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Archives Chair
John Carruthers


Wow! What a year, celebrating the 50th year of RTO/ERO!
Here are links to photos of our events of the past year:
The Spring AGM and lunch - Part 1 - Part 2
The Farewell to the Bell lunch and golf outing
The RTO/ERO District 14 gala, "Life After Retirement Showcase"
The Fall Festival Luncheon
The compilation of four features from the 2018 Grapevines:
         "Generations of Teaching" in the families of four of our members.
... and a compilation of our District 14 history (thanks, President Diane!)

Communications chair
Chereen Osborne


Although we are call it a “committee” we are much more like a team. Each member has their own sphere of influence, but none of us can function alone to get the job done. As our membership changes in age and grows in numbers, the need for more modern technology grows. Beside the Database, Newsletter and Website, we have added Facebook to our outreach both to members and the broader community. As always we are in need of volunteers to work with us in the area of technology. We scramble to keep up.

Donna Van Nest continues in her position even though she lives out of our area and we seldom see her any more. Besides keeping up with the changes in membership, she also works with the Goodwill Committee to invite members to the 80 plus club and for all those cards marking life's milestones. Donna is responsible for the “New Members” and “In Memoriam” columns in the Grapevine, both of which most people rush to read. Since the Grapevine is increasingly being distributed via email it is vital that Donna have your correct and most current email address.

Bonnie Bryan continues to produce our quality newsletter, the Grapevine. The banner is in keeping with both the Website and Facebook. We have enjoyed an increasing number of articles about life in retirement and we welcome others to make contribution of up to 500 words. Many readers express that they look forward to the travel articles by Mike Keenan. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact either Bonnie or me.

John Carruthers, the webmaster, posts all changes to executive, committee reports, newsletters, events and timely news items to the web. Check the website often for updates during the intervening times between newsletters. Visit the Flashing News button and the picture gallery. If you have anything that may be of relevance to our members please send it to me and we may be able to post it on our website, “”.

The Communications Committee has its tentacles in all aspects of the organization. I am proud of the expertise and fine work produced, and the many hours spent in service to the membership by the people on the committee. If you would like to join our team or make a contribution, please contact me at or 905-646-2640.

Diane Conklin
Diane Conklin






Diane Conklin, Events Planning Chair

Margot SmithGood Will
Margot Smith

Good Will

The Goodwill Committee of District 14 consists of the Chair, Margot Smith, the Bereavement Co-ordinator, Luba Beange and the Representatives of the 11 Areas of the district. Throughout the year 2017 we have continued to work at our purpose, that of communicating with any members who are hospitalized, bereaved, or have celebrated special birthdays. Working with lists provided by RTO/ERO Provincial office through the Chair, the area Reps sent out birthday cards to members turning 80, 85, and 90+ years and also seasonal greeting cards to members 90 and over.

Luba Beange, once she received official word of the death of any member from the Provincial Office, wrote to the surviving family members, notifying them that their loved one’s name was being included in the annual RTO/ERO District 14 donation made to Doctors Without Borders and The RTO/ERO Foundation in honour of all deceased district members.

The Area Reps, when notified about any hospitalization or grave illness of a member, sent appropriate notes or cards.

For this year’s Annual General meeting in May, the committee worked to address almost 130 invitations to all newly turned 80 year old members to come to the Luncheon for free. Those members newly turned 100, or over 100, were also invited. Of those "newly turned 80" members, 18 attended along with their paying drivers/guests. Each received a single red rose. None of the 5 members turning 100 were able to attend, but all were sent or taken flowers and a special certificate from RTO/ERO. Of the 4 members who were over 100 in 2017, we were delighted and honoured that one did attend and saddened that one other passed away before the luncheon date.

In addition, it has been the custom for the last 3 years, for the Chair to write articles for the Grapevine about each newly turned 100 year old member, based on interviews, either in person, or by a written questionnaire. There were 3 for the year 2017.

Area funeral homes were also visited by the Area Reps, who delivered special notes, along with District business cards that included the telephone numbers of the RTO/ERO Provincial Office and the Pension Board. These are intended to be given out to the families of any deceased member to assist them with the “aftercare” and to speed up the flow of up-to-date membership information back to District 14.

