This speaker series features the Legion of Eccentric Gentlemen, a group of 6 friends who assemble once a month(ish) to commiserate, problem solve, eat, laugh and tell great stories. Join us for an evening of stories from these local personalities. This cast of colourful characters includes:
Forty years after he took his first newspaper job with a weekly in Richmond Hill, Neil Campbell finally found a journalistic home in the Haliburton woods, writing for the Minden Times about his life on Sapsucker Ridge with The Brown Dog Jiggs. Before Jiggs and the Times, there were newspaper jobs in Oakville, Owen Sound and Edmonton, with The Canadian Press news agency and, finally, 26 years with The Globe and Mail, where he first covered the original Blue Jays and the Maple Leafs, then focused on sports statistics. In Haliburton, Neil served on the board of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust and as president of the local chapter of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association. Both the Times column and Jiggs are gone now, but Neil still roams the Ridge with a second Smooth Collie, Buddy Stillwagon, cutting firewood, making maple syrup and listening for the spring peepers.
George Farrell has a background in the visual arts and as a writer. He’s been a freelance fashion photographer and a property master/set dresser on tv commercials and feature films. Later, George worked at the CBC where he was a producer of video documentaries. In the Highlands George has produced videos which have promoted the county, and he’s also written a one-act play for radio. As a first-time author George wrote Lonely Lake, a mystery novel. He’s a promoter of the Canadian Blues Legends series at the Dominion Hotel and is the vocalist with the local blues band Cheeky Monkey. He’s been a columnist and writer for the Highlands Communicator, County Voice, The Highlander, and the Times/Echo. Presently he writes a column on Arts and Culture for County Life. George and his partner Michelle live in Gelert.
John R. du Manoir
The son of an army officer, John was born in Barrie and raised everywhere, but calls Ottawa his “home town”. He obtained his BSc and PhD in chemistry and enjoyed a 28-year career in the Canadian chemical industry in a variety of research, technical and management positions. John and his wife, Valerie, have two children and five grandchildren. They bought their property on Bob Lake in 1991 and built their retirement home there in 1997. Their 10-year plan to finish and detail their timber frame in now in year 21! John and Val have lived permanently on Bob Lake since 2006. John’s interests include travelling, curling, golf, bridge and woodworking. He is on the boards of the Bob Lake Association and Stanworth Non-Profit Housing Corporation where he is currently serving as president and board chairman.
When Jim was 5 years old, his parents bought Silverwood Lodge on Canning Lake and moved from Toronto to live there full time. He first attended the one room public school in Gelert ,and then moved in grade 2 to the one room school in what is now the Lochlin Community Centre. Living on the lake was an idyllic childhood for he and his two younger brothers. He attended high school in Haliburton and then attended the University of Toronto, eventually earning 2 degrees, including a Master of Industrial Relations. A summer job at Ontario Hydro turned into a 29+ year career, mostly in the area of Human Resource management. In 1997 Jim went into H.R. consulting. He returned to Canning Lake as a cottager in 1971 and in 2016, published a book on the history of the lake. Jim has been active in volunteering and public service for most of his adult life. He is an old “rock and roller” who never grew up, and has had the good fortune to cross many items off his “bucket list”. He also enjoy all forms of the arts as well as history and auto racing. He has two grown daughters and two beautiful grandsons. The latter are the 5th generation of my family to enjoy Canning Lake. Jim has been with his unique (and long suffering) Russian partner Ghalina for 22 years. He is a lucky man.
Sean Pennylegion has lead a checkered life. His family includes his wife Gwen, one son and 2 grandchildren. He is a graduate in both Veterinary Technology and Ecotourism Management. He has managed a Humane Society and a Community Information Center. He was co-owner of a rural general store, he has been employed as a postmaster, a guide, a submarine pilot and a music presenter. He and Gwen are world travelers (mostly by bicycle) and he has been a volunteer for what seems like forever! He is also a musician and has played in a number of “folk rock” bands.
Hugh Taylor grew up in Leaside, later known as East York, and eventually part of Toronto. He attended Leaside High School and University of Toronto, School of Architecture, class of ’72. Hugh worked for a number of prominent firms in Toronto, was a founding partner of Quadrangle Architects Limited, and as of 1988, Principal of Hugh H. Taylor, Architect. He moved to Haliburton in 1995 and has worked mainly on cottage projects and has been involved in a number of large and significant properties. Now semi-retired, still designing many recreational buildings and playing trumpet in various groups. Hugh has two children, both smarter and more talented than their dad.