying credit balances. We hope that debit balances will be recoverable. Otherwise, they will have to be written off Your Committee will still make payments to examiners and others, but such payments, when duly approved arid specified, will be made by cheque directly to the member concerned.
We will continue to assist members in every possible way with information about UEA membership, Congresses, events abroad and in this country. An instruction sheet is now available from the office which describes exactly how to make payments to UEA. The text of this sheet is incorporated in this edition of EAB Update.
Basically the changes are as follows:
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 5]
1. By cheque drawn on a British Bank Account
Make the cheque payable to Universala Esperanto-Asocio, (UEA will do) and enclose it with a short note, in Esperanto, saying what it is for. If the price you have to pay is quoted in Euros or in guilders etc, make a conversion to sterling using the rate shown in a newspaper and make out your cheque in pounds in the usual way. If you are applying for UEA membership just fill in the form and enclose it with your cheque. Send it to:
Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam, Holland
Cost to you: 1 EC type postage stamp
2. By payment from your UEA account (if you have one)
Send a short note, in Esperanto, telling them:
Your UEA account code.
To whom you want the credit to be made
The purpose, UK, book or magazine purchase etc.
Cost to you: 1 EC type postage stamp
3. By direct payment to UEA's British bank account
Go to any branch of HSBC and make a deposit to UEA's account at the Leytonstone branch. The Bank Code is 40-04-17 Account Number 21007793 Account Name: Universala Esperanto- Asocio.
Please note that if you use this method you must tell UEA what the payment is for. This is so that they can identify your payment when they check their bank statement. Unfortunately there is no way that it can be identified on the statement. This is only done with direct debits and credits, standing orders etc. The simplest way of passing this information to them is by writing your name and the purpose of the payment on the receipted counterfoil, which the bank will give you. Send this or a copy if you prefer, to UEA. It is your proof of payment.
Cost to you: 1 EC type postage stamp plus 5p or so for a copy. The bank might even do it for you.
4. By Credit Card
Send your order or request to UEA and give your credit card details in the usual way. You must include the type of card (Visa, Master Card etc) and the period for which it is valid. Absolutely essential: You must sign the letter or note authorising the payment.
Cost to you: 1 EC type postage stamp. If you want your payment to be in euros the credit card company will make a modest conversion charge. This appears to vary but the Royal Bank of Scotland charges 2% of the transaction value with a minimum charge of £1.50 and a maximum charge of £4.00. The rate of exchange used will be that prevailing when the transaction is processed in the U.K.
5. By Girobank
By transfer to UEA's account with Postbank a/c no. 378964. UEA says the costs are moderate. But you should consult your Girobank information about this, and also notify UEA of the purpose of the payment.
6. By Bank Transfer
Payment can be made to UEA's account with ABN-AMRO Bank Postbus 949, 3000 DD Rotterdam. International Bank Reference Code ABNANL2R. Account No. 184.108.40.2069. Cost to you: Likely to be significant. UEA says that this is a good method for the rapid transfer of funds but because of the charges is not suitable for small sums.
To the best of our knowledge and belief this information is correct at the date of publication and is given purely as a guide to members making payments to UEA. Such members should satisfy themselves of the precise charges likely to be incurred. EAB can take no responsibility in respect of any transactions made by individual members, groups of members, Federations or Esperanto Societies. (Eric Walker suggests that method 1 is the easiest method, having used it himself).
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 6]
Please! Would all existing tutors contact Arnold Pitt, Yew Tree Cottage Irvington Rd, Leominster, HR6 8QD Telling him which of the following course(s) you tutor: Beginners, Intermediates, Advanced, Intensive and Licentiate.
If you do not now tutor but are willing to do so please offer your services to Arnold Pitt.
We also need tutors for the Free Postal Course. We do have a list but it is certainly out of date. If you would like to help by being a tutor, or if you would like to resume being one, please let the office at Ipswich know.
This is very important work. Don't expect even a majority of students to complete all the lessons, but remember that of those that do, many go on to become very competent users of the language. Your help, sympathy and encouragement can make the difference!
[Outdated: Advertisement for SATEB weekend at Barlaston, 19-21 May]
When we started getting messages like this (even from Australia), we were puzzled but it turns out that a 'cult' book; 'A Stainless Steel Rat is born' is by science-fiction writer Harry Harrison. It has been published in several languages (including Esperanto). It features Esperanto and apparently gives EAB's address in the non-Esperanto versions, for further information. It has proved to be one of the best advertisements we have had for years! We have the Esperanto version for sale at £8.95 including postage.
Enclosed is a leaflet about this. I thought I would mention that it is extremely good value for money. The food is fab. and there is also free tea and coffee continuously available during breaks in lessons. The beginners' class is full but intermediates and advanced are still welcome. If you recommend it you won't be let down.
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 7]
[Out-dated: Correspondence/pen-friend requests]
Those already following the course are enjoying it, and youngsters are our future!
[EAB Update Issue No.5 Page 8]
The first commercial broadcasts using Esperanto took place in the 1920's and have continued until today. There are approximately 4000 programmes broadcast each year. Leading the way is Polish Radio with regular daily short-wave broadcasts in the language. Content of the broadcasts are wide including not only world news and information about Poland and the wider Esperanto movement but record requests, live interviews, music, letters from listeners and literary items. Radio Beijing, another station with daily broadcasts comes a close second to Warsaw in the quantity of programmes. Other regular short-wave broadcasters are Vienna, Rome, Havana and The Vatican. Satellite transmissions are also undertaken by most of these stations.
There are also a considerable number of FM stations broadcasting to local listeners in countries like Brazil, France, Hungary, Australia etc. Times of broadcasts and wavelengths are subject to change but up to date details of the major stations can be obtained from The Esperanto Centre, ILERA or the stations themselves.
All radio stations welcome reports from their listeners. Let them know what you think of their programmes.
Finding and listening to Esperanto stations is not difficult. Hopefully this information will make it even easier.
The first thing to be aware of is that shortwave broadcasts are not as reliable as your local radio station. Obviously they are affected by a number of factors such as the quality of your radio and aerial BUT they are also affected by a number of other things including time of day and year, your location, and the location of the transmitter. Therefore the first thing to be aware of is that you will not always receive equally good signals. They can vary from day to day. So sometimes it will be a lot easier to find the stations than at other times. If at first you don't succeed TRY AGAIN.
An important factor is your radio which must have quite a large space dedicated to shortwave transmissions. Many radios have shortwave bands but they are so small that it is very difficult to fine tune your radio to the station you want. Any manual tuning is more difficult than digital tuning. Ideally you need a radio with a key pad so that the exact frequency of the station can be entered. Twiddling a knob to find a station can be quite frustrating. It is also very helpful to have a radio with memories. This way all the frequencies for a station can be entered and it is then just a question of pressing a button to move easily through the frequencies until you find the strongest. An external wire aerial is also helpful especially if it can be dangled out of a window. Probably the most audible station in the UK is Radio Vienna, which can be heard very clearly throughout the year. The Vatican is also strong. All the Esperanto stations can be heard in the UK but remember the results may be very different in different parts of the country. More detailed advice is available on request from ILERA.
We are well aware that all full members will be lacking 2 issues of La Brita Esperantisto during their current subscription year.
We are not going to be able to catch up with those missing numbers. Can we suggest that in recompense we will send free and postage paid, a copy of either 'Angla Antologio 2' or 'Internacia kuirlibro'. On receiving your request at the office we will immediately send off one or the other to you.
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