|Phone Committee||Denise Gobbo|
|Social Concerns||Lynne Farquharson|
|Scholarship Trust||Glenn Kishi|
Branch Report Richmond 2016
I am confident that Richmond is well served by the BCRTA and our local Board of Directors. The challenges arising are interesting and present opportunities for growth.
Our year started sadly with the loss of our Past President, Brenda Cairns. She was a wonderful friend and colleague who is missed by all of us.
Our biggest challenge this year was the decision by School District 38 (Richmond) to replace their aging ‘First Class Client’ email and communication system with an up to date system. Richmond had very kindly in the past allowed its retirees to remain on the system after retirement. Sadly, with the new system, only employees with an HR file would be allowed an account, and any district retirees still using the system had until June 30th to set up other accounts and remove any documents from the district system. They say every cloud has a silver lining, and that certainly was the case here. SD 38 agreed to give us access to an employee of the IT Department to help us develop our own website. The district has agreed to fund it for us for 3 years after which we will be entirely responsible for its upkeep. We are optimistic that it will become an indispensable communication tool for our organization.
Most of our communication is now electronic with approximately 90% of our membership receiving information from us via email. The savings in postage have allowed us to send out six newsletters in the 2015-16 year. Our Membership Chair and Communications Chair work together to see that our mailing and email lists are kept current.
As with previous years, we have continued to host five luncheons for our members. We start the year off with our “Back To School Without Us” luncheon which is immediately followed by our AGM and the AGM for the RRTA Scholarship Trust Fund Foundation. We also hold a Christmas Luncheon and three potluck luncheons during the year.
Our Speaker Series is well attended by our members and included speakers from the COSCO list, community organizations and members themselves. This year we also had an opportunity to invite our membership to a preview of the new interactive Richmond Olympic Experience at the Oval. Over fifty of our members came out to enjoy the interactive equipment and view the displays.
The RRTA Scholarship Trust Fund Foundation provided scholarships totaling $50,000 to our district’s ten secondary schools in 2016. This foundation is a separate entity, but all RRTA members belong to this group.
The Heritage Committee, which received a grant from the BCRTA in 2015, has been working on a cataloguing project of our collection. Work is well underway with a number of items entered into the data base with photos and safely stored away in acid free boxes in our heritage school, General Currie. They hosted a visit by the BCRTA Heritage Committee to show the progress made on this project.
We are also in the business of supporting our colleagues and to that end, we have sent out condolences and well wishes to members requiring them and gave poinsettias at Christmas to our infirm members and our Life Members.
It was a real pleasure for me to attend the presentation of a BCRTA Golden Star Award to Cambie Secondary of Richmond for their intergeneration program with Pinegrove Place Seniors Centre. Congratulations to Cambie teacher Paula Curtis and her Health Science 12 class.
Gordon Smith, President