KIT Magazine - Fall 2021

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Vol. 33 | No. 2 | Fall 2021 206 - 1555 St. James St. Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 | 204-889-3660 | Toll Free: 1-888-393-8082 | |

KEEP IN TOUCH Vol. 33 No.2 • Fall 2021

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Photo by Joan Dawson Photography Workshop Entry 2021

CONTENTS President's Message..............................................................................................................3 ACER-CART AGM Report 2020/2021.............................................................................5 Executive Director's Report............................................................................................. 6 Pension Committee Report.............................................................................................. 6 Election 2021 ......................................................................................................................7-11 Committee Highlights........................................................................................................12 Wellness Advocacy Committee.....................................................................................15 Student Success Portfolio Program............................................................................17 Why Not Join A Chapter Of RTAM?...............................................................................18 Welcome To Retirement.................................................................................................. 19 Dennis Kozak.........................................................................................................................20 Retired Teachers' Association Of Manitoba University College Of The North (UCN) Bursary Recipient.............................20 Westman Retired Educators’ Association Completes “Project COVID-19 2021” Fundraiser..............................................21 Retired Women Teachers’ Association......................................................................21 United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP)..................... 22 November 11, Remembrance Day............................................................................... 23 Story of Teaching.................................................................................................................24 Carl Hultin Teaching Years............................................................................................... 25 RTAM Photography Workshops...................................................................................26 RTAM’S Legacy – The Student Award Program................................................... 27 RTAM Member Exclusive Group Departure...........................................................28 New Telephone System...................................................................................................29 In Memoriam / Life Members........................................................................................29 RTAM Photo Contest Rules.............................................................................................30 RTAM Distinguished Service Award Criteria...........................................................31 Notices & Upcoming Events...........................................................................................31



206-1555 St. James Street Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5 Phone 204-889-3660 • 1-888-393-8082 Email: • Editorial Committee: Chair: Beth Smith Members: Rosalie Bornn, Joan Dawson, Joan Goble, Doreen Sage E-mail: Executive Director: Gordon Fardoe Email: Office Administrator: Denise Bellesia Email: Member Services Coordinator: Dianne Casar Email: Board of Directors 2021-2022 President: William Cann Vice -President: JoAnne Hoyak Secretary: John Sushelnitsky Treasurer: Pat Bowslaugh Directors-at-Large Linda Blair Jack Fraser Guy Hansen Alison Logan Ken Malcolm Dave Najduch Peggy Prendergast Linda Scott Beth Smith Design: Gayl Punzalan Creative Director, Blue Ink Media Email: Website: Cover : Sandra Cunningham | Adobe Stock Images : Adobe Stock, except the ones provided by the contributors. Copyright © 2021 by RTAM

All materials for the next issue of KIT must be emailed with no formatting to and received by November 17, 2021 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. 2 n

RTAM KIT Fall 2021

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

President's Message

T Bill Cann RTAM President 2021 - 2022


Chee-Onn Leong | Adobe Stock


here have been several important developments since the Summer (AGM) edition of KIT. I remain indebted to the Executive Officers, Executive Director, Office Staff, individual Directors, Committee members and Chapter Presidents for their valued assistance in successfully addressing important issues and moving our organization forward. Clearly, the first and most important issue is the Federal Election. Our national organization, ACER-CART, prepared Election brochures in both official languages. The RTAM Executive arranged for Chapter Presidents to distribute these brochures to our members across the province as well as in Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver Island. The brochures are also posted on the RTAM website and the English information is printed in this edition of KIT. RTAM has also received great support from the Manitoba Seniors Coalition and the Manitoba Teachers’ Society to distribute the brochures to their members. ACER-CART‘s new software program will be used to send the brochures and election letters from our members to every candidate in every riding across Canada. I strongly believe that the key issues outlined in the ACER-CART brochures and below are critical for retired and active teachers as well as for all older persons/

seniors. The brochures describe in detail the following critical election issues: 1. Making retirement income more secure. 2. Implementing a universal, public, comprehensive, accessible and portable national Pharmacare program. 3. Opposing the privatization of medical services. 4. Implementing a National Seniors’ Strategy that optimizes health, financial security, affordable housing and social inclusion so all Canadians can age with dignity. This strategy includes endorsing the establishment of a Canadian Federal Seniors’ Ministry. I challenge each of our 10,000 RTAM members to actively discuss these critical seniors' issues with local candidates, family and friends. Retired Teachers across Manitoba and Canada can make a difference. Remember to cast your vote on September 20th for our future well being. The second important issue is the Succession/Leadership Crisis that RTAM will face at the May 2022 AGM. Current Policy 6.04 (b) limits Directors to 5 years of continuous service and would require 8 of the existing 13 Directors to retire from the Board in Next page →


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE President's Message . . . continued from previous page contracts with Blue Ink Media, for both website services and the layout/printing of KIT Magazine. A new contract has also been negotiated to provide Information Technology services for the RTAM Office and Directors. Finally, I am delighted to draw your attention to the information printed within this edition of KIT concerning, RTAM’s first Group Travel Tour. At its June 16th meeting the RTAM Board reviewed 10 different group trip proposals from TRIP Merchant; 4 within Canada, 3 within the United States and Caribbean, and 3 in the rest of the world. The majority of Directors selected Haida Gwaii as the group tour they wanted to go on because it was within Canada, offered the least vulnerability for Covid, provided economic benefits for Indigenous people as well as the Canadian tourism industry and most important, offered RTAM members an opportunity to visit Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Sites: The area is nicknamed Canada’s Galapagos for its diverse plant and animal life. It's a true rainforest in our own backyard. In addition, the islands form the heartland of the Haida Nation and provide the opportunity to learn about both their history and their current culture which is woven into the very fabric of everything about the place. This trip is limited to the first 25 RTAM members (including family and friends) and is currently scheduled for May 31-June 7, 2022. I hope to see you on this exciting travel adventure. n

Jag_cz | Adobe Stock

May 2022. Since I have declared my intention not to run for a third term, only one of the current four Executive Officers will be available to sit on the Board in May 2022. While I will serve in the capacity of Past President during 2022-2023, there will be a need to elect a new President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary! Unfortunately, the Six Year Rotation of Chapter Nominations negotiated in January 2021 and the efforts of current Directors to recruit replacements will not solve the likely leadership vacuum. RTAM cannot function effectively with a Board comprised of only 5-6 Directors. Therefore, I urge each of our members to seriously consider allowing their name to stand for election as a Director at the May 2022 AGM. Chapters must also consider nominating a candidate prior to their scheduled responsibility on the Six Year Rotation of Chapter Nominations. Please do not assume that someone else will step up to lead our organization. The leadership of RTAM and its future direction rests in your hands. On a brighter note, I am delighted to report that our First Year Free Membership initiative is beginning to yield fruit. The number of new RTAM members at the end of June 2021 was 214. This in an increase of 50 compared to the June 2020 total of 164. While it is too early to draw conclusions, it is hoped that the July 2021 and future figures will show similar growth. The President, Executive Director and appropriate Directors have successfully negotiated annual

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Executive Director's Report Gordon Fardoe, RTAM Executive Director


hope you have all had a pleasant summer. I want to update you on office activities that have occurred since our Annual General Meeting. It has been a very challenging and busy summer. Immediately after the AGM, the RTAM office was broken into and equipment and furniture were either damaged or stolen. A police report and insurance report were filed and both reports are still under investigation. The office worked very hard to complete the financial information required to send to our auditors by August. As per the wish of the RTAM membership at the AGM, the office has been in touch with several accounting firms to submit a proposal including RTAM’s current proposal for the 2020 audit. The proposals will be reviewed in September by the Executive and the Board will make a recommendation to the membership at the 2022 AGM. The storage room was cleaned, purged and inventoried. In the future, the RTAM office will conduct an annual inventory of supplies and office equipment to keep our records up to date and allow us to dispose of assets when necessary. The office is working on an improved method of disseminating information to the membership electronically. The office has contacted other Provincial organizations and requested electronic copies of their newsletters to share through a link on the RTAM website. Our goal is to update this information every 60 – 90 days on the RTAM website. The office has reviewed proposals for IT services and the decision has been made to hire a new IT service provider in the fall. It was time to review our IT services and our new contract will provide RTAM with better service in the future.

