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Vol. 27 | No. 3 | Winter, 2015

PN 40037581

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

TO ALL WHO SEND MATERIAL TO KIT • Please do not send your material as “read only” • Send your material in the body of an email • Attachments cause problems • Send your photos as usual

KEEP IN TOUCH All materials for the next issue of KIT must be emailed to dsage@mts.net, file in Word and no formatting and received by November 10, 2015, 5:00 p.m. Materials published here do not necessarily represent the policies nor views of RTAM.


October 14, 2015: Wellness Seminar to be held at the Qualico Centre at Assiniboine Park. Topics to include: health giving properties of indoor plants, birding and the value of chocolate! May 10, 2016: Chapter Presidents' Meeting (Norwood Hotel, Winnipeg) May 11, 2016: RTAM AGM (Norwood Hotel, Winnipeg) RTAM Travel Seminars Third Wednesday of each month RTAM Office, 1555 St. James Street, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


If you require information and brochures, or if you have any questions concerning these plans (Dental, HouseInsurance, Long Term Care, Life, Emergency Medical Travel) 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

Vol. 27 No. 3 • Winter, 2015

Published by



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 Administrative Assistant: Carol Gillis Office Assistant: Grace Reimer Board of Directors 2015-2016 President: Marvin Krawec Vice -President: Rosalie Bornn Secretary: Joan Dawson Treasurer: Judy Olmstead Past President: Wayne Hughes


Directors-at-Large Ralph Cibula Jack Fraser Guy Hansen JoAnne Hoyak Ken Malcolm Carol Pelton Peggy Prendergast Doreen Sage Ray Sitter Beth Smith Wally Stoyko John Sushelnitsky


Art Direction & Layout: Gayl Punzalan Managing Partner & Creative Director Blue Ink Media Email: gayl@blueinkmedia.ca Website: blueinkmedia.ca

Please send your hard copy ad and cheque payable to RTAM. Mail to Doreen Sage, Editor. Box 252, Neepawa, MB R0J 1H0. Note: The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba does not endorse or promote any products, services or events presented in paid advertisements, the Announcements or Volunteer Opportunities sections, unless specified. The Editorial Committee reserves the right to print, reject and/or edit for clarity, all materials received. Contact TRAF at 204-949-0048 or toll free at 1-800-782-0714 or mail to Room 330, Johnston Terminal, 25 Forks Market Road, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4S8.

RTAM can not change your address.


Not-for-profit organizations who wish to place public service announcements, volunteer opportunities with service groups, school or teacher reunions are encouraged to do so. Submissions are printed free of charge.


We would like to thank all those who contributed material for KIT. When sending in files please use Word, black ink only and no formatting. Please keep writing. Photos: 1500 pixels or professionally developed. 2 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

Images are licensed from fotolia.com, except the ones provided by the contributors. Copyright © 2015 by RTAM 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. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: RTAM, 206 - 1555 St. James St. Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5





TABLE OF CONTENTS Life Members.............................................................................. 4 In Memoriam............................................................................... 4 President’s Message................................................................... 5 Marvin Krawec Takes the Helm of RTAM................................. 6 The 2015-2016 ACER-CART Executive........................................ 9 2015-2016 RTAM Committees.................................................... 9 RTAM Benefits Update September 2015.................................. 10 Get Better Together................................................................... 29 Snowbirds.................................................................28 Valentine Smyth........................................................29 RTAM – Calgary and Area Chapter............................30 RWTA Making a Difference .....................................31 Southwest Assiniboine Retired Teachers’ Tour-2015...................................32 Retired Women Teachers’ Association.......................33

Dr. Louisa Loeb: Permit Teachers Of Manitoba 11th Annual Reunion.............................................34 Class of 56 - 57, MPNS, 58th Reunion.......................35 Our University Of Winnipeg 55+ Program Is Just Right For You...............................................36 Letter to the Editor....................................................37 CLASSIFIEDS..............................................................39

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST The Editorial Committee has decided to involve readers by holding a photography contest. Here’s how to enter: › Photo, in colour, must have been taken by a RTAM member › Size: no smaller than 5” x 7” and no larger than 8” x 12”, mounted on material no thinner than a file folder › Categories: a) Canadian sunset, b) snow/frost on a fence or trees › Entries to be judged by qualified photographers. Prizes: first, $25.00, second, $15.00, in each category › To be mailed or hand delivered to RTAM office


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Louise Burton, Fashion diva and co-ordinator of 2015 RWTA fashion show.

We might be retired by we always have class as shown by this year’s models.

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President’s Message

Let’s Hear It For the Volunteers

Y Marvin Krawec RTAM President 2015-2016 RETIRED TEACHERS’




ou might recall that in the previous issue of KIT, I outlined what our intentions were. The Board did hold a day and a half seminar regarding governance and planning. Some of the information, it is hoped, will be put to good use. The chairs and their respective committees are working diligently on their agendas relevant to the responsibilities as they are outlined. The website, under the tutelage of Jack Fraser, has undergone some transformation already. Jack has put in an inordinate amount of time trying to bring the website up to an acceptable standard. The wellness committee, spearheaded by Peggy Prendergast, has been busy with its workshops. It is evident, by the success of the workshops, that a lot of planning had taken place. Other committees, as well, have worked ceaselessly on their assigned agendas. This year, the bursary committee has selected five students for bursaries. Each student will receive $500 towards furthering of his/her education. I am grateful to all the committees for their diligent pursuit of their agendas for the benefit of RTAM members. The committee members not only volunteer to sit on the Board and

do your bidding, they also do much voluntary work in their communities as well. This brings me to the volunteer survey that was done for RTAM a little while back. The survey showed that 82% of the retired teachers, volunteer, on the average 42 hours a month. In 2014, when the survey was done, there were some 11,072 retired teachers volunteering. If one assigns a wage of $10.75 per hour, the economic impact, to the province of Manitoba, from this volunteering , amounts to approximately $60 million for that year. This is the contribution of the retired teachers only. What about all the other retirees who do volunteer work? Two senior economists, from the TD bank, conducted a similar survey across the country. What they found was that volunteering in Canada, had a $50 billion impact on the Canadian economy. To quote the economists, “This economic value of volunteering, is approximately the same size as the entire Manitoba economy. Let it not be said that we do not carry our weight. Finally, a replacement for Carol Gillis has been hired. She will begin her assignment on November 23. The staff and the Board of RTAM wish you the best of the holiday season that’s coming up. May it be Merry and Bright. §

There will be monthly Mini-Seminars on Wellness at the RTAM office, to be announced on the website www.rtam.mb.ca as to topic,date and time.


