Retirees' News: March 2006

The University of Manitoba Retirees’ News
Volume Ten, Issue One
March 2006

Time to meet for our Annual Spring Reception

We hope that you have enjoyed this unseasonably warm winter and are ready to meet for the President’s Reception for Retirees to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2006 in the Marshall McLuhan Hall (formerly the Beausejour Room), Room 204 University Centre on the Fort Garry Campus beginning at 2:00 p.m. Parking has been made available in Parking Lot A between the Science buildings and St. John’s College, or for a parking fee in the Parkade just behind the Helen Glass Centre.

“NASA scientists are confirming a Canadian theory that prehistoric Lake Agassiz burst an ice dam in Hudson Bay, flooded the Atlantic Ocean and triggered a mini-Ice Age 8,200 years ago.” So began an article in the January 10, 2006 issue of The Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian theory was first postulated in the journal Science by University of Manitoba geologist Dr. James Teller and colleagues at the Geological Survey of Canada and UBC. Dr. Teller is the world leader in deciphering the history of Lake Agassiz and in interpreting the impact of this lake and of North America’s glacial runoff on past global climate change. Dr. Teller is a very active researcher who even has a mountain in Antarctica named after him, Teller Peak. At the President’s reception Dr. Teller will speak to us about “Glacial Lake Agassiz and Global Change.” Following Jim’s presentation, Vice-President (Research) Dr. Joanne Keselman will bring us up to date on happenings around the University since we last met in October. Finally Irv Gusdal will tell us about our participation in the United Way Campaign. The afternoon will close with refreshments and the opportunity to socialize.

Don’t forget to bring your spouse and invite those survivors of retirees whom you know. Please RSVP by Friday, April 14, 2006 by calling Linda Lassman, 474-9124, Fax: 474-7537,or e-mail Linda_lassman@umanitoba. ca

Fall Reception

The fall President’s Reception for Retirees is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2006 so mark your calendars now. We will confirm the date in the next Retirees’ News.

UMRA Website

Gunter Baureiss is the new UMRA Webmaster and he has designed a wonderful new website. Please visit it at

UMRA Committees

This year’s Executive Committee would like to give special thanks to several UMRA members who have made significant contribution to the Association over the last few years and who have now stepped down from their positions.

John Mundie, remains on the Executive as Past President, but we wish to pay tribute to him for his many years devoted to establishing the Retirees’ Group which evolved into UMRA under his leadership. For those of you with access to a computer, we invite you to read John’s history of UMRA on our website (see above). Through John’s effort and persistence, UMRA became a founding member of the national association CURAC and received recognition for successfully co-hosting with the University of Winnipeg the second annual CURAC Conference in May, 2004.

Ian Rollo developed UMRA's first website and has faithfully maintained it since 1997. He served on the CURAC Conference Committee which organized the 2004 conference and was a longstanding member of the Retirees’ Benefit Group.

John Markham was Chair of the Communications Group and edited the Retirees’ News for several years. He, too, helped organize the 2004 conference and served on the Retirees' Benefit Group.

Brent Clark is the past secretary for UMRA, having taken very detailed and accurate minutes for both, the Executive Committee and at our two Annual General meetings.

Paul Lindsay served on the Retirees’ Benefit Group from 1997 to 2005.

In addition to these UMRA members, we would like to thank Barb Cameron. Barb worked for Rosalyn Howard, Director of Learning and Development Services, who is UMRA’s liasion with the University. Barb recently retired to Gimli after providing several years of efficient and cheerful service to UMRA. In her place, we welcome Linda Lassman.

UMRA currently has three active committees in addition to the Executive Committee:

The Communications Committee consists of John Mundie, Steve Stothers, Laraine Coll, Gunter Baureiss and Karen Ogden.

Nora Losey chairs the Benefits and Pension Committee which is composed of John Mundie, June Stewart, Bernice Furlong, and John Markham.

The Ad Hoc Committee Exploring the Feasibility of a Retiree Centre is chaired by Horst Frank and includes Jerry Gray, Marilyn Stothers and Harlyn Thompson. Please fill out and return the enclosed survey.

We will keep you posted about the activities of these various committees.

UMRA Membership Application

Included with this newsletter is an application for membership in UMRA. The membership fees are used to support the work of the Executive Committee and to send the President and Vice-President to the annual meeting of CURAC (College and University Retiree Associations of Canada, of which UMRA is a founding member. We urge you to become an active member of UMRA by returing the application form with your cheque.

