International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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4th International Congress 1897
London, England

From The Vegetarian, London, October 9th, 1897:

Vegetarians Only !!!

In connection with the International Vegetarian Congress, the Vegetarian Federal Union held a meeting for "Vegetarians only," on the Tuesday evening, September 14th, at 6 p.m.. Major T. W. Richardson was in the chair, and in a short address he said that the object of the meeting was to help Vegetarians to know each other, and to have brief experience of speeches. He believed that the mere presence in a gathering of Vegetarians only constituted a powerful speech from every one present, even if not one word upon the subject were uttered. That every one must feel encouraged and strengthened in the work by looking around and realizing that all those present were actual Vegetarians and fellow-workers in the cause. He strongly urged that every Vegetarian should join at least one of the many Vegetarian Societies now existing ; as a Danielite he believed, of course, that the Danielite Order was the best and most perfect Society in the Vegetarian movement, being very much to the Vegetarian work what the Good Templars are to Temperance work - the backbone of the movement. He had found that the Good Templars retained seventy-five per cent. of their pledges, while open Temperance Societies had twenty-five per cent. who remained true. Above all, he recommended the getting of children to join one of the societies, for they, the children, are the hope of the future.

The meeting was then open for everyone who desired it, to give his or her experience. Mr. W. H. Taylor was the first to rise, and he was followed by Mr. W. Welch, Mr. Geo. Jones, and Frau Mertens, of Berlin, who spoke in German, and was translated by Miss C. Kofel. A quartette, "There is beauty on the Mountains," was sung by some members of the Vegetarian Quartette Party. Mr. Samuel Saunders, a Vegetarian of sixty years standing, next addresses the meeting, and was followed by Miss May Yates and Mr. D. W. Bishop Ackerman. Mr. J. C. Ward then kindly gave a selection on the English concertina, which was encored. Mr. Alfred H. Saunders was the next to speak, and he was followed by Miss Wolff van Sandau, Miss Disa May of Norway, and Miss Caroline Kofel. The members of the Quartette Party then gave a trio, "The Bells of St. Michael's Tower." The Rev. A. Bodington then addressed the meeting, and was followed by Mr. A. F. Scott.

The tickets of admission requested name and number of years of Vegetarian service to be inserted by the holder, and during the meeting these figures had been worked out. One or two life Vegetarians objected to state the number of years they had been abstainers, so the committee estimated them, and thus the following results were arrived at. There were over 730 years of Vegetarianism there represented. The average years of Vegetarian practice was eleven for each person. The highest number of years by one individual was sixty. And six of those present were life Vegetarians.

Mr. J. C. Ward then gave another selection on the English concertina, and thus ended one of the most encouraging, and, we may say, probably one of the most useful, meetings that have ever been held for the Vegetarian cause.