EAB Trustees' Report for 2004

(This is an edited version of the report, similar to that published in EAB Update number 29 April-June 2005)

The trustees are pleased to present their report, together with the financial statements of the charity (separate insert) for the year ended 31st October 2004.

The statements comply with current statutory requirements, the Constitution and the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP 2000) "Accounting and reporting by Charities"

Objects of the Association:

To advance the education of the public in the international language Esperanto in the furtherance of international communication without discrimination, and the natural right of all people and peoples, their language and cultures to be treated equally.


The trustees are the members of the Management Committee of the Esperanto-Asocio de Britio, elected by the Annual General Meeting to serve until the end of the next AGM. Trustees who served during the year were: John Wells (president); Edmund Grimley Evans (vice-president); David Bisset (vice-president); Geoffrey Sutton (hon. secretary); Joyce Bunting (hon. treasurer); Helen Fantom; Derek Tatton; Grahame Leon-Smith (to 1st May 2004)

Subcommittees and individuals are appointed by the Management Committee to carry out specific tasks. They report back to the Committee.

Investment powers

Under the Constitution, the charity has power to make investments as the trustees see fit.

Related parties

The charity has relations with several other Esperanto organisations both in Britain and abroad. These include: UEA (Universala Esperanto Asocio), JEB (Junularo Esperantista Brita) for young people, NoJEF (Norwich Jubilee Esperanto Foundation) which makes grants to encourage young people to attend Esperanto courses and congresses, and the Scottish Esperanto Association.

Review of activities and achievements


Paid postal courses now offered are: Elementary..! for beginners up to intermediate level, Accelerated (formerly Intermediate), Advanced (a new course based on Boris Kolker's book Vojaĝo en Esperanto-Lando) and Urso-Kurso for younger children and parents. Free Postal Course students who complete within the year are entitled to a £25.00 discount at the Course-You-Can weekend course in October.

The Summer School at Barlaston in August was a great success, enhanced by the stimulating presence of Ionel Ionet from UEA. Next year, it is to be renamed Summer Festival and will be 3-tiered, to include a course on culture/history research, using the Butler library.

In order to encourage Group Learning, EAB offered for hire Subtekste (a book of task sheets by Paul Gubbins) and it was found so successful that some groups purchased. A widening range of educational books and CDs for beginners and improvers is available from Esperanto House listed in Illustrated Book List for Beginners.

A total of 12,000 updated Urso-Kurso leaflets were sent to 17 central libraries for distribution to branches. 20 sets of the Urso-Kurso books went to two Primary Schools in Gloucestershire, which were piloting Esperanto classes as part of the curriculum, under the guidance of Elizabeth Stanley.

Terry Page lectured to a Secondary School in Nottingham, 8th December 2003.

The first in a planned series of interactive computer CDs by Paul Gubbins Verdaj Voĉoj is ready. Aimed at different learning levels, it presents clips of normal Esperantists speaking naturally and fluently. Interactive exercises relate to each extract.

The Bessacarr Guide to Esperanto is in its final stages. This A4, two-colour guide will sell for £1.00 but be distributed free to children in schools.

The British section of Internacia Ligo de Esperantistaj Instruistoj (ILEI) has 24 members. Reports of activities appear in the international teaching journal, IPR.

Mil Unuaj Vortoj (a thousand-word picture dictionary) and Mini-D (a pocket Esperanto-English dictionary) were produced by the education team and are available from EAB.

The Advanced Oral exam is now offered by phone as well as face-to-face. Specimen exams are downloadable from the education website, which has details of all courses and learning resources: www.esperantoeducation.com. A new section on history and culture has been added, including audio extracts of CDs.

Current projects nearing completion: Ĉiutaga Esperanto by Don Lord, a Translation Course based on W. Auld's Paŝoj al Plena Posedo, and Traduku !, a booklet of W. Auld's texts from LBE, prepared by Simon Davies.

The Bendoteko is a lending collection of sound cassettes in Esperanto on educational and cultural topics, administered by Ben Gosling; a catalogue is available from Esperanto House.


