~ February 2008 Edition
www.probusperth.ca ~
Probus meets first Wednesday of each month, September to June.


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

Management Team 07/08

Helen Black

Past President
Keith Brown

Vice President
Ernie Trischuk

Chris McGuire

Don McNaughton

Ian Doig
and Glenn Pettinger

Special Events
Denise Mullins

Rod Woolham

Sheila & Mike Hurren

Jeanne Nugent

Colin Stephenson

Heritage Perth Business Improvement Area
Guest Speaker - John Clement, Chair, Downtown on: The BIA's plans for the Perth downtown core.
~reviewed by Mike Else

Ralph Fish thanking John Clement, Heather Hansgen, Shellee Evans, Bob Leitch, and Craig Halpenny.

John brought with him a team of four people from the Downtown Heritage Perth Business Improvement Area (Perth BIA)  Strategic Planning Team; Craig Halpenny, Co-Chair; Heather Hansgen, Coordinator; Bob Leitch, Strategic Planning Facilitator; Shellee Evans, Director, Community Services, Town of Perth. The purpose of this team is to develop a strategic plan for the BIA that will address critical issues affecting the downtown core and help transform the area by embracing 21st century trends and realities.

The BIA is an association of business people and landowners who have joined together to promote their mutual interests. The area covers the downtown core and includes about 150 businesses. John emphasized the importance of a downtown area to any community, particularly in a smaller town like Perth. Without a strong and viable business core, a community loses its sense of identity, particularly with so much going on outside the area, in our case on Hwy 7. A strong business area means the largest employer in town, a strong tax base, apartment units, a wealth of giving from businesses to community programs, charities and fund raising events, which depend so heavily on the business community. The principle function of the BIA is to increase business through the development of special events, beautification, promotion and advertising. The BIA provides lobbying, organizing and financing programs otherwise unavailable to their independent business members.

The first meeting of  the BIA Strategic Planning Team was on June 21, 2007.  After six months of strategic planning discussions and deliberations, the Strategic Planning Team has established two Strategic Action Groups; a Marketing, Promotion and Branding  Action Group and an Infrastructure Action Group. These Action Groups will address current issues affecting downtown infrastructure, business development, promotion and sustainability.

The BIA Strategic Planning Team is seeking community volunteers who may wish to help either of the Action Groups by providing their expertise and experience. The level of commitment can be a one time meeting with an Action to share ideas and 'know-how' or a more extensive commitment by becoming a member of one of the Action Groups. The BIA Strategic Planning Team  wishes  to create a consensus, within the Perth community and desire input, from groups in Perth such as Probus, where our expertise and contacts may assist in their objectives. The BIA aims to serve the interests of their members and the community by making the downtown core a more attractive place to shop, work and do business.

A lively question and answer session followed the presentation with Probus members bringing up the problems attributed to some of the tenants and absentee landlords of the downtown core buildings. The BIA is looking for solutions to these problems. John and his team explained that the Downtown Heritage Perth BIA must remain strong to weather the economic peaks and valleys it faces every day. The BIA welcomes assistance and suggestions from anyone who is willing to offer.  If any member of Probus wishes to help one of the BIA Action Groups, please contact John Clement at 613-267-1100 or by email production@clementprinting.com

Personal Profile: Eric Halpin

Eric asking BIA guests a question.

Eric was born in Toronto, 1944, into a RCAF family.  With his father receiving new military postings, the family moved around a number of times to different places.  Eric was happy wherever they went, but the one that he recalls as one of his favorites was the time his father was posted to Washington, D.C.

Eric began his working career with the CPR as a cleaner and rose to the level of Car Maintenance Man. One part of this job was to make and break up railway cars into trains.  This must have led him to one of his hobbies later in life, building HO scale model railway trains with a large layout in his basement.  Eric and Jim Sands have a lot in common with this passion!

Leaving his employment with the CPR, the next 40 years found Eric working for Ontario Hydro (now Ontario Power Generation).    He was employed as a Stationary  Engineer Trainee and when he retired, he had moved on to be their Manager of Operating Training Services out of head office in Toronto.  For the first thirty or so years he was an operator in various thermal (coal burning) generating plants in the province.Eric met his wife, Barbara, in the early 60’s in Kirkland Lake.  They are happily celebrating their 40’s wedding anniversary this year.  They have two children and two grandchildren.  Their daughter, husband and grand kids live in Thunder Bay and their son and wife live in Newmarket.Eric has many hobbies and interests.  He has had fresh water tropical fish from time to time.  From his time walking the many miles of railway tracks, he collected glass insulators.  His collection has since been sold to an American dealer.  He developed an interest in genealogy as he traipsed around some parts of the world to discover the burial spots of his ancestors.  He presently is enjoying his model trains and in the future, he would like to learn more about astronomy.Eric feels he has led a very satisfying and happy life and he and his wife love living in the town of Perth.

  1. Food Bank DonationsThe Perth Food Bank always needs help during the winter months. Accordingly, donations will be accepted at the March Probus meeting. Please give generously, making cheques payable directly to the "Perth Food Bank", and expect to receive your charitable contribution receipt in February 2009. Bob Black will be collecting your donations.
  2. Interest Survey:  To help us plan for next year, Probus members are asked to please fill in the Interest Survey available at the next Probus meeting or available on our website: www.probusperth.ca
  3. Probus Rendezvous 2008: 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 is available from Helen Black.
  4. Help Wanted: We need a volunteer to join the Management Team of Probus Perth during 08/09 as Newsletter Editor. If you are interested in putting your name forward, please contact a member of the nomination team. Helen Black (613-264-8507) Keith Brown (613-264-0206) Ian Doig (613-264-2704.


Special Events

  1. April: There is the possibility of a studio tour in Pakenham of a Glass Artist (Hand Blown & Stained Glass Works).
  2. Wednesday, May 28: - Gananoque 1000 Island Playhouse production of Glorious, with lunch at the Gananoque Inn.
  3. Monday, June 16: Tentative date for the Annual Probus Golf Tournament at The Perth Golf Course.This event is for both golfers and non-golfers. The tee-off times will probably be between 2 and 3 pm with a delightful dinner to be served at 7 pm. Glen Pettinger will confirm the date as soon as the Perth Golf Club manager returns from holiday in March.
  4. Tuesday, May 27th, 2008: Inter-Club Probus Spring Social in Brockville: The two Probus clubs in Brockville are hosting the 2008 Probus "Spring Social", being held at the Brockville Country Club. The theme will be "An Old Time Social on the St. Lawrence" (a hot and cold buffet lunch will be served). A number of Brockville members will be dressed in period costume, some great entertainment is planned including a visit by Sir John A. Macdonald, also door prizes. The ticket cost will be $28. It is sure to be an enjoyable event, giving all Probus members who attend a great opportunity to mix and mingle. Brockville looks forward to welcoming you. Those interested in attending may let Denise know and prepay for their attendance by the April Probus meeting.

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.

Speakers' Corner

  1. In March, Ken Watson - speaking on the Rideau Canal Waterway before it was altered by Colonel By's engineering schemes.
  2. In April, David Zimmerly's slide presentation on the Galapagos Islands.
  3. 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.

Probus Mid-Year Financial Report
Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements from:
September 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008
Bank Balance on September 1, 2007 $3,784.48
Bank Balance, Sept.1, 2007     $3,784.  
Membership   $2,140.  
Special Events   $80. ________
Total Income     $6004.
Hall Rental   $658.  
Probus Centre Insurance $375.  
Speaker Honoraria/Lunches $290.  
Various Operations Expenses $663. ________
Total Expenses     $1986.
Bank Balance on January 31, 2008 $4,018.