Club News Posts are like a blog or FaceBook posts and cover the history for the last two years of the Glacier Probus Club.
The club is following the current BC Government standards for COVID 19.
All in-person Glacier Probus Club meetings and activities (indoors and outdoors) require all participants to be double vaccinated against COVID-19.
Let's all stay safe.
John McGinn, President
The January 6, 2022, Glacier PROBUS General Meeting was held on the Zoom platform with 36 members present.
President John McGinn welcomed everyone to PROBUS 2022 which is looking much like 2021. He hoped everyone had a good Christmas and New Years and he is looking forward to when we can meet in person again, but it doesn’t look like it in the near future.
Jim Belair brought us up to date on a member hoping to start a Skiing Group. However, due to low interest the member has since decided not to pursue it.
Tricia Nicol reported that the Bridge Group is once again playing virtually.
Donna Crozier said that today’s winners of $25 Cobb’s Bakery gift certificates (with a surprise included!) may use their certificates tomorrow.
Alan Brown introduced our two guest speakers, Carol Tyson and Adele Einarson, who since retiring in 2020 after 30-40 years as Registered Nurses, have become very active in the local ElderDog Canada Chapter or Pawd as they are called.
Carol is the Leader and Volunteer Coordinator and Adele is the Treasurer and Education/Outreach Coordinator of the ElderDog Comox Valley Pawd.
Adele stated ElderDog Canada is a national non-profit organization that was started by Ardra Cole, a University Professor, in Nova Scotia in 2009. Her research on caregiving and Alzheimer’s and dogs providing optimal companionship at the end of life combined with her own brother passing and leaving his dog, Mr. Brown, led to the beginning of ElderDog Canada. Mr. Brown is now the poster dog for ElderDog Canada.
The organization is founded on three principles:
1. Comfort – to senior’s lives and the connection they enjoy with their dogs.
2. Quality of life – to live together in a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship.
3. Tribute – acknowledging how deeply the affect dog’s have on seniors’ health and well-being.
In 2016 the organization became a Registered charity with no paid positions. All funds come from donations, fund raising (such as the local bottle drive in June), and the sale of dog food and Calendars. Currently the local Pawd is using funds to cover the recent Christmas Parade, and the purchase of safety vests for Volunteers and for emergency situations. Veterinary bills are paid for by National Headquarters. For donations to the local group, you can email Adele Einarson at: email@example.com.
Nationally there are 29 ElderDog Pawds with three on Vancouver Island. Carol noted the Comox Valley Pawd started in February 2021 with 45 volunteers and now has 95 volunteers serving 16 clients and 19 dogs. The volunteer ages range from their 20s to 70s. The local Pawd serves Parskville and north on the Island. Their Facebook page is: Elderdog Canada Comox Valley Pawd. The volunteer email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Head Quarter website is: www.elderdog.ca. The Head Quarter 24-hour phone number is 1 855 336-4226. Any one can call this number, and their request/concern will be forwarded to the local Pawd. The National Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/ElderDog. Check out their store: http://www.elderdogcanadastore.ca.
The Pawd provides free assistance for healthcare, exercise, and feeding with the aim to “keep love in the home.” Included services are simple hygiene such as brushing and nail trims, transportation to the Vet, temporary foster care, and finding forever homes for older dogs left without a home. The organization is also dedicated to the support, education, and research into the role that dogs play in the health and well-being of our seniors. During Covid, ElderDog has been deemed an essential service.
Typically, a Dog Support Coordinator meets with the client and dog. The client and dog are then entered into the National Database and a care plan is developed. Dog walking is the main care required with requests for up to three times a day walks, or once a week in rain, wind, or snow! For anything from puppies to elder dogs.
Not all meetings with clients result in immediate help. Clients and their families are pre-planning in the event of needing help down the road which allows the Dog Support Team to get to know both the client and their beloved dog.
All volunteers have had a criminal check and wear ID tags. The clients have a magnet on the fridge and an ID sticker on the door to notify personnel that an ElderDog lives there. The local Pawd also collaborates with a Social Worker and a Senior Care representative at the hospital. Several local veterinarians have also given their support.
Carol noted it is truly heartwarming the difference this organization can make. The local Pawd is still getting the word out there about their organization and this was their first community/public presentation.
President John McGinn thanked Carol and Adele for their informative presentation.
Treasurer Dorothy McGinn announced the winners of the gift certificates who were:
Sheila Precious, Donna Crozier, Robin Harrison, and Jill Hatfield.
President McGinn thanked Donna for arranging the gift certificates and Al for organizing the meeting and arranging the speakers. President McGinn ended the meeting once again hoping we can all get together soon and thanked everyone for showing up.
On Thursday, November 4, 28 members in person and 12 members on Zoom joined together for our monthly meeting. Members were greeted at the door by Donna Crozier and her team who were checking Vaccine Passports and IDs.
President John McGinn thanked members for coming and said that it was good to be back in person after 19 long months. He stated that despite the struggle, we have persevered thanks to Jim Belair and the cadre of Activity Coordinators whose work is much appreciated. Following in Past President Tony’s footsteps, President McGinn finished with a funny joke.
Vice-President Alan Brown introduced our speaker, Ian Thompson.
As Remembrance Day draws near, Ian Thompson presented his power point presentation on the involvement of the Comox Valley Communities during WW1.
Many Canadians signed up to fight overseas in the first two years of the war including several men from the Comox-Atlin riding which included Hazelton in Northern BC to the Lower Mainland. This was a huge area to draw from and the men were a tough bunch of independent loggers, farmers, and fishermen. These men formed the 102nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. They came to the Goose Spit for training where there was no electricity, no water, and the food was poor with the men living in teepee like tents. In June 1916, the 102nd Battalion boarded a steamship from the Comox pier to Victoria, then by train to the Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec and finally to England. The 102nd Battalion fought in France and Flanders until the end of the war and were one of the divisions involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. One member, Lieutenant Graham Thomson Lyall was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle Du Nord. There were 3863 members; 676 died and 1715 were injured. This battered bunch were the occupation forces after the War. The 102nd Battalion disbanded in 1920.
In 1917 the federal government decided to conscript young men for overseas military service as Canada was struggling to maintain voluntary troop numbers.
Ian spoke briefly about Albert “Ginger” Goodwin who was a coal miner in Cumberland and fought for workers rights and was against military conscription. He led many strikes and was an organizer of the Socialist Party of Canada. He was killed in 1918 possibly from an accident or for his political beliefs. Ian noted the Ginger Goodwin Way sign on the Highway 19 near Cumberland commemorating this labour leader.
Ian drew attention to the Sandwick Memorial Cairn in Courtenay which honours those who gave their lives in WWI and is made from stones brought from the farms of their families. Near the Cairn is an English Oak tree that came all the way from Windsor Castle and was planted in June of 1937 to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
In conclusion, Ian stated that the operational headquarters in France recommended that returning vets receive land and a farmhouse. These discharged soldiers returned to the Island and named the area Merville after the place in France where they had their first field headquarters. These men and their families have formed the agricultural base of the Valley today.
Alan Brown thanked Ian for his presentation.
“Looking for something new to do”? Alan asked, introducing Markko Floyd who exclaimed tongue in cheek, that “we were a younger group than he’s usually talked to”. Markko is a self-proclaimed biker, skier, mountain climber, adrenaline junkie whose knee injuries forced him to look elsewhere to get outside and do something active and fun. Markko is the President of the Comox Valley Disc Golf Club (CVDGC)which has 200 tags or members. This is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote Disc Golf in the Valley. They hold clinics at schools, even to 5- and 6-year-olds. Disc Golf has been around for many years but recently the sport has experienced a real growth spurt. One gets to be outside in the woods, it is a social game, there are tournaments and DISC GOLF IS FREE! There are currently 4 Disc Golf Courses in the valley: Coal Creek in Cumberland, Lake Trail in Courtenay, Village Park in Comox, and The Park at Crown Isle.
“Steady Eddie” Headrick is considered the Father of Disc Golf having invented and patented the Frisbee in 1966 at Wham-O. He further invented and patented the Disc Golf Pole in 1975 which is the basket design used today. The Disc Golf Association (DGA) was founded in 1975 and the first $50,000 Disc Golf Tournament was held in 1979. Markko talked about several pro disc golf players, citing Paul McBeth with a 10-year contract for $10M not including shoe, hat, and other endorsements. Check out both the DGA and the Professional Golf Disc Association (PGDA)website for more information.
