Retirees' News: September 2004

The University of Manitoba Retirees' News
Volume Eight, Issue Two
September 2004

Come and enjoy the warmth and brightness of the Brodie Centre

After the summer that wasn’t, at least for those of us on the prairies, you are invited to the semi-annual President’s Reception for Retirees, where there is always the warmth of friends getting together. The reception will be held at the Bannatyne Campus, on Saturday, October 16th, starting at 2:00 p.m. – presentations in Theatre A, Basic Medical Sciences Building – refreshments to follow in the Atrium, Brodie Centre. Theatre A is right next to the Brodie Centre, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine complex at 727 McDermot Avenue and Emily Street. Complimentary parking is available in the University's E-lot which is located just west of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry. You can access it from Tecumseh Street.

For the past few years those of us living in Manitoba have been aware of several major film production firms choosing our province as the location for their feature films for TV or movie theatres. And we somewhat familiar with films made by local production firms that have achieved national and international recognition. What most of us don’t know is that movie production has taken place in Manitoba for 108 years. In particular we are unfamiliar with the first 50 years when Manitobans did produce more than their fair share of amusing and informative short films and one feature film. Through his talk, “Before TV: Movie-making in Manitoba from 1896 to 1953”, our guest speaker, Dr. Gene Walz, will take us back to those early years though film clips of some of the better movies made in the province. Also he will introduce us to some of the hardy and persistent film makers who made them: James Freer, Ten Percent Ernie Shipman, Ken Davey, Frank Holmes, Gudrun Bjerring and Roman Kroitor to name but a few.

Gene Walz is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Manitoba as well as film maker, screenwriter, and story consultant. He is the author of books on animator Charlie Thorson and French director Francois Truffaut. His latest book, “One Man’s Documentary” will be released this fall by the University of Manitoba Press. He is a member of University College and until recently has been the Provost of the College.

Following Gene’s presentation, Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor, will tell us of happenings at the University since we met in March. October sees the start of the United Way Campaign. Irv Gusdal will provide us details. The afternoon will close off with refreshments being served in the Atrium. This will be the time when you can talk with other retirees about how you spent the summer that wasn’t, weather-wise. Don’t forget to bring your spouse and invite those survivors of retirees that you know to come as well. Please RSVP by October 8th by calling 474-9124 or e-mail Barbara Cameron at

University of Manitoba Retirees Association

On May 14th, 2003, the University of Manitoba recognized “the University of Manitoba Retirees Association (UMRA) as the organization which will represent all retired academic and support staff”. Given this mandate, it is critical for the Association to
become a viable, operating entity as soon as possible. The first steps in doing so are to develop a constitution and elect members to the executive. As mentioned in the last Retirees’ News, a meeting was scheduled for Saturday, April 24, 2004 for the purpose of holding an election of members to serve on the executive. Unfortunately, there was insufficient attendance at that meeting to make this possible. Since then a group of interested retirees has developed a constitution for the Association and is preparing a slate of persons willing to serve on the executive.

To maximize attendance, the inaugural meeting of the Association will take place just prior to the President’s Reception on October 16th. It will be held in Theatre C, Basic Medical Sciences Building, which is right next to the Brodie Centre, starting at 12:30 p.m. All retirees of the University can participate in this meeting. YOU ARE URGED TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND.

A copy of the constitution will be available on the University of Manitoba Retirees Association website. It can be reached by going to the home page of the University of Manitoba at Click on Faculty and Staff and then onto the University of Manitoba Retirees Association on the left-hand side bar. This brings you to the Association’s web page. From there you can scroll down to the constitution.

CURAC Conference – May 26-28, 2004

As reported in the last newsletter, The University of Manitoba Retirees Association, along with the University of Winnipeg Retirement Association, co-hosted the annual conference of the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) at the University of Winnipeg. Forty-seven delegates attended the event, with representatives from 19 of the 29 retiree associations belonging to CURAC.

The theme “Building Relationships” was certainly achieved at the Conference. Those in attendance came away with valuable information about what is and can be done for retirees at the federal, provincial and local levels. Most of the speakers who shared their knowledge with the delegates were from Winnipeg. Of particular interest were the presentations by Professor Michael Byrne of the Warren Centre at the University of Manitoba and Mr. Brian Bowman of Pitblado: Barristers and Solicitors. Professor Byrne discussed what would be involved in the establishment of a national health benefits program for university retirees. Mr. Brian Bowman informed us as to what actions retiree associations have to take under the new Personal Information Protection, Electronic Document Act in order to protect the privacy of their members. Both presidents of the host Universities participated in the conference. Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, newly appointed President of the University of Winnipeg, was the keynote speaker at the conference dinner held at the University Club. Dr. Emőke Szathmáry was a panelist on the closing day speaking about working relationships with university retirees.

The success of the conference was largely due to the work of the Conference Committee under the leadership of Dr. Nora Losey. Beginning in September 2003 eighteen persons from both host organizations worked countless hours on organizing and working at the conference. Their efforts paid off with outstanding results in terms of program content, delegate satisfaction and financial viability.

The next annual CURAC conference will be held in Vancouver from May 11 to 13, 2005. Retirees from the University of Manitoba living in that area are invited to attend this event. It will be co-hosted by the retiree associations of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

2004 United Way Campaign

Planning has begun for the 2004 United Way Campaign and again retirees are an important component to the success of this event. The goal for the University has been set at $393,000. Of this, the proportionate goal for retirees has been set at $62,830. The campaign gets underway in October. You should receive a letter and pledge card early in October from Irv Gusdal who is our representative on the University United Way Committee. Please give this your earnest consideration.

Having trouble getting out-of-country travel insurance

Some retirees now find the cost of out-of-country travel insurance for them is so high that it makes the cost to travel outside of Canada prohibitive. Recently we have heard from some of those who fall into this category that they have been able to go outside of Canada by participating in tours organized by tour companies, such as Senior Tours Canada, Trafalgar Tours and Insight Tours. Apparently the cost of the travel insurance for those taking the tour is considerably lower and with fewer conditions than if they were to make the trip on their own. While being part of a tour group somewhat restricts where and when you can go, it does provide you with an opportunity to visit other countries, particularly in the winter when many of us like to get away. You will find some of these firms advertising in the travel section of the local newspapers or you can check them out by going to on the Internet.

Spring Reception

The Spring President’s Reception for Retirees is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2005. This will be confirmed in the next Retirees’ News to be published next March.

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