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EAB News 2008-05-11: British Esperanto Congress

British Esperanto Congress at Southport, 9th-11th May 2008 - some highlights

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton welcomed everyone to Southport at the start of the British Esperanto Congress with a short dialogue in Esperanto, to the delight of the audience. Lord Ronnie Fearn and Dr. John Pugh MP enlivened the opening ceremony with good humoured speeches. The Mayoress afterwards expressed great interest in the Springboard to Languages project.

Fine weather favoured the whole weekend. When not attending events at the Prince of Wales Hotel, members could enjoy the delights of Lord Street Shopping and dining, the long pier and other seaside pleasures - if not the far distant sea.

Dr. Paul Gubbins explained the reason for this lack of paddling places (in Esperanto, of course) in a lecture about the evolution of Southport. In his Buchanan Lecture, Prof. John Wells explained how the 'scouse' language developed in Liverpool, and demonstrated different pronunciations to be heard in the local region.

Two federations - Yorkshire & Humberside, and North West Federation - celebrated 100 years since foundation in 1908. Though divided by the Pennines, Lancashire and Yorkshire (and their neighbouring counties) co-operated to produce a splendid cake, iced appropriately with white and red roses. Displays by the two federations showed moments from their long history.

Roman Dobrzynski the Polish film director and author, was the guest lecturer. He spent recent months at the Esperanto Centre 'Bona Espero' in Brazil, and talked about the work done there, showing DVDs recorded on site.

Hilary Chapman presented a history of Esperanto music, assisted by Malcolm Jones and Stephen Thompson, with singing participation from the audience.

Sally Phillips starred on Sunday night on 'Desert Island Discs'. She talked about her travels and some memorable experiences, to the great enjoyment of her audience. She chose seven recordings to remind her of important people in her life.

At the close of a relaxed and enjoyable Congress, the flag for next year's event in Salisbury was handed to Jean Bisset, and followed by enthusiastic singing of 'La Espero'

Joyce Bunting

The congress venue and opening ceremony

Two federations celebrate their centenaries

Sally Phillips presents her 'Desert Island Discs'

International guest speaker Roman Dobrzynski with Terry Page

Photos: Jim Voiels and Paul Gubbins

Press cuttings

A compilation of press cuttings about the congress can be read in this PDF file

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