© District 3 RTO/ERO           Legal Notice Human Rights Statement 

Reflections of District 3 Past Presidents

I joined RTO/ERO after I retired in 1995 and soon found myself with a job – helping Treasurer Barb Lamb collect lunch money. Our meetings then were mostly of a social nature with lunch followed by a guest speaker/program – very little formal business.  Meetings were mostly at the Riuniti (now Grand Gardens North) and some fabulous lunches were served by their kitchen staff. They were so delicious and filling that the membership decided that soup and sandwiches would be more appropriate; hence, the move to the Legion. Leaders from my early years were presidents Bob Manson, Elta McLeod, Orlando Sicoly, Mary White; Jean Duquesnay looked after membership; Grant Lawson chaired the phoners, Mary Kidd published the newsletter, Leona Galloway looked after goodwill; Betty Gjos was our travel rep; John Jefferson kept us up-to-date with health matters; Ben Smith and Mickey Contini were active at the provincial level. I joined the executive as VP to President Ken Frier.  I attended my first Senate meeting with Ken while Mickey was campaigning for Provincial Office.  Being a ―lunch-bucket northern community, we decorated yellow plastic ―dollar-store hard hats with Mickey Mouse decals and wore them to the sedate senate sessions. We weren‘t ejected, but Mickey won the election. At Senate, Ken and I met a lady from Espanola who was in charge of an RTO/ERO unit attached to Sudbury District #4. District #4 was Sudbury- centred and our District #3 was Sault-centred.  What about all of the retired teachers living along the north shore? The Espanola unit might serve Manitoulin, but there was an opportunity for increased membership for us in Elliot Lake, Blind River and points in between. Thus began an aggressive outreach to these retirees to join our organization.  Meetings were arranged within their driving distance and mileage was paid for them to attend Sault meetings. Following my 2-year stint on the executive Moyra O’Pallie took the reins. This was great because there seemed to be a much lesser proportion of OECTA members on our rolls. It‘s great to see that this has changed! Thanks for your efforts and contacts, Moyra. With Elta McLeod‘s encouragement, I submitted an application to sit on a provincial committee. I was selected to join the Member Services Committee.  I spent 4 busy years providing input into several changes and/or initiatives.  This group had responsibility for membership recruitment and hence a major role in preparing and delivering retirement planning workshops. We also attended annual meetings and conferences of ETFO, OECTA, OPSOA, and Principals‘ Associations.  A two-year review of our travel program was conducted with the resulting partnership with Merit Travel. As a member of the Goodwill subcommittee, I chaired sessions hearing submissions from members seeking financial advice or help from the Employee Assistance Program. Provincial Committee work was a very rewarding experience that I would encourage others to consider.  Bill Purnis has had the opportunity, so too has Moyra O‘Pallie; Gayle Manley is currently the chair of the Health Services Insurance Committee.  Rich Prophet was a member of Member Services Committee and now is a member of the Provincial Executive. Talk to them about volunteering. Note:  John Fleming was President of District 3 RTO/ERO in 2002-2003.  He was a recipient of the (Mickey Contini) Award of Merit pin in 2004.

