Past Speakers
Ted Barris CM

November 9, 2023…Lest We Forget

Title: Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory – by Ted Barris

Ted Barris: Member of the Order of Canada, author of 20 non-fiction books, half of them on Canadian involvement in wartime histories.

Ted’s presentation on the Remembrance Day meeting was on his latest book entitled "The Battle of the Atlantic- Gauntlet to Victory". Our monthly meeting began with ther singing of the National Anthem followed by a reading of ‘In Flanders Fields’ and the bugler playing the ‘Last Post and Reveille’ and a two minute silence.

Ted Barris was introduced; and his presentation was outstanding! He has a highly energetic style that kept our members fully engaged for an hour. In WWII one battlefield that held the key to victory or defeat was the North Atlantic. It took 2074 days and nights to determine the outcome, but the Battle of the Atlantic proved to be the turning point of the Second World War.

The conflict was fought against German U-Boats that were attempting to destroy the Allied transatlantic Merchant Navy supply convoys between Halifax and Liverpool in Britain. Support and escorts for the shipping was provided by the Royal Canadian Navy and bomber–reconnaissance aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Ted had the audience spellbound as he told the history of the battle. In 1939, at the outbreak of the war, Canada’s navy had 13 warships and about 3500 sailors. During the dangerous Atlantic crossings, the RCN grew to 400 ships and over 100,000 sailors in uniform. By the end of the war in 1945 it had become the 4th largest navy in the world. Ted’s presentation was not only about the facts and figures of the battle but more importantly about the Canadian men and women who bravely fought in the Battle of the Atlantic that proved to be Canada’s longest military engagement of the war.

He talked of the Merchant sailors and the conditions they had to endure; the drive to build Corvettes to protect the supply ships; the wartime strategies to combat the fearful U-Boats; the technical innovations to detect submarines; and the vast geography of the North Atlantic.

We heard about letters sent from sailors to their families across Canada; we heard of the cramped conditions inside the Corvettes, the food rations, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ted weaved the human element of the historical siege, from a Canadian point of view, into his high energy and enthusiastic presentation. His book, and many others that he has written, are a well worth and enjoyable read.

Speaker - Peter Sloly


On monthly Thursday October 12th meeting a room packed with Probus members enjoyed a thought-provoking presentation by Peter Sloly.  His topic was “Policing and Public Safety”.
Peter is the CEO of Sloly Solutions, a company providing strategic advice to governments and private and public sector organizations.  

Peter’s career began as a soccer player where he rose to play professionally and made an appearance with the Canadian national team. In 2011 he received a Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame award for his leadership on and off the field.
Peter has a BA in sociology, an MBA, plus professional development certificates from US and Canadian universities and multiple policing and justice agencies.  He served twice with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. 
Peter joined the Toronto Police in 1988, where he remained for 27 years, rising to Deputy Chief in 2009.  He resigned in 2016 to pursue a career in the private sector, then moved to Deloitte Canada to lead their Security and Justice practice.
In late 2019 Peter was recruited to become Chief of the Ottawa Police Service at a time when progressive civic leaders wanted major reforms to the force’s policing practices. The challenges Peter took on were significant. With his career record of commitment to crime prevention, community, and progressive policing Peter seemed a perfect fit for this job.  He was also a demonstrated champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.  Peter’s personal motto of "Others before self; Compassion for all" illustrates his values.
Peter shared his major career experiences with our attentive group. His presentation illuminated how big challenges can best be managed by adherence to a coherent plan which enjoys the support of key stakeholders.
In Ottawa, Peter made immediate progress in improving public trust and implementing a city-wide community policing strategy.  However, in early 2022 the so-called Freedom Convoy occupied central Ottawa, and that protest quickly escalated to a national security crisis.  
Despite the Ottawa police’s success in preventing death, rioting or serious bodily harm, it became evident that significantly more officers were necessary to remove the occupiers from Ottawa’s streets.  Eventually the federal government invoked emergency measures as 2200 officers from across Canada began arriving.  The occupation ended peacefully, with the one highly visible casualty being Peter Sloly’s job as the Ottawa police chief.
The broad theme emerging from Peter’s remarkable presentation is the value of sticking to one’s guiding principles and courage in the face of adversity. Our speaker’s record illustrates that he demonstrated these qualities through challenges encountered in Toronto, Kosovo and Ottawa; and in so doing he helped to advance a progressive and effective model of policing nationally and internationally.
Peter’s presentation enjoyed rapt attention from our Probus members. He left us with much to think about regarding how best to navigate through the many challenges we encounter in our lives. 

