Our Strength is Fellowship; Our Success is Participation.

January 6, Zoom Meeting

Autobiography – Nicole Laidlaw

I am the youngest of three children born into a military family coming from a long line of military veterans. My father served 38 years as a medic in the CAF. My mother retired from a career as a Personal Support Worker. My husband was medically released from CAF in October 2021 after almost 24 year. We have three children, Emma, 11, Gabriel, 7 and Jordan, 6. Needless to say the military continues to be a huge part of our family. As such, the military lifestyle was all I had known growing up and is where I’m from.

After I graduated in 2003, I enrolled in the Police Foundations diploma program through Algonquin College, in Ottawa, Ontario. Upon graduation I successfully applied to the CAF to become a Military Police (MP). I was sworn in November 4th, 2005. I graduated from the Military Police Academy in 2006 and was posted to CFB Petawawa, where I worked general patrol duties on one of the busiest bases in Canada.

After five years in Petawawa I was promoted and posted to Toronto. This was a major life change as I am use to small towns. I spent 5 years there refining my skills in the area of security in charge of the security section. I also enhanced my investigation and interviewing skills as the 2IC of the detachment. After an invigorating 5 years I accepted a posting to the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy as an instructor. I have instructed on many courses and presently work in Advanced Training.

In 2008, I deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (POMLT) where I was stationed in Pashmul South for seven months, living with both Canadians and Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) officers. My group mentored the AUP as well as patrolled the nearby villages surrounding our camp. I was frequently assigned the task of conducting operations with American Forces personnel who did not allow females to work in combat zones.

In April 2019 I was a part of True Patriot Love’s first ever, all women’s expedition in Nunavut. Together our team of 19 raised over a million dollars for veterans, military members and their families and snow shoed 100km across Baffin Island.

In Jul 2021 I represented True Patriot Love and joined Warrior Adventure Canada on a trip to Algonquin Park. We took first responders and military/veterans on a 7 day backpacking and canoeing trip to show them the benefits of peer support and nature.

I have spoken numerous times to schools and to a retirement facility about being deployed to Afghanistan. Interacting with different age groups, from the young to the old is a very rewarding experience. I especially enjoyed speaking with Veterans about their experiences and life during WWII, Korean War and other deployments. Recently I have been tasked to conduct the Women in Force programs in Borden. This is the CAF’s initiative to recruiting more women in the CAF. I have enjoyed speaking with young women and providing them with information on the MP Branch.

Probus members:

ANNOUNCEMENT: In-person meetings postponed.

We earlier announced that we would resume in-person meetings in January. However your executive has decided that this is no longer advisable, owing to (1) growing COVID infection numbers in the Province, and (2) the as-yet unknown hazards of the Omicron mutation. We’ll continue to monitor these situations, and hope to resume in-person meetings as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so. Meanwhile members are urged to get your booster shots! (No truth to the rumours that it improves libido — false information!)

Membership Directory:
We are planning to publish a directory of our best guess of current members, showing name, email address, street address and phone number. If for any reason you prefer to redact any or all of your information from the directory please let me know by return email. No reply will be deemed as your permission to proceed. The list, when published digitally, will carry a dire warning against improper uses. The intention is to foster social interaction amongst our members.

Membership Dues:
We have not charged membership dues since March 2020. We have had minimal expenses, as there has been no rental fees at the Legion, etc. However the intent is to start charging $60.00 effective upon our return to in-person meetings. That will cover the period July 1, 2022 to June 30 2023.

Social Events:
Pierre Tousignant has been busy. He is running Darts at the Legion days, and Snooker (or pool) afternoons at Moguls. He is also looking for more players for “Kitchen bridge” afternoons, also at the Legion. (Apparently that is a more relaxed version of bridge …who knew?) Next event January 6th, 1.00 to 3.00pm. For more info contact Pierre: pgtousignant@gmail.com or just show up!
He is also looking into a “beer with the boys” regular afternoon session at one or more of our local watering holes. Stand by for more info on that soon!

