Our History III

style=”text-align: center;”>HISTORY OF CURAC/ARUCC

by Ken Rea (revised 21 January, 2007)

III. The CURAC Steering Committee
(June 1, 2002 – May 25, 2003)


John Dirks presided at the initial meeting of the steering committee held June 1, 2002 at Massey College in Toronto. The members of the committee who volunteered their services were:

Albert Tucker (York)

Alison Scott-Prelorentzos (Alberta)

Allan Currie (Ryerson)

Bob Gwilliam (Ryerson and OCRA)

Bob Liptrap (Guelph)

David Nowlan (Toronto)

Douglas Creelman (Toronto)

Germaine Warkentin (Toronto)

Howard Fink (Concordia)

John Mundie (Manitoba)

John Walkley (Simon Fraser)

Kath Beaven (Guelph)

Ken Rea (Toronto)

Peter Russell (Toronto)

Reg Wallace (Ryerson)

It was agreed that the Main tasks of the Committee were to:

  • Establish a temporary organizational structure for the committee itself (officers pro-tem, finances ) and make arrangements to establish a regional network of contacts with local post-secondary retiree organizations
  • Set up a local organizing committee and assist in planning the program for the Dalhousie founding conference for May 26, 2003
  • Draft a constitutional framework for presentation to the founding conference at Dalhousie
  • Establish a communications system (website, email list, teleconferencing)
  • Explore possible arrangements with CARP, Johnson Inc. for provision of value-added member benefits which might be provided through CURAC
  • Explore liaison possibilities with other retiree organizations (AROHE, community colleges, Ontario Retired Teachers, etc.)
  • Give preliminary consideration to some policy issues such as health care in which CURAC could become involved
  • Conduct a national survey of retiree organizations in Canada

The committee decided to hold the first annual meeting of the new national organization at Dalhousie University in Halifax in conjunction with the Congress 2002 meetings. Tarun Ghose and Alasdair Sinclair of Dalhousie were asked to Co-Chair a local organizing committee. They subsequently maintained regular communications with the Chair and Steering Committee in developing the program over the course of the next several months.

Peter Russell assumed the responsibility for developing a constitution. He was assisted by Marvin Stark of SFU who strongly urged that the new organization become incorporated under federal legislation. After considerable discussion this recommendation was endorsed by the Steering Committee. Once a draft constitution had been developed and approved by the committee for presentation at the first annual conference Francoise Arbuckle of Laurentian University translated the document into French.

A nominating committee was formed with Albert Tucker (York) as Chair and Tarun Ghose (Dalhousie), Howard Fink (Concordia), John Mundie (Manitoba) and William Webber (UBC) as members. This committee was charged with presenting a slate of officers and executive committee members for approval by the membership following adoption of the constitution at the founding conference in Halifax.

Recognizing that some initial funding was necessary to supplement the voluntary support provided by members of the steering committee themselves, an effort was launched to get as many member organizations as possible to enroll as Founding Members. The Steering Committee established a membership fee of $0.50 per retiree association member with a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $300. For those retirees not members of a university/college staff retiree association, an individual membership category was established at $10.00/. By May 21st, 2003, eighteen organizations had enrolled and submitted their initial fee payments.

Ken Rea took on the task of establishing and managing communications for the new organization. He subsequently secured the domain name, contracted with Bell Canada to establish a hosted website, and designed web pages which went online in June, 2002 at. He and Dave Nowlan investigated possible alternative modes of electronic communication for use by the steering committee and subsequent executive committees and determined that conventional telephone-based teleconferencing was the most cost-effective option. Arrangements were subsequently made with Bell Canada to provide reservationless teleconferencing to CURAC at a very favourable rate.

Through the new CURAC website and email contacts the steering committee regularly communicated with a growing network of regional associations. Tarun Ghose and Ralph Winter were active in developing contacts with retiree groups at universities in the Atlantic region; Roch Meynard and Howard Fink were key contacts for the groups in Quebec; Kath Beaven and Germaine Warkentin were responsible for the Ontario groups; in western Canada and British Columbia John Mundie, Alison Scott-Prelorentzos, Bill Webber, and Bill Yule played major roles.

David Nowlan initially chaired the steering committee’s sub-committee on finance and after his departure for Australia was succeeded by Doug Creelman. Finance Committee members also included Germaine Warkentin, Tarun Ghose and Cathy Ng of York who served as Treasurer.

In all, the steering committee held eight meetings in Toronto (September 26, October 29, December 3, 2002 and January 21, Feb 25, March 25 and April 29. It held its final meeting May 25, 2003 in Halifax).

Special Presentations were made to the Steering Committee by Bob Pando, President of the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Retirees (OCRA); Terry Lynch, President and CEO of the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO), Catherine Jay, Mylene Doma, Bonnie Maxwell and Brent Fraser of Johnson Incorporated; Eric Vengroff , President and CEO of the Canadian Association for the Fifty Plus and Michael Brattman, Vice President of the McLennan Group. Contact was also established with the United States-based, Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE). Peter Russell attended their October 15-17, 2002 meeting and was appointed a member of their Board of Directors.