So how does it work? Just like ball golf but instead of a ball and clubs players throw discs into a basket. Kids and dogs are welcome, it is you against the course, you can play alone or with 4-6 others, you can play all year long in the rain, wind, and snow, and even at night with special ‘glow in the dark’ discs! There are no tee times, and you can play 9 holes in 25-40 minutes and 18 holes in 11/2 -2 hours. The discs are of different sizes and have numbers written on them. The first number represents the speed or how quickly the disc flies. The second number represents the glide or the ability of the disc to stay in the air with a higher number meaning the disc has more flight time. The third number represents the turn of the disc or the inclination of the disc to turn right in its flight with the higher number meaning it will keep going longer and turn to right later. The fourth number represents the ability of the disc to come back with the higher number meaning it is more likely to return.
A basic golf disc is a putter that costs $10-$15. A putter is not fast but is curved and domed and will fly 40-150 feet. Mid-range and distant drivers are flatter and squarer on the edge. One can also buy a starter pack which includes a putter, driver and an under stable fairway. The only downside is the use of plastic, but some companies are using recycled
Markko showed us his impressive disc golf cart and his artistic work on the discs. This hobby and Collector Discs have been a spin-off from this sport.
Markko also mentioned 3 local disc golf businesses: Circle One Disc Golf, Disc Market, and the website: letsthrow.ca. He acknowledged the support of Blue Toque since the beginning.
In conclusion, Markko demonstrated his skills at throwing a disc easily getting it through the basket plane.
Sheila Precious noted that there is a practice basket at Bean Around the World coffee shop. Markko had a box of $10 putter discs that were quickly grabbed up by the Frisbee Generation present. Markko will talk with Michelle Morton with regards to getting a group out.
Markko suggested we check out the following: The App: UDisc; the Website: CVdiscgolf.com and the many YouTube videos on Disc Golf.
The winners of the Art Knapp draw were: Sheila Precious, Dorothy McGinn, Steve Latta, and Gary Lucas.
Happy Holidays, see you in January 2022!
Pictures compliments of Ian Thompson
A lively and enjoyable lunch was held at Roy's Pub on October 14, 2021 to honour our retiring Committee Members Tony Nichol, Ray Fast, and James Kennedy. Many current CM showed support for all these hardworking members had done to make our Glacier PROBUS Club successful. President John thanked them for their service. Attached please see photos by Ian Thompson.
On Thursday, October 7, 45 members and our special quest came together on Zoom for our monthly meeting. Several members logged in early to enjoy some socializing prior to the meeting. Alan Brown started the meeting shortly after 2:00 and welcomed us all with some gentle reminders when using the Zoom platform.
President John McGinn thanked the members for coming and welcomed everyone to the new season of Glacier Probus Club. He is hopeful that before the year is out, we will be able to meet in person. President McGinn acknowleged Steve Ray as our new Technology/AV Director and Dorothy McGinn as our new Treasurer.
President McGinn stated that the bylaws were to be reviewed every 3 years. Therefore, this past June-August, Management Committee (MC) members were working on this review. Proposed changes were sent out to all members in September for consideration prior to the scheduled vote at this October meeting.
Each of the proposed bylaw changes were voted on individually by the members present with the exception of Bylaw #7. After some discussion the proposed change to Bylaw #7 was withdrawn. All the other proposed Bylaw changes were approved. Going forward, President McGinn reported that a committee has been formed consisting of Steve Ray and Ian Thompson who will further review the Club's bylaws.
Michele Morton reported on the Club Christmas Party on December 4 in the ballroom of the d'Esterre Senior's Centre in Comox. The cost is $35/person with catering by Dei and music by Don Boliver. The 56 members who have expressed an interest in attending will eventually receive an email asking whether they are still interested. If more people show an interest they may also be accomodated.
Jim Belair noted that the success of the Glacier Probus Club has been the willingness of members to step up and lead Activity Groups. Jim introduced Sandra Wagner, a new member last year. Sandra is interested in starting a new Activity Group for anyone interested in Travel. Members could share travel, adventures, slides, photos, and travel tips. Ian Thompson will also send out an email to all members with Sandra's contact information. For now, any meetings would be on Zoom.
Alan Brown, looking very dapper in Elaine's homemade medieval vest with accompanying sword, introduced our special guest, Mrs. Catherine Ollerhead De Santis.
Mrs. Catherine Ollerhead De Santis, or Duchess Tangwystl Tudur as she is known, has been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) for 36 years, joining in 1985. The SCA started out as a 'backyard' group in Berkley, California in the 1960s. By October 1968, there was already a handbook on how to start one's own Shires and Baronies. In 1969 there were 3 Kingdoms, consisting of The West-California, The East-Europe and eastern USA, and the Middle Kingdom consisting of the rest of the world. Today the SCA has 20 Kingdoms worldwide (including China), with 30,000 members and over 60,000 participants as one does not need to be a member to take part casually. Their aim is the study of Europoean medieval culture and history bringing it to life through armoured combat, archery, thrown weapons, equestrian tournaments, dance, medieval arts such as gunpowder, brewing, cooking, spinning, glass blowing, and theatre; plus the study and practice of Heraldry, as well as Calligraphy and Illumination with beautiful gold foil (to name but a few).
Within the Society, members create personas or characters to help understand the Medieval people and their values of honour, respect, and chivalry. There are small events such as potlucks and practices and huge Kingdom events. Duchess Tangwystl Tudur sited an event in Pennsylvania pre-Covid where 10,000 participants camped for 2 weeks. She mentioned some other interesting facts: battles are not scripted but depend on honour and chivalry and a King and Queen rule over Principalities and Shires.
When asked about the cost of joining the SCA, Mrs. Ollerhead De Santis reported that a combined international and family membership was roughly $80.00. One's individual cost above that is strictly driven by the level one wants to play at. Mrs. Ollerhead De Santis showed us her beautiful crown of gold plate with real gems.
Mrs. Ollerhead De Santis ended by saying that since 1985, the people she has met with a shared interest in the SCA have become family. She said that in the SCA there is a culture of acceptance and respect and repeatedly noted there is "no pressure" on participants. Duchess Tangwystl Tudur welcomed us to the Middle Ages on Saturday nights at 5:30 in the Pavilion at Comox Marina.
Alan Brown asked how active the club is locally. Mrs. Ollerhead De Santis replied that Tuesday evenings there is Archery practice on Fern Road. Other nights there are Thrown Weapon practices (including axes and knives) and Arts and Science nights also.
To contact the local chapter, check out their Facebook page: The Shire of Hartwood or email Mrs. Catherine Ollerhead De Santis at: email@example.com
President McGinn thanked our special guest for an incredibly interesting report on the SCA.
Dorothy McGinn announced the winners of Church Street Bakery gift cards who were: Jim Belair, Martha Nihls, Shelley Combs, and Jane Keliher.
The meeting ended at 3:20.
On Thursday, August 5 several members of the Management Committee hosted a Meet and Greet coffee party for new members to the Club. This event has been long delayed by the Covid Pandemic but with vaccination rates climbing we felt it was safe to host those new members who felt safe attending an outdoor event. President Sandy Dreger greeted our guests and welcomed them to the club. Jim Belair, Activities Director outlined the many groups that are remaining active during the pandemic. Michele Morton outlined the Special Events that are planned in the near future. It was great to get to know these new members and you will likely meet them as they participate in our Activity Groups. Be sure to make them welcome.
The regular monthly meeting of Glacier Probus was held on Thursday, June 6, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Again we met on the Zoom platform.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone who logged in on such a beautiful summer afternoon. She advised that, in light of BC's reopening plan the Management Committee will soon be meeting to develop the reopening plan for our club.
Sandy also advised that at recent management committee meetings it was decided to defer our AGM until we can (hopefully) meet in person in September.
Our Membership Year runs from June 1st to May 31st each year ~ with renewal dues set at the June AGM. For this year only membership will be extended to September 30th. Membership renewal will be for the period from October 1st to May 31st. Renewal forms will be issued after the September AGM and must be returned by September 30 if you wish to continue membership in the Glacier Probus Club.
