October 11, 2023 - Ted Barris
Ted is a Canadian writer, journalist, professor and broadcaster. He is also a renowned orator and has made many presentations to PROBUS and other service clubs to great acclaim.
Ted Barris has published 20 non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories focusing on Canada’s military heritage. His book ‘The Great Escape: A Canadian Story’ won the 2014 Libris Award as Best Non-Fiction Book in Canada; and his book ‘Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany’ received the 2019 NORAD Trophy from the RCAF Association.
Ted will talk to us about his latest book. ‘The Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory’ which focuses on Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of WWII. The Atlantic was the battlefield that pitted German U-boats against Royal Canadian Navy escorts and bomber-reconnaissance aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. It took 2,074 days and nights to determine its outcome, but the allied victory proved the turning point of the Second World War.
Ted will tell us how Canada’s navy went to war with exactly 13 warships and about 3,500 sailors and how that grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By V-E Day in 1945, it had become the 4th largest navy in the world.
September 13, 2023 - Amy Barron
Our August speaker was archeologist Dr. Amy Barron. Amy received her PhD at the University of Toronto in the field of Mesopotamian history and archaeology, specializing in the military history of Iron Age Assyria
She has excavated predominantly in the Middle East but has traveled widely studying the archaeology of various remote parts of the world from Peru to China.
Amy has taught archaeology, ancient history and classics at the universities of Toronto and Guelph and presently teaches museum studies in Fleming College’s post-graduate program. She has worked in the museum world for over 30 years and loves sharing her passion for the past. For more information about Amy you can check out her webpage at www.quarrywood.ca.
August - No speaker as we had our BBQ!
July 19, 2023 - Dennis Grimm
Our July Speaker was Dennis Grimm. He enjoyed a very successful career in senior accounting, audit and Board Director roles and also found time to get his pilot's license and become a Certified Fitness Instructor while doing them.
But he wasn’t finished there! Upon retirement, Dennis went back to school to study wine and obtain another credential. He is now a Certified Sommelier with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
This enabled Dennis to fulfil a lifelong ambition when in 2008 he purchased land In the UCO Valley of Argentina and started a vineyard. He also built a house at the foot of the Andes and so he and his wife Candice now split their time between Canada and Argentina.
He will talk to us about his ‘adventures’ in the wine industry and Argentina.
June 14, 2023 - Dr. Riley Moynes
Our June speaker was Dr. Riley Moynes. During his varied career, Riley has been an educator, author, financial advisor, public speaker and publisher.
Dr. Moynes had a successful 20-year career as an educator before turning his talents to the financial services sector where he launched and grew a multi-city wealth management firm. He was a recipient of the Dalbar Financial Professional Seal as one of Canada’s most trusted financial advisors.
Riley then became an author and penned several best-sellers. Among his works is the six-edition financial planning guide The Money Coach, The Four Phases of Retirement: What to Expect When You’re Retiring and its follow up The Ten Lessons: How You Too Can Squeeze All The “Juice” Out of Retirement.
His talk to us will be on the Four Phases of Retirement. As Riley describes his own personal retirement experience: He waltzed through Phase One of retirement, struggled through Phase Two, tried a dozen different initiatives in Phase Three, and now, in Phase Four, he researches, writes, publishes and speaks on topics of current interest and importance. In fact, he is now a renowned TEDx Speaker. His recent TEDx talk on the topic of retirement has been viewed 3.4 million times to date and was in the TOP 10 of TEDx talks in 2022.
April 19, 2023 - Dan Carter
Our April Speaker was Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter but he will not be talking about Oshawa.
Dan experienced some major challenges as a child and as a result he fell into drug and alcohol addiction and was homeless for most of his late teens and 20s.
Dan managed to overcome this and went on to enjoy a successful career in broadcasting including being the Executive Producer of programming for CHEX TV Durham. He took up politics in 2014 and became Mayor in 2018.
Dan’s background has also enabled him to become an exceptional motivational speaker on topics including leadership, the challenges of living in poverty, mental health and addiction.
