PROBUS Pickering Lakeside

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Previous Speakers (Click here to see our speakers presentations on YouTube - Members Only)


Our speaker, Tammy Dean, is passionate about assisting seniors through the challenges of downsizing, decluttering, organizing and moving.   Tammy has achieved Senior Move Manager status with NASMM  (National Association of Senior Move Managers) and she specializes in helping people with Chronic Disorganization, Aging and Hoarding Issues.  

Tammy is a proud member of the Association for Age-Friendly Businesses, The Institute for Chronic Disorganization and Professional Organizers of Canada.  She is also is a lifelong resident of Durham Region and the Owner/Franchisee of "Downsizing Diva" serving the Durham Region. 

Tammy's talked about how to de-clutter and downsize.   She explained how simple organizational changes can make a big impact and shared creative and inexpensive organizational tips that will help in the process of reorganizing and/or downsizing our homes.


Our speaker Nick French was born in Zimbabwe and attended the University of Cape Town.  His working career covered marketing and general management, both in South Africa and a 20 year stint in Singapore. 

To show that PROBUS is truly international, Nick is one of us. He is currently the Chairman of the PROBUS Association of Western Cape. 

Nick is an historian and his presentation to us will be about something uniquely South African “The advent of open heart surgery”:   

From the mid 50’s to the late 60’s tremendous progress in heart surgery was made possible through pioneering work done at the University of Minnesota.   This is where Chris Barnard received his training and background in heart surgery. From there huge strides were taken in developing techniques to work on the heart, leading to the world's first heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnard and his team of Groote Schuur, Cape Town in December 1967.   In this talk Nick will share how heart surgery evolved during those halcyon days and the challenges facing the transplant team and how they were overcome.


No speaker this month as we enjoyed a day of fun and fellowship at Alex Robertson Park.


Judy Suke is a Motivational Humourist, Retired College Professor, manuscript developer and author.  Judy Suke believes in living life to the fullest and has a reputation for being informative, entertaining and memorable. 

Her presentation is entitled "Aging Isn't for Sissies".  In this extremely humourous presentation, Judy shares some helpful tips to control and lower the stress of aging.  Tips that will help you move ahead with ease. Your laughter during the presentation will immediately heal the body, soothe the soul, lift the spirits and give you energy.

JULY 21, 2021 - NEIL CRONE

You may know Neil Crone from his years as an award winning columnist with Durham Region News.  In addition to being an accomplished writer, Neil Crone has also performed in dozens of television and radio commercials, TV shows and is the voice of numerous animation characters every Saturday morning.

Neil's presentation will be a humorous and sometimes serious take on some of the life lessons learned during his brush with colorectal cancer.  Neil authored his book "Semi-Colon: A Writer's Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer" in 2015 which provides a "unique, funny and uplifting collection of emails, newspaper articles and quotes" of his journey with cancer.  Neil Crone is first and foremost a comedian and his sense of humor is sure to entertain and delight.

June 16, 2021 - Robin Clipsham

Actor, director, writer, and theatre educator Robin Clipsham has spent most of her life in theatre.  She founded and developed a theatre company for young people, taught theatre performance and production for Nipissing University,  spent over 25 years as a theatre educator, and is an award-winning improvisational theatre coach

Winner of four awards for her work in locally developed community theatre, Robin has contributed her time and expertise to local initiatives for over 20 years as Artistic Director for Muskoka StageWorks .   Robin is also an accomplished actor and director and lives in Muskoka with her husband, Michael.

Robin's presentation was entitled 'Improvisation for Adults and Seniors "Laughing Matters"'. We learned all about the ways to open and maintain brain function and increase relaxation by engaging in creative group activities that were both fun and informative..  Robin showed us how improvisation combines the excitement of spontaneous conversation with listening skills, all while relaxing and playing. 

mAY 19, 2021 - dR. BRUCE MCKAY

Dr. Bruce McKay is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University.  His research focuses on recreational alcohol and drug use in university students and mechanisms by which psychoactive drugs affect brain functions. He teaches neuroscience and pharmacology courses.  Dr. McKay grew up near Woodstock, Ontario, and completed his post-secondary education at Laurentian University, the University of Calgary, and the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas). He has been a professor at Laurier since 2008.