Past President John Fleming, 2002 -2003

Past President -- Moyra O’Pallie

Moyra O’Pallie was President of District 3 Algoma RTO/ERO in 2003-2004 and again in 2008-2009. She has been a member of the District 3 Algoma Executive Board since 2001. She was a recipient of the Award of Merit pin in 2010. Presidents have been asked to reflect on their terms in office, as RTO//ERO prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. My terms were 2003/2004 and 2008/2009, and I have been a member of the executive board since 2001. Recalling specifics is not easy, but a few topics come to mind. For the past several years, the Royal Canadian Legion Hall has been our home base, but it was not always so. Prior to that, we shopped around at different locations, Riuniti being the most popular, until Marilyn Patterson offered us a home base at the Legion. Our board and regular meetings are held there, and our records and archives are stored there. Thanks, Marilyn. In 2003, a new member, Nancy Sachro, inquired about socials, and was immediately recruited for what was to become our annual Christmas Dinner-Social. It has been our gala event ever since. Generous members have donated items for the raffle table, with oohs and aahs as lucky names are called. Thanks to all those organizers. In the earlier years, the planning meeting for each year was held at the new president‘s home in late August, to plan the first meeting, coinciding with the opening of the school year. It was referred to as ―To H--- with the Bell. It consisted of a brunch, getting acquainted and setting goals. Today, meetings are held in the Legion Board Room, with the first general meeting in October. The newsletter was originally a one pager, mostly under the careful supervision of veteran member Mary Kidd. It has developed into a colourful magazine type mailing with all the latest news and views under the excellent editorial leadership of Maj-Liisa Donaghue. We enjoy three super issues annually.  A contest for a name was held, and Accent on Algoma was chosen (my submission -- where is my prize, Bill?). Service to Others projects have been very successful over 15 years. I recall ―Training the Trainer - a workshop for volunteer organizations; a project by The Children With Disabilities Association; and a Camp MacDougall Restoration project which all received financial grants. The biggest change at the district level is our website. We originally had difficulty finding someone to set it up, until Gary Wills arrived. Today, our website is the envy of other districts — everything inquiring minds need to know about District 3 Algoma, plus other needed provincial information. You are a technical wonder, Gary, and greatly appreciated. As well, today we are inundated with information from provincial office with every item forwarded on to board members. Previously, my excellent secretary Bonnie Forsell handled these items and mailed out our meeting agendas.  Today all is online. WOW! How things have changed!! So here we are in 2016, with almost 1100 members locally, 73000 provincially, a new CEO with exciting vision, a Geriatric Foundation up and growing, an enviable health plan, a Super Senior Celebration coming up, and excellent leadership this past term under President Bernice Whalen and her awesome executive board! Harry Houston shall carry the banner this term. We are Blest!!

Past President

Bill Purnis, 2010-2011

During my year as president, our Executive worked hard to bring awareness to the countless hours of volunteering that members of District 3 supply to Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region. Without the help of our members, programs such as Battle of the Books, Vision Screening, Festival of Trees, and Christmas Cheer would not exist — plus work at the Sault Area Hospital, the Davey Home Tuck Shop, local Churches…and on and on. Teachers have never been good at bringing awareness to their own contributions at these events. So the Executive tried to encourage the membership to talk to others about these programs to encourage everyone to help to make our community stronger. In this effort we met with the Bush Plane museum folks to increase retired teacher assistance in their operation. In addition, RTO /ERO began participating in the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Essar Centre. Perhaps best of all: Gary Wills became our new webmaster!
© RTO / ERO District 3 Legal Notice       Human Rights Statement  

