~ February 2009 Edition
~ This edition written by Helen Black~
and Glen Pettinger
Member at Large
Next month on March 4, Heather Perkins-McVey, daughter of our own Sherle Perkins, will be our guest speaker. She is an experienced courtroom lawyer who specializes in criminal defence, tax litigation, mental health law and international criminal law. She is a graduate of Queen’s university and represents people with mental health issues in Provincial and Superior Courts. She will talk about Innovative practices that have been developed in the Ottawa region to assist persons with Mental Illness who have come in contact with the Law. To learn more about Heather, go to http://heatherperkinsmcvey.com/profile.html.
Vignettes from the February Meeting
John McKenty entertained and informed us about some of Perth’s mercantile history as it relates to the James family . Edward, was a Blacksmith, his sons George and Lawrence, and later his grandson Alan were all active in the business. John has written two books, “ The Square Deal Garage ” and “Follow the Crowd” In the latter he gives a lively account of the store, machine shop, foundry, Chevrolet and Ford dealerships , two automotive garages, various woodlots, a bulk fuel business, snow fence factory, billboard service and a local arena which the James Brothers built and operated at their own expense. He had many humerous anecdotes to tell us and his presentation was enjoyed by all. The James family were certainly very ambitious entrepreneurs!
John’s own childhood involved a fascination with cars and garages. His early years were spent in Hastings Ontario ( in the Peterborough area) where both of his Grandfathers owned businesses, (one a Hotel and the other a Hardware store). Later his family moved to Kingston where his father operated a large Hardware store. John sometimes worked there while attending high school. This background contributed to his interest in the James Brothers after he later moved to Perth to become Principal of St John’s High School. He is now retired and is a member of the Perth Historica committee which plans the annual Historica Fair .
Joan Frommer, and Jo Bali from the Perth and District Food Bank, gave us a presentation to update us on the need. They have a team of 45 volunteers and one part time staff person (Jo) handling the day to day operations and they serve 165 families per month with enough basic food to last 3 days. Of these, 40% are children and 30% are working people. The need has increased 4 – 6 % so far this year and is expected to exceed that as more layoffs occur. Probians are invited to help by their individual donations and cheques can still be given at our March meeting. They would also welcome more volunteers.
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 (613-267-3479). Note: For all trips, the bus leaves from the Legion.
Self Introduction ~ Audrey Cole
Audrey Cole gave a very interesting account of her life, from her birth in Blackpool England, early life in Fleetwood on the coast, followed by many years of moving around when her Dad lost his job during the Depression. They endured some hard times, but eventually ended up in Yorkshire, a small village, where she spent the rest of her growing up years. She has fond memories of that time and still revisits.
World war 2 prevented her from attending University and fulfilling her dream of becoming a teacher, so she joined the “women’s land army” at 17yrs of age. After 18 months with them, she was trained as a technical illustrator in London and this became her life work. At age 29, she came to Canada with a friend and her brother, Keith Pollard ( a fellow Probian) and within a year or so began working for AVRO as a technical illustrator. This was a thrilling time until “Black Friday” when the” Arrow “was cancelled and the staff were devastated.
After that she came to Ottawa and before long was hired by Computing Devices of Canada where she worked for 4 ˝ yrs, met her husband and in 1964 had a son who was born with significant disabilities. Since that time her efforts have been directed toward serious involvement as a volunteer activist for the disabled. At 81 yrs. She is still an active advocate for the disabled.
Management Team Notes
The Final Word
Members are encouraged to use one of the microphones when speaking, even briefly, at Probus meetings to be inclusive of those of us who notice that others seem to mumble more these days.