Dorothy McGinn shared a You Tube from the Vancouver based Phoenix Chamber Choir. This video was recorded in April 2020 at the very beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown. It is a parody of Billy Joel's "Longest Time". It was a reminder of how far we have come since the pandemic was first declared and we were all sheltering in place. While the virus has wrecked havoc around the world we are fairly lucky to be on Vancouver Island where restrictions have allowed us some resemblance of normal life. Hopefully we can now see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Dorothy next introduced our guest speaker. Caitlin Pierchalski is the Executive Director of Project Watershed and she brought an update on the Kus Kus Sum shoreline restoration project on the Courtenay River. She was happy to report that the $3.3 million has been raised and the land has been acquired and is held jointly by Project Watershed, the K'òmox First Nation and the Town of Courtenay. Once the restoration is completed and conservation covenants are in place the land will be transferred to K'òmoks First Nation.
Restoration plans call for three years of work. In 2021 all the surface concrete and asphalt will be removed and regarding and countering will happen. It is hoped to repurpose as much of the material as possible. In 2022 more earth work and planting will take and in 2023 there will be continued planting and the all important reconnecting to the Courtenay River with removal of the steel piling wall. The site will look very sparse in 2023 but will be back to a state where natural growth can flourish. People should follow on the Project Watershed sight to be aware of volunteer opportunities to assist with the planting stage.
A brief Q and A followed and Caitlin provided the following additional information:
It will be a complex process to control water during this reconnection stage. Water will have to be slowly introduced to the site before the piling wall is removed.
Caitlin advised that Canada Goose exclusion fencing is part of the plan to prevent this non native invasive species from eating newly planted salt marsh and tidal marsh vegetation.
In answer to a question Caitlin advised that the APEX projection of a possible sea level rise of 1 meter has been factored into the plan. The planned berm beside Comox Road will actually act as a flood barrier.
The site was remediated in 2006 to provincial standards for soil decontamination.
The Project Watershed mandate is to restore the shoreline to its natural state. It will take involvement of the public to encourage the City of Courtenay and K'òmoks First Nation to develop pathways and trails so that there is public access to the site.
Dorothy thanked Caitlin for bringing us up to date on the very worthwhile work Project Watershed is doing in our community.
John McGinn shared a humorous story about penguins while the lucky draw was completed.
The winners of $25.00 gift cards to I-Hos gallery were: John and Dorothy McGinn, Gary Lucas, Michael and Martha Nihls and Ena Fraser.
See you in September - or hopefully before.
The regular monthly meeting of Glacier Probus was held on Thursday, May 6, 2021. We were again on the Zoom platform as Covid 19 regulations continue to prevent meeting in person.
Several members logged in at 1:45 to enjoy some small group socializing before the formal start of the meeting. When participants were again gathered in one large "room" Elaine Brown outlines Zoom protocols to all attendees - urging everyone to mute their microphones to prevent ambient noise, wave their hand if they wished to ask a question or make an announcement, make sure their screen name reflected who was using the device, etc.
President Sandy Dreger, welcomed everyone and thanked Alan and Elaine Brown for again acting as Zoom hosts and trouble-shooters. Sandy expressed the hope that members were all getting vaccinated to move us closer to a time when in person meetings will be possible. It has been a long, lonely time since we all met in person.
Michele Morton, Special Events Coordinator was unable to attend but sent details of upcoming events that are planned starting in late June (assuming they are permitted under Public Health Orders ). Our second Digital Scavenger Hunt will take place on Sunday, June 27. There are already 7 teams signed so don't waste time thinking about - sign up. You can join as a team or there are many individuals looking to form a team. 40 people have indicated interest in attending the summer picnic in August, many have signed up for Oktoberfest in October and we already have 32 people expressing interest in our December Christmas dinner dance. Expressing interest through the Special Events page on the Glacier Probus website does not commit you - it will depend on Public Health rules and each persons feeling of personal safety in attending.
Gary Lucas introduced our first guest speaker. Probus member Colleen Connolly who is on the board of Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island (FORT-VI). Colleen was very active in using the converted rail trails in Ontario and was disappointed to find there was no similar use of the E and N rail bed. Colleen explained that 80% of the population of Vancouver Island live within 5 km of the E & N railway and that there are 21 communities between Courtenay and Victoria.
However, there are many issues related to this conversion and much work to be done. There is still some who hope to see rail service restored but the BC Ministry of Transportation only supports the train as far north as Shawnigan Lake with electric buses serving areas of the Island further north. It is projected that it will be 25 years before population growth on the island will make a railway viable.
It is projected that restoring train service could cost $500 million while a trail would cost approximately $50 million. FORT-VI supports starting with the Courtenay to Buckley Bay segment - allowing biking, hiking, running through Royston and Union Bay with no need to use the dangerous highway. A one way trip would be possible with existing bus service available for the return trip.
If expanded to Parksville, then south there would be tremendous economic benefit for coffee shops, restaurants, B and B's, etc. Conversations are being opened with First Nations populations to garner their support. Jim Belair thanked Colleen for her very informative presentation and thanked her for all the work FORT-VI is doing.
John McGinn introduced Sasha Hnatiuk from the Cumberland Museum and Archives who spoke to the group about the history of Cumberland with a particular focus on some of the women leaders in the community. Her presentation started in the 1820s when Hudson's Bay Company traders discovered coal. Robert Dunsmuir was granted a Free Miner's License and subsequently built the E and N railway to transport coal.
Chinese and Japanese workers were recruited to work in the coal mines and many brought their wives and established towns around the mine site. These women were often very well educated and brought teaching, midwifery and nursing skills with them. There are currently self guided tours of these town sites that are very informative about the vibrant communities that existed.
Sasha also advised that the Museum is currently closed for major renovations to the first and second floors with a summer 2021 reopening planned.
John McGinn thanked Sasha for sharing her research with us.
Dorothy McGinn announced that the speaker at our June 3meeting will Caitlin Pierzchalski who is the Executive Director of Project Watershed. She will be bringing an update on the Kus-Kus-Sum project to unpaved paradise along the Courtenay River.
Twenty five members of Glacier Probus put on their thinking caps on Friday, April 16 for our second Zoom Trivia night hosted by John and Dorothy McGinn with the able assistance of Zoom guru Elaine Brown. Alan Brown decided to join a team and compete for the title of winner. Alas it was not to be. There were four rounds of ten questions each with the topics The Natural World, Where in the World, Movies and Music and Anything Goes. In the five minute speed round teams had to name as many of Shakespeare's plays as they could. Team Brainiac came out ahead by a nose - congratulation to Heather Crites, Sheila Precious, Vicki Matthew, Robin Pearson and Dawn and Gil Moore.
Just a few teasers questions: #1 True or false - you can sneeze in your sleep #2 What famous actor entered his own look-alike contest and came third? #3 What type of apparal does a cordwainer make? Look up the answers yourself or come to the May 6 Zoom monthly meeting to learn the answers.
The regular monthly gathering of Glacier Probus was held on the Zoom platform on Thursday, April 1, 2021 with approximately 55 in attendance on 29 screens. Dorothy McGinn chaired the meeting in the absence of President Sandy Dreger. She expressed the hope that many members of the club had already had their first "jab" of the Covid Vaccine with many others hopefully being scheduled over the next few weeks. Age seems to still have a few privileges! Dorothy also acknowledged the members of the Club who answered the call for volunteers at the Mass Vaccination Clinic that will begin operation next week.
The Management Committee met this month and determined that we will continue to meet on the Zoom for at least May and June. We will hopefully be able to convene in person in September and the AGM is postponed until then. The Comox United Church hall does offer the opportunity to hold "hybrid" meetings - a combination of in person and Zoom if necessary.
Again, Dorothy extended a vote of thanks on behalf of all Club members to our Zoom gurus Alan and Elaine Brown who have supported our monthly gatherings, Trivia Night and various Activity Group meetings. They have played a very important part in keeping us all in touch during the pandemic.
Dorothy asked all members to consider taking the opportunity to serve on the Management Committee. Speak to any current member of the committee about upcoming vacancies - especially Tony Nicol who is getting pretty tired of beating the bushes looking for volunteers. Clubs do no run themselves and we look forward to new ideas to keep our club vibrant.
There was a last minute change to the program. Our scheduled speaker was to be Hilary Pryor, a creative director, writer and produces of inspiring award-winning broadcast porgramming. Unfortunately she had a very serious family medical emergency and could not be with us. She provided a link to episodes of her documentary series Moosemeat and Marmalade.
Many members of Glacier Probus took the opportunity to login at 1:45 to join small break out groups for informal social visits before President Sandy Dreger called for formal part of the meeting to order at 2:00.
