~ December 2007 Edition ~ Happy Holidays!


P. O. Box 2164,
Perth, Ontario
K7H 3M9

Meets first Wednesday of each month, September to June.

Management Team

Helen Black

Past President
Keith Brown

Vice President
Jim Sands

Chris McGuire

Don McNaughton

Ian Doig
and Glenn Pettinger

Special Events
Denise Mullins

Rod Woolham

Sheila & Mike Hurren

Jeanne Nugent

Colin Stephenson

Reminder: Next Probus meeting changed to Wednesday, January 9th, 2008.

RCMP International Peace Operations

Guest Speaker: John Nikita
~reviewed by Rod Woolham

John Nikita gave a detailed and extensive description of his duties as a senior RCMP officer  appointed to head various UN peace keeping missions during the period 1997 to 2007.  His responsibilities included Chief of Operations in Haiti and Kosovo and Senior Police Advisor in Afghanistan.  During this period he was also involved with CSIS, Counter Terrorism, the RCMP Occupational Health and Safety Program and latterly was assigned duties in the RCMP's International Peace Operations Branch before he retired in 2007.

The RCMP Peace Operations Support Unit selects and trains members for missions overseas as well as providing logistical, medical and family support. A police mission is very different from a military operation which provides all the support logistics required.  A UN policeman is given a daily stipend and has to organize his own board and room requirements.  Where a Canadian military operation is present, however, there is readily available support for any needs the RCMP police mission may require especially specific medical or dental attention.

Funding for Canadian international police operations is separate from RCMP funding.  The federal government provides specific funds to train and support 200 police for duties overseas.  At the present time, however, the RCMP is only able to recruit about 160 qualified individuals.

Originally police were recruited from the ranks of the RCMP.  Now, recruitment involves both provincial and municipal police forces.  Some criteria for acceptance are at least eight or more years of experience in policing, fluency in a second language if possible, (the Haiti mission involved many police from Quebec), experience with cultural diversities etc.

Since 1989 Canada has deployed more than 2,000 police officers on peace operations.  These missions included Namibia (security and monitoring of national elections), Yugoslavia (investigate Human Rights abuses), Haiti, Guatemala, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan plus several other middle east and African countries.

All policing missions are under a UN mandate and involve police forces from all over the world.  The police either have executive powers with authority to arrest, detain and enforce local laws or they act only as observers and/or investigate war crimes and contraventions of the International Human Rights Laws.  They also provide guidance and training to local authorities.

Executive powers were exercised in Kosovo, East Timor and Haiti.  In Sudan the role was only to monitor Human Rights violations and provide guidance and training to local authorities. Human Rights violations and investigation of war crimes were specific to the mission in Sierra Leone.  In Afghanistan the main thrust is to establish an Afghan National Police Force which involves training, mentoring and monitoring.

John Nikita was appointed Senior Police Advisor to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Afghanistan.  As Senior Police Advisor he gave advice and direction on the security infrastructure necessary for Presidential Elections, Members of Parliament as well as personal safety.

Personal Profile: Kathleen and William Lea
Bill was born in Toledo, Ohio to Canadian parents of English descent. In 1943, at age 20, he, like so many others, decided to join the army.  This provided him with training in Topographical Survey and photogrammetry.  He was posted to the First Canadian Field Survey Company (RCE).  His company was in charge of compiling maps from Aerial Photography.  This training led him to his future careers in Canada with Photographic Survey Company (PSC) in Toronto and teaching at Algonquin College in Ottawa.  After the war, he was sent to England where he met Kathleen.

Kathleen was born in Bow, a district in the East End of London, the youngest of three girls.  In 1939, with the threat of war, the London school children were evacuated to the country.  Kathleen’s school was sent to Banbury, Oxfordshire where she stayed for two and a half years.  She persuaded her parent to let her return to London.  Her father only agreed if she would work in the Post Office.  With a friend, she volunteered at The Canadian Knights of Columbus Canteen on Lower Regent Street where, on Sunday, July 1945, she met Bill.

Bill and Kathleen married in March of 1946. Bill returned to Canada, in April and in September, Kathleen sailed on the Queen Mary to dock at Pier 21 in Halifax, and then travelled on to Toronto where Bill met her at Union Station.    Bill worked for 20 years in Toronto with PSC and 22 years as an Instructor, and Course Co-coordinator at Algonquin College before coming to the Perth area to retire.

In retirement, they enjoy visiting Kathleen’s two sisters in England, their son out west, their two daughters in the Ottawa area and their six grandchildren.  They have a close group of friends with whom they travel and do many activities.  Through their many years in Perth, Bill and Kathleen have been involved in various organizations and activities.

Management Team
  1. Enjoy Saint John, New Brunswick in the Autumn - September 25 -27, -by attending Probus Rendezvous 2008 (Catch the Wave) sponsored by Probus Club of Saint John, N. B. -More information will be available at the January's Probus meeting.
  2. Please fill in the Interest Survey to be introduced at the January meeting.
  3. The Perth Food Bank always needs help during the winter months. In February and in March, Bob Black will be accepting donations on its behalf. Please give generouly, making cheques payable to "Perth Food Bank"; your charitable contribution receipt will arrive in February 2009.
  4. The Nomination Committee for the new executive for 2008/09 will include Helen, Keith and Ian. At present, the positions to be fill are Vice-President, Newsletter Editor and Secretary.
  5. Thank you Denise for organizing the Christmas Dinner, everyone had a great time!

Special Events
Saturday, January 19, 2008: Robbie Burns Night -The Probus tables always have the most fun! - Dinner, Entertainment & Dancing. Cocktails 6 p.m., Dinner 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 each and are available from Denise.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - Gananoque 1000 Island Playhouse production of Glorious, with lunch at the Gananoque Inn.

There is the possibility of a studio tour of a Glass Artist (Hand Blown & Stained Glass Works) in Pakenham in April.

Members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have ideas for new events or trips, please talk to Denise Mullins (267-3479). Note: For all trips, the bus leaves from the Legion.

New Members
Dan Murphy, Joyce MacLean, George Hendry, Eric Halpin, Don Clark, Pat Hendry and Lyall Black.

Our newsletter is sent out in two formats: email and Canada Post. Should you change your email or postal address, please contact one of the management team so we can update our files. Thank you.

Notes on Our January Keynote Speaker

Roy MacSkimming is a professional writer and a published novelist. He has been literary editor of The Toronto Star and director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. His latest novel, MacDonald, is about our first prime minister.

Speakers' Corner
  • In January, Roy Macskimming - a professional writer
  • In February, John Clement - Speaking in his role as Chair of the BIA - about the BIA's plans for the downtown core.
  • In May , Honourable James Bartleman former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Our program Coordinators, Ian Doig, (613-264-2707) and Glen Pettinger (613-264-9747) welcome your suggestions for future topics and speakers.

Visit our website: www.probusperth.ca