SPEAKERS: Toast and jam, salt and pepper, MUSIC and MOVIES !

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Rick Phillips is one of many well-known CBC radio announcers, broadcasters and reporters, in the same league as the late Jurgen Goth, Michael Enright, Anna Maria Tremonti and the new opera commentator, Ben Heppner. For fourteen years, Phillips hosted and produced Sound Advice, a weekly guide to classical music broadcast on CBC Radio One and CBC Radio Two. PROBUS PICKERING Club was fortunate in having him as a guest speaker to talk about the role of classical music in movies.

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A Paul Giamatti look alike with a mellifluous voice reminiscent of Donald Sutherland, Phillips engaged the PROBUS members with a very entertaining hour of incisive and intelligent commentary relating to ‘Classical music in motion pictures.’

He began with an examination of the movie Amadeus and the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart reinforcing his points with musical excerpts.

The PROBUS audience immediately recognized the theme music from Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey 2001. Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz seems so perfectly suited to be background to the rotation of the space station in the movie’s opening scenes. Today, few adults can avoid visualizing the spinning station in the blue black sky when they hear the rich, luscious tones of the Blue Danube waltz being played somewhere.

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Next up, Apocalypse Now, Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle opus and Robert Duvall’s declaration about nothing finer than the ‘smell of napalm in the morning.’ The helicopters were almost visible flying above us as we listened to the thunderous Ride of the Valkyries.

Then, nearly every PROBUS member sat up in instant recognition of the well-known John Williams’ work which was the theme music of Star Wars. As Phillips explained, Williams was simply following in the musical footsteps of Richard Strauss, Gustav Holst and Igor Stravinsky each creating music as appropriate thematic background to war and battle movies.

Some composers created music strictly for the movies, but their pieces were so beautiful, they became classical hits in their own right. Ralph (Rafe) Vaughn Williams’ work, Sinfonia Antarctica  is an example, explained Phillips. Then he played Mozart’s piano concerto, The World Rose, to reinforce his point. Everyone immediately recognized the work as the more commonly named, Elvira Madigan.

Phillips closed with music from Woody Allen’s 1979 film, Manhattan.  Allen’s musical composer of choice for the movie was George Gershwin and Gershwin’s sweeping instrumental flourishes enhanced the film beautifully. His music evoked images of the New York skyline and the hustle bustle of downtown Manhattan. Every one present visualized being in dowtown New York. Phillip’s final musical piece was ‘the Big Tune’ from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a romantic, emotional piece, again recognized by nearly every adult who has lived in North America over the past half century and each PROBUS member drifted back in time.

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President Chuck thanks Rick Phillips for a very entertaining presentation !

Sincerest congratulations and compliments to Sue Porter for booking such an entertaining, enlightening and engaging speaker. Rick Phillips’ years at a CBC mike were very evident throughout his talk; clear, precise enunciation, diction which would do any English drama teacher proud. But the delivery had mettle founded on years of working with classical music. This man not only knows his stuff, he also knows how to showcase it wonderfully.

Kudos and bravos Rick Phillips !!! You were terrific !!

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OK ! OK ! So you got an inch in height on me !

 

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ACTIVITIES & SOCIAL EVENTS: PROBUS SUMMER EVENTS . . . at a glance

SUMMER AT A GLANCE

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NEWSLETTERS...past issues: MAY 2015 issue

05 Probus Newsletter FormatMay2015

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ANNOUNCEMENTS / LATEST NEWS: The ART of one of our PROBUS members !

PROBUS Club of Pickering has many very talented, creative members. Here are just a few photos for the opus of one of them. We will be introducing you to this member very soon.

For now, take a look at some of his masterful woodcarvings !

Enjoy !

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BRIDGE: Bridge CHAMPS close out the year with prizes and celebration !

The Bridge Club, eighteen stalwarts who really know how to play the game well, celebrated their year end at the Mandarin in Pickering in early May. Every member of the club attended the celebration…for that alone, they deserve great praise and recognition.

