~ December 2009 Edition
~ Contributing Editor Don Sherwin~


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

Bruce Gourley
613-283- 5967

Past President
Ernie Trischuk

Vice President
Mike Else

Sheila Clark

Don Sherwin

Ian Doig
and Glen Pettinger

Special Events
Glen Pettinger
and Mary Kilgour

Jean Crowley

Member at Large
Keith Brown

Bill & Kathleen Lea

Colin Stephenson


Next month on January 6, we’ll kick off the New Year with a talk by Probus member and retired optometrist Carl Whitehouse, on the living conditions of the indigenous Mayan Indians of Guatemala, and the mobile eye clinic that he will be setting up there. Be sure to mark the date on your new calendar and bring in any eye glasses that you no longer need for redistribution in this clinic.

Vignettes from the December Meeting

Elaine Turner

Our speaker for December was Elaine Turner, Outreach Coordinator for the Perth and District Community Foundation. Elaine joined the Foundation in 2008, after retiring from a 37-year career with the Royal Bank of Canada, for many years as Manager of the Perth Branch. Elaine gave us a very interesting overview of this local charitable organization and its work in the community, and described it as “One of Perth’s Best Kept Secrets”. The Foundation’s mission is to work within the greater community in order to build a permanent fund to enrich the quality of life throughout the western half of Lanark County, by encouraging philanthropy and providing a focus for those who want to make a lasting contribution.

The Foundation was incorporated in 2001, is governed by a volunteer, community-based Board of Directors, and serves the Town of Perth, and Tay Valley, Drummond-North Elmsley and Lanark Highlands Townships. Monies donated to the Foundation by individuals, businesses or institutions are invested by the Board, and the interest (a minimum 3 1/2% of capital annually), is disbursed to fund worthwhile projects in the local communities. These funds can be directed to specific initiatives if the donor so desires. The principal is not used, so one’s donation keeps providing support in perpetuity. This is what makes these donations different from those made directly to a specific charity.

Elaine noted that since 2003, some $100,000 in grants have been given out, (including $14,000 in 2009), with 43% going to education, 30% to recreation, 10% to social services, and the remainder to youth, the environment, arts and culture and seniors. Some specific education beneficiaries include the Algonquin College Bursary Program, local High School scholarships, the Friends of Murphys Point archeological dig at Hoggs Bay, and elementary school reading and nutrition programs.

Elaine enhanced her presentation with a promotional video entitled “Our Community – Our Legacy”, featuring some recipients of Foundation grants, and how the program has given them a brighter future. She also explained how we might make a personal donation to the Foundation, in the form of cash, securities or property; as a gift of life insurance; or a willed bequest. The Foundation can be contacted at (613) 326-0295, or e-mail them at pdcf@bellnet.ca.

Speakers' Corner
  • January ~ Carl Whitehouse will speak on living conditions for the indigenous Mayans of Guatemala and the mobile eye clinic project.
  • February – TBD
  • March – Larry Cotton, the author of "Whiskey and Wickedness" on the early whiskey industry in Perth.

Special Events

  • January 23, 2009 ~ Robbie Burns Night at the Legion. Tickets are $20 and it starts with cocktails at 6PM. Contact Eric Devlin for tickets.
  • May 2010 ~ play TBD at Gananoque Playhouse
  • May 18, 2010 ~ Spring Fling (the annual regional Probus social event) will be held at the The Best Western Parkway Inn in Cornwall.
  • June 2010 ~ Annual Golf Tournament

If you have an idea for an activity you think other Probus members might enjoy, please talk to Mary Kilgour or Glen Pettinger.

Management Team Notes
  • Many thanks to Don Sherwin for his contributions to this edition. The contributing editor for the January Bulletin will be Helen Black.
  • A reminder that videos of the recent presentations of Clive Addy (Today's Soldier), Dennis Dwyer (Will There Be a Church) and Peter Craske (Recollections of the Longest Day) are available for viewing on DVD. Please contact contact Colin Stephenson if you would like to borrow them.

  • Ernie Trischuk receives his Past-President's pin at the December meeting

Self-introduction ~ Ellen and Jim Dean
Jim & Ellen Dean

The Deans, four-year residents of Perth and more recent members of Probus, gave us an interesting sketch of their lives as veterans of the Canadian Navy. Jim was born in Hamilton, but was raised on a farm near Newcastle, where his school was so small that he was both first and last in his class. At the age of 17, he left high school to join the Royal Canadian Navy, but soon found to his chagrin that he was prone to seasickness. Nevertheless, he headed to sea in a variety of ships, but along the way, met a Navy Wren by the name of Ellen, and they were married in Oakville in 1963. Ellen was born in Tillsonburg, and went to high school in Brantford and Woodstock before joining the Navy herself.

Shortly after they were married, they both left the Navy and moved to Preston, Ontario, where their son was born, later moving to Jim’s hometown of Newcastle. However, the siren call of the sea got to Jim, so in 1967, he rejoined the Navy and the family moved to Halifax. Ellen got a job with Revenue Canada, Taxation, while Jim served as a marine engineer, and went from ship to ship with the occasional onshore posting, rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. During this time the couple adopted a young niece.

In 1990, Jim was posted to NDHQ in Ottawa, while Ellen also transferred with Revenue Canada. In 1995, Jim retired from the Navy, after over 33 years of active service in which he saw much of the world and made many friends. For the next five years, he worked with a private company on military contracts, then in 2000, retired. After a fortuitous encounter with Perth, they decided to build a bungalow here, which they did in 2005.

Ellen finds that Perth “fits them like a hand in a glove”, and they have made many new friends here. She has become involved with the Perth Museum, Historical Society and local Legion, while all Jim asks for is to live long as a “permanent vacationer in residence”. We hope they do.