ProBUZZ‎ > ‎

Mar '09

 Volume 22, No. 6                                       
This issue edited by Don Grant & Vern Hall

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009


Major  Paul Pickering
Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada

 The Afghan-Soviet war commenced with the Soviets invasion in 1979, and lasted   until the Soviets withdrew their troops in 1989.
In 1992 the Soviet backed regime was toppled by the Mujahideen (now called the Northern Alliance)  and infighting between different Mujahideen groups started which led to the destruction of Kabul.
Then, in 1994 the Taliban, ( the group that once controlled Kabul and some 90% of Afghanistan ), first appeared in the city of Kandahar. Two years later they had toppled the Mujahideen  government.
The Afghanistan Interim Administration was established in December 2001 as a result of UN brokered Agreement in Bonn, Germany on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions.

The following year 1650 delegates from all over the country gathered in Kabul and elected Hamid Karzai as the President of the Transitional government.

In 2002 delegates of Loya Jirga (Grand Council) from all over the country established the current Transitional Government and elected Hamid Karzai as the President for a period of 18 months.
Provincial and Regional leaders were elected in 2005,  August 2009 will be the 2nd election for the Transitional Government and President.

There are several ethnic and linguistic groups in Afghanistan; Pashtoons (50%) in the east and south; Tajiks (25%) centre and north; Hazaras (15%) centre; Uzbeks and Turkmens (5%) mainly in the north; others (5%).
Only 12% of the population is literate, (females 5%).

Families are usually extended. Father, sons and grand-children are usually one big extended family reaching to over 20 to 30 members. They all work for one single family income. and then all share it.

War has killed or maimed over one million; 1/3 of the population has fled abroad, with 6 million refugees to Iran and Pakistan. Homes and infrastructure have been destroyed. There is incredible poverty. 70% live on less than $2 per day, with lack of food, clothing, shelter, and medical care ¼ of all children die before they are 5 years old. Human - especially women’s - rights are repressed. 10 million land mines remain mostly in rural areas.

Canada has three signature projects in infrastructure, education, and health.

• Dahla Dam Irrigation System. 2ND largest dam in Afghanistan, secure irrigation for 80% of Kandahar province, $50 million over three years, replace generators, desilt water body, repair irrigation canals, restore water flow, generate 10,000 seasonal jobs.

• Build, repair, expand 50 schools, $12 million over 3 years, train up to 3,000 teachers. (Half of children do not attend school).

• Polio Eradication. Immunize 7 million children across Afghanistan, 350,00 in Kandahar province, $60 million over 3 years, establish vaccination centres.❋

Club News

50/50 Draw
First prize winner was John Elliott. Second prize was won by John Williams.

Attendance & Membership
There were 79 members and 3 guests at the February meeting. We are presently  at our full complement of 140 active members, with five on our wait list.

Book Club
The book club  meeting will be announced later.

Duty Roster, March Meeting
Introduction: David Oille    Thanker: Cedric Watkiss

Special Thanks
To all members who offered use of a copy of MS Publisher for a trial by PRO BUZZ. WE have solved our cross platform difficulties by using Open Office Writer, suggested by Grant MacDonald.

Wellness Report
 Ron Hustwitt advises that no one has reported any  major ailments at this time!

Special Events

Blyth Festival Theatre

This event will be held Thursday, September 17. Curtain time for the performance of Innocence Lost is at 2PM. We'll travel there on a Great Canadian  coach with a lunch stop at The Fireside Cafe, near Wingham. There will be 56 seats available. Cost is expected to be about $77 per person, but subject to confirmation.

Revival of 2008 smash hit - In Clinton Ontario, on June 12, 1959, Steven Truscott was arrested for the murder of Lynne Harper, a twelve year-old child. After a trial that lasted only fifteen days, Steven Truscott was sentenced to death. He was fourteen years old. Forty-eight years later, Steven Truscott’s name has been cleared, but the question remains…how could such a thing happen in Clinton, Ontario?