Clubs and groups were supplied with press packs and stimulated to arrange centenary meetings. The centenary pack, prepared by our Publicity Officer, Jim Voiels, included a congratulatory letter from Renato Corsetti, President of Universala Esperanto-Asocio.

Successful stands were mounted at the European Social Forum (ESF, London October 2004) and the Language Show just after the year-end (LS, London November 2004). Display materials already produced for the LS enabled a last minute booking at the ESF, where 2000 people accepted leaflets and a large number talked to volunteers from SAT En Britio, Londona Esperanto-Klubo and EAB. The new banner, funded by a grant of 1000 euros, had its first outing.

EAB sent a letter to candidates in the June European Elections. It was circulated to all EAB members to encourage them to write direct to as many candidates as they wished. Replies from candidates were illuminating.

EAB's new website www.esperanto.org.uk was launched and attracted a lot of interest, and has links to many other sites.

Election of a new president during the Felixstowe Congress prompted the issuing of press releases. A programme on Radio 4's You and Yours came soon after, when the increase in the number of EU official Languages was discussed. Professor Wells was one of the interviewees.

Work on the Members' Handbook has started and the leaflet Pasporta Servo revised in time for ESF and LS. Appropriate leaflets were supplied to Marcos Cramer for a stall during Freshers Week at Oxford University. Some useful Esperanto websites and, for teachers, Foreign Language Induction Programme have been prepared and used - the former (thanks to Ian Fantom, who resigned as EAB's information officer in Nov. 2003) at ESF and LS, the latter at LS2004 (thanks to Angela Tellier). A new Power-Point presentation was produced for the Language Show.

And congratulations to the local group in Weston-Super-Mare for its commendable activity level.

The Butler Library

Many people leave their collections of books and periodicals to EAB. Items not already in stock are placed in the Butler Library whilst duplicates may be retained for lending, or sold. Significant gifts were the McLennan Collection and the Harry Holmes Archive.

Material received by the Butler Library is listed, catalogued and conserved to professional standards. It is estimated that about 7000 items are now listed or catalogued electronically. The stock-list and catalogue can be consulted on the Internet.

The most important new books and periodicals are purchased by the library and retrospective purchases for the Butler Collection is 60% complete. Binding of accumulated periodicals is making significant progress, and conservation work will continue.

The library is used for reference enquiries and academic research. Contacts are developing between the Butler Library and the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, whereby selected duplicate volumes will be sent to them.

Storage space for archives, lending and second-hand books is rented from Wedgwood Memorial College and stored in the The Houghton Room

The library website, located at: www.biblbut.org, is administered by Geoff King, Honorary Librarian.


La Brita Esperantisto, edited by Paul Gubbins, is an all-Esperanto journal sent to full members twice a year. It contains articles on Esperanto culture as well as more general reports reflecting Esperanto life in Britain. Copies may be purchased from Esperanto House

EAB Update, edited by Geoffrey Sutton, is sent four times during the year to members and supporters. It carries news of current activities, letters, and constitutional matters as well as issues of worldwide importance. It is now available on the EAB website some weeks after publication.

British Congress

The British Esperanto Congress was successfully held in Felixstowe in May 2004, thanks to the local congress committee. A cake to celebrate the centenary of Esperanto in Britain was cut by Marjorie Boulton.


At the end of October 2004, 382 full members (with voting rights), 80 supporters, 31 Family members and 33 Life members, making total of 526 were registered.

Subscription rates remained unchanged at £25 full membership (or £20 concessionary rate) and £10 for Supporters.

Federations and groups form a national network, and are the point of contact for many Esperantists who enter the movement via the Internet or correspondence courses. Some groups entered enthusiastically into the celebration of 100 years of EAB in Britain, with cake-cutting ceremonies which resulted in reports in local newspapers.

Staff and volunteers

Viv O'Dunne works at Esperanto House four flexible days a week. It may be necessary to employ extra help next year to help with general tasks and the mail order book service for home and overseas customers.

