~ May 2009 Edition
~ This edition written by Glen Pettinger ~
and Glen Pettinger
Member at Large
Pro-bites.......Probus Golf Tournament and Book Exchange.
Do not forget the golf Tournament on Monday, 15 June. All are welcome to play golf and dine in style at the Links O' Tay or just to dine if that's your preference. This year the Golf Tournament is expanding and becoming The Probus Golf Tournament and Book Exchange. Every player is asked to bring a cherished (slightly used paperbacks are fine) favourite book for the Prize Table. Winning golfers will get first choice of these exceptional prizes, in addition, of course, to the Grand Prize, a Probus tradition going back at least ten years. Remember, golf will begin between 3 and 4 pm, and dinner will be served at 7pm. The cost of the dinner is $25, which includes tax and tip, to be paid at the June meeting to Glen Pettinger.
Vignettes from the May Meeting
At our last meeting, Frank Roy gave an entertaining and informative presentation on the history of aviation in Canada, from Silver Darts to Arrows. He began by giving his audience a lesson in aerodynamics using a cardboard model of a vulture. He then proceeded, with his extensive collection of photographs, to illustrate how important and significant Canada's contribution was to the development of the aircraft industry, beyond the time when "Any landing that you walk away from is a good landing." In addition to sketching in the significance of Alexander Graham Bell's involvement in the development of the airplane, Frank also made it clear that Canadian pioneers had close contact with American flight pioneers such as Glen Curtiss and Tom Selfridge who worked with the Wright brothers. The Silver Dart, of course, made the first flight in Canada at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, on 23 february, 1909, but most of us were not aware that it was first tested in Hammondsport, New York. Again, many of us did not know that Glen Curtiss, the famous American pilot and manufacturer, had a flying school at Hanlan's Point in the Toronto islands.
The culmination of Canada's development of aircraft might well have been the creation of the Avro Arrow, which fittingly was a point of intersection with Frank's career. He worked for Avro on the Arrow project in 1958 and 1959 as a student engineer and was able to speak a bit about the aeroplane and its demise. He remembers vividly the day that the project was cancelled, Friday, 27 February,1959, and " the sparrows singing in the roof trusses." Frank's view is that the RCAF Air Staff was more responsible for the cancellation of the Arrow Program than Mr. Diefenbacker, as is popularly believed. It was conveniently forgotten that the Chiefs of Air Staff had recommended to the St Laurent Cabinet before the 1957 federal election, that the Arrow system be cancelled and a less elaborate system be procured off the shelf. Unfortunately, Mr. Diefenbacker's minority win in June 1957 meant that the Arrow project ran on for another two years before this recommendation could be followed by Cabinet. The Canadian Aircraft Industry has proved to be quite adaptable, however, and continues to thrive with the development of aircraft other than fighters, as we see, for example, in the successes that Bombardier is having with short range smaller passenger models.
We at Probus are very fortunate to have such people as Frank in our community, people who have an amazing wealth of knowledge and expertise, and who are willing to share it with us. Many thanks, Frank!
Guests and members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have an idea for an activity you think other Probus members might enjoy, please talk to Denise or one of the other members of the Management Team. We are always looking for new and creative ideas, as well as people to take the lead in organizing events.
Self Introduction ~ Betty and Bob Taylor
Betty and Bob Taylor gave their self introductions together although Bob as a charter member has given a self intro previously. Both of their family histories are very interesting: Bob's parents were born in Great Britain; Betty's ancestors can be traced back to the Ile d'Orleans in 1665. But both Bob and Betty were born in Canada, Betty in Montreal and Bob in Roblin, Manitoba. They were neighbours eventually in the Montreal area, and that's where they met, dated, and eventually married in 1959. The Montreal area too is where they raised their two boys and two girls, and where Bob pursued his successful career with Air Canada supervising a large number of workers doing jet engine modification and refurbishment. Betty meanwhile was a stay-at-home mom who returned to the workforce with the Lakeshore School Board when their children were nearly ready.
Bob and Betty began a new phase in their life together when they retired to the Perth area. Here they have continued their significant volunteer work and the making of good friends. Their many good buddies in Perth hope that the Taylors' planned move to Brockville in July will not mean an end to the strong bonds that have been forged over the past fifteen years. Bob and Betty will be sorely missed, but all Probians wish them well in their new endeavours.
Management Team Notes