He will share more of his incredible story with us at our next meeting and I’m sure it will be truly inspirational.
March ,2023 - Matthew Anderson
Our Speaker for March was Matthew Anderson. Matt is the President and CEO Of Ontario Health and he will talk to us about the many challenges that Healthcare is facing today and of some upcoming changes being planned and rolled out as a result.
Matthew Anderson is an experienced healthcare leader, team-builder and advocate for positive change and as the President of Ontario Health he is leading one of the largest mergers in healthcare history bringing together 22 agencies.
Matthew began his career in data analytics and IT. He became Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the University Health Network (UHN) in 2000 and in 2008 he was named CEO of the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. Then in 2010, he became CEO of William Osler Health System and was the President and CEO of Lakeridge Health before taking up his current position.
Matthew is married with three children and numerous pets.
Matthew was originally scheduled to talk to us about the Lakeridge Health network back in 2019 but this had to be canceled due to COVID. Since then he has gone on to bigger and better things and is clearly a very busy person doing an incredibly important job that will affect all of us and our children and grandchildren going forward. So we are very privileged that he is taking this time out to talk to us on such an important subject. I would like to thank a long time member of our club, Joyce Perrin, who worked with Matthew in the past for making this happen.
February 16, 2023 - Dr. Christopher CiCarlo
For our February meeting we welcome Dr. Christopher DiCarlo. Dr. DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, speaker and author. He is the Ethics Chair for the Canadian Mental Health Association and a lifetime member of Humanist Canada. As an educator, Christopher currently teaches in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and at The Life Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Dr. DiCarlo has been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences in the past and has won several awards including TV Ontario’s ‘Big Ideas’ Best Lecturer in Ontario Award and Canada’s Humanist of the Year. Finally, he is the author of several books including his best-seller: How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions and his latest: So You Think You Can Think? Tools for Intelligent Conversations and Getting Along.
Christopher has presented to us before, notably about “Ethics, Good vs Evil”, and his presentation to us at this meeting will be on ‘The Abridged History of Love’. How was the concept of ‘love’ defined, used, and celebrated throughout recorded time (and potentially, pre-recorded time)? During this festive season of St. Valentine’s – when “love is in the air” – let’s consider the nature of this most perplexing, yet wondrous of human emotions.
January 18, 2023 - Lianne Harris
Lianne is a history, culture, and social studies resource specialist and the author of numerous books. She is a contributing author of the Canadian best seller ‘ The Power of Women United’ and in 2003, she was selected as one of Toronto’s 'Women of Influence'.
This time around Lianne will talk to us about Fables, Fairytales & Rhymes: Who was the real Humpty Dumpty? What queen was ‘Mary, Mary the Quite Contrary’? How did the Nazi’s use fairytale themes to manipulate the German people in WW2? Is ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ really just a mother-to-daughter sex talk?
Childhood stories are not the stuff of fantasy. In ages past when illiteracy ran high, these fables and rhymes were the moral classroom where one learned all there was to know about truth, justice, faith, prejudice, love, sex, sin, crime and punishment. Bedtime stories shape our beliefs and teach us about real life.
December 14, 2022 - Johnny Cigan
There was no formal speaker in December. Instead, we were entertained at our Annual Christmas Luncheon by Johnny Cigan. John's charismatic voice will entertain you with all the songs from Elvis' early years to the concert years. His acclaimed competition titles include Champion in the largest Elvis festival in the world Collingwood Elvis Festival. Champion winner in the Lake George Elvis Festival, Belleville Elvis Trilogy and many more.
November 16, 2022 - MARK RECTOR
Professor Mark Rector is a retired Professor of Engineering from Simcoe and a published author and highly entertaining public speaker. He has been awarded and honoured as an educator across the country, and on Parliament Hill.
From a life-long passion for innovation, Professor Rector has always inspired his audiences with tales of great Canadian inventors and inventions. Now he’s speaking across the country about his smash bestseller “OH CANADA! Our Home and Inventive Land!”.
