The Men’s Breakfast… Still Going Strong After All These Years

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Submitted by The Men’s Breakfast

The “Men’s Breakfast” is a Peninsula tradition going back to 1996. The idea for a men’s group was first discussed during the Annual Congregational Meeting at the (then) Central United Church in Tobermory. Merle Robinson, Martin McLay, Ivan White and Wayne Blacklock met on February 13th, 1996 to further discuss the concept and they set March 16th 1996 as the first men’s breakfast. Twelve men met in the basement of the church in what was referred to as a ‘fact-finding breakfast’ to explore the feasibility, need and interest in such a group. They agreed that the purpose of the group was for fellowship and decided to move forward with the concept. A more-widely advertised breakfast was held on April 14th of that year in which twenty-seven men attended.

Initially it was viewed as more of a club – in fact it was first referred to as “The Breakfast Club” (not the same as the movie version!) – which included conducting business related to the group’s organization, food selection and food preparation. The first “Ladies Breakfast” was held in 1996 and cost a whopping $3.00!

An end-of-year newsletter printed in 1998 noted that breakfast had been served at a variety of locations including E.P.H. Tool Co., The Lindsay Township Hall, Celtic Sports Centre, the Royal Canadian Legion, Stokes Bay Community Centre and Central United Church. After-breakfast tours were arranged for attendees at E.P.H. Tool and at the Celtic Camp. The newsletter listed a number of guest speakers over the course of the year including Dr. Ralph Suke (Lion’s Head Hospital) and a radio personality from CFOS in Owen Sound. Average attendance that year was 72.

The Men’s Breakfast continues as a non-profit voluntary organization. Surplus funds are donated to a range of charities and organizations on the Peninsula including the local food banks, Sources of Knowledge, Golden Dawn, Alzheimer Society, Tobermory and Lion’s Head Health Service Auxiliaries, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and many more. We continue to be directed by volunteers over-seen by a coordinator. The Men’s Breakfast was re-started in May 2022 after a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic. 

Coordinators have included:

• Merle Robinson – 1996 to 2003

• Dave Barrow – 2004 to 2006

• Roger Shantz and Bob Bennett – 2006 and 2007

• Roger Shantz – 2007 to 2012

• Dave Robertson – 2012 to 2020

• John Newitt– post pandemic.

All men and guests on the peninsula are welcome to attend, and if you are interested in attending our monthly Breakfasts, please contact Martin at hogarth@auracom.com. Our next breakfast will be held at the Tobermory Community Centre on March 11th. Breakfast is at 9:00, coffee ready at 8:00.

At our February Breakfast, our Fire Chief, Jack Burt, gave us an interesting and informative presentation on fire safety.

On March 11th, 3 members from the Peninsula Bruce Trail Club will give a presentation on the various ways in which the PBTC brings value to our community.

Please consider joining us.