Sunday Talks are slowly starting up in a post pandemic environment.

Sunday Speakers 2022 Winter Schedule 


Speakers2019/2020 Winter Schedule

September 8th

SAVING THE SALMON TO SAVE THE ORCAS. Co-founder and Director Gregg
McElroy of the CANADIAN ORCA RESCUE SOCIETY will relate how CORS is working ‘to bring
salmon back to every river and creek in BC’ to feed the southern orcas, and what else is being done in this
vital international effort to save the whales. Check out WWW.ORCARESCUE.COM

September 22nd
President Robert Light will reveal it was really Churchill’s Navy that defeated Hitler’s Luftwaffe. The
RAF put up a heroic defence but for Hitler it was always the Royal Navy that disturbed and finally
deterred him. Wisdom over wickedness. Find out how a mind was turned and a world was saved.

October 6th
own Dr. Joan Russow will lead us on a talk dealing with principles from local to global regarding human
rights, the environment, religion, alliances, treaties, ethical investments, world wide trade, the United
Nations, peace, militarism, and international law.

October 20th
CANADA VOTES! The day before the national election. What better time to have a panel
discussion on the priorities and positions of the parties, personalities and people of Canada! What
humanist values do we see in the debates and deliberations? An all-humanist panel will discuss
what they see and think as Canada prepares to go to the polls.
November 3: MAGNA CARTA. John McGregor will speak on The Charter signed into being by King
John eight centuries years ago. The very first seed of our democracy. ‘Law of the land!’ ‘Due process!’
‘Trial by peers!’ It broke the back of Norman domination and set England on the path to nationhood. We
will examine Magna Carta’s remarkable conception, enduring influence and glorious future.

November 17th
HERMENUETICS. Dr. Ronald Bontekoe will lead us into this powerful aspect of
interpretive theory. It is based on his insightful paper “Reconciling Romantic and Phenomenological
Hermenuetics.” He will give us a clear introduction into this mainstay of knowledge and guide us into its
many applications from ancient textual analysis to contemporary eloquence.

December 1st (updated)
Our President, Robert Light, will give a dramatic reading from his one man show called FOREVER FREE. The script was written as a companion piece to his earlier one man show on Charles Darwin called BEING EVOLVED. The two pieces were inspired by a speech given by the great and late biologist Stephen Jay Gould calling Darwin and Lincoln “the twin revolutionaries of the 19th century.”

December 15
DEFINING HUMANISM. Our President, Robert Light, will give a brief address on
defining humanism for the VSHA. How many times have you been asked, “Humanism, so what’s that?”
Good question! We can describe it. Can we or should we define it? The meeting will then shift to
discussion tables to conjure up some definitions and maybe even a few motto suggestions. We will
reconvene with reports and general discussion. We will end with a fun quiz and prizes, prizes, prizes!



Jan  12   DEEP ADAPTATION.  Thor Henrich will enlighten us regarding the dynamics on how we can all save the planet by creative vision and practical plans.    


Jan  26   ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING  We receive annual reports and elect our Board for the year.  


Feb 9     DARWIN DAY.  Barrie Webster and Robert Light narrate the third part of their documentary series on Darwin. 


Feb 23   REVOLUTION IN THE CLASSROOM!  The brilliant Dr Marty Wall expounds on a new way of teaching that is student-centered and uses clear achievable goals.


Mar  8   BOROBUDUR TEMPLE. Our Dr. Job Kuijt takes on a visual/virtual tour of the largest Buddhist temple in the world ensconced with the rich natural beauty of central Java. 


Mar 22  OH, COOPERATE? Vanessa Hammond tells about her adventures in the trenches of the cooperative movement around the world since she was thirteen years old!

Sunday Speakers2018/2019 Winter Schedule

12 January 2019 – DEEP ADAPTATION

Thor Henrich will enlighten us regarding the dynamics on how we can all save the planet by creative vision and practical plans.

February 10 – Charles Darwin’s 210th Birthday Celebration
Barrie Webster & Robert Light, VSHA

What sort of a person was Charles Darwin? How did he come to be the Naturalist on the HMS Beagle? At what stage of his life did he do the Voyage?

February 24 – Theatre Audience Education: How to Better See a Play
Dr. Monica Prendergast, UVic

Some of the key concepts in effectively experiencing a theatre performance will be presented with specific reference to examples taken from the Belfry Theatre

March 10 – Marie Curie: Legacy of the Worlds’ First Medical Physicist
Dr. Parminder Basran, Political Science UVic

Marie Curie—the only woman to have won two Nobel prizes, and in different subjects! But do you know how she transformed health care?

March 24 – Wicked Challenges for City Planning in Mid-Century
Dr. Ted Relph, Emeritus Prof, U of Toronto

How the world city network and social inequality, mobile capital, gentrification, climate and environmental change, hybrid populations and cultures, electronic communications and social media, reflect the end of the era for rational planning. What comes next?

April 7th – Creating a Flourishing Life
Dan Coupal,

A synthesis of the elements of a flourishing life with reference to ideas and philosophies from Aristotle to David Brooks.

April 21st – Did Jesus die on the cross?
Robert Light,

May 5th – Orcas: How we came to know and love the ocean’s greatest Predator.

