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From the President’s Desk
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Message from Outgoing President, Roger Lalonde

Roger Lalonde - 2017 copy
December 2017 — After one year as your district President it is time to take stock and look towards the future. Year 2017 was particularly interesting for me because at the provincial level our organization underwent very important changes to which I had the privilege to participate actively, that is the adoption of a new model of governance. At the district level, I had the fortune of working with a simply great team which made my job easy and very pleasant.

The activity which demanded most time and energy in 2017 at the provincial level was undoubtedly the deliberations, consultations and drafting of the by-laws of the new governance structure of RTO/ERO. This change in governance model will have little impact for members. It will the effect of modernizing the organization and protect members against possible legal proceedings. Provincial President Martha Foster’s message in the November 2017 issue of Renaissance explains very well the changes. The main changes are as follow:

  • The incorporation as a non-profit organizations under the federal system
  • A Board of 9 to 11 Directors will replace the current 6 member Provincial Executive
  • The establishment of a single class of members all entitled to vote at Annual meetings
  • One Annual meeting in May for corporate members (Senators)
  • Several provincial initiatives were launched in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of RTO/ERO in 2018.
  • RTO/ERO 50th Anniversary promotional items distributed by Souvenir Canada Inc.
  • Special budget allocations to Districts. Our District 27 allocation is $5050
  • Logo, pins and plaques for leadership and service
  • A 12 day Danube Cruise in June and one on Lake Ontario at the Annual Assembly in May

Several RTO/ERO recruitment and marketing initiatives were launched at the provincial level. You may have notice a greater presence of RTO/ERO on social media like Facebook.

The last Senate also approved a substantial increase in funding for RPWs in 2018, or $ 25 per person, which should provide RPWs at no cost to participants.

Highlights at the district level were:
The establishment of a 50th Anniversary Committee under the chairmanship of Dawn Paxton whose responsibility is to organize activities to mark this important milestone, the founding of RTO/ERO in 1968. The first initiative was the installation in collaboration with the City of Ottawa of the first park bench at the McNabb Park. A second bench will be installed in the spring at the Andrew Haydon Park. A tree will be planted near each bench on which a plaque that reads: “ENJOY AND RELAX - RTO/ERO - DÉTENDEZ-VOUS”

This is the first year of the Ottawa-Carleton District Scholarship awarded $1000 scholarship to a university student in the final year of university. This new scholarship replaces the scholarships that we awarded in the past to students at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. The scholarship are in addition to the scholarships awarded to college students at Algonquin College and La Cité.

One of my priorities has been to encourage the use of electronic means of communication, such as mail blast to remind members of upcoming activities, to invite members to make better use of our website and finally to encourage members to submit their health insurance claims online to Johnson Inc.

In 2017, the Entre-Nous choir gave seventeen bilingual recitals in residences for elderly and of long-term care facilities. There are currently 41 members in the choir among which 3 new members registered this year. I want to underline the arrival of the new choir director, Leslie Bricker who took office in September, 2017. I want to thank Hélène Boudreau who decided to retired after four years of service as director of the choir.

The Goodwill committee continued to support members by means of sending of cards of encouragement or sympathies depending on the circumstances. All our members of 80 and more years old receive a birthday card as well as a Christmas card. Before the end of December of this year more than 800 cards will have been sent. Committee members send cards of sympathies and donations) to various charities in memory of members who died during the year.These cards are specially designed and printed for ERO\RTO. This favours a more personalized approach, while allowing cost savings. The committee always appreciates to be notified about the death of an RTO/ERO member so that we can honour him or her as soon as possible.

This autumn we held our 22nd annual reception for the members aged 80 more years old. This activity becomes more and more popular. It was attended by 140 of our senior members. It is always a nice opportunity to socialize with former colleagues. Once again, it was a big success.

Members who like to play the Bridge in a social setting meet in St-Peters room at the Heron Community Centre on Monday and Wednesday at 12:30 pm and for Duplicate Bridge on Wednesday at the same time. The annual Christmas Dinner at the Centre RA and the Spring Luncheon at the Pineview Golf Club are always beautiful occasions to socialize and meet colleagues in a festive atmosphere.

In conclusion, I want to thank the members of the team with whom I had the privilege to work during my year at the helm. I want to especially thank to my good friend Norbert who shared his vast experience and wisdom. Finally I wish the same level of support to our incoming President Terry Craig.

Meetings of the Board of Directors
The meeting place of the District 27 Board of Directors is St. Peter's Room, 3rd floor, 1480 Heron Road, Ottawa.

Contact the President