~ November 2009 Edition
~ Contributing Editor Glen Pettinger ~


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

Coming Events
Our Christmas Dinner at the Golf Club on 10 December has proved to be quite popular and more than 80 Probians and Friends have now signed up. The Golf Club assures me that they can handle as many as one hundred hungry turkey lovers and also find room for the musical group, "The Saints and Sinners". The programme goes like this: 6-7pm - greeting and cocktails; 7-8pm - dinner; 8-10pm - music by Saints and Sinners which will include dancing and carol singing. For those who have signed up or who are intending to sign up - don't forget to bring your cheques to the December meeting !! ( $35 per person made out to Probus Club of Perth)

You will be able to make your arrangements for the Robbie Burns Dinner at the December meeting with Eric Devlin who will have tickets available. That celebration will be held on Saturday, 23 January at The Legion with cocktails at 6pm. The marching - in of the Haggis will occur at 6:45pm. Make sure that you get your tickets - it's one of the best deals of the year!!! Tickets are being practically given away for a modest $20 each.

Denise Mullins

Tribute to Denise Mullins

The meeting of November 4, 2009, began with a tribute to Denise Mullins, who recently passed away. Bob Black delivered the moving tribute, noting that Denise had been a leader among Probians for over ten years. She joined Probus in 1996 and soon became its first female president. After that, she became the prime mover of Probus social activities, a role that she enjoyed until her recent illness forced her to retire. Denise will be much missed and our sympathies go out to her family and friends.

General Clive Addy on Today's Soldier

General Clive Addy
Major-General(Ret’d) Clive Addy, OMM, CD, a recent settler in Perth, told an interested audience of 70 Probians about today's Canadian soldier. He was introduced by Dennis Dwyer who in his usual enthusiastic way reported that General Addy was always thought of as a "soldier's general", a man who understood and sympathized with the daily duties and problems of the "guys in the trenches". Dennis went on to say that his last command appointment was as Commander Land Force Western Area, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. There he was responsible for as many as 15000 military and civilian employees. Today, he continues his participation in the Canadian Forces as Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Armoured Corps, General Addy had received several awards for his abilities as military planner and communicator.

In his talk, General Addy proved true to Dennis's word. He communicated his enthusiasm and trust in today's soldier to his audience. He is proud of the quality of the troops serving Canada, but he has not always been proud of the equipment and the support given to those troops. In his thirty-five years of service, he referred to "the decade of darkness," when, for instance, the equipment available to our troops in Bosnia in the '90's was inferior to the potential enemy's equipment. "It's difficult to be peacekeepers when you're faced with an enemy who possesses superior arms." Change was slow in coming, but it did come. Although Canada has a smaller per capita force than other NATO countries, we have set targets that will make us comparable. Our leaders are now planning to create a force of 100,000 regular and 30,000 reserve troops. New, more attractive salaries with supplements for overseas service will help greatly. Older recruits are appearing, and they are more fit. They don't drink or smoke as much as in the past , and training has improved to the point where it is now superb.

Today's Soldier contin.... p2

Today's Soldier ~ Continued
General Addy has spent considerable time in Afghanistan, and his opinion of our men and women serving there could not be higher. His slide show, which was unfortunately not available with his presentation due to technical difficulties, clearly supports his opinion.*** Our soldiers believe in their mission and they want to stay until the Afghans can provide their own security and develop their own necessary infrastructure. He really got to know what was going on there and he himself believes in the Afghanistan mission. "Afghanistan is good value and we've done a good job there. "

An interesting question and answer session followed General Addy's talk. He explained that the Taliban enjoy lots of support because Afghanistan has been Pashtun for 6000 years, Muslim for 1200 years, and Afghan for only 25 years. As a consequence, he believes that ten years is not enough time to establish democracy in a country where graft, corruption, and tribalism are culturally normal and accepted. In conclusion, General Addy said that Afghanistan is "a very complicated job" and we (the military) are doing far,far more than Canadians know." Don McNaughton thanked General Addy for a job well done.

***The slide show is now available on our website.
Special Events

  • December 10, 2009 ~ Our Annual Christmas Dinner will be held at the Perth Links O’Tay Golf Club with live music by the “Saints and Sinners” and, of course, the usual great food from Chef Don at the Club. Tickets are $35 each and you can get yours at the December meeting – or call Glen at 264-0024.
  • 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.

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
  • The Management Committee has taken steps to iron out technical difficulties such as those which prevented General Addy's slide show from being viewed at the last meeting. John Gittens has agreed to become our Technical Director to sort out technical issues well before future Probus meetings where humanly possible. General Addy's slide show is currently available on our website.
  • Many thanks to Glen Pettinger for his contributions to this edition. The contributing editor for the December Bulletin will be Ian Doig.
Speakers' Corner
  • December ~ Elaine Turner, the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Perth and District Community Foundation will tell us how this Foundation works behind the scenes and how it aims to enrich the quality of life for the citizens of this area.
  • January ~ Carl Whitehouse will speak on living conditions for indigenous Mayans of Guatemala and the mobile eye clinic project.

Self-introduction ~ John Gibb-Carsley
John Gibb-Carsley

John Gibb-Carsley gave his personal profile, this being his second go-round, having entertained Probians in 2001 with his first edition. As usual, members found his personal profile to be very interesting and proof that every one has a great story to tell. John did not disappoint, telling as he did of growing up Montreal and Hudson, Quebec, going to a convent school to learn French, sometimes in a horse and sleigh. if deep snow forced buses to cancel! He finished his education at Bishops' College and McGill and earned his B.Comm. at McGill where he also met Natalie who completed his education. After a short career in the Sun Life audit department, John saw the light and became a teacher in Perth, no doubt drawn to this area somewhat by Natalie's work as a teacher in Almonte. John then spent many years at Perth and District Collegiate Institute as a teacher of Special Commercial subjects eventually becoming Head of The Business Education Department. From 1965 to 1968, John and Natalie taught in Europe at DND/NATO schools in Metz and Lahr, one of the most interesting periods in their lives. In 1975, John set up an Income Tax and Deposit Broker business as a part-time enterprise. It became more and more successful to the point that John retired from teaching and devoted all his time to helping people with taxes and investments, an enterprise which he found more fulfilling in a personal sense. John has cut back on these endeavours considerably in recent years.

John's many hobbies include gardening, cycling, cross-country skiing, kayaking - the list goes on - and traveling. He is very involved in Rotary and is on the Perth Museum Foundation Board.

Next April, John and Natalie will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with their three children and their grandchildren and John wants us to know that he loves living in Perth and he will stay active as long as possible and be nicer to more people.