From The President

Sep 16, 2021Branches, NBSRT News8 comments

A funny thing happened to me on the golf course today.  As a matter of fact, most of the things that happen to me on a golf course are pretty funny, but that is a story for another time.  As we were getting ready to tee off, I realized the people ahead of us were retired teachers.  Imagine a group of retired teachers enjoying a round of golf on a weekday in mid-September!  They were laughing and joking, and chirping one another – and it got me started thinking about this message.

I meant to have a message done for the first week of school, but I have been suffering from a terrible case of writer’s block.  Surprisingly, it was that golf outing that gave me an idea for a theme.  We, retired teachers, are a pretty lucky group.  I know we all have our personal challenges and worries, but in general terms, we are fortunate.  Not only have we had long rewarding careers, but with any luck and, thanks to the people who went before us, we can now enjoy the fruits of our labour.

My mind wandered to Jack MacKinnon and Wayne Nightingale, Dawson Murray, and all the NBTA/F staff and Boards of Directors who worked so hard to establish our collective agreement and our pension plan.  And, I thought of great past-presidents like Margaret Brogan and Tom Trafford, who were there to help set the foundations of our teachers’ organizations and our benefits.  Many have passed, but their legacy remains.  It was their foresight, work and commitment that helped to allow us to enjoy our pensionable years.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, because it is true that many others contributed to our successes over the years, but these are the first names that came to my mind.  Maybe sometime, we could find an opportunity to get together and share memories of some of the teacher leaders we remember, and recall what they have done for us.

These reflections made me think of our own organization.  NBSRT has been structured by so many selfless volunteers.  People like our first president, Muriel Baird, and our past-presidents at the provincial and local levels.  If you want a true lesson in who has built NBSRT, spend a few minutes reading the tributes to each of our Honorary Life Members on our website.  I read each of them today, and I was so impressed.  We owe all of them a debt of gratitude for having had the foresight to realize that retired teachers need a common voice, and for building our organization’s foundation.  

But we owe them more.  We owe it to all of our predecessors to do all that we can to make sure that NBSRT grows and becomes an even stronger voice.  We can all be involved in promoting our organization by encouraging all of our former colleagues to join and get involved.  We are working on a strategic plan to chart a course for the next three to five years that will strengthen us and make us even more relevant to all retired teachers.  Please provide input when you are asked.

I sincerely believe that retired teachers need a strong organization to represent us.  But, as long as we leave everything to a few local and provincial volunteers, we will not move forward as we need to. Greater strength and effectiveness are dependent on increased numbers of members, increased numbers of people willing to take active leadership roles. Please get involved by supporting local initiatives and invite all retired teachers to join us.   

It’s funny how seeing a group of retired teachers enjoying one another’s company during a round of golf in mid-September, made me think of how lucky we are – how lucky to have had so many others working to ensure we could benefit from our hard work and dedication to education.  

I only hope you can all stay healthy and enjoy those fruits of your labour for many more years. Enjoy and have fun with former colleagues and friends, and consider supporting one another through supporting NBSRT.

Please Stay Healthy


Message Archive:

President’s Message – June 2021
President’s Message – April 2021
President’s Message – Feb 2021
President’s Message – Dec 2020
President’s Message – Oct 2020
President’s Message – Sept 2020

8 Comments

  1. Roderick Campbell

    Hi Bob;
    Thanks for the great message. I was on the golf course today but I had other things on my mind. I was thinking about the late Dr. Ken Cameron, whose burial I attended yesterday.[ He was 90] Ken was a public school teacher for 25 years before getting his EdD and joining the Faculty of Ed at UNB for another 21 years. I remember his work on the Manpower Adjustment Committee of the NBTF, which he co-chaired. Pam Campbell[ related but only by marriage] was the Co-President along with Leonce Losier, so one year after the famous 1 day strike, the MAC with Ken’s leadership created what we know as the Salary Deferral Plan which hundreds of teachers have enjoyed since. All of this was done through collaboration and Dr. Cameron was an unsung hero. His integrity was central to the Dept. of Education accepting this and many other ideas from his 86 page report.
    It is funny where a golf game on a beautiful day can take one’s mind.
    Thanks for your inspirational message.
    Rod Campbell, President
    Central Branch

    Reply
    • Bob Fitzpatrick

      Thanks Rod. I fondly remember Ken as a true gentleman and excellent person. NBTA thought so much of his integrity and wisdom that he was named the first public member of the NBTA Ethics Committee. He would be quite happy I think to hear us defending time on the golf course as time well spent.

      Reply
  2. Charlie Doherty

    Just read your excellent letter! How I wish I could still be out on the golf course, but that’s another story ! Thank you for recognizing the tremendous work of our former leaders! Their names brought back lots of memories! I also remember the pioneering work of Al Kingett and Ken Gillis ~~~~heroes all !!!
    Keep up the good work on our behalf, Bob !

    Charlie Doherty

    Reply
    • Bob Fitzpatrick

      Thanks Charlie. So many others could have been mentioned. Our organizations were fashioned and led by some top notch people over the years. Stay well.

      Reply
  3. Colleen Forsythe

    Reading your message this morning was a “sunny” start to the day and the week. A positive reminder that retired teachers are a very lucky group because of the hard work of those who came before us.

    Reply
    • Bob Fitzpatrick

      Thanks Colleen. I love the thought of my message brightening someone’s day.

      Reply
  4. Andrew L. Clark

    Bob, what a fantasitic, motivational and inspirational article for all members (and potential newcomers) to appreciate and ponder. As President of NBSRT, you lead our orgnization with consistent excellence, even during this very atpyical and nebulous time in which we find ourselves.

    Andy

    Reply

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