Reflections of District 3

Past Presidents

Past President John Fleming, 2002 -

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I joined RTO/ERO after I retired in 1995 and soon found myself with a job – helping Treasurer Barb Lamb collect lunch money. Our meetings then were mostly of a social nature with lunch followed by a guest speaker/program – very little formal business.  Meetings were mostly at the Riuniti (now Grand Gardens North) and some fabulous lunches were served by their kitchen staff. They were so delicious and filling that the membership decided that soup and sandwiches would be more appropriate; hence, the move to the Legion. Leaders from my early years were presidents Bob Manson, Elta McLeod, Orlando Sicoly, Mary White; Jean Duquesnay looked after membership; Grant Lawson chaired the phoners, Mary Kidd published the newsletter, Leona Galloway looked after goodwill; Betty Gjos was our travel rep; John Jefferson kept us up-to-date with health matters; Ben Smith and Mickey Contini were active at the provincial level. I joined the executive as VP to President Ken Frier.  I attended my first Senate meeting with Ken while Mickey was campaigning for Provincial Office.  Being a ―lunch-bucket northern community, we decorated yellow plastic ―dollar-store hard hats with Mickey Mouse decals and wore them to the sedate senate sessions. We weren‘t ejected, but Mickey won the election. At Senate, Ken and I met a lady from Espanola who was in charge of an RTO/ERO unit attached to Sudbury District #4. District #4 was Sudbury- centred and our District #3 was Sault-centred.  What about all of the retired teachers living along the north shore? The Espanola unit might serve Manitoulin, but there was an opportunity for increased membership for us in Elliot Lake, Blind River and points in between. Thus began an aggressive outreach to these retirees to join our organization.  Meetings were arranged within their driving distance and mileage was paid for them to attend Sault meetings. Following my 2-year stint on the executive Moyra O’Pallie took the reins. This was great because there seemed to be a much lesser proportion of OECTA members on our rolls. It‘s great to see that this has changed! Thanks for your efforts and contacts, Moyra. With Elta McLeod‘s encouragement, I submitted an application to sit on a provincial committee. I was selected to join the Member Services Committee.  I spent 4 busy years providing input into several changes and/or initiatives.  This group had responsibility for membership recruitment and hence a major role in preparing and delivering retirement planning workshops. We also attended annual meetings and conferences of ETFO, OECTA, OPSOA, and Principals‘ Associations.  A two-year review of our travel program was conducted with the resulting partnership with Merit Travel. As a member of the Goodwill subcommittee, I chaired sessions hearing submissions from members seeking financial advice or help from the Employee Assistance Program. Provincial Committee work was a very rewarding experience that I would encourage others to consider.  Bill Purnis has had the opportunity, so too has Moyra O‘Pallie; Gayle Manley is currently the chair of the Health Services Insurance Committee.  Rich Prophet was a member of Member Services Committee and now is a member of the Provincial Executive. Talk to them about volunteering. Note:  John Fleming was President of District 3 RTO/ERO in 2002-2003.  He was a recipient of the (Mickey Contini) Award of Merit pin in 2004.
Past President Moyra O’Pallie Moyra O’Pallie was President of District 3 Algoma RTO/ERO in 2003-2004 and again in 2008-2009. She has been a member of the District 3 Algoma Executive Board since 2001. She was a recipient of the Award of Merit pin in 2010. Presidents have been asked to reflect on their terms in office, as RTO//ERO prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. My terms were 2003/2004 and 2008/2009, and I have been a member of the executive board since 2001. Recalling specifics is not easy, but a few topics come to mind. For the past several years, the Royal Canadian Legion Hall has been our home base, but it was not always so. Prior to that, we shopped around at different locations, Riuniti being the most popular, until Marilyn Patterson offered us a home base at the Legion. Our board and regular meetings are held there, and our records and archives are stored there. Thanks, Marilyn. In 2003, a new member, Nancy Sachro, inquired about socials, and was immediately recruited for what was to become our annual Christmas Dinner-Social. It has been our gala event ever since. Generous members have donated items for the raffle table, with oohs and aahs as lucky names are called. Thanks to all those organizers. In the earlier years, the planning meeting for each year was held at the new president‘s home in late August, to plan the first meeting, coinciding with the opening of the school year. It was referred to as ―To H--- with the Bell. It consisted of a brunch, getting acquainted and setting goals. Today, meetings are held in the Legion Board Room, with the first general meeting in October. The newsletter was originally a one pager, mostly under the careful supervision of veteran member Mary Kidd. It has developed into a colourful magazine type mailing with all the latest news and views under the excellent editorial leadership of Maj-Liisa Donaghue. We enjoy three super issues annually.  A contest for a name was held, and Accent on Algoma was chosen (my submission -- where is my prize, Bill?). Service to Others projects have been very successful over 15 years. I recall ―Training the Trainer - a workshop for volunteer organizations; a project by The Children With Disabilities Association; and a Camp MacDougall Restoration project which all received financial grants. The biggest change at the district level is our website. We originally had difficulty finding someone to set it up, until Gary Wills arrived. Today, our website is the envy of other districts — everything inquiring minds need to know about District 3 Algoma, plus other needed provincial information. You are a technical wonder, Gary, and greatly appreciated. As well, today we are inundated with information from provincial office with every item forwarded on to board members. Previously, my excellent secretary Bonnie Forsell handled these items and mailed out our meeting agendas.  Today all is online. WOW! How things have changed!! So here we are in 2016, with almost 1100 members locally, 73000 provincially, a new CEO with exciting vision, a Geriatric Foundation up and growing, an enviable health plan, a Super Senior Celebration coming up, and excellent leadership this past term under President Bernice Whalen and her awesome executive board! Harry Houston shall carry the banner this term. We are Blest!!

Past President

Bill Purnis, 2010-2011

During my year as president, our Executive worked hard to bring awareness to the countless hours of volunteering that members of District 3 supply to Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region. Without the help of our members, programs such as Battle of the Books, Vision Screening, Festival of Trees, and Christmas Cheer would not exist — plus work at the Sault Area Hospital, the Davey Home Tuck Shop, local Churches…and on and on. Teachers have never been good at bringing awareness to their own contributions at these events. So the Executive tried to encourage the membership to talk to others about these programs to encourage everyone to help to make our community stronger. In this effort we met with the Bush Plane museum folks to increase retired teacher assistance in their operation. In addition, RTO /ERO began participating in the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Essar Centre. Perhaps best of all: Gary Wills became our new webmaster!