Darwin Day 2018
The Annual celebration of Charles Darwin´s birthday took place on February 12th. It is 209 years since Darwin was born. This year´s entertainment was a film show by our member Deryck, of the RHS gardens at Wisley, and also film of a variety of beautiful local flowers and insects. This was followed by the third instalment of our member Annie´s talk on Charles Darwin´s voyage of the Beagle.We left him on the west coast of South America, and look forward to hearing about his visit to the Galapagos islands next year.
This was followed by lunch, after which we sang happy birthday and consumed the birthday cake.
Summer Solstice 2018 Celebrations
Thirty-five members and friends of the Humanists of Murcia met on the beach in Bolnuevo to celebrate the Summer Solstice (a bit late).
Everyone brought food to accompany the usual fried chicken and bread provided by the Treasurer.
Before the meal started, games of Petanca and Giant Jenga (provided by Deryck), started, couple against couple. After intense competition, Diane and Liam won the final of the Petanca, while (amazingly) Jon & Joan narrowly beat off last year’s finalists Tom & Jan.
Along with the games, which gathered a large audience of passers-by, a student band and Spanish hen/stag party stopped to chat.
The feasting began with salads, sausage rolls, potato salad, chicken, and proceeded to a montón of puddings. A great evening of food, games and friends.
Thanks to Ann/Martin and Audrey for the tables, Vince, Liz and Rik for judging and Jon & Joan for organising the show.
Winter Sostice Celebration 2017
In celebration of the passing of the shortest day of the year, and the start of the journey back towards longer summer days, we held a “Pot Luck Lunch” at Cortijo Raja, Morata. Luckily the weather was excellent and we were able to dine Al fresco.
The group included members, family and friends, and the large selection of festive fare which they brought provided an ample lunch for all.
Ruma´s general knowledge quiz provided some exercise for the brain after the meal.
Humanists of Murcia Remembrance Day Event 2017
The third annual act of remembrance took place on Saturday November 11th.in the Parque Miguel Angel Blanco in Mazarron. This park is a memorial to Miguel Angel Blanco, who was a local politician in the Basque Country, whose murder by terrorists in 1997 caused an outcry, and even caused some ETA members and supporters to rethink their violent campaigns. It is therefore particularly fitting that our commemoration should take place there.
The Act of Remembrance was led by the group´s celebrant, Sue McDonald, and four members gave their reflections on war and our reactions to it, or read appropriate poems.
The two minute´s silence was followed by the laying of a wreath at the base of our commemorative cherry tree with it´s memorial stone.
The morning was rounded off by coffee and cakes at the Calle Delicias cafe
Autumn Equinox Celebration 2017
A high quality old fashioned afternoon tea was the focus of our equinox celebration.
Dainty sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, croissants and delightful little cakes were all served on elegant English china, transporting the lucky participants to another time and place, as well as amply satisfying their appetites.
Pleasant surroundings and plenty of opportunity to chat with friends old and new provided a thoroughly relaxing afternoon.
The next events on our calendar, at which you will be very welcome, are the Darwinian gardeners trip to Bodegas Cerdas at Hondon on Saturday Sept. 30th, the first easy walk of the new season at Totana, and the Philosophy group meeting on October 10th. For further details please contact us via the website Humanists of Murcia.com
If you would like to arrange a non religious funeral, wedding or naming ceremony, you can contact us via the website, or speak directly to our humanist celebrant on 634025711
First Games Evening 2017 Season
The first games evening of the 2017 Autumn season was held on Wednesday 27th September at Anne Busche´s house at La Majada.
Several members and their friends attended and enjoyed an evening playing RummyCub, Mexican Train and Triangular Dominoes.
Summer Solstice Celebration 2017
The shade under the trees at Bolnuevo beach once again provided the venue for our celebration of the summer solstice. As usual, food took centre stage, with various salads provided by those attending to accompany roast chicken, and several dishes for the non meat eaters, followed by trifles, apple crumble, several kinds of cake, and the biggest fruit salad in the world.
Despite having eaten more than an elegant sufficiency, the evening continued with the petanca and Jenga tournaments. The hero of the hour was Tom, who managed to be a finalist in both competitions, which drew to a close as the sun went down, as it must, even on the longest day of the year.
Humanists of Murcia Vernal Equinox Lunch
Thirty humanists assembled for lunch at the Boca Pizza restaurant in Puerto on 21st March 2017. After an excellent meal the entertainment began with the modelling of entries for the hat competition. The brief was to decorate a hat, in any style of choice, to reflect the meaning of the Equinox, and we were rewarded with a wide variety of imaginative designs.
