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RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

Vol. 28 | No. 4 | Spring, 2017 206 - 1555 St. James St. Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 | 1-204-889-3660 | Toll Free: 1-888-393-8082 | rtam@mymts.net | rtam.mb.ca

You are invited to attend the

2017 Annual General Meeting of the Retired Teachers' Association of Manitoba Swan River, Manitoba Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - PRE-AGM ACTIVITIES 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. – Travelling? Be Prepared! Presented by Johnson Inc., Westwood Inn 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. – Evening Reception, Swan Valley Museum Distinguished Service Award, food, entertainment, cash bar. Hosted by the Swan Valley Retired Teachers Chapter of RTAM. Transportation between the Super 8, Westwood Inn and the Swan Valley Museum will be available. Check for details at the hotels. Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – AGM, Westwood Inn, Swan River, MB

PN 40037581

09:00 a.m........ Opening 09:30 a.m........ TRAF Presentation 10:00 a.m........ Meeting Session Noon............... Buffet Lunch 01:00 p.m........ Meeting Session 04:00 p.m........ Closing


KEEP IN TOUCH All materials for the next issue of KIT must be emailed with no formatting to dsage@mts.net and received by May 10, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Materials published here do not necessarily represent the policies or views of RTAM. The Editorial Committee reserves the right to print, reject and/or edit for clarity, all materials received.

UPCOMING EVENTS March 23, 2017

April 17, 2017 April 19, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 10, 2017

Isabella Dryden Dinner Celebration Photo Contest Closes Wellness Seminar (Winnipeg) Chapter Presidents’ Meeting, Swan River, MB AGM, Swan River, MB

RTAM Board Meetings March 16, 2017 April 13, 2017 May 8, 9, 10,11, 2017 June 15, 2017

RTAM PLANS ADMINISTERED BY JOHNSON INC. If you require information and brochures, or if you have any questions concerning these plans (Health Care, Emergency Medical Travel, Dental, Home Insurance, Long Term Care, Life) contact: Johnson Inc. Claims and Administration Information, 11120 178th Street, Edmonton AB T5S 1P2 Toll Free 1-877-989-2600 | Phone (780) 413-6536 |Fax (780) 420-6082 Email: pbservicewest@johnson.ca

CHANGING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS?

Contact RTAM at 204-889-3660 or (toll-free) 1-888-393-8082, via email at office@rtam.mb.ca or by mail at 206-1555 St. James Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS

We would like to thank all those who contributed material for KIT. When emailing files please use black ink only and no formatting. Please keep writing. Photos: 1500 pixels or professionally developed.

JOIN THE RTAM PHOTO CONTEST! Categories:

Vol. 28 No. 4 • Spring, 2017

Published by

RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

206-1555 St. James Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 Phone 889-3660 • 1-888-393-8082 Email: rtam@mymts.net • www.rtam.mb.ca Editor-in-Chief: Doreen Sage Box 252, Neepawa, MB R0J 1H0 Phone: 204-476-5772 Email: dsage@mymts.net Executive Director: Mary-Anne Slegers Office Assistant: Grace Reimer Board of Directors 2016-2017 President: Rosalie Bornn Vice -President: Bill Cann Secretary: Joan Dawson Treasurer: Carol Pelton Directors-at-Large Ralph Cibula Jack Fraser Guy Hansen JoAnne Hoyak Wayne Hughes Guy Lacroix Ken Malcolm Velma McAdam Peggy Prendergast Doreen Sage Ray Sitter Beth Smith Wally Stoyko John Sushelnitsky Layout & Design Blue Ink Media Gayl Punzalan, Creative Director Ethel Beckett, Graphic Designer Cover photo: GraphicStock.com Images are licensed from graphicstock.com, except the ones provided by the contributors. Copyright © 2017 by RTAM

• Canada: Locales or activities in Canada that convey a sense of place. Photographs that tell us what it means to be a Canadian and provide a sense of what it is like to live in this country.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

• Pets: Any animal owned and/or cared for by the participant. See page 26 for details.

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: RTAM, 206 - 1555 St. James St., Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5

2 n

RTAM KIT Spring 2017


Contents ACER-CART: Cogniciti .................................... 6 2017 Annual General Meeting Forms................ 7 Past Decisions on Pensions the Problem......... 12 FOR GOOD. FOREVER. Donate To The RTAM Endowment Fund.......................................... 13 President’s Message.......................................................................5 Why Retired Teachers Make Great Volunteers..............................16 Winnipeg Adult EAL Program.......................................................17 WELLNESS SEMINAR....................................................................18 The Anatomy of a Pre-Retirement Seminar..................................19 RTAM Calgary Chapter.................................................................20 The RTAM Okangan Annual Christmas Luncheon........................21 In Memoriam...............................................................................25 Life Members...............................................................................25 Winter 2017 Photo Contest Rules................................................26 Isabella Dryden: Celebrating 80 Years..........................................28 Classifieds....................................................................................31

Your RTAM KIT is now mobile-readable! To receive your digital copy of KIT INSTEAD of a paper copy, send your e-mail address to info@blueinkmedia.ca

28

Isabella Dryden Celebrating 80 Years

20

RTAM Calgary Chapter

Calgary Chapter met for lunch and enjoyed an informative presentation by Dr. Catherine Chan

16

Retired Teachers Make Great Volunteers The Thompson Association of Retired Educators (TARE) are busy volunteering.

RTAM.MB.CA n 3


RETIRED TEACHERS’

RTAM STUDENT AWARD APPLICATION FORM

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) awards annually up to four (4) post secondary STUDENT AWARDS of $600.00 each for relatives of RTAM members.

Criteria for selection: (The applicant must be) 1) A relative of a RTAM Member 2) Involved in school and community activities 3) A Grade 12 Graduate 4) Entering the first year of a post secondary education program.

APPLICANT’S INFORMATION PLEASE PRINT

First name: Last name: Mailing Address: Postal Code: Phone Number:

Cell Number:

E-mail Address: School (Graduated from Grade12): School Address: (Street)

Year Graduated: (City)

(Postal Code)

Post Secondary Plans Program

Location

RTAM SPONSORING MEMBER INFORMATION Please Print

Name Address Contact Information To be completed by sponsoring RTAM Member:

I confirm that the applicant __________________________, has the following relationship to me ___________________________ RTAM Member’s Signature:

Phone No.:

Applicant’s Signature

Date:

Date:

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS JULY 15, 2017 If further information is required, please contact RTAM at: rtam@mymts.net or www.rtam.mb.ca or #206 – 1555 St. James Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 Phone: 204-­‐889-­‐3660/ 1-­‐888-­‐393-­‐8082 Phone messages may be left at any time The RTAM office normal hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Check website for changes.)

