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October '09

Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009

An Inside Look At Waterloo City Hall

Diane Freeman

Diane is the Waterloo City Councillor for Ward 4, a board member of the Association of Ontario Munici-palities, a civil engineer with Conestogo-Rovers, president elect of Professional Engineers Ontario, and a home-maker with a supportive husband and two young sons.

She spoke to us about developing her interest in politics, her beliefs that women have a role to play as consensus builders, and that younger people need to get involved to ensure decisions made in communities reflect the needs of families and children.

With regard to time management, having worked as an environmental consultant for her professional career, early mornings and late nights were, and remain, par for the course.  She is very reliant on technology and with it can get her work done as well as spend time with her family. 

It is common place for her to be reading Council briefing notes between her son’s ice time in hockey arenas and at half time on the soccer side lines.  As well, Blackberries and wireless internet at home allow her to work along side the children as they do homework.  She also brings her children with her to events. The elder likes to attend City Council Meetings.  These times together provide the oppor-tunity to mentor community service to the boys. 

Diane shared with us some sound advice which she had learnt from an address once given by the president of Coca Cola. She has found this valuable throughout her career.

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You call them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit, and you're trying to keep all of them in the air.

"You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of them, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

She believes that behind every decision at city hall, Waterloo city councillors and the Mayor strive to develop good public policy by keeping in their mind’s eye the people affected.

Diane said. “They say you can choose your friends but not your family. Well you can not choose your colleagues on Council either. So you need to find ways to sort through differences, agree to disagree and to work together for the good of the City.

“All in all, I can tell you with sincerity that indeed each member of Council strives to do this. We do not always succeed but as I have heard said before, “I reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow than I am today” and “if we all agree, all of the time, some of us are superfluous”.

Editors' Notes

excellent photos of events and meeting in this issue were contributed by both our  photographers, Ken MacPherson and Dolf Bogad. We are truly fortunate to have members with such skill. Some photos have been reduced in size to fit. To see a larger size simply click on the photo. You will be taken to a new page with the enlarged photo. You may then save and print the photo from that page. Use your browser's Back Button to go back to the  original page.

September Meeting Photos

Blyth Festival Photos

Who Am I?

Jim Israel

I was born in the City of Kitchener at St. Mary’s General Hospital on August 5th, 1940.  I was the product of a German father and a German/English mother.  My father’s forefathers immigrated to Canada from Alsace-Lorraine in about 1850 settling in the Floradale area.  My mother’s grandparents (one from Germany and one from England) immigrated to Glen Allen.  I have one sister and one brother.  My sister taught school and my brother is a lawyer. 

I grew up in Kitchener and lived at 24 Pandora Avenue which is about four or five houses from King Street in the East Ward of Kitchener.  I attended public school at Sheppard School located on Weber Street in Kitchener. I attended high school, grades 9 and 10 at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and grades 11, 12, 13 at Eastwood Collegiate.  Eastwood Collegiate was the first high school in Kitchener Waterloo other than KCI and the Roman Catholic high schools of St. Jerome’s and St Mary’s.  Eastwood provided an excellent environment for education and extra curricular activities for the 600 students. All of my teachers were excellent. Following graduation from high school, I enrolled in the University of Toronto medical program. The first two years were pre-medical studies followed by four years of medicine.  I graduated from medical school in 1965, interned for a year at the Toronto Western Hospital and then entered the Toronto Gallie Surgery Program.  I did General Surgery initially but found my real aptitude was in Orthopaedics and after two years in General Surgery I changed to Orthopaedics and received my Fellowship in The Royal College of Surgeons in November of 1971.  I spent another year in Toronto as a Clinical Fellow practising at the Toronto General Hospital.  An Orthopaedic Surgeon is one who is involved in the treatment of musculoskeletal system, joints, tendons, muscles and bones.  Orthopaedic Surgeons perform operations such as total hips total knees, arthroscopic examinations and manage musculoskeletal trauma from accidents and sports.  I was recently asked how long it took after high school to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon. It is thirteen years, the same length of time when a child starts kindergarten and graduates from high school.

Just to provide a few interesting comments about life in my earlier years growing up in Kitchener. In retrospect, some of the events surrounding the building of the present Kitchener Memorial Auditorium were quite interesting.  A new ice rink was required after the old arena on Ontario Street at Charles Street burnt to the ground.  Initially, it was thought that Waterloo and Kitchener could combine to develop a suitable facility but that was given up quite quickly in the still evident politics. Kitchener decided the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium would be built but the location was debated. A great concern was raised about the current location at Borden Street and East Avenue.  This was the edge of the city, farmers’ fields. Nobody would ever attend functions.  I might note that the end of the city was at Sheppard School. 