A new policy was introduced to invite each member between 90 and 99 to the Fall Luncheon. In late September, the Committee worked to send out 140 invitations (including those full and Associate members who live out of the District.) The 18 who came out on Nov 2. 2017, either on their own, or with a companion, enjoyed the whole event. The simple corsages or boutonnieres were a hit.

In summary, the Goodwill Committee is the heart of District 14, and through 2017 has continued to support its members, through good times and bad. They are ready to continue to do so in 2018.

A special event honouring those past and present Goodwill Area Representatives is being planned for our 50th anniversary, during 2018. Details: TBA.

Margot Smith, Goodwill Chair

Health ServicesHealth Services Chair
Health Services
Marilyn Malton

Health Services

Here is a link to the 2019 update of the RTO/ERO health benefits:

membershiprpt Membership
Bill Doyle


Are you a member of the broader education community which includes public and private school staff, board staff, educational support staff, and college and university faculty? RTO-ERO District 14 Niagara invites you to join us. Members have the opportunity to participate in social and leisure opportunities, join a committee or two, including political advocacy and be part of the District Executive leadership role. In addition to the District Newsletter, The Grapevine, one receives Head Office publications packed with beneficial news and information including.

One does not have to be retired to join RTO-ERO District 14 Niagara. As a non retired member you receive electronic copies of all publications. Being aware of the benefits of membership, you have a 'jump start' to getting involved.

One needs to plan for retirement. Take advantage of participating in an RPW (Retirement Planning Workshop). Consider giving yourself a minimum five-year window to plan your retirement. District 14 tries to hold its RPW the first Saturday in March. You can always go to to confirm the date.

In early September, (first Thursday after Labour Day) we welcome new retirees to celebrate their retirement at our annual Farewell to the Bell Luncheon. This luncheon provides attendees the opportunity to meet and be reacquainted with others from the education sector, as well as make new acquaintances. After lunch all, at a reduced rate, have the opportunity to golf. Our luncheon and golf is held at The Niagara Whirlpool Public Golf Course. I am looking forward to Thursday 10 September 2020 for our next Farewell to the Bell Luncheon and Golf.

Do you know of someone who is retiring soon? Encourage them to contact Head Office (1-800-361-9888) or website to request an RTO/ERO Registration Kit. Consider yourself an RTO/ERO ambassador!

Bill Doyle, Membership Chair

Janice Taylor
Pension Concerns
Janice Taylor

Pension Concerns

District 14 members who contacted Pension and Retirement Concerns Committee had their concerns discussed and referred to the appropriate provider.

A workshop is being planned re: wills, power of attorney/health, estates and trusts for the spring. Another presentation being considered is funeral planning.

Currently Don Gray, Kathy Smith and myself make up the Pension and Retirement Concerns Committee. New members and volunteers for this committee are welcome.

Janice Taylor, Pensions & Retirement Concerns Chair

Political Advocacy Chair
Political Advocacy
Clarice West-Hobbs
Communications chair
Chereen Osborne

Public Relations

I took on the role of public relation after Carolyn Canham was unable to continue in the position. With the assistance of the Table Officers, Bill Doyle and the Communications Committee we made many first for the organization. We are trying to profile the great job that our members and the organization do in the community.

This year we purchased new vests with our logo on the front and, in large letters on the back, “RTO/ERO District 14 Niagara, RETIRED TEACHERS of ONTARIO DISTRICT 14 NIAGARA”. We proudly sported our vests in the Labour Day Parade. Thanks to Bill Doyle for doing all the leg work on design and purchase.

With the help of Bonnie Bryan, a new card was produced with a calendar on one side but an explanation of who we are as Retired Teachers of Ontario. It explains who can be a member along with what we stand for as an organization. They were well received on the parade route. They were also handed out at Farewell to the Bell, and will be distributed at Senate, The Treasurers' Workshop, the Health Workshop, the AGM and the Retirement Planning Workshop.

We have been doing some community outreach. RTO/ERO District 14 Niagara has sponsored four lunches for the building teams at Habitat for Humanity project sites.

We have launched our Facebook page. Find us at I am currently looking for someone to help with Facebook and another person to deal with media. If you have any interest in either position, please contact me at

Chereen Osborne, PR Chair

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