Office/Voicemail Phone: 1-204-889-3660 Manitoba Toll Free: 1-888-393-8082 Fax: 1-204-783-2011

SUBMISSIONS TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: 1. Application Form 2. Applicant’s description of school and community activities (one page) 3. Letter of reference/support from a non-family member (one page) 4. Final Grade 12 official high school transcript of marks (copy only)

Email:rtam@mymts.net Website: www.rtam.mb.ca

206 - 1555 St. James St., Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Rosalie Bornn RTAM President 2016-2017 RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

As I finish this message to send on to KIT, I gaze out my window at the quickly receding snow banks and patches of bare lawn. I then remember that there are eleven days left in February and Winter is most likely not finished with us yet. However, the periods of unseasonably mild weather have been such a welcome diversion from winter’s usual wrath! This past December, the joint MTS/ RTAM PAA Committee successfully completed its mandate. Focused and collegial dialogue resulted in the agreement of a joint MTS/RTAM recommendation to the TRAF Board towards the dispersal of the Restricted Surplus Fund that has been accumulating through the ten-yearperiod of the Bill 45 legislation. In mid-December, representatives of RTAM attended a productive information sharing meeting with Education Minister, Ian Wishart, and representatives of his Office. At the request of the Pension Committee, similar meetings have been requested and will also be held in March, with representatives of the New Democratic and Liberal Parties of Manitoba. Chapter Presidents are reminded that the Annual Chapter Grant application deadline is April 15, 2017. The RTAM Annual Student Award Program application forms for student relatives of RTAM members who are entering the first year of a postsecondary education program are also available in KIT, on the website or

As the operational business year of RTAM winds down, members of various Standing and Ad Hoc Committees are hard at work attending to the initiatives that they have undertaken such as: offering Pre-Retirement Seminars, completing the recommendations for renewal of the RTAM Benefit plans, putting KIT together, completing the RTAM Strategic Plan, updating the Why Join RTAM brochure, updating the website, approving the new membership application requests, approving Chapter Grant requests, planning for Wellness and Educational Advocacy seminars, reviewing and revising policies and bylaws, as well as researching and recommending systems to expand and improve member participation from a distance in RTAM meetings by use of technology (to name just a few). The lifelong learning adventure of all Directors continues as we flex to new protocols for RTAM internal and external communication and office procedures, as well as PD on the use of the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that was recently installed at the RTAM Office. Sincere appreciation to our RTAM staff members; Mary-Anne, Grace and Lori, for their patience and all of their hard work that helps to keep our RTAM world spinning in the right direction! AGM 2017: If you are reading this message, then you have access in this most recent edition of KIT to all of the pertinent information for the 2017

Photo by Gayl Punzalan

Greetings to all readers of by contacting the Office. Application deadline is July 15, 2017. this edition of KIT!

Continued on page 6 RTAM.MB.CA n 5


ACER-CART

C Cogniciti

OGNICITI is an initiative of Baycrest Medical Centre in Toronto, a leading North American hospital in the treatment of and research in dementia. Health care in general is concerned with aging, the growing number of seniors and the rising costs of dementia. Often, people wait too long before they are diagnosed. The instrument, Cogniciti, is the result of clinical research and has been reviewed by around 4,000 professionals around the world. It is clinically validated and has been used by over 40,000 people so far. Essentially, Cogniciti is a test, lasting about 15 to 20 minutes, taken confidentially, on line. It tests memory, problem solving and other factors that measure your cognitive health. It rates you in terms of others your age and education and can act as an early warning assessment. It can be taken on a fairly regular basis, once your base score has been established.”

A confidential online test to provide an early diagnosis of Dementia

Take the test now at: https://www.cogniciti.com/TestCentre or visit Cogniciti website at www.cogniciti.com §

President’s Report . . . (Continued from page 5)

Annual General Meeting of RTAM to be held in Swan River, MB, with activities planned for May 9 & 10, 2017. The details of the AGM and the registration forms are in KIT and also on the website. In addition, RTAM reminds you that all positions on our Board of Directors are of one-year duration and that vacancies will need to be filled. As usual, we are also seeking members-at-large to serve on RTAM 6 n

RTAM KIT Spring 2017

committees. Nominations are also being accepted for deserving Distinguished Service Award recipients. Once again, RTAM is most appreciative of the assistance of the Swan Valley Retired Teachers’ Association with the planning of this rural AGM. All RTAM members are welcome to attend the event and so we do hope to see as many of you as possible in Swan River for the May 2017 AGM! §


2017 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

Registration Form

WEDNESDAY MAY 10, 2017 Westwood Inn, 473 Westwood Road, Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0 ALL RTAM MEMBERS ARE INVITED AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND Advance Registration Fee, if received on or before April 10, 2017 is $15.00 Registration Fee, if received after April 10, 2017 is $25.00 The registration fee includes the pre-AGM Johnson Inc. presentation and evening reception (cash bar) for the member and a guest on May 9 and the AGM (lunch included) on May 10. REGISTRANTS MUST MAKE THEIR OWN HOTEL RESERVATIONS. The Swan Valley Super 8 (1-204-734-7888) and the Westwood Inn (toll-free 1-866-734-4500) are offering a reduced rate for reservations made on or before April 1, 2017. Refer to Reservation Group “RTAM AGM.” PLEASE PRINT. Name: Address: (include postal code)

Email:

Date

Tues. May 9

Wed. May 10

Total Fees

Phone: Event & Time Refer to Agenda for complete details

Attending (Y or N)

Guest (Y or N)

Advance Registration Fee

Registration Fee After April 10

$15.00*

$25.00*

Johnson Inc. Presentation 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reception 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. AGM 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch (Buffet) Noon - 1 p.m.

*

Enclose cheque made payable to RTAM in the amount of the Total Fees.

*Circle the applicable registration fee. If a guest is joining you for Lunch at the AGM, please enter $10.00 in the applicable Registration Fee column and include it in the Total Fees. Guest Name: Please identify any health related dietary accommodation required for you or your guest. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Mail to: RTAM AGM 2017, 206-1555 St. James Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 by May 1, 2017 This form may be copied or downloaded from www.rtam.mb.ca. RTAM.MB.CA n 7


2017 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

Call For Nominations

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2017 Westwood Inn, 473 Westwood Road, Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

2017 – 2018 RTAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS Nominations for the Officers and Board of Directors of RTAM will be accepted up to and including Friday, April 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.; nominations may also be made from the floor of the AGM assembly. The term of office for a Board position is one year. In addition, most Board Members also serve on one of the Standing Committees. Board and Committee Meetings are held monthly from September to June, normally the third week of the month with the exception of April, when the Board and Committees meet on the second week of the month. Nominees and nominators must be full members in good standing of RTAM. An individual can nominate themselves. Any RTAM member may be nominated for one Officer position and one Director position. An unsuccessful candidate for the Officer position has the right to stand for a Director position, if they have so indicated on the nomination form. Nominees who meet the nomination deadline are invited to submit a biography (no longer than a half page) and photo to be included in the AGM Elections booklet no later than April 11, 2017. The positions open to election on May 10, 2017 are: • OFFICERS: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer • DIRECTORS: up to 15 Directors may be elected. Nomination Process: Nominations will be received by the Elections Committee up to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017 via completed Nomination Forms. Nomination forms must be signed by the nominee, or accompanied by a signed statement from the nominee, to acknowledge their willingness to accept the nomination. There will be an additional opportunity to nominate from those present in the AGM assembly. Any nomination from the floor will require the endorsement of ten (10) full RTAM members who are in attendance. There will be a minimum thirty (30) minute time frame from the time nominations from the AGM floor open to when they close. Please note: Only FULL RTAM members in good standing may hold office, vote, endorse or sign nomination papers. ASSOCIATE RTAM members may not hold office, vote, endorse or sign nomination papers. If you have any questions, please contact the RTAM office at 204-889-3660; toll free 1-888-393-8082 or office@rtam.mb.ca.

