Applewood Probus Senior Common Room (SCR) held its October Zoom get-together on the 21st (the third Friday of the month) at 10:00 o’clock.
We had 11 members present . The discussion was stimulating and insightful.
The topic for discussion was the Russian-Ukrainian war.
We discussed lessons learned. The importance of various weapons. Radar intelligence. A well trained military. Propaganda. Appeasment.Nuclear deterrence. Total war by proxy. What would be victory for Ukraine, for Russia?
We also discussed the best possible realistic outcome (views differed on this), and how we can get to it.
No preparation is required to participate in SCR discussions. Come and see how wonderful a good discussion among friends can be.
Contact Paul Moore by email if you want to be added to the SCR invitation list.
We had 14 participants at our Senior Common Room Zoom get-together on November 18, 2022.
The topic for discussion was dissent in a free and democratic society.
Most of the discussion focused on the truckers’ convoy and disruptions in Ottawa and Windsor, the declaration of an emergency under the Emergency Measures Act, and the January 6th insurrection in the US.
We discussed the lack of co-ordination among enforcement authorities, lack of leadership and clear lines of authority, individual rights verses collective rights, the intolerable situation facing Ottawa residents and the national economy, whether the situation met the test of “threat” and “emergency” in the legislation, whether the declaration of the emergency was justified, how the situation could have/should have been dealt with differently, what might happen in the US, and many other points.
It was an interesting, bracing, yet respectful and insightful discussion, thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The Applewood Probus Senior Common Room group met on Zoom on February 24, 2023 to discuss globalization, its pros and cons, it’s impact on Canada and elsewhere, and what we should do differently in Canada and in the world.
We had 10 Probus members and one guest who joined us near the end.
The discussion was insightful, interesting, congenial and informative, as usual in our group
The SCR met by Zoom on March 31 for coffee and discussion.
We discussed the wisdom of the recent indictement of Donald Trump and how to foster public trust in election results and fairness.
We reviewed the dangers from social media and the internet but decided that another session was warranted on this topic.
April 28 2023
The Senior Common Room met for its monthly gathering by Zoom on April 28, 2023 to discuss “how we keep ourselves informed about current affairs in modern times”.
We touched on: the role of the CBC and its the possible defunding; the declining influence of newspapers; the impact of social media and the Internet; false news; lies, lies, and more lies; how young people use social media; the tracking and manipulating of subscribers to Internet apps by corporations; and much more.
As usual, we enjoyed the socialization very much, and found the session informative, insightful and as stimulating as in-person chats at our general meetings.
The Senior Common Room met today at 10: am to discuss the Canadian Indigenous question.
We had 14 attendees.
The topic for discussion was the Indian Act. The topic was introduced and lead by Doug Gilpin.
As usual, the level of discussion was great with comments from every participant, including those steeped in experience with historical i, educational, racial, medical,legal, cultural, etc. aspects.
Attached is a message from Doug Gilpin reporting to participants following the session:
To the participants in today’s SCR.
I thought that the meeting was excellent, and one could actually detect a path forward for enhancing the lives of the Indigenous communities. Certainly, education is a key factor in this path, and as Paul Taylor and others pointed out, full support of each of leaders in each individual community would be crucial for success. It's a huge undertaking.
I don't know much about Indigenous culture, but I do know something about implementing change and management of change, primarily in corporate cultures but some basics still should apply. It isn't easy and rapid. My experience has been that success requires at least the following ingredients:
1. A clear statement of the results expected. These may be different, if only for timing, and developed for each community.
2. Clear accountability and ownership of results.
3. Full support of the community leadership, with their continual participation and assistance in problem-solving. As pointed out, this could be the hard part, requiring great skills on the part of the accountable implementing manager and resources. Without this support, success would be impossible. As Lloyd and Paul highlighted, however, most Indigenous leaders want life to be better for their communities.
5. Provision of skilled people, as well as physical and technical resources, probably designed for each community. Special training will likely be necessary, supported by people with appropriate cultural heritage.
6. Overall accountability and regular review of results, pinpointing successes, progress, and weak spots in the change management process. Honesty and attention to detail matter.
Patience and sensitivity are important. I have found that, inevitably, with change of any magnitude, someone will be hurt. Not everyone is good at handling difficult issues and situations as the arise, and such situations will be normal.
The above sounds a bit like a classic corporate management process, and it is, with a difference. One can't just parachute in a team and force change; and fire people who disagree. Consultation, respect and honesty are important.
I don't know if I'm adding much with these thoughts, but it seemed to me that I've seen mismanagement of basic processes at various levels of government, and that it could be worthwhile to document a few basics.
Our discussions today expressed our collective concern; this is important.
Thanks to all,
May 26 2023
September 28, 2023
The Senior Common Room assembled on September 28, 2023 with 12 participants on Zoom .
The topic for discussion was What Makes Life Worth Living?
Some participants were not used to being introspective and sharing their thoughts and beliefs, but all did, and the discussion was carried on with respect, without putdown or insult.
Most agreed that what made life worth living was involvement with others: family, grandchildren; projects; fellowship; keeping busy.
Having baubles, possessions and fame were far down on the list.
Most felt that participation in Probus contributed to making their life worthwhile.
We also managed to squeeze in a fascinating discussion about what is likely to happen with Trump: plea bargain? jail? elected but denied ability to hold office under the constitution? civil war?a peaceful transition to a second Trump presidency?
As usual, the discussion was insightful, lively, polite, and very enjoyable.
We had to end it while we wished we could go on for more.