Winter 2020


Winter Medley

January 7 & 14

Women in the Fire Service

These two lectures explore the female experience in the Fire Service.  Currently, only 4% of firefighters in Canada are women.

January 7 In the Beginning: A Woman in a Man’s World

Entering the fire service in a big city at the age of 22 seems like a logical and exciting thing to do if you’re a man.  It’s less conventional when you are a woman from a Farming community.  The female experience in the male dominated fire Service is explored during this session as well as stories from a firefighter in a big city.

January 14 Now and the Future: Work/Life Balance

Creating a family and living a balanced life can be challenging.  Dealing with pregnancy and returning to work in the Fire Department requires planning. A career as a firefighter can be conducive to a full family life through the hours and wages.  Encouraging women to enter the  fire service and supporting those already there is at the forefront right now.

Mary Hindle

Born and raised in the Beaver Valley, Mary became a Hamilton Professional Firefighter in 2002. Now in her 18th year Mary is considered a senior firefighter.  She uses her experience by educating and empowering women and young people through community service, school visits, conferences and camps.

January 21

Bay Street to Barnyard

Until 2011, Patricia and Robert Campbell were urban Toronto professionals. Rob worked as an actuary with a large insurance company and Patricia, with her newly completed PhD in the study of world religions, was looking for full-time university teaching work. But it wasn’t working. The pressures of corporate culture, and the unlikelihood of finding long-term academic work, led them to a change: they bought a property near Chatsworth in Grey County, and Rob started up his business, Better Together Farms. 

This talk will outline Patricia and Rob’s journey from city to farm, and many of their adventures, both funny and frustrating. Patricia will also explore some of the motivations behind the small-scale, sustainable, and organic farming movement that has inspired many new farmers like the Campbells in our region. 

Patricia Campbell, PHD

Patricia Campbell is a writer, one-time theatre seamstress, farm wife, and part-time university instructor. She has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, and Mount Allison University. She now resides on a 100-acre organic farm in Grey County, taking on part-time teaching and administration work when available and trying to find time to write. Her husband Rob runs the farming business, and, from time to time, calls Patricia out to the fields to chase the cattle.

January 28

The Captivating Power of Storms

The power and beauty of thunderstorms is neverending and with this presentation you will be entertained while also learning how to read the sky.  Thunderstorms have many aspects that can be devastating. We will take an in-depth look at tornadoes, straight-line winds, microbursts, lightning, hail and flooding.

 David T. Chapman 

David T. Chapman is self-taught in the art of photography as well as storm chasing, and has been pursuing his career professionally since the age of eighteen. He learned at a very young age from his father to appreciate his surrounding environment. He enjoys taking photographs and video of weather phenomena, especially lightning and Aurora Borealis, as well as scenery and nature. 



February 4


Our final lecture has been moved to February 18. Thanks for your understanding!

February 11

Saints and Sinners:

The Story of Owen Sound, Canada’s Last Dry City

Owen Sound was the heart and soul of the prohibition movement in Canada. The ferment against alcoholic beverages began in 1874, with the formation of the first Canadian chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. In 1906, Owen Sound voted in local option and became known as Dry Gulch, a condition that would last for 66 years. As you will hear, there were numerous booze referendums until a vote in the early 1960s finally allowed both the LCBO and Brewers’ Retail to open in the downtown core. It took until 1972 for the long drought to completely end, when Owen Sounders voted to approve liquor sales in bars and restaurants.

Richard Thomas 

Richard Thomas studied Broadcasting at Conestoga College in Kitchener, then worked in radio including with CFOS in Owen Sound, and ultimately became the Regional News Correspondent for CKCO Television until 1999. Since that time, he has owned and operated Richard Thomas Communications in Owen Sound, where he lives with his wife and children. 

A lifelong reader, Richard began writing seriously in 1991. His first novel, Gas Head Willy, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for the best first novel of 1996. He has also been recognized by the Grey County Historical Society, the city of Owen Sound and the Ontario Historical Society.

February 18

The Wreck of the S.S. Waubuno and

other Marine Disasters of Georgian Bay

The S.S. Waubuno took passengers between Collingwood and Parry Sound in the 1860's and 1870's. It floundered and sank during a gale on Georgian Bay in November 1879. Jamie's talk will deal with the ramifications of this disaster and the discovery and location of the wreckage. Other wrecks and their locations will be discussed along with what happened to the archaeological aspects of the wrecks and associated artifacts. 

Jamie Hunter

Jamie Hunter obtained a BSc in Archaeology from Trent University and a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. He has been Curator of  Research at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons. When he was Curator of the Huronia Museum and Wendat Village in Midland, he expanded the museum from a part-time operation with a budget of $26 000 into a full time operation with a budget of over half a million dollars. Jamie is retired and enjoys speaking and writing about the rich and vibrant history of the Georgian Bay area.