MAY 2015


Topic: Games Now and Then

Facilitator: Angelina Mihaljcic

Tranzac Club

292 Brunswick Avenue

one block south of Brunswick and Bloor

Games are very powerful influences in childhood. Now we explore the learning power of games in our June meeting. Attendees will be treated to a workshop where everyone gets a chance to participate. Angelina has facilitated many diverse groups, professionally and privately, using games to teach interaction, communication and fun with a variety of organizations and sizes of groups.

While there will be a brief talk, the focus will be upon the attendees where they will be invited to participate actively in some games. It promises to be an event that will open your insights into a world you may have left behind.

"Life, like all other games, becomes fun when one realizes that it's just a game." Nerijus Stasiulis

Exploring a New Venue

The Ulyssean Society will be exploring a new and historic facility which has a famous history in West Toronto. The Tranzac club was started by the Australian and New Zealand sports supporters a few decades ago, and now hosts a number of social events open to the public ranging from music to lectures.

It is located at 292 Brunswick Avenue, A short three blocks from Spadina Subway (Bloor Danforth & University lines) or three blocks from the Bathurst Subway East platform. It is located one block from a large municipal parking lot (entrance on Lippincott). If walking it is one block south of Brunswick and Bloor in an up and coming section of Bloor Street. The premises are suitable for those with mobility challenges.

Visitors are welcome

See our Web page: ulyssean.on.ca

ph: 416-410-1892




Inquiring Mind

PLACE: Wychwood Library, 1431 Bathurst St. (south of St. Clair)

Contact Convener: Marie Paulyn

Memoir Writing

will resume in the Fall

Play Reading

will resume in the Fall

Mosaic Planning Lunch

On summer break


General Meeting Report

April 12, 2015

Subject: Writing Fact and Fiction

Diane Flacks, Writer, Actor, Producer

Neil Sinclair, our new President, called the meeting to order. Joan Appelby lit the candle and read the Creed. Various matters of business and announcements of forthcoming meetings were dealt with, including our May meeting on Mother's Day.

What a delightful afternoon we Ulysseans enjoyed at April's monthly meeting, hearing Diane Flacks, a truly Renaissance woman in the world of contemporary communications media, talk about the path of her career as a resource for her ideas and insights on "Writing Fact and Fiction." Diane's career is astonishing though she spoke of it modestly, matter-of-factly giving details and vignettes of stations along the way to the eminence she has achieved.

She has performed in many theatres across the country and in New York and Los Angeles. She is an expert in multi-tasking, an actor, playwright, director, producer, writer of numerous Canadian TV series, including Kids in the Hall (nominated for an Emmy in writing), and film scripts, former writer for The Globe and Mail, and currently a columnist for The Toronto Star, CBC's national radio columnist on parenting, a regular performer and contributor to Definitely Not the Opera, AND A MOTHER.

In theatre Diane is a noted playwright, actor, producer. Among many plays, she has written and performed in four highly successful one-woman shows-Myth Me, By a Thread, Random Act, and Bear With Me. She has been Playwright-in-Residence at the Tarragon and Nightwood, including excerpts from three of her plays. Bear with Me: What They Don't Tell You about Pregnancy and New Motherhood, first a book published by McClelland & Stewart, then her one-act play rendering elements of pregnancy and new motherhood from comedic to poignant experiences. The background Diane provided for this work's evolution is an intriguing detail about the creative process-she had written an article for NOW, "Becoming Our Moms," and was asked if she had thought about writing a book. Bear With Me (McClelland & Stewart, 2005) was the result; it was then transformed to a one-woman drama. Selections from Diane's talk follow:

So you decide to have a baby. Nothing will be the same ever again, your writing changes. We are becoming our own moms; the Jewish mother gene. There are two types of moms-earthly, calm, "let him be" or obsessive-is he hot, cold?; does he have a rash? We live in a world of anxiety.

