President :  John McGowan               
Vice-President: John Moore
Secretary: Tom Kovacs
Treasurer: Robert Erickson
Communications: Irfane Fancey
Memberships: Marv Ferg
Events: David Phillips
Speakers: Doug Bernard
Past president: David Cooper
Minutes of October meeting
Probus Minutes - 17th October 2023 
The meeting was opened by President John McGowan and there were no guests. 
He went on to introduce our speaker Dawn Kaysoe the Sales Coordinator at The 
Butchart Gardens. Dawn has lived on the Island for 25 years and has worked at 
Butchart for the past 12 years. 
Butchart was founded 120 years ago by Robert and Jennie Butchart and remains a family business. 
The site on Tod Inlet was initially for the construction of a Portland Cement plant that had access to 
the waters of the Saanich Inlet for transportation purposes. It was in 1906 that construction of the 
Japanese Garden began at the behest of Jennie Butchart who was a chemist and interested in 
gardening. The Sunken Garden project began in 1912 on the site of what had been the cement 
plant’s quarry and top soil was brought in from the Saanich Peninsula. 
The family home was built in 1908 and remains a focal point in the current facility. The Italian 
Gardens were created during the 1930s and replaced tennis courts. In 1939 at the age of 21, Ian 
Ross, Jennie’s son received the estate as a birthday present. It was following WWII that a charge 
was made to the public for the first time. Major improvements were made during this period with 
irrigation, lighting and firework displays were introduced in 1977. 
With the death of Ian Ross, his son Christopher Ross took the helm in 1999 but regretfully died a 
year later. At this point his daughter Robin -Lee Clarke became MD and remains so up until the 
present day. Today 400/500 people are employed throughout the year with 55 full time gardeners 
and 25 green houses. Each autumn 300,000 bulbs are planted and a mail order seed business, started 
by Jennie Butchart a century ago, continues to thrive. Butchart is now a National Historic Site with 
1 million visitors per annum and a major attraction receiving many plaudits from the tourist 
industry. Ms Kaysoe provided door prizes courtesy of Butchart. A Q&A session followed. 
Bob Erickson reported that a $3200 balance was in our current account and a GIC remains in 
place of $2000. 
Marv Ferg advised that 38 members attended today’s meeting. Total membership is now 71 
Doug Bernard was pleased to report we have a surfeit of speakers lined up. Next month Frank 
Wilson will be regaling us with poetry. For the Christmas lunch we have Trish Duncan to speak 
about tourism in Victoria. In January we have an accomplished chopper pilot to share his exploits. 
Brett Cane advised that on Friday 20th at 9.30am a walk is organised starting at the parking lot 
on Wallace/West Saanich near the Red Barn. This will follow the old railway line. 
Ken Marsh advised that the next group ride is scheduled for Thursday 19th October. Meet at 
the Marigold Cafe on Lochside Saanichton at 10.00 am. Contact Ken for details 
David Phillips confirmed that M2 Graphix Studio based in Langford will be the next event on 24th 
October 4.00. Open Ocean Robotics is on the schedule on 8th November 11.00. 
Contact David for further information. 
Christmas Lunch 
VP John Moore confirmed that this will he held at the RVYC on 6th December 11.30 am 
It will be a plated turkey lunch with dessert $55 per head. Ideally we need 40 attendees 
to match the budget. 
Draw was won by Peter Smith 
Alistair Crooks 
Trailwalk Tales
Probus Walkers Take to the B C Electric Railway
On Friday 20 October five of the Brentwood Bay Probus walking group met for a stroll on a portion of the ballast bed of the B C Electric Railway that once linked the capital with Deep Cove.
We parked just north of the Red Barn Market at the junction of Wallace Drive and West Saanich Road. It was good walking weather --- overcast skies and a temperature of 16 degrees --- as we set off south, intersecting assorted driveways and Hartland and Prospect Lake Roads before counter-marching at the traffic light at Interurban Road and returning to our starting point. The grade was easy and the time elapsed scarcely over an hour.  Nevertheless, some engineers elected to top up their boilers with coffee at the Red Barn station.  Perhaps you’d like to join us on another of these shuttles?
Roger Boutilier
Profound Earthly Observations
These are contributed, courtesy of our member, Ron Devion
"A recent study found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it."
"Have you ever noticed when you're driving, that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac."
"Light travels faster than sound, which is the reason some people appear bright before you hear them speak."
"What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care."
"How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it."
Amen to that!