Speaker – Betty Franklin


Betty Franklin is a registered nurse who focuses on the subject of mental fitness and well being.  The title of her slide presentation (The “F words in our life) refers to Finance, Fun, Faith, Friends, and Fitness. Ms Franklin’s excellent use of slides outlined how these “F” words relate to each other in our lives and taken together make us what we are as a person. She outlined how any individual can live a healthy, balanced and abundant life by maximizing the effectiveness of these different components.   In her presentation she used an automobile as an example of our lives.   If looked after, treated properly, and well maintained, it can remain a shiny, “good as new” object that will continue to operate “forever”.  On the other hand, if we do not consider all the parts of our lives (the “F” words), and insure they are all “working” for us together, in unison, that car (our life) can deteriorate quickly. 

Betty’s comments left all of us thinking about our own lives and where we may need to balance the five different ‘F’ words in our lives.  This was a very-thought producing speech, presented in a very professional and relaxed manner, that left us wanting to hear more.
Speaker - Bob Pinet

August 10, 2023

Title: Les Acadiens et des Acadiennes / The Acadians

I was inducted to Applewood Probus on Nov 10 2022
Following are highlights of my speech:
-My family BackGround
-First arrival 1603
-Historical Timeline 1606 to 1700
-The years 1700 to 1755
-The Deportation from NS 1755/1758
-The Deportation from PEI 1758
-The Cajans
-The pardon from Queen Elizabeth 2013
-The 1900 to 2023.
- Acknowledgments
To see Tom's slideshow click here
Speaker via Zoom - Tom Axworthy

July 13, 2023

Tom Axworthy addressed our July 13, 2023 meeting at Applewood United Church.

He spoke on Zoom from his home in Winnipeg.

Tom is one of our own. He joined our club several years ago.

He is an active participant in our book club and a regular attendant at our monthly Senior Common Room zoom meetings. He is a valued member of our Speakers Committee.

He kindly agreed to fill in the speaking spot for our July meeting when it is difficult to attract speakers and attendance is diminished because of summer vacations .

His topic was “Leaders I have known .“

He categorized leaders into those who are effective at getting things done, those who are effective at bringing about change, and those who are truly great at transforming things.

He focused in on his experiences with Helmut Schmidt who was the chancellor of Germany in the 1970s and was determined to bring about European reconciliation and cooperation so that France and Germany would never go to war again.

Next he spoke of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, who stood up to Argentina in the Falklands War and was one of the first leaders to recognize that Gorbachev “was someone I can do business with.”

He talked about Ronald Reagan and his role in ending the Cold War with Gorbachev.

He considered Jean Chrétien who won 3 majority elections and knew how to get things done. He, balanced the budget and eliminated yearly deficits, came up with the Clarity Act,  and kept us out of the Iraqi war.

Finally, he told us about Pierre Trudeau and his role in handling  the Quebec FLQ terrorist crisis, Canadian unity, and the Charter of Rights and Freeeoms with the notwithstanding clause.

It was a thoroughly informative session with Tom sharing his insights on leadership and specific instances of leaders he has encountered over his career.

