Awards 2016

Presented at the CURAC/ARUCC Annual Conference,  University of Saskatchewan,  May 2016

CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award

Jane Barske
University of Winnipeg’s Retirees’ Association
Nominated by the University of Winnipeg Retirees Association

Jane Barske has spent her entire professional career at the University of Winnipeg. Following retirement, she joined the University of Winnipeg’s Retirees’ Association (UWRA) in 2006 and since then has rendered faithful service to the Association.
She joined the Association when it was in its early formative years. Her initial contribution was as a member of the Constitution Committee which had been set up to revise and update the By-Law which then governed the Association. She not only chaired the Committee but acted as secretary and drafter of the
emerging Constitution’s provisions following often animated discussions and debate among its members. On top of everything else, she also offered the comfortable confines of her home for frequent meetings of the Committee. She also chaired and piloted the discussions that resulted in the adoption of the draft constitution by the Association’s membership. Finally, she put the entire document online. I can testify to her invaluable contributions because I was a member of the Committee which could not have completed its task without Jane’s leadership. She can rightly be regarded as the “Mother of the UWRA Constitution”.
Apart from serving as the first President and Immediate Past President under the new Constitution, Jane has remained very active in the Association. During her presidency, she initiated negotiations with the University of Winnipeg for office space for the Association and for retaining retirees on the University’s email system without any charge. Both negotiations ended successfully.
Following her presidency, Jane continued as the Association’s founding Newsletter Editor for a total of nine years (2006-2014). She has been the Association’s computer guru in maintaining an online list of members with their full particulars and still continues to annually update it. She served a four-and-a-half year term as the Association’s representative on the University of Winnipeg Pension Plan Board of Trustees where she did valuable work on behalf of both the Board of trustees and the UWRA.
Jane has served the Association in a variety of other ways. She drafted the UWRA Privacy Policy (2008), UWRA Board Guidelines and Standards of Practice (2010) and UWRA Communications Statement (2010), all of which were adopted by the Association as its operating principles and guidelines. She is also the author of two documents, Duties of the Board Directors and Calendar of Deliverables, to keep officers on task and aid in the recruitment of volunteers for positions in the Association. In addition, she has represented the Association on a number of University committees.It would not be an exaggeration to say that the firm footing on which the Association currently stands is in large part due to Jane’s untiring efforts. On behalf of the University of Winnipeg Retirees Association I strongly and unreservedly nominate Jane for a CURAC Tribute Award.

CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award

Margaret Jones
Simon Fraser University Retirees Association
Nominated by James Boyd, President, SFURA

Margaret Jones is an incredible individual who was instrumental in assisting with the creation of the Simon Fraser University Retirees Association in 1998 and then maintaining its administration and operations as an unpaid volunteer into her mid-80’s and well after her normal retirement from her
earlier long 50-year career at the University. We could not have done it without her and therefore we have actually dedicated our soon to be published SFURA 184-page hardcopy book entitled: Remembering SFU on the Occasion of its 50th Birthday in her honour.
Margaret was a 37-year-old mother of three when she came to work for the nascent university in 1965. With only 2,500 students, a familial camaraderie infused the campus, with everyone pitching in to get the university up and running. New staff and students got to know each other in classes or chatting over lunch on the green grounds of the Academic Quadrangle. Student activists, meanwhile, gave campus politics the occasional vigorous stir, just to keep everyone on their toes. “It was exciting,” she recalls. “Everybody was very friendly and helped each other out, no matter what needed doing.” Margaret’s first responsibilities were those of typist and department assistant in the Reading and Study area of SFU. Here, mature students came to enhance and polish their reading comprehension and writing skills. Although she never attended university herself, Margaret was a natural teacher, and taught some classes herself. “One student sent me a letter a few years later and said he didn’t think that he would have gotten through the course without my assistance,” she says.
In the 1970s, Margaret Jones moved to SFU’s counseling office to take on secretarial and department assistant duties. A few years later, she shouldered the same responsibilities for the athletics and recreation department. SFU has a proud record of athletic achievement, and Margaret supported that tradition behind the scenes. She worked closely with John Buchanan, SFU’s manager of recreation for 30 years and coach of the varsity men’s and women’s golf teams. Margaret organized SFU’s annual golf tournaments and even took up golfing, something she did regularly until a year ago.
Margaret was also found outside the athletics department volunteering her über organizational skills anywhere they were needed. She also came up with the name “McFogg,” the moniker for SFU’s tartan clad canine mascot. Her contributions to campus life have not gone unheralded. She received a President’s 40th Anniversary Award for dedicated service to the university and was a recipient of a C.D. Nelson Memorial Prize in recognition of her outstanding contributions to SFU. A long-time executive member of the SFU Retirees Association (SFURA) Margaret also organized outings like a day at Hastings Park racetrack. To recognize her years of work, an eponymous annual stakes race has been named in her honour.
But all good things eventually come to an end, says Margaret Jones, who is grandmother to seven grown grandsons. “It’s my 50th anniversary this September at SFU, and I think I’m finally going to say ‘goodbye.’ ”

CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award

Dr. John Meisel
Retirees’ Association of Queen’s
Nominated by the Retirees’ Association of Queen’s

A member of the Queen’s faculty since 1949 and a leading scholar of Canadian politics, John Meisel has continued his active involvement in, and service to, his community in retirement. During a major fund-raising campaign, Queen’s asked John to co-chair the Appeal Committee, inviting retired faculty and staff to contribute. He and his co-chair, Joyce Zakos, recognized that there was then no association for retirees of Queen’s, and hence no planned activities for them and no monitoring of their pensions
and benefits. This was a deficiency to be remedied! John and Joyce gathered a representative group of retirees to discuss the need for such an association and to outline its objectives. While John participated actively and productively in the group, he did not chair it. But when the group decided to create such an association, it unanimously recommended that John become its Founding President. As President, John emphasized that the Retirees’ Association of Queen’s (RAQ) should include both faculty and staff, that RAQ should not be adversarial in dealing with Queen’s, and that its members should have fun. As his two-year term as President was ending, he accepted that he was required to stay on for another year while a suitable nominating procedure was developed.
Under John’s leadership, RAQ established its newsletter, started a program of activities for its members, and created a committee to report regularly to members on developments regarding pensions and benefits. He also convinced Dr. Agnes Herzberg (then only nearing retirement) to organize a series of public lectures, open to the public as well as RAQ members. In the ten years this series has been running, over 80 of these lectures have been presented, making this RAQ’s longest-running single program.
John strongly believes (and argues) that post-secondary education should be more than just job training, that education should also contribute to the development of better citizens. He also thought that RAQ could and should play a role in bridging the gap between Queen’s and the broader Kingston Community. To that end, he became a leading member of a RAQ committee setting up public lectures on topics of general interest. John chaired the initial RAQonteur Forum, at which then-Chancellor David Dodge spoke to a capacity audience at Kingston City Hall on the financial crisis of 2008-09. For his contributions, the RAQ Council voted unanimously in 2007 to make John the Honorary President of RAQ.
John is also noted for his philanthropy in and around Kingston. Among his gifts was the donation in 2000 of his 50-hectare property near Crow Lake north of Kingston to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority as the “Meisel Woods Conservation Area.”
For his many contributions in many areas over many years, the Retirees’ Association of Queen’s is proud to nominate John Meisel for a CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award.

CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award

Roch Meynard
l’Association des professeures et professeurs retraités de l’UQAM (APR-UQAM)
Nominated by Marcel Rafie, President, APR-UQAM

Founded in 1990, the Association des professeurs retraités de l’UQAM (APR-UQAM) has existed for more than 25 years.
In 1998, a year after taking retirement, Roch Meynard was actively involved in the Association by becoming Treasurer, Registrar, and Editor of the Bulletin, founder and Manager of our web site. As a Registrar, Roch built from the InDesign software, registration forms for establishing a database of the most comprehensive kind on retired-from-UQAM teachers enrolled in the Association. This database developed on FileMaker Pro software will be widely advanced in subsequent years. Roch retained this post until 2013.
APR-UQAM published 3 or 4 times a year a newsletter about the life of the Association through blogs by colleagues. Still from the InDesign software, Roch became greatly involved in designing a newsletter for a nice presentation and a neat layout for more than 17 years. Indeed, for many years, he was also a collaborator for collecting various articles from members of the Association.
Roch, as Treasurer, scrupulously ensured the finances of the Association, producing report after report to the Governing Council and the General Assembly. Thus, the Association was able to exist in a healthy financial situation. It is also thanks to him that the first version of our web site was created in 1996. He was the webmaster until 2011.
In addition, upon the creation in 1999 of Fédération des retraités de l’Université du Québec (FRUQ), Roch was part of the founding group and president for 4 years from 2002 to 2005. During these 6 years, Roch’s contributions helped to consolidate the FRUQ.
Similarly, with the foundation of CURAC/ARUCC in 2002, Roch Meynard was present and became the representative of Quebec along with Howard Fink. In 2008, Roch and Howard organized the 2008 Annual Conference of the Association at Concordia and UQAM. As the Conference was held in Montreal, Roch arranged for it to be bilingual and organized a simultaneous translation system. It was a success! For more than 6 years, Roch contributed significantly to the life of CURAC/ARUCC.
Roch is a lover of well-designed and well-done work. No detail escapes him. Perfection is his motto. As a result he has done considerable work for the good of the three associations to which he extensively contributed.
His contribution to the APR-UQAM was huge considering the multiple responsibilities assumed during twenty years. APR-UQAM thanks him infinitely for all his work, which deserves, we believe, the mark of recognition that CURAC/ARUCC reserves for outstanding contributions.