Sandy thanked Alan and Elaine Brown for providing essentail technical support to the meeting. She also thanked Dorothy McGinn for informally taing on the role of "Acting" Vice President and arranging speakers for our meetings. Alan Brown reported he counted 68 members participating in the meeting.
Ann Zambilowicz made a brief presentation on her online Tai Chi classes that will resume in the courtyard of Comox Public Schol and the activities of the Art Apprecciation group.
Lorne Meyer introduced our speaker this month, Bob Crosby who is employed by Ocean Networks Canada to inform the public about the work of the Network. It is based at The University of Victoria and monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously deliver data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future. Using cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management ONC enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation, and environmental protection.
Bob focussed his talk on the work OCN is doing to monitor and predict earthquakes on the West Coast of BC. The 800-km NEPTUNE observatory and the nearly 50-km VENUS coastal observatory—which together make up the Ocean Networks Canada Observatory—stream live data from instruments at key sites off coastal BC via the Internet to scientists, policy-makers, educators and the public around the world.
The network is located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone where the ocean crust of the Juan de Fuca plate is subducting beneath the continental crust of the North American plate. At subduction zones, there usually is an area where the two plates become locked. This means that they are not slipping past each other and frictional stress can build up, storing large amounts of energy. When this stress finally reaches a breaking point, it releases the energy that has been stored resulting in what is known as a “megathrust” earthquake.
The locked zones can hold for hundreds of years as the Cascadia subduction zone has done since 26 January 1700 when the last megathrust earthquake occurred in this area. The earthquake magnitude was estimated as 9.0 and it resulted in a tsunami that was recorded in Japan. Evidence of this earthquake can be confirmed by geological evidence (land level changes, tsunami traces, turbidite deposits), biological evidence (tree rings), and human records (Native American stories and Japanese records). Megathrust earthquakes tend to occur in this region approximately every 300-500 years. It is very timely to be aware of the danger posed by such an earthquake.
Early warning systems for earthquakes and tsunamis will play an important part in disaster preparation and avoidance - closing tunnels, cancelling ferries, clearing bridges, etc.
Bob's interactive presentation enlightened us all about how earthquakes work and what we should do to be prepared.
Dorothy McGinn announced the speaker for our April 1 meeting will be Hilary Pryor, a creative director, writer and producer of inspiring, award-winning broadcast programming. Hilary has been awarded the prestigious Humanitas Prize in Hollywood for writing film and television intended to promote human dignity, meaning, and freedom and The Japan Prize for Innovation in Directing.
Hilary is co-writer/producer on the feature film, PERCY, starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci and Zach Braf, which tells the true story of Saskatchewan farmer, Percy Schmeiser’s battle against corporate giant Monsanto. She is also one of the producers of Listening to Orcas – an international co-production about whale communication for CBC Nature of Things, ZDF and Arte.
She is the Executive Producer, co-writer and one of the directors of the award-winning documentary series, Moosemeat and Marmalade, now in its sixth season, which blends humour with important themes as it explores cultural traditions and exchange around food and food security. Hilary lives on Denman Island.
The winners of $25 gift cards to the Blackfin Pub were: Linda Rasmussen, Alan Brown, Ian Thompson and Dawn and Gil Moore.
See you all at 2:00 Thursday, April 1.
Glacier Probus Zoom Trivia Night
Friday, February 19, 7:00 p.m.
Beat the physical distance blues.
Get your thinking caps on and take advantage of a chance to show off your stores of useless knowledge. Teams will be assigned randomly.
Prepare a snack and a libation of your choice and join your Probus friends in a battle of wits.
Preregistration is strongly encouraged but we will always have room for last minute artists. Reply to Dorothy and John McGinn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch your inbox for the Zoom link.
LinMembers were invited to log in to the Zoom meeting at 1:45 for the opportunity to participate in small breakout social rooms.
President Sandy Dreger was under the weather so Dorothy McGinn chaired the meeting in her absence. She was pleased to see a great turnout over Zoom - we are all feeling the stress of our current lock down so it was good to check in with friends. Dorothy again thanked Alan and Elaine Brown for continuing to manage our Zoom meetings. None of this would be possible without them.
In honour of Valentine's Day we were delighted to be entertained by a medley of love songs performed by Donna Crozier on her harp.
Although we are all subject to the Provincial Health Order that prohibits group activities some of our enterprising groups have been able to carry on virtually. Jim Belair, Activity Groups Coordinator arranged for some of the groups that are still operating to report to the group.
Dorothy McGinn brought news from the Bridge Group that had only a one month complete shutdown (mid March to mid April 2020) before Ann and Joe Zanbilowicz found Trickstercards.com and they were up and running virtually. One night each week from 7:00 to 9:30 up to 24 members play bridge using telephones for communication and the online app to deal the cards. Conversation is possible during play and it is a great way to keep in touch. Dorothy also explained that the site can be used to play 8 other card games: Spades, Oh Hell, Whist, Euchre, Pinochle, Hearts, Pitch, and 500. The beauty is that if you are a player short for a game a robot player can take the empty seat. The site also offers an audio option so you can hear all players and talk during play. Here is the link again: Trickstercards.com
Heather Crites reported from Random Readers who were meeting outdoors until the weather turned cool but are now meeting on Zoom. This group operates a little differently from standard book clubs in that each member brings a book to share to the meeting - the group does not all read the same book each month. They sometimes also share "viewing" news with the best of Netflix and Prime.
Heather shared reviews from group members of the following titles:
FROM MARGARET: The Sun is a Compass by Caroline van Hemmert 2019
This an adventure story ((published in 2019) of a young couple who travel from Bellingham WA to the Arctic Ocean and then to Anchorage, a journey of 4,000 miles in six months via homemade row boats, hiking, skiing, climbing, and of course tenting all the way. They leave mid March and arrive in September after testing themselves to the limit. Quite a story.
FROM ROSE: "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden 2019
This is Snowden's memoir of his life before and after 2013 when, as you may remember, at the age of 29, he shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email.
ALSO FROM ROSE: "The Wake-The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami" by Linden MacIntyre 2019
It's the true story of a tsunami that struck Newfoundland in 1929. The tsunami killed 28 people, and left 1000s destitute, especially since it wiped out fishing in the area. A large part of the book is about the mining of fluorspar that men turned to in order to survive, and the problems that resulted.
FROM HEATHER: a Cozy Mystery… I found cosy mysteries from the Grab & Go bags at the library, try one!
Down the Aisle With Murder, by Auralee Wallace 2018
Set in the present, in Otter Lake, a small quaint US town. This is a very light, amusing mystery with fun characters who all have their quirks, from the main character (reluctant detective) who is (reluctantly) staying with her mom at the mom's "spiritual retreat" B&B, to the absent ex-boyfriend/sheriff who is taking a break to find himself and do yoga.
AND Last but not least, a total favourite…
All Together Now: A Newfoundlander's Light Tales for Heavy Times Alan Doyle 2020
Guaranteed to make you smile. From the promo blurb…
“All Together Now is a gathering in book form--a virtual Newfoundland pub. At this time of Covid, singer, songwriter and bestselling author Alan Doyle is off the road and spending more days at home than he has since he was a child hawking cod tongues on the wharfs of Petty Harbour, He misses the crowds and companionship of performing across the country and beyond. But most of all he misses the cheery clamour of pubs in his hometown, where one yarn follows another so quickly "you have to be as ready as an Olympian at the start line to get your tale in before someone is well into theirs already." We're all experiencing our own version of that deprivation, and Alan, one of Newfoundland's finest storytellers, wants to offer a little balm.”
Lindsay Sparkes reported on the Financial Group who have been meeting on Zoom. They have focused lately on ethical investing and have been pleased with their results - using a practice portfolio. No real money involved. But group members share their expertise and make each other better advocates
John McIsaac reported on the Issues and Topics group who also meet on Zoom. John particularly thanked Ian Thompson who has helped the group on the new virtual platform. The group has had plenty to discuss over the past months - The US election, the aftermath of the US election, the January 6 insurrection and the Covid 19 vaccine roll out in Canada among others. It is great to see and hear from people with such varied backgrounds and areas of interest and expertise.
Due to excellent research done by Donna Crozier we were able to enjoy a round of Valentine's trivia - with the theme "Famous Couples in History". We went into break out rooms led by Quiz masters John McGinn, Jim Belair, Marie Morck, Jim Belair, Heather Crites, Steve Ray and Phil Morck.