The current lease is completed on September 30, 2021 and the office has been exploring potential new leases at considerable cost savings. A decision will be made at the September 16th Board meeting, but the office could be moving to a new location this fall. RTAM has entered into a partnership with Union Savings for a Membership Discount Program. This program is a value-added benefit to your membership, and I strongly encourage you to sign up to take advantage of the savings. I am currently in negotiation with the Winnipeg Football Club for a discount for tickets in the 2022 season. With all staff now being full-time it was necessary to develop a Benefits Program. Quotes were received for Staff Benefits including Group RRSP Benefits over the summer. This new program will begin September 1, 2021. The office phone is currently being ported to the new VOIP system. This new system will allow all staff to have separate mailboxes, seamless connection to their work phone through their cell phone if they are working out of the office, fax to email connectivity and voicemail to email capability. The office continues to work on ways of improving operations, especially communications. Monthly staff meetings have been instituted to discuss ways to improve our services to our RTAM members. Please feel free to contact us anytime. We are here to provide services to our retired teacher membership. n




AGM Report 2020/2021 JoAnne Hoyak, RTAM Vice President, ACER-CART Director


n Friday, June 4, 2021, V.P. JoAnne Hoyak— ACER-CART Director and Pres. Bill Cann— Observer, virtually attended the ACER-CART national Annual General Meeting. Directors from all ten provinces plus the Yukon were present, with the group being technically facilitated from Ottawa by Executive Director-Roger Regimbal and with CTF support. Besides housekeeping issues that had the Bylaws and Policies updated and the Budget presented, the agenda included reports from the committees as well as from the Directors of each attending retired teachers association. The slate of officers, due to the extraordinary pandemic year just past, remains the same: PresidentGerry Tiede, BCRTA; Vice President-Martin Higgs, RTO/ ERO. Regional Reps: Eastern- Margaret Urquart, NBSRT; Ontario-Martha Foster, RTO/ERO; Western-Marilyn Bossert, ARTA; Past President-Bill Berryman, RTO-NSTU; And the Executive Director-Roger Regimbal in Ottawa. The prime goals for which ACER-CART will advocate in the coming year are as follows: 1. Advocate for the development and implementation of a National Seniors Strategy including using the information from “A Declaration Concerning A National Strategy for Seniors”. 2. Monitor the Federal Government’s implementation of a universal pharmacare program including the establishment of a Canada Drug Agency and implementation of a national formulary.


Monitor effects of COVID-19 on the Canada Health Act and on the Bilateral Funding Agreements with the provinces and territories. 4. Advocate for a health care system that prioritizes care in seniors’ own homes for as long as possible. 5. Advocate for regulations governing Retirement and Long Term Care Homes with emphasis on improving patient respect, working conditions, staff training and staff wages. As an aside, RTAM’s position statement was requested to be shared with the AGM participants. Also, ACER-CART will monitor effects of the global pandemic on defined benefit pension plans’ assets and liabilities as solvency funding obligations could be affected. ACER-CART will seek to continue elevating the profile of our national association in our own province’s associations and at all levels of government and beyond. Our relationship with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is valued and it is hoped to be maintained and extended. On a personal note, on reading our collegial groups’ reports, it must be noted how similar are our issues of concern as well as our strategies in terms of dealing with them. It is reassuring to experience the support of this exemplary association, the connections made through it with dozens of other senior stakeholders groups, and the fine people who volunteer their time, energy, and expertise. n

Pension Committee Report


n May 19 2021 RTAM met with Dana Rudy, Deputy Minister and Adam Smith, Executive Assistant to Minister Cliff Cullen. Ms. Rudy and Mr. Smith took the first part of the meeting with Minister Cullen joining us later. Among items that were discussed was RTAM’s long-standing request for a designated seat on the

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RTAM KIT Fall 2021

Allison Logan, Pension Committee Chair

TRAF Board. The second position discussed was Government’s official recognition of RTAM as the legislated voice of retired teachers in Manitoba. RTAM continues to pursue these two items. We are currently in the process of trying to arrange a follow-up meeting with Minister Cullen. n

ELECTION 2021 National Pharmacare Plan Key Message: Canada Needs a National Pharmacare Plan Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal coverage for prescription drugs or Health Canada recommended vaccines for seniors. Approximately 20 per cent of Canadians have inadequate drug coverage or no coverage at all and must pay out of pocket. For over 20 years, numerous government and private studies have shown an overwhelming need for a universal pharmacare program. When it comes to saving lives, vaccines come second in global importance, second only to clean drinking water. The patchwork of funded and unfunded vaccines, nonstandardized information and the lack of a universal tracking system have diminished Canada’s ability to develop a strong public health policy based on data.

Aspects to Consider:

Questions for our politicians:

1. Does your party support a national pharmacare initiative? 2. What will your party do to reduce medication costs? 3. Will your party support and fund a national vaccination plan for seniors? 4. What will your party do to work collaboratively with other levels of government to overcome jurisdictional issues and implement a national pharmacare plan?

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s former Minister of Health & Long-Term Care, reported that 1 in 5 households reported a family member who had not taken prescribed medicine due to cost, and that almost one million Canadians cut back on food or home heating in order to pay for their medication. A universal, public Pharmacare Plan would allow for better monitoring of medications. One in six hospitalizations could be avoided if prescription drugs were used appropriately. Canadians pay the third-highest prescription costs of all countries in the world. As a country, we would save between $4 and $11 billion with a national drug plan that had interprovincial cooperation in buying. As individuals age, their immune systems weaken. Many vaccines have been developed specifically to provide better protection for seniors as they age. This supports their desire to live healthy, active and productive lives and reduces morbidity, mortality and overall health-care costs.



ACER-CART National Seniors Strategy Key Message: The Need for a National Seniors’ Strategy A comprehensive National Seniors’ Strategy with clear expectations and targeted funding will guarantee basic rights for Canada’s older population and ensure that their needs will be met. Seniors are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population: • 15% of our population is aged 65 and older. • That number is expected to increase to 25% by 2056.

Aspects to Consider: 1. Value of aging and acknowledgment of productive participation of seniors in their communities: • Seniors are often an unrecognized resource in our communities. • Ageism and age discrimination are real issues faced by many. • Legislation and conventions such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons must be present and supported to ensure seniors are recognized and valued as vital members of their communities. 2. Continued well-being of seniors: • Issues that impact the continued wellbeing of seniors must be addressed. • Campaign programs must be created and supported that will: • promote healthy active living. • encourage age-friendly communities. • promote health activities to reduce the effect of disease and injury. • reduce social isolation. • Comprehensive care, depending on the circumstances, can be more beneficial and less costly than hospitalization.