8 n

RTAM KIT Spring 2017


2017 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

2017-2018 RTAM Board Nomination Form WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2017 Westwood Inn, 473 Westwood Road, Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0

2017-2018 RTAM BOARD NOMINATION FORM ALL FULL RTAM MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED AND INVITED TO NOMINATE THEMSELVES OR BE NOMINATED FOR A BOARD POSITION. We always need new ideas and enthusiasm! DEADLINE: Friday, April 7, 2017 @ 3:00 p.m. As a Full RTAM member, I, ______________________________________, nominate the following Full RTAM member: Name: Address: (include postal code) Email:

Phone:

for the position of: (check one Officer position only (1. to 4.), then check Director for nomination as a Director, if unsuccessful in the Officer position, or check Director (5.) for nomination as a Director only): 1. President

Or Director

2. Vice President

Or Director

3. Secretary

Or Director

4. Treasurer

Or Director

5. Director The signed permission of the nominee: ______________________________________________________ Or, attach a signed statement of permission from the nominee. Nominees are invited to submit a biography (no longer than half a page) and photo to be included in the AGM Elections booklet no later than April 11, 2017 to office@rtam.mb.ca. Mail, hand-deliver or courier the completed Nomination Form to: RTAM – Nominations 206 – 1555 St. James Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 Nomination Forms must be received by 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 7, 2017. There will be a meeting of the newly elected board from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Westwood Inn, Swan River, Manitoba. This form may be copied or downloaded from www.rtam.mb.ca. RTAM.MB.CA n 9


2017 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

Distinguished Service Award

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Do you know someone who is deserving of recognition from RTAM? A Distinguished Service Award may be presented to an individual whose service to RTAM, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, has been extraordinary. The Award may be given posthumously. a. The nominee and the nominator must each be a full member of RTAM. b. The nomination shall be in writing and include a comprehensive description of the nominee’s involvement and service to RTAM and the name, address, email and telephone number of both the nominee and nominator. c. The Award shall consist of a framed certificate duly signed by the President. d. If possible, the Award shall be made at the pre-AGM Evening Reception held on Tuesday May 9, 2017, at the Westwood Inn, Swan River, Manitoba. RTAM shall assume all travel and accommodation expenses, incurred by the recipient to attend the Tuesday Evening Reception and the AGM on Wednesday, on the same basis and rates allotted to Chapter Presidents. e. The President shall receive the nominations. Mail, hand-deliver or courier nominee submissions to: Rosalie Bornn, President Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba 206 – 1555 St. James Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 Deadline: Nominee submissions must be received at the RTAM office by 3:00 p.m. on Friday March 31, 2017.

10 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017


2017 Annual General Meeting RETIRED TEACHERS’

ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA

Volunteer to Become an RTAM Committee Member

Volunteer to Become an RTAM Committee Member All RTAM members are encouraged and invited to volunteer on a Committee. As with any organization, RTAM is always in need of volunteers with diverse skills, creativity and innovative thinking to keep the organization moving forward. Committee work gives everyone the opportunity to get to know more about RTAM and each other as we work toward making our organization better. The term of office for a Committee member is one year. Each Committee is chaired by a Board member. Most Committee meetings are held monthly from September to June, normally the third week of the month with the exception of April, when meetings are held during the second week of the month. Meetings can be held in person or via teleconference, at the discretion of the Chair, in consultation with the committee member(s). Personal expenses incurred by committee members for attending committee meetings or distance participation are reimbursed at approved RTAM rates. Please submit your name, tell us a little bit about yourself and indicate the committee you would be interested in joining. For more information about the Committees, visit our website at www.rtam.mb.ca. The Board tries to accommodate as many requests as reasonable and possible as we constitute balanced committees within the parameters of our Bylaws and Policy. Name: Address: (include postal code) Email:

Phone:

COMMITTEE

ü

COMMITTEE

AGM & Elections

Educational Advocacy (includes Awards)

Benefits

Membership & Chapters

Bylaws and Policy

Pension

Keep In Touch (KIT) Magazine

Political Advocacy

Public Relations

Wellness

ü

Website Provide a short reflection of your relevant skills or experiences:

Submit this form to the registration desk at the AGM, e-mail this form or include the relevant information in an email to office@rtam.mb.ca, NO LATER than Friday, June 2, 2017. Volunteer forms will also be available at the AGM and at www.rtam.mb.ca. This form may be copied or downloaded from www.rtam.mb.ca. RTAM.MB.CA n 11


COMMITTEE REPORTS

“The province pays about 16.3% of salaries to pension costs due exclusively to the decision made in 1963.”

Past Decisions on Pensions are the Problem

Synopsis by John Sushelnitsky Article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press by Paul Moist in October 17, 2016, and Mr. Moist has given permission to use his article as a basis for this synopsis.

1. In 1963, the government opted to stop funding teachers’ and civil service pension plans, to which it had made matching contributions on a monthly basis to these pension plans. Instead, it chose a “pay-as-you go” basis. This meant the province would not make any contributions while employees were working, but would pay half their pension when they retired. 2. Today, Manitoba teachers pay about 9.4% of their salaries to their pension plan. The province pays about 16.3 % of salaries to pension costs due exclusively to the decision made in 1963. Had the government continued to fund on a monthly basis as it had before 1963, its share today would be the same as those of its employees. 3. Only the government’s half of the teachers’ pension plan is underfunded; the teachers’ half is close to fully funded.

12 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

4. Of the 9% of the provincial education budget that went into the teachers’ pension fund last year, 4.6% was for the current service cost of teachers’ pensions; the other 4.4% was an additional “unfunded liability” contribution resulting from the 1963 decision. 5. The government, in 2001, began contributing to the teachers’ pension plan to make up for the shortfall that had resulted from not matching employee contributions on a monthly basis. 6. That shortfall of unfunded liability stands at $1.4 billion; however, if no change had taken place in 2001, that shortfall would be approximately $3.6 billion. It is estimated that approximately 75% of current teacher pensions are the result of investments. By not matching teacher contributions on a monthly basis, the government, over forty years, reduced the investment potential of the pension fund very significantly. §


COMMITTEE REPORTS

FOR GOOD. FOREVER.

Donate To The RTAM Endowment Fund Submitted by Peggy Prendergast, Chair of the Educational Advocacy Committee

We have given our working lives to “education,” this is an opportunity to carry on the tradition. “For Good. Forever.”

P

lease consider donating to the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba Endowment Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation when you are considering either a bequest in your will, an “in memoriam” gift when someone close to you has passed away, or in deciding your charitable giving for the year. RTAM established an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000. Since then, this fund has provided support for four $500.00 awards each year to Grade 12 graduates who are nominated by a relative who is an RTAM member. The criteria for receiving an award includes the student being involved in school and community activities, enrolled in some form of post-secondary education, as well as academic

achievement. There has been an average of 40+ award applications submitted each year. The four awards for 2017 will be $600.00 each, as investment interest and gifts made to the fund has given us more dollars for granting. What better way for us to leave a legacy of “belief in education” to our following generations? Each gift, no matter what amount, adds in perpetuity to the overall fund. We have given our working lives to “education;” this is an opportunity to carry on the tradition. “For Good. Forever.” The Winnipeg Foundation’s inspiring message says it all! For complete instructions on how to make a gift, please go to The Winnipeg Foundation website: www.wpgfdn.org, go to “Make a Gift” tab, scroll down to the “search” box and type in RTAM, or contact The Winnipeg Foundation. § RTAM.MB.CA n 13


COMMITTEE REPORTS

14 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017


COMMITTEE REPORTS

RTAM.MB.CA n 15


COMMITTEE REPORTS

Why Retired Teachers Make Great Volunteers Joan Dawson, Wellness Committee member

1. 2.

