Hilary 1958

The Oxford University Humanist Group was founded by Tony Brierley of Lincoln College. He wrote to the Rationalist Press Association early in 1958 to enquire about any humanist presence in Oxford and received a reply from the RPA’s Managing Director, Hector Hawton:
Hawton 23Jan58

Hector Hawton was also the editor of The Humanist and author of various rationalist books.  He addressed the Group’s inaugural meeting, held a month later:

Tony Brierley recalls “in early 1958 visiting with some trepidation Professor Gilbert Ryle in his impressive rooms in Magdalen College to ask him to be our Senior Member.  He immediately said yes which in the climate at that time of deference to authority and religious belief was a great relief.”

[Trinity 1958]

Trinity 1958

This is the first term with a full programme of meetings. The first meeting was addressed by the pioneer of modern humanism in Britain (and co-founder in 1952 of the International Humanist and Ethical Union) H J Blackham, then secretary of the Ethical Union, the organisation that is now the British Humanist Association.  The president was Nevil Steer, secretary Tony Brierley and treasurer Charles Pickering.


[Hilary 1958]       [Michaelmas 1958]