3. Basic needs: • All seniors need access to funding to meet their basic needs of food, shelter, transportation, and healthcare. 4. Pharmacare: • Include drug coverage as a part of universal health care. • This would not only reduce the cost of drugs but ensure that all seniors could obtain the drugs they need. 5. Accessing care closer to home: • Many, as they age, will need different forms of care. • The longer that care can be provided either in their home or closer to their home, the longer seniors will be able to remain in their own home, be happier, and reduce the strain on our long-term care homes and hospitals. • This accommodation would include recognition of family and friends who serve as caregivers. 6. Long-term care homes: • Eventually, for some, care can no longer be provided in their home. • Serious legislative reform is needed to ensure retirement and long-term care homes are places of safety as they provide care for our most vulnerable.

4 RTAM | Seniors’ Issues for the 2021 Federal Election KIT Fall 2021

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ELECTION 2021 • The operation of long-term care homes needs reform that values the care of seniors and values those that choose to care for the elderly. • An atmosphere needs to be created that respects the aspects that enrich their lives and reduce the medicalization of their care.

Questions for our politicians: 1. What programs are you prepared to initiate and support to help seniors be active and engaged in their communitites and to age in place? 2. What are you prepared to do to change the legislation around the operation of long-term care homes? 3. What are you prepared to recommend to improve the care of all seniors? 4. How will you support the introduction of a national pharmacare program including the establishment of a national formulary?

Voter Information Voter information can be found on the Elections Canada website under the tab Everything a Voter should Know. 1. Go to Voter Information Service if you have moved since the last election. You may be in a different riding. 2. Go to Voter Registration Services to check your registration, update your address, or register for the first time. Those registered should receive a voter information card with reminders when, where and the ways to vote. 3. Options for Voter Identification required for Federal Elections: • Driver’s license or government issued card with your photo, name and current address. • Two pieces of ID, both with name and one with current address. • If you have no ID, you can still vote if you (1) declare in writing your identity and address and (2) have someone vouch for you. The Voucher (1) must know you. (2) be registered in the same polling station, (3) be able to prove their identity and address, and (4) can only vouch for one person (except in a long-term care facilities). 4. Voting Options: • At your assigned polling station on Election Day. • At your assigned Advance Poll held on the 10th, 9th, 8th and 7th days before election day. • By Special Ballot which must be applied for in advance. Elections Canada must receive your special ballot prior to Election Day. • At a Mobile Poll if you are in hospital and facilities that provide long-term care.



ACER-CART Long-Term Care Homes Key Message: Long-term residential care requires a critical review. Long-term residential care in Canada requires a serious review. Not only are many of these homes underfunded and understaffed, but the training and compensation for the staff are inadequate for the work they do. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the unacceptable conditions in long-term care homes and amplified the difficulties they face, resulting in unnecessary suffering and premature death for many seniors. As of December 2020, 72 per cent of the COVID-19 deaths in Canada occurred in long-term care homes. Long-term residential care in Canada requires substantial assessment. Now is the time make this happen.

Aspects to Consider: •

Include Long-term care in the Canada Health Act to provide national standards for the operation of all long-term care homes in Canada. Terminate for-profit long-term care homes. As of December 2020, 70 per cent of the deaths that occurred in longterm care homes occurred in facilities that are privately run. The profit margin comes at a cost to our seniors. Hire qualified staff for long-term care residences. Ensure appropriate training is available to increase the number of qualifed individuals available for the work required. Improve pay for long-term care workers: Set a minimum pay standard and compensaton for all long-term care workers. Maintain consitency with workers doing comparable jobs in the hospital sector. Increase number of full time staff by employing at least 75 per cent of staff as full time employees. Legislate a standard of care that ensures each long-term care resident will receive a minimum of four hours of hands-on care per day.

| Seniors’ Issues KIT Fall 2021 10 6 n RTAM

Demedicalize treatment of residents. Maintain a level of mobility, choice and other freedoms that enrich the lives of care residents, while long-term supporting positive physical and mental well-being. Provide access for caregivers. Legislate residence-access for family or friends serving as caregivers, even during times of contageous outbreaks. Provide adequate PPE when required. Increase funding to approriate levels immediately to allow the proposed changes to occur.

Questions for politicians: 1. How will your party support legislative changes to bring long-term care homes under the national umbrella? 2. Will your party support the ban of forprofit long-term care homes? 3. Does your party support the need for increased funding for long-term care in Canada?

for the 2021 Federal Election

ELECTION 2021 Ensuring Retirement Income for Canadians Key Message: Canadians deserve to age with dignity and security, having a guaranteed and sufficient source of income.

A defined benefit pension plan is a pension that we traditionally envision: employers and employees contribute to a pension fund which is pooled and invested so that retirees are paid a guaranteed amount for the rest of their lives, based on a formula that considers salary and years of employment. Defined benefit pensions have proven to make retirement income secure and efficient with up to 80 per cent of pension dollars coming from investment returns. This enables retirees to pay taxes and contribute to local, provincial, territorial, and national economies. The number of defined benefit plans continues to decline, replaced by defined contribution and target benefit plans, which transfer risk to their retirees and place them in danger of an uncertain future. Properly managed defined benefit plans have proven to make retirement secure. Specific changes are needed to ensure that pensions are protected during insolvencies. Currently, employees and retirees are left with nothing when their employers go bankrupt with unfunded pension liabilities.

Aspects to Consider:

Questions for our politicians:

Protecting Accrued Pension Benefits means that no employer is allowed to change compensation earned by retirees once they have retired. Employees can be confident that their future is secure and that their contractually promised pension — their deferred wages — will be guaranteed.

1. What is your party’s plan for retirement income security for current and future seniors?

Protecting Employees and Retirees in corporate insolvencies will ensure they have a secure retirement and not have to rely on tax-payer funded benefits.

4. How will you ensure that the pensions of employees and retirees are protected if their employer declares bankruptcy?

Strengthening Defined Benefit Plans will deliver the same retirement income at a much lower cost than defined contribution or target benefit plans and ensure a secure future for retirees.

2. How will you protect all accrued pension benefits? 3. How will you support and encourage defined benefit pension plans?




Committee Highlights


Benefits Committee Dave Najduch, Chair As the new Committee Chair, I have spoken with the former Committee Chair, at length to get updates on the work being done. Pat Bowslaugh has agreed to act as an advisor to the group and attend meetings when possible. I would also like to share the following information: • Reached out to the individuals whose names have been provided by the RTAM office and indicated an interest in serving on the committee in the coming year, and provided them with a draft calendar of possible meeting dates. • Worked with the RTAM President and Johnson looking at the possibility of including WTA retired members in the RTAM plan in the event the Winnipeg School Division no longer exists after the provincial education restructuring in July 2022. If you have questions on this matter, they can be addressed by the RTAM President. • Johnson Insurance has been purchased by Intact. It is my understanding at this time that the Johnson name will remain. This topic will be on the agenda for the first committee meeting in the fall. • The first meeting of the committee will take place in September of 2021.

Bylaws and Policy Committee Jack Fraser, Chair The Bylaws and Policies Committee has met virtually since the May AGM to deal with some housekeeping items. The committee will begin regular meetings in September.

Communications (KIT Editorial Committee) Beth Smith, Chair • The deadline for the next issue of KIT is November 17, 2021, by 5:00 p.m.