Spring flowers, both real and artificial, suns and moons, day/night , 23.5 degrees, and rabbits ears with carrots, were all in evidence, and showed off the skill and enthusiasm of our members.
The worthy winner, judged by ballot, was a hat decorated with a clever combination of a spring, a horse and an ox, made by Deryck. His prize of a chocolate egg was immediately recycled into being the prize for his word puzzle quiz, which he said was straightforward but most people found quite hard.
Altogether an enjoyable afternoon with the Equinox thoroughly celebrated.
March Games Evenings
The Humanists of Murcia, guests and friends enjoyed Games Evenings on two occasions during February and March; one at Anne and Martin´s house at Puerto de Muriel and more recently at Annie Busch´s house at La Majada.
Games of Rummi Cub and Mexican Train proved to be ever popular as well as some card games such as whist.
Darwin Day 2017
On 11th February, the threat of rain in the Espunas was enough to persuade the Easy Rambling group to postpone their planned walk. No one likes to walk in soggy boots, right? Anyway, the inclement weather did not put a damper on the annual Darwin Day celebrations (a day early this year), and 16 Humanists sat down to a delicious lunch at Restaurante El Mandola, near Aledo.
After postre, Annie Busch gave us a fascinating talk on Charles Darwin's epic voyage of discovery aboard The Beagle 1831-36. Darwin was not a good sailor, but once on land he spent his time observing animals, birds and insects, whilst amassing huge collections of specimens, which he studied in minute detail. In Brazil, he encountered the evils of slavery and was shocked by the callous actions of a plantation owner who sold off members of a family to different buyers, with no more compassion than if they had been livestock.
After a short pause for coffee, in came the cake. Not quite big enough for 208 candles, we made do with a representation instead.
This was followed by a somewhat unorthodox version of Pass the Parcel, involving a straw hat, false beard, and a pair of oven mitts; the winner receiving a small fossil. All good fun!
January 2017 Games Evening
A small group of Humanists and friends celebrated the first Games Evening of 2017 on 25th January, at the home of Audrey Berry in La Majada. The usual favourites of Mexican Train and Rummi Cub proved as popular as ever, as well as Cribbage and other card games.
Refreshments were provided by Audrey and other members and were up to the usual high standard.
Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
The Solstice this year was celebrated by 33 people at the Avenida restaurant in Puerto. The day began with coffee and chat, soon followed by the start of proceedings proper, the quiz, devised and hosted by member Deryck Davison and his little elf helper, score keeper (and wife), Margaret.
We were seriously impressed by the level of preparation undertaken, with high quality score sheets, three separate picture rounds, each in it´s own beautifully decorated differently coloured envelope, and a very smart Joker card , for each team. Clearly a quiz of quality.
So the first round was general knowledge, which lulled us into a false sense of security, as all teams scored quite highly. We were soon disabused, as we undertook sections which seemed to most of us to be of ever increasing difficulty. More coffee and toast at the halfway point helped to sustain us.
This was also the time for explanations of our sun related gifts of food and toiletries for the GoMad charity. The winner of the prize, for the most ingenious explanation of how his gift was related to the sun, received a bottle of Anis El Mono, which has connections to Charles Darwin. All good humanist fun.
Our celebrations concluded with a good lunch, as they usually do, and well deserved thanks to Deryck and Margaret for a really good day
November Games Evening
The November games evening was hosted by John and Rhian Blakey, as our usual venue was not available. Their ample refreshments were supplemented by more delicious cake, and cava , supplied by members, so the evening was off to a good start.
Perennial favourites, Mexican train and Rumikub were once again very popular, with some of us being introduced to both of them for the first time. John bravely undertook to introduce additional card games, which some of us were new to, and others had vague memories of from childhood. All very enjoyable.
If you would like to join us for some innocent fun, and possibly cake, you are very welcome. As we are not sure about the venue at present, please feel free to phone 669 338 885 for more information.
HoM Attend International Mortals Meeting at Ontinyent
On Saturday 27th May 2106 a group of Humanists of Murcia travelled to Ontinyent (Valencia) to attend the International Mortals meeting organised by Manel Salado of Associació per a l'Humanisme.
The event was organised by fellow humanist Manel Salido, who has recently founded a group in Ontinyent. He is very pro active and intends to set up an umbrella group for humanists and other free thinkers,sceptics, secularists and rationalists in Spain. It appeared that apart from ourselves and Manel´s group, all the others represented campaigning groups.
