It was something of a first for the organization. The new president, Charles F. Bardorf was the first president of EANA who was not an American citizen. He was citizen of Canada. He was also first European immigrant to head the organization. And, he was the first chemist to lead the group. (Not sure how many, if any, seconds there were of any of these.) Charles F. Bardorf was the seventh president of the Esperanto Association of North America. The group was the Esperanto Association of North America in more than just name: from the beginning it included Canadian members and clubs, although the American side dominated it. There was also a Canadian Esperanto Association. Oddly enough some of the Canadian Esperanto groups were affiliated with the British Esperanto Association.
It hit the papers the following day, although the Post still referred to the events as happening “today.” In the Evening Star, it’s a very brief article, tucked in at the bottom of a page.
There’s almost no difference in the report in the Post.
Okay, the 15th, not the 16th. The 1921 congress of the EANA was held in Boston, and the other officers elected were from the United States, with two of them living in Boston. J. J. Sussmuth of New Jersey was elected vice-president, G. Winthrop Lee of Boston was the secretary with Miss E. J. Meriam as the assistant secretary, and B. Pickman Mann of Washington, D.C. was elected treasurer.
Montreal Man Is Esperanto Head.Boston, July 15.—Charles F. Bardorf, of Montreal, was elected president of the Esperanto Association of North America to-day.
Charles Frederick Bardorf was born on March 13, 1863 in Vienna, Austria of German parents (this biographical summary is based on a quick search of primary documents on Ancestry.com). He emigrated to Canada in 1872, and was naturalized in 1902. He married Mata Henriette Brandt on August 2, 1886, but was subsequently widowed (in 1896) and married Gertrude Wilhelmina Brandt (sisters? cousins? not sure) in 1898. He had children with both wives, and least two of his daughters became Esperantists (he seemed to have had three daughters, and the Esperanto records refer to them each only as “Miss Bardorf”).
And he was a chemist, or chemical engineer, depending on what document you’re looking at. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and even wrote a book on sugar refining (he worked for the St. Lawrence Sugar Refineries, Ltd.), The Elements of Sugar Refining. In 1921, the Canadian Chemical Journal noted his election and said, “you can never tell what these quiet men are doing on the side.”
Charles F. Bardorf is one of those forgotten Esperantists. Once well known throughout the movement, now faded to obscurity. But not if I can help it.
Update: It has been pointed out to me that the citizenship of Canadian nationals was somewhat mixed in 1902, as they were still British subjects. I have emended the text to reflect this.
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