~ May 2011 Edition
~ Contributing Editor: Carol Trischuk ~
Next meeting: June 1st at Timber Run Golf Club in Lanark


P. O. Box 20131,
Perth, Ontario
K7H 3M6
Probus meets the first Wednesday of each month, Sept. to June.

Mike Else


Past President
Bruce Gourley
613-283- 5967

Vice President
Dan Murphy


Sheila Clark

Don Sherwin

Ian Doig

Special Events
Glen Pettinger
and Mary Kilgour

Jean & Dave Crowley

Member at Large
Keith Brown

Geoffrey Newman

Colin Stephenson

As everyone presumably knows by now, Probus Perth will be hosting Spring Fling in 2012. This is the event that brings together representatives from all 12 of the Eastern Ontario Probus Clubs for an annual meeting and luncheon. To the organizing committee, it is also an opportunity for us to showcase the Town and to give participants an appreciation for the undiscovered jewels that it offers. As our main communications tool we have put together a website to provide people with the information that might whet their appetites to come to Perth next year. Our contingent to this year's Spring Fling in Kingston went armed with a snippet from our website to encourage participants to go to it to get a flavour of what we have in store. Among other things they will find on our website an invitation, a program of activities, a blurb on the historic Code's Mill venue, maps, information on Perth and a hint of some extra-curricular activities they might enjoy. The information on Perth contains an excellent slide-show in video format created by Carol Trischuk, with pictures taken by partner Ernie. We recommend that you browse the new website to see what we have in mind. Go to www.probusperth.ca/springfling, or www.probusperth.ca and click on SpringFling 2012 on the left side.

Loons and Human Interaction........A Loon Talk
by Cliff Bennett and Howard Robinson                                      article by Carol Trischuk

Cliff Bennett
Cliff Bennett spoke to Probus this month about his love of and interest in the North American loon family. He and Howard Robinson, who provided the beautiful audio-visual elements for the presentation, are members of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists.

The wild and eerie cries of the loon introduced a list of many facts of loon life which fell into the “I didn’t know that!” category. For instance, a pair of loons needs up to 100 acres on a small lake to successfully raise their family; they need a quarter mile run-up to gain flight; and each can live as long as 30 years. Their streamlined bodies allow them to dive to depths of over 200 feet, but this same body shape, with legs set far back from their center of gravity, makes them awkward on land. Consequently they nest very close to the water in sheltered bays or on small islands. Loon chicks are in the water within eight hours of hatching, and will sometimes hitch a ride on their parents back if the water is too cold or if a predator threatens.

And predators do threaten. Natural predators like snapping turtles, large pike, eagles and gulls, and racoons all enjoy a loon chick for lunch. Humans are also intentional or unintentional predators. Apart from hunting and wanton harassment, humans affect the loon population through the litter they leave behind them – fishing line, lures or lead sinkers, through water contamination, effluents, and pesticides, and through shoreline changes or destruction.

To protect loons and other water wildlife, planning and conservation authorities must develop and maintain wetland preservation policies. These include curbing shoreline development, controlling water levels, and enforcing loon protection strategies. Individually, we can protect loons by ensuring we don’t disturb them, reducing motor boat wakes, refraining from leaving dangerous litter in their habitats (and elsewhere!), and participating in shoreline clean ups and naturalization projects.

Loons.....continued on page 2

Loons ~ Continued
Loons are a lake quality indicator species. If they disappear from a lake they have been known to frequent, you can be sure the lake is in trouble, and perhaps, by the time they are gone, it will be too late to remake an environment which would encourage them to return.

Special Events
  • May 25, 2011 ~ The Marvelous Wonderettes", a musical with four young women from the "class of '58" singing songs from the 50's and 60's. Sort of a female version of "Forever Plaid". The matinee performance starts at 2:30 pm and there is an optional box lunch on the deck at 1:30, with a "deck-talk" involving some of the actors. We suggest carpooling from the Legion parking lot around noon.
  • June 1, 2011 ~ Our June meeting will take place at the Timber Run Golf Club in Lanark . It will be combined with an optional closing luncheon for those who wish to stay. The lunch will cost $17.50 and it will include: assorted wraps (eg. ham and cheddar, vegetarian, egg Salad), pasta salad and tossed salad, butterscotch cheesecake and cherry cheesecake, tea and coffee. Tickets for the lunch will be available at the door, but you must pre-order by contacting Mary prior to May 25th, when the final reservations must be made. Members are also invited to take part in an optional informal round of golf after the meeting, but please let Glen know if you plan to play golf. Of course if you would like to go for the meeting only, there will be no charge for your participation. If you need a ride to the meeting, please contact Glen or Mary.
  • Fall, 2011 ~ A wine tour in Prince Edward County is in the works.

Management Team Notes
  • Peter Hall is scheduled to present his self-introduction at the June meeting.
  • Thanks to Carol Trischuk for her contributions to this edition.
  • Probus Canada Rendezvous is September 13 to 15, 2011 in Vancouver (details). Several Perth Probians are planning to go.
  • Wanted: Probian team leader for 2011-12. Probus Perth is looking for a member who would be willing to act as Editor / Team Leader for the newsletter for the coming year. This is an opportunity for someone who enjoys reading the Probian on a monthly basis to put his or her stamp on it. Colin Stephenson has acted in this capacity for the past 3 years and is willing to act as trainer / advisor to help the new recruit get up to speed. He is also willing to continue as webmaster for Probus Perth. This is a rather fun job and not overly taxing. Please consider giving back to the club by volunteering for this position. Click here for complete job description.
Self-introduction ~ Ray Fortune           by Carol Trischuk
Ray grew up a farm boy near Mallorytown, Ontario. His education ranged from a one-room school, to high school in nearby Brockville, and electrical engineering at Queen’s, followed by the Canadian General Electric graduate engineer training program where, Ray says, “I learned the basics of business in a very well run company."

After working with GE’s nuclear engineering design team, he moved into marketing, selling GE reactors worldwide. By 1968, Ray was living in Peterborough, married to Ruth and a family man. He decided to find a new direction. Ray’s trajectory through the world of electronics included Computing Devices, Control Data, Leigh Instruments and, finally, Bell Northern Research (BNR).

In 1986, BNR opened a telecom research laboratory at the University of Alberta and Ray moved to Edmonton as President. This was a new business model based on a consortium of industry, university and government. TR Labs now has branches in Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg.

Ray retired from the electronics world in 1992. Another activity, however, which began in the 1960s as a family hobby, keeps him busy still. Fortune Farms Maple Sugar Bush near Almonte is a family business which ships maple products worldwide. Fortune Farms Sugar Bush is also known far and wide as the home of the ‘Kettle Boys’, one of whom (Colin) runs our Probus website when not making maple syrup over a roaring bonfire!

Ray sums up his career as a progression from horse-drawn machinery on the farm, to nuclear engineering and optoelectronics, and back to the farm once again.

Speakers' Corner
  • June 1 ~ John Chattoe on the effect of information technology on our families including seniors, to be presented at the Timber Run Golf Club in Lanark ~ see Special Activities for further information.
  • July and August ~ no meetings
  • September 7 ~ Wynne White on teaching the teacher in third world countries.