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Women’s all round high score: Carrie Green

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Secret score winners: Aline Revoy who shared the title with Lois Upham and Tom Skinner

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Secret score winner Tom Skinner

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Secret score winner: Lois Upham

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4,000 Club: Mary Lou Simmons, Carrie Green, Jacquie Duff, Dave and Irveen Powley

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5,000 Club: Mary Lou Simmons, Ron Perks, Jacquie Duff, Dave and Irveen Powley

Bravo Convenor Dave Powley and outstanding assistant, Irveen.

 

 

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@ SHORT_GETAWAYS: My RIDES

VTX ride STATE PARK
I ride !

When a doctor in a palliative care ward of a local hospital heard I was a motorcycle rider, he said , “I guess I will be seeing you here at some point!”

Wow…what a thing to say, as realistic as it may have felt to him. It reminded me of the time I was on a beach in Mexico and two women were sun tanning nearby. All day! Eventually when I learned they were from Canada and were nurses, I commented about the tanning being carcinogenic. “Aren’t you worried about skin cancer,” I asked.  To which one replied, “We’ll be the best looking cadavers in the morgue!”

5 grassy ride  There is no way to explain motorcycling to people who don’t ride. To those who do, there is no need to.

I started motorcycling about 15 years ago when I talked with a woman rider at a Tim Horton’s, the pit stop of choice for motorcyclists. She was a diminitive pixie of a woman, far too small to ride, I thought but when she explained why she rode. I began to think. The inspiration grew. It became an urge. “I can do it!”

I took a motorcycling course at Durham College and then crashed on rain wet pavement at an intersection in Oshawa the day before my licensing examination. “Do that tomorrow, Richard and you won’t get your license.”  Bike damage, zero; Ego damage, huge !

Needless to say, the next day, sunny and dry, I rode with the greatest of care and have never had a notable mishap since. That’s not to say I have had none. No, I have had a few but all just varying levels of embarrassment rather than any serious damage. In Italy, not only did I push my bike over in a parking lot, but the domino effect knocked over a half dozen other bikes parked alongside, fellow riders in my European riding group. I became an international persona non grata in an instant !

Yup, that’s me. I now own my FIFTH bike. I simply have developed as a rider and tried various ones until I found my dream bike 10 years ago. A 2006 BMW R1200RT…classified as a ‘sports tourer.’

Well, I have done both personas of this bike. Ridden hands free at 200 kph…you read that correctly. Ridden to every corner of North America except Alaska and Mexico. But the former is on my bucket list.

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I asked an 84 year old rider to tell me where he enjoyed riding the most. His reply. “On any 400 series highway…you have to be sharp, never letting your mind wander, or you’re dead.” He was a retired fireman, a man who had known risks in his life.

tiny bike A  I don’t ride to tempt fate. I ride because it is a passion. It is the closest to flying like a bird without leaving the ground.

As I ride, I do keep my wits about me and regard every vehicle around me as life threatening danger. Needless to say, I keep away from 4 wheeled vehicles and always look to have a path of escape in case of emergency.

Riding has become increasingly hazardous in the Greater Toronto Area. Obviously, more vehicles on the road make for more risk, more danger. But drivers’ self distractions, cell phones, electronic devices, reading material and ‘meals in wheels’ makes daily riding even more dangerous.

Yet, I still ride. It may be an passionate addiction. More often than not, I ride away from the GTA, though that has no guarantees if you read the news. Motorcycling fatalities in 2014 set an all time record. So far in 2015, we seem to be on the road to shattering the record.

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I still ride alone much of the time but recently joined a BWM Riders Group. My greatest surprise in joining the club, the members average age is about 70! I fit in !

Still, it is a passion and each time I ride, I talk to my guardian angel. “Don’t worry ‘Ange,’ I won’t ride faster than you can fly !”