His presentation to us will include many examples from the book including the poignant story of the tragedy of the Avro Arrow. He will tell us of some amazing Canadian ingenuity and the results: Of the millions of lives saved by the pacemaker, of the complexity of the most intricate robot ever built - the Canadarm; and of the triumphant story of this professor’s project with four students that made history with a world’s first!
October 19, 2022 - LORI OSCHEFSKI
Lori Oschefski is President of ‘Home Children Canada’ (HCC), a charitable organization she founded in 2012 which is dedicated to bringing the true stories of the British Home Children to light.
Throughout the years Lori and HCC have steadily maintained their mission of cataloging Home Children stories, gathering information about the children and their lives in Canada, reconnecting families unjustly torn apart by these migrant programs, and promoting the story of the Home Children across the world. Her personal connection with this story comes through her mother, who arrived in Canada in 1924 at the tender age of 2. Lori shared some of her research and stories of some of these children with us.
Robin Clipsham first talked to us about the most important concepts and “rules” of improv and then provided a warm up session called the ‘Odd Prop Game’, which we will ALL participated in small groups. Finally, 4 or 5 members were asked to work with Robin for an Improv “class” and demonstrate the skills and activities so that we can all learn together. This format provided for lots of fun.
Actor, director, writer, and educator, Robin has spent most of her life in theater, winning many accolades along the way. She is the founder and Artistic Director for both the Muskoka StageWorks and PRISM Theatre In-The-Park where she has worked with local youth and women to present several successful outdoor and indoor theater productions. She has also taught theatre performance and production for Nipissing University and is an award-winning improvisational theatre coach.
August 17, 2022 - ANNUAL BBQ
No speaker this month as we enjoyed a day of fun and fellowship at Alex Robertson Park.
Barbara Dixon is an award-winning public speaker, historian, documentary film producer and writer who has entertained, educated, and enlightened audiences for over twenty-five years. Barbara’s vision is to educate Canadians about the phenomenal work carried out by women across the nation whose invaluable contribution helped win the Second World War. Barbara provided an informative presentation talking about the women who worked at the D.I.L. plant in Pickering and the GECO Plant in Scarborough and the many challenges they made to assist the war effort.
June 15, 2022 - MIKE DALEY
Dr. Mike Daley is a musicologist, specializing in the history of popular music and has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities. Mike's presentation was entitled the "Elvis Presley Story" where he discussed the life and music of a man who defined the rock and roll culture of the 1950s.
May 18, 2022 - LIANNE HARRIS
Lianne Harris has been a history, culture, and social studies resource specialist with the Toronto District School Board for almost 20 years and has been the guest instructor and workshop leader for teachers across many school boards in Southern Ontario. Lianne's presentation is entitled 'The Roaring 20’s'. It was a time of the Jitter-Bug and juke boxes, the Bee’s Knees and the Cat’s Pajamas. Its era had no precedent and its place in history marks it as the most revolutionary decade this last century. It was an era bigger than life, louder than convention--it was the Roaring 20’s!
Our Speaker in April was Tom McKay who has an international reputation for his crime prevention and CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) expertise having served 32 years with Peel Regional Police including 25 years as a Crime Prevention specialist.
Tom's presentation was entitled Constable Tom’s Ten Top Tips for a Crime Free Day . As we emerge from our 2-year hiatus and get back out in the world, we are sure these tips will be most helpful.
March 16, 2022 - NICK FRENCH
We are pleased to welcome back Nick French who again will be speaking to us directly from his home in South Africa. His presentation to us will be about something we all know so much and yet so little about: "Heroes and Villains of the Titanic": As with most disasters involving man made machinery, the sinking of the Titanic on that fateful day on 15 April 1912 could have been avoided were it not for a number of human mistakes, before and during the catastrophe. At the same time, the impact of the disaster could have been far greater were it not for the brave acts of certain individuals who placed the lives of others ahead of their own. In this talk Nick will tell the tale of the Titanic through the actions of all the interesting characters who played key roles in every aspect of her life, her catastrophic sinking and the aftermath.
