CURAC/ARUCC Annual Conference Carleton University May 2017
Françoise Arbuckle, Assn. of Retired Academics of Laurentian University (Posthumously)
Nominated by the Association of Retired Academics of Laurentian University, Donald Dennie, President
After the receipt of this nomination, we were notified that Françoise Arbuckle had passed away. Her Laurentian Retiree Association asked if this Tribute Award could be awarded posthumously. We are pleased to do so.
On behalf of the Association of Retired Academics of Laurentian University, it is my distinct pleasure to nominate Professor Françoise Arbuckle for the CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award for her outstanding contribution, over a period of twenty years, at the local member association level. A long-service professor in the School of Translators at Laurentian, Professor Arbuckle was, prior to her retirement in 1993, a tireless supporter, advocate and promoter of our retirement association and served, alternately, as President and Secretary. She brought to both positions great energy, combined with flawless competence in both official languages, that she used from time to time to guide members to understand that ours was not only an association defending retirees’ interests but a ‘friendly’ society serving as a group to reinforce and maintain links established during our lives prior to retirement.
Professor Arbuckle had two issues that she supported over the last decade. First she was a booster for CURAC/ARUCC and attended annual meetings whenever she could and encouraged others to do the same. She felt that CURAC/ARUCC served to protect the qualities and needs of faculty retirees to the larger community and that the organization serves this valuable role in an effective way. Her second preoccupation was the establishment and maintenance of the ARALU/AURUL bursary awarded to a Laurentian University student annually for many years. Without her input into these endeavours, they might have foundered some time ago.
For her devotion and accomplishment in areas of concern, I am pleased to make this nomination
of Professor Françoise Arbuckle for the 2017 Tribute Award.
Maurice Gibbons, Simon Fraser University Retirees Association
Nominated by James Boyd, President, SFURA.
Dr. Maurice Gibbons, newsletter editor of Simon Says and Professor Emeritus, led a team effort to produce a legacy book entitled Remembering SFU on the Occasion of its 50th Birthday, as its gift to the University for its 50th Anniversary celebrations. The book contains stories of the early years of SFU by 45 people–former students, faculty, staff and administrators and includes pictures from the SFU Archives, including many photographs that have not been seen before. It is as much a photo album as it is a personal journal of the early days. This project shows what retirees can accomplish, well into retirement life, especially when led by an 85-year-old dedicated editor!
Maurice grew up on the West Coast, completed his BA at the University of British Columbia, his MA in English at the University of Washington, and his doctorate at Harvard where he was on the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review. He taught in elementary and secondary schools before teaching at the University of British Columbia and at Simon Fraser University. A specialist in the creation of innovative approaches to instruction, his programs emphasized self-direction, challenge and excellence. Dr. Gibbons published more than sixty academic articles in his areas of expertise.
In 2007, Gibbons was awarded the Malcolm Knowles Memorial Self Directed Learning Award at the 21st annual International Self Directed Learning Symposium. Gibbons was a founding member of Challenge Education Associates that produced The Self-Directed Professional program for teachers; the founder and director of Personal Power Press which produced a dozen books on SDL, and a founding member of World Citizens for a Universal Curriculum, a global education project designed to empower students to create a sustainable world.
Maurice publishes fiction and poetry and is an exhibiting sculptor. He used SDL methods to learn to carve wood and has exhibited his work in Vancouver, San Francisco, Sydney and New York. He is married and lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, where he carves, writes and consults. Gibbons is well known for the provocative speeches and hands-on workshops he presents worldwide. See https://vimeo.com/30033061.
Ginette Lamontagne, McGill University Retirees Association
Nominated by Henry Leighton, Kathleen Maguire and Robert Stanley
It is our pleasure and honour to nominate Ginette Lamontagne, President of the McGill University Retiree Association/Association des retraité(e)s de l’Université McGill (MURAARUM) for the CURAC Tribute Award. This is in recognition of her outstanding work organizing and giving life to our newly-formed retiree association.
In November, 2014, the major employee groups at McGill convened a meeting to establish an association representing retirees from all sectors of the University. Prior to this time, only retired faculty and librarians could belong to the Retirees Section of the McGill Association of University Teachers (MAUT-RS). At this first meeting a four-person Interim Executive Committee, headed by Ginette Lamontagne as President, and a Board were elected to get MURA off the ground. Ginette was in every way the leader of this effort. Her enthusiasm, her vision, her hard work, her diplomacy and her determination were inspirational to the other members of the Executive and Board. As a result of Ginette’s leadership, seven months later MURA had its constitution and by-laws in place, had sound funding, had over 300 prospective members, and
held its founding meeting on June 1, 2015 with 75 prospective members in attendance. But that was only the beginning. Initially, members paid a $25 annual membership fee. After innumerable meetings and negotiations tirelessly spearheaded by Ginette, MURA now receives annual funding from each major employee union or association so that membership is free for any retiree who was a member of one of those organizations.
Ginette offered invaluable advice and direction on the creation of a bilingual MURA website. Thanks to her very successful search, MURA has volunteer French translators for the website, documents, a monthly communiqué and bi-annual newsletter. Ginette led the effort to establish a solid MURA working relationship with McGill University. Thanks to her diplomacy, McGill Human Resources now distributes MURA information brochures and includes a document about MURA in McGill mailings to retired employees. Ginette played a leading role to draft and present a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MURA and the University, modeled on similar documents used by other retiree associations in the country. While the MOU remains a work in progress, since it has not yet been formally endorsed by both parties, significant first steps have been achieved. These include an active working business relationship, and agreement by the University to provide office space to MURA at no cost. Ginette believed that a private group Facebook page would be an excellent tool for members to share information and experiences. She arranged with the McGill Community on Lifelong Learning (MCLL) to allow Facebook workshops to be held at their facility. Four very popular workshops have been held, and more are planned in the future.