Her most recently staged play, Waiting Room, opened to great critical acclaim at the Tarragon in January. Diane gave a brief account of its long transition from an idea percolating seven years ago while she kept vigil with her baby son in Sick Children's Hospital (for nearly a year) through many workshops and finally its production in January, 2015 at the Tarragon. She made interesting comments about the relation of this play to thoughts about her experiences but does not consider it autobiographical. "I had never dared autobiography," she said. She wrote how she felt but not her own experience, an interesting refinement for writers who are struggling with the same relationship. "Mothers experience a lot but have not talked about it." A harrowing time, still "it is inappropriate to keep fear at bay."

The third, Unholy, written as Writer-in-Residence for Nightwood, about women and religion, posing, among other issues, Why do you have faith? will be produced next year.

A few comments gleaned from Diane's talk-some seem so self-evident they are wrongly taken for granted and ignored: "All writing at the core is the same." "Be open to anything" "Everyone can write; everyone has a voice." "Get into people's skin and interpret what you feel." "All writing has the same basic structure: a beginning, a middle and an end." "You can write both fact and fiction. They belong together."

Diane's many observations as a prolific, seasoned writer left me wishing she would undertake writing about writing as a playwright, storyteller, tv script writer, polemicist, comedian as her next book project if she can find time from all her other commitments. She does them all so well.

Following her talk there was a lively interchange of questions, ideas and experiences both on writing and hospital experiences among members of the audience. Diane was given an honorary membership and will receive a copy of The Challenge of Aging by John McLeish, the founder of The Ulyssean Society.

- Virginia Rock

General Meeting Report

May 10, 2015

Subject: On Mothers and Motherhood

Speaker: Neil Sinclair

On May 10th, (Mother's Day) the members met at Knox College to explore the topic of Motherhood and to share their experiences and insights. Neil Sinclair commenced with a paper on the Mother Archetype, a Jungian perspective of the role of mothers in art, literature and with individual consciousness. This was followed by identifying some historical mothers in history that influenced the world.

Following a refreshment break with goodies supplied by Virginia Rock, Paul Nash formed the members into a circle to share and discuss their personal experiences. A lively discussion followed, sharing the perspectives of those who never knew their mothers to those reading poems in honour of their mothers. All the ladies were given warm Mother's Day greetings and a flower before they left.

Introducing Neil Sinclair

I was a student of York University where I met Dr. Virginia Rock in 1969. Some 45 years later she recruited me to join and lead The Ulyssean Society. My education is simple. I received my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and then was admitted to the University of Windsor Ontario where I graduated with a Bachelor of Laws, thereafter being admitted to the Upper Canada Law Society in 1977. I received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Nobel International University.

Following admission to the practice of law, I commenced private practice in London, Ontario before moving to Toronto to continue my practice in business law with a variety of file work over a spectrum of law which saw me in the courts and before various tribunals. I was retained by Epson Canada Limited as its General Counsel and thereafter promoted to Executive Management - Administration, responsible for Communications, Human Resources and Legal Affairs.

Following national responsibilities at this Canadian IT Hardware Distributor, I worked for Pro-C Limited in worldwide software manufacturing and distribution. Later I moved to CDS Limited, Canada's largest financial settlement company, where I worked on the inception to SEDAR for Canada. In my later career I founded and became CEO of The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (a partner of the United States Chamber of Commerce and one of 120 such organizations around the globe).

My passion for students and education has been ongoing in my career. I have taught in four community colleges (Seneca, Centennial, Humber, and Fanshawe) and instructed at Ryerson University and Athabasca University over a range of legal and business subjects. I am a part time speaker and educator in esoteric topics.

Since retiring I have been working with not for profit (NFP) community organizations in Community Planning, and took a run for municipal office. I am serving on the Board of Applegrove Community Complex and am active in a number of NFP organizations.

I am married to Margaret Rintoul, a prominent estates and wills lawyer and together we have three grown children happily established with great partners and excellent careers. All of us reside in the downtown area of Toronto.