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Association canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités Canadian Association of Retired Teachers

October 25, 2015 Dear ACER-CART Members: It is a week since Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party swept into power in a most decisive way. ACER-CART thanks all its Members and retired teachers who involved themselves in the democratic process, who became informed, shared materials, and joined the discussion; and who then exercised the great privilege and civic responsibility of voting. ACER-CART congratulates all candidates who served our country by putting their names forward, engaging in a long campaign that surely took its toll on family and friends. We appreciate their courage and their sense of duty to better our society. ACER-CART looks forward to meeting with the members of the new Parliament. We pledge to work with them as they address the needs of seniors across the land, to share the insights and the vision we have of dignity and compassion for all of our fellow Canadians as they age in this country. In the months leading to the election, we have had the opportunity to link with many like-minded organizations. These coalitions gave us the opportunity to put forward our priorities as significant items to be discussed with all of the candidates regardless of their political party. We intend to pursue collaborating with organizations of similar aims so that together we can assist and influence the new government to adopt policies that are in the best interest of seniors and of all Canadians. Much has been promised, and the way forward may not always be smooth. But we have hope that circumstances will align themselves so that the new Government may fulfill its mandate to address the needs of all citizens in accordance with the values we hold as Canadians, the perception we have about who we are, and the future we want for our children and our grandchildren. Yours sincerely,

JoAnn Lauber President Présidente JoAnn Lauber, President, ACER-CART 1703 - 8 Laguna Court New Westminster, BC V3M 6M6 jlauber@shaw.ca (604) 523 1653 6 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

Association canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités Canadian Association of Retired Teachers

October 25, 2015 Dear ACER-CART Members: It is a week since Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party swept into power in a most decisive way. ACER-CART thanks all its Members and retired teachers who involved themselves in the democratic process, who became informed, shared materials, and joined the discussion; and who then exercised the great privilege and civic responsibility of voting. ACER-CART congratulates all candidates who served our country by putting their names forward, engaging in a long campaign that surely took its toll on family and friends. We appreciate their courage and their sense of duty to better our society. ACER-CART looks forward to meeting with the members of the new Parliament. We pledge to work with them as they address the needs of seniors across the land, to share the insights and the vision we have of dignity and compassion for all of our fellow Canadians as they age in this country. In the months leading to the election, we have had the opportunity to link with many like-minded organizations. These coalitions gave us the opportunity to put forward our priorities as significant items to be discussed with all of the candidates regardless of their political party. We intend to pursue collaborating with organizations of similar aims so that together we can assist and influence the new government to adopt policies that are in the best interest of seniors and of all Canadians. Much has been promised, and the way forward may not always be smooth. But we have hope that circumstances will align themselves so that the new Government may fulfill its mandate to address the needs of all citizens in accordance with the values we hold as Canadians, the perception we have about who we are, and the future we want for our children and our grandchildren. Yours sincerely,

JoAnn Lauber President Présidente JoAnn Lauber, President, ACER-CART 1703 - 8 Laguna Court New Westminster, BC V3M 6M6 jlauber@shaw.ca (604) 523 1653 RTAM.MB.CA

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Fall Wellness Seminar Maureen Recksiedler


n October 14, a beautiful fall day, 40 RTAM members met at the Qualico Center in Assiniboine Park to take part in three workshops organized by the RTAM Wellness Committee. The first one was the Health Benefits of Indoor Plants. Our presenter, Michelle, spoke to us about the needs of container plants – light, fertilize, water, humidity and temperature. Then we moved into planning and designing our indoor container. Begin with a thriller plant – a tall, spectacular, showy plant. Then choose several fillers and plant around the thriller. One of the fillers should be a spiller which will dangle prettily over the side of the pot. The staff had prepared a large pot of soil for each of us. They invited us to go up to the front and choose our plants. There were begonias, coleus, ivy and ferns. We enjoyed the whole process (even the cleaning up) and looked forward to taking our pots home. Following a delicious lunch served in the Tamarack Room off of the restaurant, half the group headed out with the other presenter, Abby, for a

bird watching tour of the English Gardens and Leo Mall Garden while the others stayed behind with Michelle for the Health Benefits of Chocolate workshop. It was a truly delicious experience. It featured a tasting of several kinds of chocolate including chocolate with sea salt. Michelle gave us lots of information on how the cacao bean is grown and processed into the final product. She emphasized the importance of purchasing chocolate which contains at least 70% cacao. The anti-oxidants and flavonoids in cacao have antiaging properties. Also the importance of looking for fair trade products to support the small producers in developing countries was discussed. The bird watching walk was very pleasant. Out by the duck pond and in the English Gardens we managed to spot a few birds using the binoculars provided for close-up views. An added benefit to the whole day is experiencing the dramatic unveiling of the conservancy plan for the redevelopment of the Park and Zoo. The first phase focused on renewal in the Heart of the Park, the Qualico Centre and duck pond ~ Next page ~

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“Roomy Closets and Happy Feet” Lydia Heshka, Welness Committee Member / Photos by Judy Olmstead


oomy Closets and Happy Feet were the two topics of enlightenment at the Wellness Seminar held at McMaster House on April 30, 2015. The morning session, facilitated by Tannis Ho from ‘All Seniors Care’, was all about what to do and how to do it when we are ready to downsize and/or declutter. These are her Top 10 Tips: • Start by using pen and paper to write down all the things you can’t live without. • Thin out your belongings, starting three months in advance, if moving or downsizing. • Do something daily, starting in the room you use the least. • Heavily edit items of less sentimental value. • There are many places that accept and welcome donations: charities such as, Habitat for Humanity, ReNu Store, GoodWill, Arts Junktion, just to name a few. Keep an eye out for organizations who welcome donations. For instance, on September 20th, 2015, Grands ‘n’ More, Winnipeg Chapter of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, is having a Giant Sale of New & Recycled Art. (Contact Betty at 204 489-7137 or Heather at 204 888-0834 for more information.) • The kitchen and dining-room can be a challenge. How many mixing bowls? The bone-china dinner set? If no one wants the china, don’t save it. Start using it! Closets! Clothes! Tannis recommends that, if you buy one item, you have to let two go!

• If you get bogged down, get an objective opinion from someone whose opinions you value/trust. • Label three bins: 1) To Keep, 2) To Sell, 3) To Give Away. Once the ‘Give Away’ bin is full, let it go. Do not revisit it. • If selling, you can use KIJIJI, Craig’s List, consignment stores, auction houses or garage sales. • If you are moving, get a floor plan of your new home. If you are de-cluttering, move furniture around. Plan accordingly. • When packing, number and label all boxes and bins, as well as listing them in a binder. It makes it much easier to locate the items. During our gourmet lunch we discussed the morning session, exchanged ideas, renewed acquaintances and enjoyed socializing. The afternoon session, facilitated by Cathy McDonald of We Care, gave us useful information about keeping our feet healthy and happy. Many foot problems revolve around diabetes. Our session dealt mainly with issues related to this condition. Neuropathy, a condition where nerves are damaged and there is no feeling in the feet, leaves feet vulnerable. Well-fitted shoes are imperative. Wearing white socks allows one to see any discharge or blood. Pedicure advantages and risks were discussed. There comes a time when a regular pedicure just won’t do. Podiatrists are often covered by insurance plans. The next Wellness Workshop will be held on Wednesday October 14, 2015 at the Qualico Center.

Fall Wellness . . . continued from page 8 area. The second phase has involved the ongoing revitalization of the Assiniboine Park Zoo, highlighted by the opening of the Journey to Churchill exhibit. In the next phase there is a shift in focus from the animal kingdom to the life-sustaining world of plants with an iconic new horticultural attraction that will replace the existing conserva-

tory. Assiniboine Park is becoming an amazing environment for young and old alike to benefit from and enjoy. It was a very enjoyable day and the committee would like to thank the staff at Assiniboine Park and the Qualico Centre.


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Dooley Presentation


or a day and a half, Sue Hemphill had the task of “cowboys herding cats”. In fact, she was helping the RTAM Board members to analyze their modes of possible behaviors in the process of governance. What is helpful behavior and what is not, is the question that Sue was asking the Board members to consider. Working in small discussion groups and also in full assembly , the Board worked towards a positive

John Sushelnitsky

blueprint for future decision-making . A report on effective communication became one of the tools for focusing the Board on strategies to achieve RTAM goals and objectives. Ms Hemphill, her assistant Lynette and Ms Betty Black were the experts leading the Board members through the various exercises and discussions. There was general consensus that the experience had been very worthwhile.

