The Congress (15/18 June 2007) coincided with the extraordinary June which the UK suffered; but at least the weather stabilised during the weekend; and the Congress atmosphere was sweetness and light!
David Kelso presided with typical geniality which made newcomers feel immediately at home. There were 35 participants from 8 countries; so our internationalism was well demonstrated. Time was at a premium for some business purposes; but David made certain that words were not wasted and sound decisions reached!
Out guest speaker was Vladka Chvatalova who works as a translator with the European Union in Brussels. Her light-hearted lecture was about the Czech contribution to European culture; it went well beyond music! Her serious theme was working with the EU. In Brussels there is a language minefield; she gave us behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the expensive and often chaotic reality.
Other lectures were of uniformly high quality. Girvan McKay spoke about his attempt to translate William Auld’s early masterpiece, La Infana Raso into English and Scots. Jack Casey gave us solid facts about the utopianism of Robert Owen. Andrew Weir revealed the depths of linguistics. Hugh Reid explained the attempts being made to translate into Esperanto the blog of the vice-president of the European Union.
There was a banquet; an Ecumenical service and an Alternative; and a guided tour of Lanark with 20 intrepid Esperantists led by David Bisset.
There was an excursion on Monday to the Clyde Valley and Biggar.
Andrew Weir, our new vice-president, who is studying at Edinburgh University is perhaps the youngest in the history of the Scottish movement.
Next year the congress will take pace in Invershin, which is in the far north of Scotland: David Hannah is planning some delights in this incredible location!