To Hell with the Bell 2019 Luncheon

Wine Country RTA Christmas Luncheon 2019

Season’s Greetings:


On December 10th we had 32 people turn out for our annual Christmas Luncheon at The Olde Welcome Inn in Gallagher Lake just north of Oliver.

Bob Park and Huia Martin led us/accompanied us with a tuneful mix of Seasonal and Christmas Carols.

A couple of our members collected a generous amount of money from attendees, which was donated to the Food Banks both in Oliver and Osoyoos.


Respectfully submitted,


Left to Right clockwise: Ernie Milward (current President of South Okanagan Similkameen Teachers’ Union) Cheryl Halsted, past president SOSTU, Arthur Halsted, Ray Pitt, past president SOSTU.

Left to right clock wise, Bob Park, Marianne Hutterli, Kurt Hutterli, Brita Park, Heather Frank

L – R: Sherry Philpott-Adhikary, Jacquie Castellarin, Audrey Wescott. Stan Storwick (bottom left).

L – R: Donna Storwick, Ray Turner, Helene Mir

L – R: Jim Demetrick, Cathie Baskett, Toy Hearle, Donna Storwick

L – R: Jan Shannon, Yvonne Martin, Margaretha Hogeling, Christine Work

L – R Lynn-Raquel Welsch, Helen Leaske

L – R Lisa Demetrick, Jim Demetrick, George Fraser

Bob Park and Huia Martin (on guitar).


The Wine Country Retired Teachers’ Association 2019 Annual General Meeting was held Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the SOSTU Building in Oliver.

Russell Work gave us a presentation on solar power systems (PV) & Electric Vehicles (EV). See the presentation slides here.

See the Wine Country AGM meeting minutes here.


Christmas 2018 Luncheon

The Wine Country Retired Teachers’ Association had 41 retired teachers (including partners and guests) at our Christmas luncheon on Monday, December 3, 2018.

The venue was the newly refurbished/renovated Ye Olde Welcome Inne in Gallagher Lake (close to Oliver).  (Thanks to Ron Erlandsen for taking the pictures).


September 2018 To Hell With the Bell

We had an excellent turnout of 35 retired teachers (and partners) to our To Hell With the Bell Brunch on September 4th. The event was held at a McKia’s Restaurant in Osoyoos.

Here are a few pictures that were taken by member Russell Work.

AGM Minutes June 2018

MINUTES of the AGM for the Wine Country RTA

June 5th, 2018

held at the SOSTU Bldg in Oliver

18 members present (alphabetically): Gladys Brown,Ivo Castellarin, Jackie Castellarin, Carol Cieslik, Stefan Cieslik, Georgia Erlandsen, Letitia Ecker,
Arthur Halsted, Cheryl Halsted, Ken Hayes, Doris Kuehn, Nancy Leardo, Helen Leask, Karin Maertins, Sherry Philpott-Adhikary, Chere Plante, Stan Storwick, Audrey Westcott,

1. Call to Order at 10 o’clock precisely!

2. Welcome and Introductions by/from Chairperson Stefan Cieslik

3. Adoption of Agenda (Consensus)

4. Minutes of 2017 AGM were shown, read and accepted.(Attachment1)

5. Treasurer’s Report Cheryl told us that the current Bank Balance is $1198.81. Agreed that we use part of Balance for lunch after AGM/2018.

6. President’s Report Stefan Cieslik reported on the WCRTA activities for 2017/18 (Attachment 3) Thanks to Cheryl, Treasurer and to Ray, Secretary.

7. Election of Executive for 2018/19 (Sherry Philpott-Adhikary chaired this part of the mtg)

President: Stefan Cieslik (re-elected by acclamation.
Treasurer: Cheryl Halsted (re-elected by acclamation).
Secretary: Sherry Philpott-Adhikary (elected by acclamation).

8. Election of Delegates for the BCRTA Conf./AGM in Richmond in Sept.

Sherry Philpott-Adhikary & Cheryl Halsted were elected to be our reps.

9. Announcements:

a) Congrats to the five retirees this year: Darlene & Lindsay Abbie, Liz Fairbrother, Sharron Piazza and Darla Svendsen.
b) SOSTU Retirement Party @ Covert Farms on June 15th. ($10 p/person)
c) September 4th, 2018 “To Hell With the Bell“ Brunch at McKias’ Restaurant in Osoyoos
d) Dec 4th, 2018 Christmas Luncheon. Date?Venue to be announced.
e) Ernie Milward is the incoming President of S.OkanaganSimilkameen Teachers’Union (Thanked for allowing our use of bldg.)

10. Pension & Benefits Discussion about Bill C-27 and the new Prestige Extended Health-Travel coverage by Johnsons Insurance and the BCRTA. Petition to be forwarded to Richard Cannings

Adjournment (followed by lunch at Pappa’s Firehall Bistro. 13 attended.

Respectfully submitted, Stefan Cieslik, President

Branch Report June 2018

Wine Country Branch Report, June 21, 2018

BRANCH: Wine Country RTA Number of Members 41 (up by 9)
President: Stefan Cieslik
Secretary: Sherry Philpott-Adhikary (new)
Treasurer: Cheryl Halsted

MEETINGS & ACTIVITIES (2017-2018 year)

Most General Mtgs./Workshops held at the South Okanagan Similkameen Teachers’ Union office in Oliver. No charge. Great joint-efforts between Teachers’ Local & Retired Teachers’ Branch.

