Last Updated: October 11, 2020

Next Meeting

Wednesday, November 4 at 10:00 AM

Due to the need to limit physical proximity as the Coronavirus Pandemic takes its course, Probus Ottawa - Rideau Valley has suspended its physical monthly meetings until further notice. We are still active though and are doing our best to find ways to keep in touch with you. With that in mind we will continue to hold our monthly presentations using Zoom Conferencing. This month's presentation will feature

Dan Buchanan

who will speak to us about

The Story of HMS Speedy

Dan's presentation will be "The Story of HMS Speedy" and will include the events leading up to the loss of the Speedy in 1804 and the search for the remains of the Speedy in the 1990s by a professional diver from Belleville. Dan used the diver’s personal documents, given to him by the family, to write the book. As with the book, he will leave the audience with a better understanding of the mystery of the Speedy, but with the mystery still fully intact. All three of Dan’s books, including “The Wreck of HMS Speedy”, are available through Indigo.

Dan Buchanan is “The History Guy of Brighton.” He is engaged in many history activities related to local and Ontario history, working from his home in Brighton, Ontario. As a guest speaker, Dan provides fascinating stories of Ontario history presented with humour and passion. Information about his work can be seen at
In July 2015 Dan published his first book, Murder In The Family: The Dr. King Story, which tells the fascinating true story of Brighton’s infamous murder case in 1859. In June of 2018, his second book, 38 Hours To Montreal, was released, telling the unique story of William Weller’s record-breaking sleigh ride from Toronto to Montreal in 1840. His third book will be published in August 2020, entitled The Wreck of HMS Speedy: The Tragedy That Shook Upper Canada. In Part I readers will find a new rendition of the Speedy story based on contemporary documents and focussing on the people involved, especially the individuals that were lost on the ship. Part II explains the exploration work conducted off Presqu’ile Point in the early 1990s to find the remains of HMS Speedy.

Dan is a founder of the annual Brighton History Week. In February, 2020, the eighth consecutive event included a unique presentation by The History Guy as well an Open House organized by the Brighton Digital Archives. BDA is a very active group of volunteers which has created a web site to display pictures and stories of Brighton’s history. Lots to see there.

Since 2000 Dan has done massive genealogy research and provides the details at He has a database of well over 100,000 individuals radiating out from his own families which settled in the north end of Brighton Township. Emphasis is on documenting family connections between early settler families rather than finding relatives. In the process, much historical detail is included along with the normal family tree information. The approach is called “Community Genealogy” which represents a unique blend of family and local history.

In his role as a local history consultant, Dan also provides assistance to organisations such as the Presqu’ile Point Lighthouse Preservation Society, Proctor House Museum, Memory Junction Museum, United Lodge No. 29 in Brighton and others. The History Guy is ready to answer any and all questions about history.

In order to attend the presentation you will need to download Zoom to your Android, Apple or Windows device. You may attend on your phone, your tablet or your computer. In the next week or two you will be receiving an invitation to the meeting.  There will be a link in the invitation that will take you directly to the meeting. 
Further information about Zoom can be found in April Newsletter #3 available via the menu at the top of this page or by clicking on the following link. Newsletter April #3

You can download Zoom from the Zoom Download Site. Some useful tips for installing and using Zoom can be found here.

Here you will find downloads for all major platforms including tablets and smartphones.