Retirees' News: September 2006

The University of Manitoba Retirees’ News
Volume Ten, Issue Two
September 2006

Retirees' News PDF

We hope that you have enjoyed a relaxing summer and are looking forward to the next President’s Reception for Retirees to be held on Saturday, October 14, 2006 in the Marshall McLuhan Hall, Room 204 University Centre on the Fort Garry Campus, beginning at 2:00 p.m..

We have heard and read about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in retirement. However, do we know what that means, and does it matter?  Our speaker, Dr. Alex Segall, who has conducted extensive research on healthy lifestyles, will explain what the term means and what we can do on a regular basis to experience healthy aging.  Alex is a professor in the Department of Sociology.  He received his Ph. D. in Health Sociology from the University of Toronto and has been a faculty member at the University of Manitoba since 1971.  Over the past thirty years, he has been involved in numerous local, provincial and national research projects in the areas of health and aging, and he has published in such journals as Journal of Aging and Health and Canadian Journal on Aging.

Following Alex’s presentation, Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor, will bring us up to date on happenings at the University since we last met in April.  Finally, Irv Gusdal, who again heads up the retirees’ portion of the University’s United Way Campaign, will talk about the objective for the retirees’ portion of the Campaign.  Look for Irv’s letter inviting your contribution.  Remember, you do make a difference in our community by giving to the United Way.

Don't forget to bring your spouse/partner to the Reception and to invite those survivors of retirees whom you know.  Please RSVP by October 6, by calling Linda Lassman, 474-9124, or e-mail her at

University of Manitoba Retirees Association - Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Retirees Association will be held immediately before the President’s Reception, starting at 12:30 p.m..  The meeting will be held in Rooms 205-207, University Centre, which are immediately across from Marshall McLuhan Hall.

At the AGM, there will be an election of members to the Executive to fill vacant positions, approval of changes to the constitution, reports on the activities of the Association since the last AGM, financial report and other matters of interest to all retirees.  While only active members of UMRA can vote, all retirees can participate in the discussions at the AGM.

We urge all retirees to come to both the Annual General Meeting and the President’s Reception.

Parking for Reception and Annual General Meeting

Parking is available in Parking Lot A between the Science buildings and St. John’s College and Parking Lot P behind the Faculty of Education.  For a fee you can park in the Parkade just behind the Helen Glass Centre.  To see the Campus Parking Map click:

UMRA Website

Thanks to the considerable effort of Gunter Baureiss, our webmaster, the UMRA website has now been posted on the University of Manitoba server and is fully operational.  This project took several months to complete and Gunter is to be congratulated for what has been accomplished.  You can view copies of the Retirees’ News, keep up to date on activities undertaken by UMRA, become a member of UMRA or renew your membership, link to other sites of interest, and more.  The address for the website is  We would appreciate any comments and suggestions regarding it.

Decisions regarding supplementary health and dental benefits

Based on the response we received regarding the opportunity made through CURAC for retirees to obtain supplementary health benefits, it became evident that many retirees were desirous of having information regarding whether or not to obtain supplementary health benefits in addition to what is available under the provincial health program in the province in which they live.  To this end, we have prepared a pamphlet to assist those facing such a decision.  It is entitled  “So you are about to lose your supplementary health benefits.”  The pamphlet can be seen on the UMRA Website.  Hard copies will be available at the President’s Reception and the UMRA Annual General Meeting.  Retirees also can write to the UMRA address below, or send an e-mail to and a copy will be sent to them.

UMRA Membership - Questions and Answers

Can I join UMRA even though I do not qualify for University of Manitoba retiree benefits?
Yes.  Anyone who has retired from the University, or who is the spouse/partner of someone who has retired, is eligible for membership in UMRA.

How many retirees does UMRA have?
Memberships in UMRA first became available in October 2005.  As of July 31, 2006, 166 persons have taken out memberships.  Of these, 133 are Active Members while the rest are Inactive Members. We have 139 members residing in Winnipeg, six in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg, 13 in British Columbia, three in Ontario, and one in each of Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Wisconsin and Germany. Obviously we are delighted with this response.

What is the difference between an Active and an Inactive Membership?
Active Members are those who have  paid a membership fee (either annual or lifetime).  They can participate in the governance of the Association (e.g., electing members to the Executive Committee, becoming a voting member of the Executive Committee and proposing amendments to the UMRA Constitution).  Inactive members do not have these privileges.  Both Active and Inactive Members (whether retirees or spouses/partners of retirees) are welcome to serve on UMRA Committees.

Both my spouse/partner and I have retired from the University.  Can we take out a joint membership?
No.  At this time UMRA membership is on an individual basis.  Each of you should submit a membership application.

When does the membership year start and end?
The membership year runs from October 1st to September 30th.

How can I obtain a membership application or membership renewal form?
There are several ways by which you can obtain a membership application.  First, a membership application form has been enclosed with this newsletter.  Second, the forms will be available at the President’s Reception and the AGM on October 14, 2006.  Third, you can download both types of forms from our website:  Fourth, you can write us at the address mentioned below.  Finally, you can phone Jay Goldstein at (204) 237-4624.

Next President’s Reception

The Spring President’s Reception for Retirees is tentatively scheduled for April 21, 2007 at the Bannatyne Campus.  This date will be confirmed in the March 2007 Retirees’ News.

Suggestions as to speakers and topics

We are always looking for suggestions as to potential speakers and topics of interest to be presented at the President’s Reception for Retirees.  Please forward them to UMRA at the address noted below.

Logo Competition

In our last newsletter we asked for submissions from retirees of a logo for our Association.  To date we have received one submission which doesn't provide much of a challenge to those who have to make the selection.  To make it more of a competition, we are extending the deadline for submission to March 1, 2007.  For those with a creative bent, please put your ideas to paper and send in your submission.

Highlights of the CURAC Conference in Guelph, Ontario

The 2006 College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) was held at the University of Guelph on May 25th and 26th.  Announced at the Annual General Meeting was the incorporation of CURAC under the provisions of the Canadian Corporations Act, effective February 9th.  Currently, CURAC has 35 member organizations.

Several topics of interest to retirees were explored.  There was a discussion of the preliminary results of a survey on the non-medical benefits available to retirees at member institutions. An update on retiree centres and housing indicated there are retiree centres at several universities.  The feasibility of retiree housing is being pursued at several institutions with questionnaires sent out to retirees at UBC, U of T and U of M.  There was some discussion on how retirees could be an institutional resource through establishing scholarships, organizing outreach programs such as mentors in high schools, and working on international projects such as CAISO.  Funding and support for retirees engaged in research was discussed.

The Windsor University Retirees Association volunteered to organize the 2007 CURAC Conference.  The exact dates are to be confirmed.

Looking for Volunteers

As it happens with every organization, we are constantly looking for volunteers to serve on our committees.  The committees are the Benefits and Pensions Committee, the Membership Committee and Communications Committee.  There also is an Ad Hoc Committee Exploring the Feasibility of a Retiree’s Centre. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please send your name to our President, Lois Brockman, at the postal address shown below or by e-mail at

UMRA Address:
Retirees Association, University of Manitoba, Box 5, Administration Building, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2. 

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Dr. Alex Segall