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• The Summer 2021 Photo Contest submission deadline is October 6, 2021, by 4:00 p.m. The categories are Reflection and Shadow. • The Student Success Portfolio Project is well underway. The RTAM website,, has information about the Portfolios and where you can find the application form to apply for a Portfolio, which is filled with information in both English and French. • ACER-CART has provided RTAM with information about issues important to seniors before we go to the polls to vote. • The Wellness Advocacy Committee has provided lots of choices for Webinars offered by Zoom over the next few months.

Communications (Public Relations Committee) Guy Hansen, Chair The Honourable Murray Sinclair made a Zoom presentation to the Board in March on the background to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls for Action. In the light of the recent events in Kamloops, a news release was prepared and distributed to the media. RTAM President Bill Cann wrote a letter to the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press linking this presentation to the recent tragic event in London, Ontario. The PR Committee is also making plans for RTAM involvement in Remembrance Day Services on November 11, 2021.

Executive Committee Bill Cann, RTAM President On May 9th, Patricia Thibodeau, President of the EMR Chapter (Éducatrices et Éducateurs manitobains á la retraite) completed the French translation of RTAM’s Bill 64 position, which was then posted on the website.

On May 13 and 15th, the RTAM President attended the Manitoba Teachers’ Society AGM as an Observer. I was impressed with the technology that the three independent chairs used to run the virtual meeting efficiently. The utilization of timed Breakout Room discussions of previously submitted Resolutions was an interesting method of engaging delegates. On May 19th, the Executive and Alison Logan presented RTAM’s requests for legislative recognition as the official voice of retired teachers in Manitoba, COLA concerns as well as RTAM’s Bill 64 Position to Education Minister Cliff Cullen and Deputy Minister Dana Rudy. On June 4th, Vice President JoAnne Hoyak (Director) and President Bill Cann (Observer) attended the ACER-CART virtual AGM. ACERCART President Gerry Tiede publicly thanked RTAM for the donation of $5,000 which was used to purchase software to facilitate an electronic election letter writing campaign in support of a National Seniors Strategy and a National Pharmacare program. On June 7th the Executive initiated its Mentoring/ Succession plan by welcoming Directors Linda Blair and Alison Logan as observers to its monthly meeting. The meeting focused on a new budget format, Bill 64, refining the June 16 Board meeting agenda and the June 23rd MTS/RTAM Liaison meeting agenda.

Membership and Chapters Committee Beth Smith, Chair • Chapter Initiative Grants (CIG) are available to Chapters. These grants are meant to help Chapters with member engagement. Application forms are available on the website, • Wellness Initiative Grants (WIG) are available to Chapters. These grants are meant to help

• • •

Chapters with member engagement, as well. Application forms are available on the website, Pre-Retirement Seminars will be planned for the coming year, via Zoom. Dates to follow. Why Not Join a Chapter of RTAM? Check out the article in this edition of KIT. Also, check out the article, Welcome to Retirement, where Retired Teachers give their take on what they have done in their retirement. Write an article for KIT about your teaching experience, there are a few in this edition of KIT.

Pension Committee Alison Logan, Chair The Pension Committee will be meeting on September 1, 2021 via Zoom. At that time, we will be planning our goals for the 2021/2022 year. Jeff Norton and Brad Prokop, representing TRAF, will be in attendance in order to bring any updates as well as answer questions. This support will enable us to move in a direction that protects our defined benefit plan and improves COLA.

Political Advocacy Committee John Sushelnitsky, Chair The Political Advocacy Committee will have its first meeting of 2021-22 in September. In the meantime, the Chair will continue to monitor issues that could receive the attention of the RTAM organization. In particular, we note the rise in hate-related actions as evidenced in the discovery of the burial plots of indigenous children by the Kamloops residential school and the anti-Muslim incident in London, Ontario that took the lives of four Islamic members of a family. The PA initiative to have the Honorable Murray Sinclair speak to RTAM has been preserved Next page → RTAM.MB.CA n 13

Committee Highlights RETIRED TEACHERS’


on the RTAM YouTube channel for our members and the public to access.

Student Awards Committee Peggy Prendergast, Chair The 58 applications that have been received from 58 graduating Grade 12 students sponsored by RTAM relatives will be processed during the week of August 30, 2021 by the Student Award Committee. The results will be presented to the RTAM Board of Directors at the September Board meeting for approval. The four winners of $1000.00 each will be announced on the RTAM website following the September RTAM Board meeting and subsequently in the Winter edition of KIT. The funding for these awards is contained in the RTAM Endowment Fund located at the Winnipeg Foundation.

Student Success Portfolio Ad hoc Committee Joan Zaretsky, Chair Since we were given our Ad hoc Committee status, we have posted many informative articles on the

RTAM website, including “Monthly Discussion Starters” and “Frequently Asked Questions”. All the student Portfolio contents are being translated into French and will be placed on the website upon completion. In September, we will determine a Masters student to develop a research project looking at the value, successes and challenges of our Project. Grant funds have been allocated from the “New Horizons for Seniors” to support this research project. Lastly, Committee members are available to present the highlights of this Project to Chapter members at your upcoming Chapter meetings as requested.

Wellness Advocacy Committee Linda Blair, Chair The Photography Workshops were held via Zoom on June 17th and 18th and were facilitated by Gayl Punzalan. Please see our article in this edition of KIT. Refer to the Wellness Advocacy webinar schedule for 2021-2022 printed in this edition of KIT. n

Mental Health Support For Substitute Teachers


here was a question stemming from a Press Release that was held on April 23, 2021, concerning additional funding for mental health for teachers, staff, and students dealing with the impacts of COVID 19 pandemic. On behalf of The Honourable Cliff Cullen, Minister of Education, and Allan Hawkins, Executive Director, Inclusion Support Branch. “The Canadian Mental Health Association is providing mental health supports for all school division staff members under this new partnership. As substitute teachers are employed by school divisions, the supports would certainly be available to them as well." "Manitoba Education is proud to work with the Canadian Mental Health Association to plan supports that will be accessible and helpful to the school community, including substitute teachers. We look forward to making these available in the near future.”

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Wellness Advocacy Committee 2021-2022 Webinars (Offered via Zoom)





Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Friday, December 10, 2021 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Retirement Posture Pitfalls and Best Practices for Optimal Spinal Health

Insurance that is ready when you are –

Dr. Dan Timmerman, Lindenwoods Chiropractic

Prestige and MEDOC Travel Insurance

Registration deadline: Friday, September 24, 2021 at noon

Jessica Simpson, Johnson Insurance Registration deadline: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at noon



Friday, October 1, 2021 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Successful Aging/Fall Prevention



Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Retirement Well-being

Vicki Russenholt, Victoria Lifeline Registration deadline: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at noon Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Empowering all Canadians to live Healthier lives uninterrupted by Heart Disease and Stroke

Sheryl Giesbrecht, Canadian Mental Health Association Registration deadline: Friday, January 7, 2022 at noon Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Decluttering by Cheryl Calverley Registration deadline: Friday, January 21, 2022 at noon

Amanda Nash, RD, Heart & Stroke Registration deadline: Friday, October 22, 2021 at noon




Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Prostate Cancer by Patrick Feschuk

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Registration deadline: Friday, February 18, 2022 at noon

Trip Merchant – Travel More, Save More!

