The heart and soul of every ProbusPerth monthly meeting is normally the presentation by the key note speaker. It is the key ingredient that keeps members active and engaged. Over the years, the Club has been exceptionately fortunate to have so many interesting presentations.
Many of the best speakers have been suggested by our members. If you know of a speaker who you think other members would love to hear, or a subject of broad interest, please get in touch with one of the Program Directors, David Farquharson (by clicking here),
or Gardner Church, or Brian O'Connor, or Derek Cooke or Arlene Dickson.
April 3, 2019 ~ Andrew Hanlon's
presentation will be all about Guide Dog Training. Andrew is a qualified Guide Dog Trainer and Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. He first worked with dogs while serving in the Military and later as a Pup Manager in the Royal Marines in the United Kingdom.
In 1993 Andrew made the life changing decision to accept a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor apprenticeship in England, where he experienced tremendous professional success and met his wife, Wendy. He worked his way up to District Team Manager in Leeds before emigrating to Canada in 2006. He proudly entered this CNIB trained dog initiative at its outset, a direction that has proven to offer many more opportunities and choices to blind and partially sighted Canadians. As Director of training for the Canadian Guide Dog school, Andrew continues to be impressed by the incredible passion and enthusiasm of everyone involved in this program.
Speakers In the Recent Past
March 6, 2019 ~ Robert Dick with a presentation
on Light Pollution entitled “Blinding
Light – Bring Back the Night”. The presentation will address the proven impact of artificial light at night on the ecology of animals and plants, on our own biology, vision, and our brain, and will consider what we can do to minimize this impact. For over a century, astronomers have known about the impact of artificial light on the night sky, but this knowledge was just the tip of the iceberg. Studies into the effects of light on our biology and mental functions are revealing a more profound physical impact.
For more information on Robert Dick click here and for more information on his topic
about light pollution click here.
February 6, 2019
~ This month there were two keynote speakers at our meeting including:
- Pauline Fitchett, the Executive Director of the
Perth Enrichment Program for Older Adults (PEP), will speak about the reasons behind the development of the program, how the program was established, and the benefits of those who are involved in the program. Pauline has been the Executive Director of PEP for over four and a half years. Before this position, she was the General Manager of the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce for more than three years. This position gave Pauline the chance to connect with many different people, non-profit organizations, and the community itself.
Jamie Doolittle, Probus Canada Treasurer and the Director for Ontario-District #1 visited the club as part of his duties as District Director. He spoke entertainingly about the origins of Probus and about the growth of Probus Clubs both in Canada and internationally.
January 9, 2019 ~ Vickie Kaminski, the Acting CEO of the Perth and Sniths Falls Dstrict Hospital, spoke about the successes of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital and the future direction of hospitals. She has had a remarkable career at the centre of the hospital systems of several jurisdictions. A nurse by training, Vickie became the first CEO of the amalgamated hospitals of Greater Sudbury in Ontario, went on to be the executive head of the entire Alberta hospital system, then to a similar position in Newfoundland and Labrador and finally to another deputy minister level position in charge of all the hospitals of South Australia. Upon her retirement back to Canada, Vickie agreed to lead PSFDH on an acting basis. The hospital has been very fortunate to attract Vickie as our acting CEO during the prolonged absence of Bev McFarland.
December 5, 2018 ~ Hugh Chatfield spoke on “The Tunnels of Perth.” Hugh had a long career as a member of Scientific Staff at Northern Electric’s R&D Labs in Ottawa, and at various hi-tech companies and his own consulting and video firm. He has, with his wife Mary, operated a retail store in Perth, and has been fascinated with Perth History for many years. He has produced a number of documentaries, including “Daniel’s Journal - History Rewritten” which deals with Perth’s history.
Although these video were not included in his presentation, they provide a sesnse of his early quest for the tunnels of Perth:
- November 7, 2018 ~ Club member Gary Smith
spoke on “Diplomatic Life in Cold War Moscow and the 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Hockey Series. Gary is a former career diplomat who served over 30 years, more than 20 of which were served abroad. His postings took Gary and his family on a series of around-the-world adventures of varying cultures, climates, schools and political environments. He served at the UN in New York, the Soviet Union, at NATO HQ, Israel, India, Germany, Indonesia, and Ottawa (as Director of Arms Control and Disarmament, among other positions). After leaving government he served as Vice-President (Advancement) at York University, and as an elected official in Central Frontenac. He is currently a Director on The Board of the Former Ambassadors Association, based in Ottawa. Gary is one of the principle authors of "Declassified", a book containing excerpts from the personal notebooks of former Canadian diplomats, which is available at the Booknook, 60 Gore Street East in Perth.