January 17, 2022 - DEIDREY FRANCOIS
Deidrey Francois returned to entertain us with her inspiring and energizing collection of music. Deidrey is a passionate singer/songwriter and a sultry, soulful performer. Deidrey's voice resonates love and her stage presence is infectious enthusiasm. She invokes the full gamut of emotion with music that ranges from gut wrenching blues, rhythmic rock to jazzy joy.
DECEMBER 8, 2021 - MARK KERSEY
Instead of our regular meeting with a speaker, we celebrated the season with a Christmas Luncheon held at the Ajax Convention Centre. We were joined by Mark Kersey, a name that many of you may recognize. Mark played Mark The Repairman on the Mr. Dress-up show for over 10 years, and has appeared in DOZENS of TV commercials across Canada and the USA. This former Blue Jay organist is great at entertaining young and old alike.
NOVEMBER 17, 2021 - TAMMY DEAN
Our speaker, Tammy Dean, is passionate about assisting seniors through the challenges of downsizing, decluttering, organizing and moving. Tammy has achieved Senior Move Manager status with NASMM (National Association of Senior Move Managers) and she specializes in helping people with Chronic Disorganization, Aging and Hoarding Issues.
Tammy is a proud member of the Association for Age-Friendly Businesses, The Institute for Chronic Disorganization and Professional Organizers of Canada. She is also is a lifelong resident of Durham Region and the Owner/Franchisee of "Downsizing Diva" serving the Durham Region.
Tammy's talked about how to de-clutter and downsize. She explained how simple organizational changes can make a big impact and shared creative and inexpensive organizational tips that will help in the process of reorganizing and/or downsizing our homes.
OCTOBER 20, 2021 - NICK FRENCH
Our speaker Nick French was born in Zimbabwe and attended the University of Cape Town. His working career covered marketing and general management, both in South Africa and a 20 year stint in Singapore.
To show that PROBUS is truly international, Nick is one of us. He is currently the Chairman of the PROBUS Association of Western Cape.
Nick is an historian and his presentation to us will be about something uniquely South African “The advent of open heart surgery”:
From the mid 50’s to the late 60’s tremendous progress in heart surgery was made possible through pioneering work done at the University of Minnesota. This is where Chris Barnard received his training and background in heart surgery. From there huge strides were taken in developing techniques to work on the heart, leading to the world's first heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnard and his team of Groote Schuur, Cape Town in December 1967. In this talk Nick will share how heart surgery evolved during those halcyon days and the challenges facing the transplant team and how they were overcome.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 - ANNUAL SUMMER BBQ
No speaker this month as we enjoyed a day of fun and fellowship at Alex Robertson Park.
Judy Suke is a Motivational Humourist, Retired College Professor, manuscript developer and author. Judy Suke believes in living life to the fullest and has a reputation for being informative, entertaining and memorable.
Her presentation is entitled "Aging Isn't for Sissies". In this extremely humourous presentation, Judy shares some helpful tips to control and lower the stress of aging. Tips that will help you move ahead with ease. Your laughter during the presentation will immediately heal the body, soothe the soul, lift the spirits and give you energy.
JULY 21, 2021 - NEIL CRONE
You may know Neil Crone from his years as an award winning columnist with Durham Region News. In addition to being an accomplished writer, Neil Crone has also performed in dozens of television and radio commercials, TV shows and is the voice of numerous animation characters every Saturday morning.
Neil's presentation will be a humorous and sometimes serious take on some of the life lessons learned during his brush with colorectal cancer. Neil authored his book "Semi-Colon: A Writer's Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer" in 2015 which provides a "unique, funny and uplifting collection of emails, newspaper articles and quotes" of his journey with cancer. Neil Crone is first and foremost a comedian and his sense of humor is sure to entertain and delight.
