BC Islander Newsletter

Upcoming Events:

***Important notice: August 3rd Potluck has been postponed to Sept. due to unforeseen circumstances.***

Sept. Events

Sept. third Sunday Potluck will be hosted by James and Ute (4870 Lochside Drive, Saanich) on the 18th. at 5:30 pm. Fully vaccinated Members only. 

August Events

Annual Mensa-Mixer BBQ Picnic

A non-alcoholic BBQ Picnic will be held at Gyro Beach picnic area, 27 August 2022, 1500 to 1900. Usual BBQ food ( Hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, green salad ) and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided free. Attendees may bring additional food and non-alcoholic drinks for their own consumption. Please bring eating utensils, blankets and/or beach chairs for your group. All members, family, friends and persons interested in Mensa are welcome, RSVP* is required to attend. COVID protocol conform to BC Provicial guidelines, masks are encouraged but optional. Some games will be available, attendees are welcome to bring more. A playground area is available for children.

Volunteers wanted for organisation and food preparation.

*Please send RSVP and offers to volunteer to, Picnic co-ordinator.

Organizers wanted for new events.
In discussions with some members, some more events were proposed:
–Monthly dinners at some location or restaurants.
–Monthly Dim Sum on 1 st Sundays.
–Monthly Game Night.


2022 AGM and May Potluck Party

This year’s AGM will be held at Jim & Ute Grayson’s residence, 4870 Lochside Drive, Saanich, at the open deck area on 22 May 2022 at 5:00 pm for all members. The election officer this year is Mary Freeman. Please contact her for nominations for the positions of Treasurer, Deputy LocSec and LocSec at Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the AGM. Available nominees’ names will be posted one week before AGM. Voting is acceptable by EMail to the Election Officer or posts on the chat page of website for 3 days post AGM, to accommodate members unable to attend in person. Nominations from the floor will be posted by 11 pm AGM day.

This month’s Potluck Party will be held at Jim and Ute’s Residence on 22 May 2022 at 6 pm for fully vaccinated members only.

June Potluck Party will be on 19th, volunteer host  requested.


The potluck dinner for March was held at Mary Freeman’s residence . A good meal and company was enjoyed by all attending.

The upcoming Potluck event will be rescheduled to 24th Apr. because of Easter occurring on the 17th this year, and replaced by a dine-in event at Ruth Welburn’s place, $15 per person for a restaurant quality meal for fully vaccinated members. The address is Shannon Oaks 2000 Goldsmith St. Come anytime after 4:00 pm. Chat and drinks at the Common Room. 3-course Dinner, seating at 4:30, and chats back at the Common Room at or before 5:30 pm. 

Jan./Feb. 2022

Prior Evidence Sale
January 1 – February 14, 2022
Mensa Canada is offering a special promotion for people who are interested in joining Mensa, and already have a certificate showing they have completed one of the approved assessment tests. The list of approved tests can be found on the Mensa Canada website.
Normally the admin cost to assess these certificates is $50, but for the period Jan 1- Feb 14, 2022, we will WAIVE THE FEE.
This means that people who have an approved IQ test can contact the admin office ( , complete the application and send in their document scan without payment.
People whose score is 98% or above will be sent an application to join Mensa Canada, and pay the appropriate annual membership fee.
If this is your New Years resolution, now is the best time to take action.
Please let your friends and family who are interested know!

Due to Omicron all social activities were suspended for Jan. Hopefully we can resume in-person events in Feb.  Covid restrictions permitting the regular 3rd Sunday potluck shall be held at George’s place on the 20 Feb. 2022 at 5 pm for fully vaccinated members, RSVP. For members interested in a small hike prior to dinner, please be at East Sooke Regional Park Aylard Farm parking lot at 3 pm. RSVP.

December 2021

*There will be no Potluck event this month, members would be busy with family
gatherings. Potluck Dinners will resume in 2022.
*a 1st Sunday DimSum event can be organised if we have enough expression of interest.
Please email your LocSec.
* Christmas dinner at Georges for fully vaccinated members 25 December 1700 hrs.
Please RSVP before 19 Dec. 2021.

