Mr. W. A. Sibly
IVU President 1947-53
IVU Past President 1953-59
The first mention currently known of Mr. Sibly, from Vegetarian Society
records, is from a 1913 issue of The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester)
where he wrote report from school. At that time he was the Housemaster
of Springfield House, Wycliffe College, a private boy's school in Gloucestershire.
Mr. Sibly's father was the headmaster and by 1923 he had become the
Head himself. Springfield House was entirely vegetarian by 1913, possibly
earlier, and appears to have remained so until after Mr. Sibly's death
in the late 1950s.
From reports of the 1923 IVU Congress in Sweden:
[from the journey] My cabin was shared by my excellent friend
Dr. Ibarra, of Madrid, and an unknown gentleman who smoked strong
Havanas. Two others of our party, Mr. W. A. Sibly and Mr. H. B. Amos,
shared another cabin in the vicinity. . . . And here we are, at last,
in Berlin - Headmaster W. A. Sibly, a life-vegetarian;
[at the Congress]. . .the Roll Call of the Delegates. Each
rose as his or her name was called. The following is a full list :
. . . W. A. Sibly (Headmaster, Wycliffe College), Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
; . . .
We give the full list of papers in alphabetical order :- . . . W.
A. Sibly on "The Work Done at Wycliffe College" (with lantern
slides), . . .
Some discussion arose as to the advisability of admitting Nature
Healing Societies as members of the International Vegetarian Union.
Mr. Schwartz, Miss Hompes, Dr. Oberdörfcr, Mr. Egerod, Mr. C.
W. Forward, Mr. Schnitzer, Mr. Sibly, Mr. Noithenius and Mr. Hough
photo from the 1923 Congress
From reports of the 1926 Congress, held in London:
Mr. W. A. SIBLY, MA. (OXON), Headmaster of Wycliffe College, Glos.
, and author of the well-known pamphlet entitled "Vegetarianism
and the Growing Boy", presided over the Friday afternoon session.
He said that, subject to a few criticisms on points of detail, the
New Health Society had approved of the vegetarian diet as practised
at Wycliffe College. Dr. Hindhede (who was present that afternoon)
had thought it should be more simple. But even if the boys could get
sufficient nourishment from a potato diet, he doubted whether the
boys themselves would consider it satisfactory! The average boy was
not content to live on the simplest fare in the interests of science,
nor was he prepared to submit to the proposition that his stomach
should be regarded as a test tube. The vegetarian boys at Wycliffe
College were able to hold their own in studies and athletics in competition
with their meat-eating school-fellows.
of Dr. Hindhede in Nutrition Research in its Relation to Vegetarianism
- a paper by Mr. Oluf Egerod, read at the Congress. The refers to
Mr. Sibly's work at Wycliffe and includes a reply from Mr. Sibly published
in a later issue.
The Congress reports from 1929, 1932, 1935 and 1938 make no mention
of Mr. Sibly, though it is possible that he attended one or more of
An informal Springfield group taken during the war when the School
was moved temporarily to Lampeter, Cardiganshire.
(click for larger version)
the time of the 1947 IVU Congress, Mr. Sibly had become President of
IVU. It is not clear how this happened but there was probably an arrangement
in 1946 to get IVU started again after the war. He was also, by this
time, President of The Vegetarian Society (Manchester) which celebrated
its centenary in 1947.
Mr. Sibly was re-elected IVU President during the Congress.
From reports of the 1950 Congress, held in The Netherlands:
[programme]8.0 p.m. Welcome by International Vegetarian Union
President, W. A. Sibly, in the Congress Hall, and brief speeches by
8.0 p.m. Lantern Lecture by W. A. Sibly: " A Vegetarian Wanders
Around the Commonwealth." Mr. Sibly will deal especially with
at Oosterbeck as the President saw it - report by Mr. Sibly
THE 12th Congress of the International Vegetarian Union was held
from the 11th to the 18th July, 1950, at The Pietersberg, Oosterbeek,
Arnhem, Holland, under the Presidency of Mr. W. A. SIBLY, M.A.,J.P.
