2019  Fall Seminar Series

These are a series of in-depth two hour seminars which allow for members to spend more time, in an intimate and interactive environment, getting  deeper into specific topics which are often related to presentations from the previous speaker series.  These Seminars will be held at the Whitby Public Library (Central Branch), on Thursdays usually at 1:00 p.m. for approximately two hours (this will include a short coffee break).  The cost of these seminars is included in the annual payment fee of $85.00 for your DLL subscription.


Location :  Whitby Public Library   Central Branch Rm 1 A/B    
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Seminar - September 5th - NOTE: 12:00 p.m. Start time

Subject:  "Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire." 


Speaker:  Ted Barris

Not a soldier, but the soldier’s storyteller, not a veteran, but recognized by vets as keeper of the flame, Ted Barris has now published 19 non-fiction books, a dozen wartime histories. For 50 years, he has worked as a broadcaster in Canada and the US. He taught journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College for 18 years. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Award for Best Non-fiction Book of the Year. And Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany received the RCAF Association NORAD Trophy in 2018.



Lost in the WWII story of the Battle of the Bulge lay an account of sacrifice and survival that took historian Ted Barris nearly a lifetime to discover – the story of his own father.

Throughout the winter of 1945, sergeant medic Alex Barris waged a battle night and day to save lives in the middle of the bloodiest campaign the US Army faced during the liberation of Europe. But the author’s pursuit of his father’s story revealed an even greater challenge – learning what it was that motivates military medics, surgeons, nursing sisters, stretcher-bearers, orderlies, and ambulance drivers to disregard their own well-being to save the lives of others on the battlefield.

Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire led Ted Barris into fields of fire as diverse as the US Civil War battle at Fredericksburg, where the field ambulance was invented, and to war zones of Iraq, where 21st century flight surgeons attend wounded soldiers inside Black Hawk helicopters flying at 140 mph to the nearest desert MASH unit.

Using his father’s experiences as a front-line medic in WWII, Ted Barris brings to life the stories of: Victoria Cross recipient Francis Scrimger; gas mask inventor Cluny Macpherson; Congolese nurse Augusta Chiwy in the siege of Bastogne; medics Wesley Clare and Laurence Alexander in the slaughter at Dieppe; the real story of Korean War imposter Ferdinand Demara; Vietnam War orderly Norman Malayney; and decorated Iraq War surgeons Dane Harden and Herb Ridyard.

For more information on Ted Barris Click

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Seminar - September 12th 

Subject:  "Victory Lap Retirement - How to retire                              with financial security and life purpose" 


Speaker:  Michael Drak

Michael Drak is a retired author, speaker and financial advisor

Mike will lead an intensive workshop on how to retire with financial security and a purposeful life. The nine retirement principles Mike lays out, provide the basis of what he calls a “value-based” life style. The second part of the workshop concentrates on retirement cash flow and taxes.  Both of these items have an effect upon the longevity of your savings and your financial security. He will try to explain and answer the questions that arise around government pensions, e.g. When should they be taken? What claw-backs might I face?  Should I deplete my registered or non-registered income sources first? Should I sell my home and other property to generate immediate income? What other investments should I make? What cautions should be in operation about any of these investments or disposals? Questions and discussions from the audience will be welcomed.

For more information on Mike click 

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Seminar - September 19th and 26th 

Subject:  "International Law: What is it? Where did it come from?                        How does it affect Canada and You?" 


Speaker:  Annice Blair

Former secondary teacher, legal writer and researcher

Annice is a former Durham secondary school teacher who earned a Masters’ degree in Law (MSL – Masters of Studies in Law}, following her retirement, and has spoken to our seminars on Canadian Law previously. Recently, among several publications, she co-authored a book on “Canada and International Law” a topic that has peaked her interest.  Annice will approach the subject from a historical viewpoint, trying to answer the questions, why was the development of law on an international level necessary?  What did the proponents expect would happen? How successful have they been? Where does International Law stand to-day? Is there a future in pursuing this approach to International Relations?


In the course of the topics she will explore the place of the United Nations, global conflicts, what is going to happen in space, and what treaties are currently in a solid position or likely to crash under pressure?

Annice appears in many web sites. Go to Google and enter Annice Blair to see her profile and books in more detail.