My extra-curricular interests include outdoor trekking, travelling, sailing, and I am a 32nd degree Freemason. Yes, of course I am a life long learner!

- Neil Sinclair

Plea to a Recalcitrant Cactus

by Beverly Bloom

Spikey, why do you try me so?

I just want you to grow, grow, grow.

Am I being selfish,

Just thinking of myself

Or a mother who wants the best

For her child?

I am a childless woman

You are a substitute

Even if you are

A phallic symbol.

A monolith in the sky,

A wizened one at that

With your armour of needles

But must you puncture

My heart,

My little Spikey?

Two and a half years ago

I adopted you.

You were chosen amongst many.

I wanted you;

Don't you want me?

Aug.-Oct., 2014

Time Expansion at April Inquiring Mind

We continued our exploration of time expansion and the possibility of precognition from the "Ideas" transcript. From the late '70s through to the late '90s scientific experiments, some of them underwritten by the American Military, investigated the potency and potential of "Remote Viewing" (the acronym for clairvoyance and precognition).

In the United States this interest had been triggered by a book called Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. The book described well docu-mented scientific training of selected people in extrasensory perception. With the end of the Cold War these researches were declassified. Professor Jessica Utts, a statistician at the University of California at Davis, reviewed them and said that the statistical results of the studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance. She suggested that the future is knowable, particularly within a 72-hour window.

Professor Dan Radin, visiting scientist at the Research Corporation in Palo Alto, California, is the author of a book called The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. He says, "Quantum Mechanics paints a picture of the world which has a certain kind of deep interconnectedness. This is what people have generally called "Psychic," that all phenomena involve some kind of weird connection between things. Professor Rupert Sheldrake calls that a "morphogenic field."

There is telling evidence data which suggests that some people can anticipate events before they occur, random stuff, out of the blue. Scientists have measured what is going on inside the brain and they discovered that there is a response milliseconds before the actual event presents itself. This is quite strong evidence that the nervous system responds unconsciously to what is about to occur to you.

The implication is that our actual perception of time is not limited to just NOW; it is like a little slice of 200 milliseconds and that's where we live. This slice of time occasionally leaks out and we get pieces of our future and our past and they are all kind of mushed together at times and our bodies respond to that.

There is a whole range of consciousness like a crack between the worlds of being asleep, dreaming and being awake. In the course of a single day, a person might go through different subtle shifts of consciousness, even reach a state of light trance, when past, present and future just merge and one may experience ahead of time events which will happen only later.

We shared our own experiences, some of which were quite remarkable.

Marie Paulyn

The Ulyssean Society Monthly Program Meetings 2013-2014

January 13


Speaker: SHIRLEY LEWIS, retired librarian and educator

February 10


Speaker: JOSEPH PECKHAM, retired stockbroker

March 10


Speaker: ELIZABETH ALLEN, retired computer training consultant, spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society

April 13

Topic: RECONCILIATORY ARCHITECTURE: How Indigenous Wisdom Helps Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

Speaker: DANIEL KARPINSKY, architect, educator, Ulyssean Society Vice President

May 12

Topic: THE BATAVIAN MUTINY: One of History's Most Compelling Sea Dramas

Speaker: TOM MORTENSEN, writer, artist, Ulyssean

June 9

Topic: ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI: Outstanding 17th Century Artist, Subject of the First Documented Rape Trial

Speaker: SHARON HARRIS, educator

July 14, 2013

Topic: PUPPETMONGERS THEATRE: Four Decades of Innovative Poetry for Adults and Kids

Speaker: ANN POWELL, Co-Artistic Director

August 11, 2013

Topic: INTERVAL HOUSE: Helping Abused Women and Their Children Rebuild Their Lives