Dr. James Colby, a history professor of the University of Victoria will present his Sunday Talk at 10 am May 5th called after his most recent book Orcas: How we came to know and love the ocean’s greatest Predator.”  It was not a long time ago that fishermen in BC waters shot orcas from stealing their catches.  At the same time orcas were mercilessly pursued and kidnapped from BC and Washington State inlets to be stuck in aquariums around the world.  Now, we are trying to save the Southern Resident orcas.
What changed our minds and hearts to love them and save the orcas?  They were once revered as the messengers of mystery and even gods themselves.  They were then seen as pests or cash cows for ‘educational institutions.’ Now we see them as mighty but vulnerable creatures of intelligence and even culture. 
Come to the Sunday Talk and fall in love with orcas all over again!

May 19th – Neolithic Halloween?: Plastered Human Skulls, Archaeology and the
Origins of Religion in Near Eastern Neolithic Villages.

Dr. Ian Kuijt, Ph.D. 

When early agriculturalists first started living in the world’s oldest villages in the Near East they did something quite extraordinary: they started burying deceased family members under the floors of their single room houses, and to collect, curate, and store the skulls of their relatives. Since the excavation of Jericho in the 1950s researchers have
debated why Near Eastern Neolithic villagers practiced skull removal and plastering. Recent field work has documented the wide-spread use of these practices some 10,500 years ago, and clearly identified that the elaborate
manipulation of the dead was central to ritual and mundane life within the world’s first agricultural villages. Human skulls, often found in groups, were occasionally covered in clay plaster to recreate eyes, noses, ears, and other facial features. It is clear that Neolithic people used skulls as heirlooms, and through such manipulation created tangible connections to the past.

Ian is Professor of Anthropology at Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana, and holds a History BA from the University of Lethbridge, a MA in archeology from Simon Fraser University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology
from Harvard University.  

June 9 – Biofilms and Plastic: A New Ecotone?
by Thor Henrich

Biofilms are ancient bacteria-based micro-ecosystems, which have evolved into highly complex structures found today everywhere on earth. Today we understand that biofilms are essential for their beneficial roles, as well as causing disease.

Biofilms have recently encountered plastics, producing unappreciated synergistic effects at many levels of complexity. Thor’s talk will discuss the implications of a new ecotone, that of biofilms encountering plastics, and why rapid corrective actions are necessary, to prevent a mass life extinction event

Thor was born and raised in San Francisco, and moved to Canada in 1967 with his family. He attended several institutions of higher learning (UC Berkeley, University of Florida, University of South Dakota) earning his BA and MA in Zoology. He has been a teacher of various science subjects for 50 years, at the high school, college, and university level.  Thor is interested in a variety of science topics (ecology, evolution, genetics, paleontology and lately mycology). In retirement he has enjoyed giving talks and leading field trips for the VSHA.


2018 Fall Schedule for VSHA Sunday Speakers


All talks 10:00 AM, Cedar Hill Rec Centre, Finlayson & Cedar Hill Road

September 9          The Essence of Humanism.
People performing moral action for the well being of human beings rather than for any political or religious convictions.   
Robert Light, MFA

September 23        The Core of Indian Affairs. Dance Studio.
Dr. Harry Swain

October7                 GM Organisms: Frankenfood or Cornucopia
The positive & negative issues of GMO’s, with illustrations & scientific data
Dr. E. Ishiguro, Emeritus UVic

October 21           Life in Prison and how to reform it. Dance Studio
Bob Mitchell

November 4            Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements & Wills
Whether you are close to retirement or not this is a talk you do not want to miss            
Dustin Marnell LLP   

November 18        Intellectual Dark Web: Jordan Peterson, SJW’s & the role of atheists in the rise of Trump. Dance Studio.
What is the IDW & how it grew out of the “New Atheist“movement, the factors that drive it & relationship with current right-wing politics
Josh Bedford                                     

December 9            Dead Aid by Dambisa Moya or partnering as offered by the Stephen Lewis Foundation?
Moya highlights problems of government to government aid, concluding that Africa would be better off without it. Does the Stephen Lewis Foundation offer a better method that could be adopted more widely?
Dr. Lisbie Rae


2018 Spring Schedule for VSHA Sunday Speakers




All talks 10:00 AM, Cedar Hill Rec Centre, Finlayson & Cedar Hill Road








January 21     The Religious Origins of Fake News & Alternative Facts 




      Dr.Christopher Douglas, English, UVic Fake news – origin in the Christian fundamentalism of the early 20th century




January 28     Annual General Meeting




Your VSHA community sets the course for another successful secular year




February 11     Charles Darwin’s 209th Birthday Celebration




        Robert Light, MFA The ‘outrageous’ deductions in Origin of Species were publicly defended by Darwin’s colleagues in his absence




February 25     Human Attachment Throughout the Lifetime




Lucille Proulx, BA Psych, BFA, MFA, ATR Attachment Informed Art Therapy is an innovative art therapy approach that provides the therapist with the theories and applications to work with all populations with troubled or abusive relationships.




March 11     Light-Based Random Access Memory (RAM) in Computing




    Dr. Natia Frank, Chemistry, UVic Recent advances in photochemistry at the University of Victoria have led to the development of light-based RAM, greatly enhancing computer memory




March 25 History of Partition and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict




    Dr. Martin Bunton, History, UVic Examining not only the historical basis of the conflict, but also how and why a resolution to the conflict continues to be so difficult




April 8           Proportional Representation vs. First Past the Post




    Steven Hurdle, Fair Vote Canada Expect a vigorous discussion on the merits of your chosen voting system




April 22       Corporate Power, Fossil Fuels, and Climate Crisis




      Dr. Bill Carroll, Sociology, UVic The deeply entrenched corporate obstacles to dealing with global warming, and strategies and policies to promote the transition to a post-carbon economy.




May 6     Noam Chomsky




Robert Light, MFA




Some past presentations reports