~ January 2010 Edition
~ Contributing Editor Helen Black ~


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

There has been a great deal of interest in the Probus Dinner and Theatre Night on January 22. At press time, 46 members and guests had reserved for the 6pm dinner at the Stone Cellar and the 8pm curtain time for 'The Affections of May' (cost $35 for both). Depending on when you read this note, you may still be able to join in. Contact Barb Gately (267-8773) or John Gittens (johngittens@gmail.com).......... The order of the February and March speakers has been reversed. In February it will be Larry Cotton, author of 'Whisky and Wickedness' and in March it will be Jorgan Hoeven talking about Perth infrastructure projects.

Vignettes from the January Meeting

Carl Whitehouse
Carl Whitehouse spoke to us about efforts to develop an eye clinic in rural Guatemala. Carl, a retired optometrist and a member of our Probus Club, is also a Rotarian. Three years ago he went to southern Mexico with an eye clinic team and was inspired by the need and lack of effective government assistance for rural indigenous folk in developing countries.

This past November, he went to Guatemala along with Melissa Ekdom-Delorn who is a graduate from Queen’s with a degree in International Development and who spent a 3 month internship in Guatemala 2 years ago. She already had a good working relationship with an NGO which will be their ally in this country. This November trip had 2 goals – to assist in emergency relief for food shortage due to a 50% crop failure from drought last year and to evaluate and establish infrastructure to support an eye clinic which will happen in April.

He gave an interesting overview of the geography of the land and the mountainous area and valleys where the Mayans live. The communities that this clinic will be serving are resettlement villages following relocation after a devastating hurricane which wiped out villages due to mud slides. Money for emergency food aid and vegetable seeds along with “drip kits” for irrigation of crops were donated along with instructions and a local school teacher was trained to instruct villagers. Hats were given to provide some protection from the strong U.V. rays near the equator and at the high elevation.

In April, the team will head south with 2500 pairs of donated glasses, testing equipment, medications, supplies, and enthusiasm for a 2 week period including travel time. Clinics will be set up in existing school rooms and they anticipate serving 500 to 700 patients in 2-3 clinic days. Education on sanitary care and general health issues will also be given and Carl noted that the Perth Rotary Club has already donated funds to assist 14 women with small revenue generating projects.

Suitable, reasonable and safe accommodations were located for the volunteers and they will be able to refer people requiring serious treatments or surgery to an existing Medical clinic in Zela , operated by a Methodist NGO. Buses called “chicken buses” will provide transportation, and all costs for the trip are carried by the volunteers (approx. $1500.each).

Carl is pleased with the generous support provided by Rotary Clubs in Ontario, Quebec, Vermont and private businesses in Perth and elsewhere. He looks forward to their first clinic in April.

Speakers' Corner
  • February – Larry Cotton, the author of "Whiskey and Wickedness" on the early whiskey industry in Perth.
  • March - Jorgan Hoeven, Director of Corporate & Environmental Services for the Town of Perth, to discuss the Wilson Street Redevelopment and other infrastructure programs.
  • April - Bob Pearson of Exploritas, formerly Elderhostel, to talk about their travel programs.
  • May - the Historica Fair Re-enactment of the War of 1812
  • June - Jim Gilpin on his experiences in World War II.

Special Events

  • January 22, 2009 ~ Probus Dinner & Theatre Night. Dinner at 6pm at the Stone Cellar (upstairs $20) and 'The Affections of May' at the Studio Theatre at 8pm ($15). Reservations: Barb Gately at the Bookworm (267-8773) or John Gittens(johngittens@gmail.com)
  • 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 Helen Black for her contributions to this edition. The contributing editor for the February Bulletin will be Ian Doig.
  • 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.
  • Natalie Gibb-Carsley will offer her self introduction in February

Self-introduction ~ Helen Gamble
Helen Gamble

Helen Gamble, a new member to our Probus Club, was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia where her Dad was manager of the Brookfield Creamery. Helen has three siblings. She moved to Southern Ontario as a teen and later to Ottawa where she worked for Revenue Canada ( Customs and Excise) for 25yrs. in various corporate management roles and projects . Helen married young and has one married son who lives in Kanata with his family and her grandchildren. She took an optional early buyout in 1996 and retired to pursue other interests in many volunteer capacities. In Ottawa, she volunteered with the Big Sister‘s, she walked “big dogs” for the Humane Society and became active with fund raising for the “Friends of Ronald McDonald House”.

She decided to move to Perth about 9 ½ years ago because of the active Arts community and lower prices for real estate. She purchased a comfortable house on Beckwith Street and again became active with the “Big sister” organization mentoring an 11 yr old girl who is now away at university in North Bay. Helen has continued her many volunteer activities such as remedial reading at Stewart School, Lanark County Mental Health Advisory Board, The Kiwanis Board, and Food Bank Fundraising. She took a creative writing course and has written articles which were published in several local newspapers. We look forward to Helen’s active participation in our club.

New Members
Our club is fortunate to have some wonderful new members this year. The following picture shows Bruce and David welcoming some of them at the January meeting.