Marcel Rafie, Président, APR-UQAM
Fondée en 1990, l’Association des professeures et professeurs retraités de l’UQAM (APRUQAM) existe depuis plus de 25 années. Dès 1998, une année après sa prise de retraite, Roch Meynard s’est résolument impliqué dans l’Association en devenant à la fois trésorier, registraire, éditeur du Bulletin, fondateur et gestionnaire de notre site web. Comme registraire, Roch a construit, à partir du logiciel InDesign, des formulaires d’inscription permettant d ‘établir une base de données des plus complètes sur les professeurs retraités de l’UQAM inscrits à l’Association. Cette base de données élaborée sur le logiciel FileMaker Pro sera largement perfectionnée au cours des années suivantes. Roch a conservé ce poste jusqu’en 2013.
L’APR-UQAM publie 3 ou 4 fois par année un Bulletin relatant la vie de l’Association au travers d’articles des collègues. Toujours à partir du logiciel InDesign, Roch s’est grandement impliqué à concevoir un Bulletin d’une présentation agréable et une mise en page soignée, cela pendant plus de 17 années. D’ailleurs, pendant de nombreuses années, il en fut aussi un collaborateur sollicitant à gauche et à droite des articles auprès des membres de l’Association.
Roch, comme trésorier, a veillé scrupuleusement aux finances de l’Association produisant rapports par-dessus rapports au Conseil d’administration et à l’assemblée générale. Ainsi, l’Association a pu exister dans un contexte financier sain. C’est par ailleurs grâce à lui que la première mouture de notre site web a vu le jour en 1996. Il en sera le webmaître jusqu’en 2011.
De plus, dès la création en 1999 de la Fédération des retraités de l’Université du Québec (FRUQ), Roch est présent et il en devient le président pendant 4 années de 2002 à 2005. Durant toutes ces 6 années, l’apport de Roch a permis de consolider la FRUQ.
De même, lors de la fondation de ‘ARUCC-CURAC en 2002, Roch Meynard est présent et assume la représentation du Québec avec Howard Fink. En 2008, Roch et Howard organisent le congrès annuel de l’Association à Concordia et l’UQAM. Comme le congrès se tenait à Montréal, Roch a obtenu que ce dernier soit bilingue et organisa le système de traduction simultanée. Ce fut un succès! Durant plus de 6 années, Roch contribua de façon significative à la vie des Associations de retraités des universités et collèges du Canada (ARUCC-CURAC).
Notre collègue Roch est un amoureux du travail bien conçu et bien accompli. Aucun détail ne lui échappe. La perfection est sa devise. C’est avec ce souci qu’il a accompli un travail considérable pour le bien des trois associations auxquelles il abondamment contribuées.
Son apport à l’APR-UQAM fut immense compte tenu des multiples responsabilités qu’il a assumées au cours d’une vingtaine d’années. L’APR-UQAM le remercie infiniment pour tout le travail fourni, lequel mérite, pensons-nous, la marque de reconnaissance que l’ARUCC-CURAC réserve aux contributions exceptionnelles.

CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award

Geraldine Thomas
St. Mary’s University Retirees’ Association

The Board of Directors of the St. Mary’s University Retirees’ Association unanimously supports the nomination of Geraldine Thomas for a CURAC Tribute Award. She has been an essential part of SMURA
and has kept it going and prospering for many years. She has organized events including the hosting of a CURAC Regional Meeting and even hosted two wonderful party/picnics at her summer place.
Geraldine was a long-time (1969-2007) faculty member at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics where she taught Classics courses including Greek and Roman History, Latin, the History of Ancient Art and Women in Antiquity. She has published in Classics and on the Greek community in the Maritime Provinces. For several years she was Chair of the Department at Saint Mary’s and later the first Associate Dean of Arts. She has won various teaching awards including one at Saint Mary’s, an Atlantic Regional Award for Instructional Leadership as well as a National 3M Award for Teaching. In two recent years she has taught courses on Women in Ancient Greece and Rome for SCANS, the Seniors’ College of Nova Scotia. She has travelled frequently in Europe and in the Middle East, having visited most of the lands, associated with ancient Mediterranean societies. Her most recent trip took her as far as India.
Geraldine has served as President of the St. Mary’s University Retirees’ Association. Her efforts in dealing with the university administration and the faculty union have urged them to budge in granting some of the wishes of SMURA for improved retiree benefits. She also served on the CURAC Board 2013-15 where she was the Board Conference Chair. She attended CURAC Conferences, partly at her own expense, and assisted with the organization of national conferences. And these activities and accomplishments are on top of an otherwise busy life. She typifies the kind of participation which is in keeping with making CURAC/ARUCC an effective organization and which advances the goals of the organization. For these reasons, the Board of Directors of the St. Mary’s University Retirees’ Association is pleased to nominate Geraldine Thomas for a 2016 CURAC Tribute Award.

Contribution to CURAC/ARUCC Award

Joan Cunnington
Ontario Colleges Retirees’ Association, Seneca College
Nominated by Sandra Pyke, CURAC/ARUCC Past President

Joan Cunnington has been a stalwart supporter of CURAC/ARUCC, contributing in various capacities and contexts over the years. She initially joined the CURAC Board in 2006, serving until 2014. As an active member of the Ontario Colleges Retirees’ Association (OCRA), and a past professor at Seneca College, she kept the Board informed about all aspects of the Ontario system of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology including, structure, interests and events. Given CURAC’s inclusion of members from colleges as well as universities, this was a particularly important function and for many years Joan was the only link with the colleges.
Joan was a key member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2010 CURAC/ARUCC annual conference which was hosted by York University. The Committee met monthly on the York campus for a full year and Joan faithfully made the commute for each session. Her role on the LOC was critical. For example, she was instrumental in enlisting the participation of Seneca College as co-host of the conference which gave us access to significant resources and speakers. Additionally, she was very involved with planning the program as well as designing the program brochure. That the conference was a success both academically and financially was due in no small measure to Joan’s commitment and dedication.
Joan also played a pivotal role on the planning committee for the first CURAC Ontario Regional Conference in 2012. She handled conference registrations, produced the program brochure, facilitated one of the discussion groups and coauthored an article on the event with Ken Rea which was published in the autumn 2012 issue of the Newsletter (No. 14).
Perhaps her most significant contribution to CURAC was her editorship of the Newsletter from 2010 to 2014. The publication of three quality issues annually was Joan’s aim and there is no question that she achieved this goal. Communication has been identified as a key objective for CURAC/ARUCC and Joan certainly enhanced our performance in this regard. More specifically, her job included designing an attractive format for the issues, soliciting articles, arranging for translation, and writing some of the articles herself in addition to her editing tasks.
Joan believed that it was critically important for CURAC/ARUCC to expand its Francophone membership and hence spent considerable time ensuring that a French translation of the Newsletter was available in a timely fashion. The topics covered a gamut of material from Presidential exhortations to summaries of the annual conference and AGM to humorous tidbits, to news items from member associations. This wealth of information provides a valuable historical record of the evolution of the organization.
As a Board member, Joan was unfailingly professional, always prepared for meetings, provided useful insights and creative input on the myriad issues confronting the Board, was a most collegial colleague and a wonderful partner on any endeavour. Her commitment to CURAC/ARUCC is reflected in her many significant contributions to the development and vitality of the association.

CURAC/ARUCC Association Award

University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association
Nominated by the CURAC/ARUCC Board of Directors

The CURAC/ARUCC Association Award recognizes a CURAC/ARUCC member association deemed to have undertaken a significant initiative of benefit to the membership at the local and/or national level. The recipient will be offered the opportunity to make a presentation at the next Annual CURAC/ARUCC Conference.
On behalf of all member associations, the Board of Directors offers a sincere thank-you to the University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association for hosting the 2016 Annual Conference and AGM. The Annual Conference is the most significant annual event on the CURAC/ARUCC Calendar and would not happen this year without the interest and support by the membership of the University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association.
This recognition of the University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association also acknowledges the support over many years received by CURAC/ARUCC from the USRA. The Board is confident that this support will continue and that we shall value future contributions by the USRA just as much as we value what is happening here this week. This award is our way of saying thank-you to all who contributed to the hosting of this meeting. We offer best wishes to members of the Local Organizing Committee and to the University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association.