Pat Brady 1937-2020

Patrick (Pat) T. Brady, CD, B. Ed

President, BCRTA 2000 – 2003
President, ACER-CART 2005 – 2006

Pat Brady passed away on Sunday, November 22, 2020.
This profile of Pat Brady is adapted from a PostScript article from years past by JoAnn Lauber.

When Patrick T. Brady and Wim (William) Vander Zalm, his school pal, graced the halls of their high school in Abbotsford in the 1950s, few of their teachers could have imagined the impact these two students would have on future British Columbians – Bill would become the fantastic politician, and Pat matured into a leader of educators in every phase of their working lives. After high school, Bill went on to sell his father’s Bradner farm tulip bulbs while Pat went on to the University of British Columbia. In two separate periods of study, interrupted by a period of classroom teaching, Pat earned his B.Ed. From that moment on, his diverse roles and strong personal qualities have marked our teacher and retired teacher lives. A star amongst us, he was a combination of professionalism and playfulness, practicality and inspiration, wit and knowledge, vast experience and exemplary leadership skills.

When the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) convened each year, Pat was there – longer than most of us can boast of any relationship, personal or professional! His reasons for being at those meetings may have been to fulfill various obligations, but the underlying motivation was always the same: a prevailing interest in the welfare of his peers and a desire to serve them so that all would benefit.

Pat first attended an AGM of the BCTF as an observer when he was a student at UBC – can you honestly conjure up an image of Pat, the silent observer? From that point on he would be at the AGM either as an elected delegate or as a guest speaker. However, he would be there most often because of his skill in chairing a meeting. When Brady was in the chair the meeting ran according to Brady – a chair renowned for his knowledge of the Rules of Order and Parliamentary Procedure, and for his dexterity in shaping these guides to smooth out contentious issues. He chaired AGMs and RAs of the BCTF for more than 25 years, “too many times to count”. And he did the same for the Canadian Teachers’ Federation in other parts of the country.

Editor’s Note: In October of 2020, Pat chaired BCRTA’s first online AGM.

As a teacher, in four different districts, Pat spent thirty-five years in classrooms at all levels of the public school system. At the secondary level he taught math, history, economics, geography, keyboarding, business education, and home economics – the only male ‘Home Ec’ teacher in the province at that time.  His most memorable teaching experience, however, occurred when he was just past his teen-age years. The District of Chilliwack assigned him to a Grade 7 class of 47 students! He reminisced that not only was he to deal with all of their various levels of readiness for learning and their pre-pubescent hi-jinks, but he had also to be prepared for the possible drop-in visit of the school inspector, one who wielded “the power of professional life or death”, one whose whims and observations on a single visit could determine the career destiny of a classroom teacher, no matter how earnest and dedicated that teacher might be or how accurate, complete, and balanced his classroom register might appear.

As an active teacher, Pat enjoyed working with his colleagues, always valuing the advice of his peers. He was also a leader who recognized and served the precept that on occasions leaders have to step back and become followers. Always involved in the matters of his profession, he went on to serve as president of the Prince George District Teachers’ Association, President of the BC Teachers’ Federation (1977 – 1978), and President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (1981 -1982). While with the latter, Pat chaired the International Program and was a Director of the Hilroy Awards program. As well, he attended five General Meetings of the World Confederation of the Teaching profession and for two years was the chief delegate for the CTF. In Geneva, he worked with other national teacher organizations, drafting the International Labour Organization’s “Conditions of Work for Teachers” protocol.

Stepping outside his professional world, Pat was also involved in local government: four years as Alderman on the Prince George City Council; a member of a number of Council committees, including Policing, Library and Parks Boards; Regional Director for the North Central Regional District; Interior University Society for UNBC; Director of the Fraser-Fort George Regional Hospital; and Regional Museum societies. Retirement did not stem this drive. Pat the retiree continued to maintain contact with his alma mater, serving for 15 years on the UBC Senate.

Pat had a long-standing involvement in the military. During his undergraduate days he served as adjutant of the UBC Officer Training Corps.  While teaching in Prince George, he was commanding officer of both the Rocky Mountain Rangers Cadet Corps and the Rocky Mountain Rangers Militia Company; and, for many summers, he served at the Vernon Cadet Corps Camp, over the years, rising from the rank of Corporal to Major over the years. He served on the Executive Committee of the Aldergrove, BC branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, spending many hours furthering the goals of that organization.