The Alloway Arch ceremony and RTAM’s presence


n September 29, 2015, RTAM President Marvin Krawec was invited to participate in the Grand Opening of the Alloway Arch, located just outside the Forks in Winnipeg. His presence at that historic event marks the growing stature of our organization in the eyes of the general public. We have invested sufficient funds in the Winnipeg Foundation to be able to give four $500 bursaries to deserving students who have been nominated by RTAM relatives. It is in that spirit that we join the Winnipeg foundation that has distributed since 1921 “more than $365 million to our community” i.e. Manitoba. The Winnipeg foundation itself was established in 1921 by the generous gift of $100,000 by banker William Forbes Alloway and in a letter accompanying the gift, stated “I owe everything to this

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community and feel it should receive some benefit from what I have been able to accumulate.”


RTAM 2015 Award Winners Peggy Prendergast. Educational Advocacy & Award Chair

RTAM is pleased to congratulate the following winners and their sponsors for 2015:

Kirsten Fleury

Award Winner Kirsten Fleury Halle Anne Hayhurst Kathleen Maddocks Kirsten McWhirter


Halle Hayhurst

Location St. Francois Xavier Hamiota Winnipeg Winnipeg

Kathleen Maddocks

Kirsten McWhirter

Sponsor Mrs. Flora Mae Nordman Mr. Allan W. Robertson Mrs. Sylvia Maddocks Mr. Andrew “Don” McWhirter

TAM established an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 with an initial contribution of $50,000. This fund provides support for four $500.00 awards each year to a Grade 12 graduate who is: sponsored by a relative who is an RTAM member, involved in school and community activities, and enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. There were 45 award applications again submitted this year. As retired teachers we place a strong value on education. Growing the RTAM Endowment Fund at the Foundation would allow us to enlarge the size of the award available to each student, and, possibly

Relationship Grandmother Grandfather Grandmother Father

expand the support for young people in their studies to include post graduate students and students already enrolled in post-secondary education. Please consider assisting in the growth of the RTAM Endowment Fund. It is listed as a registered charity through Canada Revenue Agency. The Retired Teachers of Manitoba Endowment Fund is held with The Winnipeg Foundation. Contributions can be made through them by phone, mail or internet. A tax receipt will be issued by the Winnipeg Foundation for your contribution to the fund. A bequest in your will or a memorial contribution as part of your funeral arrangements are suggestions for your consideration.


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RTAM Benefits Update November 2015


he following information is being provided to RTAM members who are currently covered by RTAM’s benefit plans as well as those who may be considering enrolling in the plans: A. Why do I need travel insurance while travelling in Canada? B. What is trip cancellation and interruption insurance? C. Who do I call in the event of an emergency and what information is required? D. Winner of the Eldercare Select survey. E. Member Inquiry: Whose name is on the Prescription Drug Card? A. WHY DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE WHILE TRAVELLING IN CANADA? Travel Insurance is designed to pay for certain unexpected costs that may arise when you are travelling outside your home province or Canada. These costs may include emergency hospital and medical costs, trip cancellation and lost baggage. Why is this coverage important within Canada? • While travelling outside your own province, some medical and paramedical expenses may

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only be partially covered by your provincial health insurance program. This could include prescription drugs, ground and air ambulance services and semi-private or private hospital accommodation. • The Canada Health Act requires that the provinces and territories extend medically necessary hospital and physician coverage to their eligible residents during temporary absences from the province or territory. However, this would cover only standard ward accommodation. Extra charges for semi-private accommodation vary by province and by hospital, and as shown below, are higher than rates of $40-44 in Manitoba: › Vancouver General Hospital $165 per day › Toronto General Hospital $250 per day • Ground and air ambulance charges also vary by province. At one extreme, it has been estimated that a coast to coast air ambulance with a full medical team could exceed $45,000. RTAM’s Travel Insurance Plans include semi-private accommodation, ground and air ambulance, vehicle return, pet return, lost baggage and much more.

Premier Travel Plan This Plan includes Trip Cancellation before departure and Interruption after departure as described below. It is in addition to emergency medical coverage for multiple trips per year for durations up to 62 days under the Base Plan. A Trip can be extended to 212 days with the purchase of Supplementary coverage. • Before departure, Trip Cancellation applies in one of the 14 eligible reasons causing you to cancel your Trip. You will be reimbursed the non-refundable portion of the pre-paid travel arrangements up to a maximum of $7,000 per Insured Person. • After departure, Trip Interruption applies in one of the 14 eligible reasons causing you to curtail your Trip or delay your Day of Return. You will be reimbursed for the extra cost of a oneway economy airfare to the departure point or to the destination point and any unused non-re-

fundable land arrangements up to a maximum $7,000 per Insured Person. Note: you must contact Sigma Assistel Canada within 48 hours of the event forcing interruption / delay. It is important to know what events qualify as a reason for trip cancellation/interruption. Your certificate of insurance lists the 14 eligible events that could trigger the coverage. The top reason is “Death, Injury or Sickness of an Insured Person, an Extended Family Member, a Close Business Associate, or a Travelling Companion.” MEDOC Travel Plan MEDOC Travel coverage includes Trip Cancellation and Interruption protection up to $8,000 per insured person per trip in one of the eligible covered events set out in the policy. MEDOC covers shorter trip durations of 17 or 35 days under the Base Plan, and up to 212 days under the Supplementary Plan. Stand-Alone Trip Cancellation You can also access Stand-Alone coverage if you already have third-party travel insurance, but wish to add annual trip cancellation, or to increase your


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B. WHAT IS TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE? When planning your trip, remember that RTAM’s Travel Insurance Plans include Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance and that may be all you need. Below is a summary of the coverage.


existing amount of annual trip cancellation coverage. It covers up to $6,000 per insured person per year for trip cancellation before departure and trip interruption after departure. It also covers up to $1,000 for baggage and personal effects. Note: It is important to be familiar with your policy limitations before booking your trip as some limitations may apply. For more details, review your policy or call Johnson Inc. C. WHO DO I CALL IN THE EVENT OF A TRAVEL MEDICAL EMERGENCY? WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED? Most Travel Insurance Plans have a travel assistance provider that can assist you in the event of a medical emergency while travelling. Knowing who, when and how to contact the provider is key. Below is the contact information for the RTAM Premier Travel Plan for direction on treatment, to confirm eligible expenses and to open a claim file. At the first sign of a medical emergency, and before you seek medical attention; contact the 24-hour Sigma Assistel Centre immediately - any time of day or night - at: Canada/USA (Toll Free): 1-877-775-3695 Other Countries (Call Collect): (514) 875-3695 Or Fax: (514) 875-7729 Note: Use a landline when calling Collect or Toll Free numbers outside of Canada – your personal cell phone may not work. What does Sigma Assistel do in the event of a medical emergency when traveling? • Refer you to a physician or hospital within its network that can best provide the quality care you require. • Make arrangements for payment of eligible expenses on your behalf and guarantee payment where possible. • When necessary, make all transportation arrangements for emergency evacuation, transportation of a family member to your bedside and return of a vehicle. • Facilitate the coordination of claims payment from your Provincial Government Health Insurance Plan and any other insurance plan you 14 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

are enrolled in. Note: You must contact Sigma Assistel to coordinate payment arrangements - The hospital will not make these arrangements. Am I required to return home after a Medical Emergency? Sigma Assistel, in consultation with the attending physician, reserves the right to return the sick or injured Insured Person to his or her province of residence. If in the event that an emergency medical diagnosis / treatment is deemed to require continued medical action and you are able to return home but choose to have the treatment or surgery performed outside of your province of residence, benefits will not be payable with respect to the continued medical treatment. The immediate availability of treatment or surgery on return to the province of residence is not the responsibility of the Plan, but that of your Provincial Health Insurance Plan. What will I need when I call Sigma Assistel? • Your Provincial Health Insurance Number. • Your Certificate Number, as shown on your Coverage Confirmation Letter. • Your Sigma Policy Number (# 644182), as shown on your Wallet I.D. Card. Note: Upon receipt of your Premier Travel Plan documents, write down the Certificate Number presented in your Coverage Confirmation Letter in the space provided on your Wallet I.D. Card. The information on your Wallet I.D. Card paired with your Provincial Health Insurance Number

