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The Newsletter SEPTEMBER 2019






        A huge thank you to Peter Morris for undertaking to put together our Newsletter!  While we may not have one every month, every second month is very positive.  You are also aware that Bill Harris has communicated extensively about the growing list of member activities.  This is being written on a Saturday, and earlier today I dropped into Moe’s Restaurant where about 8 or 10 members were about to order breakfast, tell a few fibs and laugh a bit.

          While we haven’t had a New Member Event for a couple of years, one is being planned for this fall.  Hopefully the event will be well attended, and we will return to having it on an annual or more frequent basis.  The purpose of the New Member Event is to get to know our new members.  Stay tuned for more information and a big thank you to the Membership Team.

          Those who attend our monthly meetings have heard Member Speakers who have done an excellent job sharing work and other life experiences.  Thank you very much guys for doing so!  These sessions add a great deal to our meetings.  Thanks also to the Speaker Team.

          Thanks to the Special Events Committee.  We recently held a Car Rally.  Who would have thought there would be interest in such an event!  It was a great success!

          All the above attests to everyone’s efforts arising from Strategic Initiative 2020 and there’s more to come!  Thank you all very much.




Our role is to initiate and support the Club’s various recruitment and orientation efforts.  We are working to meet this year’s Management Committee objective to increase our membership from 150 to 175 active members.  Our Committee currently comprises Roger Sanders, Dave Underwood, John Venner, St John Blakeley and ex-officio members, Curt Allen, Wayne Blackburn, Bill Harris and John Williams.  We are very keen to add a few additional members to our team from our recent recruits.  Some of our more visible activities are welcoming new members and introducing them at our monthly meetings; collecting membership dues; managing the members’ name badges and issuing quarterly Membership Lists to our members.

New members that we have recently welcomed to the club are as follows: Bob Cooper, Alan Ellis, John Hueton, Stephen McWilliam and Paul Reid.



September’s MEMBER SPEAKER was John Chattoe who gave us his talk, “A Career of Interesting Experiences”.  John, or Dr. Chattoe as he is professionally known, spent most of his career at Bell Labs, which we know morphed over time to become Northern Telecom.  During his tenure there he worked on every major new Telecom Infrastructure device created by the labs over the 15 + years he was there, including International Switching Networks, Fibre Optics, etc.  He left there before it was rebranded as Nortel, and the rest of that story is history.  Since then he was a “new technologies” venture capitalist and a research consultant as he went through one of many stages of personal “Reinvention", (John’s chosen word for retirement).  He also got his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering ( U of T) after Nortel, started teaching at U of T, Mississauga in the CCIT program, and then “reinvented” himself again from there to part-time involvement at Port Credit Secondary School, working with grade 11 and 12 students teaching and promoting careers in “New Tech”.


Obviously, his skills as a learned educator were definitely there, as the whole club enjoyed his talk thoroughly.  Unfortunately, his talk lasted only 10 minutes.  Look for John to return next year as a full Guest Speaker telling all about the science of Virtual Reality, and where that is going. We are honoured to have a huge well of experience and talent in our club.  This month’s GUEST SPEAKER was Donald Anderson.  The retired P. Eng. had an amazing 35 year career with Ontario Hydro in various roles including Director of International Operations, Vice President of Engineering and Construction, and General Manager of Nuclear Power.  Since he took early retirement in 1995, Don has continued his active engagement with the power generation industry and currently acts as Chair of the Board for Shaman Power Corp., and as a board member for Gastops Ltd.  As such there is no more experienced person we could have who would give us the whole story of Ontario’s power generating system, the fact that it is more than 80% environmentally sound (50% nuclear and 30% hydro, wind and solar), and educate us further on the nuclear story.  Fact is, it's a lot safer than the world thinks, and is radically more efficient than any form of fossil fuel generation. Our club was captivated by Don’s talk, as could be seen during the uniquely long Q and A session that followed which needed to be cut off with many questions still to be answered.  His 35-minute talk stretched to a hour.  Well done Don, the club enjoyed every minute of your presentation.



The Special Events Committee (SEC) is amid a change in approach.  Instead of researching many possible events before deciding what to offer to the Members, it will be concentrating on Annual Events while assisting other Club Members who are prepared to organize other events.  The objective is to broaden the range of events offered.   The recent Golf Tournament is an example as the main sponsor and organizer of this successful event was Gerry Tien.


Since the May Newsletter the Special Events offered have been:

JUNE – The SEC organized a one-day event that included: a ride in an almost new Coach to Niagara on the Lake, a lunch at the Queens’ Landing Hotel and attending a matinee performance of Brigadoon at the Shaw Festival.  Forty of the forty-eight members and guests went to the Queens Landing and were treated to a tremendous buffet lunch.  Comments on the lunch included - “superb, outstanding, the best beef ever, expensive but value for money”.   As usual the performance at Shaw was also first class.  So, it was a very satisfied group who arrived back in Oakville, despite traffic problems on the QEW.

AUGUST – Saw the first Car Rally for the Club.  It was organized by SEC Members Jim Davidson and Ed Nickerson, assisted by Hugo Kamerling.  The route was laid out through a picturesque rural area north of Oakville and ended at the Lowville Bistro, where most had lunch.   Seven cars and a total of 17 members, wives and guests joined in the fun and rated the event great fun, and first class.  All recommended that it should become an annual event and Jim Davidson is offering to send a copy of the route, with clues. To any member who would like to drive the route.


