Speakers' Corner

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    Future In Person Speakers

    • October 5, 2022 ~ Michael Cohen
      • On November 2nd, 2021, Michael Cohen, a seasoned health-care executive, became the new President and Chief Executive Officer at Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital. He has a solid understanding of rural hospitals, clinical services, strategic planning and advocacy with community partners. In his prior years, Michael served as the President and CEO of Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria and held a variety of senior leadership positions at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, including Vice President of Clinical Services, Chief Privacy Officer and Director of decision support and health records. Michael will share about his building upon the solid foundation of our hospital, current initiatives, building partnerships, addressing challenges facing Ontario health care, and next steps in the new integrated health system. This presentation will be the first item on our agenda and will start about 10:00am!

      • Speakers In the Recent Past In Person

      • September 7, 2022 ~ Gary Smith
        Probus Perth member Gary Smith spoke about Russia and the Ice War Diplomat. His latest book is entitled "Ice War Diplomat", which covers the diplomatic side of the 1972 Hockey Summit Series between Canada and the USSR.
        In 1972 Gary Smith was a young diplomat on his first posting in Russia. Aside from his formal diplomatic duties he was also playing hockey in the Moscow beer league, which might best be characterized as informal diplomatic duties.
        Press response and public interest in Gary's book has been excellent and it's now into its third printing in Canada.  Even a feature-length documentary film 'IceBreaker' has been made, based in part on Gary's extraordinary role during the most celebrated event in Canadian sports history.  Personal autographed copies of Gary's book 'Ice War Diplomat' were available for sale after the Probus Club meeting is concluded.
        Important Announcement: The film, 'IceBreaker', based in part on Gary's book, will have its world premiere at the Perth Studio Theatre on Tuesday, September 6 at 7:30 pm and on Wednesday, September 7 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm . These showings are expected to sell out quickly so get your tickets in advance through "Tickets Please".
        Canadian History magazine: Commentary on, and excerpt from 'Ice War Diplomat'
        A preview of this talk....
        Link to acquire Ice War Diplomat from The Book Nook Perth.

      • Speakers In the Recent Past Via ZOOM

      • June 1, 2022 ~ Dr. Alex Souchen
        Alex Souchen spoke on "How Canadians Reduced, Reused, and Recycled War Junk after the Second World War." Alex is the author of War Junk: Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in Canada (UBC Press, 2020). His research mainly focuses on the Second World War, Canadian society, munitions production and disposal, and the history of waste and pollution. He received his PhD from the University of Western Ontario in 2016 and is currently a Humanities Instructor at Northern Lakes College and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Royal Military College of Canada.
        During the Second World War, Canadian factories produced an astonishing array of munitions and supplies. However, after the war ended, a major disposal crisis emerged when much of this materiel became surplus to requirements. These assets – which ranged from thousands of ships, aircraft, and vehicles, to millions of uniforms, firearms, and bullets – had all been acquired with public funds, which forced the government to enact a disposal strategy for divesting its surpluses to the best advantage of the Canadian state.
        So, what happened to Canada’s leftover arsenals? Dr. Alex Souchen's presentation explores how the Canadian government and military disposed of the remnants of war and the ways in which military technologies were diffused into peaceful purposes. With shortages of new goods running rampant in 1945 and 1946, the assets accumulated to fight were often the only things available for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Therefore, Canadians had little choice but to get thrifty. This talk (and the book it’s based on) will explain how Canadians reduced, reused, and recycled war junk to improve their postwar lives.
        Links for the book War Junk: UBC Press and Amazon .

      • May 4, 2022 ~ Clive Addy
        Retired General Clive Addy made an impassioned presentation on the situation in Afghanistan and the dilemma faced by former Afghan allies with the return to rule of the Taliban. With a wealth of knowledge and direct hands on experience Clive brings a unique perspective to the situation where Honour and Politics clash.
        Additional information provided by Clive Addy for anyone wishing to follow up on his excellent presentation:

      • April 6, 2022 ~ Panel Discussion on the War In Ukraine
        Panel chaired by Probus member and former Canadian diplomat to Russia, Gary Smith. Also included on the panel were fellow Probians Clive Addy, Shelagh Stevens and Elsie Stresman, as well as former federal Deputy Minister (International Trade, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs) Len Edwards. Please CLICK HERE for more details on this panel discussion.