They are great at planning. They look at a project and can break it into manageable sections. 3. They can assess and assign the right person for each task. 4. They follow up to make sure that everything is going well. 5. They know how to encourage, support and motivate people. 6. They finish what they start. 7. They are used to working hard. 8. They are confident in their ability to do a good job of whatever they undertake to do. 9. They are used to being punctual and • Church - planning and leading regular Sunday reliable. services; organizing and leading funeral 10. They have a great many social and team services, assisting with and organizing fund skills, as well as individual skills, to share. raising activities, trying to better serve the local 11. They are willing to learn new skills in community. order to become even better volunteers. • Personal Care Home - interacting with seniors, 12. They take good care of themselves and are taking them on outings, reading to them, healthy enough to volunteer. shopping with or for them, playing games with Success in their endeavours brings its own them and writing letters for them. They help rewards – wellness to the volunteer. with anything they are asked to do. • Fraternal Organizations - undertaking AMAZING VOLUNTEERS leadership roles within organizations both locally The Thompson Association of Retired Educators and at the provincial level; participating in (TARE) are very busy and active people; volunfundraising for local and provincial projects. teering everywhere in the community and often in • Search and Rescue - assisting willingly should their Snowbird communities. the need arise as teachers have the skill sets Listed below are some of the volunteer activities: required to help the front line workers. • TARE - planning and leading events for each • Communities in Bloom - serving on the board, other as well as for the community. We are very judging, encouraging the community members proud of our plant projects at our local library and businesses to participate. and a local restaurant. • Hospital Auxiliary – volunteering in many • RTAM - serving on provincial committees and capacities. One member has been the treasurer volunteering as RTAM directors – past and for the local auxiliary for over nine years for both present. the auxiliary and the gift shop that is open on a • Heritage North Museum – serving on the daily basis. Another has managed the gift shop board and assisting with fundraising activities for nine years. They purchase inventory, spend including yard sales and functions for donations hours on the web looking for stock, knit, make to the museum. They also help organize museum quilts, work in the shop, supervise the student displays. volunteers, clean and help with other fundraisers 16 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017


COMMITTEE REPORTS and auxiliary projects. They have served on the members of our community grow into good provincial body as well. citizens and have fun as they learn. • Block Parents - one of our members worked • Visiting – visiting shut-ins in the community very hard to establish Block Parents in who rarely get out or who need assistance Thompson and it ran successfully for many years. to leave their homes. They drive people to • Volunteer Fire Fighters - assisting the Volunteer appointments at the hospital or with the doctor; Fire Department in the two cottage communities they take people shopping for food and clothing; near Thompson. This requires several fire they phone the shut-in just to chat if the weather practices per year and the actual fighting of grass is foul and personal contact isn’t possible. fires, cottage fires, etc. • Local schools - several members volunteering at • Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale – donating the schools with reading and math assessments, time to help uncrate, set up, sell product and working with children on their academic skills, then re-box everything that did not sell in special events, judging science fairs and whatever return for a percentage of the profit which is they are asked to do. then returned to the community as donations to various projects in Thompson. TARE members are very busy and active people. • Guiding and Scouting Organizations You find them everywhere where help is needed. § volunteering as leaders to assist the younger

Winnipeg Adult EAL Program

T

he Winnipeg School Division Adult EAL program, located at 275 Portage Avenue, is seeking volunteers to help adult newcomers who are learning English. The activities include assisting students with classroom activities, leading conversations in small groups, or helping students one-on-one. Volunteers must have experience assisting learners, good command of English (equivalent of CLB 7 or higher), good communication and interpersonal skills and should be willing to accept directions and supervision from staff. The minimum time commitment is once per week, for one of our daytime class schedules: • 09:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; • 12:45 p.m. to 02:45 p.m.; • 12:45 p.m. to 03:45 p.m. §

Information: (204) 953 1070 Select option 8 for Volunteers; or at vcastellanos@wsd1.org or aazevedo@wsd1.org RTAM.MB.CA n 17


WELLNESS SEMINAR Date: ........................... WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017 Place: ........................... McMaster House, 191 Harcourt at Portage, Winnipeg, MB Time: ............................ 10:00 a. m. - 2:30 p. m. Registration:.................. 9:30 a.m. PLEASE REGISTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Registration will be limited to 60 participants and will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis. HIGHLIGHTS:

Information booths by senior-serving organizations.

PROGRAM: 10:00 - 10:15 Opening remarks 10:15 - 11:40 Cory Guest – Public Education Coordinator Emergency Medical Services – Winnipeg Paramedic Service Presentation on injury/fall prevention, accessing 911 appropriately, ERIK program. Discussion about paramedic profile and their response model 11:50 - 01:00 Gourmet Lunch 01:00 - 02:15 Susan Macaulay – Residential Organizing Specialist Clarity Over Clutter Thinking of downsizing? Moving to a smaller place? Need help with Estate cleanout services? Strategies and services to get started. 02:15 - 02:30 Closing Remarks

WELLNESS SEMINAR REGISTRATION FORM Participant’s Name:________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________City/Town_______________ Postal Code:_____________E-mail:_________________________Phone:_____________ To register, please send the completed form and $25.00 cheque payable to RTAM to: Maureen Recksiedler, P. O. Box 744, Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0 Questions: Email office@rtam.mb.ca or call 204-889-3660 or 1-888-393-8082 (toll free)

18 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017


The Anatomy of a Pre-Retirement Seminar By Ray Sitter, member of Chapter Membership and Liaison

P

re-Retirement Seminars have been offered by RTAM for teachers potentially considering retirement. This service has been offered in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson for a few years. The selection of these three locations was based loosely on centres of population and ease of access. The notion was to expand from this base to other regions as the understanding of the benefit and differences became known to the retiring teaching population and the demand increased. Even the best time to offer the Pre-Retirement Seminar is open to speculation. Previously early Spring was selected because the largest number of retirements occur at the end of the school year. Is it possible that the best time to provide the seminar was before Christmas? December 3, 2016 was when it was offered this year. The seminar was reasonably well advertised. Posters were distributed to all schools in Brandon through the Superintendent’s Department. Posters were mailed to 15 schools in towns surrounding Brandon. Weather conditions were reasonable. The speakers were Shannon Patershuk who spoke on the RTAM Benefit programs, Pat Bowslaugh who spoke on “Life After Retirement” and Ray Sitter who spoke on “Financial Issues.” Attendance was lower than expected. The response from the people present was positive with respect to the topics and the issues talked about. The most frequently mentioned issue was the number of such seminars. Teachers, looking to retire from teaching, are exposed to a reasonably confusing selection of pre-retirement seminars. The titles are very similar. Pre-retirement seminars are offered by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society and the Teacher’s Retirement Act Fund, both as group presentations and individual appointments. Having an additional presentation offered by

