It's OK not to believe!
Secular Humanist Society Gibraltar
The SHSG Team
Name: Professor Arif Ahmed MA PhD. (Cantab.)
Position: Society Patron
Info: Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA, UK
"Philosophically I’m an empiricist: I think that science can tell us what there is to know and that philosophy should consider itself a branch of science. Politically I’m a libertarian – I think that the history of the state is a history of abuse of power and am generally sympathetic to attempts to assert individual rights and liberties against it. I’m also involved in the Trades Union movement here in the UK because I think that corporations and other employers would also trample on their employees’ rights if they could, and so we should stand up to them too. My political and philosophical heroes are John Stuart Mill and David Hume."
Name: Darren Olivero
Info: Retired Police Officer, Secretary Gib Darts Assoc, British Sub-Aqua Club Advanced Instructor, Biker, Bugler, Scout Leader.
"Baptised as a Catholic & confirmed at age 10 (far too young & didn't know better), been an atheist since my late teens. Religion has had too much undeserved influence for too long and this needs to be countered. People need to be told that not believing is an option. It's OK not to believe."
Name: David Gibbins
Info: Society founder & father of 8 David was raised in the catholic faith, but followed his conscience from the age of 16 the first time he was given the choice to decide his inclusion, although he maintains that he has been an atheist from birth.
David works as aIT Manager in Gibraltar and believes that the society can be used as a force for good in the community, something he has already proven by his 2012/13 campaign that has seen the Government of Gibraltar change the GCSE system to afford students who do not wish to study R.E. to fulfill thier potential by being allowed to 'opt out' and be offered an alternative subject.
Name: Daniel Sisarello
Info: Daniel works as an Assistant Auditor at the Gibraltar Audit Office (Government of Gibraltar).
He tries to play basketball in his spare time and also sings opera - badly - although not usually at the same time. Most importantly has never been anything other than an atheist as far back as he can remember.
He likes hugs.
Name: Leslie Bruzon
Position: Media Liaison Officer
Info: Leslie is the founder of the FaceBook group “Gibraltar Atheists”. He describes himself as an instinctive atheist in that he cannot recall a time,even as a child, when he was a believer.
Leslie is also one of the founding members of Childline Gibraltar, was a trustee of the charity Women in Need and is a founding member and trustee of AKIN (Association for Kids In Need) proving that charity work and morality are not exclusive to religious organisations.
Leslie hopes that the S.H.S.G. will be able to make a positive impact in our community as well as providing a platform for others to express their viewpoint and beliefs.
Name: Albert Yome
Position: Committee Member
Info: Albert's interest in the natural world dates back to when he took up birdwatching as a boy. In later years he broadened this interest to include marine life and later bats. Raised in the Roman Catholic faith, he first became concerned about the evils of religion after reading Holy Terror by Amir Taheri, which addressed the spectre of Iranian backed terrorism inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini.
In later years in his words he 'peeled away the layers of belief like an onion, until there was nothing left.' He continues to be fascinated by nature and believes that a secular society, with freedom of expression as one of its basic rights, is the best way to protect our hard won freedoms.
Name: Paul Rocca
Position: Media Spokesman
Info: Paul is a keen 'Twitcher' and is has a unique, in-depth knowledge of all things natural, especially with repect to the birds, flora and fauna of Gibraltar. He is a licencesed tour guide and drives tourists round the bend, up the rock and all over Gib in his air-conditioned coach. A firm believer in the laws of nature and despite being a staunch atheist, he respects others' views and has a very 'live & let live' outlook on life.
Paul is an active musician and plays live gigs in and around Gibraltar as often as possible, with a mixture of his own songs and covers that allow him to give his extrovert personality an outlet that entertaines others at the same time. Father of three Paul is the public face of the SHSG and has already appeared on local TV in lively debate with local theists.
Name: Anthony Hodgetts
Position: Committee Member
Info: Anthony Hodgetts is a Brit who has worked in Gibraltar since 2006. He was raised by parents who managed to ‘escape’ from hard-line Catholicism and the Plymouth Brethren, respectively. In his youth he gradually moved through the Methodists to the Quakers before spotting the pattern, accepting the inevitable and cutting straight to Atheism; thus skipping Scientology and Bieberism altogether.
The bolt of lightning came when reading The God Delusion but it was discovering Christopher Hitchens for the first time that finally removed that ‘God shaped hole’ from his inside. In his spare time he imagines making breath taking oratorical ‘Hitch-Slaps’ but is more likely to keep quiet for fear of embarrassment.
Name: Dylan Lucas
Position: Committee Member
Info: Dylan is an enthusiastic Software Engineer with an MSc in Software Engineering from the university of Southampton and a BSc in Computer Science from the university of Essex. Dylan currently works in London as a Senior Developer providing solutions for some of the UK's busiests gaming companies.
Dylan doesn't forget about Gibraltar and will take a few trips back home throughout the year. Secularist and Humanist philosophies are central to Dylan's ethics in both personal and professional life. As well as interests in Software and Secularism, Dylan enjoy's a variety of sports including football and running. You can catch Dylan running a few 10k's throughout the year where he might be wearing a fancy dress costume.