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           Speakers Corner

"Speakers Corner" has been added to the Probus Web Site to enable clubs to contribute names of potential speakers or find names of potential speakers.

Any Club knowing of an interesting speaker and wishing to share the information with other Clubs can do so by contacting our webmaster at


The Canadian Hearing Society

The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that DIANE LLOYD of the CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY made a very interesting presentation, at their July 14th, 2005 general meeting, on the subject of recognizing hearing loss and what to do about it.  DIANE is a Hearing Care Counselor who works out of the Society's Barrie, Ontario office and  can be reached at (705) 737-3190. 

Founded in 1940, The CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY (CHS) is a non-profit agency with a long history in providing services to the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people and their families.  The counseling services of CHS are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and reflects the Ministry's commitment to fair and equal access for all Ontarians. 

For access to CHS Counselors as guest speakers for other areas of Ontario, Probus Speaker's Chairs can contact the head office of the CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY, 271 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON  M5R 2V3, through their web site at , by Toll-free telephone at 1-877-347-3427 or by e-mail at  


Roger Horbay



The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that ROGER HORBAY, President of GAME PLANIT INTERACTIVE CORPORATION gave an enlightening presentation at their December 9th, 2004 general meeting, on the subject of GAMBLING, THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS - Roger revealed the secrets of slot machines that the gaming industry doesn't want you to know. He showed how "virtual reel mapping" causes illusions of near misses and misrepresentations of the true odds of winning, and much more. An eye-opening experience for all those who honestly believe they can win money at the Casino. 

ROGER can be contacted through GAME PLANIT INTERACTIVE CORPORATION, Box 1245, 99 Thomas Road, ELORA, ON  N0B 1S0, by telephone at 519-846-1905, by fax at 519-846-2126 by cel phone at 519-731-1905 or by e-mail at

Sleep Disorders

The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that DR. JEFFREY LIPSITZ, M.D. of the SLEEP DISORDERS CENTRE OF TORONTO made a very interesting presentation, at their September 9th, 2004 general meeting, on the subject of Sleep Apnea, snoring and other serious sleep disorders.  Dr. Lipsitz operates Sleep Disorder Clinics in Toronto and Barrie, Ontario.  

Dr. Lipsitz can be contacted at The Sleep Disorders Centre of Metropolitan Toronto, 2888 Bathurst St., TORONTO, ON  M6B 4H6, by telephone at 416-785-1128, by fax at 416-782-2740 or by e-mail at

Lynn Philip Hodgson
Historian & Author








Marlene Hodgson

The Secrets of Camp-X

By Lynn Philip Hodgson

The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that Lynn Philip Hodgson, historian and author, delivered an interesting tale of Canadian, British and U.S. espionage training which took place at the highly secret Camp-X on the north shore of Lake Ontario during World War II, at their April 2004 general meeting, 

Lynn Philip Hodgson can be contacted at 2054 Courtland Drive, Unit #102, Burlington, ON  L7R 1R8, by telephone at 905-632-5198 or by e-mail at

You can check out Lynn's web site at:

(The following message was received from Lynn Philip Hodgson on September 1st, 2009)

My name is Lynn Philip Hodgson and I am the author of several books on the now famous WWII spy school in Canada called, Camp-X.

I have spoken at most Probus clubs in southern Ontario, Canada in the past 10 years.  I now have the long awaited sequel to my first book that came out in 1999, Inside Camp-X; Dispatches from Camp-X.

I have developed a PowerPoint presentation based on my first and sequel book with all new information which lasts about 45 minutes.

If anyone is interested in my presentation, please e-mail.

Lynn Philip Hodgson

Speaking Engagements by Marlene Hodgson

Marlene is available to speak to Women's Probus Club in Southern Ontario and advises that she offers a fascinating history of "Famous Spies" of WWII.  Some won't surprise you, others will shock you. Marlene has a colourful PowerPoint presentation which is about 45 minutes in length.

You can check out Marlene's web site at:

Please contact Marlene by e-mail at:

Updated 16 May 2011

Debbie Dunne

(The Power of Numbers)

The Bell City Women's Probus Club of Brant advises that DEBBIE DUNNE of PERSPECTIVE gave an absorbing insight into the world of Numerology at their September 14, 2005 meeting held at the Brantford Golf and Country Club.

Her address, entitled "The Power of Numbers", and accompanied by a well-delineated chart, was a riveting summary of how numerals can significantly influence one's life path. But most importantly, it entertained as well as educated an appreciative audience, many of whom requested a future personalized numerology chart from her "Perspective" firm.  

DEBBIE’s website is or you can reach her by calling 905-521-8839 or by email at  

Kelly Walker

living life after mid-life

The Probus Club of Orangeville recommends Kelly Walker who was guest speaker at their September meeting

“Kelly is one of Canada’s experts on the questions of transition, change and burnout.”

