The Newsletter of the Prince Rupert Retired Teachers' Association
Our branch continues to meet monthly with social lunches. We move around to different restaurants so the community is aware we are supporting local businesses. About 50% of our membership attends these lunches.
We start each fall with a “Salute to the Bell” champagne breakfast. We toast our working colleagues at the start of the school day and follow the breakfast with a friendly golf match. This breakfast and a June BBQ at a member’s home have proved our most popular events.
We sponsor RR Smith gifts in the name of our passed colleagues and encourage members to become personally involved with local, provincial and federal elections. Our organization, however, remains non-political.
Branch members pay for sponsorships at the Annual BC Jazz dance competition, local golf tournaments, and theater events. This is a no cost to the branch way to keep our organization in front of the community.
Our small size is both an asset and a liability as we all know each other and enjoy our social events. However, our lack of numbers makes it hard to organize multiple events or provide numbers for guest speakers.
1. Membership. At about 20 members Prince Rupert remains one of the smallest BC Retired Teacher's groups; however membership has continued to slowly ratchet up as we contact retired teachers in our area. Some still don't want to join, but we have had reasonably good luck in signing members staying in town. Several retired members have made arrangements to live in warmer climates during the winter, and this is an area we should continue to work on with invitations to meeting when they are back for the summer.
2. Our group has decided to stay with the lunch meeting format on the 13th of each month except for September when the meeting will be a breakfast meeting corresponding with the start of the school year. We continue to have a different member find a host lunch site each month.
3. The group again made it quite clear they do not want to become involved with political issues or support political candidates as our organization, like most, has members in all parties. Individual members are encouraged to support candidates of their choice. It is noted that several retired teachers have been working with elections Canada and BC to help on Election Day. The skills they bring to this have proved very helpful to a reliable vote count.
4. Larry Hope will again serve as President next year. He was re-elected by acclamation at the June meeting so we would know who would be representing our organization at the annual General Meeting the end of September. The rest of the executive will be formally voted on at the September meeting.
5. Current Vice-President Louise Sanchez has elected to attend the September AGM filling in our 2nd spot. She will also attend the Northern Retired teachers meeting the day before the Provincial meeting.
6. During the year we had several theme lunch meetings including a book exchange, a financial planner, and a talk by a teacher recently returned from working two years in China after retiring in BC.
7. Starting last spring our District started having trouble filling in all requests for TOC's and this put a lot of pressure on retired teachers who kept their credentials to relief teach. It appears that this will continue into the fall and we will be having a meeting on this issue early in the new school year.
8. Canada Pension Plan had several changes this year and the executive will continue to keep current on these changes. There have been several questions that were not fully answered about these changes and their effects on part-time work after retiring.
9. It is good to note the organization lived within its means this year and we had a slight increase in our bank account. Our budget is still quite low.
James Larry Hope