In retirement, unlike many of us who blithely seek our bliss, dabbling here and there in preferred pursuits, Pat became even more active.  Soon after retiring in 1997, he attended an AGM of the BCRTA where he envisioned the prospects of positive organizational change. He was invited to chair the Finance Committee. In that capacity he led a team that recommended sweeping changes to the way the Executive and the association did business. Among these were recommendations that the BCRTA have three separate accounts – operation, capital, and reserve; that terms of reference be set for expenditures from the reserve fund; and that a budget format which is still in use.

As President of the BCRTA from 2000 to 2003, and also as an influential committee member, Pat “assisted with or initiated” other significant changes. These include a concerted effort to increase the number of branches; the complete overhaul of the Bylaws, Policies and Procedures; the present AGM delegation ratio and costs coverage; a designated delegate training day as part of the AGM; the separation of the R.R. Smith Memorial Fund from management by the board to its present form as a charitable society; the establishment of policies that spelled out our Fund investment guidelines and that saw the growth of our Reserve Fund’s revenues; and the entrenchment of the four insurance plans we have with Johnson’s. Recognizing the strength of partnership, Pat encouraged the BCRTA to join actively in COSCO, the vibrant Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations in BC; and also with two national organizations – the National Pensioners and Senior Citizens’ Federation (NPSCF) and the Canadian Pensioners Concerned (CPC). Pat consistently acknowledged and promoted the contribution the BCRTA has to offer in these arenas – “it is one of the most active, dynamic, informed, and positive forces advocating for seniors in this province and, indeed, in this country.”

At the national level he held positions in the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART) – Director (2003), Vice-President and Regional Director West (2004 – 2005), President (2006 – 2008) and Past President (2008 – 2010). During that time, he supported worthy federal programs and advocated in favour of changes in others.  A strong proponent of our Medicare system, Pat  pressed for improvements in the laws governing patent rights and the availability of generic drugs, for the establishment of a national Pharmacare program, and national oversight on stock market matters. In the time of his leadership, ACER-CART teamed with other like-minded organizations to advocate for, and achieved, the enactment of pension income splitting legislation as well as an increase in the age of mandatory RRSP withdrawal.  He held several leadership positions at the Council of Senior Citzens’ Organizations (COSCO).

Every organization he touched became better organized, more financially sound, more focused on its philosophical goals, and more cognizant of the needs of its individual members.

An honorary lifetime member of the Prince George District Teachers’ Association and of the BC Teachers’ Federation, Pat was decorated by the Canadian Armed Forces and was awarded the BCTF’s George Fergusson Award for outstanding contribution to education.

He was also made a Life Member of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association.

This was Pat Brady – Renaissance man in the true sense and a remarkable embodiment of all the attributes: scholar and soldier; adventurer (those trips to Vegas) and artist (“tickling the ivories” and wielding a persuasive pen); sportsman (surely hosting 40 annual Grey Cup parties is qualification enough in this pursuit); pragmatist and visionary; politician and active, contributing citizen; a trusted mentor; a respected leader.

And a delightful friend.

 

~ by JoAnn Lauber

Retirement Planning Online Workshops

The important decisions that will determine your retirement lifestyle
should not be made at the last minute as you fill out your forms.

How can you prepare to
confidently make the choices

that are right for you?

The BC Retired Teachers’ Association is pleased to announce that we are now offering our popular online workshop Making Sense of Your Pension, CPP, OAS and Group Benefits.

The workshop is open to all active teachers in BC. Since the workshop was introduced in 2016, more than 2,700 teachers have participated, learning more about the Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and voluntary groups benefits (dental, extended health, travel).

Our sessions are an important complement to the Approaching Retirement webinars provided by the Teachers’ Pension Plan.

On voluntary group benefits, we emphasize “best friend advice” and inform teachers about how to choose the plan that best meets their needs for the years ahead, and highlight some details of the plans offered by Greenshield Canada, Johnson Insurance and Pacific Blue Cross.

Teacher ratings for our sessions are consistently high thanks to our knowledgeable facilitators and excellent retirement planning resources. When we ask if participants would recommend the seminar to a friend, the answer is a very strong “YES!”

Teachers particularly appreciate the opportunity to have their personal questions answered during the session or as a follow-up using by email.

