April 2023 Edition
Did You Know....
We’ve recently become aware that many of our members don’t know about our website. Our website is full of information and resources including our activities and how to register for them. On our website you can find our current newsletter, information about GBCRA clubs, upcoming events, new retirees, our student scholarship, and Association governance including the Board of Directors, our by-laws and meeting minutes.

Check it out @: https://www.gbcra.org

Google continues to cut our newsletter short. You can view the entire newsletter by viewing it as a web page (click View as Webpage) or you can access the newsletter on our web site.

In this issue you will find:

  1. Note from Co-Chairs
  2. Retiree News - a visit to Milan.
  3. Volunteer shift at the Daily Bread Food Bank
  4. Introducing GBC's Newest Retirees
  5. Food for Thought - and Eating
  6. We Need to Hear from You!
  7. Musings and Meanderings - Member Spotlight - Marilyn McNeil-Moran
  8. Sponsor Spotlight - Beaver Valley Ski Resort
  9. Tips and Advice
  10. Member Feedback

Note From Co-Chairs
Georgia Quartaro
Dianne Diniz
Spring has certainly sprung in southern Ontario! We have had some surprisingly summery days as well. This is quite different from this time last year, when the Toronto area had a final snowfall on April 18! We hope you are enjoying the daffodils and hyacinths and whatever else may be blooming where you are.
As you’ll see in this newsletter, our long-paused theatre excursions will resume later this month with group going to a performance of "The Seagull" at Soulpepper. Some of us will be having lunch together beforehand and taking some time to chat about the play afterwards. We’ll see how the summer goes and may consider a theatre outing farther afield later in the year.
In addition to upcoming events, you can read about Emma Downie, who has completed her student placement with us. She had the opportunity to talk with several GBCRA members and has done additional background research as part of her placement project. As in the past, we are glad to host a learning opportunity for students when it fits their needs and contributes to our members’ interests or well-being. We also have a spotlight on one of our auction sponsors, Beaver Valley Ski Resort.

Earlier this month GBCRA contributed in a new way by volunteering at Daily Bread Food Bank. While many of us volunteer regularly at various organizations, this was a structured group volunteer experience. As always, it provided the opportunity for members to chat and to get to know one another better as well as to contribute some time and effort to a good cause. In the member survey attached to this newsletter, we are asking if members would like to do something similar in the future. Please consider that as you read about it and think about whether this interests you, whether you participated this time or were unable to do so but want to be part of a similar event in the future. The survey also gives you an opportunity to help us shape the kinds of activities and events we will plan on your behalf.
This newsletter includes a list of new retirees. We encourage you to reach out to any that you know to congratulate them and to encourage them to participate in GBCRA. A personal invitation from a former colleague can be especially meaningful as people transition from employment to retirement. We include their retirement date because, as you know, the College deletes employee emails at the end of their final day, which makes contacting them extremely difficult once they have left the College.

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the events that we will be hosting - either online or in person. 

Dianne and Georgia
Retiree News
Sixteen GBCRA members visit Milan's Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio
On March 20, a group of 16 George Brown College retirees took a live streamed trip to Milan Italy to visit the Duomo and to experience the famous shopping in the Galleria Vittorio.
Like folks who were traveling "real time" we even experienced our own "delay" as we had miscalculated the time due to the switch to Daylight Savings time, which occurs two weeks later than it does in North America. No matter, we all gathered, met our tour guides, and learned about and saw the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio, La Scala Opera House, and Hotel Seven Stars Galleria, the world's first seven star hotel!
Milan’s Duomo is decidedly the most impressive structure in Milan. Standing proud in Piazza del Duomo, this behemoth cathedral is over 600 years old and is the fifth largest Christian church in the world, outdone only by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and Seville’s Cathedral.The Duomo covers a surface of 109,641 square feet and an entire city block, its size is even more impressive considering it’s the oldest church on that list.

They say there are more statues on this gothic-style cathedral than any other building in the world. There are 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures that decorate Milan Duomo! Climb the stairs or take the lift to the rooftop to fully appreciate the architecture of the most renowned silhouette in the city. 

The Galleria Vittorio is the original and oldest shopping mall in the world. Connecting two of Milan’s most famous locations – the Duomo and La Scala opera house – Milan’s Galleria is a destination in its own right. The Galleria, or to give it its full name – the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – dates
back to 1861, when it was first designed. It took 12 years to build and was completed in 1877. It’s a four story double arcade that takes its name from the first King of Italy.
The Galleria, Milan is a visually stunning structure – which is just one of the reasons to visit it. Made up of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon, the arcade has two entrances – both equally grand archways at the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala. The Duomo is Milan’s cathedral – a beautiful gothic building that was 600 years in the making, and La Scala opera house – the spiritual home of opera.

Shopping for Shoes.....only in Milan
Inside the Galleria, you can find the Hotel Seven Stars Galleria, designed by architect Ettore Mocchetti, which opened its doors in the year 2007. The penthouse suite (pictured) is where Italy's King Vittorio Emanuele III would reside, whenever he visited Milan. The 580 square metre suite goes for €15,000 per night ($22,018.00 CAD) and comes with a personal chef and butler. Then there are the remaining six suites, available at nightly rates starting at €1,500 ($2200.00 CAD)
The trip was produced by "Heygo.com" Unfortunately the organization has gone out of business, but we are looking at contracting with independent tour guides to continue our live streaming events.