What is expected of me in the event of a medical emergency travel claim? To simplify and expedite the payment of any claim, please follow these guidelines: • Make sure you understand your coverage: The plan covers you for emergencies only. An emergency is a sudden and unforeseen sickness or injury that requires immediate medical attention. › Note: in the event of a claim, the insurer may request your medical history from your physician. • Advise your family and travel companions that they need to call Sigma Assistel on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Your safety is the top priority. • Keep copies of all your original receipts in the event of a claim. • Once your claim has been reported to Sigma Assistel, you may receive physician or hospital bills in error. Never pay a bill from a collection agency. Forward them immediately to: Desjardins Financial Security (Attention: Claims Department) C.P. 3950, Lévis, Québec, G6V 8C6 D. WINNER OF ELDERCARE BENEFIT SURVEY – LINDA DART Thanks to the many RTAM Health Plan members who responded to the most recent survey conducted to help assess member interest in Eldercare coverage, a current pilot project sponsored by Johnson for members of the Health Plan. Congratulations to Linda Dart, the winner of the prize for completing the survey, a $100 gift card. Over 145 members responded to the survey and the results were informative. • Over 65% preferred access to a benefit. • Roughly one third expected to use the benefit within 5 years. • About 55% were confident in their ability to manage the care. • More open ended questions in future survey design were suggested.

The Eldercare Select Plan assists members and their extended families in managing long term care needs by providing access to a dedicated Care Specialist (a Registered Nurse) who will provide you with expert advice, guidance and support for your unique situation. This may include providing information and assistance navigating the complex healthcare system wherever you live in Canada. E. MEMBER INQUIRY: WHOSE NAME IS ON THE PRECRIPTION DRUG CARD? Most Health and Dental claims are now submitted electronically. A common question is: Whose name is on Johnson’s prescription drug card? Only one name appears: the Primary Cardholder. There are several reasons for this practice: • The name of the owner of the plan on the card facilitates a coordination of benefits. Medical practitioners know that the name on the card represents the owner of the plan and if the person presenting the card is not listed, they will ask if they have their own coverage; and from there they know how to coordinate billing without asking the client as to whom to bill first. • Johnson uses Telus Health as our provider for electronic Claims submission. As per their guidelines, the Primary Cardholder’s name must appear on the card as their information is required when a claim is submitted to Johnson Inc. • A surviving spouse may become the Primary Cardholder. Johnson would require a Death Certificate and new application form. This is required to cancel the family plan and change it to single. Johnson refunds any premium paid for family coverage past your spouse’s death. Member feedback and inquiries are always welcome as it is important to ensure the benefit plans are meeting the evolving insurance needs of the majority of RTAM members. For further questions and detailed plan information, please call our RTAM office at 204-889-3660, or RTAM’s Plan Administrator Johnson Inc. toll-free at 1-877-989-2600, or visit the website www.johnson.ca/rtam. RTAM.MB.CA

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will be what Sigma Assistel needs to retrieve your Member information.


Educational Advocacy Report West Winnipeg – St James Civic Centre – November 5, 2015 Peggy Prendergast, chair of the Educational Advocacy Committee


hursday, November 5, close to 100 people over 55 years of age congregated at the St. James Civic Centre to listen to speakers inform them of some of the many services available to older adults in the area. Information and welcoming words came from five different Senior Centres in the area for the first half hour starting at 10:00 am. This was followed by the presentation “It’s Not Right, Neighbours, Friends and Family” delivered by Susan Crichton, the Elder Abuse Consultant from the Healthy Aging and Seniors Secretariat of the Manitoba Government. Lunch, sponsored by RTAM, followed. The afternoon began with a very informative overview by Jeanette Edwards, Regional Director Primary Care & Chronic Disease WRHA, of the various services available through the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Barbara Balshaw, Team Manager Community Home Care WRHA, Access Winnipegd West, followed with a description of the Home Care services available and how to access them. Following another short break, the day concluded with a presentation from Pam McConnell on Transportation Options Network for Seniors and information on Housing Options for SeniorsAs We Age given by Connie Newman and Peggy Prendergast. This was the sixth such event that RTAM has sponsored across the province, partnering with MASC, the Manitoba Association of Senior Centres whose Executive Director is Connie Newman, a retired teacher and with the Manitoba Government, namely the Elder Abuse consultant, Susan Crichton, from the Healthy Aging and Seniors Secretariat. Thompson, Dauphin, Portage La Prairie, and now the third area of Winnipeg

have received pertinent information for their area. Each time attendees have been asked to become advocates for their neighbours, friends and families as they gain information about the many services our province and communities have to offer. We in Manitoba are very fortunate to have the services we have but if we don’t know what they are and how to access them they are not the benefit they could be. 82% of retired teachers volunteer in some way in the communities in which they live, much of this volunteer work is connected to these very services. By inviting all the older adults who live in the area to these events we increase the knowledge base and advocacy base for everyone. Not only is the isolated senior a target for this information but also our closest social associates, our neighbours, friends and families. One of the comments included on the evaluations of the day given by a participant was, “Found the seminar to be informative. I am a single person who lives alone. Great to see that there are different programs for the 55+ that are available so that I can get out and mingle with others.” Many of us end up “alone not of our own choice” as we age so that programs with a social component are very important. Marvin Krawec, RTAM president brought greetings and gave personal family examples of how the information that had just been given was useful in his family situation again underlining the importance of these events. Maybe the day can be summed up by this observation by one of the participants, “I really enjoyed the day. There was many presentations that were very informative and important information that I am sure I will need in the future. Thank you for ~ Next Page ~

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Congratulations to our Nifty Ninetiers Article and photos: Pat Bowslaugh


he first day of the school year in Brandon was chosen by the Westman Retired Educators Chapter as a fine date to honour seven of our members who have reached their ninth decade of life. Our Chapter is so proud of these ladies that we decided to profile and honour them as our guests on September 8, 2015, at our Fall Luncheon. Ninety years of memories and life experiences were shared by each of them. We heard of horse and buggy days, unique appointments to one-room school houses, large classes, paltry salaries, janitorial duties and numerous other huge expectations. The dreams and accomplishments of each from their over ninety plus years left some of our newer retirees only hoping to have the health, stamina and clarity of recall

to someday share their own stories. Pictured above are (front row): Ruth Grant, Margaret Hood, Winelda Curtis, (back row): Audrey Lindsay, Jean Young, Doris Stone. To complete our day, each of our seven ladies received two red roses courtesy of our chapter secretary, Bill Taylor. Our best wishes and roses were delivered to Hazel Skuce (103 years) who had endured a fall the day before and was unable to be present. (She is pictured separately.) §

Edudcational Advocacy Report . . . Continued from page 16 organizing the day.” Everyone who filled out an evaluation answered YES to the question: “Should RTAM continue to organize these seminars?” Maybe we will see you and your neighbours at the next event organized in your area!