John McGinn introduced our guest speaker Judy Millar, who is a Canadian writer, humorist and professional speaker who entertains audiences with hilarious, original stories, often based on her life experiences. She leaves her audiences laughing—and better able to find the humour in their own lives. She also enjoys helping writers find their own funny bones. Judy was able to overcome the challenge of performing on Zoom which is a challenge without the audience feedback she is used to in her live performances. I bet everyone was sitting up very "clenched" and upright by the end of her presentation.
Dorothy then announced an upcoming Special Event:
Trivia night - February 19, 7:00 p.m. She urged everyone to get your thinking caps on and take advantage of a chance to show off their stores of useless knowledge. Teams will be formed randomly from those who sign up. Bring your own snack and libation of choice. Details will be sent out by Ian Thompson within the next few days. Preregistration was encouraged.
Steve Ray who is a co-coordinator of the Probus Movie Group let members know about three upcoming virtual Film Festivals.
Lots of very interesting things to watch from all over the world from Feb. 5th to the 13th. or 14th. or 16th.
The World Community Film Festival - Comox Valley. This is a documentary film festival focusing on Community building, environmental issues, social justice and human rights. https://worldcommunity.ca/film-festival/
The Victoria Film Festival has a selection of narrative and documentary films - over 80 to choose from. https://2021.victoriafilmfestival.com/
Powell River festival features 12 of the best international, Canadian and locally produced films. https://www.prfilmfestival.ca/
Lucky draws - for the third month in a row one of the winners was no longer logged in to the meeting so an alternate was chosen. The names are drawn very late in the meeting so remember you have to be "present" to win. The winners of $25 gift certificates to Hot Chocolates were: Frank and Donna Young, Dale and John McIsaac, Jennifer Harrison and Alan Sabey. Congratulations all.
See you at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, March 4 when our speaker will be Bob Crosby, a semi-retired member of Nanaimo North Probus who is working for Ocean Networks Canada (located at University of Victoria) on a contract basis, although I now live in Nanaimo. He is working on a project is to develop an early warning system for B.C. to warn that an earthquake has started and will affect us soon. This is similar to the system used in Japan and California.
Learn about how earthquake early warning will work and what the potential benefits are.”
Looking forward to seeing everyone in person.
Members had the option of logging into the Zoom meeting at 1:40 so that they could catch up with each other or meet new friends in small break out social meetings before the start of the meeting.
President Sandy Dreger called the first meeting of 2021 to order at 2:00 and thanked everyone for adapting to our new Covid normal of meeting electronically. She shared that rather than be consumed with all the challenges of the pandemic she is focusing on how fortunate she is to remain healthy while living in such a beautiful place as Vancouver Island. Despite recent rain storms it is still possible to get outside and enjoy our surroundings. Sandy also directed our attention to the obituary in this weeks Comox Valley Record of member Ron Watkins who passed away in December. Ron was an active member of the club serving as Membership Director for 4 years. Our sympathies are extended to Nancy and the rest of Ron's family.
Elaine Brown spent a few minutes providing some "Zoom" tips around screen names, video feeds, background screens, etc.
Steve Ray introduced our first speaker, club member Ian Thompson. Ian has done extensive research on Sidney "Dusty" D'Esterre who was so important to the development of Comox. Ian traced his life from his birth in Plymouth England, through his travels to Victoria where he was a barrister and teacher. Mr. D'Esterre then purchased the Elks Hotel in Comox adjacent to Comox harbour. He also, through a consortium, purchased a large tract of land. These lands were all ceded to the Town of Comox after his death - the Comox golf course is located on this land. The Comox Council Chambers and the Senior's recreation named D'Esterre House are also located on land once owned by Mr D'Esterre. Lorne Meyer thanked Ian for sharing his research into the history of this man who contributed so much to the growth of Comox.
Steve next introduced Amanda Hale, a writer from Hornby Island who has published three novels, two collections of linked fictions set in the Cuban town of Baracoa, and two poetry chapbooks. She won the Prism International prize for creative non-fiction for The Death of Pedro Iván, and has twice been a finalist for the Relit Fiction award. Her novels and Cuban stories have been translated into Spanish; Sondeando la sangre was presented at the 2017 Havana International Book Fair. Hale is the librettist for Pomegranate, an opera set in ancient Pompeii, premiered in Toronto in 2019.
Amanda shared with us the process of writing creative non-fiction. Her fourth novel is "Mad Hatter" a story based on her personal family history, She explained how writing the novel helped her come to terms with a troubled family history. Her father was James Battersby a British fascist and pacifist, and a member of the Battersby family of hatmakers of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. He was a disciple of the fascist politics of Oswald Mosley. He was forced to retire from the family firm due to his politics and was interned by the British government during the Second World War along with other British fascists. She revealed that she started Mad Hatter in 2000, in a pub in London UK, writing with a fountain pen in her notebook, with a glass of red wine at her side. It was an appropriate place to begin because the story of Mad Hatter takes place in England, centred around World War II, spanning the 1930s to the 1950s.She continued to add to those notes over many years of research and plumbing of memory until, in 2012, she came to a decision to write the story as a fiction, based on the facts of her research, and upon the life of her family in WW2 England. While the pandemic has caused many much hardship it provided Amanda with the time to record the audio version of her book.
Amanda read a selection of her book told in the voice of the main narrator, Mary Byrne, an Irish lass who has come to England to keep house for the family of a hat maker. Amanda's training as an actress and dramatist brought the character to life. "Mad Hatter" is available at Laughing Oyster books in Courtenay, as an audio book from Audible Books or as an eBook or print book from her publisher Guernica Editions.
Next up was John McGinn who shared a humourous story.
Dorothy McGinn announced that the February 4 meeting will include selections from a surprise musical guest and speaker Judy Millar who is a Canadian writer, humourist and professional speaker who entertains with hilarious, original stories, often based on her own life experiences. She has had her work published in Reader's Digest, the Writer's Digest and other collections. She lives in Nanaimo.
The winners of the $25.00 gift certificates from Laughing Oyster Books are: Sandy Dreger, Heather Crites, Tony and Tricia Nicol and Lynne Ray.
Not to be daunted by the Covid 19 pandemic the Club continues to hold monthly gatherings on the Zoom platform and 48 members participated.
Members were encouraged to log on at 1:45 to enjoy some social time in break out room groups of 4 to 8 people.
Co-Host and Zoom guru Alan Brown welcomed everyone and turned the meeting over to President Sandy Dreger at 2:00. Sandy thanked everyone who has worked to keep us in touch with Zoo. She asked everyone to send her suggestions for speakers for upcoming meetings. She also encouraged everyone to stay connected until the end of the meeting as they needed to be "present" to win a door prize.
Sandy then introduced this month's speaker Dr. Tanja Daws. Dr. Daws was born and raised in South Africa. She graduated from medical school at the University of Pretoria in 2000 and practiced as a family physician before moving to Canada in 2009. She provides Family Medicine care to patients in her own full practice and consults on patients with chronic neuropathic pain, migraine and MAID on referral from other physicians.
As one of the first providers of Medical Assistance in Dying upon it becoming legal in 2016, she teaches and mentors physicians, nurse practitioners and medical residents in MAID. She assesses and provides for patients who wish to have MAID locally and in other communities as needed. Dr. Daws is a founding member and board director of CAMAP (Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers) and is a member of the Physician Advisory Council for Dying With Dignity Canada. She has presented on MAID internationally. She is a clinical instructor in Family Medicine at UBC.
Dr. Daws began her presentation with anecdotal information about how there are a myriad of ways in which MAID patients manage the end of life - quietly alone, with only one or two people sharing the experience or in large, sometimes exuberant events. There is sadness and humour and love and grief.
Her talk then focused on the history of how Bill C-14 came to be - meeting some of the goals that champions fought for and leaving room for improvement. She also outlined the pending changes in Bill C-7 that is slated to be enacted this month - fingers crossed. New provisions will eliminate the 10 day waiting or reflection period, will reduce the number of witnesses to the declaration from two to one, will allow doctor's or nurse practioners to be the required witness, will remove the requirement of “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” and will ensure that a patient losing capacity between the time of consent and the time MAID is provided is still able to access this procedure
Left on the table is the issue of advance consent (allowing for people to establish a set list of criteria that would give a designated person permission to request MAID when the person is not able to give consent). An example of this is in issues of dementia.
