KTRTA BULLETIN BOARD
Important COVID-19 Pandemic Update: For the 2020-2021 season, our get-togethers will be virtual, via newsletters that will be emailed to members and posted on this website.
October 30, 2020
Best regards, KTRTA Executive Team
2020 BCRTA Conference & AGM Oct. 2/3, 2020
The conference was informative, with presentations by Seniors’ Advocate Isobel McKenzie who addressed the needs of seniors in these COVID-19 times. Dr. Steve Young, an expert in public health policy, addressed the prospect of universal Pharmacare and related issues. Dr. Roger Wong, internationally-recognized geriatrician who is familiar to BCRTA members for his regular column in PostScript magazine spoke about the importance of maintaining social contact virtually, rather than in person at this time. Other important elements of the BCTF Conference included the Membership Awards presented to branches, reports and updates from committees and staff, and the PostScript Magazine Excellence Awards, recognizing the achievement in print of BCRTA members who contribute to our quarterly PostScript magazine.
The conference was available live via Zoom on Friday October 2, 2020. If you missed it and would like to view it now, a recording of all presentations is available on the BCRTA website. Here are some of the highlights with links to the YouTube presentations:
Post Script Magazine Excellence Awards: This presentation at the conference is really worth listening to! Especially so if you love to read the articles and see the amazing photography in each issue of PostScript. These awards go to the best writing and best photography submitted by our members. Here are the PostScript Awards presentations for 2020!.
2020 BCRTA Conference and AGM Delegates’ Report:
The 2020 BCRTA Conference and AGM was by virtual presentation (Zoom) this year. A positive side of this was that all members throughout the province could view the conference live on Oct. 2 and view a recording of the event which will be posted on the BCRTA website soon. We heard Gerry Tiede’s final report as our president. He mentioned that visiting local branches was the highlight of the year for him. He complimented our members for their exceptional effort as volunteers. Thousands of volunteer hours are contributed annually to serve our Association at the provincial and branch levels. Members help members to solve problems and members serve on committees to produce communication products, such as the website, BC Connections and PostScript Magazine. We work together in a common culture that reflects our association’s mission: to support the well-being of retirees, advocate for pension security and to support public education. At the AGM, we recognized Gerry Tiede as the new President of ACER-CART and elected and welcomed our new BCRTA president, Grace Wilson. She served as First Vice President of BCRTA for the past two years. She is keen to focus her attention on meeting the goals of our strategic plan, finding ways to maintain and increase association membership and continuing to build up the BCRTA.
We had three speakers. Our local delegates provided the following brief summary of each:
Isobel Mackenzie, Seniors Advocate for British Columbia spoke about issues relevant to seniors at this time due to COVID-19. She noted that 94% of BC’s seniors, over the age of 65, live independently. This number drops to 74%, however, when you look at adults over age 85. She also noted a dramatic increase in the use of our health care system after age 85. One point that Ms. Mackenzie made was that although we have a lot of services available to our seniors in BC, there is no one to coordinate the services. Our seniors are basically given a list of phone numbers of the services and expected to sort it out on their own. She is hoping to make an improvement to this.
She expressed her concern about the number of seniors living in isolation. Libraries, seniors’ centres and recreation centres are operating with reduced services, which could continue for possibly another year, so an environment of less social engagement will continue to be a challenge for us all. Now that children have returned to school, social bubbles have expanded and many families are not seeing their grandparents. Most BC residents recognize the need to have restrictions on contact outside our “partners in care” but everyone is rightly concerned about mental well being and the effects of loneliness. I’m asking our members to be aware. Be kind, be safe and reach out to a friend that may be living alone. Respectfully submitted, Marney Bethell, President KTRTA.
Here is Isobel MacKenzie’s presentation.
Dr. Steve Morgan (PhD) is a professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health. He is a health economist. His work promoting expanded public healthcare plans is well known across Canada. His presentation to the BCRTA conference focused on attaining a Canadian “universal comprehensive public Pharmacare program”. This program was proposed in the Sept. 29, 2020 Federal Throne speech to be in place by 2021. Dr. Moran recommended that members of the BCRTA write letters to our Members of Parliament supporting this public Canadian Pharmacare program. The KTRTA did petitions for such a program in 2018/19. However as this is now close to becoming a reality additional letters would be a benefit. The BCRTA Advocacy Committee was asked to create a template letter for us to use. Dr. Moran provided financial statistics to clearly show to the government that costs for this plan would be covered by reducing the number of hospital visits by people who cannot afford their prescriptions and get into health difficulties. The government would also save money by bulk ordering. Dr. Moran’s slides from his presentation will be available on the BCRTA website (bcrta.ca). Note: BC has the Provincial Fair Pharmacare Plan. It has a deductible for anyone who has an income over $30,000.00. This is a sliding deductible. As we are now in a provincial election this is a good time to ask that this deductible be removed. I have asked the BCRTA for a letter template so that members can lobby MLA candidates in their constituency to support this. – Submitted by Sheila Park
Here is Dr. Steve Morgan’s presentation.
