Speakers' Corner

    Future Speakers In Person

    • June 5, 2024 ~ Thanh Campbell, professional speaker and Canadian Best-Selling Author.
      Thanh Campbell has toured across Canada and spoken internationally sharing his story. He has had the privilege to speak for the United Nations in Toronto, multiple school boards and Fortune 500 companies across Canada. On June 5th, we will hear Thanh’s amazing story of the value of family, life, and the power of love. Thanh is a licensed minister with Anchor Ministerial which is based in Fergus, Ontario. Most recently Thanh was appointed as the Canadian Director of Partners Worldwide Canada tasked with the responsibility of growing the organization’s impact here in Canada. Thanh was born in Vietnam and came over to Canada as part of the last flight out of Saigon in 1975 with 56 other orphaned children. Their story was captured numerous times in the media. Thanh has written his memoir entitled, “Orphan 32”, and most recently his illustrated children's book, “Lost and Found - Orphan 32 Goes Home”.
      This meeting held at the River House, 221 Davern Lane, Maberly ~ near Bolingbrook.

        • Although we have decided to cancel our hybrid / Zoom meetings, we may have to go back to them.
          For tips on accessing our Hybrid meetings via  Zoom , please click on the button below

      Speakers In the Recent Past Mostly In Person

    • May 1, 2024 ~ Professional Dog Trainer Kim Cooper and her rescue dog
      Kim Cooper is a professional dog trainer, owner and senior instructor at Best Friends Dog Training in Ottawa since 1994. She has been actively engaged in training and deploying civilian search and rescue dogs since 1991 through the Ottawa Valley SAR Dog Association, where she is currently Team Manager. She has certified dogs under the OPP, FEMA, RCMP, International Police Work Dog Association and North American Police Work Dog Association standards. In particular, she has been an active handler of Human Remains Detection dogs since 2007.

    • April 3, 2024 ~ Human Rights from the Ground Up: The Ongoing Case in Burma / Myanmar - Kevin Malseed
      Kevin Malseed grew up in Milford, Ontario, but spent most of his adult life living and working overseas in Southeast Asia, East and Central Africa. In 1990 he volunteered to teach in a refugee village in the state of Karen just inside the Burmese border next to Thailand. In 1992 he founded the Karen Human Rights Group ( ) in the armed conflict area of southeastern Burma/Myanmar, and continued to live and work on the ground with KHRG until 2007, helping it to transition to a fully local Karen-managed organization. KHRG’s philosophy and methodology were from the outset based on local perceptions of human rights rather than international norms, and included projecting the voices and aspirations of villagers to the domestic and internatioal community, while also supporting and strengthening village level strategies to resist human rights abuses. KHRG now has close to 100 staff and field-based activists/researchers operating in the conflict area and commemorated its 31th year in 2023. For its unique work, the Karen Human Rigths Group (KHRG) received the 2013 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award from the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Kevin still chairs its Advisory Board and now lives near Perth.

    • March 6, 2024 ~ The St. Paul's Hand Bell Choir
      The St. Paul’s Hand Bell Choir started in 1990 by Mary and Bruce Young. They had moved to Perth from Thunder Bay where they had heard a hand bell choir and were intrigued. Upon moving to Perth, they applied for a New Horizons Grant, and received $6,000 to upstart a hand bell choir. There were several conductors for the first few years. In 2007, Ann MacMahon, took over the rôle as Director. Performances have varied considerably. For instance, they have played for elementary schools where they might include hilarious versions of “Old McDonald’s Farm”. However, they always include some serious music for such an audience and their response is always positive. The Choir has played in many different settings over the years: church services, nursing and retirement homes, luncheons and Christmas dinners including markets around our community. The Choir has made a number of road trips performing in Almonte, Carlton Place. Pakenham, Arden, Smith’s Falls and Brockville. They usually play about six or seven times a year. For Probus, they chose a variety of pieces that demonstrate different styles of music and how they can be adapted to the hand bells and hand chimes. Their repretoire also included a couple of pieces for the audience to "sing-along"!

