~ January 2008 Edition ~ Happy New Year !



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
Ernie Trischuk

Chris McGuire

Don McNaughton

Ian Doig
and Glenn Pettinger

Special Events
Denise Mullins

Rod Woolham

Sheila & Mike Hurren

Jeanne Nugent

Colin Stephenson

Roy MacSkimming's latest novel, "Macdonald"

Guest Speaker: Roy MacSkimming: a Professional Writer and a Published Novelist.
~reviewed by Fred Lepine

Probians were granted rare insights into the mind of a creative writer and the talents and foibles of our founding Prime Minister when Roy MacSkimming spoke.  The extensive research undertaken in generating the novel “Macdonald” was apparent as Roy recounted the hours in the Canadian Archives, the visits to two of John A’s Kingston residences and the digestion of works by other biographers, newspaper articles and contemporary periodicals.  As the spirit of Louis Riel is postulated in the book to haunt the conscience of his condemner, Roy visited the National Historic Park at Batoche, Saskatchewan to experience the environment of the Metis culture.  Roy found the comprehensive records of Joseph Pope, Sir John’s personal secretary, were invaluable in revealing a troubled private life and the turbulence of the politics of the day.

Roy also felt a personal connection to his subject via a common Scottish ancestry and an intimate knowledge of Ottawa's social life and locales.  He had only to recall the pronouncements of his father to conjure the accent and cadence of Macdonald.Overall our colorful Founding Father emerges as a very human character. His passionate oratory was never extinguished by his frequent reliance on liquid refreshment.
Despite an opium-addicted first wife, an invalid daughter and the death of a son in infancy, he maintained a hectic pace on the campaign trail and in the Parliament of the day. Because of the primitive nature of communications at that time, more personal appearances by politicians were necessary.There is merit in Roy’s challenge for Canadians to take more glory in their history. His call for an official holiday on Macdonald’s birthday was well received.

Given the richness of the subject and the mastery of the author, it is little wonder that the Perth bookshop has difficulty in maintaining stocks of the novel. We eagerly await the next planned production “Laurier in Love”.

Food Bank

The Perth Food Bank always needs help during the winter months. Accordingly, donations will be accepted during the February and March Probus meetings. 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.


Interested persons to join the Management Team of Probus Perth to fill any of the following positions during 2008-2009.

Vice-President, Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Facilities (coffee-making)

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

Personal Profile: Dennis Dwyer

Dennis received his Probus Pin at the January meeting. Family Photo---taken in May 2004 when Dennis retired as Hon Lt Col of the Royal Montreal Regiment.

Dennis grew up in Montreal and graduated from McGill University's School of Commerce in 1959.  He worked for Greenshields in retail and institutional sales moving into sales management.  He also served as a Cadet, Chief Cadet Captain and officer in the Royal Canadian Navy (Reserve) from 1955-1964.  In 1967, he assisted in forming a firm of financial and investment counsel and became a managing partner.  In 1981, Dennis was ordained a Minister in the United Church of Canada and served in parish ministry for 11 years in Quebec.  During this time he rejoined the Canadian Forces (Reserves) as Padre and was promoted Major and awarded the CD.  In addition, he was a co-host on a religious radio and a TV programs.  Dennis also served in other areas of the United Church: Chairman of Finance of M & O Conference, a member of The Church Council on Justice and Corrections, Governor of United Theological College of McGill University, and as founding Spiritual Director of the Montreal United Church Cursillo.
Dennis retired from parish ministry and from the Reserves in the Canadian Forces in 1991/92 in order to devote his full time to the prevention of violent behaviour through teaching and practicing various forms of dispute resolution.  He was a founding partner in The D & L Freedom Group Inc.  and along with his partners, Dennis and his wife Sue have worked together since 1991 as facilitators, mediators and mediation trainers.  They developed Peer Mediation Programs used in Quebec schools and workshops for adults in corporations and institutions. 
Until his retirement in 2001, Dennis’s personal practice as a mediator primarily focused on resolving disputes in family-owned enterprises.  In 1999, he was appointed Honorary Lt. Colonel of The Royal Montreal Regiment.  Dennis has been a guest lecturer at McGill, a theme speaker, panelist, and moderator and presenter at The CAFE National Symposium for Families in Business.  For his services to entrepreneurship he was named Dobson Fellow of McGill University in January 2004 and in May 2004 he retired as Honorary Lt. Colonel of the RMR.  Along with this busy schedule, Dennis is an author and co-author of three books.
Of everything Dennis and Sue have accomplished, they are most proud of their family.  Sue, an Artist, and Dennis have been married for 46 years and have been residents of Perth since the fall of 2006. They have taken great joy watching their three children grow up and now take pleasure in their four grandchildren.  During the warm weather, you will find them enjoying boating on the Rideau on their Diesel Rosborough Sea Skiff.  

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 will be available at the February Probus meeting.

Visit our website: www.probusperth.ca

Management Team

  1. Please fill in our club's Interest Survey available at the next Probus meeting or available on our website by clicking here.
  2. Welcome to Ernie Trischuk who will be taking over as Vice-President for Jim Sands. Unfortunately, Jim has found it necessary to resign, but will continue to help out in other areas of Probus.
  3. 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 on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008. Final information will be available in mid-January, but in the meantime please mark this date on your calendar. The theme will be "An Old Time Social on the St. Lawrence" (a 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 under $30. 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.

Special Events

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.

June, Golf Tournament - Mark your calendars. Glen Pettinger has offered to organize this fun tournament and will be letting us know the date soon..

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

  • In February, John Clement will speak on future plans of the Perth BIA.
  • In March , Ken Watson -speaking on the Rideau Canal Waterway before it was altered by Colonel By's engineering schemes.
  • In April, David Zimmerly's slide presentation on the Galapagos Islands.
  • 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.