Discoveries: Inspirations, January 15, 2018

Moderators: Karen Bowes-Sewell and Sybil Tinker
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, Noon to 1:15 PM, January 15 to February 12
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Videos and Discussion

Tales of grief and woe are showcased routinely in the daily news. The hopeful story is far more elusive and appears as an afterthought, given a little nod by the grace of more serious affairs. Such a worldview is arguably lopsided and could be characterized as “Chicken Little Syndrome”.  This course offers inspirational stories as an offering of light in the dark days of deep winter. Please join us to consider ingenious solutions to intractable social problems, original thinking that reveals links between music and architecture, the value of play and storytelling, and more.

Presentations not required.

Introduction to Drawing, January 15, 2018

Moderators: Richard Sewell
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, January 15 to February 12
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Instructional

Learning to draw can be understood as a collection of experiences to which we can pay attention rather than a set of skills to be acquired. We begin with a focus on how we participate physically and move on to an object that catches our interest enough to want to draw it. Finally, we reflect on the process of interpretation, the choices we made, and perhaps something about what worked for us and what did not. We differentiate, enjoy and learn. Please join us for a  practical and reflective process that can be taken away to explore at home. Materials fee: $10.


Discoveries: Journeys, February 26, 2018

Moderators: The presenters
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, Noon to 1:15 PM, February 26 to March 26
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Videos, Presentations and Discussion

Life is an intriguing journey, and especially in the later stages of our lives, we are perhaps more able to reflect on its ups and downs with equanimity. This course encourages us to consider stories from our lives that we found particularly meaningful, maybe trans-formative, and hopefully worth telling. Revisiting and sharing life stories, especially in a group, is known to be a powerful way to build happiness and resilience. So please join us to consider the ups and downs of a few tales of note and share some of your own!


Energy, February 26, 2018

Moderators:  Mike Ash
Registration Fee:  $25
Time:  5 weeks, Monday, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, February 26 to March 26
Location:  Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format:  Presentations and Discussion

Course Summary with Suggested Topics

We take it for granted and use it all the time, but what do we know about energy? According to Einstein energy and mass are directly related (E = mc2).  Energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed.  If an object acquires energy (e.g. heat) its mass will increase slightly. There are over a dozen forms of energy – mechanical, electrical, nuclear, radiant, chemical, magnetic, potential, gravitational, etc.  We need energy to live and perform work.

What does this all mean in our world?  Let’s explore some aspects of energy that we may not normally be aware of and examine the implications for today and tomorrow.  How do we plan for our future requirements; is there anything more important?


Discoveries, Or is it in the Technology?, Oct. 30, 2017

Moderator: tbd
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, Noon to 1:15 PM, October 30 to November 27
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Videos and Discussion

The word technology makes some of us wince.  It suggests an uncomfortable world that is passing us by.  We grapple with the computers in our stoves and washing machines and Technologywonder if tomorrow will present us with an insurmountable new difficulty.  Still, medicine promises us treatments without surgery and commerce offers us cars that drive themselves. There is much to love and much to fear about technology. Let’s look into it for a reasonable compromise.

Presentations not required.

Heroes, Oct. 30, 2017

Moderator: Don Santor
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, October 30 to November 27
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Group Participation

Terry FoxEveryone has heroes.  They are someone we admire or respect for what they have done or for what they are.  Heroes are part of a nation’s history.  They are woven into the culture and become part of the national identity.  Sometimes heroes become role models and we try to emulate them.  Other times we simply admire them for their accomplishments.  What makes a person a hero?  What does a person have to do to deserve that status?

Who are Canada’s heroes? Who are yours?  This course will examine the     heroes who contributed to the Canadian identity as well as the heroes you  admire.

Presentations optional


Discoveries, It’s All in the Design, Sep. 18, 2017

Moderator: Nancy Winters
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, Noon to 1:15 PM, September 18 to October 23
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Videos and Discussion

DesignDesigners are among the most creative of our species and we think of them as somehow more than mere mortals.   But consider that the pen you are writing with, the shirt that you are wearing, the book you will read tonight, the dishes you will eat from, the toy you will buy for your grandchild’s birthday are all the creations of very specialized designers.  For this first five weeks we will find them everywhere, and examine their huge influence on our lives.

Presentations not required.