His books are wonderful, his concerts are uplifting, but Kelly Walker IS a speaker. He walks the talk and it shows in his presentations. Kelly is one of Canada’s experts on the questions of transition, change and burnout. He brings the most controlled audiences to their feet when he addresses crowds from 50 to 5000. He is wise, current and fun. A man who began his speaking career as a preacher in the Dominican Order (the Order of Preachers), he has continued to inspire, inform and confront audiences throughout North America by his fresh and authentic style of presentation. He will lead your audience from laughter to tears as he explores with them the human dimensions of transition and change. He is able to speak to the true issues that humans face since he has experienced them personally. Also, as a former priest and therapist, he has guided thousands of people through their journeys.

Kelly would be happy to speak to Probus Clubs in the south-western region of Ontario.

Kelly can be contacted by email at
Phone: 519-272-0477
Toll Free: 1-800-438-3422
159 Douglas St
Stratford, ON N5A 5P7More information can be found by visiting his web site at

Karen Clegg

Struggles Under Mugabe’s Rule

The Probus Club of Blue Mountain, Collingwood, Ontario advises that KAREN CLEGG, a political refugee from Zimbabwe, gave a heartfelt and enlightening presentation of the deplorable conditions in Zimbabwe after three decades of rule under President Robert Mugabe.  The presentation was made at the February 2006 general meeting.  Karen’s presentation includes a power point show focusing on the dramatic depths to which her homeland has sunk under the dictatorship of Mugabe.  Many of her slides depict the savage brutality inflicted on anyone opposed to the government.  

Karen returned to Zimbabwe in 2008 for the elections - a journey home to vote for change, to document the truth and to spend time with her family.  Her presentation is now entitled 'THE FIGHT FOR CHANGE'

Karen can be contacted at
or by phone at
519-387-3004 or 519-538-0368    
 Web site:


David Phillips


The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that DAVID PHILLIPS, internationally recognized Senior Climatologist with Canada's Meteorological Service, delivered a wonderfully informative and entertaining explanation of all aspects of our Canadian weather systems, at their May 9th, 2002 general meeting. 

DAVID PHILLIPS can be contacted by telephone at 416-739-4316 


Recommended by The Probus Club Of Wasaga Beach

‘One More Memory’

The Story of 
An Amazing Lady 
with Alzheimer’s
Disease - 

   Hear Her Tell Her Story!

   Topic(s):   Finding and Accepting A New Reality

                          The Story of ‘One More Memory’

                      The Song ‘One More Memory’  

    Presenter(s):     Brenda Hounam, Linda Westbrook, Sara Westbrook


{      Recognize early diagnosis is of the utmost importance

{      Inspire others to accept who they are today 

{      Realize that it is possible to create many more memories in spite of the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

Audience: Those living with and touched by Alzheimer’s disease, including all health care professionals          

What People Are Saying About The Presentation

 {      "What an amazing moving experience.  Words cannot express how I feel.  We are privileged to have had this insight into the world of someone with dementia"

{      "Over the top! Excellent! Fun! Light!"

{      "Very enjoyable and courageous!  Great how attitude can have a powerful impact on other people"

{      "Beautiful inside and out! A wonderful singer/songwriter, very talented."

{      "Not to be forgotten!"

{      "Great! Very interesting and encouraging. Unbelievable!  I would love to see her again"

{      "Enjoyed this new perspective.  Open and Honest"

{      "An awesome experience.  Very touching and personal" 

To book this presentation please contact

Visit our Web site  

Margaret Blair
(519) 338-2164

Snapshots of Shanghai During World War II

  Children of War - Alleyways of Shanghai   

This talk is from Margaret's book:

Gudao Lone Islet, The War Years in Shanghai, a Childhood Memoir

The Centre-Wellington Probus Club recommends one of their members, Margaret Blair, who was a guest speaker in 2006.  She was born in Shanghai's International Settlement  and was interned by the Japanese 1942-45.

Margaret's talks will be interesting for both the men's and women's Probus meetings. 

She has a new presentation:  Gangsters, Billionaires and Two-gun Cohen, Colourful Characters of Treaty Port China. It is based on her second book, the historical novel, Shanghai Scarlet.









You can e-mail Margaret from her website: 


Ron Hoggarth

23 Years Refereeing in the NHL

The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that RON HOGGARTH, who refereed with the NHL from 1971 through 1994 was the Guest Speaker at their January 11th, 2007 general meeting. Ron spoke, with candid humour, of his experiences on and off the ice, throughout his 23 year career. 

