International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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1950 Congress

1953 Congress

1955 Congress

1957 Congress

Gloria (Maude) Gasque
IVU President, 1953-59

All the formal records refer to 'Mrs. Clarence Gasque'. Her husband was Clarence Warren Gasque was born in 1874, died on October 12, 1928.

  • "Master" - Gloria Gasque, of the Mazdanan Movement (from The Vegetarian World Forum, Spring 1947)
  • Peace & Diet - Gloria Gasque (from The Vegetarian World Forum, Spring 1948)

12th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1950- Oosterbeck, Netherlands - extracts from various reports:

Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.), in speaking on behalf the American Vegetarian Union, brought with her a huge banner which was inscribed: "Vegetarians of all nations unite; you have a world to gain for justice, kindness, health, happiness, peace, progress and prosperity."

The officers of the I.V.U. were elected as follows - Vice-Presidents: . . .Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.) . . .

The President announced that through the generosity of Mrs Gasque it would be possible for the I.V.U. to appoint a paid Secretary, with Headquarters in Gt. Britain,* and that such an appointment would be made by the officers of the Union by the end of 1950.

Mrs. Gasque offered to subsidise an I.V.U. office and Secretary, provided it was in London, and suggested that the Secretary should be a woman. The Committee will decide about the Secretary at a meeting in September.

The Congress in Holland, however, will certainly be a turning point in the history of the Union. Chiefly as a result of the kindly interest and generosity Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.) it will be possible, in the very near future to appoint a Secretary with an official address in Great Britain.

During the week there were interesting lectures from . . . Mrs. Gasque on "The Vegetarian Movement in North America ";

More than all else, the Congress was noteworthy for the participation, for the first time, of delegates from North America. The new American Vegetarian Union was represented by Mrs. Clarence Gasque (widely known as Mother Gloria) who for sheer eloquence and vitality is not easily to be surpassed,

Mrs. CLARENCE GASQUE (U.S.A.) said that she did not recognize nations as such-she was more concerned with human life and with whatever was noble-in that she was interested. She referred to the many phases of our vegetarian philosophy-humanitarian, economic, psychological, physiological, health, philosophical, religious, no less than the important aspect of the treatment-or maltreatment--of the soil. Speaking of America, she said that the advertizing companies required to he called to a halt : they were "psuchologizing" the human mind, and had reached a stage which made her refrain from turning on her radio. She described an incident in Kashmir in which the carrots, potatoes and other garden produce had been grown on foul land, and where it was necessary to cleanse the soil before the vegetables were fit to eat. If this were done, she said, the soil could live naturally and healthily, and nature would be certain to give her best in return. Mrs. Gasque stressed the great importance of demonstrating vegetarian meals. She had, herself, done much in that direction but she made it clear how vital it was to present those dishes in a nice and attractive form, and how necessary it was for us to be reasonable in our approach, other-wise we should never get adherents to our cause.

Mrs. Gasque concluded, as she had begun, on a high level, emphasizing the fact that our object as vegetarians was to ascertain our relationship with life at every stage.

Minutes of Executive Meeting held at the Grand Hotel, Manchester, at 2.30pm on the 22nd October 1950. (Mrs. Gaque was not present)

"That, subject to the confirmation of Mrs.Gasque, Mr.Hanworth Walker of Rainshll, Lancashire, be appointed Secretary of the Union at a salary of £600 per annum,. . ."

Having regard to the favourable report submitted by Mrs.A.Sorge, following her investigations into the status of this Society, and the subsequent support of Mrs.Gasque, it was agreed to accept the V.U.D. (Vegetarier-Union Deutschland) as a member of the I.V.U.

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held at Mercury House, 43 Lancaster Grove, London, NW3. On 17th July 1951 at 11a.m. - Mrs Gasque was not present, refers to financial mattersw.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee held at Bloemendaal, near Haarlem, Holland over Easter 1952 - includes many references to Mrs. Gasque funding IVU, ending with a proposal that she should be nominated as President at the next Congress.

13th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1953 - Sigtuna, Sweden - Mrs Gasque was elected President of IVU during the Congress. The following all give details of her patronage:

The International Vegetarian Youth Camp, August 1952
- held "Through the generosity of Mrs. Gasque".

Meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Vegetarian Union held in London at 2.30pm on Sunday the 18th October 1953 - Mrs Gasque in the chair, the meeting held at her home

The extract below from 'Olga - the memoirs of Olga La Marquise de St. Innocent' published in 1974. Olga was the wife of Woodland Kahler, President of IVU from 1960-71 (they are the couple behind the two men shaking hands in the Paris photo):

. . . At that time, the president of the I.V.U. was an rich American woman, Mrs. Clarence Gasque, who owned the Woolworth five- and ten-cent-stores in London and had a house in the middle of Hampstead Heath surrounded by green lawns and beautiful old trees. Mrs. Gasque flew to New Hampshire in the summer of 1954 to confer with Woody [Woodland Kahler] and she agreed to all his plans.

A message of goodwill and encouragement was read from the President, Mrs Gasque and an airmail reply signed by all present was depsatched in return.

14th World Vegetarian Congress 1955 - Paris, France

Delegates were received on Sunday evening by Mrs. Clarence Gasque (President of the I.V.U.) attended by members of the Executive Committee, prior to the inaugural dinner.

A special session for the ladies of the Congress was held with Mrs. Gasque in the chair.

Officials Elected. The following were re-elected for a two year term of office :- PRESIDENT-Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.).

Meeting of the Executive Committee, at the I.V.U. Offices, at 24 Binney Street, London W.1. on the 30th June, 1956 (Mrs Gasque was not present)

Notice to General Secretary - it was resolved that this meeting of the IVU Committee, . . . with the agreed support of the President (Mrs Clarence Gasque) . . . .regrets that owing to unforseen circumstances it has become necessary to give Mr Hanworth Walker (General Secretary) six months salary in lieu of notice, as from this date.