Speaking at the meeting were our founder, John Blakey and President, Anne Edwards who spoke about how our club originated and developed to the present day. We also heard addresses from the following organisations:
IHEU, Internatinonal Humanist Ethical Union: Giovanni Gaetani, Based in London in the same building as Humanists UK
EHF, European Humanist Federation. Marc Soignet. Based in Brussels
València Laica, Raquel Ortiz Part of the international movement to separate church and state
UAL, Unón de Ateos y Librepensadores, Albert Riba
AVALL, Associació Valenciana d’Ateus i Lliurepensadors, Marc Cabanilles
Escépticos en el pub, Valencia, José Blanca Promote university level scientific debate at meetings in Pubs.
ARP, Sociedad para el Avance del Pensamiento Crítico, Jesús López Amigo
Following the addresses the meeting evolved into a lively floor discussion in which all were invited to participate .It was quite thought provoking, inasmuch as freedoms and attitudes which we as British people take for granted are much more contoversial in other societies-
The meeting wound up with food and a pop concert, and on Sunday the more energetic amongst us were taken on a very interesting walk near the village of Bocairent, where they afterwards joined the more leisurely types for an excellent lunch.
The Humanists of Murcia gathered at the Gardens de Miguel Angel Blanco in Mazarron on 11th November 2106 for a short Memorial Ceremony of remembrance, in recognition of all those who lost their lives in previous and current conflicts.
The Ceremony lasted for about 30 minutes and included readings conducted by various members, and the laying of a wreath and other mementos at the base of a cherry tree planted the previous year by the Humanists of Murcia.
After the Ceremony, everyone gathered for coffee at cafe Calle Delicias in Mazarron.
Vernal Equinox Party
On Sunday March 20th the Humanists of Murcia celebrated the Vernal Equinox, with a lunch at the home of members Anne and Martin, near Morata. Despite cloudy weather in the preceding days, and a doubtful forecast, the day dawned bright and clear and with very little breeze, and balloons and bunting were soon in position.. Which was just as well, as if the 36 people attending had needed to be indoors it would have been even more friendly than our gatherings usually are.
Our hosts had offered to provide soup and wine, and members soon began to arrive with a wonderful selection of dishes both sweet and savoury, and including a good spread for the non- meat eaters among us. The sun shone, the wine and conversation flowed in equal measure and a thoroughly relaxing afternoon was enjoyed by all.
By way of a nod to a healthy life style, most of us went for a stroll up the rambla with the resident dog, from where we could experience even more expansive views.
Charles Darwin’s Birthday Celebrations
Congratulations to Buddy and Paco for being second, after the Wolverines (Colette and John), at the Saladillo
meeting point. Twenty-five walkers set off on the Humanists of Murcia Easy Rambling walk, led by the reliable and
lovely Audrey, along the newly levelled railway track towards Totana.
After passing the smelliest pig farm ever, the more able bodies took off to the “woods” while the able bodied
continued along the smooth path. The trees were full of birds and yellow butterflies and the views were magnificent.
The walk was a pleasant 2 .5 hours and the cars were soon heading back to Mazarrón to La Siena Restaurante.
It was great to see that the fare had been modernised and the “Italian” wine bottles had been updated. Note to
management: “If using red wine, to fill up a wine bottle, do not put it in a vino blanco one”.
Large plates of winter food followed a rather boring salad. As befits her status, Audrey had a special entremeses
while everyone else had guiso or ham and beans. Oh, and the puddings were homemade and delicious.
John did the honours welcoming everyone and of thanking the appropriate people. After singing “Happy Birthday” to Charles Darwin (207 years old), and eating Rhian's marvellous birthday cake, John introduced the birthday speaker, Annie who as well as researching the topic has spent many a year sailing the seven seas with Walt.
Annie’s subject was Charles Darwin and HMS Beagle. It was a subject of interest to many listeners including a couple of sailors who were pleased to get a drawing of the ship and directions as to where the rudder was hung.
The Beagle had a full life crossing the oceans for many years. Charles Darwin was invited on board as a paying passenger and as company for the skipper.
We did not get much passed the Cape Verdi Islands before Annie stopped. She has promised to continue the story at an unclosed date in the future. “What will happen to Charles? Will he be in time for the carnival in Rio? Will he throw up rounding the Horn? And will he get to ride on a gigante tortuga in the Galapagos Islands”.