Thank you to retirees for their outstanding participation in the United Way Campaign

Once again, retirees surpassed our United Way goal of $72,800 by contributing $72,956. Irv Gusdal, who heads the Retirees’ campaign, also wishes to thank Dick Johnson, Laraine Coll, and Bruce McDonald for their help in this important endeavour.

News from around campus

Beginning with this issue we will try to bring you news from the Office of the President, and the Faculties and Schools.

The University raised $30.6 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, the largest amount raised outside of a capital campaign and in the year following the end of Building on Strengths: Campaign for the University of Manitoba which raised $237.6 million.

Last fall the William Norrie Centre opened at 485 Selkirk Avenue. The facility houses the University Of Manitoba’s Inner City Social Work ACCESS Program and the University of Winnipeg Bachelor of Education Program. The Centre was funded in part by support from the Moffat Family Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation. It is named for the University of Manitoba’s 12th Chancellor who has strong ties to both universities and a long history of supporting inner city development.

A team of University of Manitoba researchers led by Robert Hill, Plant Science, is the first in the world to discover a receptor for an important plant hormone called abscisic acid. The discovery, published in the January 19, 2006 edition of the scientific journal Nature, represents a major leap forward in our understanding of plant growth and development, and it will have a significant impact on agriculture and forestry industries.

The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Manitoba Agricultural College on from July 21 to 23, 2006. They will be joined by the graduates from Home Economics (now Human Ecolocy) when it was part of the College from 1910 to 1970. For further information please contact Crystal Jorgenson at 204-474-9435 or

Scholars at the University of Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University have discovered that an old Bible donated to St. John’s College in 1897 is in fact an original first edition of the King James Bible. It was printed in England in 1611 and has engraved title pages, oak wood and leather bindings, ornamental woodcut borders and an added genealogy and lineage of Jesus. Similar editions have sold for over $400,000 US at recent auctions. The discovery that the Bible is an original first edition has generated a lot of media interest across Canada. You can contact Dr. Shelley Sweeney, head of archives and special collections in the Libraries, for more information or to arrange viewing the Bible (204-474-6350).

In the Faculty of Human Ecology the new Centre for Developmental Health is getting underway. In addition renovations are in the works to create a new Product Development CAD Lab in Textile Sciences, and a new Food Innovation Lab is being developed.

The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation Studies is leading the University of Manitoba in “in motion,” a physical activity promotion strategy that will help Manitobans make physical activity a regular part of their daily lives. The University is partnering with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the City of Winnipeg, and Province of Manitoba on both the Winnipeg in motion and the Manitoba in motion initiatives.

The Faculty of Arts held its sixth annual Arts Celebrating Arts in September. The Honourable John Harvard, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba was welcomed as Honoured Guest. Among others honoured were faculty; support staff; students; and three distinguished alumni: Constance Backhouse, feminist, lawyer, historian, Distinguished Professor, mediator, and advocate; Danny Finkelman, CBC reporter, interviewer, commentator and host; and Roger Leveille, poet, novelist, essayist, director and publisher. The Faculty of Arts has recently launched a new website which you can view at

In November the Faculty of Science’s faculty, staff and graduate students came together to run a large variety of workshops for Senior 1-4 students from the Peguis Central School. The purpose of The Peguis First Nation Science and Technology Symposium was to encourage aboriginal students to consider science-based disciplines in their quest for post-secondary education and subsequent careers. Planning has begun for the second edition of this workshop to be held on campus in February 2007. Retirees interested in helping with the Symposium are asked to contact Dr. Tom Berry at 474-8345 or

The undergraduate laboratory at the new Faculty of Pharmacy building on the Bannatyne campus will be named for Kristjan Thorlekson who graduated from the Faculty in 1991 and who donated $500,000 to the University in appreciation for his education. He is currently a prominent local pharmacist.

Logo competition

UMRA would like to have a logo for its letterhead, website, and other promotional material. Accordingly, we are calling for submissions from all you artistic people! The design should reflect the purposes of the Association which are enumerated on the enclosed application for membership form. Submissions should be sent to Box 5, Administration Building, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2. The deadline for submission is October 14, 2006. The winner will receive a lifetime membership in UMRA.

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Dr. James Teller