Ron can be contacted at Ron Hoggarth Sports, Inc. by telephone at (705)238-6055 or by e-mail at:

Dr.Alex T. Bielak

The Probus Club of Hamilton advises that Dr. Alex T. Bielak spoke recently to their Club and highly recommends him as a speaker to other Clubs.   
He spoke primarily about water with an excellent visual back up presentation.  He detailed how much of the world’s water is used for consumption (also available) and how that has grown over time indicating how rapidly use has expanded and problems that exist. He also dealt with work they are doing on identifying threats to our water from foreign objects such as zebra mussels. The members were very much in tune to his presentation. 
Director, Science and Technology Liaison
Environment Canada
Science Liaison Branch
Phone number: (905) 336-4503
Fax number: (905) 336-6444
Email address:

B.Sc. (Hons.), Liverpool Polytechnic, Liverpool
Ph.D., University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario



  • Science communications, research management and development of new client consultation and program delivery mechanisms and partnerships.
  • Science and policy linkages
  • Recreational fisheries management
  • Salmon, evolutionary and freshwater ecology

Ongoing Studies/Current Activities

  • Development of best practices in science communications, knowledge brokering and science liaison
  • Effective use of science in the development of environmental policy

Major Affiliations/Memberships

  • Member of National Judging Panel, Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program (2004 - present)
  • Member of Environment Canada S&T Communications Editorial Board (2004)
  • Founding Member, National Resource Board of Trout Unlimited Canada (2003 - present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Canadian Science Writer’s Association (2003) and Co-chair of CSWA Annual Meeting 2004.
  • Member Council of Great Lakes Research Managers (International Joint Commission Appointment) – (2003 - 2006)
  • Member, Founding Management Board, Canadian Rivers Institute (2001 - present)
  • Honourary Research Associate, Faculties of Science and of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick (Appointed 1994, re-appointed 1999 and 2003)

Research Accomplishments/Awards

  • Graduate and scholarship holder inaugural Banff Centre Science Communications Residency (2006)
  • Multiple DFO and Environment Canada Deputy Minister Service Commendations, Recognition Awards and Certificates of Appreciation (1993-2006) including EC Departmental Diversity Award as part of NWRI Senior Management Team (2003).
  • Awarded a Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment “Certificate of Appreciation” for “contribution to success of CCME “Linking Water Science to Policy” workshop series (2002).
  • Co-Chaired national review of the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) (Awarded Environmental Conservation Service “Certificate of Appreciation” for “efforts to develop a common departmental vision for EMAN.” (2001)
  • Recipient, first University of New Brunswick Co-operative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit Award for "significant contribution to fisheries research in New Brunswick" (1996)
  • Co-lead in internationally recognized ground-breaking research program on catch-and-release fishing that achieved significant advances in scientific understanding as well as major changes in recreational fishing policy and increased fishing opportunities for Atlantic salmon.
  • Recipient, Ted Williams Conservation Award for Journalistic Excellence (1995)
  • NATO Scholar (1981-1984)

Katherine Barber


Canada's Word Lady

The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach advises that KATHERINE BARBER, Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Canadian Dictionaries, delivered a wonderfully informative and extremely humorous insight to our everyday use of Canadian English at their May 8th, 2008 general meeting. It should be also noted that she has an equally entertaining talk about the history of the English language that has been very well received by many Probus clubs.

"Canada's Word Lady", Katherine Barber, is known for her lively and engaging take on the history of our language.  She grew up in Winnipeg and studied French literature at the Universities of Winnipeg and Ottawa. As Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Dictionaries at Oxford University Press since 1991, she has overseen the production of the award-winning and bestselling Canadian Oxford Dictionary and 11 other dictionaries, and written two bestselling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do with Pigs and Only in Canada You Say, A Treasury of Canadian Language. Her interests outside lexicography are ballet, travelling, choral singing, gardening, and cooking.

1. Bachelor for rent: Things you never suspected about Canadian English Most Canadians asked for an example of Canadian English will say "eh", bring up the colour vs. color debate, or mention toques. But Canadian English is much more exciting than that. There are many words that most Canadians probably think are used throughout the English-speaking world that in fact may leave other English speakers mildly perplexed or totally bewildered!  A lively, entertaining, fun-filled look at our language and what makes Canadians distinctive.

2. Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs.

Do you find it, well, peculiar that the word "peculiar" has something to do with cattle? Did you know that a common household item has something to do with parts of a pig that most of us don't usually look at?

In this light-hearted look at the history of the English language Katherine Barber offers entertaining word histories and fascinating facts about the language. A treat for all word lovers.

Katherine can be contacted as follows

Katherine Barber
Oxford Canadian Dictionaries
70 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, ON M3C 1J9
Phone: 416-441-5660
Fax: 416-441-0345


Looking For A Canadian Air Force speaker 
Enhance Your Next Meeting?

From aviation history, fighter jets and search and rescue missions to our role in Afghanistan as well as futuristic technologies, and more ... let us share our experiences with you.

The Air Force Speakers Bureau is a new program designed to match speakers to organizations with an interest in learning first-hand about Canada's Air Force. Any organization, group or individual across the country can request an Air Force speaker.

Why not contact us today? 