Our online version of this workshop was introduced in May and over 700 teachers have had a chance to participate in our new online sessions.

Visiting https://bcrta.ca/workshop will link teachers to a 2 minute registration process.

We have scheduled 10 online sessions for 2020-2021. These online sessions are free!

Upcoming dates:

  • November 25 @ 7PM
  • January 20 2021 @ 4PM
  • February 17 2021 @4PM
  • March 3 2021 @4PM
  • April 7 2021 @4PM
  • April 21 2021 @7PM
  • May 12 2021 @4PM
  • May 26 2021 @7PM
  • June 2 2021 @4PM

Sign up here

Pension Report Highlights November 2020

10-year Annualized Return Remains Well Above Target

The 2019 Annual Report on the Teachers’ Pension Plan showed a return on investments of 13% during that year.  While we can expect a much lower return during 2020 because of the financial strain caused by the pandemic, the 10-year annualized return was 9.1%.  That means our pensions are secure as there is a comfortable cushion in investment returns; the plan needs to earn 6% per year, on average, to pay the pension promise.

During 2019 $1.2 billion was paid to the 39,146 pensioners in our plan.  That money returned to support the BC and Canadian economy as we purchased goods and services and paid taxes here at home.

The Consumer Price Index for Canada was 0.5% for September 2020 over September 2019.  This means that we may expect to receive an increase in our January pension payment of .5% although that has not been formally approved by the Trustees yet.

Submitted by Gerry Tiede, Chair, Pensions and Benefits Committee

Keynote 2020: Pharmacare – 2020 Conference Presentation by Steve Morgan

As part of BCRTA’s 2020 Conference, Dr. Steve Morgan shared this presentation.

 

Dr. Steve Morgan is a renowned Canadian health economist whose work promotes universal access to appropriately prescribed, affordably priced, and equitably financed medications. Dr. Morgan is a full professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. Widely published, he has provided policy advice and expert testimony to governments in Canada and abroad, and has represented Canada at the World Health Organization. Dr. Morgan has won awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Commonwealth Fund, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Q & A with Dr. Steve Morgan

Conference moderator Arnie Lambert facilitated a question and answer session with Dr. Steve Morgan immediately after his presentation on Pharmacare.

 

Dr. Steve Morgan is a renowned Canadian health economist whose work promotes universal access to appropriately prescribed, affordably priced, and equitably financed medications. Dr. Morgan is a full professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. Widely published, he has provided policy advice and expert testimony to governments in Canada and abroad, and has represented Canada at the World Health Organization. Dr. Morgan has won awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Commonwealth Fund, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Keynote 2020: Isobel Mackenzie Seniors Advocate of BC

Presentation and Q & A from BCRTA’s 2020 Conference, Oct 2, 2020. Isobel Mackenzie focuses on the needs of seniors in care, outlining recent statistics from our province.

TOPIC: Long Term Care in BC

Isobel Mackenzie has over 20 years’ experience working with seniors in home care, licensed care, community services and volunteer services. Isobel led B.C.’s largest not-for-profit agency, serving over 6,000 seniors annually. In this work, Isobel led the implementation of a new model of dementia care that has become a national best practice, and led the first safety accreditation for homecare workers, among many other accomplishments. Isobel has been widely recognized for her work and was named B.C. CEO of the Year for the not-for-profit sector and nominated as a Provincial Health Care Hero.

Keynote 2020: Dr. Roger Wong

This presentation and Q & A were part of BCRTA’s 2020 Conference on October 2, 2020.

TOPIC: Older Adults During COVID-19: Knowledge Translation in Pandemic

Dr. Roger Wong is Vice Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Medicine, UBC, a geriatrics specialist doctor, clinical professor of geriatric medicine, the 13th President of the Canadian Geriatrics Society, and a TEDx speaker. Dr. Wong is an internationally-recognized leader in elder care and lectures widely around the world. In addition to him many other responsibilities, he is better known to our members for his regular column on health in BCRTA’s PostScript magazine.

Success for Online 2020 Conference and AGM

BCRTA Online Conference and AGM Well-received

On October 2 and 3, BCRTA hosted its first online conference and AGM. The annual meeting weekend is a highlight of the BCRTA calendar and great effort was made to replicate some of the camaraderie that we experience at in-person meetings. An extensive package was sent out to delegates, with the usual reports and instructions, but also technical support and suggestions for how to create a feeling of connection. Dozens of delegates sent in photos of themselves wearing one of this year’s mementos, a BCRTA/Johnson scarf.

