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The ESU was launched on 28 June 1918 on the initiative of journalist, Evelyn Wrench together with sixteen friends, with the aim of promoting closer ties between English speaking peoples. The first public meeting was addressed by former Prime Minister, A J Balfour and Dartmouth House itself was opened in 1927 by Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. Since then, with the support and guidance of many distinguished public figures, the ESU has adapted and grown to meet the needs of a changing world. In a refurbished Dartmouth House, we are well placed to meet the challenges of the new century.

HISTORY OF ESU ARGENTINA

Message from
Mrs Mabel Mazzini, MBE
Vice-President ESU-Argentina
Having travelled to London, as a member of an official Argentine delegation, representing education, to foster the improvement of relationships between both countries, ,I was very pleased to have had the chance of visiting the English Speaking Union headquarters at Dartmouth House. Before this visit, ,I was not aware that such an organisation existed. Speaking to members of the committee, I came to the conclusion that it would be very interesting to open a branch in Argentina, due to the great influence the English language has had, and still has on all aspects of Argentine life. This ESU branch would be the first in South America.

When I arrived back in Buenos Aires I contacted several members of the many sectors, educators, businessmen, politicians and diplomats amongst others. The majority felt this was a very good initiative and even some of them agreed to become members of the Committee. Our first president was Mrs. Nelly Arrieta de Blaquier, followed by Ambassador Jorge Aja Espil and Mr. David Martin. Right from the start, we were very fortunate to have the great support of His Excellency the Ambassdor of the British Council, Mr. Harold Fish.

Finally on May 17th, 1993, ESU Argentina was officially launched at a cocktail party held at the residence of the British Embassy. Our priorities were to be able to offer scholarships to teachers for them to perfect their knowledge of the English Language and Culture, to reinforce the practical use of the English Language by organising debates and public-speaking competitions and bring together people at events which have a strong cultural flavour.

In these last four years we have been quite active. We have received various visitors from ESU headquarters, including Robert Freeburn, Valerie Mitchell, Baroness Brigstocke, who all contributed towards enhancing the importance of this organisation and its work. Every year a local public – speaking competition for youngsters from member schools is held and the winners are then offered the opportunity of travelling to London and participating in the International Competition held at Dartmouth, House. Students, student-teachers and teachers have had the opportunity to attend various seminars in the UK, thanks to the kind offer of scolarships by ESU headquarters.

An Argentine law student was able to sped some months working with a Member of Parliament and an economics student from England came to work at ICI.

A most innovative cultural exchange has been the farming experience, in which a farming student from Argentina is chosen to visit and work on different parts of our country.

In order to raise funnds to cover scholarship costs, ESU has held several lunches with important guest speakers, a fashion show at the residence of the British Embassy, where staff and students from member schools were the models, and a few plays represented by different local groups.

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The English-Speaking Union of Argentina
E-mail: esuargentina@fibertel.com.ar
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