Mr. SIBLY, as President of the Union, thanked Mr. Fischer and the Dutch
Society for their warm welcome to Holland. He felt that in the adoption
of vegetarianism lay the best hope for the future mankind, and he expressed
the wish that the work of the Congress -during the following days might
be a turning point in the history of the Union and an inspiration to
The officers of the I.V.U. were elected as follows--President: W.
A. Sibly, M A. (Gt. Britain), . . .
The first lecture was given by the President, Mr. W. A. SIBLY, MA.
(Great Britain) who described, with lantern illustrations, his recent
visit to Australia and New Zealand. By means of a remarkably fine
series of slides, taken from his own photographs, Mr. Sibly imparted
much of the atmosphere in various parts of Australia and New Zealand,
interspersed with the many personal contacts he had made among vegetarians
and others two countries.
At the concluding session Mr. Sibly, said that the Congress had been
a very successful and happy one and that it had been distinguished
for the first time by the presence of delegates, as distinct from
visitors, from North America and Canada. He referred to the Youth
Camp which had been organized in conjunction with the Congress, and
thanked the staff of The Pietersberg and our Dutch friends for their
work in organizing the Congress and for their hospitality during the
course of the week.
Minutes of the Executive Committee, October 22, 1950: Mr.W.A.Sibly
in the chair, . . .
Minutes of the Executive Committee, July 17, 1951: Mr.W.A.Sibly in
the chair, . . Mr.Sibly asked that as much work as possible be passed
on from the Hon.Secretary to the Secretary to avoid duplication. . .
. [refers to the recent appointment of a salaried secretary]
Minutes of the Executive Committee, Easter, 1952: President W.A.Sibly
in the chair. . . . Mr.Sibly opened proceedings welcoming members expressing
special pleasure at the attendance of Mrs.Gasque & appreciating
the beautiful location chosen for the meeting. . . . Mr Sibly stated
his intention of retiring from the Presidency at the Congress in Sweden
feeling that this honour should be shared with others. It was agreed
that the Committee should make the following nominations at the Congress
- Past President Mr W.A.Sibly; President Mrs Clarence Gasque
From reports of the 1953 Congress, held in Sweden:
. . .Mr. W. A. Sibly, who showed us breath-taking pictures of his
wide travels, . .
unexpected and highly entertaining stage show was put on by Mrs. Gasque
and Mr. Sibly, when the former, on behalf of all those present and
many more absent, after a most gracious speech, presented our retiring
President with a token of our affection and sincere regard for one
who has done as much for the vegetarian movement as any living soul.
The spontaniety of the act and the -natural deep feeling that stirred
these two great leaders brought -warm and vociferous response from
the audience. (shown in the photo)
Officers of the International Vegetarian Union - elected at Sigtuna
. . .Past President, Mr. W. A. Sibly, MA., J.P., England. . .
Executive Committee, . . . Mr. W. A. Sibly, . . .
Minutes of the Executive Committee, October 18, 1953: Present - Past
President Mr W.A.Sibly . . . It was agreed to ask Mr Jones to surrender
his office as Assistant Treasurer and the Mr.Geoffrey Rudd should take
over this responsibility. Mr.Sibly generously offered to visit Mr.Jones
personally and communicate this decision in the most diplomatic and
friendly manner. This offer was warmly accepted. . . . Mr.Sibly with
the warm support of all present ecpressed thanks of the meeting to the
President, Mrs.Gasque, for presiding so ably, for permitting the meeting
to be held at her house and for the excellent lunch that preceded the
Minutes of the Executive Committee, May 1-2, 1954: 1st May Meeting
of Finance Committee
- Chairman: Past President W.A.Sibly, M.A. 2nd May Meeting of the International
Executive - Opening remarks by Chairman, Past President W.A.Sibly, M.A.
. . . Deputy President Egerod . . then invited Mr Sibly to take the
chair. . . . Mr Sibly expressed his surprise that vegetarian ideas would
be welcome in Russia. . . . Mr Sibly asked for financial details for
such an extensive plan . . . Mr Sibly asked for financial details for
such an extensive plan . . . Mr Sibly expressed his veiws that Mrs Walker
should travel with the secretary on his long tours. . . . with thanks
to the able chairmanship of Mr Sibly, the meeting closed.
