George Errington

THE committee notes with sadness the sudden death of George Errington. George and his wife Helen joined NZCSICOP in 1986 and have been active, enthusiastic members. He was a “behind the scenes” worker who shunned the limelight. For that reason, his loss is perhaps particularly keenly felt by the Secretary; he gave his time and creative and engineering skills generously to the increasingly onerous task of preparing this newsletter for distribution. His last contribution to the New Zealand Skeptics was to assist in devising a new system for managing our growing membership and subscription list. He will be greatly missed.

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Introducing the New Editor

THE OTHER NIGHT, after a particularly fine feed of nachos, my friend pulled out her numerology book and proceeded to do my chart. I’d done some things wrong in a past life, and there were a number of lessons I hadn’t picked up on — but generally I was happy to learn my soul was a fairly evolved one.

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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan, one of the world’s greatest popularisers of science, died on December 20th at the age of 62, after a long battle with a bone marrow disease. Sagan was one of America’s pre-eminent scientists, educators, skeptics and humanists. He was also a founding member and Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and a member of the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism.

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Dr Jim Woolnough

The New Zealand Skeptics lost one of its founders with the recent death of Dr Jim Woolnough, aged 77.

Jim was not only a passionate Skeptic, but a courageous fighter for the rights of New Zealand women to obtain safe, legal abortions. He was indicted in 1974 for performing abortions for the Auckland Medical Aid Centre; his acquittal on appeal in 1975 resulted in the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act of 1977, which made abortion legal in most cases.

Jim will be missed.