The President's Report

I am sure that all 28 members and partners who attended our dinner event at the Canberra Institute of Technology (TAFE) will agree with me that it was a very enjoyable evening. It was the first social get together we have had for sometime, due to the Covid 19 issue, but it will not be the last.

Tony Brickwood , as most members will know will only be with the Club a few more weeks before he makes the big move down to Victoria. Who would want to live there you may well ask. Tony has been an active member or our Club and will be greatly missed. We will need to find somebody to record meeting numbers and advise the Commonwealth Club each week of how many will be attending. Costly for the Club if we do not get it right.

Next Thursday it is back to the Commonwealth Club and our guest speaker will be Ambassador Armando Vargas-Araya from the Republic of Costa Rica.

President Eric


Duty Roster for May 6th Meeting: Commonwealth Club



Ross Brown


Tony Brickwood


Bill Andrews


Ron Rabey


Juris Jakovics


Peace Project

A quick reminder that there are still places available for the talk on Zoom by the Canadian Rotary member Helen Peacock who will talk on the idea of "Pipe Dream or Possibility". Can the world rid itself of nuclear weapons?

If you had meant to register for this Zoom talk but have not done so please do so now by sending a return email requesting the link be sent to you. If you have already registered please disregard this message.

Did you know that we have now registered 157 Peace Poles and delivered well over 120! The ceremonies for World Peace Day this September might reach over40,000 students around the country. More information about these ceremonies will be sent shortly.

Michael Rabey

Interesting Bit of History: Tall Tale or Fact?

A recent viral email “Little History Lesson” purports to trace the origin of some common sayings back to 18th Century customs.

The Tall Tale: Needless to say, personal hygiene back in those days left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread beeswax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own beeswax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile." Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt and therefore the expression "losing face."

The Facts: From the ancient Romans to the San people of the Kalahari, folks have slathered their faces with everything from sheep sweat to pulverized pearls or nightingale poop in hopes of achieving smooth, radiant skin. The Greek physician Galen is said to have developed the first cold cream in the second century AD. Although it contained beeswax, it was a creamy, rose-scented mixture of water and olive oil, not the hot, hardening, hair-stripping wax treatment we know and fear today. The 18th century English did use painful plasters to remove hair, but they had no cure for the pockmarks caused by acne, smallpox or syphilis ("The Pox"). Instead of camouflaging the pockmarks, they turned them into fashion statements, covering them with boldly coloured silk or leather “patches” cut into stars, dots and other shapes.

If you think "Mind your own beeswax" sounds like more like a gum-snapping bottle-blond chorus girl of the 1930s than a bewigged 18th century lady, you're right. “Beeswax” is an intentional mispronunciation of “business,” probably meant to sound cute and soften the blow of telling someone to buzz off. Google Books first documents it in 1939. A related expression, “That’s none of your beeswax,” shows up in a 1929 children’s book.

There’s nothing mysterious about “Crack a smile.” It’s just a figure of speech meaning to suddenly break or burst into a grin.

To lose face” is a translation of a Chinese expression, meaning to lose one’s good name or reputation—the face one presents to the world. English traders of the early 19th century picked up the metaphor from their dealings with the Chinese.

NewsNotes is produced each week. Please send items for inclusion to
just click on the above email to send Robert a message.
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
ClubRunner Mobile