This whole day was a result of the work of retired teachers from the St. James chapter working with members of the RTAM Educational Advocacy Committee. Thank you to all who were involved in this successful venture. §






n 17


Phones, Death, and Downsizing Heather Shelton


n September 23, 2015, Brandon’s Riverbank Discovery Centre was the venue for a very instructive and rewarding afternoon . The Westman Retired Educators’ Association sponsored the event with the Chapter Initiative grant received from RTAM. Approximately twenty-four members met to glean information on wills, downsizing and technology. Doug Paterson QC began with a very enlightening presentation concerning all those little things that, in planning for our eventual demise, we often overlook in ignorance. For instance, what sort of documentation is required by your executor upon your passing and where should this documentation be kept? How should we deal with our valuable collections or Aunt Sally’s dinner set if such is not dealt with in the will? Mr. Paterson relayed such information with wit and amusing anecdotes ,greatly enjoyed by the audience. Do I need a smartphone? What kind of phone should I purchase? When and how long should I charge my phone? How do I backup the information on my phone? These are a sample of the questions that were asked of Bhavin Patel, manager of IDC Communications . He patiently and expertly supplied the answers to the myriad of questions posed by members of the audience and undoubtedly created enough interest in the various capabilities of a smart phone that we all have more questions and an elevated interest in possibly owning such devices.

What one of us has not opened a drawer or a cupboard and wondered, “Where did all this stuff come from?” and “What am I going to do with all this when we move out of this big house, where we have raised our family?” Brandy Clegg and Leanne Meek completed our afternoon by explaining how their company, Transitions, can help in such a situation. They will help you with decluttering and downsizing, sorting and packing, organizing and hosting a content sale, as well as moving and setting up your new home. Delicious homebaked cookies and assorted beverages made an enjoyable break . Our door prize was won by Dawn Lyons and the 50/50 draw was won by Arlene Hamilton. The afternoon was both informative and entertaining. WREA would like to express our thanks to RTAM for the Chapter Initiative grant for making it possible.

Welcome to Retirement

Article and photos: Pat Bowslaugh


estman Retired Educators (Brandon) welcomed several new retirees by having them as guests at our recent luncheon. Picture on the right is Andy McIntosh, Pat Kerelchuk, Dawn Lyons, Debbie Mason, Doug Masters. Missing is Brent Campbell. (He had to leave early for a teaching assignment!)

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ur fall luncheon, held on September 10, 2015 at Moxie’s Southport in Calgary, was at-tended by 19 former Manitobans. It’s always exciting to welcome new faces to our get togethers and this was no exception. Fiona Cantafio, who traces her Manitoba roots from Ste. Rose du Lac, Portage la Prairie and Transcona-Springfield has lived in Calgary since 1979. Bev Smith taught in Dauphin, Brandon and Fort Garry/Pembina Trails before moving to Calgary about 4 years ago. Dianne Cooper-Ponte, Community Relations, Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society, was our guest speaker. Dianne’s expert presentation on the topic “A Conversation About Fraud Prevention and


Calgary and Area Chapter

Financial Abuse” led to a lively group discussion. A special “Thank you” is due to Jan Campbell for arranging Dianne’s visit! Thursday, December 3 is the date of our next get together. We have been contacting our members by email, Canada Post and by telephone. If you are an RTAM member, living in Calgary and area, who has somehow been missed, please email literacyplus@shaw.ca or call Dennis @ 587 891 7114 You might be surprised to meet a former Manitoba colleague in the group!

Okanagan Chapter Event Nancy Kostiuk


he Monticello Clubhouse in West Kelowna was the setting for the annual BBQ, Potluck and Games Event on July 28, 2015. Twenty-four members and friends enjoyed the delicious meal and engaged in various games with much enthusiasm. Two new members were welcomed to the chapter.

The much appreciated RTAM grant was used to secure the facilities and provide supplies. Thanks to Sue Forsyth, our photographer, for capturing the event. Also thanks to Lorne Lisik and Glenn Forsyth who manned the BBQ and refereed the bocce games. RTAM.MB.CA

n 19


Swan Valley Retired Teachers 25th Anniversary Ed Richenhaller


he Swan Valley Retired Teachers (SVRT) gathered for a celebration luncheon for their 25th Anniversary at the Westwood Inn in Swan River on September 18, 2015. Included in the eighty-five in attendance were the Vice-President of RTAM, Rosalie Bornn; Director of RTAM and a Dauphin Area Retired Teacher, Beth Smith; Dauphin Chapter President, Charlene Purdon. Also in attendance were invited guests, those who taught on permit, short term teachers, substitute teachers, retired teachers who have moved away and also interested teacher assistants and clerical staff. After the delicious meal, Bernice Nowak, who was the original Secretary of the SVRT chapter in 1990, spoke on its formation. She read the original letter fromJohn Kastrukoff, who was than President of RTAM, and who was instrumental in the formation of the chapter of the Swan Valley Retired Teachers. Bernice also informed us that the first publication of RTAM’s “Update” was already registered by a different group. Bernice’s name submission to the naming contest, KIT (Keep In Touch), was the name that was chosen for the RTAM quarterly (which she always used in the communica-

20 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

tion with her family). At the open mic, congratulatory remarks were given by Rosalie Bornn, Beth Smith and Charlene Purdon. Retired teacher, Glen McKenzie, Mayor of the Town of Swan River, brought greetings from the Town .Amy Shaw spoke on the contribution of BUNTEP to the teaching profession and updated those students’ careers presently. Frances Baird read a letter from a former student, who wrote about the influence on her life by one of her teachers. Ruth Bilowus, who motored from Brandon with fellow retired teachers, Freida Tolton, Avonna Moffat and Joy Solomon, spoke on her first year experiences with her 52 grade six students while teaching in a “hut” back of the Duncan School in Swan River. SVRT President, Ed Richenhaller, with the aid of members Kathy Booth, Carol Fahrenschon and Sheila Kelbert, drew names for door prizes donated by committee members and some Swan River businesses. The celebrations concluded with a sing song of “oldies” but goodies led by Pat Richewnhaller with Carolle Cowan at the keyboard. The committee wishes to thank everyone who attended and helped to make this occasion a memorable reunion.

l O e Y 2015 tt Glennis Sco


hat a Great 1st Day of School! The scenic Minnewasta Golf & Country Club in Morden was the setting for the 21st Annual Retired Teachers’ Golf Tournament on Tuesday,September 8th! One hundred fifty-two golfers from all parts of the Province took to the links to “do battle” on the challenging Minnewasta Course. Following 18 holes of golf everyone enjoyed a scrumptious meal and an opportunity to reminisce over ole times. A short program followed during which various flight winners were announced as well as the 2016 Host, Maplewood Golf and Country Club in St Pierre Jolys.