Paul Moore

June 8, 2023 I Person - Tom Herstadt
Title: 2nd Line West - A True Story

Tom is an owner/operator of a lighting business, but unlike most of us has a calling that transcends his day-to-day occupation - the need to tell as many people as he can about his mother, and the way she lived her life, in the hopes that we might follow her lead, at least in small part.   He shared only glimpses of Margie’s life – for the whole story you must read his book – but we saw enough to understand what a saint she was.  Example: Encountering a homeless woman just before Christmas, Margie asked if she was going to be with family over the holiday.  The answer was no.  She had no home or family to go to. Margie brought her home to spend two weeks with her and her children to feel some Yuletide joy.
Tom’s story was equally about himself, although he might deny that if asked.  When his mother died in 2011, he came to the understanding he must tell her story, write a book and become a public speaker despite believing he could never do either one.  He managed, and is now trying to get a movie made about Margie as well.
It was an uplifting and spellbinding session.  Tom concluded, and prepared to answer questions.  The whole audience sat mute, mesmerized, unable to muster a single one. 
Mike Miller
May 11, 2023 In Person - Kevin Donovan - Toronto Star Investigative Reporter

Title:  The Barry and Honey Sherman Case

Kevin was born and raised in Toronto and graduated from University of Western Ontario in 1985 with a degree in Political Sciences.  He is the Toronto Star’s Chief Investigative Reporter who, for 38 years, has investigated governments, charities, businesses, lawyers, doctors and many other groups and individuals.
When he was assigned the Bernard and Honey Sherman Case, the initial determination by the police was that it was a murder of Honey by Barry followed by Barry’s suicide through hanging.  However, upon review Kevin and his Investigative team it was determined that the case was actually a double homicide.  Working closely with senior executive from Apotex, the pharmaceutical company founded by Barry Sherman, a more detailed assessment of the case was undertaken including the engagement of another coroner to review the initial autopsy.  Although a number of weeks had elapsed since the original autopsy, further examination determined that Barry and Honey wrists had been tied prior to their deaths.  That plus the sitting positions of the bodies when discovered eliminated any possibility of a murder/suicide.
It was only when this discovery was published as front-page news in the Toronto Star did Mark Saunders, the then Toronto Chief of Police, become involved.  Part of Kevin’s investigation involved petitioning the court to unseal hundred of sealed documents from the police investigation.
The case remains unsolved and the Toronto police say that the Sherman Estate is embedded and central to the murder investigation.  The police investigation highlighted a number of flaws and Kudos to Kevin and his Investigative Team who have been a major contributing factor to the ongoing investigation.  Kevin remains personally involved in the case and continues to petition the court to unseal additional documents from the investigation.

Bob Buckner
April 13, 2023 In Person - Kitrina Fex - Executive Director Heart House Hospice

Title:  Homecare, Hospice and Palliative Care

Our speaker for April was Kitrina Fex of Heart House Hospice, a most informative session on the services they provide and the need for a Hospice in Missisauga as it currently does not have one.
Mississauga residents are forced to use either Ian Anderson House in Oakville, or Dorothy Ley in Etobicoke. She was joined by the Board Chair and the person in charge of fundraising.
One of the biggest takeaways from her presentation was that organizations such as Heart House do much more than end of Life care. Importantly, they work with families to help them prepare for the fateful date.
The consensus view was that her presentation was helpful to their understanding.
While we had asked them not to make a pitch for donations, we encourage you to consider them in your gifting plans.

RJ(Jim) Carmichael (iPad)
416-526-3213 🇨🇦
March 9, 2023, In Person - Bob Warren

Title:  A Photography Lesson from an Expert
Bob Warren was our March speaker.  He is an established photographer connected with the Mississauga Camera Club.  Part of his presentation was about the care and handling of very expensive cameras.  His excellent work included many landscape and sunrise images which are shown on his website under "My Photo Galleries".  Some of his photos are in colour and some are in black and white.

Bob is a long-standing member of the Mississauga Camera Club and has served in a variety of administrative positions over the years. He has also exhibited his photography in selected locales. In addition, Bob is a member of a select group of photographers who are documenting the development of the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area along the shores of Lake Ontario in Mississauga.