            Gary Smith......................Clive Addy.....................Shelagh Stevens.........Elsie Stresman...............Len Edwards

      • March 2, 2022 ~ Shelagh Stevens
        Shelagh Stevens is a member of Probus Perth. Her topic will be: A Brief Introduction to UN peacekeeping with a focus on the challenges and successes of women in peacekeeping. Shelagh has had significant Canadian Peacekeeping experience. Shelagh will give us an overview of her military experience with an emphasis on the role women have played in these longstanding United Nations peacekeeping missions.
        Click here for Shelagh's Bio

      • February 2, 2022 ~ Andrew Major
        Andrew Major, Wildlife Technician speaking on the earth and the back yard bird count.
        Andrew was born in Frobisher Bay, NWT and grew up in the countryside of Meaford. He currently lives in Clearview Township (near Collingwood) and brings a wealth of knowledge as a Wildlife Technician who studied at Sir Sandford Fleming College. Over the past 10 years he has run educational wildlife tours through Andrew has also been contracted throughout Canada to conduct bird, aquatic invert, fish, and herpetile environmental impact surveys. He is also the Birds Canada ambassador for Simcoe County. In addition to his love and passion for wildlife, Andrew holds an Honours degree in Classical History for Queen’s University and a Master’s degree in Roman Late Antiquity Studies from University of Ottawa. Major will be doing weekly spots on the peak FM each Friday, in partnership with Clearview Township.

      • January 5, 2022 ~ Tim Burrows
        Tim Burrows is a retired Vice President of Forty Creek Distillery and a graduate of the University of Toronto where he earned an honours degree in psychology.
        Tim has owned and driven batteryelectric cars for the past 9 years and has logged over 300,000 kilometres without the need for gasoline or diesel fuel. He now enjoys sharing his EV experience with others and breaks down many myths and misconceptions about electric vehicle ownership.
        His talk is entitled “Should Your Next Car be Electric?” and in it, he explains why we've reached a 'tipping point' where electric cars are replacing those powered by gasoline. Tim also touches on the state of self driving technology and what autonomous cars could mean for the future.
        Tim is a member of the Electric Vehicle Society, a non-profit organization which works to promote the understanding and adoption of electric mobility in Canada. In his role there, he produces a monthly webinar called "Canada Talks Electric Cars".

      • December 1, 2021 ~ Chris Vaughan
        Chis Vaughan is a Senior Astronomer and Earth Science Educator at .
        AstroGeo specializes in education and public outreach in the Greater Toronto Area, with an emphasis on Astronomy and Earth Science.
        Chris – aka “AstroGeoGuy” – is also an award-winning astronomer with a talent for explaining the cosmos to anyone – during his dynamic and fascinating presentations, or touring guests out under the stars. A professional Geophysicist and Astronomer (graduate of University of Toronto, 1982), his passion for education and public outreach won him the 2014 Bertram Topham Award for Observing and the 2013 and 2014 Andrew Elvins Awards for Promotion of Astronomy from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Toronto Centre. He is the author of a weekly astronomy news bulletin for non-astronomers, called Astronomy Skylights, which is received by subscribers worldwide. Since 1996, Chris has been visiting classrooms, hosting science-themed assemblies, running science clubs, and holding Star Parties for schools and private groups around the GTA.
        Articles: 1. Late Winter Stars Shine and 2. A Full Worm Moon, Uranus Veers to Venus, and Jupiter’s Moons Mingle!

