~ Summer 2009 Edition
~ This edition written by Colin Stephenson ~


P. O. Box 2164,
Perth, Ontario
K7H 3M9
Probus meets the first Wednesday of each month, Sept. to June.

Ernie Trischuk

Past President
Helen Black

Vice President
Bruce Gourley
613-283- 5967

Sheila Clark

Don Sherwin

Ian Doig
and Glen Pettinger

Special Events
Denise Mullins

Rod Woolham

Member at Large
Keith Brown

Bill & Kathleen Lea

Colin Stephenson

Come on back!

The first Probus Perth meeting for 2009-10 will be held on Wednesday, September 2nd at the Perth Legion. Based on the plans to date, this year promises to be another good one in terms of the quality of both speakers and special events.

Reflecting back on the past year, most members would probably agree that it was a very successful one in terms of the quality and diversity of the speakers, the delightful anecdotes contained in the self-introductions and the enjoyment of those taking part in the special activities. Who will ever forget the moving personal account of D-Day given by our own Peter Craske (see below)? The address by General Lewis McKenzie was remarkable in terms of profile and personal insight. The presentations by authors McKenty and Needham were both highly entertaining, as was the demonstration of powered flight by Frank Roy. Indeed all of the other speakers were memorable. as well for various reasons. The Special Activities included a unique golf Tournament / book exchange combo, "Forever Plaid" at the Gananoque Playhouse, and visits to the RCAF Museum and Fortune Farms Sugar Bush. Will the current year be as interesting? You will have to participate to find out.

Recollections of the Longest Day

Peter Craske talking about D-Day.
(Move cursor over image for a closer look.

It was entirely fitting that the June meeting should be given over to a presentation on D-Day, on this the 65th anniversary of the crucial turning point in World War II. It was even more fitting that the address should be given by Probus Perth member Peter Craske. That he should deliver his message so eloquently and so movingly was something that few among us will ever forget. Luckily, the address was filmed for posterity and the text is available (minus the extemporaneous asides) on our website (click here), for those who may have missed it.

On that historic mission, Peter was directly involved as a member of the 512 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. This was a Transport Squadron with the job of dropping paratroops, towing gliders of the army’s Airborne Divisions, and a myriad of other jobs. The notation in Peter's RAF logbook read: "June 5th 1944 2100 Hours Aircraft: Dakota FZ647 Operation “Tonga” D-Day minus 1. 17 Paratroops dropped on Zone Z, south of Ouistreham, Normandy, France".

Longest day contin. p2

Longest day contin.....
The conditions can only be described as chilling. The mission involved flying unarmed aircraft, which flew at slow speeds and were a sitting target for any predatory German fighters that came along. Also, by Air Force policy they did not carry parachutes for the crews of their aircraft. The 17 paratroopers were heavily loaded with arms, ammunition, and other equipment. In the fading light, their faces blackened, Peter observed that they looked like creatures from another planet. After dropping the paratroopers at the designated location, the Dakota returned at very low altitude to avoid enemy fire. From time to time they observed other planes being shot down. After they landed, the Dakota was quickly serviced and they were in the sky again, this time towing heavy Horsa gliders loaded with men, jeeps and even field artillery. This was a very slow flight since the loaded gliders weighed almost as much as the aircraft and consequently the danger from enemy aircraft was much greater. The great armada of airplanes and gliders flew across the Channel in a stream that stretched over fifty miles, flying six abreast almost nose to tail. For Peter, only ten days past his 22nd birthday on D-Day, taking part in this huge operation was just a job to be done – notwithstanding the scared feeling of being surrounded by so much danger, and the inevitable loss of many of his comrades.

These are just a few excerpts pulled from Peter's stirring account, but you can read a more complete version on our website (click here).
Speakers' Corner
  • September - Doug Burt with a presentation on Dignity House of Perth, a palliative care facility.
  • October ~ Dennis Dwyer on "Will there be a Church for our Great Grandchildren"?
  • November ~ General Clive Addy ~ topic TBD
  • December ~ Elaine Turner with a presentation on Perth and District Community Foundation, which has provided more than $100,000 in grants in our area in recent years.
Special Events

  • October 5, 2009 ~ Fall Foliage Excursion on the Wakefield Steam Train.
    • $56.44/person incl. taxes (free parking at station 165 Rue DeVeault, Gatineau).
    • Subscribe by cheque at September Probus meeting, or by mail to EW Trischuk until Sept.18th ~ 10 Armstrong Dr. #401, Smiths Falls, On K7A5H8
    • 48 hr cancellation without penalty ~ phone Ernie at 613-283-8112.
    • Train departs 10:00 returns 15:00. Group space reserved on rail car ~2 hrs at Wakefield station to stroll & lunch
    • Travel directions will be provided to participants or click here for Google Map.
  • Date TBD ~ Dinner and Theatre Night in Perth
  • December 10, 2009 ~ Annual Christmas Dinner at the Perth Links O’Tay Golf Club.
  • May 2010 ~ play at Gananoque Playhouse

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 one of the members of the Management Team.

