~ Summer 2011 Edition
~ Editor: Colin Stephenson ~


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

In a blink or two of the eye, summer passes and a new Probus year begins. Welcome back! Our first meeting will take place on the 7th day of September at 10am. As usual, the September meeting of Probus Perth will include a short Annual General Meeting. Boring stuff we know, but we promise to get through it with humour and great despatch. This Probian contains two items for discussion at the AGM: the audited year-end financial statement and the slate of candidates who will stand for office in 2011-2012. Of course nominations for office can also come from the floor, but since this has never happened, we are not quite sure what we would do in such a case. Proponents of the chaos theory may be inspired to act perhaps? For those whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of an AGM, our guest speaker, Wynne White, should provide the perfect antidote. She will be speaking on her inspirational experiences in teaching the teacher in third world countries. On-line Probian readers may get a hint of what she will be presenting by clicking on this article from yourottawaregion.com. Paper Probian readers may have to wait for the real thing.

How Information Technology Shapes Our Lives

John Chattoe
Our June speaker was John Chattoe, former executive with Nortel and Computing Devices and current IT consultant. He provided a lively and intriguing account of the intrusion of IT into our daily lives, under the rubric “Are you distracted or empowered?”. The venue for the meeting was the charming, but rustic, Timber Run Golf Club in Lanark and one would be hard pressed to come up with a more incongruous setting for an IT address than this polished log beauty, complete with the white table cloth viewing screen and no sound amplification. Nevertheless, the venue worked very well for the meeting and even better for the wonderful end-of-year luncheon.

John traced the pervasive nature of IT and how it affects our lives from email overload to Skype, to Facebook, to Twitter, to YouTube, to Second Life. He emphasized the fact that technology leads to attempts to multi-task, which inevitably results in doing poorly in each coincident activity. He discussed the impact of the use of cell phones and other devices while driving and how they narrow the spectrum of what one actually sees, while we are focusing on other things. Who will forget the contest he presented in which he asked the audience to focus on counting the number of baskets achieved in his basketball video, with a $10 prize going to the winner? With everyone focused on the challenge presented, no one saw the person in the gorilla suit who walked through the basketball court, until the second showing, when we were asked not to focus on the baskets scored, but to just observe what was going on. John talked of the many positive results of IT (e.g. e-commerce, e-learning, instant information availability) and the numerous negative ones as well (e.g. loss of face-to-face contact, internet addictions, possibly radiation). He ended with the following 4 basic guidelines to the sensible use of IT: 1) Recognize the digital divide; 2) Reduce the temptation to multi-task 3) Turn off gadgets and reconnect with self; and 4) Be open to positives, but be intelligent consumers.

Special Events
  • October 13, 2011 ~ Fall Colours in the Pontiac and the Ottawa Valley ~ see separate article on this trip below. Mary Kilgour asks all interested participants to bring cheques to the September meeting ($100 / person payable to the Probus Club of Perth).
  • Fall, 2011 ~ Local dinner theatre event perhaps?
  • December 8, 2011 ~ Annual Christmas dinner at the Links O'Tay Golf Club. Good friends, good drink, good food, good music and dancing ~ what could be more festive!

Management Team Notes
  • To avoid the fee payment line-ups that normally take place at the September 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 20131, Perth, Ont., K7H 3M6.
  • At the June meeting, Dennis Dwyer generously volunteered to become the Probian editor / team leader for 2011-12, starting with the September edition. He will be looking forward to working with volunteers who will be willing to contribute articles on the speaker and the self-introducer at each of the meetings.
  • Thanks to Ernie Trischuk for his contribution to this edition.

  • Slate of Directors for 2011-2012
      President - Dan Murphy
      Vice President - Richard Thomson
      Past president - Mike Else
      Secretary - Knox Thompson
      Treasurer - Don Sherwin
      Membership - Jean & David Crowley
      Special Events - Glen Pettinger & Mary Kilgour
      Program - Peggy Moxon and David Farquharson
      Newsletter - Dennis Dwyer
      Webmaster - Colin Stephenson
      Facilities Manager - Geoffrey Newman

Note from the Editor
I have thoroughly enjoyed being the Editor and Team Leader for the Probian for the past 3 years. A huge "thank-you" to everyone who has contributed articles during this time. I would like to wish Dennis Dwyer the best of luck as he steps into this role. Colin Stephenson.
Self-introduction ~ Peter Hall           by Ernie Trischuk
Peter shared some of his memorable life events with us starting with a review of his time at Lakefield, a private school near Peterborough, one sometimes regarded as ‘second class’ by other private schools such as Upper Canada College. He illustrated the rivalry that exists between these schools by mentioning some of their ignoble alumni, such as Conrad Black and Russell Williams. After entering RMC he ensured that the seniors, who were about to make his life difficult as a result of publicity that he was a 3rd generation cadet, expected no special attention: he was left alone.

Peter earned a scholarship to study law at Kings College, London, UK. He was impressed with the training regimen in British law, and was less than impressed, when he completed his studies in Canada, with the mass-production ceremony for 200 or so new lawyers when he was called to the bar. It was like picking up your place ticket in line at the butchers. He articled, and then practiced briefly, in his grandfather’s legal firm in Peterborough, which specialized in Wills & Estates. He soon saw this as deadly dull. Life was spiced up by a capital murder case he was given as a lawyer of three months, which required him to secure help from a pre-eminent criminal lawyer from Toronto. The accused was discharged at the pre-trial hearing.

Peter suffered a stroke at the age of 36, and was issued a grim prognosis by his medical advisers. In his 72 year he looked up these advisers to inform them of a successful 36 years of survival, only to find out they had all died. His current active life is a testimony to outcomes which can make mockery of such prognoses.


Speakers' Corner
  • September 7 ~ Wynne White on teaching the teacher in third world countries.
  • October 5 ~ Elizabeth Goldman, the new Head Librarian of the Perth and District Union Library will talk about her plans and ideas to make the library more community minded and lively.
  • Many thanks to outgoing Program Director, Ian Doig for the excellent speakers he has brought in over the years. Stepping into his shoes will be the duo of Peggy Moxon and David Farquharson, who have lots of new ideas, the results of which will be presented soon.

Leaving the Legion by bus at 7:00am sharp and returning by 6:30pm



(include all members)


(Incl. postal code)







Proposed membership fees are $20 per person payable by Sept. meeting.
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 20131, Perth, Ont., K7H 3M6
Note: Your personal information will be protected in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements
For Fiscal Year ending July 31, 2011

Bank Balance as of August 1, 2010












Surplus special events (Rideau Cruise, 23.94; Xmas Party 5.52; Gan. Theatre 11.56; Timber Run Lunch 3.29)




Membership Dues




Total Revenues :
















Bank Charges

$ 86.50



Legion Hall Rental




Legion Donation




Name Tags and Pins




Office Supplies




Past President's Gift




Post Box Rental












Probus Centre Liability Insurance




Cenotaph Wreath




Send-off for Wilf Parry




Speakers' Honoraria and Lunches




Total Expenditures: 







Bank Balance as of July 31, 2011







Donald F. Sherwin,
July 2011