Archive for the ‘Humanism’ Category

Humanist Jubilee

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 | Humanism

Last month, we celebrated 50 years of West Yorkshire Humanists.

Founded in 1967, the society has been through several different names and venues. We’re still going strong, as the local group for Leeds, Bradford and the surrounding area that is affiliated with the British Humanist Association and National Secular Society.

To celebrate in style, we booked our a carriage in Middleton Railway, the world’s oldest working railway, before finishing up with a banquet meal at Brasserie Blanc.

A total of 27 people joined us for the event, including one of the founding members of the group, Bob Tee. Bob served as treasurer of the group for 37 years, so I still have a long way to go to catch up to him!

I would like to say thank you to everyone who came along and made the day so special. See you in 2067 for the next Jubilee!

West Yorkshire Humanists 2017 AGM

Monday, June 26th, 2017 | Humanism

Earlier this month saw the 2017 AGM of West Yorkshire Humanists. It was a changing of the guard as Moz, our chair for almost the past decade, stepped down to let the younger dynamic young go-getters take over.

Laurence and Chris H were elected as joint chairs.

We then followed this with a group discussion on “should Humanism be political”. It seemed very apt given the same day was the General Election. Finally, we headed over to The George for some drinks.

HSoWY Winter Social 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016 | Events, Humanism

The annual West Yorkshire Humanist’s summer social has been running since long before my time. For the past two years, we have been running a picnic at Kirkstall Abbey. Last year, we also added a Winter Social, to fill in the gap left by the Atheist Society’s Winter Solstice meals.

This year we had ten people attend, including plenty of old faces, and some new faces too.

The venue was the Lawnswood Arms, as it was last year. The food was fine. It is a family-friendly and affordable pub, with mains priced around £7-10, so you got what you paid for: the food turned up edible and hot, with is all you really need when you have good company.

Holiday Food Drive 2016

Monday, December 26th, 2016 | Foundation, Humanism

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped out with the Humanist Action Group‘s 2016 Holiday Food Drive for local homeless shelters.

Once again it was a heroic effort from Sarann, charity coordinator at West Yorkshire Humanists, who organised the entire event. We also want thank Jo James for allowing us to use Mill Hill Chapel, and all the volunteers who donated items and turned up at the final boxing to help us package and deliver everything.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the event:

Humanist picnic 2016

Thursday, September 8th, 2016 | Humanism

humanist-picnic-2016

After the success of our summer picnic last year, we decided to repeat the same event for this year’s summer social. Kirkstall Abbey once again played host and the weather was once again kind to us.

Around 15 people turned up, along with loads of food. Michael even repeated his guided tour of the Abbey for those who wanted to attend. A good day all round.

SAL July 2016

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | Humanism, Music, Video

The July event of Sunday Assembly Leeds was on the theme of Yorkshire (it being Yorkshire Day the following day). Our speaker for the month, Mary from City of Sanctuary, spoke about the efforts to make Leeds a more inclusive and more welcoming place. The cake selection was also excellent, having had much left overs from the Humanist picnic the day before.

The Assembly Line performed as usual, just as a three piece this month. This left me as the only guitarist, but it could have sounded a bit worse.

The Housemartins – Happy Hour

Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict A Riot

West Yorkshire Humanists 2016 AGM

Sunday, June 12th, 2016 | Humanism
humanist-agm-2016
Sarann delivers her report on our charity work

Earlier this month we held our AGM at West Yorkshire Humanists. It was a really positive meeting: this year we have significantly increased our membership (more than 20% increase), turned a financial deficit into a surplus and have completed more charity work than ever before.

SAL May 2016

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 | Humanism, Video

The May 2016 Sunday Assembly Leeds had a theme of “friendship”. The Assembly Line performed two songs, I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts and With a Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles.

I’ll Be There For You

With a Little Help Frm My Friends

Political Islam

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 | Humanism

political-islam

At West Yorkshire Humanists this month, Dr Afshin Shahi delivered us a talk on Political Islam. He discussed the origins of international jihadism, the structural and identity problems facing countries in the Middle East and the potential problems we will face in the future – especially as climate change increasingly causes draught in the region.

One of the key messages in the talk is that trying to combat radicalisation is only really treating the symptoms and not the cause. If we want to solve the problem in the long term we need to look at the problems of inequality and unfairness that allow these ideologies to take hold.

The Problem with Methane

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Humanism

the-problem-with-methane

This month’s talk at West Yorkshire Humanists was John ‘Compost’ Cossham talking about “The Problem with Methane”.

John gave the same talk at Leeds Skeptics a year ago, and I came away with the same gloomy feeling this time, even though I knew what was coming. We are totally fucked. If we think we have fucked up the climate this far, wait until the feedback loops kick in. Climate change causes methane release, that causes more climate change.

John however, is much more upbeat. He is confident that we can change society, reduce our carbon footprint and continue boldly on as a species. He says the world can support all 7,000,000,000 of us, as long as we live in an ecological way. This was heartwarming because in the back of my mind I always wondered whether our population could actually be sustainable in the long term.

After the talk we held our usual social in The George, which was well attended also.