When Bill C-17 was enacted in 2016 Parliament agreed that the bill would be reviewed with a goal of amending it in five years. In 2021 there will be another chance for people to provide feedback to government to include provision for Advanced Care Directives to included in the amended Act.
Dr. Daws also shared statistics about the prevalence and acceptance of MAID in Canada and specifically on Vancouver Island. The Netherlands and Belgium are the countries with MAID policies that most closely resemble Canada's and these laws have been in place for 20 years. While the incidence of MAID in increasing all across Canada it lags far behind these two countries with one exception - Vancouver Island where we meet and exceed the numbers. While no definitive studies can explain why, Dr. Daws suggested it may be the high percentage of our population who have chosen to live on Vancouver Island for quality of life reasons and it is natural that this type of person would also want to be in charge of the quality and timing of their death. She also promoted the services of Comox Valley Hospice Society who provide grief support for family members of MAID recipients.
After Dr. Daws' presentation, Probus member Steve Hill commented that his parents where early supporters of Dying with Dignity when he was young and he knows they would be pleased to see Bill C-14 and hopefully C-7 adopted.
Steve Ray thanked Dr. Daws for her informative and thought provoking presentation.
Sandy turned over the screen to Dorothy McGinn who had a Christmas Trivia quiz for participants. Brenda and Stephen Latta had 10 correct answers (out of 13) and were declared the winners.
Dorothy then announced the winners of the door draw prize - using a Google random number generator. Due to screen sharing multiple winners will have to negotiate how to share their winnings. The winners of gift cards to Art Knapp's were: Dave Scott, Steve Hill, Vicki Matthew and Robin Pearson and Bev and Gerry Haist. Donna Crozier will contact the winners.
Meeting adjourned at 3:15.
The next Monthly Gathering will be on Thursday, January 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Not to be daunted by the Covid 19 pandemic the Club held its first meeting on the Zoom platform and 62 members participated.
Co-Host and Zoom guru Alan Brown welcomed everyone and turned the meeting over to President Sandy Dreger at 2:00. Sandy thanked Alan and Elaine Brown for doing such a great job of getting us onto the ZOOM platform and for guiding new Zoom users over the past few weeks. She welcomed the 37 new members who have joined the club since September and urged everyone to make them welcome. We still have open membership spots so people can promote club membership to their friends.
Sandy introduced our speaker David T. Chapman who started doing photography as well as storm chasing at the age of 16. He is self-taught in the art of photography and has been pursuing his career professionally since the age of eighteen. He learned at a very young age from his father to appreciate his surrounding environment. He enjoys taking photographs and videos of weather phenomena, especially lightning, as well as scenery and nature. David likes to seek out unusual examples of nature such as inferior mirages, albino birds, ice caves and various types of naturally created vortexes, ranging in size from dust devils to tornadoes.
David's topic today was Wild, Weird and Wacky Weather". He is a exceptional photographer and shared pictures and explanations of many weather phenomena. He shared images of monstrous shelf clouds, funnel clouds ,ice bridges and some breath-taking photographs of lightning. We also saw fog come to life and watched it dance from one end of a field to the other, creating various different optics in the process. He showed sunrises evolve into day and sunsets disappear into the night. His photos capture sun pillars, blizzards, sundogs, ice caves and arctic sea smoke
David works in Ontario, a province that is so vast and surrounded by the Great Lakes, it is no wonder they have some of the most interesting weather in the world. It offers such a variety all year round because of its terrain, temperature variations and location. We learned about Superior Mirages and discovered how far south the Aurora Borealis can actually be seen.
John McGinn thanked David for sharing his photography with us.
Sandy added some additional thanks to club members who have continued to work for the club during the pandemic. Lorne Meyer teamed up with Sandy to complete the Covid safety plan for Comox United Church and attended the church's orientation session. We are using the Church Hall for Covid safe Meet and Greet sessions with new members. Eight new members attended on October 25 and our next session is scheduled for November 12. Hopefully all new members will have the opportunity to attend by the end of November. Donna Crozier purchased four Boston Pizza gift cards for the meeting draw today. Dorothy and John McGinn have been busy processing the new members and organizing the Meet and Greet sessions.
Sandy also announced that the December monthly meeting will be held Friday, December 4 at 2:00. The speaker will be Dr. Tanja Daws on the topic of MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying). Dr. Daws encouraged members to send her questions via Sandy before the presentation.
Sandy turned over the screen to Dorothy McGinn who drew the four names for the draw prize - using a Google random number generated (thanks to Alan Brown for this guidance). The winners were: Elaine Brown, Pat Tait, Patti Spearman and Stuart Lane. They can pick up their prizes at Boston Pizza.
We then broke out into smaller groups for a brief social time at the end of the meeting. Participants were asked to unmute themselves and turn to gallery view so they could see all the people in their small group. After introductions it was suggested they could talk of where they dream of travelling next once it is safe to do so. After the breakout sessions people could leave the meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 3:15.
The next Monthly Gathering will be on Friday December 4, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
You have all received the exciting news that Glacier Probus meetings will re-start on Nov. 5 via Zoom.
Some of you will have already used Zoom, and are quite familiar with it. However, some of you may have only participated in one or two meetings, or perhaps you have never participated in a large Zoom meeting.
For that reason, we are holding two "Getting Ready to Zoom" practice meetings:
That way, when it’s time for our first Zoom meeting next week, you’ll be ready to join in!
Watch for an invitation to these practice sessions later this week.
Alan & Elaine Brown"
We were delighted that Probus member Donna Crozier provided musical selections on her harp as members gathered and socialized. Many members of the Management Committee channeled their latent Irish ancestry with interesting accessories.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the meeting at 2:35. Members were reminded for the need to sign our new waiver form and provide emergency contact information . John McGinn and Ron Watkins are collecting forms. Sandy reminded members that there are still two openings on the Executive - Vice President and Facilities director. There are volunteers lined up to help with facilities but a leader is needed
There are six tickets left for the Prisma Festival in Campbell River on June 27. Details have been circulated to members.
The bowling Special Events outing was very successful and the rescheduled Games night will be held on Tuesday, March 24. There are lots of spaces for games night.
Jim Belair asked for input for a special event "blindfolded" archery. He suggested that if you haven't tried it you "don't know what you are missing".
Jim Belair (acting for Steve Hill) introduced our guest speakers. Steve shared a picture of himself performing important Probus business in Mexico.
Rich Leche planned to share a wonderful slide show to illustrate the work in this year's Imagefest 2020 which will be held at the Sid Williams Theatre on March 27th. Unfortunately technical difficulties prevented him from showing the slides. Tickets are available through the Sid Williams Box Office. There is also a static show of the images at the Pearl Ellis Gallery. Imagefest 2020 is a multimedia extravaganza of images and video clips set to music. The Comox Valley Photographic Society shares their passion for photography, showcasing people and places from both far away and close to home. This, the 10th annual production, promises to be the best ever. Rick is a member of the CV Photographic Society and Glacier Probus. The winner of the draw for two vouchers to Two Imagefest was Marilyn Owens-Jones.
Next up was Alan Brown on the topic "Beer Spies". Alan discovered as a university student that he didn't really like the taste of beer. That changed in 1985 when Alan tasted his first craft beer. At that precise moment, the heavens opened up, the glory shone down, the Choir Celestial sang and Alan fell to the ground crying tears of joy. Although he worked for many years in communications and administration, Alan always thought about a career in the craft brewing industry. He eventually returned to school to earn a diploma in Brewing Sciences. He worked at Black Oak Brewing in Toronto before joining the staff of Niagara College's Brew master and Brewery Operations Management program. In 2014, Alan won the Master Brewers Association of Canada "Iron Brewer" competition. Alan retired in 2016 and moved to Comox with his wife Elaine. He writes about the craft brewing industry on his blog, "Student of Beer", and teaches classes about beer at Elder College, and is a member of Glacier Probus.
Alan shared a short presentation from his History of Beer course from Elder College. He told us how two young sons of European beer brewers used subterfuge to learn how British breweries made a beer that was far superior to the beer made in small breweries on the continent. This beer was called British Pale Ale and was sold throughout the British Empire, but not in Europe. The "spies" returned to Europe and took over their fathers' breweries and transformed them to resemble the much larger breweries in Britain. The Austrian brewer called his new beer Lagerbier. In Germany they called this beer Oktoberfestbier. They became the most successful brewers in Europe.
