What have you been doing? Tell your friends at the President’s Reception
Now that the hours of daylight are getting shorter and the evenings are getting cooler, come and celebrate the coming of fall by attending our semi-annual President’s Reception for Retirees. The date is Saturday, October 20th. Because we had such a grand turnout (over 125 persons) at our reception in April, we have chosen to hold this reception in the Beausejour Room, University Centre, Fort Garry Campus. This will give us a little more space. Also, it provides access to more parking close by: lots A and P and the Parkade behind the Helen Glass Centre for Nursing. It all begins at 2:00 p.m.
Our guest speaker will be Dr. Gordon Goldsborough, Director, Delta Marsh Field Station (University of Manitoba). The Field Station is located at one of the largest lacustrine marshes in North America. It is in a designated game-bird refuge and wildlife protection area on the southern shore of Lake Manitoba. The area attracts a great variety of migrating birds and has a very diverse aquatic population as well as vascular plant species. The Field Station has become world renowned for its research in this ecologically significant area in North America. Most recently it hosted an international workshop on changes to wetlands and shallow lakes with the focus on how restore such areas to their former clear-water vegetated states. Gordon will provide us with an illustrated brief history of the Delta Marsh station and the significance this world-class facility plays in researching the restoration of our environment.
Following Gordon’s presentation, Mrs. Elaine Goldie, Vice-President – External, will tell us about happenings at the University since we last met. Refreshments will be served after these presentations. We have set aside plenty of time for you to talk with other retirees about events in your lives. The reception will end around 4:00 p.m.
In order to have enough food and refreshments on hand (we wouldn’t want to run out), please let Kathy Vitt know by October 12th. You can call 474-8359 or send her an e-mail at Kathy_Vitt@umanitoba.ca. Don’t forget spouses are most welcome to attend.
We wanted to know your opinions on benefits
In the summer we sent out a questionnaire through the Staff Benefits Office asking for your opinions about the benefits available to retirees. The questionnaire was sent to over 1,500 retirees. We got a fabulous response, almost 600 replies. Many of these responses included written comments. Right now we are in the process of recording and analyzing the returns, no small task given the number that we received. We will be publishing our analysis once it has been completed.
One observation that has arisen from what we have seen to date is the lack of awareness among several retirees as to the exact nature of the benefits available and the utilization of those benefits. If you are uncertain about your coverage, please check our Web site by going to the University of Manitoba Home Page at http://www.umanitoba.ca/. Click on the Faculty and Staff heading, then look down the right hand side for Retirees. Click on Retirees and our web site will appear. Scroll on down until you come to the section on retiree benefits. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Staff Benefits Office at the University and ask them to send you a summary of the benefits available to retirees.
Want to chat with other retirees?
As mentioned in our last Retirees’ News, retirees can now communicate with other retirees through sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. This enables you to send a message to those retirees who have provided their e-mail address to us through the University. We need to have your address on file in order for you to send a message to all other retirees. So if you are not on the list and would like to be, please send you e-mail address to mundie@Ms.Umanitoba.CA and it will be added. Also, if you change your address, let John Mundie know that as well.
Another way to chat with retirees is through our Web site. Ian Rollo has set up a chat room for retirees to communicate with each other either on an individual or group basis. To avail yourself of this opportunity, again go to the University Home Page and follow the links mentioned above to the Retiree Web site. There you will find instructions on how to join the chat group.
While talking about our Web site, there are occasions when it is not possible to access it for the usual unknown and unfathomable mysteries of electronic communication. Just be patient. It will reappear as soon as Ian gets it straightened out.
Speaking of e-mail
The University is changing some of the e-mail address suffixes for those retirees whose current address is listed as email@example.com. You should have received notification about changing your e-mail address to ________@Ms.UManitoba.CA. If you are one of those who has been asked to change your address and you still have questions about this, please contact Ms Shirley Hares at (204) 474-9788 or e-mail her at Shirley_Hares@umanitoba.ca.
There are several informational booklets available for seniors. For those living in Manitoba, two come to mind. The first is Manitoba Seniors’ Guide. It is published by the Manitoba Seniors Directorate. It includes: information sources for seniors, senior organizations and support and funding for such organizations, financial benefits for seniors, housing, services and supports for independent living, health care services, counseling and emergency services, health and chronic disease resources, legal and consumer rights, safety and security, fitness and recreation, and resources for newcomer seniors. A free copy can be obtained from the Manitoba Seniors Directorate, 822-155 Carlton Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3H8 or phone 945-2127. The Web site is www.gov.mb.ca/sd.
Another useful booklet is Access Winnipeg. This is a shopping and services guide for seniors and disabled people. It provides a list of discounts for seniors, accommodation, dining, shopping and services as well as emergency phone numbers, attractions, and transportation. The booklet can be found at various outlets throughout the city.
University of Manitoba United Way Appeal Campaign
The University of Manitoba United Way Campaign will begin in early October. Norm Long again is representing retirees on the overall campaign committee. He also will be having some retirees assist him with the phone follow up portion of the campaign. While the target for our group has not been set at the time this newsletter was being published, it likely will be in the $60,000 range, which is somewhat up from the $59,809 contributed by retirees to last year’s appeal. If you do not receive a letter from Norm inviting you to participate, please give him a call at 257-2339.
We are not alone
From a survey conducted by the Association of Professors Emeriti at the University of Alberta, it was found there are 24 universities that have some form of retiree association for either all retired staff or for retired academic staff, librarians and senior administrators. Most provide membership for spouses of retirees. A few retiree associations offer membership to retirees from other universities now living in their community. Seven universities indicated they have no such association.
Social events, such as our semi-annual President’s Reception, are most common. A few associations offer more extensive programming, such as activity groups, regular meetings with speakers, and off-campus outings. Most universities provide a variety of privileges including computer links from retirees’ homes to the university, access to libraries and recreational facilities, and photo-ID cards. Some provide parking, office and meeting space on campus and administrative support.
Several associations are looking for ways to be a useful resource for the university community at large. Example are tutoring/mentoring special need and international students, assisting in daycare programs, producing a history of the university, offering courses for seniors, and raising funds for bursaries and scholarships.
There is some consideration being given to forming a national association for university retirees, perhaps through the Canadian Association of Emeriti and Retired Academics, which is already in existence and has a number of institutional representatives.
Looking for volunteers
In this the International Year for Volunteers, many opportunities present themselves for retirees to contribute to the well being of others in our society. One such opportunity is at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. The Centre is looking for daytime volunteers (any day Monday to Friday) for their new gift shop that opens this month. As a cashier or customer assistant, you can help raise funds for improving patient care. Or you may wish to volunteer for other services provided to patients at the Centre. If you have time available during the day to volunteer, please call Tammy at 787-3533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Parking or bus tickets are provided for volunteers who drive or use transit to get to the hospital.
For those living outside of Winnipeg, similar opportunities exist at hospitals within you community. The staff at the hospitals will be most pleased to talk with you about how you can assist them in better serving their patients.
Mark your calendar
We are tentatively looking at having our spring President’s Reception on Saturday, April 20, 2002. Knowing how busy retirees can be, perhaps you would like to pencil this date on your calendar. Confirmation and more details will be provided in the next Retirees’ News to be published in March.