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All About You

Interesting short anecdotes about our member’s lives, including heartwarming experiences, fascinating snippets from our member's childhoods, special cultural experiences in our travels, and famous people we have met.  Check back often for new additions!


This article is about our Club Member Geoff Carpentier receiving his Queen's Platinum Jubilee Award, Courtesy of the Standard News.


DAN CEARNS, The Standard


Scugog environmentalist and columnist for The Standard, Geoff Carpentier was amazed when he received his Queen's Platinum Jubilee Award medal from MP Erin O'Toole's office this month.

The Durham MP was presenting these medals to Scugog citizens, at a ceremony, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, in October, but Mr. Carpentier was unable to attend at the time.


"I received the notification I was to be presented with the award when I was on a ship in the South Atlantic, guiding for Viking Expeditions. I was so pleased to receive that email but knew I couldn't attend the ceremony in person, in Port Perry. As the trip moved on, finally ending in early December. I was contacted by Erin O'Toole's office who arranged to have the award shipped to me. I couldn't believe how gorgeous the medallion was, until I saw it. It is a spectacular piece of artwork. I will cherish it, the lapel pin, and the certificate forever," he told The Standard.

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Geoff Carpentier

Geoff Carpentier receives his Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal

O' Tannenbaum, O' Tannenbaum 

This is Club member Joyce Svedberg's Christmas remembrance.

Christmas trees today are decorated as masterful stylish creations with themes and color schemes.  Not so in our house when we were growing up.  I was the youngest, and by the time I was old enough to help decorate, a routine was set in place. 


Each year my brothers went out into the woods across the street to select a tree and cut it down with a hatchet.  As these trees were wild, not tended and sheared, they were always rather ragged.  The sharp, woody scent of pine filled the air as the tree was brought inside. 


Once the “good side” was found, it was secured to neighboring window frames with string.  My oldest brother, Jim, went off to work on his train set. 


Then the decorating began.

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Red Bauble

Extraordinary Challenges - Janet's Mom and Great Grandmother


This is Club member Janet Casey’s story about some exceptional members of her family.


My 3rd great grandmother on my father's side was born in 1778.  She was a Mennonite in Lancaster, PA as was her husband, and they married when she was 23.


In 1825, as they were preparing to move to Waterloo, Ontario, my great grandfather cut his wrist accidentally on an awl.  Unfortunately it became infected and he soon died.  A few weeks later my great grandmother finished packing up her family and moved with her 11 children to Waterloo - about a 500 mile journey by wagon. 

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CASEY Isabel Robertson

My Father in WWII


Here is club member Jayne Rees' story about her father's early life and WWII.


Bell Island is a rugged, but stunningly beautiful big rock off the coast of Portugal Cove, not far from St. John’s in Newfoundland.  My father’s family emigrated from Wales to Bell Island in 1792. To strengthen the gene pool, my ancestors would travel to Nova Scotia to find suitable brides, (thank goodness).

My father Frank, the first son of Julia and Leslie, was born on the second floor of his grandfather’s house on Bell Island, with a shock of red hair and supposedly weighing in at over 13 lbs.  

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Frank Rees
Frank and Daughter Jayne.jpg

"I've enjoyed spending the autumn at the cottage for more than 50 years. The red and gold leaves are beautiful, and various family members walk the cottage roads enjoying the company, while we share apples and Kraft caramels. This is topped off with a Turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Life is good!"  


From Judy Spring

My Mother the Bull Fighter


Here is club member Pat Baldwin’s story about her mother’s rather unique adventure.


When my parents were first married after WWII, it was hard to find employment for my father, a new Mining Engineer graduate.  In the quest for work, my father ended up as a mine supervisor in a small town in Peru. 

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Cowboy Riding White Bull

Cooper the Therapy Dog


Okay, so Cooper isn’t technically a member of our PROBUS club, but his ‘person’, Barb Sinclair, is our House Chair, looking after the coffee and other refreshments for our in-person meetings.

Since we haven’t had refreshments for some time, Cooper makes a more interesting bio.


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Cooper at work.jpeg
Barb and Cooper.jpeg
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