    • February 7, 2024 ~ Barbara Robinson - Professional Engineer specializing in sewer systems.
      In 2015, Barbara established Norton Engineering Inc., Canada's national sewer expert, in Waterloo, Ontario. Through her tireless and passionate work, her company has brought the first two national sewer documents in Canada to fruition. Norton Inc. has produced numerous guidelines, papers, and presentations on aspects of design, construction, inspection and acceptance of sewer systems. This firm is contacted by all levels of government for sewer advice and input. They continue to lead the way to many efficient and cost-efficient practices, including gaps in the Codes that are not adequately protective of our environment. Recently, Barbara was interviewed by Steve Paikin of The Agenda, about the private side of sewers (that represents about 50% of the system) and how residents can reduce their risk of flooding because of blockages, the formation of fatbergs, and water treatment pump failures. Join us as Barbara shares her recent new national sewer standard seed document, "Developing Efficient and Effective Programs" and her current focus on "Sewers are NOT Trash Cans!" .
      See Barbara Robinson's very informative presentation slides ~ click here

    • January 3, 2023 ~ Robert J. Mather, MSc. AFCASI. PEng.
      It was 1968 when Bob gained a Masters degree in aircraft propulsion from Cranfield University in the UK as part of an engineering apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce. These were interesting times in the engine business with propulsion systems for Harrier and Concorde in development. After 10 years with Rolls Royce Bob moved over to Pratt & Whitney Canada for two periods totalling 13 years. It was here that Bob worked on advanced design and certification. Between the two stints with Pratt & Whitney Bob spent more than 20 years with Transport Canada. It was during this time the early model Dash 8’s were certified as were the initial Challenger and Regional Jet series. Bob was involved with developing corporate delegation in certification programs and developing and implementing criteria for long range over-water operation of twin engine aircraft. These were two Canadian firsts that Bob participated in while at Transport Canada. Bob also spent a number of years as a consultant with the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. His work included industry policy development and Government liaison concerning domestic and international safety regulation and environmental protection. Bob and is wife Sue joined the Probus Club of Ottawa-Rideau Valley in 2010 shortly after Bob’s retirement from his second stint with Pratt & Whitney Canada. Since then, they have both enjoyed taking part in the activities of the Club. Bob is past President of Ottawa Rideau Valley Probus Club (2012-13) Their normal summer activities include golf and gardening. Bob has also served on the board of the Ottawa section of the Mercedes-Benz Car Club.

    • December 6, 2023 ~ Award winning actor, director, writer, Robert Bockstael
      Many will remember him from the long running TV series “North of 60” and his role as RCMP Cpl. Fletcher and later as Jim Flett on "Wind at My Back”. Robert was last in Perth in 2021 in the one-man theatre production of “Getting to Room Temperature”. You might even recognize his voice from his narrating commercials for TV and radio as well as providing the voices for dozens of animated series from X-men to Sailor Moon, Rupert the Bear to Robocop. Robert started his career in Ottawa at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and expanded from there. Keeping his career mostly based in Canada to be close to his family and son Henry who has autism, Robert has enjoyed a varied career, both on stage and screen. His most recent film was along side Mel Gibson in “Fatman”. Robert’s long and successful career on TV, film and stage has more recently expanded by becoming an accomplished writer with his debut novel. “Willow’s Run”, that has earned well deserved accolades. This debut novel gives new meaning to the phrase “strong female protagonist” and guarantees to satisfy anyone looking for action, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

    • November 1, 2023 ~ Panel Discussion
      The topic of this panel discussion was be Seniors' Health Services In Our Area. The Speaker's Team felt confident that this panel would help all of us understand what health resources are available in our area. Heather Flindall from South East LHIN, speaking via ZOOM,  outlined their Home and Community Care Services, but because of technical problems, only those on ZOOM were able to hear her. Suzanne Bourbonnais from Community Home Support Lanark County, speaking in-person outlined the services they provide. Robin Hull the Education Coordinator with Alzheimer Society Lanark Leeds Grenville, also speaking in-person, provided a discussion on their services.

      Heather Flindall
      Project Assistant
      Home and Community Care SupportServices,
      South East LHIN

      Suzanne Bourbonnais
      Client Services Manager
      Community Home Support Lanark County

      Robin Hull
      Education Coordinator
      Alzheimer Society
      Lanark Leeds Grenville

    • October 4, 2023 ~ Claudia Smith
      Claudia Smith, a popular local historian, shared stories from her latest book "Horses of the Country: An Homage" and spoke to a wide selection of vintage photographs. Horses were everywhere in days past, from the heavy horses on farms and in the logging shanties to the horses trotting to a mill, market or church, pulling hearses and delivering rural mail. This presentation brought back memories of horses and childhood or shed light on your ancestors’ lives with their horses.  Claudia has been collecting rural history in Lanark County since the early-1980s — gathering local oral history and photographing countryside artifacts, rural relics and barns of times past. Over the years farming families shared their horse stories, photograph albums and ancestors’ farm diaries. With her deft flair for detail, Claudia’s most recent book pays homage to the strong, hard-working horses – the partners, the rascals, the friends.