A final word to all you vehicle drivers….

please, please, please…

 be aware of us riders ! 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & NEWS: CPR Training company

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CPR Response PLUS is a company which uses professionally certified trainers to teach CPR and Basic FIRST AID skills.

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My experience with CPR Response PLUS has been to attend training workshops which they did for a club to which I belong, PROBUS PICKERING. Company owner and director, Linda Mulgrew, is the epitome of a polished presenter who knows her stuff. She delivers a workshop, very comprehensive in scope, and which is easily assimilated by any participant.

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Business and public organizations should consider having CPR Response PLUS do a non-certified workshop for its employees. Participants learn the fundamentals of BASIC FIRST AID, CPR skills by hands on practice, and use of DEFIBRILLATORS which are cardio shock delivery systems available in many public places now days.

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Click HERE to automatically connect to CPR Response PLUS

For a preview of the material covered in a non-certification workshop offered by CPR Response PLUS click “SAFETY BOOKLET” on the following link:

Click HERE to automatically display a summary of the non-certification workshop material

 

 

 

 

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CPR Training: Booklet . . . ( CPR / Basic First Aid )

SAFETY BOOKLET

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ACTIVITIES & SOCIAL EVENTS: No miscues by billiard club convenor

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Convenor Don helps Potts pot another one !

Probus Pickering has a number of successful clubs, successes because of the efforts or their hard working convenors. Many of the clubs struggled to develop membership in the first few months after being established. Now, each of them is blossoming into vibrant, strong and well participated entities…thanks to those convenors.

The Billiard Club is an example of such, but by no means not the only example of a club which started off slowly but has built up a strong and vibrant membership now. At the most recent meeting, Convenor Don had the most participants ever, three tables had heated competitors. He even managed to attract PROBUS members from Durham PROBUS DURHAM.

Hats off to Don who continues to encourage everyone to come out to play. Don is strongly encouraging of women’s participation. In the past, billiards was seen as a male’s game but Don has taken away the gender labelling with a number of female participants. Dolores Forster and Nancy Colbourne seem to be real stalwarts but a new female player joined the ranks at the last meeting, Elizabth Potts.

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Bill Roihe from PROBUS DURHAM demonstrated his great table skills!

And then there were the serious participants of which Doug Hines and Richard Szpin seemed to be the most serious. Convenor Don showed his astuteness as convenor by letting these two serious and determined players square off on their own in the billiard ball battle. Doug won !!

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ACTIVITIES & SOCIAL EVENTS: Probus SOCIAL EVENTS Planner: MAY & JUNE

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ACTIVITIES & SOCIAL EVENTS: Bucket list results

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A month ago, PROBUS members were surveyed in regard to items on their bucket list.

Here is the summary of the survey.

1. Want to travel
Travel destinations include:
Tennessee, Galapagos, Russia, Alaska, Italy and Panama

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cruises seem to be the travel means of choice

3. Surprise omissions:
Most people must be in good health as it never hit the bucket list

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4. Surprise inclusions:
“Family” trips, events, celebrations come up repeatedly

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5. Surprise unique choices:
Dogsledding, pilgrimage walk, Serangetti safari, Lunch with Putin, Merkel and Obama

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6. Closest to my heart:
condo in Naples
dance at grandsons’ weddings
meet more of family
see the Grand Canyon

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7. Countries to visit most selected:
Russia, Italy

My final word…
There were some touching things on people’s lists such as “family” being specifically listed repeatedly. People wanting to travel to Russia…well, that may be a non-possible destination so as the world finds Russia’s international relations becoming less and less tolerable.

My bucket list seems to vary a lot. Travel keeps getting demoted on the list as travel by any means is becoming more and more dangerous, travel destinations are less safe and the Canadian dollars continual descent in value is escalating travel costs exorbitantly.

Thank you everyone for your submissions. It was fun to read what you have as important items on your bucket lists. As importantly, it is gratifying to see so many respondents to my web site.

