On Saturday 27th May 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 controversial 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.

Darwinian Gardeners Visit COATO

On May 9th a group of 30 gardeners visited the COATO cooperative in Totana. After dressing up in white coats and fashionable hats we followed Conchi into the almond processing plant. Here the local farmers bring their crop to be turned into powder, slithers or whole almonds.

We then moved into the paprika area, where we learnt that the ñora pimientos are firstly dried by the farmers, either in the sun (rare nowadays) or in giant ovens owned by various cooperatives. COATO then extracts most of the seeds, leaving a few, because they help to extend the shelf life of the paprika. We then had a tasting to demonstrate the difference between Chinese and Murcian paprika.

Then we visited the packing area, where that day, they were packing broccoli. Most of the boxes were destined for the UK, some were organic, some were not.Lastly we visited the Bio Shop, where most of us found something interesting to buy, and then Conchi presented all of us with a carrier bag full of COATO goodies.

This interesting visit was followed by an excellent lunch at the adjacent restaurant.

Humanists of Murcia Last Walk of the Season
Twenty-nine Humanists of Murcia walkers and friends set off from Restaurante Oasis along the coast to the Roman Quay.  A quick chat with the woman in the cave and the return leg went inland and up the valley to the shrine of Carmen.

Despite the warm weather and with the help of the cooling Easterly wind, the group covered the 9 km in 3 hours and made it to the Bolnuevo playa in time for some cava and orange juice.  Thanks to the Committee, Colette & John W and the San Juan Group for the drinks.

Jon announced that due to pressure from Facebook, there would be no more Fake News.  Instead he had five Fake Awards to hand out.

Rolex Award to Paco & Buddy, Brexit Award to Mike B, Tom Tom Award to Pat & Jackie, Glorieta Award to Mike & Allan and a handshake to John W as Jon had forgotten to print out the Mouflon Award.

It took five minutes to walk down the beach to the Restaurante Rincon where 31 people enjoyed a great menu del dia for 13€ including speedy service and tasty food.