RTAM just adds to the mix. The titles are similar even if the perspectives are different. Is there a difference between the seminars? There is, but it is not easy to define the difference in a few words and to advertise those differences in an understandable and clear way to the retiring population. TRAF provides an excellent outline for potential retirees with respect to their numerous choices in pensions and its implications for survivors. The various implications and nuances that are part and parcel of the pension choices are intimately understood and can be clearly explained by TRAF representatives. MTS retirement seminars facilitate and can clarify the steps required for retirees to leave their employer, employment and the implications to their benefit programs. So what is left for RTAM to provide? Retirement is a major switch in a retiring teacher’s life. It is the start of a new phase of life that could be as much as one-third or more of their entire lifetime. The pre-retirement seminar offered by RTAM had three main focal points: 1. a variety of financial issues related to retirement were addressed, including budgeting. 2. Life after retirement and possible options. 3. RTAM and benefit programs for retirees. Is there a benefit to talking to individuals who have experienced retirement and can offer suggestions and advice on the issues that can arise? Is there a benefit in being aware of what can be done to make retirement more successful? There are some people who would kayak down a river without having any idea of what it was like. They would accept any issues that would arise. Others feel a lot of comfort in knowing what to expect. That is what RTAM can provide. §

RTAM.MB.CA n 19


RTAM CALGARY CHAPTER Submitted by Penny Hogan; Picture by Lillian Kozak

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t a November 24, 2016, luncheon meeting, twenty-four members of the RTAM Calgary Chapter met for lunch and enjoyed an informative presentation by Dr. Catherine Chan, from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton. Dr. Chan spoke on the topic “A Mediterranean Diet for the Prairies.” She discussed the health benefits of consuming a healthy dietary pattern such as a Mediterranean diet and acknowledged the difficulties associated with following such a diet in the heart of the Canadian prairies. Based on nutritional research, the focus of Dr. Chan’s talk was the book A Pure Prairie Eating Plan, co-authored by Dr. Chan and her colleague,

20 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

Dr. Rhonda Bell. Their book follows a 4A framework for a healthy eating plan - Adequate (nutritionally), Acceptable (tasty), Available (food produced locally or regularly imported) and Accessible (affordable). A Pure Prairie Eating Plan is based on healthy eating patterns, rather than weight loss. Menu plans for 28 days are accompanied by meal and snack recipes. According to Dr. Chan, the research results on which the book is based were positive, especially in terms of cardiovascular health. Curious to know more? A Pure Prairie Eating Plan is available from public libraries in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina. Check online for purchase information. §


CHAPTER REPORTS

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he RTAM – Okanagan annual Christmas luncheon was held on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. The festively decorated room at the Sunset Ranch Golf Club held 22 members and guests who had arrived from Oliver, Penticton, Lake Country and the Kelowna area. Two new members have joined. The jovial group caught up on news and welcomed the guests and newcomers. A Tacky Gift Exchange raised a competitive spirit on speculation of the contents of the brightly wrapped goodies. Thank you to Lorne Lisik, who emceed the exchange, and to Lorna Rothwell, who did the booking and arrangements. §

The RTAM Okangan Annual Christmas Luncheon Submitted by Nancy Kostiuk

RTAM.MB.CA n 21


By Bill Taylor

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CUADOR AMAZON JUNGLE - near TENA (tay nuh), Ecuador, 24 October to 29 October,2016. From the city at the top of the world, Quito (9,350 ft. above sea level), down the dog-legged highway , for three and one-half hours, we traveled to the town of Tena, gateway to the Amazon jungle. On the way back home, it was a long, exhausting five and a half hour climb by public bus back to Quito. From Tena, two vans bumped along rutted highway, and then gravel road and finally, gravel trail to our destination, Pimpilalla (pimpee law luh), an indigenous family’s jungle camp. The camp was set up by the family to house, feed and educate tour groups about the life of the Quechua people of the Amazon rainforest. This was a very basic camp: no electricity or cell phone connection.

22 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

The shaman welcomed us and introduced his family members present. He said that he had collected the tribal lore and plants and herbal knowledge from his grandfather, elders and his father. As a shaman, he was a healer (medicine man), and as a senior of 58 years, the spiritual leader and guide of his very large family. To heal, he would ingest specific leaves or bark off certain plants. The effects were hallucinogenic and the spirits of the plants would take control and would give him the chants and the dance they deemed would cure that specific person at that specific time. The great spirit of the Quechua people, for thousands of years, is the Yama Mama . . . Great Mother Spirit. If one were unwise enough to ingest the plants in just minute bits or in different combinations, you would then be joining the plant spirits!


The jungle is not flat like our prairies; it is very hilly, more often than not, we seemed to be always climbing. Well, it was a long, long climb up to the camp. They were a family of several Quechua, the indigenous people of the jungle region. The elder of the family was also the shaman or medicine man. He would be our guide to the life style of their people. There were 16 of us, mostly very young, from New Zealand, Denmark, Holland, Australia, England, USA and two from Canada. The guide, Julio, was from Ecuador. For the next five days, we would be put through our paces. The camp had very basic rooms with two beds under mosquito net canopies. There were three flushing toilets and three showers of cold water. The windows were net-covered openings to let the breezes through. The jungle is very hot and very humid. We dined each night by candlelight. This attracted some very large flying insects and the odd bat. Flashlights were very necessary as the days and nights are of equal duration. At night, it was very dark and the toilets were out and up. You held it as long as you could, during the night, as the trip up by flashlight was not without fear of the unknown. We all survived! I was like an owl the first night. I imagined the animals lurking. The pitch-black morning broke with the screeching of the family’s roosters at about 5 a.m. Being a very early riser, I would make instant coffee, lie in a hammock in the dark courtyard (with their dog for company) and chase the roosters who competed vocally with one another! The purpose of our first long hike through the jungle with the shaman was to identify all the very different types of flowers and vegetation. The jungle is absolutely a maze of vines, trees, plants, etc. and it would be very easy to get seriously lost; I practically rode on his back! We stopped at a stream on the jungle floor. He and his two sons selected a certain clay from the bank that they used for facial blemishes. We all got plastered then and there. The next morning, we were off to the jungle to identify the medicinal herbs and plants that they