Blake North; ship Flight (L-R: on pi am Ch e th 1st in tin) Revel; Neil Mar Bruce North; Don

1st in the Second Flight (LR: Terry Gabrielle; John Plohman; Craig MacKenzie; Grant Plohman)

1st in the Third Flight (L-R: Carol Fahrenschon; Donna Harris; Margaret Boumford; Bernice Hart

1st in the Fourth Flight (L-R: Linda Hart; Gayle Johnston; Judy Taylor; Betty Ebner


n 21


c i s s a l C y t s u R e


e bought our 20 foot “cottage on wheels” second-hand two years ago preferring to use a legacy to buy flexibility over permanence. Like any well-appointed cottage, it offers all the amenities: a fridge, a two-burner stove, an electronically controlled sofa bed, a built-in bathroom for those middleof-the-night needs that often come with being retired, plenty of storage space including a closet for hanging coats and an outfit for possible restaurant or concert visits, and even a flat-screen TV and DVD player. We also own a cat and a dog and like to take them away with us. This year we set off on a five-week adventure on a mild March 31 planning to visit the Pacific Coast from Monterey north and return to Winnipeg through British

Columbia. The timing of the trip was important. We use Woodley’s RV guides available from the CAA to choose campgrounds. The book lists when places open for the season. Since we wanted to leave early and avoid summer heat and crowds, it was useful to know most places on the west coast are either open year-round or open on given dates in April or May. If we had tried to drive through the mountains after October 1 and before March 31, we would have needed snow tires. We were only caught out once when we paid for a night in Alberta before discovering the water was turned off despite the campground appearing to be nearly full with trailers, all unoccupied. The electricity still worked, so we stayed anyway.

An RV Adventure

Ann Timonin

Our RV

Mesa Verde Palace Ruins

That’s not to say the van is dependent on electricity. We prefer to plug in as it gives us access to the microwave and the toaster which only work on mains current, but the propane gas will also run the fridge and we have an on-board water tank that holds several days’ supply. Because of this we were able to spend a peaceful two nights at an unserviced campground on San Juan Island, Washington State, overlooking the water used as a route for pods of orcas on their way to the mouth of the Fraser River. At the same time, traveling in summer would require a lot more planning. We were able to stop when we felt like it and had made no bookings in advance. Several popular campgrounds told us

they would be fully booked in July and August. Only one we stopped at couldn’t accommodate us and sent us to a much more interesting night at the fairgrounds near San Jose. Here the manager had devised her own questionnaire for campers which asked for such details as the breed and weight of pets, their sex and if they had been neutered or not. Given that some places asked only for a sum of money and wrote nothing down, this level of detail seemed like overkill. The winding roads through the mountains and up the Californian and Oregon coast are not recommended for long RVs or for people pulling trailers, but our van, with its truck engine, was

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able to handle the route we wanted to take giving us some spectacular views. When we got to San Francisco, notorious for limited parking and crowds of tourists, we fit into a space in the street and were able to explore without paying high fees. More importantly, our large pick-up sized vehicle is able to turn around in a limited space if we make a wrong turn – something that happens far more often than either of us would like. No matter how carefully we plan, there are always surprises. Ours were frequently when we interacted with campground managers. At Maragosa Springs we were handed a key for the laundry room and told to lock the door behind us as “people are always coming in from the street and expecting to use the washrooms.” Since the

only other business in the neighbourhood was advertised as a brothel, we found this information unusual, but we complied. We didn’t see anyone coming in from the street. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year. Maybe in summer people exiting the near-by road to Death Valley see the now closed gas station on the same side of the road as the campground and decide to stop for advertised but unavailable ice cream. I can imagine thinking a washroom would be nice under those circumstances even if I didn’t want to do laundry! Our GPS provided us with more surprises when it led us out of our way on several occasions. Although the maps on our model are only five years old, it seems the world of business is changing quickly. We visited former grocery stores, and

The Chandelier Tree redwood (with author and dog)

View from the Pacific Coast in Northern California

non-existent campgrounds before turning round and finding what we were looking for without the device. Knowing how to read a map is still important. Knowing when to read it is even better. Beyond guide books and campground listings, we found a weather forecast to be essential. Our intention was to visit Denver on our way through Colorado to Mesa Verde early in April. However, our plans changed when we learned the city expected more than six inches of snow when we wanted to be there. We were able to avoid the snow by staying south of the mountains although we did find slush in the sink at Del Norte, Colorado, one morning and had to turn off the water

pump to stop it burning out. Equally, our plans to return to the Prairies through Jasper at the beginning of May were changed when temperatures there were predicted to go below zero for several nights. If we had travelled at a more conventional holiday season we would have had different concerns, especially with the pets’ dislike of heat. Many campgrounds warn that animals cannot be left alone in a trailer. This prohibition was no problem for us as the RV is our only vehicle when we travel. This trip we were able to enjoy exploring Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and watch for whales off San Juan Island. Who knows where we’ll head next . . . RTAM.MB.CA

n 23


Volunteering in MaryLou Driedger


t’s a warm January morning. I’m waiting for sunrise on the balcony at Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. A boozy rendition of the hymn How Great Thou Art from an all night Dead Yard Party fills the air. Before my husband Dave and I volunteered as tutors in Jamaica we’d never heard of a Dead Yard party, a wake that mixes prayers, alcohol, reggae music, high stakes dominoes, hymns, food and dancing. Dead Yard parties were just one of the fascinating sensory experiences we had in Jamaica. We won’t forget the sound of the children at the Runaway Bay tutoring centre greeting us enthusiastically each day. For three hours Monday to Friday we provided after school programing for forty children. We remember kids whooping

24 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

excitedly as they won a game, their halting voices struggling to read stories and their careful counting as we did math exercises. We heard stories from our tutoring centre kids about life in their ghetto communities. They told us about robberies, electricity blackouts, police raids, drug use and staying on their own while their parents worked. We also remember the sound of waves on the beach where we often spent our mornings. Of course we can’t forget the sound of my husband belting out Johnny Cash tunes evenings at the local karaoke joint. It wasn’t only the sounds of Jamaica that impressed us; the taste of Jamaican food did too. Violet, the cook at the Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast dished up ackee and salt fish, fried

breadfruit and plantains, potato pudding, cassava flat bread, conch soup, meat patties, curried goat, jerk chicken, gungo peas and festival dumplings. Jamaica is a one of a kind taste experience. The smells of Jamaica were unforgettable. The scent of hundreds of kinds of flowers mingled with rotting garbage. We explored the Green Grotto caves where the scent of bat guano overwhelmed us. The smell of goats may be the most lasting olfactory memory. There are goats everywhere roaming freely on the roads and sidewalks. Our time in Jamaica was full of memories of touch too. Children ran up to hug us as we walked into the tutoring centre and snuggled close when we read them stories. Kids reached out to rub Dave’s bald head. We received warm handshakes when we attended the Runaway Bay United Church that provides the facilities for the tutoring centre. Another touch experience we enjoyed were our weekly massages with a neighborhood woman. We collected plenty of visual images during our weeks in Jamaica. The school children with their white blouses and pressed pants, hair braided and combed just so. Only after driving through the ghettos where these children lived in houses without dependable electricity or running water did we appreciate how hardworking their mothers must be to have

their children appear so neat and clean each day. Our visit to the local public school provided an unforgettable visual collage. We saw mountains of trash and half built classrooms there was no money to complete. Large groups of students were left unattended because their teachers were sick and there were no funds to pay substitutes. A peek in the window of the computer lab and library revealed equipment in obvious need of cleaning and repair. Children spent their day copying complicated notes from the board in beautiful handwriting but couldn’t read a thing they’d written. It was easy to see why a tutoring centre like the one where we worked was necessary when the children’s public school education was so lacking. Our time in Jamaica was an unforgettable learning experience that not only engaged our senses but also touched our hearts. Check out my blog What Next. Under the Jamaica category are twenty- seven stories about our month in Runaway Bay several of which detail the history and day -to -day operations of the tutoring centre. If you would be interested in volunteering get in touch with me at maryloudriedger@gmail.com and I will give you contact information for Mildred and Tony Beach who run the tutoring centre and the bed and breakfast where we stayed. §


