In the absence of monthly meetings, I reached out to the executive suggesting they share their “What am I doing” with the membership. This edition reflects the result of that effort and I thank each of the contributors.
Hopefully this will keep a small flame of the club burning bright and you will enjoy their efforts. If so, perhaps you will send me your “What am I doing” to share with your friends in next months newsletter. John Bell email@example.com
This is turning out to be an unusual year. Because of COVID-19 the April meeting and events have been canceled. What will the rest of the summer be like? In the 1970’s we were worrying about gas shortages and damages to the environment. Some predicted the end of the world by the 2000’s. Some predicted “utopia”. What has happened is somewhere between. On average we are healthier, wealthier, better educated, less encumbered by war, famine and poverty, living in more democratic and safer countries with more equal rights for all Now we are worrying about global warming and pandemics. How optimistic or pessimistic are we? A long time ago I decided to make the world a better place. Yes, I was young. I still don’t know whether I have made it better or worse. I know that I could have done better. As a Probus member I know that I am encouraged with the club topics, presentations and socializing that makes me a better person. If you know someone who would be interested in joining the Woodstock-Oxford Probus Club please, invite them to join. .
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Probus Club of Woodstock-Oxford on January 29th1990. In commemoration, at our March meeting District 5 director Jim DeZorzi presented a 30 year Certificate of Congratulations to President Jerry Klages and Vice Presidents Bill Weir and Al Driedger.
Given the urgent need in our community, Peter Harrison recently suggested that the club consider making a donation to a local charity in support of those less fortunate.
While there was positive support for Peter’s initiative, unfortunately the Probus Charter restricts any charitable or fund raising activity, hence it was suggested that members be provided with recommendations on how to best make a meaningful personal contribution to the needy in Woodstock.
Members may recall the presentation to us by Operation Sharing. They provide support to needy families as well as coaching and provide food purchase cards that may only be used to purchase healthy foods. You can support them by donating a dollar each time you shop at Sobeys, Giant Tiger, Foodland, or Food Basics in Woodstock; or at Independent Grocer, Foodland, or Giant Tiger in Ingersoll. See https://211southwestontario.cioc.ca/record/OXF1184?Number=13
The Salvation Army also runs a Woodstock food bank. Food donations may be made from 9 am to 3 pm any Monday, Wednesday or Friday at their Family Services Office at 190 Huron Street or you can donate directly at the church office at 769 Juliana.
For more information see https://www.oxfordcounty.ca/Services-for-You/Human-Services/Emergency-Food-Services and http://www.heartfm.ca/news/local-news/salvation-army-food-bank-still-accepting-donations/
Peter has however identified a Woodstock Rotary Club initiative that supports both programs and is also matching any donations and providing charitable receipts.
Their "Fund for Food Vouchers" initiative is described at https://www.woodstockoxfordrotary.org/
and donations can be made at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/12109.
It would appear that Rotary, which is also the organization that founded Probus, offers the most appropriate vehicle for any personal contributions members may choose to make in support of those in Woodstock. bus member with ideas for events let any member of the Events Committee know or email Rob Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site News from Bob Axon
Every member should check their personal information in the website - woodstockprobus.ca and report any errors or omissions to Bob Axon at email@example.com
Password ENTRY to the Website Directory is now available for extra security of all members. Follow the directions carefully and reset your password to one that you intend to make permanent. Please submit your photographs of any member activities to Bob Axon for inclusion in our unique collection of photos for visitors to the website and members.
As a person who has worked in Health Care for the better part of 4 decades, we all need to keep ourselves safe. My great wife Dianne is wonderful in supporting that we do this. Social distancing, not putting ourselves into a crowd situation, using hand sanitizer, keeping things clean, and acquiring fresh supplies from local sources. Please keep safe and healthy. Here is a virtual handshake to all.
NO Future Speakers
until FURTHURE NOTICE
Please welcome our newest member Ron Young.
Current membership is now 122.
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were "piss poor." But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot; they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low. The next time you are washing your hands & complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. Since they were starting to smell, however, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom of “carrying a bouquet” when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it . . . hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, resulting in the idiom, "It's raining cats and dogs." There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed, therefore, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, leading folks to coin the phrase "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, subsequently creating a "thresh hold." In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while, and thus the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old." Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat." Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust." Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up, creating the custom of “holding a wake”. England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive, so they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”. And that's the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring?
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