From reports of the 1955 Congress in Paris:
Mr. Sibly, on the left, shortly before the Paris Congress
Officials Elected. The following were re-elected for a two year term
of office :- . . . PAST PRESIDENT-Mr. W. A. Sibly, M.A., J.P.. (Great
Britain). . .
Minutes of the Business Sessions . . . Present: . .
. Mr.W.A.Sibly MA, JP
Minutes of the Executive Committee, June 30, 1956: Present: - . . .
Mr W.A.Sibly, Past President (Great Britain) . . . Chairman - Mr Egerod
asked that Mr Sibly should take the chair and this was approved and
accepted by Mr.Sibly . . . Appointment of an Honorary Secretary. The
following were empowered to appoint an Hon.Secretary for the time being.
Messrs W.A.Sibly, James Hough & G.L.Rudd. . . .
Minutes of the Executive Committee, Sepember 27, 1957: Present :- Messrs
W.Arthur Sibly, . . .Present :- Messrs W.Arthur Sibly, . . .It was agreed
that Mr W.A.Sibly, the Past President, and Mr Harry Harris, the General
Secretary, should attend the Indian Congress, . . .
From reports of the 1957 Congress, held in India:
[pre-Congress] President's Eastern Tour
We welcome back our widely travelled President, Mr. W.A. Sibly, M.A.,
J.P., [this refers to The Vegetarian Society President, but he was
also Past-President of IVU] who has been touring the far East and
was entertained in Bombay and Delhi by organizers of the World Vegetarian
Congress in India. He congratulated the humanitarians of India on
staging the November Congress in the home of vegetarianism, and regretted
that in official Indian circles there is a bias towards a meat diet.
He thought this would greatly affect Indian culture and health adversely.
He also deprecated the export of monkeys for vivisectional purposes
in the West.
Mr. Sibly returns much impressed by the enthusiasm prevailing in India
for the cause of vegetarianism and the principle of non-violence.
Our President in India
Mr. W. A. Sibly, M.A., J.P., President of The Vegetarian Society,
at Bombay, when a party was given in his honour at 'I'he Purohit Hotel
Mr. Maganlal Shah (second from right in the front row).
Mr W.A.Sibly, M.A., J.P., in Delhi, with Mr J.N.Mankar [centre]
and Mr A.L.Jindal, Secretary of the Delhi Vegetarian Society
Mr W.A.Sibly, M.A.,J.P., being garlanded by Mrs Mehra Vakil; and the
Venerable M.V.Dharmawara, Buddhist advisor to the King of Cambodia,
with Mrs Rukmini Devi Arundale, Chairman of the Congress Reception
[during the Congress] At the inaugural dinner,
our President [of the Vegetarian Society] (Mr. W. A. Sibly,
M.A., J.P.) and your secretary found themselves to be the principal
speakers - a quite momentous occasion, and we were permitted to make
a presentation of our book "Why Kill for Food?" to Dr. Prasad.
Minutes of the Business Meetings: . . . Present: . .
.Messrs W.A.Sibly . . .
Election and Re-election of Officers: The following were approved
for a tern of office:- . . . First Past President: Mr.W.A.Sibly (England)
Minutes of the Executive Committee, May 9, 1958: PRESENT: . . . , Mr
W.A.Sibly (Past President), . . . Mr Egerod formally opened the meeting
and asked Mr Sibly to take the Chair. This was agreed. . . . A letter
from Mrs Gasque addressed to some Members of the Committee was read
and one from Mrs Gasque to Mr Sibly dated January 27th reporting her
ilness to be worse and that she did not expect to be in England in 1958.
Minutes of the Executive Committee, May 10, 1959: - Mr. Sibly was not
present and not mentioned.
From the reports of the 1960 Congress, held in Germany:
We have also been saddened by the death of our first Past President,
Mr. W.A. Sibly, M.A., J.P., who was a mainstay of The Union for as
long as most of us can recall.
- see also: A Memoir
- from the Wycliffe Journal, shortly after his death