Our third speaker was Jay Nadler on the topic Travel Insurance: What you need to know before you travel. Jay is an insurance specialist (but, no longer sells travel insurance.) For 15 of his 17 years in the industry he has owned his own independent brokerage that specializes in insurance based financial & estate planning for business owners and families. As part of Jay’s practice, he provided travel insurance for his clients. The policies ranged from basic emergency medical policies to complicated policies for people with existing medical conditions, for hazardous activities and for those travelling to dangerous locations. Jay moved to the Comox Valley in the beginning of 2017 and now owns a new brokerage called Naviguide. Jay continues to help business owners properly structure their group benefit plans, buy/ sell agreements, life policies and estate plans. He teaches a course on travel insurance at Elder College that expands on this topic.
Jay’s talk focused on the details of what travel insurance is and is not. Since insurance is mostly based on contract details, it is important that our members know how to determine if their insurance will actually cover their expenses when they leave our province or country.
The travel insurance business is very complex. There are many nuances that the consumer must be aware of. Insurance is a great tool for preventing accidental poverty. He gave examples of sample claims from American hospitals that ranged from $400,000 to $2,000,000 for fairly common medical procedures. He also emphasized the need for travel insurance even for interprovincial travel within Canada.
Important points - read your Contract. First two things you need to worry about are stability and eligibility. Stable means absolutely no change in your treatment - even as a result of an improvement. It includes even planned changes after your return. Consult your insurance provider with your specific questions. Get your answer in writing with employee names. The waiting period qualification for stability are also important.
If you purchase a policy where personal questions are asked be sure to read the completed application to ensure the questions have been answered accurately.
Always check your credit card travel insurance for age exclusions. Most policies only cover you if you also have provincial coverage - be careful to not opt out of BC MSP if you travel.
Read carefully about the need to contact the insurance company before seeking care - usually before seeking care (if you can speak for yourself), sometimes as soon as possible (48 hours). Seek information from you insurance provider before travelling for information about where the best place to seek care. When you print off your insurance coverage card put it someplace where it will be easily found if you are unable to locate it yourself.
Filing claims can be a challenge - some care providers will expect you to pay upfront and will not deal directly with your insurance provider. Be very careful to keep every scrap of documentation - included exchange rates. Usually your insurance company will negotiate with the hospital to pay the bill. Some American hospitals will 'rebill' later and send you a dunning letter saying your claim has not been paid. Do not pay - contact your insurance company and have them deal with the hospital.
Most insurance providers expect you to be stabilized and sent home. For us that may mean to the closest hospital once you enter your province of residence - i.e. Vancouver.
Covid-19. Always check travel.gc.ca for travel advisories because that will have an impact on your coverage. Currently there are many countries listed for Covid-19. The advisory means the date of departure, not the date you bought insurance.
Accidental Opt Outs: sky diving, race car driving, bungee jumping. Check your policy for this.
Other types of coverage: trip cancellation and trip interruption, extreme sports, baggage insurance, rental car insurance. Make sure all parts of your trip are covered - especially if you don't buy all parts of your trip at once.
Other things to consider: Premiums are based on age,
Where to buy insurance: Find a travel insurance independent advisor. They have a variety of policies available and will fit the coverage to your specific circumstances.
Be careful when making extended stays in the US that you don't become liable for non-residents tax.
Meeting adjourned at 4:10.
The next Monthly Gathering will be on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the meeting at 2:35. Everyone thanked Donna and her kitchen crew for the wonderful Valentine treats. We had 75 people in attendance with one guest. Members were reminded for the need to sign our new waiver form and provide emergency contact information . John McGinn was collecting forms.
Steve Hill had a brain teaser to open the programme: Q: What do Elvis Presley, William Shakespeare and Gordon Lightfoot have in common? A: Love and poetry
To reinforce the Valentines theme of the meeting Frank Young played and sang "Beautiful" by Gordon Lightfoot. Steve then shared an amusing story about love in our golden years and shared a beautiful reading from Shakespeare.
Our first speaker, Frank Young spoke about the journey of self publishing his book" Lessons my clients have taught me and other stories". The first thing you need are stories. During Franks career in a psychotherapy he gathered many stories about problems people face and the solutions they reached. He was very interested in publishing these stories after his retirement but he met many obstacles finding a publisher and faced many rejections. He became very discouraged by the process and the excuses - "not commercial enough", "not academic enough", "we really don't want to bother reading samples". He was encouraged to generate a social media following to make it more appealing. The process of self-publishing also had barriers and could be very costly with no promise of return. Frank finally found a book designer in Vancouver to format his manuscript as a trade paperback. He then found Island Blue Publishing in Victoria and did an initial press run of 100 copies and a PDF version that could be sold online. Two months after publication, selling only by word of mouth, the first press run has sold out. Frank returned to the theme of love by reciting the first verse of Khalil Gibran's poem "On Love.
Our next speaker was Dale Erhart who was speaking about Battery Electric Cars. He confessed that in his previous career as a Voodoo pilot he had a very large carbon footprint. He now has a push mower and electric cars. He has always loved cars and most of them were turbo charged. The first electric car of the modern age was the Nissan Leaf. In 2016 it had a 177 km range. It has better range in the city due to the technology. Brakes also never seem to wear out as the battery does most of the braking. There are very few working parts so it has a very long life. He told us about his induction charger that they drive over so they don't have to plug it in. It only has to charge every three of four days. After a very positive talk about the ecological value of an EV Dale fielded many questions?
Q: What about range anxiety?
A: There are high speed chargers in Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo. They charge in about 25 minutes. The technology is constantly improving so having to stop for a supercharger can take only 10 minutes. Ten or fifteen minutes will get the job done.
Q: What about vehicle safety?
A: This rates very high for electric cars. All the safety enhancements available for conventional cars are on electric cars. He also spoke about the value of autonomous driving - computers don't get tired or drunk. Humans drive with only two cameras while many sensors support autonomous driving. Studies have proven that 94% of collisions could have been avoided by autonomous driving. They drive very well in snow as they are heavy and have a low centre of gravity.
Q: What about batteries and Battery life?
A: Dale advised that Prius batteries have been known to last 18 years. Batteries are becoming more and more robust. But it is an issue for the electric vehicle market. Batteries contain some very nasty stuff like cobalt and lithium. These materials are recyclable. The batteries can be repurposed to run solar panels. They can also be used on diesel school buses to scrub the fuel.
Q: What happens in a power outage?
A: Dale acknowledged this as a concern but pointed out that in a protracted outage gas pumps would also be affected.
Q: What about service?
A: For Tesla owners there are "rangers" on Vancouver Island who can do many repairs in your driveway. The cars are designed to last - they have 500,00 miles batteries.
Q: What about fights at charging stations?
A: At peak usage times it can be a problem.
Q: What about cost of ownership?
A: Studies have shown that for a $55,000 Tesla vs. a $44,000 Camry cost of ownership over 5 years favours the electric car.
Q: Can hackers get into your car?
A: Tesla and others are working full time to prevent t his.
You can buy a Tesla online. But there are no local options for test drives. Sandy thanked him for a wonderful and informative presentation.
Sandy again urged people to consider serving on the Management Committee for the 2020-2021 term. Tony Nicol is the person to contact if you are interested.
In honour of Valentine's Day we all sang (and some danced) to Elvis Presley's "Can't help falling in love with you".
Those attending the bowling outing Saturday were asked to come 10 minutes early to sort out shoes, etc.
Linda Leslie provided the tickets for the monthly draws. The winners were: Sylvia Giles, Ann Isbister, Jennifer Harrison and Dale McIsaac.
Meeting adjourned at 4:10.
The next Monthly Gathering will be on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the meeting. We had a very full house on a rainy afternoon. Members were reminded to complete the new waiver form and emergency contact information sheets. Sandy reminded members that there are only a few tickets left for the Christmas dance for sale at the back of the hall. Helmut Breitinger will be conducting a small silent auction at the Christmas party with proceeds going to the food bank. If members have items to add to the silent auction they should contact Helmut at 250- 483-6901 Jeannie Hall and Debbie were thanked for organizing a great Wine and Appy night at the Griffin Pub last evening.
Steve Hill shared a funny cartoon to get us in the Christmas spirit and a very funny horse video before introducing our guest speaker Jill Nelson. She spoke about the benefits of exercise. It has been proven that Exercise is Medicine - it enhances our mood, reduces anxiety, helps us manage stress and improves many health conditions. Exercise releases many brain hormones that enhance our feeling of well being. Studies show that mild to moderate exercise can treat depression. It also prevents cognitive decline. A good acronym to remember is FITT: Frequency, intensity, Time, Type. All elements contribute to preventative health care through exercise.