October 3, 2018 ~ Our October speaker was a very well known Canadian, Major-General Lewis Mackenzie. During a thirty-six year military career he served in Germany with NATO forces and did nine peacekeeping tours of duty in the Gaza Strip, Cyprus, Cairo, Vietnam, Central America and Sarajevo. In 1992 he created and assumed command of Sector Sarajevo and with a small contingent of soldiers from 31 countries opened the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid during the height of the Bosnian civil war. As a result he became the first Canadian to be awarded a second Meritorious Service Cross. He is a frequent media commentator, newspaper columnist, and lecturer on leadership. As well, he is active in motor racing and in 2017 was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. The topic of his presentation was “Canada’s Peacekeeping Myth.”
September 5, 2018 ~ Our presenters were Douglas Nutall and Matt McCombs on the Tay River Dam Project in Perth. Douglas Nutall is a Senior Civil Engineer with Jp2g Consultants Inc. in Perth who is interested in investigating how to maximize social benefit while minimizing negative ecological impacts for any Technological Development. Matt McCombs is a Water Resources Engineer with Matrix Soluntions Inc. in Guelph, whose field is natural channel design, fish habitat design and restoration.
June 6, 2018 ~ our presenter was Brian Preston, a travelling Sommelier who spoke about a wide variety of topics related to wine. There was also an opportunity for wine tasting. Brian has been a certified Sommelier for over 17 years involved in wine, beer and spirits education, conducting private tours of Niagara and Prince Edward County wineries, including several visits to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. He works with individuals conducting private tastings, restaurants, and institutions presenting special food/wine tasting suppers and events. He has traveled extensively to several wine regions of the world, thus being referred to as The Travelling Sommelier.
May 2, 2018 ~ Jane Volspoke on the Outlook from the Bank of Canada. She discussed the role of the central bank in the economy, the recent evolution of economic and credit conditions and the outlook from the Bank of Canada’s perspective. Jane was appointed Regional Director (Economics) at the Bank’s Regional Office for Ontario in September 2008. In this capacity, she directs research and analysis on economic and sectoral developments in the region, including overseeing the Bank’s Business Outlook Survey in that province. She also plays a major role in the Office’s activities in communicating the Bank’s messages to a variety of external audiences and promoting an exchange of views on the economy and monetary policy. More details.
- April 4, 2018 ~ Probian
Buzz Boles spoke on “Bee Keeping in Uganda.” Buzz is a retired wildlife
biologist now living in Portland, on Big Rideau Lake, and enjoying the good
life of beekeeping and sailing. His presentation will be a bit of of a
travelogue on related anecdotes of beekeeping, people and travel in Uganda,
Cuba, the USA and Canada. It will provide some insights into the world of
beekeepers, but it will not be a lesson on how to keep bees. Buzz has sent along some additional information relating to his talk that may be of interest to members ~ see
Declining Bee Population to Get Helping Hand , as well as
Beekeepers refuse to put thousands of colonies in Fraser Valley blueberry fields
March 7, 2018 ~ Jordan Sinclair, Director of Communications and Media for
Canopy Growth Corporation, with a presentation on the status of this company, based in Smiths Falls. According to the company, "Canopy is the world's largest cannabis production business. With the company since the early days, Jordan has played an integral role in the rapid expansion and global reach the company has established. As a member of the founding team at Canopy Rivers, a cannabis streaming company, he is at the forefront of the cannabis industry and brings specific insights into the market dynamics of Canada's fast-growing industry."
The February 7, 2018 meeting included a panel of presenters, each sharing new programs to support healthy living among seniors and sustaining independent living in our community. The
presenters were: Catherine Ball, Physiotherapist and owner of
Perth Physiotherapy, who focused on
her expertise in mobility and quality of life; Shannon Baillon, Director of Community Services for the Town of Perth, and Lori Cameron, Acting Pool Manager and Aquatics
Instructor from the
Perth Indoor Pool, discussing the benefits of aqua fit and joint friendly programs; and Christine Wilson of
Sweatergang Companions who discussed the wide ranging services her group provides to support seniors who endeavour to maximize their stay within their own homes.
The January 3, 2018 speaker was Heather Church with a presentation on Aging Success Stories. Heather runs the Blue Heron Psychotherapy Services clinic in Perth.
She has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, focusing in special education and has been working on a PhD in health and rehabilitation sciences. She is a board certified behaviour analyst (BCBA) and registered psychotherapist (RP) through the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She has specialized training in working with first responders and military personnel. Additionally, she has completed training in trauma, dementia and brain injury and has been working on a PhD. Read more.
Complete List of Speakers 1996 to 2017
For a complete list of Speakers and their topics from the inception of the club to the end of 2017,