You can reach us at 613.944.6629 or 613.945.7664, toll-free 1.866.633.8898, 

or email us at

Posted July 3, 2008


Bob Skura

Bob Skura made an excellent presentation to the Probus Club of Kitchener Conestoga.  His topic was 'How Tiger Gets into the Zone'.  He has written a book entitled 'How Great Golfers Think'.  Using juggling as an aid, he gave an informative and motivational talk.

After graduating from the University of Waterloo, Bob Skura taught and played professional golf for five years. Later he developed a career in sales, becoming the proprietor of his own successful company. Bob’s athletic and professional experience have taught him that, with the correct approach, our potential to improve all areas of our lives is almost unlimited.  
In addition to playing competitive golf, Bob enjoys riding his unicycle and juggling, two skills he developed after the age of 50. He brings this same lighthearted, no-boundaries approach to How Great Golfers Think.

Bob writes a syndicated series of mental golf tips called Fore Thought for newspapers in both USA and Canada. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with his wife, Sharon.

He has spoken to a number of Probus Clubs in the Kitchener/Waterloo and Hamilton areas.

He can be contacted at 877-748-1135 or visit his web site at

                                                                                                                                                                        Posted July 8, 2008


Lisa was recently guest speaker at the South Muskoka Probus Club, Bracebridge, Ontario.  
Her topic:
 "The Jane Goodall Institute, Preserving African Great Apes & Their Habitats"

Lisa joined the Jane Goodall Institute in 2002, to research, develop and manage both new and ongoing conservation and community-based development initiatives and strategies throughout the Congo Basin.  Today, Lisa’s portfolio has expanded to include programs in the Republic of Congo , the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea , Sierra Leone , Tanzania and Uganda .  In 2006 and again in early 2008, Lisa was working on-the-ground as Executive Director for the Jane Goodall Institute in the Republic of Congo , where she managed the Tchimpounga Natural Reserve and Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center among other programs. Now back at the Institute’s headquarters in Washington , DC , Lisa will continue to develop and provide oversight for all of JGI’s programs and operations in Africa .  

Contact information:

Lisa Pharoah
Program Manager
West & Central Africa Programs
the Jane Goodall Institute
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 600
Arlington , VA 22203

Tel: (703) 682-9220
Fax: (703) 682-9312  

                                                   Posted July 30, 2008 



Speaker for Probus clubs within 100 miles from Barrie Ontario  

Larry Fike
Tel:  (705) 726-3111

Larry, a Financial Planner, was recently guest speaker at the Probus Club of Orillia, Ontario.  He gave an interesting talk concerning the World Financial future.  He expressed his fears of the consequences of countries such as the United States printing large quantities of money to help them out of a financial crisis.

Recommended by Herb Myles, Treasurer, Probus Club of Orillia.

                                                                                                                                      Posted November 28, 2008




 Chris McHarge
Artistic Director of the Lighthouse Festival Theatre
Port Dover, Ontario

Chris is highly recommended as a speaker by the Probus Club of Norfolk.  He has been Artistic Director of the Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover for 20 years and has been instrumental in making the theatre a main tourist attraction during the summer season. 

Under his successful directorship the community looks forward to another successful summer season, the LFT’s 30th season, of  5 exciting and entertaining shows.  In his presentation, Chris was excited to share  the playbill of the upcoming season which includes 2 Norm Foster plays so popular with Port Dover audiences along with 2 other plays by Canadian playwrights Michelle Riml and John Spurway,  and the season Topper a musical “Blue Suede Shoes”  Memories of Elvis.

Chris can be contacted at

                                                                                                               Posted February 22, 2009

2009 has been designated The International year of Astronomy and Dr. John Percy, Professor Emeritus: Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto advises that he can arrange for guest speakers to attend Probus Clubs to speak to the subject of Astronomy in this special year.   

Any clubs wishing to avail themselves of this offer can contact John and he will be happy to to pair them
up with a nearby speaker.  He reports that he has International Year of Astronomy
liaisons in most universities and colleges, and in most astronomy
clubs across the country.


Contact - John R. Percy, PhD
Professor Emeritus: Astronomy & Astrophysics
University of Toronto                           phone: (416) 978-2577
Toronto ON M5S 3H4 Canada                    fax: (416) 946-7287

Speaker for Probus clubs within the Simcoe County area of Ontario


Leslie Nemisz
Education and Support Services Coordinator
Alzheimer Society of Greater Simcoe County
12 Fairview Road, Unit 103, P.O. Box 1414, Barrie, ON  L4M 5R4

Tel:  (705) 722-1066       Fax:  (705) 722-9392


Web Site:

Leslie was guest speaker at the July 2009 general meeting of the Probus Club of Wasaga Beach, Ontario.  The subject of her talk, which was very well received by the membership, was .... 

"Put your Mind to it; Alzheimer's disease, the boomer generation and reducing the risk."

Recommended by the Probus Club of Wasaga Beach.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Posted July 13, 2009


Richard Atkinson 

Don't Just Retire - Live it, Love it!