used for rheumatism, blood sugar control, aches, pains, itches, wounds, upset stomach, menstrual and pregnancy problems. None of these grow in Canada so I won’t go into detail. The next day we became the chocolate factory of Pimpilalla. The large cocoa (cacao) pods are plucked from the trunks of the cocoa trees, dried, then broken open to release several cocoa beans. The beans are dried in the sun for two days. The family had trays of these beans ready for us to work with. A fire was built in the fire pit and clay vessels of beans were roasted until the bean shells were black. After a few minutes of cooling, we removed the charred shells and had a mound of shiny cocoa beans. Remember the hand meat grinder of our youth, clamped onto the table? The Quechua had bowed to modernity and it was all set for action. We took turns laboriously grinding the beans as out oozed the chocolate little by little. All the ground chocolate was scraped into a kettle, whole milk and unrefined cane sugar went into it. It took all of us two or three stirrings each to get the chocolate to the right consistency for dipping. Up to the outdoor dining table and with fresh pieces of fruit for dipping . . . it was the most delicious snack I can ever recall. The shaman taught us how to trap birds, snakes and rodents for roasting by using traps fashioned from materials at hand. Threads of fibre from long cactus leaves. Cords and binding material from certain barks. A booby-trapped log put rodents on the grill!! A thousand of year old recipe for chicha (chee chuh) was another day’s lesson. We peeled yucca roots (yes, the ones we buy in nurseries), rinsed them and then boiled them, as you would potatoes, pounded them to a pulp . . . really. What we did, they have done for centuries. Chicha is an alcoholic drink only prepared by their women. FOR THEM, the women take a mouthful of the pulp, chew it for five minutes and spit it into a newly cleaned dugout canoe (they made for the whole village). Look it up. It is called saliva brewed chicha of the Amazon!! After two days, the saliva induced fermentation makes a light alcohol drink that is mixed with a bit of water and RTAM.MB.CA n 23


drunk at all meals. Left longer for stronger, it is used for weddings births, etc. That night the shaman performed a mock Quechua marriage ceremony. The young handsome Danish couple were the betrothed. I was chosen as the bride’s father. Three other parents were conscripted. We were robed for the occasion. After we did a number of simple line dances around each other many times, and a few circlings, we had to choose, one by one, all the guests to dance to the shaman’s chants and drum beats. This was all lit by candles, placed strategically around the floor. There was to be three days of partying , with chicha at the various homes, and the bride and groom could then get together and do what comes naturally! Blowgun lessons, including stringing coloured beans on woven cactus-fibre threads was a half day labour. The most significant beans were a scarlet red with a shiny black patch. The blowguns are about nine feet long. The lethal little skewer darts are coated with curare to tranquillize the prey . . . monkeys, tapirs, capybaras, and so on. It is not easy to hit anything. We had a target set up in the open yard of the camp. Up to the dining room that afternoon to be taught how to cook the rich, tasty delicacy of the very fat and 4-inch long cactus worm . . . . 24 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

the chontacuro cactus larva. They can be roasted on a sharp stick or wrapped in a banana leaf . . . whichever you may find the tastiest. I will try to send the photos as they come in. You can look them up. There is a tomato, red onion, cilantro, and chili peppers sauce that is served with all meals and for everything. That we made. Several of the brave tried the grilled worms. I upchucked for everyone in my family! The last day, we sailed down the rapidly flowing, quite shallow, Napo River, which flows into the Amazon River. We fed the monkeys hanging over the water from tree branches, with pieces of bananas stuck on the end of sticks. We went by longboats to an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre in the middle of nowhere, along the banks of the Napo. There was every animal of the jungle recuperating, hopefully, to be released. Some had been wounded by poachers, confiscated by authority or turned in as unwanted pets (mainly all sorts of brilliant coloured parrots) and small monkeys of all sorts; there was even an anaconda! Jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, turtles, ocelots; we visited each of the dozens of cages in the scorching humid jungle heat. I have just some time left to say that it was a fantastic and enjoyable few days. I felt like I was losing a family when everyone departed after a farewell Saturday night supper in the Historic Centre of Quito. Everyone flew home yesterday. I fly on to Limaon November 2 and continue on to a 9-day Amazon cruise on November 6. Home again in Brandon, by shuttle, at 10: 30 pm, November 14, 2016. Adios amigos, Bill Taylor §


In Memoriam December, 2016 Eleanor Anne Annandale, Winnipeg, MB Christopher Wayne Beach, Winnipeg, MB Carol Boyce, Gabriola, BC M. Lillian Brownlie, Brandon, MB Bruce Douglas Dearlove, Winnipeg, MB Shivaun Gannon, Vancouver, BC Eleanor Valerie Kolsun, West St.Paul, MB Betty Eleanor Ladobruk, Winnipeg, MB Roger Donald Legal, Sainte-Anne, MB Phyllis I. Leslie, Souris, MB Vivian A. Mcgregor, Portage La Prairie, MB Earl Keith Mcmurchy, Winnipeg, MB William A. Milton, Winnipeg, MB Donald Victor Mousseau, Winnipeg, MB Henry Elbert Mullins, Portage La Prairie, MB Lena Shewchuk, Winnipeg, MB Stanley Swiderski, Winnipeg, MB Richard Tramer, Winnipeg, MB Jonina E. Wood, Winnipeg, MB November, 2016 Hazel R. Ames, Winnipeg, MB Freeda F. Baron, Winnipeg, MB Nadine Shirley Calver, Winnipeg, MB M. Shirley Davies, Winnipeg, MB Joan Goldsborough, Winnipeg, MB Kenneth James, Winnipeg, MB Myron G. Kruk, Winnipeg, MB Theresa M. Kuryk, Oak Lake, MB Fernande Larocque, Rainy River, ON Elizabeth Joan Lawrence, Calgary, AB Gladys Mcmillan, Portage La Prairie, MB Rhonda Maureen McRorie, Winnipeg, MB Freda Mostoway, Winnipeg, MB Hugh Sigfus Sigurdson, St. Laurent, MB Alexander Smaluk, Ottawa, ON Margaret Soloway, Nanaimo, BC Garry A Williamson, Winnipeg, MB October, 2016 Bill Brown, Winkler, MB Laura G. Cooley, Birtle, MB Isabel J. Dowbiggin, Winnipeg, MB

Mary Forsyth, Winnipeg, MB Wilma M. Harrison, Winnipeg, MB Mary E. Hewitt-Smith, Prince George, BC Peter Janzen, Winnipeg, MB Dale Barclay Johnson, Winnipeg, MB Alma Pangman, Pine River, MB Douglas Brian Reynolds, Winnipeg, MB September, 2016 Robert Donald Ainslie, Calgary, AB Mary A. Berch, Winnipeg, MB George E. Brown, Winnipeg, MB M. Evelyn Dell, Melita, MB Jerry Dorfman, Winnipeg, MB Maurice Walter Ircha, Winnipeg, MB Eola V. M. Johnson, Headingley, MB Albert D. Kelner, Eriksdale, MB Margaret Helen Mazier, Gilbert Plains, MB Michael Ogal, Lockport, MB Doris Gail Sigurdson, Woodside, MB A. Joanne Titus, Medicine Hat, AB

Life Members November, 2016 Mike Biluk, Winnipeg, MB David Froese, Winnipeg, MB Joyce G. Grant, Portage la Prairie, MB Allan Elwood McCullough, Treherne, MB Nora Reid, Winnipeg, MB William H. Rentz, Edmonton, AB Joan McConnell Yarish, Winnipeg, MB December, 2016 Fannye Andrews, Winnipeg, MB John W. Carroll, Winnipeg, MB Lucien Loh, Winnipeg, MB January, 2016 Laura M. Hanna, Winnipeg, MB Vera E. Hanneson, Vancouver, BC Walter Kiliwnik, Elphinstone, MB Irma E. Spratt, Elgin, ON

RTAM.MB.CA n 25


WINTER 2017 PHOTO CONTEST RULES ENTRY DEADLINE: Extended to 3:00 p.m. April 17, 2017

Full and Associate RTAM members, in good standing, may submit one photo for each category. (see Rule 7 for exceptions). Judging by Gayl Punzalan, managing partner of Blue Ink Media. Winners will be announced in the Summer 2017 edition of KIT, as well as posted on the RTAM website.