      • November 3, 2021 ~ Jill Heinerth
        Jill Heinerth is an underwater explorer, writer, photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. A pioneer of technical rebreather diving, she has led expeditions into icebergs in Antarctica, volcanic lava tubes, and submerged caves worldwide. Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Her memoir, INTO THE PLANET, has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. Her children’s book THE AQUANAUT is a Blue Ribbon Selection for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Jill is a Fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, Women Divers Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club, which awarded her with the William Beebe Award for ocean exploration.
        At our November meeting, Jill shared her amazing experiences as a team leader in the dangerous world of extreme cave diving. Drawing on decades of planning cutting-edge underwater life support missions, she presents basic principles and practices for ensuring success in challenging circumstances. Sharing stories from enthralling National Geographic projects and difficult expeditions to unseen places, she passes on her hard-won lessons about leadership, strategy and problem solving.
        To read a Maclean's article about this speaker ~ click here

      • October 6, 2021 ~ Greg Anderson and Janet Kasun ~ Estate Planning Update
        Both Greg and Janet have many years of experience and expertise in this subject and in knowing what you need to know, and what you should not do. Those who tuned in, were enlightened and entertained.
        Greg has practiced law in Perth since 1976 and is currently with the firm Anderson Foss. In 2005, Greg was certified as a Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
        Janet interned and practiced for Borden, Ladner, and Gervais in Ottawa, mostly specializing in tax law. During her career, she also taught part time courses at Algonquin College and later at the University of Ottawa where she taught Trust Law.

      • September 1, 2021 ~ Leah den Bok
        Leah den Bok is a magnificent young photographer who has spent her past six years focusing on photographing street people and bringing to light the experiences of folks in many countries who have "Nowhere to Call Home". For the past six years, she has been traveling to cities throughout the world, such as Toronto, New York, Washington D.C., and Brisbane, photographing people experiencing homelessness and recording their stories.
        To view her website click here.

      • July 28, 2021 ~ OPP Inspector Derek Needham ~ “How communities collaborate to de-criminalize mental illness and reduce social disorder” ~ meeting by Zoom:
        Derek Needham, former Lanark County OPP Detachment Commander/Critical Incident Commander, currently Director with the Office of Professionalism, Respect, Inclusion and Leadership. He is now based out of Orillia, Ontario. Derek has been a member of the Ontario Provincial Police for more than 23 years. For ten of those years, he was posted to the Lanark County OPP Detachment and for the last six of those years (2013 to 2019) he was the Detachment Commander. Under Derek's leadership as Detachment Commander a new collaborative approach to policing was initiated which developed over time to be extremely successful by combining municipal social services and policing together to provide a strategic and effective taskforce to resolve community disorder and conflict.
        Picture courtesy of the Perth Courier

      • June 2, 2021 ~ Bruce Vincent Burlton
        Bruce Burlton started work at Telesat, Canada in August 1972 in the Space Systems Department. He was heavily involved in the design, procurement, commissioning and operation of the satellites that comprised Telesat’s space segment, where he worked for 30 years. He was responsible for the pro-operational activates of 12 of Telesat’s first 13 satellites. He was heavily involved in resolving on-orbit anomalies that occasionally occurred. He also participated in Telesat’s world-wide consulting activities, working on some 50 satellite missions to one extent or another. On January 20, 1994, Telesat’s Anik E2 suffered its second major on orbit anomaly. His talk to Probus reviewed what went wrong and how the problem was corrected remotely. Since the satellite was in Geostationary orbit, an “on orbit servicing mission” was not possible. Telesat engineers were able to implement a ground based system, that corrected the anomaly and permitted the satellite to operate successfully for ten plus years. Except for this story, such a space rescue has never been carried out by any organization.

      • May 5, 2021 ~ Dr. Christopher DiCarlo, who is an eminent philosopher and educator, was our speaker.
        He is the Principal and Founder of Critical Thinking Solutions and the Ethics Chair for the Canadian Mental Health Association. He is also an Invited Professor at The Life Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto and a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University. He has authored several books, the latest of which is entitled: "So You Think You Can Think: Tools for Having Intelligent Discussions and Getting Along." And in November of 2021, the 2nd Edition of his best-seller: "How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass", will be released by Rowman and Littlefield.
        This meeting will be held virtually via ZOOM. We will send out the ZOOM link for this meeting a week before it takes place, along with technical details you will need to know to join the meeting. You may also want to click on the ZOOM TIPS button below for some suggested tips and information specific to the device (laptop, iPad, etc.) that you will be using to take part in this meeting.

