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Although the Ethical Union (formerly the Union of Ethical Societies) did not become the British Humanist Association until 1967, an organisation of that name was formed in 1963 as a collaboration between the Ethical Union and the Rationalist Press Association. To inaugurate this new body, a dinner was held at the House of Commons on 17 May, welcoming 200 members of the humanist movement, with speeches from Barbara Wootton and Kingsley Martin. Biologist and first Director of UNESCO Julian Huxley was its President, with Vice Presidents including A.J. Ayer, E.M. Forster, Jacob Bronowski, and Margaret Knight. In the Ethical Union’s annual report that year, the formation of the BHA was described as ‘by far the most important event of the year’, and resulted in an immediate ‘flow of inquiries’ about the new BHA.

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