A big thanks to Audrey for leading the walk, to Rhain for the cake, to John for only loosing one paying customer (28 not 29 for lunch) and to Annie for an intriguing talk.
Humanists of Murcia AGM
The third AGM of the Humanists of Murcia took place in Bar Puente, La Majada, following the last Easy
Rambling. The walk followed a meandering course around the pueblo and passed Ricardo’s casa. Oh know it
didn’t, oh yes, it did! There were around 30 people attending the meeting including a token catholic and El Papa
who kept an eye on proceedings. The front row had Vivien, looking lovely as always, Carole and Avril to put the
Committee off their script.
However, the script was pretty boring and uncontroversial as there was no voting and the Committee was
surprisingly returned without comment. The only change is that Barrie takes the blundering bank vault keys from
Deryck. The Humanists would like to thank Deryck for his work as Treasurer and hope that he enjoys his holiday
The annual subscription remains at an affordable 5€ per annum. Trevor takes control of the Discussion Group,
Vincent continues with the Philosophers and Annie wheals the date stamp for the Library, oh and she also heads
up the Darwinian Gardeners for another harvesting.
The Walking Groups continue with Jon and Audrey (Proper and Easy) with John and Rhian helping out. Mike² run
(Surely “struggle with” :Ed) the Almeria bunch.
That is not entirely fair as the Almeria Group have had a very successful revival and on the January walk they
outnumbered the sluggish Murcia people.
Finally, a big thanks to our Chairman John B for another 12 months of outstanding leadership and lemons.
MURCIAN HUMANISTS REMEMBER AT CEREMONY
HUMANISTS PLANT LASTING MEMORIAL
In previous years the Humanists of Murcia have followed tradition and laid a wreath of poppies at remembrance day ceremonies. This year a more lasting memorial has been planted in the form of a red flowering cherry tree in the Plaza Miguel Angel Blanco, Mazarrón. Permission had been given to use the site by Alcaldesa Alicia Jimenez who was represented at the ceremony by Juan Miguel Muñoz Blaya the councillor responsible for parks and gardens of the ayuntamiento. Twenty of the group’s thirty-nine members were present along with the local representatives and a number of other guests.
During the non-religious ceremony of thoughts and readings by group members, the Humanists observed a two minute silence before the ceremonial planting of the tree by the group’s founding members, chairman John Blakey and his wife Rhian along with councillor Juan Miguel. A stone mounted brass plaque in Spanish and English, permanently positioned alongside the tree reads: This tree was planted by the Humanists of Murcia as a living memorial to all who died in war and conflict 11/11/2015. The tree is a Prunus Pissardii an ornamental plum tree. It has an eventual height and spread of 4x5 metres.
Several other prunus varieties are planted in the garden which was established by the people of Mazarrón in memory of Miguel Ángel Blanco Garrido (13 May 1968–13 July 1997), a politician for the Popular Party -PP on his local council. His kidnapping and subsequent execution by the Basque separatist group ETA had a deep impact on the whole of Spanish society.
Humanists are non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. Locally, The Humanists of Murcia, have regular programmes in their walking, gardening, philosophy and discussion groups. They use the solstices and equinoxes as a good reason for a celebration in addition to many informal get-togethers.
Autumn Equinox Party
The Humanists of Murcia celebrated the autumn equinox with a Jazz Barbecue Party attended by more than 60 members of the group and their guests on the 19th September. Lively Jazz music, provided by the six-piece local band Cold Fussion set a great atmosphere for the evening and prompted some imaginative dancing! By the time the barbecue was prepared, the merrymakers were ready to quickly dispose of mounds of meat and salads.
Half-way up a mountain in Valdelentisco near Puerto de Mazarron, the home of Margaret & Deryck Davison proved an ideal venue with a backdrop of beautiful scenery and few neighbours to disturb! A prize draw included donations of a 40€ voucher from Restaurante Gula Gula (who also kindly loaned tables, chairs and a chef!) and an assortment of products along with a voucher for beauty treatment from Jane’s Beauty Salon of Bolnuevo. A rota of members manned the bar most efficiently dispensing a fairly large volume of suitable liquid refreshment throughout the evening and an army of volunteers had spent the morning preparing the site, thankfully turning up again the following morning to assist in the clean-up!
Humanists are non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. Locally, The Humanists of Murcia, as well as celebrating solstices and equinoxes have regular programmes in their walking, gardening, philosophy and discussion groups in addition to many informal get-togethers such as summer lunches or games afternoons.