Ginette’s enthusiasm for creating recreational, educational and social opportunities has led to the establishment of several events and activities. She was instrumental in convincing the Athletics Department to offer retirees half-price McGill gym memberships and participation in the Staff Fitness Program. There is also a well-attended cycling group. Ginette opens her home on a regular basis for the very popular MURA book club and hopes to establish a bridge club soon. MURA now has an annual Homecoming reception and concert, a fall and spring luncheon/speaker series in conjunction with MAUT-RS, and a spring concert and luncheon. This past fall, Ginette oversaw the creation of the first pre-retirement session for members of the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA). It focused on the psychological and sociological aspects of retirement and received excellent appreciative feedback from attendees. Ginette’s leadership is an inspiration to all of us, and it is no exaggeration to say that she provides a vital life force for the ongoing success of MURA.
John D. Mundie, University of Manitoba Retirees Association
Nominated by Jay E. Goldstein, Past President, UMRA
John Mundie retired from the Faculty of Management (now the Asper School of Business) at the University of Manitoba in 1995. John’s work on behalf of his fellow retirees began in 1996 when he helped to organize the University of Manitoba Retirees’ Committee. This committee served unofficially as the organization representing the interests the university’s retired faculty, staff, and administrators from 1996 until 2003.
As chair of the Retirees’ Committee, John met with the university president to discuss ways of fostering ties between the institution and its retirees. The outcome was the inaugural President’s Reception for Retirees in 1997. The reception has become a twice-a-year event (the 40th of which was held in the fall of 2016) sponsored by the Office of the President. The reception gives the 75-100 retirees, their partners, and survivors of retirees who attend an opportunity to hear a presentation by a guest speaker, to be updated on university news, and to renew acquaintances with former colleagues. Also in 1997, John edited the premiere edition the Retirees’ News. This newsletter is published twice yearly and is sent to all U of M retirees. John continued as newsletter editor until 2011. In 2002, John was invited to the conference at the University of Toronto at which CURAC/ARUCC was created. In order for the Retirees’ Committee to be eligible to join CURAC/ARUCC it had to be formally recognized by the university. In 2003, discussions between John and the Executive Director of Human Resources resulted in the official recognition of the University of Manitoba Retirees Association (UMRA) as the body representing all retirees of the University of Manitoba. UMRA became a founding member of CURAC/ARUCC the same year.
In 2004, John was elected as UMRA’s first president, a position he held until 2006. From 2006 to 2010 he served as past-president and also chaired the Nominating Committee. Since 2010 John has chaired or been a member of several UMRA committees including the Executive Committee, the Benefits and Pensions Committee, and the Communications Committee. In addition to the positions he has filled, John has written items for UMRA’s website. One is the history of UMRA. Another is a pamphlet outlining options for retirees who are excluded from the U of M supplementary health care plan at age 75. Many retirees have told UMRA that they have found John’s pamphlet to be extremely useful.
In summary, over a span of two decades John Mundie has made exceptional contributions to the University of Manitoba Retirees’ Committee and to UMRA. Those contributions make John most deserving of a CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award.
Datta Pillay, Windsor University Retirees Association
Nominated by David Palmer, WURA President
Dr. Datta Pillay has been a member of the executive of WURA for 20 years, culminating in a two-year term as President, 2014 to 2016. Since his retirement in 1997, he has been instrumental in developing relationships between retirees and the university. In 1998, his meeting with President Dr. Ross Paul initiated recognition of the achievements and issues of retirees by Presidents Paul and Alan Wildeman. The Joint Consultative Council, set up by President Paul in 2004 formalized the liaison, and Datta’s membership on the council since that time has helped bring results such as membership of a retiree on the Board of Governors’ Pension Committee, and benefits such as access to office space and related expenses, the university email system, and modest travel funds. He represented WURA at the CURAC annual conference at McMaster University in 2014, and with then WURA President Ihor Stebelsky, presented a paper, “Best Practices for Retirees in the University of Windsor.” He continues to attend meetings of the faculty association to advocate for retirees’ benefits.
Datta has served as editor of the quarterly WURA Newsletter since 1997. More than simply news about retirees, the publication reports on all aspects of the university community, reflecting his vision of a seamless community, both current and retired. In 2015, he organized a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of WURA, culminating in a gala reception on October 8 of that year. For that occasion, he prepared and edited a significant booklet, “A Tribute to Retirees”, bringing together the history and organization of WURA, its mission, messages from former presidents of the organization, summary of best practices, and his personal remembrances of over 100 retired faculty. The continuing support of the university administration, led by President Dr. Alan Wildeman, in his attendance and speaking at the spring and fall general meetings of WURA is an indication of the high regard in which Datta is held across campus.
Dutta’s tireless volunteerism extends beyond WURA and into the community generally. He received the university’s prestigious Clark Award in 2009, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the university and community. United Way of Windsor honoured him for his charity work in March, 2016, marking his 17th year as Campaign Chair at the university. He has been a member of the Windsor Rotary Club since 1989. In 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Services honoured him with its Voluntary Service Award. At its spring banquet May 4, 2016, the South Asian Community distinguished him as “Professional of the Year” for his outstanding achievements.
At the base of these accomplishments lies Dr. Pillay’s personal warmth and passion for the university community. While firmly advocating for the rights of retirees, his collaborative approach nevertheless expresses his gratitude for the full life that has been offered university faculty and librarians at the University of Windsor.