June 16, 2021 - Robin Clipsham
Actor, director, writer, and theatre educator Robin Clipsham has spent most of her life in theatre. She founded and developed a theatre company for young people, taught theatre performance and production for Nipissing University, spent over 25 years as a theatre educator, and is an award-winning improvisational theatre coach.
Winner of four awards for her work in locally developed community theatre, Robin has contributed her time and expertise to local initiatives for over 20 years as Artistic Director for Muskoka StageWorks . Robin is also an accomplished actor and director and lives in Muskoka with her husband, Michael.
Robin's presentation was entitled 'Improvisation for Adults and Seniors "Laughing Matters"'. We learned all about the ways to open and maintain brain function and increase relaxation by engaging in creative group activities that were both fun and informative.. Robin showed us how improvisation combines the excitement of spontaneous conversation with listening skills, all while relaxing and playing.
Dr. Bruce McKay is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on recreational alcohol and drug use in university students and mechanisms by which psychoactive drugs affect brain functions. He teaches neuroscience and pharmacology courses. Dr. McKay grew up near Woodstock, Ontario, and completed his post-secondary education at Laurentian University, the University of Calgary, and the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas). He has been a professor at Laurier since 2008.
Bruce talked about “The Brain on Cannabis” - an overview of the effects that cannabis has on brain structures and functions and the resulting effects on the complexities of human behaviour. He discussed the neuroscience of short-term effects of cannabis (from the munchies to driving impairments to treatment of pain and other ailments), why it isn’t possible to lethally overdose on cannabis, long-term effects of cannabis (with a focus on addiction and the differential effects of cannabis on teenagers vs. adults), and new cannabis laws in Canada and how those laws may intersect with an improved understanding of the neuroscience of cannabis.
Nancy Silcox was a Teacher with the Waterloo District School Board for 20 years and has also been a Counsellor/Consultant at the University of Waterloo and WLU. Since then Nancy has written fourteen biographies/historical biographies of individuals who have gone the road less travelled in their lives and careers. She also writes freelance for Grand Magazine, Canada's History and Canadian Antiques and Vintage.
One of her most popular books is “A Story Never Predicted. From Trucking to the World Opera Stage”. It is the story of Paul Frey, an “everyday” individual from the Waterloo area. Nancy will detail his journey from an Old Order heritage to farm boy, high school dropout, truck driver and then how he finally followed up on his dream. This is not a story about opera, it is the true life story of an exceptional Canadian.
Paul Frey actually signed in for the question period.
Daniel received his BFA from York University in 2015, focusing on Classical Piano. He has taught piano, guitar, drums, saxophone, music theory, and music history to students since 2012. He has also given talks on popular music, with topics such as Frank Sinatra, Big Band Jazz, The Beatles, Folk Music, etc. As well as having a passion for popular music, Daniel’s academic interests are focused around music for film, television, and video games.
Daniel's presentation explored Ireland’s contribution to popular music through some amazing artists including The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The Irish Rovers, and Enya.
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and at the Life Institute at Ryerson University.
Chris spoke to us on the subject of Critical Thinking
Thanh has had various careers including retail, fund raising, public relations and currently serves as the Director of Sales for Ardent Marketing. All the while he has been building his professional speaking career.
Thanh told us the incredible Orphan 32 story: Nearly two decades long, the Vietnam War was one of history’s most devastating battles. In 1975, the last flight out of Vietnam rescued 57 war orphans before the Communists took over the south capital of Saigon. Nguyen Ngoc Minh Thanh was aboard that flight. He was Orphan #32. Thanh’s story began like many other Vietnamese orphans on Operation Babylift, but as he later discovered, his path had taken a much different direction from the rest. Orphan 32 will take you on a remarkable journey of life, love, family and self-discovery.
For the on-line Christmas party we had a wonderful local singer/performer called Deidrey Francois to entertain us.
Peter Jennings is a renowned Canadian author, speaker and "Happiness Expert". He has written professionally for more than 40 years and is the author of 6 best selling books designed to "help people transform their existence, inspiring them to capitalize on the advantages life offers".