The members of the Women's Probus Club of Brant and Probus Club of Scarborough Centre had the distinct pleasure to hear Richard Atkinson, President of RA Retirement Advisors at meetings held in October and November respectively. 

Richard, the author of the book, 'Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It!' discussed in his address entitled 'Retire Right', what makes for a happy and stimulating retirement - and it's much more than the money.  Richard outlined essential topics such as; how to build a balanced leisure, health and wellbeing strategy, how to manage time more effectively, steps for enriching relationships, how to live retirement to its fullest and much more. 

The book and Richard have been featured on radio, television and newspapers across Canada.  The book, 'Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It!' is on CARP's Recommended Reading List. 

Richard can be contacted at:  7 Blue Anchor Trail, Toronto, Ontario, M1C 3N9; by telephone:  416-282-7320; by e-mail:  Richard's website is:


Service in India and Nepal 

with dignity and hope for all

The Community Probus Club  of Tillsonburg, Ontario recommends Margaret Vanderzweerde who was guest speaker at their October 2007 meeting

Margaret is the former South Asia Liaison for the Presbyterian Church in Canada and spoke to us about her experiences in India and Nepal between 1991 and 2001.

Margaret enchanted her audience with stories of hope and renewal for a people without hope or future. She held everyone spellbound as she told of women being trained to weave, embroider and do batik , and men learning to make leather goods and toys as well as learning animal husbandry. Acquiring skills that will support a family and being taught  life changing practices in  health, nutrition and hygiene, bring dignity and hope, which make for a better future. Her husband, Jake, traveled with her and did his share of training and school construction. The photos, local arts and craft projects, maps and other mementos Margaret brought with her gave everyone present a "hands on" appreciation of their experiences.

At the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, held in June 2002, Margaret and Jake were recognized by the Assembly Council as having served with distinction and making a valuable contribution to the life admission of their Church, both at home and abroad.

Margaret would be delighted  to speak to Probus Clubs in Ontario.

She can be contacted by email at

Phone: 519-688 5488

Christine E. Cowley


The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach recommends Chrisitine Cowley as a guest speaker. Christine was a guest speaker at our December 2010 general meeting. Christine`s topic was “Butchers and Bakers and Building the Lakers which was about her award-winning oral/pictorial history, published in 2008, sharing the stories of many generations of Collingwood residents. Christine also introduced her new book entitled "The Gift: Sharing Your Life Lessons with the People You Love Most".

Christine is an author, editor, writing coach and popular speaker for Probus, Rotary Club, community events and organizations, and radio and community television. 

Beginning in May 2011, Christine will be touring throughout Ontario and British Columbia. With many years experience as a personal and family historian, Christine has captivated small and large audiences with her exuberance and expertise. She has been a frequent guest of radio and television, including CBC Radio, Bay Shore Broadcasting, The Peak FM, Georgian Bay Living, Rogers Daytime, Penny Skelton Live, CTV, Michael Coren Live (CTS), and Sally Jessy Raphael.  

Christine has been writing professionally since 1979, and is an author, collaborator, editor and/or publisher of over 25 books. She is founder of LifeGems Personal Histories, which assists others in writing and production of personal, family and corporate histories.  

For more information, visit

To book Christine Cowley as a speaker for your event or organization contact Bonnie Taylor at or call 705-444-0104

Cheryl Cooper


The Probus Club of Bracebridge, Ontario, recommends Cheryl Cooper, a  recent guest speaker at their Club.

Cheryl Cooper is a former teacher of the hearing impaired, a community advocate for disadvantaged children, and the Acquisitions Editor for the Bracebridge-based publishing house, Muskoka Books. She is also the author of two commercially-published books, Come Looking for Me (2010) and Second Summer of War (2014), both of which are set on the high seas during the War of 1812. Born in Toronto, she holds degrees in English and education from Queen’s University, and has lived in Bracebridge for 27 years with her husband and two sons.  

Since the launch of her first novel in October of 2010, Cheryl has had the pleasure of addressing over 70 probus clubs in Ontario. Her talk includes a lively and interactive discussion on the War of 1812, its causes and the reasons why it is often called an “obscure” war; the fascinating naval aspect of this war, including the conditions and hardships faced by the men who fought for their country on the Atlantic Ocean; the inspiration behind and challenges of writing works of historical fiction; and the naval origins of words and expressions which have found their way into our everyday language, ie. slush fund, between the devil and the deep blue sea, son of a gun, I’m feeling groggy, etc.  

Depending upon what your club members have already heard in the past, Cheryl would be happy to adjust her talk for their enjoyment. If, for example, you have already had an 1812 speaker, she would keep her remarks on the War to a minimum, and include other fascinating topics such as the impressment and imprisonment of sailors; the miserable conditions under which a ship’s surgeon was forced to work during battle, and women on warships during this period of history.  

