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.