Peter's talk was about "Why Being Happy Matters": What happiness means, how it improves a person's outlook, adds value to their days and enhances their peace of mind. He also talks about why being happy is so important in a world often influenced by unhappy events along with heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
Dr. Mike Daley holds a Ph.D in music from York University and is a musicologist, specializing in the history of popular music. He has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities;
The topic for Mike's presentation was The Motown Story: Learn the incredible story of Motown/Tamla Records, the independent Detroit-based record company that revolutionized popular music in the 1960s and ‘70s. Featuring the music of the Miracles, the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and more, The Motown Story is an inspiring tale of resourcefulness and determination by a talented group of musical visionaries.
Dr. David Chandross (M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.) is a senior scholar in residence at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He has done pioneering work on the role of learning in the prevention of dementia in seniors and the use of technology such as virtual reality.
David spoke on Positive Psychology: The Science Behind Feeling Good: Can science teach us how to be happy? How does the experience simulator in our brains create sadness or happiness? Can negative people actually change your brain structure? Why does the overuse of smartphones cause depression and anxiety? Explore the meaning(s) of happiness and the quest for it from Aristotle to modern psychiatry.
Dr. Mike Daley holds a Ph.D in music from York University and is a musicologist, specializing in the history of popular music.
Mike spoke about Leonard Cohen's life and work, interspersing his narrative with classic Cohen songs. The popular image of Leonard Cohen, who died at age 82 in November 2016, is that of the bard with the brooding baritone voice plucking away at a guitar. But for Mike, that deep, sometimes-morose voice has concealed the richness and variety of Cohen’s musical and lyrical abilities. “In checking out his whole body of work… his songwriting style is much more varied than I thought.”
Cheryl Cooper holds degrees in English and Education from Queen’s University and is presently a director of the Children’s Foundation of Muskoka.
Cheryl's presentation was on "1812 and the Age of Sail" and included a lively and interactive discussion on the naval aspects of the War of 1812; the conditions and hardships faced by the men who fought for their country on the Atlantic Ocean and the naval origins of words and expressions which have found their way into our everyday language.
Joseph Sharon has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel and has also studied music and musical history in Milan, Italy and in Switzerland.
His presentation was on the Strauss Family from Vienna. In Vienna in 1848 the Austro-Hungarian Empire is in political turmoil but the music, the Viennese lifeblood, has never been more cheerful. We'll meet the Strauss Family which dominates the light music scene, and also get to know some of its juicy stories and scandals.
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and is member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada.
His presentation was an entertaining look at Good vs Evil. What is “Ethics”? How did the concept of “Good vs. Evil” evolve throughout history? How do we measure "goodness" and how applicable is it in everyday life? Is ethical thought and behavior limited to humans only?
Dr Gordon Bannerman received his Ph.D. from King’s College London in 2005 having previously studied medieval and modern history at the London School of Economics.
He spoke about the Myths and Facts of War: Was Churchill really a great leader? In 2002, a BBC poll voted Winston Churchill as "The greatest Briton in history", largely due to his role in World War II. How justified is this judgement of history? The presentation separates myths from facts and attempts to portray the real Churchill; a man who made mistakes and had character flaws as opposed to the near-mythical figure that has often been projected in books and films.
Daniel Alonso studied piano from an early age. He then went on to complete a Bachelor's and later Master’s degree in music from York University with Classical Piano as primary instrument.
Daniel spoke about the Legends of Big Band music. From the greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, to the legends like Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. Experience the bombastic sounds of the Big Band.
Elaine Charal is a Canadian, Toronto-based Certified Graphologist (hand writing analyst), Keynote Speaker and Media Personality.
Elaine spoke about the "Power of the Pen": where you discover how to communicate even more effectively with family and friends through knowing what the strokes of handwriting mean. Everyone will learn about their strengths as reflected in the 'paper mirror' of their handwriting. laine will be available to do individual 5-minute Handwriting Analyses after her presentation.