Speaker: JANEEN PRINGLE, Interval House, Residential Program Supervisor

September 8, 2013

Topic: CAPTURING OPERA ON FILM: Opera Atelier's Persée

Speaker: MARC STONE, filmmaker

October 13, 2013

Topic: TELLING LIVES THROUGH DRAWINGS AND WORDS: Graphic Biography as a Popular Contemporary Medium

Speaker: EVA KARPINSKI, Asst. Professor, Women's Studies, York University

November 10, 2013

Topic: PROJECT RE•VISION: Creating New Meanings of Disability and Physical Differences

Speaker: CARLA RICE, Canada Research Chair, University of Guelph

December 8, 2013


Program: GLEN GARY's 3 FOR 4 (guitars, violin, ukulele, bass)

Glen Gary, Brian Morgan, Bob Cohen, Thomas Daniels playing old time blues and jazz with style and wit

January 12, 2014

Topic: ART: SOCIETY'S MIRROR - How art reflects the values of the society that created it, with images ranging from 35,000 year-old cave paintings to the art of today.

Speaker: BARBARA ISHERWOOD, M.A., art educator and writer

February 9, 2014


Speaker: CHARLOTTE BROOME, photographer and chorister

March 9, 2014


Speakers: ANN ELIZABETH CARSON, writer, poet, artist and

JOHN RAMMELL, actor, author

April 13, 2014

Topic: RECONCILIATORY ARCHITECTURE: How Indigenous Wisdom Helps Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

Speaker: DANIEL KARPINSKI, architect, educator, Ulyssean Society Vice President

May 18, 2014

Topic: THE STORY BEHIND THE NOVEL CRY OF THE GIRAFFE - The Dramatic Rescue of an Ethiopian Jewish Child Slave

Speaker: JUDIE ORON, Canadian/Israeli journalist, author

June 8, 2014


Presenter: PAUL NASH, Mediator, Organization Development Consultant, musician, Ulyssean

July 13, 2014


Presenter: ARIEL BALEVI, storyteller

August 10, 2014


Presenter: PATRICIA McCULLY, author, teacher

September 14, 2014


Presenter: MARGARET STOWE, musician, teacher, writer

October 19, 2014


Presenter: ADÈLE KOEHNKE, storyteller, teacher, artist

November 9, 2014


Presenter:  JOHN RAE, Human Rights Advocate

December 14, 2014

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: A Concert Review by George Meanwell, musician

Putting The Ulyssean Society on a More Financially

Solid Footing

In April your Steering Committee met to examine the state of our finances. The picture was serious from the perspective of sustainability for the organization. In a nutshell the Society was paying out the sum of $142.00 per member in meeting and communication expenses. Revenue averaged $65.15 per member. Your steering committee examined a number of budget options for the current year and balanced the need for space with what was being spent. Beverly Bloom as treasurer presented a well thought through and documented case for the society approaching financial stability. After some debate the Board determined the following:

1. Membership Fees would be set at $90.00 per annum based on a December 31st year end and prorated for the six months of 2015.

2. Members in need on application could be accepted with dues waived.

3. That meeting of the Society would not be "free" but a donation of $5.00 sought from attendees to help with the cost of facilities and refreshment.

4. That the meeting venue would be further explored but that the summer meetings would be held away from Knox College and the $400.00 per meeting charge.

5. That the Society would examine a membership drive and fund raising opportunities.

6. The executive would look at further cost saving measures on an administrative level.

7. The newsletter has been costing $22.00 per member. This might be dramatically reduced with more focus on e-news or electronic bulletins and our website.

8. The President has targeted August for a updated new web site.

While the full effect of the changes will not have an impact until 2016, this will put the Society on a more rational financial footing. Special appreciation is extended to the Steering Committee and especially to Beverly Bloom as the Society Treasurer.

Members raised some concerns with Charitable Status with the CRA. This confusion is originated by a misunderstanding of the charitable designation of the Income Tax Act. Educational Corporations, when approved, are granted Charitable Status by the Act. A donation to The Ulyssean Society or to University of Ryerson is as an "educational charity." The Ulyssean Society issues receipts for charitable deduction purposes. Our programs and our filing are consistent with this.