Mensa is an organization run by volunteers, if you want it to be vibrant and interesting
you need to help out a little bit with events and executive functions. If a lot of people
contribute, it doesn’t take much effort individually. Our next AGM is scheduled for May
2022 at which time the positions of LocSec, Deputy LocSec, and Treasurer needs to be
filled, it would be nice to have new people come forward for these positions.
I am currently the webmaster for this website, a volunteer for this position is also welcome.
We also need reporters and contributors for this website, volunteers please.
Volunteer organizers are also wanted for TGIF dinners, Wed. Lunches, games/movie nights.
The Pandemic is difficult for all of us. No in-person events were held until July 2021, a Potluck
Dinner at Mary Freeman’s. This Potluck event is held 3rd Sunday monthly and so far every
month, hopefully the Omicron Varient will not prevent future in-person events. There will
be no Potluck this month because a lot of Members need to attend family events.

Upcoming Event!

INQUIRING MINDS  Saturday January 15, 2022  online  at 2 pm EST


SPEAKER:   PROFESSOR JOHN PERCY, a very active Professor Emeritus, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Science Education, at the University of Toronto.

 A misconception is a deeply-held belief that is incorrect. Astronomical misconceptions are common and varied, from everyday life (the cause of the seasons) to the nature of the Big Bang — the origin of the universe. This presentation will be a profusely-illustrated, light-hearted review of astronomy, focusing on these misconceptions. We will pay special attention to their causes, since these may produce misconceptions in other more immediate areas of life. No special knowledge of astronomy or other sciences is assumed!

Host: Kathleen Smith. If you have a current membership in Mensa, RSVP to Please note this NEW email address; the former one sm***gmail is no longer in operation.  Do indicate if other members of your household will be joining you:  the more the merrier!  

Inquiring Minds is a speaker event series coming from Toronto Mensa. As a Mensan anywhere in the world, you are warmly invited to join us.

If you are not listed in the Mensa Canada online member directory, kindly send evidence of current membership with your RSVP (such as the emailed receipt from Mensa for your current membership; please note that a ‘membership number’ is insufficient). 

If you would like to include a guest from another household, please send Kathleen that person’s name and email address along with your own RSVP.


John R. Percy (PhD Astronomy, University of Toronto) is a very active Professor Emeritus, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Science Education, at the University of Toronto. He was a founding faculty member of the University of Toronto Mississauga and taught Astronomy, and Science Education there from 1967 to 2007. His astronomy research interests include variable stars and stellar evolution; he has published over 250 research papers in these fields, and authored the book “Understanding Variable Stars” (Cambridge, 2007). 

He has also been active in science education (especially astronomy) at all levels, throughout the world. He has edited or co-edited the proceedings of five major international conferences on this topic. 

His education interests and experiences include: teaching development at the university level; development of astronomy/space curriculum for Ontario schools; development of resources for educators; pre-service and in-service teacher education; lifelong learning; public science literacy; the roles of science centres and planetariums; the role of skilled amateurs in research and education (“citizen science”); high school and undergraduate student research projects; international astronomy education and development; and multicultural astronomy.

He has served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Institute, the American Association of Variable Star Observers, the International Astronomical Union Commissions on Variable Stars, and on Astronomical Education, and of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He has served as Honorary President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario, and as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Science Centre. Among his many awards, he was the recipient of the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal, for contributions to public awareness and appreciation of science and technology, the U of T School of Continuing Studies’ Citation for Exceptional Commitment and Achievement in Adult Learning, and the Distinguished Educator Award of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. In 1999, he received the Jack Bell Award from the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario “for outstanding and continued contributions to science education in Ontario”, and he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2003, he received the University of Toronto’s Northrop Frye Award, for exemplary linkage of teaching and research. Then in 2006, he was an inaugural recipient of the University of Toronto President’s Teaching Award.

Though technically “retired” in 2007, he continues his research, education, and outreach activities. He was one of the organizers of International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Canada. He has given numerous public talks, and courses for later-life learners at the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University, and elsewhere. In 2012, he was the first recipient of the Canadian Astronomical Society’s Qilak Award, for excellence in communication of astronomy to the Canadian public. In 2013, he received the Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and was appointed Honorary President of the RASC. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the RASC.

Outside astronomy, his interests are in music (especially Baroque), theatre, heritage, nature, and his wife Maire and their daughter Carol.

 Photo credits:  

Professor John Percy:  University of Toronto, Mississauga

Crab Nebula:   HST/NASA/ESA

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Regular Social Events Resuming!

I am happy to announce the resumption of our regular social events with a Potluck on 18 July 6 pm at Mary Freeman’s home.  Other events pending volunteer organizers. Volunteers please contact Webmaster.  (Use the contact form.)