Under the Trees, Sep. 18, 2017

Moderator: Karen Bowes-Sewell
Registration Fee: $25
Time: 5 weeks, Monday, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, September 18 to October 23
Location: Pine Dale Motor Inn
Format: Group Participation

Trees have been our steadfast friends since the dawn of time. We love them, cultivate, and mythologize them, and in turn, they clean our air, shelter and feed us, and equip us. Our deep connection to trees is so familiar that it is easily missed. And yet, the world was Cinnibar Treethrilled to discover wood was a key component of almost everything found with “Otzi” the ice man (3300 BC), who was discovered in the Alps in 1991.  In this course we will look at how trees have shaped our world and what we are learning about their own hidden world.  Bring your stories, curiosity, and wonder!

Presentations optional.

Summer Socrates Cafe Events – 2017

Socrates Café

We will be having two Socrates Café meetings this summer with barbeque as usual. Many thanks to Bob and Beverly Kennedy and Jim and Jackie Southcott for hosting once again! Please bring your appetite, a beverage, and ideas for a lively round of discussion and persuasion!

July 11th Bob and Beverly Kennedy   12 noon – 2:00 pm
10152 Merrywood Drive     519.238.6030

August 8th Jackie and Jim Southcott   12 noon – 2:00 pm
10121 Shoreline Drive     519.238.8800

Regular Socrates Café returns in the fall – dates tba.

Spring 2017 Potpourri Events

April 10  10:00 AM to noon, Pine Dale Motor Inn


Presented by Don Santor

What’s a Canadian?  What makes us different from Americans? We look the same, talk the same, watch the same TV and movies and eat the same food. So what makes us Canadian? What, if anything, makes Canada distinctive among the nations of the world?  Why is it that Canadians are the only ones to ask this question of themselves?  Are we destined to eventually disappear into the English speaking melting pot of North America?  This session will explore these questions as we attempt to describe and define a Canadian identity.

April 24  Noon to 2:00 PM, Lambton County Museum


Presented by Nancy Winters

The Grand Bend Event known as Paint Ontario! is rapidly becoming one of the best known and popular art exhibition events in the province, and it originated here in the vision of some determined local artists.  We will gather at noon in the lunch gallery at the Lambton Heritage Museum to hear how it all came about, and what it means for the province’s artists. Curator Theresa Marie Phillips and a group of local artists will describe why this event has become key to Grand Bend’s reputation as an artistic hub. In addition, the event’s famous caterer, Erryn Sheppard, will talk about the  important role of food in a community’s celebratory life.

Please pre-register with Nancy at 519-238-5419. 

May 1, Meet at 10:00 AM, Pine Dale Motor Inn


With Debbie A. McClure

What is a creative mind and how does it work?  Do you believe you have a creative mind, or perhaps firmly believe you don’t?  Multi-published author Debbie A. McClure talks about how to nurture the creative mind and the truth behind the mystifying “muse” creative people talk about.  Learning how to trust yourself and your creativity, finding that spark of creativity in all of us, and discussing the truth behind the business of monetizing creativity are just some of the topics she’ll be discuss during her presentation.

Click HERE for a more details / event flyer.

Special thanks to Kevin Coates, Adult Services Librarian, Lambton County Library.

May 8, Field Trip


Host and Coordinator: Jim Southcott

This event is fully subscribed.

The feuds, murder, and mayhem surrounding James Donnelly and his infamous family has intrigued Canadians for over a century.  Their homestead lies in our own backyard in Lucan, Ontario, where the Donnellys were killed after years of conflict with neighbours.

Jim Southcott and Carla Revington will guide us through the Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum, related gravesites and schoolhouses, and the site of the fateful massacre at Whalen’s Corners. Be ready for adventure, followed by lunch and discussion!

This event is limited to 20 people.  The fee, including registration, the museum, the Donnelly homestead and the bus is estimated at $25.  Lunch will be covered by each participant. Carpooling arranged from Grand Bend to Lucan.

May 15, 10:00 AM to noon, Pine Dale Motor Inn


Presented by Mike Ash and Kathy Liberty

Want to know how to raise eyebrows? Tell your friends that you are flying to Whitehorse (4,622 nm or 8,562 km, return) in a “tin can” that you made yourself. In the ongoing saga of Mike and Kathy’s aviation adventures, 2016 saw a 3 week adventure to the far northwest. Share the challenges, highs and lows of this trip of “100 billion trees”. What motivates some folks to take some risk and check off a bucket list item? Learn something more about our spectacular Canada as seen from a few thousand feet above the ground, as told by the pilot and “co-pilot”.