Management Team Notes
  • AGM September 2, 2009: The September Probus Meeting includes our Annual General Meeting. The Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate of candidates for positions on the 2009 - 2010 Management Team: President: Bruce Gourley, Vice President: Mike Else, Past President: Ernie Trischuk, Treasurer: Don Sherwin, Secretary: Sheila Clark, Program: Ian Doig & Glen Pettinger, Special Events: Mary Kilgour & Glen Pettinger, Membership: Jean Crowley & Rod Woolham, Newsletter & Webmaster: Colin Stephenson, Facilities: Bill & Kathleen Lea, Member at Large: Keith Brown, Financial Review: Don McNaughton.
  • Management Team Notes Contin. p3

Management Team Notes Contin.
  • Financial review: a “Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements For Fiscal Year ending July 31, 2009” is attached for your review. This statement will be discussed at the AGM portion of the meeting on September 2nd, so you may want to bring it with you.
  • Membership Fees: Probus Perth membership fees for the year 2009-10 are due at the first meeting in September. To avoid the fee payment line-ups that normally take place at that meeting, the Management Team is urging members to renew by mail. There is a renewal form attached to this edition. Please fill out this form and send it together with your cheque to Probus Box 2164, Perth, Ont., K7H 3M9. It is proposed, subject to approval at the AGM, that the membership fees be returned to the previous rate of $20 per person. It is also proposed that the specific dollar amount of the membership fee be removed from the Bylaws, but made subject to members' approval at each AGM. This would remove the requirement to amend the Bylaws each time the fees are changed.


    On 15 June, 38 members of the Perth Probus Club met for dinner at the Links O" Tay Golf Club in Perth. Twenty of their number had engaged in a serious and intense battle on the links for the previous two and one half hours. Somewhat exhausted but now somewhat refreshed by cooling libations and friendlier conversations, they told of their trials and suffering. The victors, Irene Casselman, Mike Else, and Rod and Shirley McLean, scored a commendable one under par 34 on the tough front nine. This may be the best score in the ten- year history of the Probus Golf Tournament and researchers are busily checking this out as we go to press. After dinner, prizes in the form of favoured books were exchanged and Peter Craske entertained by involving everyone in a singalong which he led with his accordion. Some exceptional talent revealed itself and it was decided to form a Glee Club then and there!!! Thus was born the Perth Probus Golf Tournament, Book Exchange, Dinner, and Voluntary Glee Club (PPGTBED&VGC for short).
    PPGTBED&VGC Contin
    We hope that everyone had a good time. We know that the Book Exchange did not work out for everyone, but we hope to remedy that before the October meeting.

    Self Introduction ~ Bruce Gourley

    Bruce Gourley

    As our President pro tem for 2009-2010, it was particularly fitting to hear from Bruce Gourley in this his second self-introduction. Bruce's early formative years were spent in Fort Smith and he has only vague recollection of the place. His family moved to Ottawa before the war and to Port Credit after the war. He took Civil Engineering at Queen's University. After a stint back in Port Credit, he moved to Ottawa as an engineering consultant. Just some of the interesting assignments included work on the expropriation of Lebreton Flats in Ottawa, the construction of maximum security facilities for Penitentiary Services and structural work for Code's Mill in Perth. Bruce then underwent a career change and joined the Carleton Board of Education in Ottawa, for what turned out to be 25 years. During that time, he was involved with the construction of 10 to 12 elementary and secondary schools. He loved the management aspect and the people, but when the issue of the amalgamation of the Carleton and Ottawa Boards surfaced, he decided to take a buy out and to return to private consulting. Ultimately Bruce discovered that he preferred golf to consulting so elected to retire. His move to the Perth area was sealed while driving around the countryside one day in his jeep. He discovering an irresistible patch of rocks and dead sumac trees, which he promptly bought and on which he subsequently built his house. With his wealth of engineering and construction experience, we are confident that he will continue to build a solid structure for Probus Perth during his term as President.


        SEPTEMBER 2009 -  AUGUST 2010

        (include all members)


        (Incl. postal code)








        Proposed membership fees are $20 per person payable by Sept. 2, 2009.
        Amount enclosed:  $20 _____ or $40 _____
        (if spouse is a member).

      Members are encouraged to renew by mail to avoid line-ups at the September meeting.  
      Click here for fillable version of this form
       Please type or print clearly, flagging any changes and return form and cheque to:

      Probus Box 2164, Perth, Ont., K7H 3M9

                                                    PROBUS CLUB OF PERTH

                                        Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements

                                           For Fiscal Year ending July 31, 2009


    Bank Balance as of August 1, 2008                                                                 $3,247.22


    Add:    Probus Membership Dues                                                                     2,100.00

                Oktoberfest Dinner Receipts: $1,537.50 less expenses of $1,675.92    (138.42)

                Xmas Dinner Receipts: $2,760.00 less expenses of $2,905.47              (145.47)

                Gan. Theatre Trip Receipts: $418.00 less expenses of $440.00              (22.00)

                Golf Tournament Receipts: $.00 less expenses of $.00                               0.00                                                                                                           .

                Total                                                                                                   $5,041.33


    Less:    Operating Expenses:

                Bank Charges                                                                         $ 80.61

                Legion Hall Rental                                                                  656.30

                Name Tags and Pins                                                                292.05

                Office Supplies                                                                       145.77

                Past President's Gift                                                                  75.00

                Post Box Rental                                                                       131.25

                Postage                                                                                    286.68

                Printing/Photocopying                                                               87.31

                Probus Centre Liability Insurance                                           317.50

                Cenotaph Wreath                                                                       47.00

                Legion Storage                                                                           50.00

                Club banner                                                                              150.00

                Speakers' Honoraria and Lunches                                             459.04


                Total                                                                                                       $2,778.51


    Bank Balance as of July 31, 2009                                                                        $2,262.82


    Donald F. Sherwin,