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Here's the full programme for this year's weekend, the first since we joined the British Humanist Association (BHA). It jointly celebrates the Alan Turing centenary and Manchester's gay history, while setting the direction for GALHA to take in the future.
Friday 12 October
7.00pm: meet for pre-dinner drinks at the group hotel, the Mercure on Portland Street. Afterwards you'll be free to eat in the hotel restaurant or in the gay village or Chinatown, both of which are a stone's throw away, or indeed anywhere else.
Saturday 13 October
We'll be based for most of the day at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), a short walk from the Mercure. The day's programme will be:
• 10.00am Opening address by Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the BHA
• 10.30am Alan Turing Tour. We will move across to Manchester University where Henry McGhie, curator of the Alan Turing Exhibition in the adjacent Manchester Museum will:
- guide us on a tour of places in the university where Turing worked (not normally open to the public);
- explain the background to Turing's move to Manchester; and
- describe how he put the exhibition together.
There will be an opportunity for questions and to visit the exhibition.
• 12.30pm Return to LGF for a buffet lunch
• 2.00pm ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – GALHA's first as a section of the BHA – followed by workshops to develop our new action plan
• 4.00 – 7.00pm Free time
• 7.00 for 7.30pm Private Dinner at the Mercure Hotel. Our guest speaker will be Cllr Paul Fairweather. Paul has been a Labour councillor on Manchester city council for 10 years and leads on gay men's issues, having previously been involved in a wide range of local LGBT community organisations since the early seventies. He has been the fulltime worker at the Manchester lesbian and gay centre and worked as an Equal opportunities Officer Gay men for Manchester City Council. He is currently the coordinator for Burnley LGBT history project, a new scheme funded by the Heritage lottery fund. He is also a member of the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus and Chair of Absolutely Dancing a LGBT latin and ballroom group.
Sunday 14 October
10.00am: guided walk through Manchester's gay History. The walk will be led by Professor Carole Truman, internationally renowned Professor of Health and Community Studies at Bolton University, and supporter of the local LGBT Humanist group.
The rest of the day will be free to explore Manchester independently or start the trek home.
Although the Mercure is the “official” hotel, there are other options including the Ibis just along Portland Street. And if you live locally you won't need a hotel at all, of course!