Viv helps enquirers by sending relevant information packs, controls membership renewals and queries and keeps databases up-to-date. Enquiries from the press and media are tied up with suitable Esperanto representatives.

She has worked with the education group to prepare new course information leaflets. Exams and all courses are administered by the office. From November 1st, 2004 Viv will also deal with UEA membership.

Angela Tellier is part-time Co-ordinator of Education and related services. Her paid hours were increased in 2004.

Jim Voiels is part-time Public Relations Officer. His paid hours will be increased from 1st November for a one year contract period.

The Association would like to thank staff at Wedgwood Memorial College, and in particular the principal Jill Ward, for continuing co-operation between the College and EAB.

Volunteers play an important role in the effectiveness of the charity. The trustees thank many volunteers who have worked for the Association during the year including: tutors, examiners, moderators, teachers, lecturers, editors, compositors, proof-readers, publicists, the congress committee, webmasters, librarians, library assistants and computerized catalogue inputers, administrators, advisors, garden co-ordinator, and 'dog's-bodies' willing to do anything.

Donations and legacies

Donations are gratefully received and may be designated for the Butler Library, Publicity, Education, the Esperanto Garden or Afrika Agado. No legacies were received this year.

Scout League

Two years ago, a sum of money was entrusted to EAB from the Scout Esperanto League of Britain. The Scout Movement may use it to re-form the League within seven years, after which it may be used in other ways for young people.

Future plans

Education: Attract international participants to residential courses at Barlaston. Produce Verdaj Voĉoj no.2 and other recorded CDs, a book of specimen answers for Paŝoj al Plena Posedo, a booklet about Grammar for English-Speakers, and an information booklet for children & young people to follow up the Bessacarr Guide. Encourage groups/clubs to submit combined lessons in the Advanced (Boris Kolker) course, hold tutor/teacher seminars, and publish a regular column of about 200 words aimed at Progresantoj for LBE.

Publications: Transfer of some books to digitised format. Transfer of cassettes to CD.

Publicity: Encourage increase of activities from local group. Produce the handbook pack. Contact candidates during the Parliamentary Election 2005. Prepare an improved LS presence for 2005 and build on the contacts made during LS2004. Publicise the visit to Folkestone and Dover during the Boulogne Congress 2005. Finalise a leaflet on Esperanto complementing that sent with the first Free Postal Course lesson.

Butler Library: Complete computerised listings for simple searches and stocktaking within 12-18 months. Finish retrospective binding of periodicals etc. Continue conservation and repairs. Inaugurate lending collection. Update IT provision, including Internet access.

Boulogne Congress: support with reception etc. in Dover and Folkestone, March 2005.

Annual General Meeting: 7 May 2005, London.

Website: continuing improvements

Risk management

Risk applies to all activities of the Association, and the trustees endeavour to address this. Financial investments are spread between five companies, in various types of account.


As at 31st October 2004, the Association had available resources of £1,495,303, of which £44,544 is for restricted purposes and £48,891 represented the endowment fund. The unrestricted balance of funds amounted to £1,401,868 of which £180,487 is represented by fixed assets including the new building The balance is held to generate income for the foreseeable future. Interest on investments is the main source of income at present.

Investment policy

The trustees, over time, have invested capital in special unit trusts, designed for the charity sector, to meet the need for both income and investment growth. EAB's policy is to provide income and growth for many years, at the same time permitting the release of capital for well-considered projects in furtherance of the charity's aims.

The split of investments between categories is: Cash 31%; Fixed Interest (bonds) 23%; Equities (shares) 29%; Property units 17%; Total value of cash and investments: £1,304,229.

Responsibilities of the trustees in relation to the financial statements

Law applicable to charities in England and Wales requires the trustees to prepare financial statements at the end of each financial year which give a true and fair view of its financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In doing so the trustees are required to:

The trustees are responsible for keeping accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Charities Act 1993. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention of fraud and other irregularities.

Approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf by:

Prof. J.C.Wells,
5th February 2005

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