Bruce talked about “The Brain on Cannabis”  -  an overview of the effects that cannabis has on brain structures and functions and the resulting effects on the complexities of human behaviour.    He discussed the neuroscience of short-term effects of cannabis (from the munchies to driving impairments to treatment of pain and other ailments), why it isn’t possible to lethally overdose on cannabis, long-term effects of cannabis (with a focus on addiction and the differential effects of cannabis on teenagers vs. adults), and new cannabis laws in Canada and how those laws may intersect with an improved understanding of the neuroscience of cannabis.

April 21, 2021 - Nancy Silcox (& Paul Frey)

Nancy Silcox was a Teacher with the Waterloo District School Board for 20 years and has also been a Counsellor/Consultant at the University of Waterloo and WLU.  Since then Nancy has written fourteen biographies/historical biographies of individuals who have gone the road less travelled in their lives and careers.  She also writes freelance for Grand Magazine, Canada's History and Canadian Antiques and Vintage.

One of her most popular books is “A Story Never Predicted. From Trucking to the World Opera Stage”.  It is the story of Paul Frey, an “everyday” individual from the Waterloo area. Nancy will detail his journey from an Old Order heritage to farm boy, high school dropout, truck driver and then how he finally followed up on his dream.  This is not a story about opera, it is the true life story of an exceptional Canadian.   

Paul Frey actually signed in for the question period.

March 17, 2021 - daniel aonso

Daniel received his BFA from York University in 2015, focusing on Classical Piano.   He has taught piano, guitar, drums, saxophone, music theory, and music history to students since 2012.    He has also given talks on popular music, with topics such as Frank Sinatra, Big Band Jazz, The Beatles, Folk Music, etc.   As well as having a passion for popular music, Daniel’s academic interests are focused around music for film, television, and video games.

Daniel's presentation explored Ireland’s contribution to popular music through some amazing artists including The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The Irish Rovers, and Enya.

February 17, 2021 - Dr. Christopher DiCarlo (Zoom)

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and at the Life Institute at Ryerson University.  

Chris spoke to us on the subject of Critical Thinking

January 20, 2021 - Thanh Campbell (zoom)

Thanh has had various careers including retail, fund raising, public relations and currently serves as the Director of Sales for Ardent Marketing.  All the while he has been building his professional speaking career.    

Thanh told us the incredible Orphan 32 story:   Nearly two decades long, the Vietnam War was one of history’s most devastating battles.   In 1975, the last flight out of Vietnam rescued 57 war orphans before the Communists took over the south capital of Saigon.   Nguyen Ngoc Minh Thanh was aboard that flight.  He was Orphan #32.  Thanh’s story began like many other Vietnamese orphans on Operation Babylift, but as he later discovered, his path had taken a much different direction from the rest.   Orphan 32 will take you on a remarkable journey of life, love, family and self-discovery. 

December 16, 2020 - Deidrey Francois (Zoom)

For the on-line Christmas party we had a wonderful local singer/performer called Deidrey Francois to entertain us.  

November 18, 2020 - Peter Jennings (via Zoom)

Peter Jennings is a renowned Canadian author, speaker and "Happiness Expert".    He has written professionally for more than 40 years and is the author of 6 best selling books designed to "help people transform their existence, inspiring them to â€‹capitalize on the advantages life offers".  

Peter's talk was about "Why Being Happy Matters":   What happiness means, how it improves a person's outlook, adds value to their days and enhances their peace of mind.  He also talks about why being happy is so important in a world often influenced by unhappy events along with heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

October 21, 2020 - Mike Daley (via Zoom)

Dr. Mike Daley holds a Ph.D in music from York University and is a musicologist, specializing in the history of popular music.   He has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities;  

The topic for Mike's presentation was The Motown Story:   Learn the incredible story of Motown/Tamla Records, the independent Detroit-based record company that revolutionized popular music in the 1960s and ‘70s.  Featuring the music of the Miracles, the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and more, The Motown Story is an inspiring tale of resourcefulness and determination by a talented group of musical visionaries.

September 15, 2020 - Dr. David Chandross (via Zoom)

Dr. David Chandross (M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.) is a senior scholar in residence at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He has done pioneering work on the role of learning in the prevention of dementia in seniors and the use of technology such as virtual reality. 

David spoke on Positive Psychology: The Science Behind Feeling Good:   Can science teach us how to be happy?   How does the experience simulator in our brains create sadness or happiness?   Can negative people actually change your brain structure?    Why does the overuse of smartphones cause depression and anxiety?   Explore the meaning(s) of happiness and the quest for it from Aristotle to modern psychiatry.

march 11, 2020 - Dr. Mike Daley

Dr. Mike Daley holds a Ph.D in music from York University and is a musicologist, specializing in the history of popular music.   