Steve then introduced some members of the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra (under the direction of Helena Jung) who played selections from their Christmas with Mozart concert that will be held this weekend at the Native Sons Hall. There are only a few tickets left for the Saturday evening performance. The President of the Board gave a presentation of the formation and history of the orchestra. She noted that Glacier Probus member Michelle Morton was the founding President of the Board of Directors. The seventy members range in age from 15 to 80. They are a community orchestra made up of amateur musicians and high school students. The orchestra will celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2020. Anyone who can read music and has two years experience playing their instrument is welcome to join.
Nancy Watson provided the tickets for the monthly draws. The winners were Sandy Dreger, Jasmine Murtough , Ron Watkins and Phil Morck.
Sandy reminded that people should start considering joining the Board of Directors for the 2020/2021 season. Tony Nicol is the nominating committee and he will be in touch if no one steps forward.
Sandy thanked everyone for coming and reminded members that there will not be a January monthly gathering - the next Monthly Gathering will be on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the meeting. She reminded members that Christmas party tickets were for sale at the back of the hall. Sandy thanked members for filling out the updated waiver and emergency contact form. Director at large Jim Belair's work in developing the forms was acknowledged. If information changes it can be updated online or by contacting membership Director Ron Watson.
People who have asked Nancy Watson to hold tickets or who wanted to purchase them online need to be in touch with her as the online ordering is currently out of order.
Jane Kelliher and Cheryl McMahon were congratulated on the excellent Scavenger Hunt this past Sunday. It was a huge success. The winners were Robin Pearson, Vicki Matthew, Phil and Marie Morck and Lindsay Sparkes.
Steve Hill introduced this month's program by recalling that when he was in Holland this past summer travelling with his son they were very impressed by the roadside memorials and cemeteries and the sobering experience of viewing all of the endless graves of the young men who gave their lives so we could enjoy our current lifestyle and freedoms.
Members enjoyed musical selections performed by The Military Wives Choir, Comox. This choir is one of the fourteen non auditioned military wives choirs in Canada. Directed by Wendy Nixon Stothert, its aim is to support women in the Canadian Military with comradeship through music.
Our guest speaker was Jon Ambler OCC CD. His topic was Peacekeeping Myths and Realities. Born in England in 1955, Jon immigrated to Canada with his family in 1964. Following school, Jon joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1978 and qualified as an Aircraft Navigator, specialising in Long Range Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare
He served in a variety of staff appointments and commanded the Canadian Contingent of a non-UN peacekeeping force in Egypt’s Sinai Desert from 2003-2004. Upon returning to Canada he was appointed Wing Commander of 19 Wing Comox, the RCAF’s only station in BC. He retired from the Air Force in 2007. Following retirement he was the Manager of the Comox Air Force Museum for over 10 years, and he also served as a Courtenay City Councillor for two terms. He and Jill, his wife of 42 years, are both fully retired and live in Courtenay.
The talk was a very thought provoking description of what Canadian soldiers have faced during Peacekeeping operations and wartime. He described the transition from Peacekeeping to Peacemaking and the ambiguities and dilemmas that can cause serious problems in the aftermath. It can psychologically destroy the members of the military who found themselves caught up in these conflicts. Peacekeeping only works if both sides of a conflict want an end to the conflict. Currently Canada is often asked to provide skilled military personnel to areas of conflict. He reminded us to be proud of our sons and daughters who put themselves in harm's way on our behalf. Sandy thanked him for his challenging presentation.
Nancy Watson provided the tickets for the monthly draws. The winners were Laurie Marttz, Bev Oyler, Gary Lucas and Brenda Olenik.
Lael Popham advertised a sale of items including scarves, embroidered linens and other treasures from their time living in China. The sale is from 2:00 to 4:00 at Berwick House on November 21. All proceeds will be donated to charity. No item priced over $20.
Sandy thanked everyone for coming and extended special thanks to Donna and her helpers in the kitchen and said she looked forward to seeing us all at next month’s meeting.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the meeting. She encouraged everyone to check the website for upcoming events - especially the scavenger hunt. Christmas party tickets were for sale at the back of the hall.
Ann Zanbilowicz spoke briefly about a healthy and happy aging experience where exercise of mind and body is essential. She was promoting her Tai Chi interest group which is floundering and hopes that more people will consider participating.
Jim Belair introduced our guest speakers as Steve Hill is currently traveling.
Courtenay Little Theatre is celebrating their 60th anniversary this season and Terry Penney & Adele Bailey came to share their love of little theatre. Terry introduced a short video about their organization followed by a slideshow highlighting recent productions. Adele then spoke about the many ways people can participate in little theatre - on and off stage. They are fortunate to have warehouse space for set construction and rehearsal. The current show Witness for the Prosecution opens tomorrow night with a cast of 18. The Christmas show will be the Little Mermaid with a cast of about 60.
The Little Theatre launches three productions each year - serious drama in the spring, lighter or comedic pieces in the fall and a larger musical production at Christmas time.
Our next presenter was Helena Jung who revealed that the Cello is her favourite instrument and hoped it would become ours as well. Helena is a local cello teacher, plays as part of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, is the music director of the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra and also performs in recitals. She played her lovely 109 years old French cello and explained her love story with the cello and why we should also consider it the "best" musical instrument. The Cello is essential to any string ensemble, it is the same range as the human voice, playing the cello is very good mentally and physically - stretching many muscles and giving emotional release. The Cello is great to play as you age as you always sit to play it.
Our final presenter was Terry Thormin who is a nature photographer. He has been a naturalist since the age of 14. The title of his talk was Photographing Backyard Birds, Bugs, Butterflies and other Beasties. Terry had many hints about things we could do to enhance our backyards - no matter how small - to increase our enjoyment of the natural world. Plants in pots give you the opportunity to move them around for better light for photography. Native plants and wildflowers provide interest all season. They also attract interesting insects. He gave many tips about how to construct opportunities to get great photographs. He then showed us amazing photographs he has taken in his own very small backyard and his friends backyard at Miracle Beach.
Jim let us know that the November meeting will have a Remembrance Day theme and will include a musical presentation from the Military Wives Choir.
Linda Leslie provided the tickets for the monthly draws. Starting this month we will have four draws for $25 gift cards. John McIsaac, Ken Oyler, Gwen Rypien and James Kennedy were the winners.
Sandy thanked everyone for coming an extended special thanks to Donna and her helpers in the kitchen and said she looked forward to seeing us all at next month’s meeting.
President Sandy Dreger welcomed everyone to the start of our 7th year as a Probus Club. Sandy welcomed new members and reminded longer term members to greet new members who have happy faces on their name badges as they are new to the club. She also welcomed some guests who are visiting us this month.
The club is now at our 250 limit but we are taking names for a waiting list. Thank you to Heather Crites for organizing the "trade" show for activity groups. Thanks were also extended to the Activity group coordinators. Leaders are needed for Random Readers - a very informal book club that meets once per month. Donna and her helpers were acknowledged for the lovely snacks served with coffee and tea.
Sandy advised that each member will be asked to provide emergency contact information so that the rest of the group can be in touch with your designated contact if necessary while you are participating in Probus activities. We should all think of being sure that when we leave the house we carry something that could help identify us if we unexpectedly become unable to communicate.
Steve Roy asked if any club member is traveling to Victoria in the near future. A member who was injured in an accident will be moving from hospital to a facility where she will be able to have her two cats with her. If anyone is traveling to Victoria please contact Steve. The cats will be ready to go in carriers and our member would be very happy to have her furry friends with her.
Sandy advised that this year we will have a monthly meeting on December 5 in lieu of the January 2 meeting.
Sandy introduced this month's speaker Pat Trask who has a lifelong interest in the natural world. He has been with the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre since 1993. Has led several excavations and has hosted thousands of visitors on fossil tours in the Comox Valley. He is a founding member of the Vancouver Island Palaeontology Association. In 2019 the Elasmosaurus (discovered in Courtenay) was proposed as the official BC fossil emblem. Tony Nicol presented a small token of our appreciation to Mr. Trask for his very interesting presentation.
The meeting concluded with the draw for this month's gift certificates. The winners of Starbucks' gift certificates were Marie Morck and Phil Morck.
Sandy thanked everyone for coming and said she looked forward to seeing them at next month’s meeting.