Ryan Mikucki, Co-Founder Registration deadline: Friday, October 29, 2021 at noon



Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Advance Care Planning Workshop

Dorothy Stephens Registration deadline: Friday, November 19, 2021 at noon

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Hard of Hearing

Rosalyn Sutley, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Manitoba Chapter registration deadline: Friday, March 18, 2022 at noon



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Student Success Portfolio Program Monthly Discussion Starters Joan Zaretsky, Student Success Portfolio Ad hoc Committee Chair


n the upcoming months, we will be posting “Monthly Discussion Starters” on the website as well as placing some in our KIT magazines. These are simply suggested questions you can use with your student relative to spark some discussion about their portfolios. You may have other conversations which arise spontaneously

once you are talking and that is great! Each conversation will be different because of your unique relationship with your student relative. These “Monthly Discussion Starters” are suggestions to get those conversations started and support your student relative to build a meaningful comprehensive portfolio.

SEPTEMBER DISCUSSION STARTERS For one of your first discussion starters with your student relative, you may want to talk about how they will use the 13 sections within their portfolio. They do not have to use all of them but may want to select to put labels on some of them to help sort their entries as they collect them. Here are some ideas for 5 questions you could ask which will initiate this conversation.

Maxim_Kazmin | Adobe Stock

1. 2.

How will you divide up your entries you collect in your portfolio? Will you use all 13 sections? If the student is in Grade 11, will you use part of the portfolio this year and leave some blank for next year when you are in Grade 12? 3. What would be some good labels to put on your sections? 4. Will you use the four sections from the Student Award criteria: Transcripts, Community Involvement, School-related Activities and Reference Letters? 5. Will you use the 8 ideas from the enclosure “Student Success Portfolio Checklist”? By having these ideas planted in their minds as they start their collection, it will help them to find their entries and sort them as they build their portfolio. n



Why Not Join A Chapter Of RTAM? Is There One Near You? Beth Smith, Membership & Chapters Chair


ccasionally, upon or sometimes after retirement, members choose to move to reside in a different location. Joining a Chapter in a new or different location can help connect you with new friends and acquaintances who may have shared backgrounds and experiences from your former connected occupations. Chapters always do appreciate more new and different members amongst their membership! There are nineteen RTAM Chapters in all. Sixteen in Manitoba, two in British Columbia and one in Calgary, Alberta. If there is not one near you and you would like to start one, RTAM can help, just contact us. Check out the RTAM website ( under Chapters to find the contact information for these Chapters and find out some of the exciting Chapter Meeting Ideas these Chapters have done over the years. These ideas were compiled from Annual Reports from the RTAM Chapters. • Boyne Chapter of Retired Teachers • Calgary and Area Chapter Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba Inc.

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• Dauphin Area Retired Teachers’ Association (DARTA) • Educatrices et Educateurs Manitobains a la Retraite (EMR) • Hanover Association of Retired Teachers (HART) • Interlake Retired Teachers’ Association (IRTA) • Neepawa Area Retired Teachers’ Association (NARTA) • Northeastern Chapter of RTAM • Okanagan Chapter of RTAM • Portage La Prairie Retired Teachers’ Association • Retired Women Teachers’ Association • Riel Retired Teachers’ Association • Southwest Assiniboine Chapter of Retired Teachers • St. James-Assiniboia Chapter • Swan Valley Retired Teachers (SVRT) • The Pas Retired Teachers’ Association • Thompson Association of Retired Educators (TARE) • Van Isles Chapter RTAM • Westman Retired Educators’ Association (WREA) n


Welcome to

RETIREMENT New Retirees! Beth Smith, Membership & Chapters Chair

weedezign | Adobe Stock

Retirement from a Retired Teachers’ Perspective • Do things that you have always wanted to do. • Socially, stay involved. Social isolation is the biggest problem in the older population. • Prepare yourself for “free” evenings – no schoolwork to do. • Have plans to keep active. • Do not lose touch with other teachers – both active and retired. Consider other avenues. • Be selective in your first year of retirement as to what you volunteer to do. Find something you like to do and do it. • Think about how you are going to fulfill your need to be relevant (needed, and a contributing member of society). • Keep a list of goals that range in easily attainable to difficult ones. (Bucket List) • Retirement is not an “event” – it is part of a journey. • The best thing about retirement is that you almost never have to set your alarm clock. • What I enjoy most is the freedom and flexibility to choose how I want to spend my days. • Have not heard anyone regret retirement. • Give yourself time to enjoy retirement during the first years – do not get too involved in volunteering or subbing.

• Do not feel obligated to accept sub jobs – you can say no without guilt. • The importance of health, wellness, and economic security concerns. Do not just focus on the pension options. • It could be a long period and your health rarely gets better as you age, so do those active things early on in your retirement. • Select your retirement activities carefully – you may be creating unrealistic expectations for yourself. • Keep in touch with RTAM – KIT (publication), local RTAM Chapter, be vigilant on retired teachers’ issues as a group. You can make a difference as an “active” retired member - join an RTAM Committee or become a Director on the RTAM Board. • I did not realize how much fun it would be and how much more relaxed I would be. • Stay involved in retirement – there is a world of new experiences out there and your teaching skills will come in handy in many of them. Try something new. • Retirement is the time when you, rather than others, finally get to plan your life. n The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba does not provide tax, legal, accounting, health, lifestyle, or any other form of advice. This material and information is meant for informational purposes only.


Dennis Kozak

Distinguished Service Awardee


n Friday, May 7, 2021, Dennis Kozak was presented with a “Distinguished Service Award” in recognition of his efforts towards the establishment of the Calgary and Area Chapter of RTAM. On May, 2014, Dennis was the “idea man” behind a breakfast meeting of seventeen retired Manitoba educators. In the seven ensuing years, the Calgary and Area Chapter of RTAM has grown to include sixty RTAM members currently living in and around Calgary. Whether a long-time resident or recently relocated to Alberta, individual Calgary Chapter members enjoy the opportunity to connect with educational colleagues from Manitoba. Thank you, Dennis! n

RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION OF MANITOBA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF THE NORTH (UCN) BURSARY RECIPIENT Guy Hansen, Public Relations Chair RTAM is pleased to announce the 2021 recipient of their Bursary award that is offered annually to eligible Indigenous students at University College of the North, Cassie Palidwor is a student in the Bachelor of Nursing program offered by University College of the North, Thompson campus. She is currently doing her practicum at the Thompson General Hospital. At age 25, she witnessed an older couple roll their car. Emergency was called, the jaws of life were used, the driver and his wife were fine. Cassie was very impressed with the work of the on-scene paramedics. While she had loved working with the animals in her job at a pet store, she knew that she would eventually move to a job more challenging, more fulfilling. Perhaps a paramedic? She eventually decided that nursing would offer a more varied career. She enrolled in UCN, the Pas, eventually transferring to Thompson. Cassie chose to do her on-site training in the Emergency Room department at Thompson General. “I am learning so much, so rapidly. Each day is so different.” “There is such a need for nurses in rural/northern communities, communities which rely heavily on 20 n RTAM KIT Fall 2021

nurses for all their healthcare. I want to play a part in helping those communities be healthy and happy. Perhaps later I will go on to get my Masters. I was fortunate to have had UCN professors and facilitators who have changed my life. I would like to be such a person to future Cassie Palidwor students at some time in my life.” When asked if she really needed this award, her answer was immediate, “Yes. It allowed me to focus on my studies. I wanted to learn all I could. I wanted to be the best possible nurse for my patients.” This is the third such award given to an Indigenous student by RTAM. It is not an award based only on good grades. It is rather a Bursary award, specific to an Indigenous student. n



Completes “Project COVID-19 2021” Fundraiser


n the last two weeks of April, 2021, retired educators in Brandon mailed or used a carport drop-box to safely contribute $3970.00 to three local charities. Following our success with a similar fundraiser in 2020, the WREA Executive used the online platform Zoom to plan and implement “Project COVID-19 2021.” Once notified of the fundraiser details by email, retired donors were quick to follow-up with their contributions: Samaritan House Ministries received $1,150.00, the Westman Women’s Shelter $1,400.00 and the Brandon Humane Society $1,420.00. Our former colleagues in the classroom have adapted during COVID times, and we, as the Brandon-based Chapter of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba, are doing our best, too! n

WREA President, Rick Oakden, is shown presenting $1,400.00 to Jennifer Beard, Shelter Manager of the Westman Women’s Shelter.