Resignation of Mrs Gasque - The Committee received with deep regret Mrs Gasque's proferred resignation and it was resolved that in the interests of the I.V.U. she should be asked to reconsider her decision to resign as President and that the Committee should place on record its deep appreciation of her many services.

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on the 27th, September 1957 at the I.V.U. offices, 24 Binney Street, London W.1.

The absence of Mrs Gasque (President) was regretted, and it was reported that she was in a London Hospital with a knee injury, and so unable to attend.

[letter from the Secretary] Following the termination of Mr.Hanworth Walker's employment as paid secretary of the International Vegetarian Union, I have been asked by the President, Mrs Clarence Gasque, to act as Honorary Secretary for the time being, so that the work will not lapse. . . . Mrs Gasque has generously agreed to maintain the Offices at 24, Binney Street, London, W.I.

15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957 - Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India - Minutes of the Business Meetings

Opening speech by Rukmini Devi: "Our warmest welcome is offered to the President of the Congress, Madame Clarence Gasque. She is the President of the International Vegetarian Union and it is due to her encouragement and enthusiasm that this Congress as well as similar Congresses in the past have been made possible. Under her direction, the International Vegetarian Union has been giving magnificent service to the world. I am fortunate in having known her for many years and I know she combines the rare virtues of compassion and generosity. In her acceptance of the ideal of brotherhood she includes not only human beings but also the animal kingdom. This has inspired her to give support and leadership to a cause which is the real founda-tion of health and happiness for all. It is difficult to express in words our gratitude to her for taking so much trouble to guide the work of the Congress and for coming such a long way to preside on this occasion. India welcomes her and it is our hope that she will visit this country often as we consider this Congress to be only the beginning of greater work to follow."

Present: Mrs Gasque (President),
The following were approved for a term of office:- President: Mrs.Clarence Gasque (USA)
Mrs Gasque was thanked for her generous support

[from a congress report] Mrs. Clarence Gasque, President of the I.V.U., had flown from Mexico for the Bombay sessions, despite her knee injury, and took the chair at social and business meetings.

Report from Toronto - in the souvenir book: "During the past year, the Toronto Unit has been inspired by such eminent visitors as . . . Mrs. Gasque, . . . Mrs. Gasque again raised our thinking to a lofty, ethical plane and deepened our awareness of responsibility to all creatures."

on 9 May 1958, International Vegetarian Union, MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

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 illness to be worse and that she did not expect to be in England in 1958.

16th World Vegetarian Congress 1960 - Hannover and Hamburg, Germany

The period under review has been overshadowed by the sudden loss of our generous patron and President, Mrs. Clarence Gasque, of America. Her financial help over many years enabled The I.V.U. to increase its work and have offices with a paid staff in London.

In her opening remarks the Chairman said her first duty was to propose a resolution that messages of sympathy be sent to relatives of Mrs Clarence Gasque (late President), Mr W A Sibly MA JP (late Past President), and Mr H Harris FSAA (late General Secretary). The resolution was adopted and the Meeting stood in Silent Tribute to their memory.

photo below from the Souvenir book of the 1957 IVU Congress, the photo appears to have been from when she was younger:

From The British Vegetarian, March/April 1960 [this refers to her as Maude, when her name Gloria - but she signed some of the minutes as 'Maude', and Geoffrey Rudd did know her personally, so maybe that was how she was known....]:

Late President of the International Vegetarian Union and
Vice-President of The Vegetarian Society and the London Vegetarian Society

The vegetarian movement lost an ardent supporter on the 23rd December, 1959, with the death of Mrs. Maude Gasque, of Tecate and Los Angeles, California.

She was President of The International Vegetarian Union, a Vice-President of The Vegetarian Society, and an advocate of the teachings of Dr. Otoman Hanish, founder of Mazdaznan.

An extremely wealthy woman, she could well have lived in idle luxury, but, imbued with an overriding desire to better mankind and relieve the creature kingdom of its suffering, she threw herself whole-heartedly into the vegetarian and animal welfare movements.

Her generosity gave tremendous impetus to the various organisation which had her interest, and, as a patron of the arts. She helped promising artists and musicians to study without financial worries. Numerous young people were also quietly helped with their education in colleges and universities.

It is difficult to fully appreciate the burden of her position for she was constantly beset with appeals for money from all quarters - she hardly dared make friends because of the inevitable 'touch' - but she bore the loneliness occasioned by her responsibility with courage and was a loyal friend to those whom she could trust.

The International Vegetarian Union was fortunate in having her patronage, which enabled it to have London offices and a paid staff from 1950 until recently, when honorary officials were again appointed.

Mrs. Gasque travelled extensively and took the chair for the I.V.U. at Congresses in Holland, Sweden, France and India. She was a forceful speaker and a gracious Chairman. Delegates to International gatherings were often very surprised to find themselves persuaded by an apparently elderly lady to attend before-breakfast calisthenics and then be led with a youthful energy extremely hard to emulate!

Outstanding characters are sometimes difficult to get on with. Mrs. Gasque was no exception. She knew her own mind and had no hesitation in expressing it; but her displeasure was only aroused when colleagues failed to come up to the high standard of performance she expected-delinquents, having felt the lash, were usually rewarded by a sweet understanding which was part of her nature.

All who knew her and worked with her were conscious of her very deep appreciation of spiritual values, a wide knowledge of diet health and disease, and the enthusiasm she brought to all aspects of reform.

Her generous patronage will be missed, but so will her personal influence

G.L.R. [Geoffrey Rudd]