Cheryl is available to speak to Probus Clubs in Ontario.

She can be contacted directly at: 705-645-1810, e-mail:

Or through her publisher: Dundurn Press,

Check out Cheryl's website at:

“Wow, what a fantastic presentation, and so well received. In my two years of looking after program/speakers, I have not seen our membership respond so fondly to a speaker!” (Don Cooper, Brockville Men’s Probus, June 2015) 

Posting updated January 27, 2016


Terry Fallis


Director Heinz Puersten, recommends Terry Fallis, a  recent guest speaker at the 

Probus Club of Bracebridge, Ont.

Terry Fallis is the author of The Best Laid Plans, and The High Road, satirical novels of Canadian politics. His debut novel (TBLP) was originally self-published in 2007 and won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Then McClelland & Stewart published TBLP in September 2008. He also won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Regional Fiction – Canada East category. In 2010, the Waterloo Region chose The Best Laid Plans as the One Book, One Community selection. In November, 2010, CBC’s Canada Reads named The Best Laid Plans one of the Top 5 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. In February, 2011, The Best Laid Plans was chosen as the Canada Reads 2011 winner.

McClelland & Stewart published the sequel to The Best Laid Plans, called The High Road, in September 2010. It was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, in April, 2011.

"He is very entertaining, and he charges not" - however he appreciates the opportunity to sell his two books "The Best Laid Plans" and "The High Road" at $20 per copy. He does not push, he makes them available.

Terry is a sought-after speaker, sits on a number of boards, and lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Terry Fallis can be reached at or at 416-414-6630

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Posted September 7, 2011

Elaine Charal


President Ron Smith of the Probus Club of Centre Scarborough, recommends 

Elaine Charal, a  recent guest speaker at their Club.

Ron says:  "We have just had one of our finest speakers in 7 years entertain us last week at our Probus Centre Scarborough Club.    Elaine Charal is a professional Hand Writing Analysis  person and also speaks to a variety of Clubs, organizations, etc, etc .  She has had Canadian T.V. appearances and was great.  She adds a ton of humour on the day and does 10 or so member profiles during her one hour time.  I believe the Aurora Club had her talk at their April meeting and the Scarborough Tuesday Club had her in July." 

Don Muir of the Mississauga City Centre Probus group said "...."I heard only rave reviews from our Members who found your Presentation the most entertaining we have ever had!"

Carol Hollingsworth of the Brampton Flower City Mixed Probus said, "It was a fun presentation which our group thoroughly enjoyed."  

The Power of the Pen is guaranteed to have everyone laughing and learning while discovering how to communicate with and understand others through knowing what the strokes of handwriting mean. Everyone will learn about their strengths as reflected in the 'paper mirror' of their handwriting. I stay after my talk to do individual Analyses!

Elaine is a Certified Handwriting Analyst and has been a Professional Speaker for over 10 years.  She has appeared on CBC's Steve & Chris Show, the Mike Bullard Show, Breakfast Television in Toronto and Edmonton, Canada AM, Global News at Noon, CHCH News at Noon, Connie Smith's "Always Good News", Ed the Sock, CFRB's Ted Woloshyn Show, the Jerry Agar Show on CFRB, CBC's "Fresh Air" and many more!

Check out her "Power of the Pen" demo and her Steve & Chris appearance on her web site at

Elaine Charal - Entertainer/Speaker Extraordinaire!!  Your Best Entertainment Choice!

Tel: (416) 446-2903    E-mail:

Check out Elaine's 5-minute "Power of the Pen" demo on her home page!

  Amended May 17, 2017

John Scheel

John Keenan, Co-Vice President of the Probus Club of Etobicoke, recommends 

John Scheel, a  recent guest speaker at his Condo Corporation and future speaker at his Probus Club.

John Scheel is a retired Chemical Engineer and Business Consultant residing in Oakville, Ontario.  He is an outspoken critic of waste and mismanagement in all levels of Canadian government, and particularly at the municipal level.  To find out more about John, check out the following link: 


John's book  SOMEONE GIVES A S**T  tells it like it is and inspires Canadians to sit up and take stock of their politicians' actions. 


John says: 

"I spent the better part of 18 months researching and writing about this and many related issues. Politicians and even many civil servants seem to think they can get away with lying, mismanaging and squandering our financial resources and our public trusts. Many of them could not run a corner milk store but their egos say otherwise.

Well, their inabilities need exposing.

They need a kick in the ass from good patriots like me who live everywhere in Canada. And the only thing that has kept us from changing our broken governments is uniting and working to change the system – we haven’t been organized into a single-minded whistle-blowing community.

With my book and the use of my website I intend to change all that.

I’m convinced that the only reason the cynical attitude is so prevalent with too many elected officials is because they really believe there will be no consequences to their actions. I think, they think they will be immune from being exposed… really? That seems crazy with the advent of the Internet and social media. Its proper use will bite them.