RETIRED WOMEN TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (RWTA) Dear Members & Friends, We welcome all retired women teachers to the Retired Women Teachers’ Association’s coming year. RWTA provides a forum whereby retired women teachers can meet to enjoy lunch and entertainment, make friends and continue friendships formed during their teaching career. 2021-2022 will be RWTA’s 70th Anniversary year! We hold luncheons at the Masonic Centre in Winnipeg. At this time for the safety of all members and friends and hearing that there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases recently, the RWTA Executive has decided to cancel the luncheon planned for September 30th. We look forward to seeing everyone at our December 9, 2021 RWTA luncheon!

During the Pandemic the RWTA executive and phoning committee kept in contact with their list of members every few months via phone calls and cards to enquire as to how each member was doing in these challenging times. RWTA continues to collect and distribute items generously donated by our members. These donations include soaps to Harvest Manitoba, eyeglasses to Lions Eye Bank, and toiletries for women’s shelters and drop-in centres. Download application form at Sincerely, Pat Opalko, RWTA President n RTAM.MB.CA n 21

United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) Save the Date: October 1st, 2021


he United Nations International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives, such as aging and elder abuse. UNIDOP was established by a vote of the UN General Assembly on December 14, 1990 and celebrated for the first time in 1991. The world marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons as we recognize the disproportionate and severe impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on older persons around the world – not only on their health, but also on their rights and their well-being. This year’s UNIDOP theme is “Digital Equity for all Ages” which acknowledges the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons. RTAM is a proud member of the Manitoba Seniors Coalition. Together we are strong advocates for the issues affecting older persons. The Manitoba Seniors Coalition is a coalition of eight organizations whose focus is older adults in Manitoba. Organizations joining RTAM include MASC (Manitoba Association of Senior Centres), AAIM (Active Aging in MB), TONS (Transportation Options for Seniors), LTCAM (Long Term and Continuing Care – MB), Centre on Aging (University of Manitoba), A&O: (Support Services for Older Adults), and the Federal Retirees – MB Chapter. The coalition came together prior to the 2016 provincial election and meets several times each year, as needed. RTAM takes our responsibility on this issue very seriously. In 2020 the RTAM Board donated an extra $5,000 to support our national retired teachers’ organization (ACER-CART) to develop a brochure for the federal election which focuses on Seniors’ issues. The brochure is reprinted inside this edition of KIT and focuses on the following critical election issues:

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Connie Newman, Acting Chair MSC and Bill Cann, RTAM President 1. 2.

Making retirement income more secure. Implementing a universal, public, comprehensive, accessible and portable national Pharmacare program. 3. Opposing the privatization of medical services. 4. Implementing a National Seniors’ Strategy that optimizes health, financial security, affordable housing, and social inclusion so all Canadians can age with dignity. This strategy includes endorsing the establishment of a Canadian Federal Seniors’ Ministry. In recognition of UNIDOP 2021, the City of Winnipeg has agreed to light up their WINNIPEG sign in our RTAM colors. This sign has an imposing presence. It is located near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at the Forks. It is approximately 40’ long and 12’ high and is certainly eye-catching. Thanks are due to Guy Hansen, RTAM Public Relations Chair, for making these arrangements How can you celebrate UNIDOP 2021? Send a letter to your local School Board, city or municipal council requesting a proclamation to recognize the International Day of Older Persons. Read a short story to a children’s group, take a photo, submit an article to your community newspaper. Register to attend the UN forum at BIT.LY/UNIDOP2021. n

November 11, Remembrance Day Public Relations Committee


y name is John Matthews. I am a Winnipegger and a retired teacher. I write this piece in memory of Cliff Matthews, my father, and in memory of the service he gave to his country, along with his brother Alfred, in the WW2 Battle of Hong Kong. I remember Cliff (Dad) telling me how he came to join the army. This was near the end of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce. According to Dad, he was walking downtown and happened to pass by a recruiting office. He poked his head in the door, and the next thing he knew he was a member of the Winnipeg Grenadiers. When he got home, his mother was quite distraught at the prospect of her boy going off to war. His older brother Alfred tried to soothe Mom by saying that he too would join the Grenadiers and look after his little brother. In 1941 the Matthews boys were sent to guard the British colony of Hong Kong. Just six hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the Japanese army was already approaching Hong Kong from the North. It was early in the war, and the Japanese were very well trained, well-armed, and had strong aerial support…unlike the Grenadiers. The Japanese also greatly outnumbered the Canadians. The Grenadiers were ordered to retake the WNC Gap from the Japanese. They failed. Cliff’s career as a fighting soldier was very shortlived; it lasted only a matter of hours. A bullet ripped through his left shoulder, exiting out his back. He was expected to die. Brother Alf was wounded when a bullet had grazed across his back. Dad spent the next years in a POW camp using his good right arm to grind out rice flour on a hand-crank gristmill. Alfred was sent to work in a Japanese shipyard. They were liberated about four years later and returned home each weighing about 85 pounds.

Alf was already married. Dad’s Winnipeg sweetheart, his wife to be, had waited for him. Dad built a tiny house of about 400 square feet in St. Vital. Dad and my Mom, Fjola, raised my brother and me there. As an adult, I later returned to that house to live for several years.

John Matthews

Retired teacher (Darwin School) Winnipeg, MB

ADDENDUM This story is presented in the Fall edition of KIT to encourage each member of RTAM to, in some way, observe November 11, Remembrance Day. The RTAM Board last year voted a $40 reimbursement to each chapter who wished to lay a wreath, as many are currently doing. There is a second part to this story, including the story of John Osborn, another Winnipegger, who was in that same trench when the Matthews boys were wounded. Check out our upcoming Winter edition. n


Story of Teaching Viola Hultin,


s far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher. My Mom could not fathom wanting to work with kids for a career and she wanted me to be a nurse. Oh horrors, I could not imagine dealing with sick people and the sight of blood, yuk!!! So I became a teacher and taught for several years in the "country little red school house” and then year by year moved up: a village school with two grades came next, then a town location and then the big city of Regina. Meeting Carl, we wandered off to the Yukon for a year and returned to Saskatchewan for a few years before we struck off to Thompson, MB. supposedly for two years like everyone else was doing. In Thompson, I was the first Teacher Librarian to be hired. Something happened as the two years became 38 years. I guess we enjoyed Thompson and