- Neil Sinclair

Reflection on Language and Learning

I have been hearing a pattern of language since joining our Society. I have become inundated with some popular descriptive words such as "old," " elderly," "senior," "retired," "aged.". This list brings up images and meanings which may be less descriptive and pejorative in many contexts. Taken as a whole I am not sure that any of us desire to identify with "the over the hill" imagery. Instead I like to use the term "next stagers" or "third age networkers." These descriptive words create an image which is perhaps at least more kind but may be far more accurate.

Today mandatory retirement at age 65 has been removed. Seniors are found as "snow-birds" as easily as being residents of Elliot Lake. The world is moving and the role, image and demographics of the post 55-year-olds are transforming. I am not ready to be called old and I hope I shall never become old. We as Ulysseans I believe can relate to this change in role and image. We are lifelong learners and as such perhaps should attract a different terminology.

Here is a quotation from the late Henry Ford on learning and age: "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 80 or 20. The greatest thing in life is to keep the mind young." As the Ulyssean journey continues, we are reminded that individuals of our society are comprised of all ages and stages but remain united in a passion-being engaged in a process of Lifelong learning. I would describe this term as the process of keeping your mind and body engaged at any age by actively pursuing knowledge and experience, yes older and wiser.

- Neil Sinclair

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Members of

The Ulyssean Society

The pursuit of knowledge through lifelong learning, whether it's learning how to dance, speak a foreign language, write a newsletter, improve your golf or repair your car, has wonderful benefits for adults 50-plus. Being engaged with The Ulyssean Society may have helped you in a number of ways. Answer the following and check the results that might apply to you.

- Has your engagement helped to keep your mind sharp?

- Has attending and participating in programs increased your self-confidence?

- Do you feel that attending has improved memory?

- Has a program or speaker helped you try something new?

- Do you feel a sense of accomplishment as you participate in programs?

- Has membership helped you meet people who share your interests?

- Has any program you attended built on skills you already have?

- Have you tried something new and different as a result of ideas shared at a meeting?

- Do friends and family feel that you have brought something back to share with them?

- Did a meeting or program offer an inexpensive way to try something new?

- Saves money as you learn to "do it yourself" ?

- Did you learn a new skill or trade and increase your income, or enrich your life?

- Have you connected with others in friendship?

This list is by no means exhaustive and while not all questions may apply to you, we hope that in some of these ways you are seeing and contributing to our society as a positive way to keep learning.

- Neil Sinclair

Galactic Federation of Societies

Mar 1979--John McLeish,

founder of The Ulyssean Society

The Cosmic Connection, an Extraterrestrial Perspective by the brilliant Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan, appeared five years ago, and received wide attention--but not wide enough. There is something immensely stimulating in the writing of a scholar scientist who on the one hand is superbly equipped technically in his field and can write about scientific knowledge of the cosmos almost as a five-finger exercise, and on the other hand whose mind is immensely creative, imaginative, searching for concepts of the cosmos extended outward from the mere data of telescopes and mathematical and physical tracts.

Thus Sagan is not afraid to write in the closing paragraphs of his book: ""I can imagine...a federation of societies in a galaxy that have established a black hole rapid-transit system...I can imagine, in such a galaxy, great civilizations growing up near the black holes..."

Sagan reminds us that we humans are "living out our lives on a tiny hunk of rock and metal circling one of 250 billion stars that make up our galaxy in a universe of billions of galaxies." Thus he seeks to give us the sense of the incredible obscurity of the human species, while at the same time it is impossible to put the book down without a feeling of renewed respect for the achievements and potentials of the human mind. (New York: Anchor Press, 1973)

Guests are welcome at our meetings

Invite your friends, relatives, acquaintances,

fellow students in the courses you take,

members in other groups you are in

Become an active part of your Society

Help it to continue to function well

The Ulyssean mantra - A guiding principle