    • September 6, 2023 ~ John Jordan - MPP for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston
      MPP John Jordan, the elected Member of Provincial Parliament for Lanark Frontenac Kingston and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care, provided a provincial health care update. Throughout his career, John has provided leadership and direction across multiple sectors. Following a 16-year tenure with the School Board, John lead the successful integration of the locally based North Lanark CHC, Lanark Community Programs, and Whitewater Bromely CHC to form ConnectWell Community Health. A testament to John’s strong and dedicated advocacy for the interdisciplinary model of team-based care, ConnectWell Community Health is now a multi-sector organization with over 200 employees working collaboratively to meet the needs of marginalized residents and community members throughout the region. MPP Jordan is well respected throughout Lanark Frontenac Kingston as a thoughtful, committed and compassionated representative, working closely with stakeholders to achieve common goals and forge a better path to the future.
      MPP Jordan was born and raised in Lanark County, where he and his family still own and operate a small farm in beautiful Montague Township.

    • June 7, 2023 ~ Christine Allum from the Ontario Securities Commission
      Christine Allum spoke to us on Fraud Prevention from Toronto. She is a Senior Advisor, Investor Engagement and Stakeholder Partnerships in the Investor Office at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). She partners with various groups and organizations to deliver investor education and fraud prevention workshops. Prior to joining the OSC, she worked at the Toronto Stock Exchange. Christine has expertise in adult training, curriculum resource development, event management, relationship management and community outreach. She is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

    • May 3, 2023 ~ Ian Lee ~ Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University
      Professor Ian Lee's topic was Health Care Economics. Ian grew up on a farm in Beckwith Township, in the 1960s. Prior to his academic career, Ian was employed for 9 years in banking and lending with Avco Financial Services as branch manager and BMO Ottawa Main Office as Loan Manager, Mortgage Manager and finally Business Loan Officer. He lent millions of dollars in mortgages and business loans to Ottawa consumers and businesses through the 1970s and early 1980s – including living through interest rates of 20%. He left the bank to return to school for a masters and PhD. Upon graduation, he became a professor at Carleton University in the Sprott School of Business in 1988, teaching business strategy and public policy. After the collapse of communism, Ian taught approximately 100 times across Central and Eastern Europe for American and Canadian EMBA programs in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. He has taught annually in Warsaw since 1991. He has taught annually since 1997 in Hong Kong and Shanghai China. Ian is a past member of Carleton University Board of Governors. He is a frequent media analyst on issues concerning the impact of federal public policies on Canada’s business community, and the nation’s economy. Since 2006, Mr. Lee has published over thirty-five Op-Eds and has appeared before Canada’s House of Commons and Senate committees over 40 times.
      See Ian Lee's very informative presentation slides ~ click here

    • April 5, 2023 ~ Sue Brandum, Co-founder and Coordinator of Climate Network Lanark
      The mission of Climate Network Lanark is to connect, co-ordinate, facilitate, initiate and support collaborative efforts and actions by and for the community to address the impacts of climate change through both mitigation and adaptation measures. One of their key objectives is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030 to keep within the 1.5C increase beyond which we risk run-away climate change. Before moving to Port Elmsley 25 years ago, Sue was a specialist energy writer and the volunteer manager of the Coalition for a Green Economic Recovery. She co-authored the underground bestseller, Get A Life! She became the general manager of REAL, delivering programs that helped local residents improve their energy efficiency, naturalize their yards and shorelines, manage their wells and septic systems and reuse goods when she established the REAL Deal Reuse Store. Sue wrote Tay Valley Township’s Climate Action Plan. Sue grew up mainly in Shawville, Quebec. The title of Sue Brandum's talk was: Can Lanark County pull its weight? A pathway to addressing the climate crisis in Lanark County.
      To see Sue Brandum's's wonderful presentation slides ~ Click here .

    • March 1, 2023 ~ Kevin Dooley - Author, Musician and Storyteller
      Kevin, was born and grew up in Ireland, and came to Canada in 1977. He had spent some years in the merchant navy where he had gained a background of marine engineering. He has had a variety of jobs, and describes himself as a 'Blue Collar Worker'.
      Kevin gained increasing interest and skills in Literature and Music, all essentially self- taught, to become 'an independent scholar'. He has published a number of books, including an important contribution to the Historical Background of the Rideau Canal Story as an UNESCO World Heritage Site’ and the recognition and commemoration for the Role and Sacrifice of the Labourers, mostly Irish, whose toil built it. He has a major interest in Irish Culture, especially music, and is active in this scene as a musician and storyteller.

    • Febuary 1, 2023 ~ Erin Lee - Executive Director, Lanark County Interval House
      Erin Lee is an experienced, passionate advocate who has spent decades working to end violence against women. Her work spans anti-violence programs, school board initiatives, provincial associations and numerous boards and committees. Currently Erin is the Executive Director of Lanark County Interval House and Community Support, co-founder of the Lyallen Hayes Memorial Fund, CSWBP member, Coordinating Committee member and member of the Victimology Advisory of Algonquin College. In most recent years, Erin was a recipient of the MAG, Award of Distinction and the ETFO award for social change. Erin was a member of the EVA inquest working group and offered testimony related to rural realities as a neighbouring rural county. Erin’s advocacy is characterized as solution-focused, mentoring to new advocates and inclusive to all.