24 n RTAM KIT Fall 2021

just kept saying one more year and it ended up to be 38. We ended up retiring in Thompson and even then did not rush away. I have not regretted becoming a Teacher and then a Teacher Librarian. I enjoyed the kids and found that every day brought something different, so never boring same old, same old. I could relate many funny instances from my years, but will leave you with one. When teaching in a grade three class in Regina, as I was up front facing the class I sneezed and the button flew off my skirt. Thinking no one saw that I just kept on as if nothing happened. Damn, if little sharpie in the front row did not see and he jumped out of his seat, ran and fetched my button and brought it to me saying, “Here is your button, Mrs. Hultin.” I really did not know if I should laugh or what. n

Carl Hultin Teaching Years


he period following my graduation in 1956 from the Saskatoon Teacher’s College was one of teaching positions in Saskatchewan, the Yukon Territory and Thompson, Manitoba. Further studies were now centered on my majors of History and English. My position as an organist has followed me through the years at my teaching positions and I was grateful to staff members who willingly covered my classes in order for me to be able to play for a funeral or wedding within the community. Parents and students were grateful for my services as a piano teacher, in several instances, not having to drive many miles to other towns for lessons. At Archerwill, Saskatchewan during my first years, the school principal enjoyed conducting “mass sing-songs.” The special occasions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. were observed at the school level and the mass choirs helped

to connect the school population. I recall the excitement in the community as we prepared to stage an Operetta at Christmas. When teaching at Balgonie, just east of Regina, I recall with gratitude when students made their special sing song requests “Can we have music and art all afternoon if we finish all our other assignments in the morning?" In Yorkton, I was a music teacher for two years, before we departed for Thompson, MB, where I taught History and English. Here, too, my services with music continued and I was the organist of the United Church for umpteen years, really enjoying working with Rev. Thompson. Even after retiring from teaching I continued with my music services. Retiring to Winnipeg, I became one of the organists at Headingley. Of course, with COVID, everything has come to a standstill and now I just enjoy playing for myself, as a pass time. n

sla009 | Adobe Stock

Viola Hultin,


RTAM Photography Workshops


n June 17th and 18th, Gayl Punzalan of Blue Ink Media facilitated online day-long Photography Workshops. Participants were able to learn about the various components of a photograph and how to use this knowledge to take better pictures.

26 n RTAM KIT Fall 2021

Whether we were using our cell phone cameras or an actual physical camera, Gayl was able to guide us through the necessary steps to obtain that better picture. Excellent workshops thanks to Gayl! n


THE STUDENT AWARD PROGRAM RTAM has an important role to play supporting our young relatives. RTAM is leaving a “Legacy of Learning” for our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. As has been noted in the past and on our website:, the RTAM Endowment Fund, located at the Winnipeg Foundation, awards four $1000 awards to Grade 12 graduates who are relatives of an RTAM member. This fund is growing exponentially and has doubled the value of its rewards over the past eight years. There are directions available on the website for you, as RTAM members, to add to that fund with a tax-deductible donation at any time; possibly in memory of a loved one or as part of your will. The larger and quicker the fund grows the more our young relatives will benefit. The criteria stated on the RTAM Student Award application embodies the values retired teachers feel are important to those students seeking post graduate education: scholarship, community and school involvement as well as being sponsored by a relative, an RTAM member. We have all benefitted from post graduate education in our past. As the daughter of a World War two veteran and encouraged by a young high school teacher, who had just recently returned from the war, and finished his own post-secondary education as a

Chemistry teacher, I was encouraged to apply for scholarships that were established for veteran’s children. I did not know then what I know now - the money allowed me to attend University, but the self-confidence gained from the experience, as a result of the encouragement of that teacher and my family, have lasted a lifetime. As retired teachers I encourage each of you to do the same for one of your relatives if and when you get the chance. This year the Student Awards Committee will be reading and evaluating 58 applications from grade 12 graduates sponsored by RTAM members. These students come from all parts of the province with different goals for their post graduate education. Each has someone like you as a sponsor wanting the best education possible for them and encouraging them to reach out for that education. The benefit for you, the older adult, is the relationship that will evolve as you engage with and strengthen your connection with that student. I know, because I have had the opportunity to sponsor one of my grandsons. He did not win the award but we now have a closer relationship because of my concrete interest in his education and now his chosen career. That benefit for me is both ongoing and priceless. n | Adobe Stock

Peggy Prendergast, Student Awards Committee Chair



Discover Haida Gwaii! MAY 31-JUNE 7, 2022


aida Gwaii, nicknamed “Canada’s Galapagos”, is a wild and untouched archipelago on the west coast of British Columbia steeped in the culture of the Haida People dating back over 10,000 years. Discover the culture both past and present while exploring the dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife of these incredible islands. Visit Haida Gwaii and experience a mystical world of adventure and breathtaking beauty.

Trip Highlights

Trip Price

• Search for Grizzly Bears at the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary • Discover the Great Bear Rainforest Coast on a full day catamaran boat tour • Enjoy a scenic ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii • Explore Masset and the Naikoon Provincial Park • Experience a dinner at Haida House nestled along the banks of the serene Tlell River • Take a boat cruise to SGang Gwaay Llnagaay (Ninstints) on Anthony Island where you will walk through the ancient village and UNESCO World Heritage Site, learning about Haida lineages and lifestyles • Visit the Port Clements Museum to learn about the past conditions of the forest industry in Haida Gwaii • Have a private talk with a Haida Watchman who is also your local naturalist guide on select days

(Special Negotiated RTAM Member Rate): • $3499 CAD + GST • Price is per person, based on double occupancy (single pricing available upon request)

Trip Includes • Private Mini-Coach/Van Transportation; Services of a Professional Tour Leader; Services of an Expert Local Guide/Naturalist; 7-Nights Accommodation; Attractions & Tours; National Park Fees; Many Meals; Gratuities for Driver and Guides!

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Please note • Family and friends of RTAM members are welcome • Maximum 24 passengers (maximum 2 single rooms available) • Trip Merchant will be coordinating roundtrip airfare from Winnipeg • Be sure to subscribe to the RTAM travel newsletter on the RTAM travel site: https://rtam.tripmerchant. ca// (Password for access: RTAMTM18) *Disclaimer: Trip Merchant’s website is safe and secure. Trip Merchant is committed to protecting the privacy of all users of the travel site and maintaining the integrity of any personal information that is collected, used, retained, or disclosed via the site. For full trip details or if you are interested in booking, please contact Trip Merchant at or at 1-800-481-9739 ext. 3. Limited space available! n

New Telephone System address updates, registrations for Wellness webinars, Student Success Portfolios and Student Awards. Mailbox 200 belongs to Denise Bellesia, the Office Administrator. Please direct your inquiries to this mailbox if you have questions regarding RTAM operations and AGM matters. Mailbox 300 is the direct, confidential and secure mailbox of Gordon Fardoe, RTAM’s Executive Director. Messages of a more personal nature may be directed to this mailbox. This telephone system will help the office improve its service in the future. n

In Memoriam April 2021 F. Will Barmeier – Winnipeg, MB Peter G. Cowie – Winnipeg, MB Rene F. Deleurme – Winnipeg, MB Liubov Dimerman – Winnipeg, MB Norma O. Drosdowech – Winnipeg, MB Frank Favoni – Winnipeg, MB Marvin L. Gordon – Winnipeg, MB F. Mae Hoey – Teulon, MB Erich G. Lindenschmidt – Beausejour, MB Gerald M. McConaghy – Rothesay, NB Robert E. Nevill – Forrest, MB S. Saul Rifkin – Winnipeg, MB Bernice A. Sliworsky – Dauphin, MB Marilyn R. Tait – Oak Lake, MB Betty Warshawsky – Winnipeg, MB E. Jean Young – Brandon, MB May 2021 Helen F. Braun – Altona, MB Max Brown – Winnipeg, MB James S. Cornett – Brandon, MB Peter L. Friesen – Winkler, MB