Mike spoke about Leonard Cohen's life and work, interspersing his narrative with classic Cohen songs.   The popular image of Leonard Cohen, who died at age 82 in November 2016, is that of the bard with the brooding baritone voice plucking away at a guitar.  But for Mike, that deep, sometimes-morose voice has concealed the richness and variety of Cohen’s musical and lyrical abilities.  “In checking out his whole body of work… his songwriting style is much more varied than I thought.”

November 20, 2019 - Diane Dupuy

Diane Dupuy, member of the Order of Canada and winner of Ernst & Young (EY) Social Entrepreneur Award, is the founder of the internationally acclaimed Famous PEOPLE Players.

Diane told the heartwarming and inspiring story of the formation of the Famous PEOPLE Players

October 16, 2019 - Cheryl Cooper

Cheryl Cooper holds degrees in English and Education from Queen’s University and is presently a director of the Children’s Foundation of Muskoka.

Cheryl's presentation was on "1812 and the Age of Sail" and included a lively and interactive discussion on the naval aspects of the War of 1812; the conditions and hardships faced by the men who fought for their country on the Atlantic Ocean and the naval origins of words and expressions which have found their way into our everyday language. 

September 18, 2019 - Joseph Sharon

Joseph Sharon has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel and has also studied music and musical history in  Milan, Italy and in Switzerland.

His presentation was on the Strauss Family from Vienna.    In Vienna in 1848 the Austro-Hungarian Empire is in political turmoil but the music, the Viennese lifeblood, has never been more cheerful.   We'll meet the Strauss Family which dominates the light music scene, and also get to know some of its juicy stories and scandals.

July 17, 2019 - Dr Christopher Di Carlo

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and is member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada.   

His presentation was an entertaining look at Good vs Evil.  What is “Ethics”? How did the concept of “Good vs. Evil” evolve throughout history?  How do we measure "goodness" and how applicable is it in everyday life?   Is ethical thought and behavior limited to humans only? 

June 19, 2019 - Dr. gordon bannerman

Dr Gordon Bannerman received his Ph.D. from King’s College London in 2005 having previously studied medieval and modern history at the London School of Economics.   

He spoke about the  Myths and Facts of War: Was Churchill really a great leader?  In 2002, a BBC poll voted Winston Churchill as "The greatest Briton in history", largely due to his role in World War II.  How justified is this judgement of history?   The presentation separates myths from facts and attempts to portray the real Churchill;  a man who made mistakes and had character flaws as opposed to the near-mythical figure that has often been projected in books and films.


Daniel Alonso studied piano from an early age.   He then went on to complete a Bachelor's and later Master’s degree in music from York University with Classical Piano as primary instrument.  

Daniel spoke about the Legends of Big Band music.    From the greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, to the legends like Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.   Experience the bombastic sounds of the Big Band.


Elaine Charal is a Canadian, Toronto-based Certified Graphologist (hand writing analyst), Keynote Speaker and Media Personality.  

Elaine spoke about the "Power of the Pen": where you discover how to communicate even more effectively with family and friends through knowing what the strokes of handwriting mean. Everyone will learn about their strengths as reflected in the 'paper mirror' of their handwriting.  laine will be available to do individual 5-minute Handwriting Analyses after her presentation.

March 20, 2019 - Jim Craigen

Jim works on contract as an Instructional Facilitator.  

He spoke about Brain Theory - Implications for Lifelong Learning:   Recent discoveries from brain research have given powerful new understandings of how our brain operates.  Such understandings have provided us with the opportunity to explore how people receive, process, retain and recall information and the factors that modulate this learning.  The focus of this session will be on sharing the latest findings in brain research and how these findings could affect us personally as we continue to learn and process information- especially for those of us who may feel that our memories are beginning to fail us a bit.


Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestselling novels, including his latest, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart. His seventh novel is due in bookstores in August 2019.

Terry talked about his latest book One Brother Shy    

January 16, 2019 - Eric Conroy

Eric Conroy spoke about the seemingly impossible task of extricating the 350-foot, 3 story high, 8 million-pound Keewatin from the mud of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and returning her to her home port of Port McNicoll, Ontario, is the subject of BRING HER ON HOME, occasionally shown on CBC’s documentary channel. But nothing can equate to that same story told by the person who lived the experience and went on to help secure her future.   

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