2020 congress: comments & photos

Australia-New Zealand Congress and Summer school – Auckland, New Zealand (10 – 19 January 2020)

The 2020 Congress and Summer school was held at St Francis Retreat Centre, 50 Hillsborough Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand.

Our special guests were Duncan Charters, the new president of UEA, and Stefan MacGill, a famous author and ex-vice-president of UEA (2013–2019). Among the program items were a games evening, a whole-day excursion to beautiful natural locations close to the city, a guided tour of Auckland Art Gallery, and a seminar for “Activist Development” (Aktivula Maturigo: AMO), which was about training Esperantists to increase their capabilities as activists for the language.

Download full program (in Esperanto) (304 KB PDF)

Group photo of congress participants
Back row: (from left) 1. Paŭlo Garwood, 2. Helen Palmer, 3. Georgia Naish, 4. Cecily Lee, 5. Vicky Crickett, 6. Rouan Van Ryn, 7. Franciska Toubale, 8. Emma Breuninger, 9. Chris Krageloh.
Middle row: 1. Martin Purdy, 2. Don Rogers, 3. Vere Williams, 4. Penny Vos, 5. Ivan Pivac, 6. David Dewar, 7. Karlo Egger, 8. Berni Heinze, 9. Michael Carney, 10. Erin McGifford, 11. Eileen Jones, 12. Paul Desailly, 13. Cindy Lu, 14. Stephen Pitney, 15. Mara Molnja (Marie Elliott).
Front row: 1. Kam Lee, 2. Ellen Thackray, 3. David Ryan, 4. Indrani Beharry-Lall, 5. Sandor Horvath, 6. Bradley McDonald, 7. Jonathan Cooper, 8. Heather Heldzingen, 9. Duncan Charters, 10. Stefan MacGill, 11. Zhang Wei (Wayne).
Missing from the photo: John Hyndman, Marumi Smith, Gary Smith.
Photo: Kam Lee

Emma Breuninger giving a talk to the group
Emma Breuninger speaking on “Vivo de ‘Germanaj Specialistoj’ en Sovetunio en la jaroj 1946 ĝis 1958”
Photo: Jonathan Cooper

People playing a game around a circular table
Games evening (winner of the Congress Photo Contest & the People’s Choice
Photo: Helen Palmer

See more photos »

Selected comments (translated from Esperanto)

  • I enjoyed Stefan’s conversations and his teaching. … The course location was very good, the food pleasant enough and the program interesting.
  • Lots of talking was very helpful for pronunciation and thinking on my feet. It helped a lot.
  • The excursion to the art museum with Jonathan’s guidance was also very informative and enjoyable. …
    For thirty years I have attended congresses in many countries in Asia and Oceania. All the programs and entertainment and excursions and food and theater and auction, etc. of the first E-event for 2020, in beautiful Auckland, were the best for me.
  • I loved the course and the congress. Finally, the opportunity to use Esperanto with more skilled and experienced Esperantists. Thank you! I learned a lot in the class for progessing students, especially as Stefan spoke on a wide variety of subjects, and he is a pleasant and experienced teacher.
  • The plays were fun. It was very helpful to communicate with Duncan and Stefan about the global movement and to meet – and meet again – members of our local associations.
  • Duncan Charters is extremely interesting and he is an expert on the language and topics. We were extremely lucky to have him among us. Everyone was good-natured and friendly. The atmosphere was always welcoming.
  • I liked the informal storytelling session, … the games, the photo contest and tree planting.
  • A beautiful atmosphere of friendship, friendship, cooperation.
  • I liked this congress very much. The meals were good. The performances were good. The location, the houses and the surrounding countryside were good. I really enjoyed communicating with many other people who mastered the language so well. I can’t find one point I didn’t like. I look forward to the next congress in which I can participate.
  • It was good that Duncan encouraged people to come up with something in his class. That worked well for the Esperanto speakers who one normally doesn’t hear from to introduce themselves as well.
  • The games helped a lot in learning Esperanto. If there were more games in the lessons, I think that would improve the course.

A compilation of all comments about the congress is available for members of AEA and NZEA – email info@esperanto.org.au

New UEA board elected

In its first session during the 104th World Congress, the Committee of UEA (Universala Esperanto-Asocio = World Esperanto Association) elected a new Board to lead the Association for the next three-year period.

UEA Board 2019

In the presence of 35 members of Committee A, representing the affiliated national and specialist associations, and 5 members of Committee B, elected by the individual members, the Committee firstly completed itself by the election of 9 members of Committee C: Duncan Charters, Andreas Diemel, Mark Fettes, Trezoro Huang Yinbao, Dennis Keefe, Zsofia Kóródy, François Lo Jacomo, Stefan MacGill and Rakoen Maertens.

There were nine candidates for the Board in total, including two candidates for President: Duncan Charters and Fernando Maia. The other candidates were Chen Ji, Trezoro Huang Yinbao, Aleks Kadar, Orlando Raola, Jérémie Sabiyumva, So Jinsu and Amri Wandel. The Committee needed three votes to decide on the size of the new Board, but finally supported the recommendation of the Electoral Committee on eight positions.

