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EAB News 2011-04-09: New JEB committee

New JEB committee elected at British Congress in Eastbourne

["JEB" stands for "Junularo Esperantista Brita", the organisation for young Esperanto-speakers in Britain.]

The JEB AGM took place on Saturday 9th April 2011 during the British Esperanto Congress in Eastbourne. A total of 10 people attended, being a mixture of JEB members old and new. The AGM took a slightly different format to normal, with the elections coming towards the start of the meeting rather than at the end. This was due to the exceptional fact that virtually the entire 2010 committee was retiring and a brand new committee being elected.

At the grand old age of 32, Tim Owen was finally able to resign from his position as "Honorary" JEB President, and will be replaced by Thomas Preece. Thomas, who is about to graduate from Nottingham University with an MEng in Electrical Engineering and German, has been an active JEB member since 2007 and is the brains behind the new JEB website that was launched just prior to the congress. Sadly for Tim, he is unlikely to have much time to enjoy his retirement, due to his two new roles of EAB and NoJEF secretary.

Despite not yet being too old for JEB, I (Clare Hunter) stepped down after three years as JEB secretary in order to be able to devote more time to EAB. I will be replaced by Guy Johnston, who was not present at the AGM due to his ongoing volunteer work at the Esperanto Centre in Bialystok. Guy is expected to return to the UK later this year.

Having been JEB Treasurer since 2003, it was also time for Michael Seaton to move on to new duties on EAB's ManCom. JEB voted not to recruit a new Treasurer, but to transfer its funds to EAB for safe-keeping.

Unanimously elected to the new JEB committee were Wilfred Hughes, Jake Pentland, Alex Jarvis and, a last minute surprise candidate, Daniel White. Daniel was the founder of the current incarnation of JEB in 2006, when he staged a one-man revolution to take over an almost dormant organisation. Daniel was the first person to create a proper JEB website and the first to organise one of our now regular meetups. There may have been a mere seven attendees at that first meeting, but the enthusiasm and initiative that Daniel brought gave the rest of us something to build on, long after his disappearance from the British Esperanto movement in 2008. JEB in general owe him a lot, and I in particular owe him more than most; were it not for Daniel and his "Novajeb", I sincerely doubt that I would ever have learned Esperanto, joined EAB or - more crucially - met my fiance. It was therefore very exciting to see Daniel back in action during the JEB AGM, and we all look forward to seeing the fresh ideas that he will doubtless bring in the future.

All of the incoming committee are, in fact, full of new ideas for JEB. As mentioned above, Thomas Preece has already put many hours into constructing the new JEBsite, which incorporates a blog, photo gallery, forum and chatroom all in one place. The modern look and feel of the site is perfect for attracting members of the younger generation and, going forward, JEB intends to focus on the needs of Esperantists between the ages of 18 - 26 in particular.

As the outgoing committee now move on to EAB, we hope that the relationship between the two organisations will be stronger than ever. We have every confidence in the new committee, and wish them and JEB all the best for the future.

Clare Hunter

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