President’s Message (Fall/Winter 2020)
Hello Branch members!
I am writing this on a lovely October afternoon eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving, which as with everything else we have experienced in 2020, will be different.
All of us continue to be mindful of our family and social " Bubbles" and the current protocols we are to observe which impact us and our loved ones and friends. Our families and Communities will all benefit from our vigilance.
The changes in Branch operations, with all face to face meetings and events being cancelled and operating virtually, through the use of Zoom technology have challenged all of us. I have communicated with many of you by telephone and / or E mail and am proud of the adjustments that have been made as we carry on.
We have seen the departure of Lorraine Harper from our Branch executive and extend our "thanks" to Lorraine for her dedication to this Branch and our members.
I wish all of you the best as we close out 2020 and remain hopeful 2021 will see life return to normal at some point. We miss seeing you and hope we can host our usual meetings and events sooner than later.
This year we had to cancel our General Meeting in May, our Golf Day in June and our Summer Luncheon in July, our September and December General Membership meetings, and our participation in the October 1 International Day of Recognition of Seniors and the November 11th Remembrance Day ceremony at the Warplane Heritage Museum. Our Ontario District meeting and national Annual Membership Meetings will take place in late October and early December, with both being virtual meetings.
We did provide each of you with our 2019 Year End Financial Report and our 2020 Financial projections in the September Branch Report. We are gearing up for 2021 and hope we can again meet in person, at some point. It is our Election year and I do encourage any of you who have an interest in volunteering time to the Branch to contact me by telephone or E mail using the Branch contact numbers listed in the top left corner of this Report. I do anticipate the return of our current executive, but there is always room for new volunteers to join us either on the Executive, or in another capacity which you can discuss with me, or any member of the executive.
For 2021 we have reserved a date for our Golf Day for early June 2021 at Oak Gables Golf Club. We also have reserved a date for the Summer Luncheon at the Casablanca Winery Inn in mid July in 2021.Both of these events are dependent on the situation with meetings and events as 2021 evolves and we will advise you by E Notice or telephone call, and on the Branch and national websites.
We also plan to co-
One new Branch event has been scheduled with our Preferred Partner, Hearing Life Canada for October 20th this year and I hope many of you will have participated in that virtual webcast. We will be looking for other opportunities to bring Branch events to you using technology, which will supplement our usual venue of meetings.
We were notified by National Office on October 1st that we have secured a firm commitment from our Partner, Johnson Insurance that that existing MEDOC Policy holders will receive emergency travel insurance which includes COVID -
We do have an advocacy Campaign underway to meet virtually with the 8 Members of Parliament prior to the next federal election to outline our four key priorities with a focus on the need for national standards and guidelines for Long Term Care and Home Care, in Canada. This pandemic certainly cast a Spot light on both and the Association is focusing on these two areas as part of our need for a national Seniors Strategy. Our 3 other priorities remain Retirement income security, the well being of our Veterans and their families, and the need for a national Pharmacare Plan. I encourage you all to login to the national website, www.federalretriees.ca to read up on our key priorities and the advocacy initiatives we have undertaken to date.
Our Campaign should see meetings with 4 of the Hamilton Electoral District MP's by early in 2021. Please direct your questions and concerns to our executive and we will discuss this campaign in detail with you.
Our membership numbers continue to fall both nationally and at this Branch. We have a second MEGA Recruitment Campaign underway at the National Office which was covered in the September Sage magazine. Plans are underway at this Branch and in the National Office to launch a " Win Back members" campaign designed to bring lapsed members back into active status. I urge all of you to reach out to former colleagues and current federal employees about the many benefits of membership in our Association. The discount of 25% on new members who sign up and pay using Deduction Direct at Source (DDS) is ongoing, as is the 25 % discount on renewals for members currently paying by Credit Card or by cheques who switch to DDS. Details are available on the national Website or through any member of the Branch executive. Members can arrange this on line through " federalretirees.ca" or by phoning Toll free, 1-