Information about our society
Aims : To inform Quakers about Esperanto and Esperanto-speakers about Quakerism.
Methods : Meetings and exchanging information in Esperanto about Quaker affairs; promoting concerns amongst Quakers about language equality issues.
Key history notes
We hope to publish a fuller, revised version of our history on this page at a later date.
The paragraphs below were prepared by Douglas Draper of Oslo.
They cover mainly events from 1994 onwards.
KES was founded in 1921. At the end of the sixties '60, KES had almost 200 members in some 25 countries.
After the Second World War KES held meetings once a year, mostly in England.
Through the years KES published many booklets in Esperanto about Quaker themes. We still have some copies of these. See this page.
En 1995 a meeting of KES members was held in London. The Society was formally (as Quakers say) ‘laid down’, because committee members felt exhausted and nobody was available to serve as editor of the Society’s publication Kvakera Esperantisto (KE - Quaker Esperantist) – the last publised number was n° 134.
However the meeting appointed three trustees, who would look after the money of the Society and act as contacts for enquirers, until someone was ready to restart activities.
Elected trustees were Douglas Draper (Norvegio), Martin Howard and Eric Walker (England). After the death of Martin Howard in December 2003, we co-opted John Murray (Northern Ireland). In 2009 we co-opted Sally Phillips (England) and in 2010 David Kelso (Scotland). Tragically David disappeared in November 2010. Eric Walker acts as treasurer.
In 1995 KES assets stood at £3 000, but grew later to more than £10 000, mostly thanks to a legacy from Martin Howard.
In 1997, KES published La Kvakeroj, a translation of Les Quakers, an excellent book by Edouard Dommen, translated from the French by Jacqueline Lépeix.
Since then, the rise of the internet has opened new avenues :
In 2004 a mailing listwas established. In 2006 there were some 20 participants in this discussion group, from about ten countries. In time some addresses fell inactive, but others came on the scene to take part. In november 2014, there were 28 subscribers to this mailing list.
However KES has not been set up again with a formal membership and annual membership fee, as it has not needed money.
In 2005 we published a few pages in esperanto at www.kveker.org/esperanto.htm (this address is now being phased out).
On those pages a list of the remaining stock of KES publications appeared. The actual documents are under the care of Sally Phillips (Hastings, England).
An Esperanto translation of Queries and advices from Britain Yearly Meeting appeared in 2010 and is now available on our Texts page.
We are also planning to translate into Esperanto other classical Quaker texts.
Still pending is the question of how to render in Esperanto some specific Quaker expressions, e.g. meeting for worship, clerk, monthly meeting. Many proposals have been made, but consensus has yet to be found.
During the few past years some meetings have taken place. For instance in June 2005 ten Esperanto speakers took part in the Budapest Meeting for Central and Eastern Europe Quakers.
We also announced a KES members’ meeting in Poznan for July 2006. Key persons involved in KES attended. We took an overview of the then situation, revised the Society’s constitution and planned future activities. Another small meeting took place in Poznan at the end on May 2007. This was followed by a big event during the Meeting for Central and Eastern Europe Quakers in Poznan in 2007. Then 23% of all participants were Esperanto speakers and Esperanto was partly used there.
Since then contacts have mostly taken the form of e-mail using the discussion mailing list.
In 2011, In 2011 the current completely new multilingual website was launched as a project to be completed over time. It was set up by Mario (Switzerland), an Esperanto speaker for more than 25 years and a friend of Friends since 1995, linked to Geneva Monthly Meeting. He works under the name Noos and created this multilingual website for KES after the unforeseen deletion of various documents previously hosted on a university student's pages. KES called for help and Mario was able to retrieve the documents still reachable somewhere in the depths of the web. In July 2011 during the vacation of some Esperanto families in Lesjöfors (Sweden) Douglas Draper met with Mario. They worked intensively on the content.
Since then the www.noos.ch/kes website has been up and running with more content still to come. Websites are always "under construction", aren't they ? But you can help us enrich its content and/or translate pages !
Besides the new website other technological avenues have opened up. Since 2009 Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre has organized a web-based course for new Quakers and others interested. Besides an English version this course is available in 15 other languages, now including Esperanto. See moodle.woodbrooke.org.uk in general or our News page, for the course Quakers in esperanto.
In 2015, following the 100th Esperanto World Congress in Lille (France), a few Esperanto-speaking Quakers met to discuss and get to know each other. The meeting was interesting and very pleasant.
In 2016, a few Quakers gathered again during the World Esperanto Congress, but this time the 101st, in Nitra (Slovakia).