 The current politicians should realize that what goes around comes around. I speak of our high speed rail transit system proposed to link one end of Waterloo to the south end of Cambridge costing just short of a billion dollars.  As a young lad, I can remember the electric street cars running on rails traveling from south Kitchener to north Waterloo. The politicians, at that time, felt they were no longer efficient and modern.  They couldn’t rip the tracks out fast enough to use electric trolley buses which were eventually replaced with the present buses.

I returned to Kitchener in 1972 to start practice as an Orthopaedic Surgeon. Initially, I was somewhat concerned to leave the teaching centre, a teaching position and the constant exposure to cutting edge knowledge. However, soon the advantages of the KW community outweighed the disadvantages.  I enjoyed orthopaedics. Great satisfaction occurs when a patient, significantly disabled with arthritis, finds pain relief and continued independence following a total hip or knee.  Or a patient severely injured in a motor vehicle accident walks again. The level of satisfaction is special. The doctor/patient relationship is like a bond. Few professions can achieve this.

I was the team doctor for the University of Waterloo’s football and hockey teams for over twenty-years.

 The work was hard and long hours. When I first arrived in Kitchener, each of the five orthopaedic surgeons took their own call 24/7. This was soon shared. But it was not unusual when on call, which occurred one in five days, to work during the day, the evening and operate throughout the night doing emergency cases. The next day was a regular work day.   As stated, there were five orthopaedic surgeons when I started with a much less population base. Today there are only six orthopaedic surgeons who look after a much larger population base. Physician manpower is extremely under the optimum numbers.

When I was an intern and later a resident working in the Toronto hospitals, I received between $1200 and $5000 a year.  In the latter part of my residency, I had a family. It was difficult to look after a family on those wages.  I borrowed money and went into debit. And when I returned to Kitchener in July 1972 to start an orthopaedic practice I was 32 years of age and deeply in debit. More debit was accumulated when I needed to open an office. I thought I would be able to pay back some of the loan, but I my plans were quickly changed. I started work on July 1st, 1972 and was immediately quite busy. OHIP payments were about three months behind; so that the work I did in July I was paid in October. The first cheque from OHIP in October was $250.00.    However as the years progressed, the remunerations improved. I retired from my surgical practice in October 2004.

 Presently, I do consulting for third parties on behalf of Insurance Companies, lawyers and WSIB. This allows me to use my knowledge, keep my brain functioning and gives a purpose i.e. getting up in the morning.

As one progresses through their career new challenges are taken on.  I was the President of the K-W Academy of Medicine.  I served on a number of committees for the Ontario Medical Association, the Ontario Orthopaedic Association and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.  As well I served as Chief of Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for a period of six years, then became the Chief of Staff at Grand River Hospital and three years following that position I then became the VP of Medical Affairs as well as the Chief of Staff until about 2004. I was a member of the respective Hospital Boards.  These positions were very enlightening. I was able to appreciate more the management and administration components of medicine from the other side of the equation rather than just as a practising physician.

I have been involved in sports most of my life.  I was active in minor hockey and   baseball and golf.  I played football and basketball at both KCI and Eastwood Collegiates. I went on to play varsity intercollegiate football for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Football team for five years; four of those years I was the starting Quarterback.  During the last year of playing for the Blues, an interesting event occurred that involved my parents. When I played against the Western Mustangs from the University of Western Ontario, my parents were noted by the surrounding fans to be cheering for both offensive teams.  It was only after they realized that my brother, Robert, played Quarterback for the University of Western Ontario did they understand the situation.

I enjoyed and still enjoy golf. I played a lot of golf as a young lad at Rockway Golf Course in Kitchener.  I had the privilege of playing at the same time that Lloyd Tucker was the pro.  I played in the environment that produced some of Canada’s greatest golfers, Jerry Kesselring, Mo Norman, Gary Cowan and a host of other good young players.  During my medical and post graduate training, I had a hiatus from golf from the age of 16 to my early 30’s. Since I had a strong foundation in the game, I was able to restore my game quickly. I did obtain a handicap of plus one but usually it varied from 0 to 3 depending on the number of games played. More recently with age, my handicap varies from three to six. I still enjoy golf. 

I still play Old Timer’s hockey three times a week. At least I like to say I play hockey, but really in essence I put on my skates, hold the stick and take a few strides up and down the ice and try to participate in some of the play and not to get in the way of individuals who can still play the game.

 As a young lad, I built model electric train layouts and balsa model aircraft. A number of years ago along with my son, we were able to build a few radio controlled aircraft. I would like to return to these hobbies.

My wife Mary Lou and I have five wonderful children and 9 and ¾ grandchildren. I met my wife, Mary Lou Voelker, when in high school at a local high school Friday night dance.  We were married when we were in university. Two of our children, both girls, live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, each have two children. The one is a stay at home mother and the other works for Manulife in the disability department. The three boys are scattered across North America – a son is a geologist in Whitehorse, married and expecting his first child in a matter of a few days, a son in Kelowna, Philip, who has three children and is presently selling cars for Orchard Ford and a son living in Dallas, Texas, who has two boys and he works for Ericsson.  This September the oldest grandchild is starting his first year at the University of Western Ontario.