1. Each photo can be entered in one of the entry form is detached from the back during following categories: the judging process, attach the form using a bit of tape only. DO NOT GLUE the form to the • Canada: Locales or activities in Canada that back of the photo. convey a sense of place. Photographs that tell us what it means to be a Canadian and 11. Entries will not be returned. Should you provide a sense of what it is like to live in require the return of your entries, please this country. include a stamped, self-addressed envelope of the appropriate size with your entry or include • Pets: Any animal owned and/or cared for by a note requesting a call from the RTAM office the participant. to arrange for pick-up from the RTAM office. 2. All entries must have an image which is no 12. RTAM retains the right to use the entries for smaller than 5” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. promotional purposes during and after the Square formatted images will be accepted competition. provided that they are not smaller than 7” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. 13. Entries must be submitted by postal service, courier or hand delivered to the RTAM 3. Entries must be backed with rigid backing no office at 206-1555 St. James St. Winnipeg, thinner than file folder stock. Manitoba, R3H 1B5 no later than 3 p.m. on 4. Matted or framed photos will not be accepted. April 17, 2017. 5. Participants are limited to one photo per 14. One first prize and one second prize will be category. awarded in each category. 6. Each entry must be the work of the participant. 15. First prize will be $25. Second prize will be $15. 7. Board Members and Employees of RTAM 16. All prizes will be accepted as awarded. as well as their immediate families (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household 17. Entry Forms can be downloaded at www.rtam.mb.ca. are not eligible to enter. 8. Entries must not include any recognizable Entries must be received at the RTAM office no later individual’s faces in the photos. than 3 p.m. on April 17, 2017. 9. Entries must not have been previously judged RTAM Winter 2017 Photo Contest 206-1555 in any other photography competition. St. James St. Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 10. Only entries with a copy of the official entry Questions? Please call 204-889-3660, 1-888-393-8082 form ATTACHED TO THE BACK OF (toll-free) or email office@rtam.mb.ca § THE ENTRY will be accepted. Since the Photo by: Jayesh Maniar 2nd Place Winner

26 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

Photo by: Ken Reimer 2nd Place Winner


Celebrating a Teaching Career of 80 Years in honour of Ms. Isabella Dryden PROGRAM DETAILS

COME AND CONNECT! Date

March 23, 2017

Location

McMaster House 191 Harcourt Street

Registration

4:30-5:30 pm

Dinner

5:30-6:30 pm

To reserve your ticket, please go to www.ebitmb.org

Socializing

6:30-7:00 pm

Registration Deadline: March 16, 2017

Speeches

7:00-8:00 pm

Isabella will reveal her secret to keeping the passion of teaching alive for all of these years!

Tickets: $35.00

Tickets can be purchased online at www.ebitmb.org. If you prefer to pay by cheque, please fill out the following form and mail to the address below. First Name: _____________________________________________________________ Last Name: _____________________________________________________________ Email:

_____________________________________________________________

Address:

_____________________________________________________________

Phone #:

_____________________________________________________________

Number of Tickets: _________ (Tickets are $35.00 each) I would like to make a donation of $ _________ to the Isabella Dryden Award for Teaching Excellence (IDATE) fund. (optional) All cheques should be made out to EBIT (Educators of Business & Information Technology). Please mail to: Angela Baraniuk 661 Dakota Street Winnipeg, MB R2M 3K3 abaraniuk@shaw.ca/204-293-4190

RTAM.MB.CA n 27


Celebrating This article, whole or in part, is reprinted with permission of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society.

“I worked in various positions; in an office for a manufacturing company and then as a secretary for the Chief Librarian of the Windsor Public Library. I was there for a few years but I knew I always wanted to go back to teaching.” – Isabella Dryden 28 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017

YEARS

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he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about but despite her modesty, teacher Isabella Dryden is unique. After four decades in the classroom and in educational planning, she has spent another three decades in retirement – teaching. At 99 years, Miss Dryden, has had bestowed upon her all manner of praise, plaques and certificates of achievement. Much has been written about her volunteer spirit since she joined Creative Retirement more than thirty years ago. Even as she approaches her own Centennial, Isabella teaches classes three days a week during Fall, Winter and Spring terms and twice a week during the summer for Creative Retirement. As one of their longest serving volunteers she was awarded an Honourary Lifetime Membership. And that was back in 1996. Now she will have to endure at least one more bout of accolades. On March 23, the Educators of Business and Information Technology (EBIT) will host a special evening at McMaster House in her honour. It has been a long journey for an 18-year-old who arrived in 1937 at a one-room rural school after graduating from Central Normal School. From travelling by horse-pulled buggy to juggling students in grades 1 to 10 through their lessons all the while managing to be the nurse, cook, caretaker and social committee, she’s seen and done it all. The four years she spent at Errol School near Lenore, followed by another year at Bardal School near Sinclair, Manitoba, provided experiences for a wealth of anecdotes. Many of those stories she tells with a rueful smile and a lasting fondness for those children, while others


still bring tears to her eyes. As many teachers know, the first few years can be particularly difficult. “I put a lot of pressure on myself,” she says. “I stayed one year at the second school and I had a breakdown and so I left teaching and moved to Ontario and took an Administrative Secretarial course,” she says matterof-factly. “I worked in various positions; in an office for a manufacturing company and then as a secretary for the Chief Librarian of the Windsor Public Library. I was there for a few years but I knew I always wanted to go back to teaching.” She returned to Manitoba in 1947, first for a year at Ross Consolidated School (two-rooms this time with only grades 1 to 6) and then home to Virden where she settled into the relative luxury of teaching Grade 5 for another year. She says it was a wonderful experience but knowing she had training in that area, the board approached her to teach shorthand, bookkeeping, economics, law and typewriting. “I wasn’t certified to teach (business/vocation) even though I had the business training. I said ‘Well, I’ll try it for one year but I would like a letter, in writing, saying that if I am not happy teaching in the high school, or I’m not doing a good job that I can have my grade 5 class back’.” For Miss Dryden, not doing a “good job” wasn’t an option. “I decided I needed my degree and I needed to strengthen my teaching experience in the area of business. I guess it would be for 15 or 16 years every summer I would go to school for special courses.” There were some courses from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois offered by the Department of Education in Winnipeg, but with no business education courses offered in