Dr. Roger Wong is Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine, UBC, with specialization in geriatric medicine. He is well known to us for his column on health in BCRTA’s PostScript magazine. Dr. Roger Wong speaks passionately about protecting and supporting older adults during COVID-19 by educating seniors on self-care and new ways to connect to family, friends, and information through technology. Socializing virtually, rather than visiting in-person, can reduce social isolation while keeping us safe. He prescribes limiting our in-person social circle to required people only and he cautions about the potential dangers of the intersection of multiple social bubbles, especially with grandkids now back in school. Limiting in-person visits with family and friends is an effective, yet frustrating (and painful!), self-protection strategy. For me personally, I have not had any in-person time with my grandsons in Ottawa since Christmas. Our spring trip to Ottawa was cancelled, as was our summer holiday, yet, yesterday a FaceTime visit allowed me to gaze at the planet Mars in a book about space with my five-year-old grandson, Sam, and enjoy hearing and seeing him do a full-bodied belly laugh with his head thrown back in excitement…a social moment to treasure! Not quite as good as being there, but all in all, virtual visits are pretty good. Dr. Wong recommends that we advocate for older adults who may be vulnerable and he suggests that we step forward to share how to use digital technologies, such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime and email to connect virtually with grandchildren, family and friends. He wants us to stay socially engaged, preventing the social isolation and loneliness that can result in negative impacts on physical and mental health. So let’s reach out, step up and help each other connect socially! -Submitted by Noeleen Bunney
Here is Dr. Roger Wong’s presentation.
The KTRTA Bridge welcomes submissions from members:
Please submit your writing, poetry, and photos (e.g., artistic endeavours and travels) for the Arts and Culture segment of our local KTRTA Bridge newsletter to Frank Veszely at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A TRU Fundraising Success! A Sunny Day for the Harvest Tailgate Get-Together and AGM’s
September 25th, 2020 started out with heavy rainclouds and blustery winds. To our relief the winds settled down and the sun came out just in time for us to hold our AGM’s for the KTRTA and KTRT Club. We all enjoyed our outside get-together, including our annual sharing of fresh garden produce. It was a pleasant way to meet at a safe physical distance while contributing to the KTRT Club’s TRU fundraiser. Thank you to all who attended!
A Message from Bev Maxwell, President of the KTRT Club –
October 10, 2020
On behalf of the Kamloops Thompson Retired Teachers’ Club I would like to thank the KTRTA Executive for inviting the KTRT Club to present the Harvest Tailgate Get-Together as a program for the AGM meeting. The event was a great success, collecting $1222.00 in donations. The funds will go to the TRU Foundation for Bursaries, the Canadian Harambee Education Society (CHES) and the R.R. Smith Bursary. A special thank you to Sandy Baird for organizing the Club AGM this year. It was a lot of fun. Thank you, everyone, for your support.
Bev Maxwell, KTRT Club Pres.
Donate to TRU Bursaries
If you would like to contribute to the Kamloops Thompson Retired Teachers’ TRU Bursaries, And receive a tax receipt, please consider writing your personal cheque to the TRU Foundation. Please include Kamloops Retired Teachers’ Bursary Fund on the memo line of your cheque and mail your cheques to:
Office of University Advancement
805 TRU Way Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8
To make an online donation to the TRU Foundation, and receive a tax receipt, please use the TRU Foundation online giving page. Select the orange ‘Make a Gift Online’ tab and then check the box for a ‘Specific scholarship or bursary’. Include ‘Kamloops Retired Teachers’ Bursary Fund’ when prompted to enter the name of the award you want to support. Thank you!
New Page Added Website: In Memoriam – To help us remember the retired teachers who have recently passed away, a new page, called In Memoriam, has been designed and added to our website. You will find the tab for our new In Memoriam page under “ABOUT” in the main menu at the top of this page. You may also access the In Memoriam page here. Special thanks to Harvey Dalley, our website administrator, for adding this new page and keeping our website up-to-date.
Please Update your BCRTA and KTRTA Member Contact Information – Please let us know if you change your address, telephone number or email address. You can contact us at email@example.com or 250-299-1874 You may prefer to update your contact information online at https://bcrta.ca/update-member-info/. You do not need to include your BCRTA Member number to use and submit this form online.
Please note that we can update your BCRTA and KTRTA contact information but we cannot update your Teachers Pension Plan (TPP) information. Please contact the Teachers’ Pension Plan (TPP) directly to update your member information with TPP. Press this link for more information on how to contact TPP.
Thinking of becoming a new member of the BCRTA and KTRTA? We hope that all retired educators living in our region decide to join our association! Use this BCRTA application form and join us today. Don’t forget to check the box to add the Kamloops Thompson Branch to your BCRTA membership. If you are already a member of the BCRTA, please make the decision to join your local branch as well. It’s just $5.00 per year to be a member of the KTRTA.