~ April 2009 Edition
~ This edition written by Don Sherwin~


P. O. Box 2164,
Perth, Ontario
K7H 3M9
Probus meets the first Wednesday of each month, Sept. to June.

Ernie Trischuk

Past President
Helen Black

Vice President
Bruce Gourley
613-283- 5967

Sheila Clark

Don Sherwin

Ian Doig
and Glen Pettinger

Special Events
Denise Mullins

Rod Woolham

Member at Large
Keith Brown

Bill & Kathleen Lea

Colin Stephenson


Next month on May 6, Frank Roy will speak to us on the 100-year history of powered flight in Canada, from Alexander Graham Bell's Silver Dart in 1909, to the design, construction and ultimate demise of the Avro Arrow in the 1950's. His talk is titled, appropriately, "Darts to Arrows", and promises to be both enlightening and entertaining.

Vignettes from the April Meeting

Rudy Lepp talking nuclear
Move cursor over image to see Rudy receiving his membership papers.
Our speaker was Dr. Rudi Lepp, a nuclear physicist with 30 years of experience with Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. (AECL), now a consultant on nuclear matters for his former employer and the Federal Government. Rudi provided us with a fascinating and balanced perspective on where we really stand re electrical energy sources (Canada is the largest per capita consumer of electricity in the world), and the importance of nuclear energy in this mix. He noted that 51% of Ontario's electrical power generation is from nuclear, while 18% is from coal, and although Elizabeth May has pledged to phase out both these sources, it will be impossible to replace them with renewables (more hydro, wind, solar and biomass), as there are no more rivers to dam, wind and solar are intermittent and unreliable, and biomass (ethanol) is a non-starter, especially if it displaces valuable food supplies. He pointed out that only 9% of the world's electrical energy is derived from renewables, and that countries such as Sweden and Germany, who once pledged to wean themselves off nuclear, have quietly determined that these plants cannot be replaced by renewables, and therefore must remain in operation. In the meantime, peak oil is approaching (by 2026-2050), and oil supplies will need to be preserved for transportation uses. At the same time, he stressed the need to expand our wind and solar sources, and to exercise conservation. He described the NRU reactor at Chalk River where he spent his career, and noted its importance in supplying well over half the world's medical isotopes, as well as providing training to operators of CANDU systems all over the world. He explained the workings of the latter reactor, and we were surprised to learn that there are close to 50 CANDU reactors in operation today, with three in the planning stage, also the merits of private sector financing and operation. He described the four levels of measures in place to ensure CANDUs' safe operation, comparing the vast superiority of these procedures with those in effect at the Chernobyl site in Ukraine (1986 meltdown). Finally, he covered the disposal of spent fuel rods, and the probable need to access these in future to be reprocessed into plutonium fuel, as world reserves of natural uranium are exhausted by mining. In summary, he represented nuclear energy as clean and free of toxic and greenhouse gas emissions. Paraphrasing the famous words of John Lennon, he exhorted his audience to "give nuclear a chance".

Speakers' Corner
  • May ~ Frank Roy on "Darts to Arrows: a celebration of the 100th anniversary of powered flight";
  • June ~ Peter Craske on his experiences with the RAF in support of the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.
  • September - a representative of Dignity House of Perth, a palliative care facility.
  • October ~ Dennis Dwyer on "Will there be a Church for our Great Grandchildren"

Special Events

  • May 27, 2009 May 27 ~ Bus trip with lunch to "Forever Plaid" at Gananoque Playhouse (fully booked; please bring your cheques to May meeting)
  • June 15, 2009 ~ Golf Tournament to be organized again by Glen Pettinger.
  • September 2009 ~ Possible excursion on Wakefield Steam Train
  • October 2009 ~ Possible trip to Brockville Arts Centre for "Tommy Dorsey" show
Guests and members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have an idea for an activity you think other Probus members might enjoy, please talk to Denise or one of the other members of the Management Team. We are always looking for new and creative ideas, as well as people to take the lead in organizing events.
Note: For all trips, the bus leaves from the Legion.

Probus Perth website: www.probusperth.ca

Self Introduction ~ David Crowley

Dave Crowley
the second time around

Dave, a charter member of Probus Club of Perth, was born in Newfoundland of fisherman stock and emigrated to Ajax, Ontario as a young child with his family in 1943. His parents were teachers, which led them to several communities in Eastern Ontario, starting with Ompah in 1948 and ending up in Perth. Dave followed his parents into the teaching profession, opening the Glen Tay School in 1967, later moving to Queen Elizabeth School in Perth, and retired in 1999 from Montague Central School. During the course of his career, he served on Perth Town Council for five years, and in 1975, became Perth's representative to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. He also served for ten years on the board of the Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations (FOCA). His strong interest in environmental and lake management issues, before and after retirement, is revealed in his active involvement with the Friends of the Tay Watershed, and in Sustainable Forestry Management, having maintained a sustainable woodlot in the Ragged Chutes area for 34 years. Dave and wife Jean are winter residents of Perth, but spend most of the summer at their cottage on Grindstone Lake near Plevna.

Management Team Notes
  • "Spring Fling 09", the regional get-together, will be hosted by the Alta Vista Club at the Hellenic Centre on Alta Vista Drive on May 26, with lunch being served at 11:30. Cost will be $28 each. Reservations will be accepted until May 1. The Perth Club will host the event in 2012.
  • Personal Profile for April will be given by Bob & Betty Taylor.
  • Please give serious consideration to volunteering for a management team position for 2009-2010. Mike Else has agreed to stand for the position of Vice President. we still require candidates for Membership and Newsletter positions.

The Last Pun
The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.