Manitoba, she attended summer sessions at the University of British Columbia. She spent five more summers earning an undergraduate degree in Business Education at the University of Alberta. Following that, she enrolled at the University of North Dakota to work on her Masters Program. Rather than any kind of linear path, her curriculum vitae becomes a dizzying criss-cross of dates, particularly during the 60’s and 70’s of her many teaching positions, personal studies, and new responsibilities that came with a major shift in her career path in 1967. By then she was the Department Head of Business Education at Virden Collegiate. At the end of one school day she received what began as a rather cryptic phone call. “It was a gentleman from the Department of Education. His name was Mr. Addy. ‘I’m on my way to Virden’ he says. ‘I’d like to speak with you. Are you going to be at the school after classes?’ Anyways, this great tall gentleman came and he asked for a tour of all the classrooms that I used and I thought. ‘What is going on?’ Eventually he said ‘I’ve come to invite you to be a member of the staff of the Vocational Branch of the Department of Education and give leadership in the Business Education Program.’” She had two weeks to consider the offer. “I thought about it for a long time and it seemed at though just as one door closes, another opens, so I decided I would join the staff and I worked there for quite a few years.” She led workshops for teachers, wrote curriculum and worked with curriculum committees, all while pursuing her own education. “Later on they asked if I would assist with the curriculum in Industrial Arts, then curriculum RTAM.MB.CA n 29


in Vocational Industrial Programs as well as the Business Education Programs. It was a lot of hard work.” She gestures widely and lets out a little shriek to evoke the sheer breadth of the tasks set before her. But there was even more to come and her new students would be teachers themselves. At their invitation, she taught both summer and regular sessions through the 1970s at Red River Community College and the University of Manitoba in a new joint Faculty of Education program. She is particularly pleased to have been part of this new initiative, having had no choice but to pursue her own Business Education degree elsewhere over so many years. At her retirement from the Department of Education in 1983, her co-worker made particular note of her many lasting contributions to fellow teachers, especially in helping create Special Area Groups for teachers. Lea Mansell, a long-time friend and EBIT member who is on the organizing committee for the event in her honour confirms Isabella has never missed a Special Area Group (now, Special Area Groups of Educators) conference yet. “Even this year at the age of 99 she was there the whole day.” It is for this unfaltering dedication that EBIT established the IDATE (Isabella Dryden Award for Teaching Excellence) award in 2000. $500 goes to a graduate of the Business/Technology Teacher Education Program. Donations to the scholarship fund can be made through the EBIT website beyond the March 16 registration deadline for the dinner event.

All are welcome to the soiree which will no doubt attract fellow business teachers and past students, but likely a few of her current pupils too. Not only has she taught a variety of courses from basic keyboarding to advanced applications using one new edition of Windows after another since 1984, she developed the curriculum. Being a lifelong learner isn’t just advice she gives others, it’s a necessity for her own classroom. She has worked with students of all ethnic backgrounds and learning levels but what they have in common is praise for Isabella’s ability to make technology accessible and relevant to their lives. From 2007 to 2010, she taught EAL to International students from some 13 different countries. Just last year, she was asked to lead a class on how to use laptops with a group of seniors through the Chinese Cultural Centre. She quickly realized that the material was too advanced for their level of English so she went about completely re-writing it all. That dedication and skill in adapting materials and methods to the needs of her students has earned her top marks among senior learners. Warmth, humour and patience is what has always elevated her from instructor to beloved teacher regardless of the age of her pupils. Perhaps her most lasting lesson for everyone who meets her is to embrace life on every level. “Keep yourself active, physically, intellectually and spiritually,” she says. Just as she has guided her many students, she says she’s always felt a strong and comforting spiritual presence at her elbow, leading her through one doorway to the next. §

“Keep yourself active, physically, intellectually and spiritually.” – Isabella Dryden

30 n RTAM KIT Spring 2017


CLASSIFIEDS Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School 50th Anniversary - April 22, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at LSRCSS. Phone 204-482-5942 for further information

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Educational Care & Excellence

Language Partner Program Information Package Dr. Louisa Loeb Permit Teachers of Manitoba

13th Annual Reunion Viscount Gort Hotel, 670 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB Thursday, July 13, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For further information, contact: Edith Alexiuk, Registrar 204-256-6484

Normal School Reunion Class of 1953 - 1954 August 12, 2017 Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park 1405 St Matthews Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

For more information contact Morris Demkiw, 9 Manitou Bay, Winnipeg, MB R3K 0V5 OR ammoe@mts.net OR phone 204-832-0413

Normal School Reunion Class of 1956 - 1957

60th Anniversary Monday, June 5, 2017 (Dinner) Tuesday, June 6, 2017 (Breakfast) Viscount Gort Hotel 1670 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB For more info, contact: Marybeth (Morgan) Gilroy mbjgilroy@gmail.com More information to follow in the Spring Edition of KIT

Rotary Career Symposium

March 14, 15,16, 2017 Volunteers are needed to help in various areas at the Rotary Career Symposium The evening of Tuesday, March 14, during the day Wednesday , March 15 and Thursday, March 16 The Symposum will be taking place at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg. Please consider volunteering, for further information contact Linda at 294-284-4872

University of Winnipeg - English Language Program What is a Language Partner? Language partners are native (or fluent) English speaking volunteers who give EAL (English as an Additional Language) students an opportunity to practice English outside of the classroom and to learn more about the Canadian way of life. Download the complete information package at http://bit.ly/2fwXcaF

WANTED - A copy of the reader The FAR HORIZONS, used in Manitoba schools in the !950’s & 60’s. Publisher Copp Clark. E-mail Dennis at wish_den@hotmail.com

Interested in volunteering with Osteoporosis Canada?

Would you like to make a difference by helping to educate health care providers and the general public about good bone health? Our education department needs presenters who enjoy public speaking and will provide informative presentations to a variety of community groups in and around Winnipeg. Training is provided and the hours can work around your schedule. Please email a resume to Manitoba@ osteoporosis.ca or call 204-772-3498 for more information.

Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)

Youth Programs Tour Guides - English and Bilingual Volunteer Tour Guides are needed for our School and Youth Programs. An art history, fine arts or education background is an asset, though not necessary as comprehensive training is provided. If you enjoy children, art, and have 4-6 hours per week to volunteer, many rewarding opportunities are here for you. For more information contact volunteer@wag.ca

KIT Winter 2016 Issue correction Photographer’s name: Nancy Wettstein

Opportunity in Cameroon

Francophone retired school principal interested in a contract in Camaroon to open a new school that would like to try out a Canadian experience. Details: manu.kaldjob@gmail.com or 104-691-3019

RTAM.MB.CA n 31


Voluntary Benefits for RTAM Members.

RTAM’s goal is to provide the best voluntary benefits at a competitive price to meet the insurance needs of the majority of retired teachers. Since 1998, we achieved this through RTAM’s sponsorship of an increasing range of voluntary insurance plans. A variety of voluntary insurance options are available to RTAM members and their eligible dependents including: • • • •

Premier Travel with Trip Cancellation Additional Stand Alone Trip Cancellation Extended Health Care Dental Care

• Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance • Term Life Insurance • Home Insurance

For more information please contact the plan administrator, Johnson Insurance.

1-877-989-2600 | pbservicewest@johnson.ca www.johnson.ca/rtam 11120 – 178 Street NW, Edmonton, AB. T5S 1P2

RTAM sponsors pre-retirement seminars for teachers each spring. Johnson Insurance is a tradename of Johnson Inc. (“Johnson”) and operates as Johnson Insurance Services in British Columbia. Johnson is a licensed insurance intermediary. RTAM Plans are administered by Johnson Inc. Premier Travel, Health and Dental are underwritten by Desjardins Financial Security. Travel Insurance and Stand Alone Trip Cancellation Insurance are underwritten by RSA Canada. Home insurance is available through Johnson Inc. a licensed insurance intermediary. Policies are primarily underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company. Eligibility requirements, limitations and exclusions may apply. 0459_16

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