There have been many medical advances that have taken place during my time as a resident and physician.  Orthopaedically, a number of new advances have taken place, the arthroscope, joint arthroplasties and tools of investigations. The arthroscope has made a significant impact. The arthroscope is an instrument that allows visual inspection of the inner aspects of joints. Previously an incision was made to allow inspection of the joint that necessitated hospitalization.   My first contact with the arthroscope was in 1968 as a research fellow for Dr. Robert Jackson. Dr. Jackson, an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Toronto General Hospital   had just returned from Japan where he had acquired the arthroscopic skills. I was fortunate to see the first arthroscopic examination done at the Boston General Hospital by Dr. Jackson. In the early years, it was an electrical system but now is a fibro-optic instrument.  Initially, the arthroscope was used to identify pathology that would be corrected by an open procedure. Within a few years instruments were developed to allow surgery to be done through the arthroscopy. Dr. Jackson had such an impact in sports medicine that he was listed by Sports Illustrated as one of the top fifty individuals to impact sports in North America in the last fifty years. 

The arthroplasty procedures, artificial joint replacements, evolved and have significantly advanced to provide alternatives to patients with severe arthritis of the hip and knee, and more recently the shoulder, elbow and ankle.  These reconstructive procedures allow these individuals, progressively crippled with arthritis, to lead independent and active lives. 

The investigative technologies such as the CT scan, MRI scans and diagnostic ultrasounds allow noninvasive visualization of pathology. Appropriate treatment can be planned and monitored with avoidance of invasive procedures.   These modalities will continue to improve. 

Evidence-based medicine approach treatment has become extremely important. In the past, some treatments were recommended without scientific confirmation and given on traditional empirical basis.  It is very important that medical treatment be validated scientifically so patients can receive the best possible care.

Christmas Lunch tickets will be available at the October meeting at $36 per person. Bring cheques payable to KW Probus, or exact amount if paying with cash.

Lunch will be at Golfs Steak House on December 16th.

Go to Print Edition

Club News

 We regret to advise the death of Probian

Cyril Murray

1 October 2009

50/50 Draw

First prize by Dave Horman, runner up was John Williams.

Annual Meeting

All reports were accepted as presented, and the slate of officers presented by the nominating committee was elected. For a full list of positions held, and photo IDs, click on Management Committee on the Navigation sidebar at the left side of the page.

Attendance & Membership

We had 89 mem
bers and one guest at the September meeting. Rein Katzch was inducted into the club.  Doug Sullivan and John Freund have been approved for membership and will be inducted shortly, along with Don Poth. We presently have two vacancies with no applications on the waiting list.

Book Club

Lynn Matthews reports: "The next meeting of the Book Club will be on Wednesday, Oct. 28th at 2.30pm
at my home, 311 Greenbrook Dr. Kitchener. Please note the change of time from our usual time of 2pm.   The book we will be discussing is the " Audacity of Hope " by Barack Obama. Book Club meetings are open to all members of Probus,and new members are welcome. "

Duty Roster, October Meeting

Introduction: Gord Ferguson
Thanker: Don Willcox

Honorary Member

President Bill Kerr announced that Loyd Robertson had been appointed an honorary member of the club.
Bill  personally presented the award to Lloyd later, as Lloyd a past president and long time contributor to the club  was unable to attend the current meeting.

Wellness Report

Ron Hustwitt reports...
* Norman Dougall - cancer of the face is being treated.
* Don Godden - has  had shingles on the left side of his face and within his left eye - painful, but Don wants no phone calls or contacts.  Could take two to three months to recover.
* Bron Hausman - congestive heart failure, hard to get around.
* Fred Janke - possibly has a broken arm.
* Ken Jessep - will be getting a knee replacement.
* Andy McAuliffe -eye concerns, was on car rally and enjoyed it.
* Lloyd Robertson - back concerns.
* Mike Williams is undergoing cancer treatments.
* Frank Zurbrigg would appreciate visitors or callers.

Members are reminded to call Ron at 519-746-1282 to advise of any medical concerns or transportation difficulties prior to a meeting.

Car Rally, October 6th

The winners were Alan & Sandra Chalmers, and Gord & Shirley Ferguson. An excellent dinner was enjoyed by all participants at the Black Forest Inn in Conestogo. 
Eventually, even by the team who had navigated themselves to Elora instead!

Our thanks to Alan Chalmers, Joe Hagerman, and Bill Trotter for donating prizes.

Subpages (1): Oct '09 Print edition