Bob is also a fellow Probian, a member of Credit River PROBUS. Follow Bob on his website http:\\ and on Instagram

Bob and other photographers are documenting the Jim Tovey Conservation Area at the Lakeview development in Mississauga.

Several of Bob's images were familiar.  We enjoyed his presentation.
February 9, 2023, In Person - John Collins (aka Andrew McKinney), Author

Title: Living the Dream In Retirement

Author of "How I Lost My Hair Raising Teenage Girls and the lessons I learned", John tries to make the presentation funny and enjoyable; there was much discussion after about the challenges of teenagers; because the stories are all true. He has published his book under a pen name in order to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.

John is a member of a Probus club in Brampton and has spoken to other Probus clubs. At our meeting, he spoke with humour and entertained us with delightful stories, all true, from his self-published book (Copies available from him, on line.)

He also took us through the process of self publishing a book.

He ended his presentation by serenading us on guitar, with one of the many songs he has written.

His talk was enjoyed by the largest attended post-Covid19 meeting we have had since resuming in-person meetings this year.
January 12, 2023, Via Zoom - Nickolas Roulx, Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Title: Travelling Canada - from the North to the South

Nickolas’s subject was the journey taken by himself and colleagues from the northernmost settlement in Canada (Eureka Weather Station) March 19 2021 to Point Pelee National Park, Canada’s southernmost point on November 8 2021. 7600 kilometers under human power in 234 days.

The journey itself was amazing and will be further documented by Nickolas, in a video and book. Brief descriptions can be found on the web … search Nickolas Roulx or AKOR Expedition. Or

His exciting talk was more than a 234 day dialogue of events. In addition to many photographs of all phases of the expedition, and the animals along the way including polar bears and musk ox, he described the conditions and his feelings during the various stages. The five sections included skiing(2), canoeing(2) and bicycling(1) and each had its trials and tribulations.

Conditions included being active in minus 35 degrees C for days on end, hauling canoes over moving ice, some days getting as little as 8km in a full day! In these conditions he admitted thinking “is it worth it?” “You couldn’t talk to the others, you are essentially alone, there is no source of music and it is a mental challenge to keep going.”

Much of the canoe sections was going up river. “If you fall in the water you are screwed!” was his comment, so long portages were in order to remain cautious and survive. After 115 days they reached their first tree of the expedition illustrating the extent of the Canadian arctic. Wollaston Lake indicated the end of the arctic and after all this time the “human interaction was too much for our brains to handle”. Two weeks later, having cycled 125km to 180km a day in this last part, they met their families at Point Pelee National park.

His description of the detailed travel preparation and the equipment upon which their lives depended; the raising of the required funding ($300K); the training and education they each needed; the detailed attention to the food taken to provide 7000 calories a day, etc. were all touched upon.

I, for one, am looking forward to more information in the future about this trip and what the group has in mind for their next adventure. They are definitely real “explorers”!

Alan Lytle
November 10, 2022, In Person - Matthew Wilkinson Historian City of Mississauga

Title: Mississauga's Manpower Contributions to the World Wars

On November 10, we had the pleasure of having a return speaker, Mathew Wilkinson of Heritage Mississauga (

Matthew is a Historian with a deep understanding and records of the 89 Mississauga natives that lost their lives in WWII.  As an aside, Canada suffered greater losses in WWI as a proportion of our population relative to our allies.

Matthew offered us an insight into many aspects of our communities contribution to the war effort from the manufacture of Lancaster Bombers in Malton to the largest small arms factory in the Commonwealth, just a stone's throw away from our meeting place at PCYC.

Mississauga did not exist in those days, and became such as an assembly of many villages: Streetsville, Port Credit, Lakeview and so on.

For those that might be interested in his full presentation, he can make it available for your review.  It was very appropriate to listen to Matthew on this, the eve of Remembrance Day.

Robert Carmichael