Garry B. Grubert – Winnipeg, MB Catherine M. Holmes – Arnes, MB Beatrice Jolly – Brandon, MB Guy P. Lacroix – Lorette, MB Helen D. MacNab – Calgary, AB Gene F. McFarlane – Prince George, BC Edwin A. Nicholls – Linden, MB Rheal A. Painchaud – Winnipeg, MB Jean M. Pickard – Brandon, MB Susan E. Pickering – Winnipeg, MB Russell W. Ryan – Winnipeg, MB June 2021 Harry D. Antoniw – Flin Flon, MB Luella A. Chell – Hinton, AB Frances K. Gorber – Winnipeg, MB Wally S. Holowka – Winnipeg, MB Sheilah P. J. Land – Salmon Arm, BC Eugene Nowak – St. Laurent, MB Peter M. Pauls – Winnipeg, MB Lillian Sawisky – Parksville, BC Joseph P. Sorokowski – Gimli, MB

Life Members (Presented at age 90 to RTAM members)

April 2021 Dorothy Day – Dauphin, MB Shirley Donovan – Winnipeg, MB Juliette Granger – La Salle, MB Russell Lahti – Battleford, SK Orma Irvine-Sozansky – Winnipeg, MB May 2021 Paul Granovsky – Winnipeg, MB Bernice A. Moskal-Frick – Winnipeg, MB Jeannine Ruest – Winnipeg, MB Mary Zadorozny – Winnipeg, MB June 2021 Anne M. Falconer – Winnipeg, MB Joan P. Grenon – Winnipeg, MB Margaret D. Kaspick – Neepawa, MB Hardy Kehler – Steinbach, MB Gordon G. Newton – Winnipeg, MB Hugh G. Swandel – Victoria, BC A. Elaine Williams – Winnipeg, MB

Natalie Board | Adobe Stock


n September, RTAM is replacing the telephone system with an upgraded VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone to provide better service to the membership. In the future, the RTAM telephone numbers will remain the same. However, when calling the office, you will receive a message asking you to select the number for the person you wish to contact. Mailbox 100 belongs to Dianne Casar, the RTAM Membership Coordinator. Please direct your inquiries to this mailbox if you have questions pertaining to membership, Johnson insurance/Health Benefits,



RTAM Summer 2021 Photo Contest Official Entry and Release Form


A copy of this form must be completed for each entry submitted to the photo contest. Photos cannot be entered into more than one category. Complete Photo Contest Rules are posted on the RTAM Website (see below).







❏ Reflections

❏ Shadow

Reflections on water, in a mirror, a window or any shiny surface. Theme suggested by Jack Fraser

Take a picture of a shadow or the article creating the shadow and the shadow together. Theme suggested by Elaine Bollman

I hereby grant permission to the Retired Teachers’ Association (RTAM) to use / edit / reuse my photograph in any and all of its publications and on its website. • •

I agree to abide by the RTAM Photo Contest rules as set forth by RTAM and posted on the RTAM Website and in KIT.

By signing this release form, I acknowledge that I have completely read and understand what this permission signifies.

There is no time limit on the validity of this release. I confirm that I am a member in good standing of RTAM.


Name in Print / Signature / Date Signed

Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:00 P.M.

RTAM Photo Contest Rules Submission Requirements: Print Entries: • All entries sent must have an image which is no smaller than 5” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. Square formatted images will be accepted provided that they are not smaller than 7” x 7” or larger than 12” x 12”. Panoramic photos will not be accepted. • Matted or framed photos will not be accepted. • Photo titles are mandatory, must be written on the back of prints and match the title on the Contest Official Entry Form. • Send to 206-1555 St. James St., Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B5

30 n RTAM KIT Fall 2021

Electronic Entries: • Electronic photos can also be emailed to The covering email or file name must include the photo title which must match the title on the Contest Official Entry Form. Electronic photos will be printed by RTAM for judging purposes. Please read the full contest rules at photo-contest



RTAM DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD 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. SELECTION CRITERIA: 1. The nominator must be a full member of RTAM for at least five years. 2. The nominee must have served on the RTAM Board and/or RTAM Committee for at least five years. 3. The nomination shall include a comprehensive description of the nominee’s involvement and service to RTAM. REVIEW PROCESS: 1. The President of RTAM shall receive the nomination(s). 2. The RTAM Board shall make the final decision on the granting of the Distinguished Service Award(s). SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS


AWARD PRESENTATION: • The Award shall consist of a framed certificate duly signed by the RTAM President. • If possible, the Award(s) shall be presented at the evening reception before the AGM (Annual General Meeting). RTAM shall assume all travel and accommodation expenses, incurred by the recipient(s) to attend the AGM, on the same basis and rates allotted to Chapter Presidents.

Book Review: MUSINGS by Anne Yanchyshyn Review by Helen Sigurdson In her engaging writing style, Anne Yanchyshyn presents her treasured book, MUSINGS, in two parts: 100 of her columns printed from 2013-2020 in the Lance newspaper, plus a seniors’ compilation of memories by the Word Weavers, encapsulating the true history of our era. Available at 204-237-9056.

Manitoba Robot Games The Manitoba Robot Games, a volunteer-led organization, supports a program of robotbuilding workshops for youth groups and classes of school students. We are looking for one or more individuals to present/ lead these workshops. An honorarium for this leadership is available for each workshop delivered, and is generated from fees collected for the workshops from the hosting group/school. Participants in the workshops build one of the three kits provided by the Manitoba Robot Games (Robo Critter, Mini Sumo, or Super Scramble). Experience in working with youth and hands-on technical experience (e.g. use of hand tools and basic wire soldering) are assets. Training will be provided as appropriate. If this interests you please call Herb Reynolds at 204-668-3315 or email


Travel insurance that’s ready to go. The past year has been tough. We’ve all had to put our travel plans on hold as we wait for borders to open and vaccines to arrive. Now as the world slowly begins to re-open, we have additional benefits for Prestige Travel Insurance Customers. So what’s changed? Your Emergency Medical Insurance benefits cover you during your trip for: Eligible COVID-19 related emergencies for up to $5 million, even during a COVID-19 travel advisory1 Medical coverage for reactions to the vaccine For more information please contact the plan administrator, Johnson Insurance.

1.877.989.2600 | #100, 17203 – 103 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB. T5S 1J4

RTAM sponsors pre-retirement seminars for teachers. Johnson Insurance is a tradename of Johnson Inc. (“JI”), a licensed insurance intermediary, and operates as Johnson Insurance Services in British Columbia and Johnson Inc. in Manitoba. This insurance product is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (“RSA”) and administered by JI. Valid provincial or territorial health plan coverage required. Travel Assistance provided by Global Excel Management Inc. The eligibility requirements, terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions which apply to the described coverage are as set out in the policy. Policy wordings prevail. JI, and RSA share common ownership. 1The optional Trip Cancellation, Interruption & Delay Insurance benefits do not include coverage for COVID-19 related incidents. Call 1.855.733.6815 for details. RTAM08.21