n 25

Letter to the Editor Responding to William Mahon


, too, do want to assume that the author has the best intentions in the world. There are a number of statements that were a result of a personal passion for a position that has been considered over a period of time, but it is still incorrect. I must take, at face value, that the author is knowledgeable in pensions, but also has chosen a preferred type of pension that he favours. I am most pleased that one with a seemingly good knowledge of finances and pensions doesn’t argue with my premise that pensions are a deferred wage and not some freebee given by the employer. This also presupposes that this agreement on this deferred wage was reached by mutual consent between employee and employer. That is how wages, deferred or otherwise, work. The disagreement with my article by Mr. Mahon rests on additional information which I acknowledge. This additional information is either incorrect, as it relates to RRSPs, for example, or is irrelevant to the discussion as it speaks to the variety of Defined Pensions types that currently exist. What is important is: what is the pension type that they originally agreed to. I can relate to poor Alice, in Mr. Mahon’s example. If she was promised and planned for one type of deferred pension in her retirement and then had a cheaper poorer pension given to her after she had been retired. The response also matches what I had de-

26 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

scribed as the process used to attack defined benefit pensions. Does it truly matter how many different versions of Defined Benefit Pension Plans there are? Would it matter if there was a fourth one? Does it really matter that one pays more than the other? Wages are like that as well. A fourth one could be even more different than the previous three. Add some truth and muddy the waters. There was just not one consistent issue raised but rather a plethora of issues. In paragraph 5 the author speaks of a huge liability for the employer. What assumptions were made for this liability to occur and be reported as it was? Were all the employees to retire at the same time and no one working? During the career lifetime of these employees: • how well managed was the fund? • was “pay as you go” chosen by the employer as the technique for paying pensions? • did the employees pay premiums along with the employers? • was this money invested with a return of 10% each year (a rate that a well managed fund should return as the Mr. Mahon states) and was it considered? • what actuarial advice was received? Was it followed? • what actuarial advice followed the rising trend in

longevity and was it followed? • introducing an additional benefit (reduction of retirement age) is an additional cost. Did the employers consider the manner in which this would be handled in the long term before accepting it? What did their actuaries say? Negotiations require the two sides to accommodate the end result. Is this just more mud to cloud the issue? Add a little truth and mix. It is interesting that Mr. Mahon adds a third “proposition” to the mix in my thought experiment. Why stop at three. There also could be a fourth or fifth side, but I digress. The third proposition is obviously touted as the best of all options. Wow! It is certainly obvious to all that “an individual RRSP has growth potential and flexibility that no pension plan can match.” That is certainly theoretically true if you look into the past only and don’t use it in the future. Is that why RRSPs are so well used by most people? Have their financial advisors been obtaining huge returns for them in the past? I assume these returns were well beyond 10%, which a well managed fund should return according to the author. This follows from the description of RRSP, by the Mr. Mahon, as having “growth potential and flexibility that no pension fund can possibly match.” I assume that

people with RRSPs received this “over 10% return” from their advisors and decided not to place any more money into RRSPs. That is why so few people use this financial tool. Note the sarcasm here. This is a total red herring and it is certainly unfair to compare to other pension options as a valid choice. RRSPs, as a pension, are a particularly poor choice for everyday people. The amount of their pension depends on when they decide to retire and where the stock market and interest rates are at during that time. The cost of managing an RRSP portfolio is typically higher than a pension fund. The opportunity to truly diversify a small portfolio is extremely difficult. This may work for the author and possibly people of wealth, who have financial flexibility. In reality, it doesn’t work in the real world where most of us live. I am sorry, but I do not understand the reason for the many comments with respect to CPP. There appears to be a real personal dislike for this plan by Mr. Mahon. However, CPP is theoretically not even a Defined Benefit Plan. CPP, as I understand it, is a Target Pension Plan. Enough said. That is an entirely different issue for which I see Mr. Mahon has strong and potentially biased feelings. More mud and fog to an issue? Thank you for your input. § Ray Sitter RTAM.MB.CA

n 27

Wealth Distribution Affects All Of Us Ralph Cibula


ealth in Canada is concentrated heavily in the top 10% – with the bottom 30% of Canadians accounting for less than 1% of all wealth and the bottom half accounting for less than 6%. This explosion of wealth going to the top already wealthy is rapidly eroding the wealth gains by the bottom 75 percent of the Canadian population. This had been observed for some time and very little has been done about it. Wealth or net worth is defined as bank account savings plus the value of other things such as property, stocks, bonds, minus the value of debts like loans and mortgages. A major analysis, conducted by the Broadbent Institute, is based on custom Statistics Canada data from the agency’s Survey of Financial Security, a snapshot of the distribution of assets, debts and net worth of Canadians. The top 10% of Canadians accounted for almost half (47.9%) of all wealth in 2012. This group saw their median net worth rise by 41.9% since 2005 (to $2.1 million). Compare this to a 150% drop in the median net worth of the bottom 10% (to negative $5,100). Other sources are indicated in the internet available items at the end of this short preamble. I pose this exposee to try and make some sense out of this tragedy of our modern economic system because it is wreaking havoc on most of

28 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

us weather we be youth, seniors or all those in between who don’t fall into the category of the top 10%. Since this problem is quite similar to what is going on in the USA I am leaving you with two website videos and one website article the to help clarify what is really going on. Knowledge is power if we do something with it. The wealth of the nation belongs to all it’s citizens in what we call a reasonable fairness of distribution. And that is what is presently way out of whack. Your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome. We need a process of unified support and actions to move us toward reasonable fairness and distribution as it will not happen in the unrestricted working of the present system. § For your online viewing: 1. Wealth Inequality in America: 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM 3. Rich People Don’t Create Jobs: 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKCvf8E7V1g 5. The Wealth Gap --- Perceptions and Misconceptions in Canada (Dec 2014) 6. http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ broadbent/legacy_url/308/wealthgap-en-final.pdf?1431294010

Celebrating Thirty Years of Equality: 25th Annual Person’s Day Breakfast


anitoba W.I.S.E. (Working in Support of Equality), formerly known as LEAF (Legal Education and Action Fund), celebrated at their annual breakfast, October 16, in support of equality at the RBC Convention Centre. The organization, formed in 1985 to educate and strengthen the substantive rights of women and girls as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms also advances public understanding of women’s equality rights through education programs. Shireen Ahmed, the keynote speaker, is a mother, writer, public speaker and a sports activist and mentor focusing on Muslim women in Sports. She is an athlete, advocate, community organizer, and works with Youth of Colour on empowerment projects. Shireen was born in Halifax but now calls Toronto home. Her father worked in the mine in Lynn Lake so she has some Manitoba roots. She strongly believes that sports are a vehicle for human rights and works to ensure that marginalized women are able to participate in community sports. Shireen has worked with schools to help

Muslim girls have the proper headscarves and clothing for sports participation. She commented that there were more important election issues such as health care, gender wage gap, murdered and missing indigenous women, jobs, poverty and seniors than a woman’s head covering. Women’s voices are not being heard. All women from all diverse backgrounds need to start connecting and speaking as a united voice. Issues are inter-related, not separate and need to be addressed as a whole package. The community needs to question policy, work together and celebrate diversity to ensure that every individual is equal before and under the law. Attending from the Retired Teacher’s Association were Peggy Prendergast, Guy Hansen and Carol Pelton, directors on the RTAM Board. §