SEPTEMBER – The Golf Tournament mentioned above took place on September 11th with 17 Members and Guests playing 18 holes at the Dragon’s Fire Golf Course.  Although some prizes were awarded based on scores, Gerry Tien made sure there were enough prizes that no one went home empty-handed.   As the weather cooperated, all had a very enjoyable day. Consensus was that it should be repeated next year.


Future Events scheduled or planned are:

OCTOBER 15th – This Tour, organized by the SEC, will start with a coach ride from Oakville Place to Elora.  Groups will then take turns touring the Hydro-Electric Generating Plant. Those not on the tour will have access to a normally restricted area on top of the generating plant, where Member Don Anderson will point out the spectacular views of the gorge and answer questions about the plant and surrounds. This will be followed by Lunch at the 5 Star Elora Mill Hotel and a Presentation on future developments in the Village of Elora.  After a short break the coach will leave Elora around 2:30 pm to arrive back at Oakville Place about 4:00 pm.  Cost per person is $110.00 and this event is open to Members, Wives, Partners and Guests.  Only 4 tickets left.

ACTIVITIES GROUP—BILL HARRIS  The Activities Group under the direction of Bill Harris has been very active lately with the addition of several new activities to the list of ongoing activities. Following is a list of current Probus Activities and Leaders.  Please contact the leader(s) for activities you are interested in.  Contact Bill Harris if you are interested in starting a new activity. New activities are noted with an *. 



The Cribbage Group is off to an excellent start under the leadership of Brian Emo. An evaluation meeting was held to refine details. Brian has everything well organized and is looking forward to heading up this new Probus Activity. There is room for more players. Players make their arrangements when and where they can meet and play, and Brian matches players, times, and locations. Players meet in individual residences to play. Sounds like an ideal way to enjoy a leisurely game of cribbage amongst fellow Probus members. For more information, contact Brian Emo. Please refer to the Probus Membership list for Brian’s contact information. Enjoy!


NOVEMBER 19th – The Annual Presidents’ Lunch is organized by the SEC and will be at the Oakville Golf Club.  Those who attended the “Lunch with Boris Brott” event will remember this beautiful venue.  However, it should be even better for this, our Marquee Event of the year, as it will be decorated for Christmas.  The menu will include a salad, choice of Chicken Supreme, Atlantic Salmon or Vegetarian, and a dessert.  The SEC must be advised of meal selection when signing up for this event.  The after-lunch speaker will be Barbara Dickson who will provide a light and entertaining look at the “Bomb Girls” – the thousands of women who worked around the clock in Scarborough, Ont. risking their lives in a high explosive environment, to produce ammunition for WWII.  This is an appropriate topic for the month of November, when we remember the Canadian contribution to winning almost 70 years of relative peace.   Doors and a cash bar will open at 11.30 am.  Seating will be at 12.00 noon with lunch being served about 12.15 pm.  The cost for this event is $52.00 pp. and this event is open to Members, Wives, Partners and Guests.


DECEMBER 4TH – The annual Christmas Lunch will be offered by the SEC following the regular December Meeting.  The SEC is hoping to offer a Turkey lunch followed by trivia with prizes for the most knowledgeable amongst us.  Details will follow but please hold this date.  This event is Members Only. For information on Future Events or to reserve tickets, please contact John Butler at 01johnbutler@gmail.com



ACTIVITY                    LEADER

Breakfast Club          Bill Harris

Camera Club              Rick Schwartz

Cribbage Group         Brian Emo

Dinner Group             Hugo Kamerling

Euchre Group             Curt Allen

Investment Club         John Vipond

                                     Brendon Barnet

Lawn Bowling             Mark Cox

Lunch & Pool               St. John Blakeley

Marathon Bridge         Peter Morris

Summer Golf               Gerry Tien




It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Rick Schwartz as the new Leader of the Probus Old Oakville Camera Club.

The Camera Cub meets every two months.  Under Rick's Leadership and keen photographic knowledge, The Camera Club is guaranteed to continue to grow and flourish. For more information on the Camera Club, please contact Rick, who I know will be only too pleased to answer any questions you might have. See the Probus Membership List for contact details.



We have Good News to share. We have a new Probus Activity to add to our ever-growing list of Activities, namely Probus Euchre Group. The group leader is none other than our illustrious President –Curt Allen.

The new Euchre Group meets at the Sixth Line Pub every 2nd Friday. The first meeting was on Friday, Sept. 13th. The next meeting will be on Friday, Sept. 27th, and every second Friday after that. The Sixth Line Pub has graciously provided a private room which can hold up to twenty players. A discounted lunch menu is offered together with soft drinks and adult beverages. There were six members out to the first meeting and after a short meeting to discuss future parameters, a-snorting game of Euchre was entered and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The owner of the Pub has made available a pool table for those who may like to take a break from Euchre and play a game or two of Pool. The room and pool table are free-of-charge. For more information, email Curt Allen at curtis.allen@sympatico.ca phone him at: (416) 705-3632. There is lots of room for everyone.


MARATHON BRIDGE GROUP The Bridge Group led by Peter Morris will begin play in October and carry on with twice monthly games until the end of April.  The group currently has 9 teams but could accommodate more until October 1.  Please contact Peter Morris at peterjmo@bell.net if interested.