Mr Donald Pottie: Effective Legacy PLanning

Pottie and Co
[L – R] President. Paddy McGowan, Mr Donald Pottie and Vice-President, Oliver Loughran
Wednesday 21 February 2018.  Mr Donald Pottie: Effective Legacy Planning

A D Pottie & Co is a firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors based in Fintona, specialising in Effective Legacy Planning for farmers and all who have property to pass on.   Effective Legacy Planning is about getting good advice, considering everything that could affect your wishes and being aware of all your options, so that you can make your own informed choice.   Using members of the club as an imaginary family he introduced a Mum and Dad, a Son and Daughter, a Merry Widow and a scurrilous suitor.  This set-up allowed a lighthearted look at some serious issues regarding wills and inheritance.  Having touched on matters such as Probate, Trusts and Powers of Attorney he then invited questions.   Club members were prompt to use the opportunity to check out their own understanding of Inheritance Law  and glean more information.   This opened up other avenues of inquiry such as how to prevent sideways disinheritance, what happens if beneficiaries die prematurely and preventing successful challenges to wills.  It was Mr Pottie’s opinion that using a Trust is the most flexible yet robust method of ensuring that your assets are protected during your lifetime, your wishes respected when you are gone and your loved one’s inheritance will not be lost or reduced.   He was thanked for his interesting and informative talk by Probus President, Paddy McGowan, seconded by Jim McBain

Mr Philip Faithful: The Abington Collection

Wednesday 14 February.  Mr Philip Faithful:  The Abington Collection

Oliver and Philip
Probus Vice-President , Oliver Loughran [left] with guest speaker Philip Faithful

Philip opened his talk by explaining that he began collecting at the age of 14 and 50 years later is still at it.  He has now over 7500 items in his collection, including classic cars, motor cycles, Raleigh Choppers, juke boxes and radios, die-cast models and rooms filled with militaria from both sides of the conflict in both World Wars.  His collection is open to the public by appointment and attracts some 2000 visitors each year.  There is no admission fee but contributions are gratefully accepted in aid of Cancer Research.  To date he has raised over £30,000 in memory of his father who died from cancer in 1988.    Philip brought with him a number of items from his collection including a rare bayonet from the Boer War.  He has over 500 bayonets most of which were designed for the Lee Enfield rifle on the First World War.  From the same period of history he has several military medals including a World War I “Death Penny”.    Philip researches each piece carefully to establish its provenance.   However a photograph of a young woman in World War I uniform remains a mystery.   The name on the frame is Miss Ella Laird, 2 Dergmoney Place, Omagh and Philip would love to hear from anyone who can provide more information about her. Tel 028 8224 3373

Mr Dominic Pinto OBE, Consultant Surgeon

Wednesday 7 February.  Mr Dominic Pinto OBE, Consultant Surgeon, Tyrone County Hospital

Mr Pinto
Mr Pinto OBE [left] with Mr Patrick McGowan MBE, JP, Probus President
Mr Pinto provided members with an enthralling talk on his background in medicine and his time as a Consultant Surgeon in Tyrone County Hospital.   A native of Goa he studied medicine  in London and at Cambridge and upon graduation embarked on a career in academia.   Having set up a post-graduate course for surgeons in Uganda he returned to Britain to do pioneer work for the Medical Research Council on transplant surgery and CAT scans – both at an early stage of development.   After eight years in this role he felt drawn back to “hands-on” surgery and applied for the first hospital post advertised.   It was in a place he had never heard of, in country he had never visited – Omagh, Northern Ireland.  Encouraged by a colleague in Queen’s University, Belfast, he applied for the post of Consultant Surgeon in Tyrone County Hospital and [as they say] the rest is history.   Mr Pinto then charted the development of medical services in TCH from the time of his arrival until its closure in 2017.  During that time A & E services were up-graded, new specialisms introduced, new wards added, new theatres constructed, a new sterilisation suite  commissioned, new staffing structures introduced and post-graduate centre erected.  While he regretted the closure of Tyrone County Hospital he was positive about the new hospital and its focus on day procedure surgery . It had, he noted, already acquired a reputation for the sort of clinical excellence that had been the hallmark of Tyrone County Hospital.

Mr Philip Marshall, Omagh Academicals

Wednesday 31 January.  Mr Phil Marshall, Coach, Omagh Academicals Rugby Club.

Phil Marshall
{l – R] Probus Vice-President, Oliver Loughran, Phil Marshall and Paddy McGowan, Probus President

Philip shared his love for the game of Rugby, which developed at school in Belfast and continued throughout his playing career. Deciding to something give back to the game he studied and became a level 4 coach.

He described how, when appointed to Omagh Academicals eight years ago, in addition to developing the senior teams, he wanted to take rugby to children who would have no opportunity to play the game in the Omagh area. He now goes into local schools, to provide an alternative for pupils who have never had the opportunity to play rugby and do not fit into the established GAA or Football Teams. Under the auspices of Ulster Rugby he is able to offer free coaching in schools. He has been made very welcome in all the schools he has visited and hopefully has helped to break down barriers.

Rugby he strongly believes is good moral development for young people. Players can be competitive on the field but at the end of the game they have respect for each other, for the laws of the game and for referees. Members added their own thoughts and reminisces about the game and there were questions about sponsorship of stadiums, the world cup, payment of players and the wellbeing of players.

Ladies Probus Members hear of the origins of Highland Costume



President Val Burch with Alistair Moran

With Burns Night and the 230th anniversary of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s death recently past, it was very appropriate that Omagh Ladies Probus  guest speaker at the February meeting attended fully resplendent in  Highland dress.

Club President Val Burch warmly welcomed Alistair Moran from the Ulster American Folk Park who gave an animated and dramatic talk on the Scottish Highlanders, Highland clans and their way of life.


Speaking to an audience from which many could trace their Scottish ancestry Mr. Moran, who was born in Inverness, addressed the “issue of Scottishness” by describing his costume of muted MacDonald clan tartan kilt, socks, blue flashes, the obligatory Sgian dubh jewelled blade and a simple brown sporran. The ensemble was completed with a jacket and white lace jabot.

This costume, now favoured by many with Scottish connections for special occasion wear can be traced back to the practical, functional, costume of the Highlanders whose great plaid kept them warm, protected and dry in their harsh environment.


Members were held enthralled as Mr. Moran vividly described the harshness of the Highlands despite their majestic scenery. They heard of the difficult life of the clans as they coped with extremes of weather and terrain and a tumultuous period of Scottish history when their fierce loyalty to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobean cause led to the fatal battle of Culloden and ultimately the systematic destroying of their culture.

Although the Highlands became sparsely populated as a result, people’s intrigue with highland legendry figures, and the influence of Walter Scott, King George IV and Queen Victoria, cemented the romantic image of the area. The kilt and clan tartans came back into popularity with many now wearing them with pride.


Club member Anne McBain thanked Mr. Moran for his excellent, compelling talk.