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Wishing you all great success in getting things done on your bucket list,

Richard

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CPR Training: Completed … here’s the REVIEW

CPR TRAINING REVIEWED

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MEETINGS: Women may still have a long road to reach equality

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Julie Oakes entertained the PROBUS PICKERING members by channeling the early 20th century women’s rights leaders Nellie McClung, Laetitia Youmans, Emily Stowe, Gertrude Harding, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Elizabeth Anderson.

Additionally, she had Dr. Julie Ogden of Murdoch mystery fame visit which added to the atmosphere of the suffragette movement in Canada. Women weren’t even consider as persons in those days, being listed by their husband’s first name rather than their own in official documents. This was still being done in Canada as late as the 1960’s, hard to believe.

Ms. Oakes was very entertaining in her portrayal of temperance league representatives who were lashing out against demon rum and ghoulish gin. She had the members singing rondelles sung by the tea totallers of the era denigrating the evils of booze.

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We may have come a long way but Ms. Oakes only hinted at how far we have to go to reach our destination of full gender equality.

Consider these interesting points from our modern world of today:

Sexual harassment charges have been laid against TWO Ottawa mp’s, TWO!!!
Ex-SENATOR Braseau charged with abuse and violence against his spouse (mate).
There are more than 4000, yes, 4000 plus, rapes in India annually.
Women guilty of infidelity and extramarital sex are stoned to death in Afghanistan.
A woman in Afghanistan had acid thrown in her face for attending school.
Rape victims in Canada’s north may have a male RCMP officer present at examinations.
The RCMP has at least 4 cases of sexual harassment presently before the courts.
Remember the Sheila Copps and John Crosby altercation in parliament.
Women cannot be priests in some religions which preach human equality.
The massacre of the women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytech in 1989.

This isn’t a rant. It’s merely a reminder as inspired by Julie Oakes presentation that women have been the vanguard for many changes like voting rights, property ownership status, promotion in many companies and much, much more and yet watch the nightly news to see at least one misogynistic story every night. Gender equality? Human rights violations? You draw your own conclusions.

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Ms. Oakes described how women leaders of the Temperance League, the suffragette movement and public demonstrations for gender equality and recognition were the revolutionary vanguard for many changes which have advance women’s social, economic and political positions in our modern society. But we haven’t reached our destination yet. In fact, though we have have come a long way, a major question lingers…

Why does the ultimate destination seem to always move further away as we approach it?

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President Chuck Simmons thanks Julie Oakes for her presentation.

 

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RANTS: CBC…why must I pay for such lousy service?

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CBC is our national broadcaster. That means every Canadian citizen is paying for the service through taxes. So we have a right to say something about the service and I intend to. I want to complain.

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Inferior broadcasting
If you cannot fill the hour with news rather than talk show fillers, then cut the newscast in half. I am tired of all those panels, business panel, political panel, medical panel…ever hear of just giving us the news!

And then the newscasters
Where did you find these schlocky amateurs, almost to a person, from Wendy Mesley who cannot stand in front of the camera without rotating a prop of papers in her hand to distract the viewer to Mike Wise who is still trying to learn how to read a teleprompter correctly. Aren’t these newscasters supposed to be professionals? Aren’t they professionally trained? Are they above reviewing the news reports they are about to read before going on the air? Mansbridge at least has learned to read the news by being a very professional news reporter and it shows. Why not use him to train the others!

Ads galore
OK, commercials pay the freight but who is in charge of marketing the network? Or are there no takers…which may be the problem. How many times do we have to see ads for the CBC network, ads for its own shows, ads for Rick Mercer? Ads for the National? Give us a break….no, not the CBC, It’s relentless push and promo of itself…sell to revenue making companies…don’t leech your own coffers. But perhaps Ford, Mazda, Nissan, GM, etc., etc., see the network as a loser…and do not want to place ads on it for that reason. Can you blame them, lame as they are !

This is just the start….

 

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NEWSLETTERS...past issues: MAR 2015 Newsletter

Probus Newsletter March 2015

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