The most contested election was for the President. Both candidates confirmed their willingness to collaborate in a board led by the other, and both emphasized the need for a harmonious, collaborative atmosphere. In the first round, neither of the two candidates received the required majority. In the second ballot, Charters was elected with one more vote than Maia.

The new Board ended up as follows: Duncan Charters (president); Fernando Maia and Trezoro Huang Yinbao (vice-presidents); Aleks Kadar (Secretary General); and Orlando Raola, Jérémie Sabiyumva, So Jinsu and Amri Wandel. The division of tasks decided by the Board during its Wednesday session is as follows:

  • President: Duncan CHARTERS – Coordination, Strategy, Education, Relations with ILEI
  • Vice President: Fernando Jorge PEDROSA MAIA Jr – Central Office, Constitutional Reform, External Relations (except for UNESCO), America, Relations with TEJO, Relations with Member Organisations
  • Vice President: HUANG Yinbao (Trezoro) – Finances, UNESCO
    Secretary General: Aleks KADAR – Administration, Twin Cities, Esperanto Centres, Europe, Esperanto magazine
  • Orlando E. RAOLA – Culture, Congresses, Library, Publishing, Research and Documentation, Terminology
  • Jérémie SABIYUMVA – Africa, Activist Decelopment
  • SO Jinsu – Asia, Oceania, Informtion and Friends of Esperanto
  • Amri WANDEL – Scientific and Specialist Activities, Middle East and North Africa

The new Board took office on Monday, 22 July, within the framework of the third Committee meeting in Lahtio.

[UEA Press Release, No. 812, 2019-07-25 (translated) CC BY 4.0]

Four full days in Esperantoland

By Terry Manley (Armidale, NSW)

(English translation of an article originally published in Esperanto sub la Suda Kruco, vol. 26[2], no. 135, June 2019)

6 people working in the archive

I arrived at Esperanto House on Tuesday, 23 April, and met Franciska, who also came to help with the archive at Esperanto House. After a bit of a chat we went shopping and, returning to the club, had dinner. Dmitry had left a mattress and sheets for me on the upper floor where I slept. It was pleasing to hear Franciska’s fluent, clear voice and have a chance to talk [in Esperanto] face to face, which I miss in Armidale.

On Wednesday morning Sandor, Jonathan, and Heather with her granddaughter, Elizabeth, arrived. So there were six of us to fill the space and work on the archive. After a brief meeting… we started working. I write “started” but immediately there was hesitation, as we noted how much work we faced to classify, order, unbox, scan, record, etc, the contents of the room. But deciding that a journey of a thousand steps starts with the first, we started.

Heather and Franciska concentrated on putting the already numbered books in order onto the selves. And they continued doing this for three days, because there were so many books. I congratulate them for such diligent focus, without which the task would not have been completed. On the first day, Sandor and Jonathan explored boxes that contained Australian items, specifically photos. They also discussed the system of ordering books. Since others had already started with the Dewey system we agreed to continue likewise. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this system in the cases of specialist collections. The Esperanto collection is classified as if Esperanto were its own country, not as in a normal Australian library.

At 2:30pm we went to the state art gallery. Through Meetup Jonathan had organised to guide a group for one hour at 3pm. Our group and four others – James, Doris, Helen and Dmitry – met for the tour. Jonathan showed us some paintings from the collection and explained how you can see echoes of both shapes and colors in some paintings. He also showed us the use of the “golden ratio” by one painter. Five of us decided to stay on to look at some more paintings and to watch a film. The film was “A Touch of Zen” from Thailand, 1971.

Guided tour at the Art Gallery

On Thursday, Alan Turvey arrived at Esperanto House. Again, Heather, Franciska and I continued the shelving of the books, while Sandor, Alan and Jonathan photographed, digitised and recorded photos from the boxes. I feel that the work is a like a self-guided course, where we learnt about the Dewey system, how many books are involved in each category, and also how Esperantists have worked hard to create this literature, both original and translated, including specialist books. Some of us learnt how best to use a mobile phone to photograph things. We learnt about some treasures from our collection, first editions and rarities.

On Thursday evening four of us – Heather, Sandor, Franciska and I – went to meet [Esperanto speaker] Daniel Kane in Epping for dinner at a pizzeria. It was an evening of good-hearted chat, remembering the past and catching up.

On Friday six of us – Elizabeth, Heather’s granddaughter, had returned – worked on the archive. Up from the ground floor floated beautiful music from a Russian singing group, who had come to rehearse. Before starting we had the opportunity to visit the studio behind Esperanto House, and the artists who work in it. Hugh has leased the space from EFNSW (Esperanto Federation of NSW) since 1995 and has been successful enough to continue working there since. He has gathered a community of local artists and the atmosphere was vibrant and extremely interesting for us.