      • April 7, 2021 ~ Ramsey Hart, the Executive Director of The Table in Perth, spoke about "How The Table is Surviving the Pandemic: Current and Future Needs". The Table's mission is to foster a healthier and more connected community. They do this by improving access to healthy food, improving food skills and food literacy, advocating for individual well-being, and educating, engaging and advocating social policies to address food insecurity and poverty.
        This meeting was held virtually via ZOOM and was enjoyed by quite a number of Probus Perth members.

      • From April 2020 to March 2021 ~ All in-person meetings were cancelled due to Covid-19, but.......
          ~ on June 3, 2020 ~ the second "Speakers in Isolation" video series was provided involving eminent Canadian, Dr Christopher DiCarlo, philosopher and educator, at the University of Toronto.
          ~ on May 6, 2020 ~ The "Speakers in Isolation" series was commenced featuring astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Sunita Williams.
          Since neither of these sessions were well attended, meetings were put on hold until we were able to get our ZOOM meetings going on April 7, 2021

        In Person Speakers In the Recent Past

      • March 4, 2020 ~ There were two separate presentations at this meeting. 

        The first presentation was given by Marlene Pearce, President of Probus Canada, accompanied by Jamie Doolittle VP and District Director, with a presentation on Probus in honour of  Probus Month. Marlene gave a description of the history of Probus and the phenominal growth that has taken place since its inception.  There was also be a related celebration of our Charter Members to mark Probus Month.

        The second presentation was given by Joellen McHard and Steven Brown who spoke about the 'Lanark County Community Justice' program. The purpose of this extremely successfull initiative is to bring people together to repair the harm from conflict and crime and to promote the use of restorative practices. The high standards of their program was recognized in 2013 when they received the Attorney General of Ontario Award for Excellence. It is a court diversion program for both youth and adult offenders.
        Joellen McHard is the Executive Director of Lanark County Community Justice. She has a degree in Sociology and a degree in Gerontology, plus a wealth of experince with other organizations.
        Steven Brown is a 26 year veteran OPP officer who has supported this program from it's inception in 2000.(OPP). He is Carleton University BA graduate in Sociology / Anthropology with a concentration in criminology.

        Restorative Justice from an Indigenous Perspective (not directly related to presentation)

      • February 5, 2020 ~ local author and historian, John McKenty, returned to do a presentation on "The Life & Times of Joe Perkins". In his latest book by this title, John has taken a very objective perspective in telling Joe Perkin's story by weaving the many versions that he has uncovered. It is a story full of accolades and acrimony depending on who tells it. Joe was part showman and part salesman, but was he a visionary or an opportunist? The people of Perth could never decide.
        John retired as a high school principal in 2004 after 30+ years in education. He has partnered with local organizations and over a 100 volunteers as he chaired the Stewart Park Festival for the past 10 years, the subject of his last presentation to Probus in May 2019. In 2018 he was awarded the Perth Medal for his volunteer efforts and his contribution to the Perth community. He has written 6 books of local history and a history of the CCM company.

      • January 8, 2020 ~ Since Ontario has been revising how Health Care Service is to be delivered, Michele Bellows was invited to come to discuss Ontario Health Care Teams and what is happening locally. She explained some of the Primary Health Care options for health care which include: Nurse Practitioners, Family Physicians and Virtual Care. Michele is the new Chief Executive Officer of Rideau Community Health Services, a multi-site organization providing Primary Health Care in Merrickville, Smiths Falls, Perth, Lanark, Leeds and Greenville. She will explain what Community Health Care Centres are and their Model of health and wellbeing. Originally from St. John's Newfoundland, Michelle has an extensive nursing career, including several senior managerial positions in different facilities, as well as part-time professorial roles.

      • For a complete list of Speakers and their topics from the inception of the club in 1996 to the end of 2019,