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EAB News 2006-06-02: Scottish Esperanto Congress

101st Scottish Esperanto Congress, 2006

Smith Art Gallery The venue this year was the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling: the weather was warm and sunny; and a congress in a cultural institution was most appropriate.

On the Friday, after a buffet, and vigorous conversation, guest-of-honour Kresho Barkovich, General Secretary of SAT, lectured about his visit to Japan. He is a keen observer; so what he had to say about Japamese culture was singularly illuminating. His lecture was followed by the hilarious but challenging role-playing game of Wolves and Villagers, guided by Duncan Thomson.

Saturday began with a Scottish Esperanto Association committee meeting; while other participants explored the museum and its attractive surroundings. The next lecture was given by David Kelso, and dealt with Esperanto Education: a title which permitted him to wittily and incisively comment concerning many cognate themes. After lunch Dr. Marjorie Boulton gave an important lecture concerning Charles Reade, the English novelist and dramatist, with particular emphasis concerning the visit to Scotland which changed his entire career and established him as a writer. Jack Casey then spoke technically but approachably about a miracle of modern engineering, the Falkirk Wheel. After the SEA AGM, David Bisset led a walk through the glories of Old Stirling, finishing at the magnificent castle. In the evening the Congress Banquet in the Terraces Hotel provided an ambience for eating, drinking and erudite conversation!

Falkirk Wheel On the Sunday morning the Falkirk Wheel was visited; and it was no disappointment!

The afternoon began with an Ecumenical Service for Pentecost, guided by Tom Neil, in Holy Trinity Church, and a simultaneous discussion, led by Hugh Reid, concerning the mystery of consciousness. The final lecture was given by Kresho Barkovich; it was a masterly summary of the history and ideology of SAT, which generated many questions. John Francis then said apposite things concerning all the contributors; and President Diana Richardson closed the congress with thanks to all participants.

The excursions on Monday were to Stirling Castle and the site of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The Stirling congress was certainly no anti-climax after the festivities of the 100th Scottish Esperanto Congress last year. There were 28 participants; and, of course, every item was in Esperanto!

David W. Bisset

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