In a way I don’t blame them. Many Canadians are cynical themselves. They don’t seem to care one-way or the other. Some Canadians actually even expect politicians to lie. They expect politicians to make promises they won’t keep. I guess, these Canadians feel that if we anticipate being lied to our elected officials won’t disappoint us."

John Scheel - Author, Speaker!

Tel: (905) 338-1168    E-mail:  



John Wright of the Probus Club of Alta Vista, (Ottawa) Ontario wonders if his Club's complete list of past guest speakers might be of interest to other Clubs trying to identify interesting speakers.

The list of speakers, in excess of 100, can be accessed at the following link:

The Club's website, accessible at: also contains copies of their bi-monthly newsletters, each of which carries a review of the guest speakers from the previous two months. 

A wealth of information on speakers and topics.......


Dr. Johannes Hirn

Dr. Johannes Hirn, Communications & New Media Specialist with the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics with the U. of T. advises that they are offering a series of public talks that some of their researchers are interested in delivering in front of audiences such as Probus Clubs in the Greater Toronto Area.. 

You can find the list of topics and presenters for the U. of T. Speaker's Bureau at:  

Contact Dr. Johannes Hirn at:

Our Dying Planet

Professor Peter F. Sale

Heinz Puersten, National Director for Ontario District #2, states that Professor Peter Sale was a recent guest speaker at his Probus Club of Bracebridge, Ont. and gave an absolutely outstanding talk about his new book, Our Dying Planet, bringing the entire group alternately to tears of sadness and moments of pure joy. He talked about his new book, advising members that humanity is in the middle of the worst environmental crisis since the Pleistocene, that the future we get in 25, 50 or 100 years will depend largely on whether and how we change our behavior between now and then, and that it is still possible to get to a good future if we can find the will to act. The most important message for the Probus generation, is to talk to their children about this issue. He was particularly appreciative that Probus members laughed at the right places, and paid attention during the complex bits. He cheerfully answered insightful and challenging questions after his presentation.

Professor Peter Sale is a marine ecologist with over 40 years experience in tropical coastal ecosystems, particularly coral reefs. Prior to joining the UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), he was a faculty member at the University of Sydney, Australia (1968-1987), University of New Hampshire, USA (1988-1993) and University of Windsor, Canada (1994-2006). His work has focused primarily on reef fish ecology, most recently on aspects of juvenile ecology, recruitment and connectivity. He has done research in Hawaii, Australia, the Caribbean and the Middle East, and visited reefs in many places in between. He has successfully used his fundamental science research to develop and guide projects in international development and sustainable coastal marine management in the Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific. His laboratory has produced over 200 technical publications and he has edited three books dealing with marine ecology. Dr. Sale currently leads the Connectivity program within the Coral Reef Targeted Research Project as well as Coastal Zone Management in the Arabian Gulf. He is also Professor Emeritus, University of Windsor.

               The contact numbers/information for Peter F. Sale is as follows

TEL: 1-705-764-3359

FAX: 1-705-764-3360 and

                                                                                                      Posted February  7, 2012


 Heinz Puersten, National Director for Ontario District #2, recommends Dick Smyth, a  recent guest speaker at his Probus Club of Bracebridge, Ont.

Dick Smyth retired from Toronto broadcasting in 1997 but remains well known both there and in Muskoka, where he now lives.  

He had a 30 year career with CHUM, CITY-TV, CFTR, 680 News, CHFI, CFMT-TV and the Toronto Sun.

Prior to that he had spent 13 years at CKLW Windsor.  

After retiring, he spent a year freelancing with CFRB Toronto.

Smyth still does daily commentary on “The Moose” in Bracebridge and on several other radio stations in Ontario.

A collection of his writing was published by McClelland and Stewart in 1984.

He is well known as a radio and television commentator. In 1995-96, he was the co-host of Chronicle, a daily hour-long public affairs show heard across the country. While with CHUM, he co-anchored the CHUM National news, the first national newscast by a private radio network in Canada .

Smyth has been honoured with several awards for news coverage and editorials. He was the first Canadian to win the International Award of the Radio Television News Directors Association for his coverage of the 1967 Detroit riot. He has won the Sam Ross Editorial award in Central Canada a record six years, the most recent being last year for commentary on “The Moose.” He was nominated three times for the Gordon Sinclair Award for outspoken opinion and integrity in broadcasting. His documentary on South Africa won a gold medal at the 1993 New York Radio Festival. In 1992, the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada presented him with the President's Award, given annually to a Canadian broadcaster for outstanding contributions to the industry. At his retirement dinner, he was cited as “a Canadian broadcasting giant, a legend, a true original.”

Smyth has travelled extensively and is a popular speaker.