    • January 4, 2023 ~ Tim Burrows
      Tim is a retired Vice President of Forty Creek Distillery and a graduate of the University of Toronto where he earned an honours degree in psychology. Tim began his career in the alcohol industry working nights & weekends for Chateau-Gai Wines, a subsidiary of John Labatt Ltd. His career evolved during the next 37 years and shifted focus from Ontario wine to distilled spirits. He joined a small management team to take on operation of Reider Distillery in Grimsby, ON. The same team went on to create and market a highly successful brand of Canadian Whisky called Forty Creek Barrel Select. In today's talk entitled Could Your Next Career be in Alcohol?, Tim shares his knowledge of beer, wine and spirits and describes some little known facts and legends behind these traditional beverages and how they are produced and marketed in Ontario.

    • December 7, 2022 ~ Howard Clifford
      Howard Clifford was a co-founder of the Madawaska Land Trust and he is also the owner of cliffLAND and Blueberry Mountain. Why is land conservation so important for Nature and human health? It contributes to planet’s resiliency to climate change, ameliorates biodiversity and habitat loss, and promotes healthier community, yet often finds little support. Finding a balance between the needs of a healthy natural world and those of the community is a puzzle that Howard Clifford addressed, based on his family's actions creating cliffLAND. The title of his presentation will be "cliffLAND Speaks to the Conservation Puzzle".
      Click here for much more information.

    • November 2, 2022 ~ David Somppi
      Our speaker, David Somppi - Chair of Planet Youth Lanark County (PYLC) and a member of our club spoke on "Preventing Problematic Substance Use in Lanark County.
      A proven model for youth substance abuse reduction has come to Canada, in actual fact, it has landed right here in Lanark County and you need to know about it! The world we grew-up in is gone; our children and grandchildren are wrestling with a much different environment composed of social media and cultural forces unknown to most us during our formative years. Lanark County has become the first Canadian community to adopt Iceland's successful model for reducing teen addiction and related social disfunction.
      David is graduate of the University of Waterloo having received his Bachelors (BASc) and Masters (MASc) in Electrical Engineering. In his current role as a Businss Advisor for Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) David primarily works with Canadian companies focussed on telecommunication, semiconductors and information technology.
      Learn How Community-Based Actions Can Prevent Youth Problematic Substance Use on Nov 24 in Carleton Place

    • October 5, 2022 ~ Michael Cohen
      On November 2nd, 2021, Michael Cohen, a seasoned health-care executive, became the new President and Chief Executive Officer at Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital. He has a solid understanding of rural hospitals, clinical services, strategic planning and advocacy with community partners. In his prior years, Michael served as the President and CEO of Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria and held a variety of senior leadership positions at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, including Vice President of Clinical Services, Chief Privacy Officer and Director of decision support and health records. Michael spoke about his building upon the solid foundation of our hospital, current initiatives, building partnerships, addressing challenges facing Ontario health care, and next steps in the new integrated health system.
      Copy of Michael Cohen's Presentation ~ Click here
      (You may have to click on "Slide Show" and then on "From Beginning".)

    • September 7, 2022 ~ Gary Smith
      Probus Perth member Gary Smith spoke about Russia and the Ice War Diplomat. His latest book is entitled "Ice War Diplomat", which covers the diplomatic side of the 1972 Hockey Summit Series between Canada and the USSR.
      In 1972 Gary Smith was a young diplomat on his first posting in Russia. Aside from his formal diplomatic duties he was also playing hockey in the Moscow beer league, which might best be characterized as informal diplomatic duties.
      Press response and public interest in Gary's book has been excellent and it's now into its third printing in Canada.  Even a feature-length documentary film 'IceBreaker' has been made, based in part on Gary's extraordinary role during the most celebrated event in Canadian sports history.  Personal autographed copies of Gary's book 'Ice War Diplomat' were available for sale after the Probus Club meeting is concluded.
      Important Announcement: The film, 'IceBreaker', based in part on Gary's book, will have its world premiere at the Perth Studio Theatre on Tuesday, September 6 at 7:30 pm and on Wednesday, September 7 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm . These showings are expected to sell out quickly so get your tickets in advance through "Tickets Please".
      Canadian History magazine: Commentary on, and excerpt from 'Ice War Diplomat'
      A preview of this talk....
      Link to acquire Ice War Diplomat from The Book Nook Perth.

    • Complete List of Speakers 1996 to June 2022