Then we managed to put nearly all the numbered books onto the shelves and do lots of photography. We also started to organise some Esperanto items such as those relating to UEA (World Esperanto Association): year books, congress books, etc. We want to acknowledge the work of those who had previously taken care of the archive. Ralph Harry, Peter Hai and Huigh Malcolm need special mentions. Many of the bound collections of newspapers are already on the shelves thanks to Huigh.

At 3pm we met together and showed each other what we had done individually and again summarised the group’s goals and discussed plans to continue the work. After 4pm many Russian children came to the club to paint and make other artefacts related to their culture. It was good to note that the club really lives through the extension to groups from other cultures. In the evening Franciska and I went to Newtown, where we ate in a Thai restaurant. By chance we bumped into Heather and Elizabeth on the street.

Early on Saturday, I went to Manly beach, where I enjoyed swimming in the clear, smooth waves. Later I met Roger Springer, Sandor and Franciska at the Bavarian Café. It was not a usual Saturday for that [Manly Esperanto Club], so we thank Roger for coming to meet us and for the drinks. Roger brought Eunice Graham’s photo albums to donate to the archive. Sandor and I said good-bye because we were going to a language festival in Gordon, which Dmitry had organised. It was a very friendly event with about 20 participants. We learned a bit about Tamil, Hindi, Arabic, Tangut (an ancient language near Mongolia), Dutch, and a language from a small group in Russia. Dmitry presented that last one. Also, Sandor introduced Esperanto.

Arriving at Esperanto House in Dmitry’s car, I was ready to rest, but the club was so active that this was not possible. In the courtyard was a group of actors and assistants who were making a movie in the artists’ studio. They ate and chatted. Dmitry, with a friend Sam, led a chess group on the upper floor. I looked in and there were 10–12 of them. In the room below Richard Delamore was teaching Esperanto to 12 young people. He entertained them with a lively lesson on the rules of the “good language”.

Feeling the need to wind down a little, I left the chess-lovers and young people to their activities. I walked with Sandor across the university grounds to the place where he was staying. It was more tranquil between the impressive sandstone buildings with their beautiful archways and courtyards, without the constant traffic going past.

Returning to the club I found it quiet. There was only a silent duo playing a final chess game.

Good night.

Three-day archive working bee

Between 24th and 26th April, Jonathan Cooper (Gosford, NSW), Heather Heldzingen (Melbourne), Sandor Horvath (Adelaide), Franciska Toubale (Melbourne) and Terry Manley (Armidale, NSW) participated in the archive working bee at Esperanto House, Sydney. Alan Turvey (Wyong, NSW) also participated on the 25th.

We started ordering books, scanned about 800 photos and discussed at length how to organize our books, magazines and other things. Some results will hopefully appear soon on our website. Of course, there is much more to do, so if anyone wants and is able to help, please contact us.

Helpers in the archive room

During the afternoon of the 24th, Jonathan led the group, plus several other Esperantists, through a part of the Art Gallery of NSW (where he worked for more than 30 years).

Group at the Art Gallery of NSW

Five aims of the archive

1. To conserve the collection

Esperanto House is the most continuously available place to keep the archive. So…
• Let’s explore how best to keep old rarities in the collection.
• We recommend purchasing suitable containers for conserving and displaying collection objects in safe conditions

2. Make the content available and promote it to the Esperanto community

The Internet would be the most effective means, but this depends on resources both human and technical. So…
• Let’s register the content on the website
• Let’s photograph where appropriate
• Let’s scan rarities
• Let’s lend for research

3. Promote through archive items

• Let’s exhibit rarities, either online or physically (in appropriate containers), for propaganda

4. Add items to the collection

• Let’s look for shortcomings in the collection, especially items about Australia, and ask Esperantists to donate

5. Sift through the collection

• Let’s separate non-rare duplicates: either put them in the library or – if these are superfluous – offer them to clubs or individuals

– Jonathan Cooper and Terry Manley

Passing of Margaret Chaldecott

Margaret Chaldecott
It is with great sadness that we announce that our dear friend Margaret Chaldecott passed away on 25 March 2019.

Margaret was a member of the Sydney Esperanto Society for a long time and, from 1964, has been at various times secretary, president and board member of the Esperanto Federation of New South Wales (and the editor of the newsletter “Telopeo”) and a board member of the Australian Esperanto Association. She was a delegate of UEA for many years.

Through dedicated members like Margaret, the movement has survived and prospered for many years and for this we are very grateful to her.

Esperanto speakers who knew Margaret are invited to the funeral, which will take place at Gregory & Carr, 850 Pacific Highway Gordon, on 4 April at 11am.

Esperanto on SBS radio

On 6 June 2018 a journalist (Amelia Dunn) and videographer from the Australian radio and television station SBS spent an hour and a half interviewing several Esperantists at Esperanto House, Sydney. The result (so far) is a short radio program/podcast: Universal but obscure language making a comeback with internet.

Joanne Cho talks to journalist Amelia Dunn as other Esperantists listen (Photo: Nicole Else)

 

Richard Delamore talks to journalist Amelia Dunn as other listen (Photo: Jonathan Cooper)