He is a native of Montreal where he attended Loyola College . He met his wife Marilyn on his first radio job in Cornwall Ontario . They have been happily married since 1955. The Smyths have three daughters, two granddaughters and two cats. His interests outside broadcasting include photography, chess and wine making. He loves opera as passionately as his wife hates it. His boats are named LaBoheme, Tosca and Figaro. (Figaro is the canoe.) Their two cats are Mimi and Rudolfo (Rudi.) Both share a passion for Muskoka.

Smyth is a past president of the Windsor Press Club and of the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada. He served as a municipal councillor in the former town of Riverside Ontario (now part of Windsor .) He is a member of the Conference of Editorial Writers and of the Half Century Club of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

Dick can be contacted by e-mail at 

or by telephone at 705-646-2064

Posted February  11, 2012


The Probus Club of Wasaga Beach recommends Dr. Milan Somborac, a  recent guest speaker at that Ontario Club.

Dr. Milan Somborac, DDS, is a Collingwood, Ontario Dentist, classical violinist and lecturer.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” Dr. Somborac backed up this popular saying with excerpts from his book, Your Mouth, Your Health: Stop and Reverse Aging, and a humorous PowerPoint assisted talk in which he linked overall health and dental health and explained the necessity of healthy eating and making changes to our diets.

Dr. Somborac made the connection that over-consumption of refined carbohydrates and engineered fats are the prime cause of most of the diseases in modern society.  He stated that many common health conditions are “lifestyle diseases” that start as dental decay, which can show up in early childhood.  In other words, when it comes to our overall health, tooth decay is the proverbial warning sign.  He shared tips on how to improve overall health through proper eating habits.  He argued that there are serious benefits to eating from Mother Nature’s Pantry, and his food suggestions are available at the local grocery store.  He stated that most diseases of civilization, including dental decay, excess weight, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and constipation are preventable, arrestable and reversible.      

Contact information   

Dr. Milan Somborac, DDS
229 Sixth St.
Collingwood, ON  L9Y 1Z2

Tel: (705) 445-0551   Toll-free: 1-866-445-0551 
Fax: (705) 445-1066


Posted March 24, 2012

Ron Wicks

"A Referee's Life"

The Probus Club of Brampton recently had Ron Wicks speak at one of its meetings.  Ron grew up in Timmins, Ontario and moved to Sudbury in 1952.  His love of hockey resulted in him signing a contract with the National Hockey League in 1960 to become an official.  Ron refereed a total of 1,067 games in his 26 year career with the NHL and retired from refereeing in 1986.  

Ron has many insights into the game and the people who had a part in building it.  He authored a book in 2009 entitled  “A Referee’s Life”.  Ron enjoys talking to Probus Clubs.

Ron can be contacted at his home in Brampton , Ontario . 905-451-8012.

Bill Watson, President of the Probus Club of Brampton recommends Ron as a guest speaker.

Posted August 14, 2012



Beth Sweetnam, Education Director for the Probus Club of Western Ottawa recommends BARRY RISK who spoke to her club March 11th, 2014 on the subject of: 


Barry's interactive speech mostly follows the line of questioning raised by the audience.

Born in Bristol, England and immigrating to Canada, Barry Risk has enjoyed all the riches that Canada can provide. A 35 year career in Customs has made him aware of the vastness and wealth of this country. Barry has lived and seen many changes to his area of expertise, border protection. Having attended Carleton University, studying history and English, he joined the Federal Civil Service in 1975. His career began in Toronto and finished off at CBSA headquarters, from field officer to Counter-Terrorism intelligence Officer, but in between he has visited or worked in many parts of Canada.

Winner of many awards of excellence and Ministerial awards, Barry has taken particular pride in the receiving of medals, Peacekeeper, Peace Officers, and the 125 medal. Barry has always been proud of the Custom Service and the dedicated people who work there."

Barry Risk is the recent author of the book "The Thinner Blue Line" published by General Store Publishing House. It is a journey through thirty five years of border protection with the intent to educate the public into the complexity that is Customs.

Part biography, part history book, The Thinner Blue Line is a sneak peek into the realities of the life of custom officers and the border they protect. Liberally peppered with personal anecdotes, court cases and images, Risk takes the reader into a literary ride in a typically unknown world

Barry may be contacted at: 

Posted March 22, 2014

"Be a Smart Consumer"

- Workshops in Ontario -

PROBUS Clubs in Ontario can now take advantage of the following service offered by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services.

Knowledgeable ministry staff provide “Be a Smart Consumer” presentations at your location that are designed specifically for seniors and can be tailored to focus on consumer topics of interest to your group. The presentations are dynamic and engaging, and cover important topics such as: dealing with door-to-door salespeople, common marketplace scams, car repairs, and home renovations.  Probus members will learn how to be smart consumers and ask the right questions.  

For more information, or to book a speaking engagement, please contact:  

Michelle Falone

Media Marketing and Public Education Advisor

Communications Branch

Ministry of Consumer Services

Phone: 416-326-7346

Cel: 416-709-2709


Posted May 15, 2014







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