As an experienced teacher, you are already dedicated to helping children achieve their potential in a warm and supportive environment. Would you like to combine your love of teaching with world travel and the chance to experience new cultures? If so, please consider this unique teaching opportunity. Beginning in September 2016, our family will be taking a year off to travel. The main objectives will be to allow Michelle and Julianne (by then 9 and 11, pictured above) to develop their language skills while simultaneously broadening their understanding of the world. The travel will consist of two trips of four months each. The first will be mostly spent at a language school in Guilin, China, where the girls will take their knowledge of Mandarin to the conversational level. Side trips will be taken to Hanoi and Chungking (the girls’ birthplaces) as well as Hong Kong. The second will involve a month of Spanish language training in Antigua, Guatemala, followed by three months of travelling in South and Central America: Overland trip from Santiago to Iguazu Falls • Rio de Janiero Manaus and a cruise up the Amazon • The Galapagos Islands • The Panama Canal • Cuba

The children will be homeschooled during each trip, focusing on math, reading and writing skills. Other educational opportunities will be taken advantage of as they arise. Each trip will be followed by a two month period in Canada, which will consist of two weeks of time off and six weeks of home schooling in science. This would take place in Sudbury, Ontario. Your tasks would be to provide most of the homeschooling (Grades 4 and 6). Duties would begin in late July of 2016 and end in late July of 2017. Benefits would include: • All living expenses • All travel expenses (a value of approximately $50,000) • Language courses during the girls’ own classes, if desired • A generous stipend For the perfect person, this will be the perfect job. Please reply to portray@vianet.ca if interested. Dr. Ray Wiss, MD, CSPQ (EM), CFPC (EM) Department of Emergency Medicine Northern Ontario School of Medicine


n 29

Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) – 85 Years and Beyond Heather Meginbir


ince 1958, women educators in Manitoba have proudly worked together as part of Delta Kappa Gamma International - an honour society involving key women educators from the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan, established to promote leadership, as well as celebrate the success of women in academic careers. DKG is the world’s largest philanthropic women’s organization with almost 82,000 members. Membership in DKG offers networking and mentoring opportunities for early career teachers. As well, each year DKG International scholarships, awarded by the State/Province organization, support women seeking further education and post-graduate degrees. At the University of Manitoba, the Delta Kappa Gamma Mary E. Lamont scholarship is given annually. DKG members can also apply for additional scholarships at the local and International level. Regional conferences and international conventions unite DKG members for professional development through renowned speakers and breakout sessions with emphasis on networking and camaraderie. In July 2015, the Saskatchewan Province Organization in Regina hosted a Northwest Regional Conference, with 300 members attending from four provinces and twelve states in the Northwest DKG region. The Canadian Forum met to discuss issues closest to the Canadian members’ concerns. The 2016 DKG International Convention ( July 5-9) will take place in Nashville, Tennessee with over 2000 women educators expected to attend. In Manitoba, Alpha Chapter was founded by Esther Hinds in 1958. Currently, there are three chapters in the province, two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon. Chapter members now include university professors, superintendents, educational administrators, as well as elementary, junior high, and high school teachers. Manitoba DKG chapters have provided support

30 n RTAM KIT Winter 2015

to such worthy projects as BookMates - promoting family literacy; Nova House Women’s Shelter - supporting women fleeing from violent domestic situations; N.E.E.D.S - helping immigrant families adapt to Canada, and the Osu Children’s Library Fund in Ghana (founded by honourary Alpha Chapter member Kathy Knowles) - promoting literacy abroad. Looking to the future and its approaching centenary, Delta Kappa Gamma seeks to maintain its status as a vibrant women’s organization, helping women educators find opportunities for leadership roles and developing skills for excellence in education. The biennium theme for DKG International 2013-2015 is Expand the Vision: Educate, Inspire, Encourage. As an organization, DKG desires to broaden its audience, by opening membership to diverse women educators in a variety of fields, including nursing, and other university faculties. Membership in Delta Kappa Gamma Society, by invitation only, is considered a prestigious honour with a variety of benefits and privileges. If you know a woman involved in the field of education, who would enjoy the camaraderie, networking and professional growth offered by involvement in DKG or who could benefit from our joining our organization, please pass along this article. More information about the three Manitoba chapters of DKG is available on our provincial website - www.dkgmanitoba.org. You can also email our provincial president, Heather Meginbir, hmeginbir@gmail.com for more information if you are interested in joining our honour society. § Heather Meginbir, current President of DKG Provincial Executive, is a retired teacher-leader from Lord Selkirk School Division has been a member of DKG for over 30 years. Heather is grateful for assistance with this article provided by Gwen Watson, a member of DKG Alpha Chapter.

CLASSIFIEDS The Manitoba Teachers’ Society seeks

photos, artifacts and other records of teaching and Society activities from 1919 to the present. The ManitobaCall Teachers’ Mireille Theriault at 204-888-7961 ext Society354 seeks or email mtheriault@mbteach.org

photos, artifacts and other records of teaching and Grands n activities More Winnipeg with Society from 1919 to the presents: Lewis Foundation THE ASKpresent. HER TALKS

the Stephen

Call Mireille Theriault at 204-888-7961 ext25, 3542015 Date: November or email Place: Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, 281’Donald St mtheriault@mbteach.org

Time: 7:00pm Tickets: $20 - from McNally Robinson Bookstore or SLF website Reception to follow

Five dynamic African women from sub-Saharan Africa will speak about the inspiring change their projects are making in the lives of the grandmothers who are caring for their orphaned grandchildren due to the AIDS pandemic.

A Day at The Forks

Normal School Class of 1955 - 56 60th Anniversary June 11th 2016, Winnipeg MB For more information contact: E-mail:normalschool56@mymts.net or write 60th Reunion 330 Montrose Street, Winnipeg MB R3M 3M8 Please send your address, e-mail and information on other class members. More information will be mailed out in Fall 2015

Don't get stuck inside this winter!

Deer Lodge Ladies Curling Club is looking for curlers for its Tues./Thurs. morning league starting after Thanksgiving. Curl once or twice a week; flexible schedules an option. New curlers and stick curlers welcome! Training Provided. Call Karen at (204) 889-1450 for information.

Open House - Whirlaway Westerners Square Dance Club Enjoy Modern Square Dancing! New dancers, both singles and couples, are welcome on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm, at Kirkfield- Westwood Community Centre, 165 Sansome Ave. Your first three dances are free! Come for the fitness; stay for the fun and friendship! For more info call Carole at 831-8954 or Pam at 414-7637

June 2, 2016 Manitoba Teachers College Class of 58-59 The Reunion Committee has arranged an opportunity for us to gather once again to meet, chat and reminisce with colleagues on this fifty–seventh anniversary of our year at MTC. We have chosen The Forks as our venue. At this historic merger of the Assiniboine and the Red River we have places to eat, an opportunity to visit the beautiful Museum of Human Rights situated close by and to walk the paths or visit the shops of this iconic Winnipeg location. The committee plans to contact members by letter with the details by April 1st 2016. If you do not receive a letter contact Bert Suss at blsuss@gmail.com. 204-326-9470.

House sit for expenses

Nanaimo, November 01, 2015 to April 01, 2016 hewebber@msn.com

Scottsdale, AZ

Condo vacation rentals by owner Kathy Robins (Goldman). www.29desertsunescape.com; 519-720-0267 Brantford, ON


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Profile for Blue Ink Media

RTAM KIT Winter 2015  

RTAM KIT Winter 2015  


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