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EAB News 2007-05-04 to 07: British Esperanto Congress

Record-breaking 2007 British Esperanto Congress at Letchworth

The French singer JoMo (Jean-Marc Leclercq) broke his own world record at a concert during the British Esperanto Congress at Letchworth by performing 25 songs in 25 different languages. The concert, and the congress itself, were advertised across Letchworth by posters, flyers and banners.

The participants at the congress enjoyed many other events, talks, presentations and discussions - all through the medium of Esperanto. The international atmosphere was enlivened by a number of participants from outside the United Kingdom, and several guest lecturers and performers. Besides Jomo (from France, above), Renato Corsetti (president of the World Esperanto Association) from Italy gave the John Bucanan memorial lecture (in association with the University of Liverpool) on "Learning your own language by learning another language"; Anna Löwenstein (Italy) lectured on the hidden messages in children's literature, including the works of A.E.Nesbitt and J.K.Rowling; Olga Kerziouk (originally from Ukraine) described the Esperanto-collection at the British Library; Paul Kwasi Mensah (Ghana) presented African culture and the Esperanto movement in Africa. British Esperantists also contributed to a stimulating and lively programme, ranging from political organisation to a tribute to the Esperanto poet William Auld, who passed away recently.

The congress attracted around 80 participants, with more dropping in just for the day or individual events. The bookstall at the event was popular and sold many books (both new and second-hand), CDs and DVDs; even the professional cameraman, engaged to record the lectures, got caught up with the atmosphere and bought a second-hand copy of "Teach Yourself Esperanto"! The EAB annual general meeting was attended by about 30 members and observers, alongside the 8 candiates for election. The previous AGM's minutes and the Trustees' Report were received, and all the nominated candidates were elected as trustees to the management committee.

The congress took place at Plinston hall (pictured, flying the Esperanto flag alongside that of Letchworth Garden City), with the ecumenical service at the neighbouring St Michel's Church, and the JoMo open-air concert at Leys place in the nearby shopping centre. The excursion to Cambridge on the bank-holiday Monday was arranged to celebrate the centenary of the third World Esperanto Congress, which took place there in 1907.

The congress website:

A more comprehensive report will appear in La Brita Esperantisto.

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