International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Mr. William Axon
Full name: William Edward Armytage Axon 

The first Congress President, 1909
Congress Committe member 1910

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), August, 1889:

COLOGNE VEGETARIAN CONGRESS. - As already announced, the Old German Natural Living Society has arranged for an International Congress, to be held in Cologne on the 14th to 16th September next, to which they cordially invite as many Vegetarians as may be able to go from England. The Vegetarian Society will be represented, we hope, by the Rev. Professor Mayor, president; Mr. William E. A. Axon, honorary secretary ; . . .

From The Vegetarian (London), October 12, 1889, reporting on the first meeting of the Vegetarian Federal Union:

TUESDAY, the first inst. [October 1, 1889], was an important day for the Vegetarian body. The constitution of the new federation of Vegetarian Societies was discussed and settled by the assembled delegates of the various Societies. The meeting took place at 3 p.m., in the Board Room of the Memorial Hall, Farringdon-street, E.C. Mr. A. F. Hills, President of the London Society, took the chair. The Societies represented were as follows : Messrs. Axon (Vegetarian Society, Manchester), . .

In the election of officers for the ensuing year, Mr. A. F. Hills (President of the London V. S.), was elected Chairman; Prof. Mayor (Cambridge V. S.), and Mr. W. E. A. Axon (Vegetarian Society, Manchester), vice-Chairmen; . . .

The Vegetarian (London), November 2, 1889, reporting on the 2nd VFU Meeting in Manchester mentioned that Mr. Axon was present.

From The Vegetarian (London), January 18, 1890, reporting on a meeting of the VFU:

The third gathering, under the auspices of the Vegetarian Federal Union, took place on the 7th inst., . . Mr. Axon attended as a delegate from the Vegetarian Society, Manchester. . . Speeches followed by Mr. Hills, Mr. Axon, and Mr. Josiah Oldfield, . . .

From The Vegetarian (London), May 31, 1890, reporting on the 4th VFU meeting: "A letter from Mr. W. E. A. Axon was also read, challenging the accuracy of the minutes, . . ."

From The Vegetarian (London), September 20, 1890, reporting on a meeting of the VFU, prior to the International Vegetarian Congress held in London:

The draft list of Vegetarian literature compiled by Mr. W. E. A. Axon, was presented to the Union and on the motion of Mr. Forward, seconded by Mr. Hall (Sheffield), it was resolved to print and publish the catalogue. . . . It was determined to send Mr. W. E. A. Axon a vote of thanks for his kindness in compiling the list of Vegetarian literature for the use of the Union [VFU].

From The Vegetarian (London), May 23, 1891:

With respect to the list of Vegetarian literature kindly presented by Mr. Axon, the same has not yet been printed through lack of funds. Probably the coming season will see this stumbling block removed, and ths a valuable paper brought into circulation.

From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), August, 1893: Vegetarian Congress Chicago - report written by Mr. Axon giving details of his trip. The 'Welcome home to the Deputation' gives further details.

From The Vegetarian (London) January 26, 1895, reporting on the VFU Annual Meeting: "proposed . . that the Vice-Presidents should be . . . Mr. W. E . A. Axon . . ."

From The Vegetarian (London) February 1, 1896, reporting on the VFU Annual Meeting; "VICE-PRESIDENTS (honoris causa) - Rev. Professor J. E. B. Mayor, William E. Axon, Rev. H. S. Clubb, Josiah Oldfield."

From The Vegetarian (London) November 7, 1896, reporting on the VFU Autumn Congress at Bristol: "Papers were then read from the pens of . . . ; Mr. W. E. A. Axon on "The increase of cancer - a warning note" ; . . .

From The Vegetarian (London) June 19th, 1897, reporting on the VFU General Committee: "The General Committee was summoned to meet at Ramsgate at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1st. The following were present : . . ; also as visitors, Mr. Axon and Mr. Tongue.

From The Vegetarian (London) August 21st, updated August 28th, September 4th and September 11th, 1897, giving the programme of the International Vegetarian Congress to be held in London: "PAPERS:- . . .
- A Note on the Food Supply of Great Britain by W. E. A. Axon Esq.. . ."
From The Vegetarian (London), September 25th, 1897, reporting the above Congress: ". . papers by Messrs. Forward and Axon, the latter being represented by the Rev. J. Clark. . ."
From The Vegetarian Messenger, Manchester, October 1897, reporting on the above Congress: "In the afternoon, papers by . . . Mr. W. E. A. Axon, . . . were read."

The Vegetarian (London), April 6, 1901, reporting on a VFU Committee Meeting mentons that Mr. Axon would be presenting a paper at the June Congress.

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) January 1905, The Vegetarian Congress at St. Louis during the World's Fair, USA, 1904. Gives details of Mr. Axon's participation.

In 1908 the International Vegetarian Union was founded in Dresden, Germany.

From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), March 1909:

The Committee of the International Vegetarian Union ... met at Rotterdam, on the 14th February. The arrangements for the 1909 International Congress to be held in Manchester were made. It was decided to elect Mr. W. E. A. Axon, LL.D., president for the year, ...

Mr. Axon was by this time President of The Vegetarian Society, based in Machester, UK, and the next Congress had been arranged for Machester in October 1909. This made Mr Axon the first person to be accorded to title of 'President' within IVU. It became the custom to hand over the Congress Presidency to the President of the Society hosting the next Congress, so Mr Axon's term of office would have ended on October 16. 1909 (this procedure continued until 1932 when a longer term IVU President was elected).

He was on the Organising Committee of the next Congress, held in Brussels in 1910. The Vegetarian Messenger reported in July 1910:

... The two delegates from Manchester, representing the Vegetarian Society, were Dr. Wm. E.A. Axon and Miss Hompes. Dr. Axon gave a few words of greeting in true hearty English, ....Dr. Axon also read a short paper in French on "Vegetarianism and the Intellectual Life" at a later date in the Congress. ...

The above is the only reported use of the title 'Dr.' . He was totally self-educated but was awarded a degree by Wilberforce University in 1889, Honorary LL.D. and then just before he died in 1913, Manchester University awarded him an honorary MA. Many thought he should have received it much earlier. At present we have no further information available about Mr Axon himself, but there is a great deal in the archives of The Vegetarian Society UK, and we hope to reproduce that here in due course.

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