We were treated to some wonderful jazz music by three very talented musicians from the Humber College School of Music. Christopher Tufaro on piano, Erik Larson on bass and David Steinmetz on drums had us tapping our feet for a whole hour, listening to the great old standards and a few new pieces as well. They were a wonderful finale to our season, and we look forward to getting together again in October.
We were enthralled by our speaker this month, listening to him tell of his adventures at sea. In 2011 at the age of 53, John Beeden rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in a 20 foot boat, by himself, in 53 days. He set a record for the second fastest time to do that.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2015, at the age of 56, he rowed solo across the Pacific Ocean – 11,300 km. as the crow flies (he didn’t get to take that route), spending 4,320 hours at sea or 7 1/2 months. He fought wind and waves in an effort to stay on course, but the cross currents across the Equator cost him valuable kilometres and time. His photos and video were positively amazing. John spent an hour answering our questions, and we learned just how dedicated he is to an adventurous life.
In 2019 he intends to row the Atlantic again, this time with his daughter on board. His next adventure after that will be to row the Indian Ocean, where currents and weather are devilish. We wish him well on these trips.
Our speaker this month was Canadian author and humourist Terry Fallis, who kept us in stitches all afternoon. He talked about writing his six books, then read some passages from his new book One Brother Shy, which made us want to read more of this book and his other works. Terry has won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour twice, and it’s no wonder – he has a very droll and subtle sense of humour which shines through in all his books.
Our meeting this month discussed the Terry Fallis book Up and Down. Before the discussion we enjoyed a beautiful lunch, courtesy of our hostess. She has really raised the bar for those of us who follow – we don’t ordinarily nibble this well!
We are looking forward to having Terry speak to the entire membership in February – it should be a lively meeting, as his writing style is humorous yet heartfelt.
Our entertainment this month was magician James Alan, and he did not disappoint. He amused us, he amazed us! He had us laughing, and mystified, saying “What?? Where did that come from?” several times, and applauding like mad for his repartee and clever sleight of hand. He classifies his performances as “deception as art”. We were not more than four feet from him in the front row, and STILL could not see how he made things appear and disappear. It was a delightful afternoon. He performs regularly in Toronto – he would be worth seeing again.
We also pinned a new member today, Pratima Jaideva. We welcome her into the Club and hope she enjoys her time with us.
Wendy Baggs from the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre talked to us today about turtles and what the Centre does to rescue, rehabilitate and release healthy turtles. Not all turtles can be released, so they also care for them at the Centre. Wendy is very enthusiastic about her job, and her enthusiasm was infectious.
Turtles are cold-blooded – they cannot generate their own body heat. They warm themselves by basking in the sun and retreat to the water then they need to cool off.
Females are often found crossing roads to reach traditional nesting sites, or laying eggs in the gravel along country roads, which accounts for the majority of turtle injuries. Less than one in a hundred turtle eggs laid will hatch and grow into an adult turtle. Turtles do not tend their nests once laid, nor care for their young once they hatch. Nests are easily found and destroyed by predators such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes. Few hatchlings ever reach maturity (8-25 years depending on the species).
Most turtles, when threatened, can pull themselves into their shell to hide. However, the snapping turtle’s shell isn’t big enough, as the turtle itself is massive. They are therefore vulnerable to not only shell fractures, but also head trauma because they can’t hide.
The Centre spends most of its days operating on turtles who have been brought to them by “turtle taxis” (volunteer drivers).
Wendy brought three live turtles of the eight species native to Ontario. The snapping turtle got a great deal of attention from the ladies, and he scooted around pretty quickly with his relatively long legs. Seven of the eight species native to Ontario are on the species at risk list, including the snapping turtle. Hunting of the snapping turtle has been banned.
This group meets at James Gardens main parking lot at 9:00 on Tuesday morning. The walk takes us to the Dundas street bridge and back, or to Eglinton and back, which takes about an hour.
New locations will be visited from time to time, as agreed upon by the group.
For more information, contact June Goodfellow at 416-614-3753.