  • Sept 6th Annual “To Heck with the Bell” Breakfast/Brunch in Osoyoos; 17 attended at
    MacKia’s Restaurant attached to the Best Western Hotel in Osoyoos. Welcomed newly retired.
  • Sept 17 – 19 BCRTA Conf/AGM: Barry Gruntman, Jackie and Ivo Castellarin & Stefan attended.
    Stefan Cieslik was elected for a two year term as a BCRTA Director/ Member at Large.
  • Dec 6 Christmas Lunch, Gecko Grill Restaurant, Oliver; Several newly retired. Photographs attached.
    We had 37 people in attendance. You will notice that it’s hard to smile while you’re singing!
  • February 14th Steven Hopp, Pharmacist-Owner Shoppers Drug Mart Presentation. 17 members attended. See Topics attached.
  • Apr. 12:Meeting with Richard Cannings, MP re: Bill C-27, Universal Pharmacare, etc.
  • Apr 26: Meeting/Networking with all BCRTA Thompson Okanagan Presidents/in Vernon
  • June 5: Costco Workshop, Topic: Navigating the Health Care System & Wine Country RTA AGM: Election of 2018/19 Executive, Election of Provincial delegates for BCRTA AGM in Sept/2018
  • President: Stefan Cieslik, Treasurer: Cheryl Halsted, Secretary: Sherry Philpott-Adhikary. Table officers are the BCRTA delegates for September,2018 BCRTA Conference in Richmond.
  • June 15: Mailed Bill C-27 Petition to Richard Cannings, MP (49 signatures).

Recruitment Methods:

FREE BCRTA MEMBERSHIP for new members 2018/19. Yeah!

  • Attend TPP Workshops, Attend “More To It Than Money” Workshops
  • Attended Teacher Union Local End of Year Retirement function (June 15th,2018)
  • E-mails, Newsletters, Social Functions, Need to develop Phone Tree, Distribute Connections Newsletters, PostScript + BCRTA Brochures, etc. Show non-members why m/ship worthwhile.

To recruit Executive: ABC = Appeal, Beg, Cajole!


Regular turnout of those who want to be involved. Workshops. Newsletters.


  • How to get more members involved in the Wine Country RTA
  • Find out what Members Need & Want / Provide it for them, e.g. Workshops, etc.
  • Testalinda School Heritage Project. SD 53 Heritage Preservation Policy.


Respectfully submitted,

Stefan Cieslik
President, Wine Country RTA

Top 10 Reasons to Join The Wine Country RTA

10. The primary value of the BCRTA is that ALL MEMBERS will continue to have an Association to speak with one voice about their economic interests and concerns.

9.  INSURANCE:  Extended Health, Dental, Travel, Home,

Comprehensive at competitive, affordable rates.

8.  Input into Teachers’ Pension Plan concerns through trustees elected to represent retired teachers

7.  Up-to-date information about your TPP Pension and upcoming changes

6.  FREE retirement, life, legacy and health workshops

5.  The opportunity to engage in (Wine Country) branch social activities if you want.

4.  Four PostScript magazines and six on-line BCRTA Connections newsletters,  Local Branch(Wine Country) bulletins, updates and newsletters.

3.  Contact:  Stay in touch with former colleagues

2.  FREE Membership for 2018/19 (for new members only)

1.  $45.  That’s it – not $45 a month – but $45 for the whole year (this is what you will pay after the first year’s free membership).


The Wine Country Retired Teachers Association
represents teachers who have retired from
School District #14 and #53
and other retired educators who live in this region.

Please join us!

What We Provide

The primary value of the BCRTA is that members will continue to have an Association to speak with one voice about their economic interests and concerns.

In this aspect, the BCRTA replaces the professional association which served the same interests in the years before retirement.

Did you know that some of the most valued benefits of membership in the British Columbia Retired Teachers’ Association are its insurance plans administered by Johnson Inc.?   Competitive, affordable, and comprehensive, they are designed to meet the individual needs of retired educators, and include home insurance, life insurance and travel insurance. All feature group rates based on a population of preferred clientele.  PRESTIGE EXTENDED HEALTH COVERAGE & TRAVEL are worth considering as an alternative to Green Shield.

The travel insurance, MEDOC, is especially attractive for people who have the new-found freedom to travel — off- season, when the price is right. The “golden umbrella” that accompanies members worry-free around the world, it provides out-of- province emergency medical coverage, and at no additional charge, trip cancellation, and interruption and delay insurance. Applicants are not restricted because of age or pre-existing medical conditions, and those who subscribe to MEDOC attest to its excellent service.

What are other good reasons for becoming a BCRTA member?

  • The opportunity to engage in (Wine Country) branch social activities such as luncheons, day trips, sports events, speakers and entertainment – all of which permit continuing contact with colleagues from your working days as an educator.
  • Input into pension concerns through our representatives on TPPAC, the Teachers’ Pension Plan Advisory Committee; Input into pension decisions through the Pension Plan Trustees who deal with the challenges of maintaining pension indexing and health benefits (One of the ten Pension Plan trustees is nominated by the BCTF specifically to represent retired teachers.).
  • An opportunity, as a member of the R.R. Smith Foundation, to support educational projects in BC, the rest of Canada, and abroad (All BCRTA members can become a member of this philanthropic foundation.).
  • The means by which to keep current on matters pertaining to the interests of retired teachers through an excellent BCRTA publication, Postscript, which you will receive four times a year, and through the on-line newsletter called Connections, not to mention local (Wine Country) bulletins, updates and newsletters.
  • Representation through the BCRTA on the executive of ACER-CART, the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers, which is influential on matters concerning retired teacher seniors as citizens of Canada; andAffiliation with COSCO (the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organization), which represents about 60,000 BC seniors and advocates on your behalf.


In summary, joining the BCRTA means membership in an organization that exists to “guard the interests and to promote the welfare” of retired educators throughout the province.

If you are already a member of the BCRTA, simply contact the BCRTA office and ask to join Wine Country branch.

If you are not yet a BCRTA member, you can join in five minutes, and your first year is free! Click here to join now!