Conference moderator Arnie Lambert arranged a line-up of top-notch keynote speakers for this year’s conference, with a central theme of health. Keynote speakers were BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and two UBC professors, Dr. Steve Morgan and Dr. Roger Wong. In this issue of Connections you will see several reports on the day’s presentations, with links to view the videos.

The primary concern for the Oct. 3 AGM was to allow delegates to fully review and vote on the standard business items that make up the annual meeting. The AGM kicked off right on time with outgoing President Gerry Tiede welcoming a full roster of delegates. The bulk of the meeting was chaired by long-time BCRTA luminary Pat Brady – a familiar and trusted voice who kept things moving with his customary good humour. Apart from one or two delegates who experienced technical challenges, delegates were able to log into the meeting and take part.

An evaluation survey completed by the majority of delegates showed very high levels of satisfaction with the overall structure of the meeting and especially the critical governance functions. A whopping 94% of delegates gave the secure online voting procedures the highest possible marks for ease of use.

Other features of the Conference Day included the Golden Star Awards, Branch Membership Awards and BCRTA’s PostScript Excellence Awards.

Months of planning and technical set-up had produced an intense but very informative and entertaining two days, and our association had properly met our responsibility to have members meet for our Annual General Meeting. In the face of significant disruption, our association once again asserted its adaptable goodwill.

Well done, everyone!

Here are some snapshots from the two days:

 

On the Conference Day, delegates showed off the BCRTA/Johnson scarves created for the event.

Some Delegate Comments

  • I really enjoyed the online conference. It was organized very well and the moderation of the segments was excellent. I hope there are more online events like this one.
  • Financial report was excellent. The Postscript awards interviews were a highlight.
  • Clarity of concerns, discussions, and decisions were excellent!
  • That took a great deal of organizing and we thank you.
  • Educated people know how to work together yet stay apart!!
  • Very well done. Even the glitches were interesting to watch.
  • Really good all round. I sure missed meeting up with other delegates but wearing pj’s was a joy.
  • It was very well done. I missed the people contact and the food at my house was not as good as conference food.
  • I was impressed with the ease of the voting procedure.
  • Very well-organized and informative.
  • Excellent job by Arnie and award presenters.
  • Thought the whole thing was good – was better than I anticipated.
  • AGM showed excellent team work and displayed a high standard of effort…..just what the BCRTA is all about.

Wilson Heads 2020-2021 BCRTA Board

Grace Wilson Named President

The 75th Meeting of the BCRTA saw familiar faces moving into new roles, chief of which was Grace Wilson, named President for 2020-2021. Wilson steps into the role vacated by Gerry Tiede, who had completed the maximum two-year term as President, and will now serve two years as Past President.

In her remarks accepting her new responsibility, Grace emphasized the importance of serving our members and caring for the resources of the association.

Patricia Clough has completed her two years in the role of Past President, and Sterling Campbell had also completed the maximum number of terms on the board. Outgoing President thanked all those who had served on the board and committees in the past year, and Patricia Clough was given the unique honour of being named a Life Member.

There are new and returning faces on the BCRTA Board of Directors for 2020-2021.

Clough Awarded Life Membership

Past President Joins Exclusive Group

As she completed her two year term as Past President on the BCRTA board, there was one final duty for Patricia Clough at the BCRTA AGM. That was to accept an exclusive honour from the meeting delegates, granting her Life Membership in the association. Only a handful of people have received this honour, one of them being meeting chair Pat Brady, who gave Patricia a cheerful welcome to that small group.

In his remarks leading up to the motion to grant Patricia Clough this honour, outgoing President Gerry Tiede highlighted the significant accomplishments of our association’s recent strategic initiatives, a process begun by Clough when she first became president. Tiede contrasted the state of affairs of the operations of the association at the beginning of that process to the present, listing a number of accomplishments and the engagement of the leadership group. He highlighted the fact that BCRTA is now viewed by many sister organizations as a leading example of effective organizational change, and that we now receive many requests for advice and consultation from other groups.

In accepting her award, Patricia thanked the meeting and the board for the honour. She remarked that it felt like a completion of her earlier work in the Teachers’ Federation, where she also received a Life Membership. Together these two honours are markers of her lifelong ambition to help teachers.