Who Am I?

Mike Williams

I was born John Michael Williams on Tuesday May 1st 1945 at St Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener. I spent my early years growing up not far from here on John Street off King near the Dairy Queen.

My parents were Jack and Kay Williams. They spent most of their lives both working for Swan cleaners, my mother in an outlet store and my father in the dry cleaning plant. My father would later change and go work for Jessup’s cleaners.
 On September 10th 1950 I was greeted with a new sister Wendy Jane. Wendy passed away at the age of 53 of cancer. And I miss her.

On June 10th 1967 I married Pauline Cooper.  She still is my best friend and we will celebrate 42 years of marriage this June Not including any overtime.
Our daughter Sari Marie is married to Michael Beattie they have given us two beautiful grandchildren, Mikayla who is 6 and Nicholas who is 3.
My name is PAPA. Pauline’s name is Monie.

We enjoy baby sitting Mikayla and Nicholas 5 days a week and if we’re lucky sometimes 6.  We consider each day as a gift. I am the type of person who likes to have fun and make people feel good. My granddaughter says I taught her to be silly.

I’m a member of Parkminster United church and have served on several different committees.  I’m currently on the Pastor Care visitation team, as well as a Presbytery representative. My faith and my church are very important to me.
 In June 2004 the same year my sister died I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma cancer.For those of you that are not familiar with the different stages of cancer, suffice it to say there is no stage 5. My cancer is now in remission 5 years. I had many people praying for me. That's why my family and church are  important to me and why I value each day.

I attended WCI and when I graduated I thought I would like to something in the field of electrical work or electronics. I got a job as an apprentice electrician.  My first job was roughing in town houses.  I enjoyed the summer working outside.  Then came the fall...and the cold cold winter. One January morning when it seemed like 20 below and I was kicking the snow away to pull wires, I thought to myself I don’t think I want to do this for the rest of my life, so I decided I would look for something different.

Now this is a funny true story.

One day I drove my mother to see a fortune teller. When my mother was done she asked me to talk to the lady. I wasn’t really thrilled but what the heck.  Right. I told her I wasn’t real happy about my work and  she said, "Go see Mister Steve he’s a good man. He will give you a job."

I didn’t even know who Mister Steve was...
A few months later I applied for a job as salesperson and rental manager. at a place called Steve’s TV. I got the job, and I would continue to work there for the next 39 years.

 As rental manager I was responsible for the rental of TV, Microwaves, VCR’s etc. These were the new HOT products people wanted to have. Since I was responsible to approve all rentals, I was also responsible to collect past due accounts and do my own repos.That in itself can be a life changing experience.
When I wasn’t busy with rentals I helped out on the sales floor. That was great because I was on commission and the harder you worked the more money you could make.

After about 5 years working at Steve’s  I went to Steve and told him I was getting a little bored and asked to become more involved with the business. It was also around this time that I first bought into the company. It wasn’t long before I was responsible for not only doing all the print and radio advertising but also all the buying. I very much enjoyed having input into the ad layouts and the commercials.

I loved the challenge to see how I could out maneuver my competition, not only in how our ads worked but also in our prices and service. I very much appreciated the relationship I had with my customers. I valued the great staff I had working with me. We didn’t always agree but I always tried to be fair and respect them.

When I look back I don’t think I could have picked a more exciting career. I was very fortunate to be in a field such as sales and electronics. I loved dealing with people and what could be more exciting than the ever changing word of electronics. When I started in business they said someday we would have a TV that would hang on the wall. Now it’s here. And only 2-inches thick. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I have had the privilege of doing business with many of you in this room, and I thank you.❋

Attention All Members
Your assistance is requested to make us aware of any medical concerns or transportation difficulties of members. Please notify Ron Hustwitt (519-746-1282) prior to a meeting. Please call and keep us current!

Click here to see photographs from February meeting

Click here to download print edition of this issue