Fellow Members:
Roughly 50 members yesterday heard a fascinating and emotion provoking talk from Warrant Officer Nicole Laidlaw. She recounted some of her family members’ long service in the Canadian Armed Forces, and some outline of her own various postings over a 20+ year career as an MP (Military Police Officer.) She included details of a few of her more harrowing experiences, as well as some of the more rewarding moments while posted as the only female in a combined Canadian MP and Afghan Police unit operating “outside the wire.”
Unfortunately I got so wrapped up in the presentation that I forgot to press the “record” button until Ruben reminded me about halfway through. We had some audio quality issues, mainly in the Q&A session that unfortunately limited members’ questions.You can catch the last half or so (and that has some of the best bits!) here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/-I5IXlFEH_jqfxI0sevcq8HuAu1_60UuSGa0oI4EwO9xjNJmoPv8OLINXBERUkrv.gKCb4kI0Xj-Ff6KK
Passcode: ?if7B&eJ
Note the passcode…copy carefully or copy and paste into the Zoom link…you need it to play the recording. It will self-destruct after 30 days. (Anyone remember the old Mission Impossible series?)

February Speaker: Dr David Chandross. His Topic,
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Mankind.
“Gamification is adding game mechanics into nongame environments, like a website, online community, learning management system or business’ intranet to increase participation. The goal of gamification is to engage with consumers, employees and partners to inspire collaborate, share and interact”.
Please See Speakers Page. You may find your ‘Donkey Kong and Grand Theft Auto’ games somewhat dated!

Best Regards,
John Megarry
Probus Club of Collingwood


Your new Events Director, the inimitable Pierre Tousignant, has not been idle! He has news on 2 event series coming up!

1. Darts at the Legion will be re-starting in January. If you’re interested please contact Pierre for more info.

2. Billiards at Moguls: This is a joint initiative with Blue Mountain Probus. Sessions run the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, between 1.00 and 3.00pm. Cost $4.00 per session. Also starting in January.

Numbers are limited to both activities, so if you’re interested contact Pierre ASAP to get on the email list for further notifications.

Book Exchange:

Dorte & Steve Hawker do a great job running a book exchange. They send regular emails with available books and instructions on how to participate. See below a typical email. Just let them know if you’d like to be added to their email list. Dorte Hawker

Subject: October Book Offerings

Hi All,

It’s almost time to snuggle down and read a good book. Please see John Megarry’s Newsletter/email for this month’s selections.
Please send me the name and author of the books you want. I will put them inside the bin out front with your name on it. If you are comfortable coming in and you have been double vaccinated and wear a mask you are welcome to come in to browse. Just let me know when you would like to come.

Dorte and Steve

Probus Ski Legends:

John Housser is the organiser of Probus Ski Legends. This group is open to members from any of the Probus Clubs in the area, and has their own modest membership fee. They run ski trips to the great international ski resorts, (see info below); have regular ski days at Blue and the private clubs; plus social events. Well worth the price of admission. More at their website: http://probusskilegends.ca/

Probus Ski Legends Newsletter

Probus Ski Legends is offering two ski trips to Western Canada in winter 2022.

Limited spots are still available, but deadlines are fast approaching.

Note that federal regulations for airlines now require all passengers to be fully vaccinated.

1. Banff/Lake Louise, AB
February 5 – 12, 2022 (Saturdays) featuring 4 nights at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise & 3 nights at the Banff Springs Hotel
$2805 per person, double occupancy
Booking deadline has been extended to November 15, 2021

2. Sun Peaks, BC
Monday, February 28 – Thursday, March 10, 2022 (10 nights) at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel
$2920 per person, double occupancy
Booking deadline has been extended to November 30, 2021

Full details including the Legends Membership application are on the website: http://probusskilegends.ca

If you would like to volunteer your many talents to help the Club, please send a note to our email;

Good help is hard to find!

So, until next month, Stay safe,Stay healthy, Stay in touch!
None this month.
None this month
“The only mystery in life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets.” – Al McGuire

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” – Ambrose Bierce

“At every party there are two kinds of people – those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.” – Ann Landers

“My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I’m right.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.” – Bill Watterson

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett

“My favorite machine at the gym is the vending machine.” – Caroline Rhea

“All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height.” – Casey Stengel

“Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.” – Dave Barry

“How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.” – Emo Philips

“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.” – George Burns


Meetings are the first Thursday of every month, starting at 0945 am. They are held at The Royal Canadian Legion, 490 Ontario Street, Collingwood.

Contact Us

Probus Club of Collingwood
Membership: John Megarry, 705-445-1261
Email: collingwoodprobus@gmail.com