If you have been traveling to interesting places and would be willing to share your adventures with us, drop us a note at feedback@gbcra.ca and we will help you put something together.
GBCRA Members Volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Bank
Carrots, carrots and more carrots. On April 5th, 15 GBCRA members spent the afternoon sorting carrots at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Etobicoke. Over the course of several hours, we each sorted fifty pound bags of carrots into those that were edible and ready to be distributed to those in need. Discards were separated and sent for recycling. By the end of the shift, everyone agreed that their holiday meals would probably not include carrots on the menu. In total, almost 700 pounds of carrots were packaged and ready for distribution by our retirees.

We thank the following members for their hard work and support: Christine Mountsteven, Joyce Kraay, Jeannine Pharand-Theyer, Mary Hofweller, Harry Hofweller, Julie Bulmash, Lina Medaglia, Pat Bowness, Rosalie Starkie, Marilyn Grant, Sue Feltoe, Allan Cobham, Joan Reynolds, Jerry Nugent, Bob Cox
Some of our Volunteers
GBC's Newest Retirees
Please join us in congratulating George Brown's newest retirees. If you happen to know any of these folks, please consider reaching out to them and welcome them to retired life. But remember, the College will delete their GBC email addresses on their last day of work, so reach out before they leave!
Lorraine Betts - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor/Coordinator - Collaborative Nursing
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

Chandra Budhu - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor, Social and Community Services
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

Joyce Gee - Retiring August 31, 2023
Manager Childcare Lab School - Esther Exton Child Care
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

Pradeep Kalsi - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor/Coordinator - Mechanical Engineering
Centre for Construction & Engineering Technologies

Ted Lewis - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor - Electrical Apprenticeships
Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies

Diana McIntyre - Retiring August 31, 2023
Counsellor - Student Success Program
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

John Porter - Retiring August 31, 2023
Deputy Registrar, New Student Enrolment
Office of the Registrar, International Admissions and Student Services

Gulay Turkvan - Retiring July 31, 2023
Assistant to the Chair, English as a Second Language
Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies

Anna Willats - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor/Coordinator - Liberal Arts and Science
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

Elaine Winick - Retiring June 30, 2023
Professor/Coordinator - Early Childhood Education
Centre for Community Services and Health Sciences

Food For Thought.....and Pretty Darn Good for Eating too!

This recipe comes curtesy of Jeannine Pharand-Theyer retired GBC Professor of Catering Management and retired Catering and Dining Room Manager of Siegfried's Dining Room at George Brown.

We are hoping to host an event soon where participants bring a favourite dessert to share with everyone, and we can all enjoy each others' efforts along with a glass or two of wine to wash it all down.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
2 avocados ripe
4 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup
1/2 cups of milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix all together. Refrigerate for two hours and enjoy. Very good and healthy.

If you are interested in joining this decadent festival of sweets and wine, click here and just say you are interested - no commitment, simply a statement of interest. We will get back in touch when we have details

And lastly, share one of your favourite recipes with us all by emailing it to us at feedback@gbcra.ca
Your Input is Required
We are beginning to plan our events for the summer and fall and we would like your advice. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have attempted to offer you about one event per month. For the most part these have been on-line events and attendance at these has been good. As we move forward and away from the restrictions of the pandemic, we are moving to more face-to-face events along with continuing some of the online offerings. There is a small committee of members and Board members who plan and organize our events, and it would be very helpful to have your input.

This year, thanks to your previous input, we have had several online presentations, a visit to a local cider house, an afternoon at the theatre, and an afternoon volunteering at the Food Bank. This year we hope to add more opportunities for us to get together. We will continue to offer online events as well.

We will be emailing a short survey to you on April 28th. If you choose to participate, your name will be entered into a draw on May 5th for a $50.00 discount on any of our activities/events from June - October 2023
Student Placement Spotlight
Emma Downie

Emma Downie has completed her student placement with GBCRA and we want to thank her for her work with us. We asked Emma to explore how we, as a retirees' association, might help smooth the transition into retirement for those who are newly or soon to be retired. This led Emma to speak with many of you about your experiences retiring from George Brown College, and as you can imagine, our experiences vary widely. She was, however, able to identify two distinct threads that wove through most of our experiences: The first thread is that many experience working at GBC as a community that provides encouragement and support on both professional and personal levels. This tends to be common in organizations whose goal is to help individuals learn and grow, which is certainly the case at GBC. Upon retirement, that supportive community is no longer available and often leaves a gap for the newly retired.

Tied to belonging to this is a strong desire to contribute to the success of the community - and those contributions take many forms, often depending upon the role that the individual held at the College - a professor's contribution may be quite different from that of a manager or support staff; different but equally valuable. What is similar, however, is the desire on the part of retirees that their contributions are remembered and become part of the College's informal history and part of the individual's personal work legacy.

GBCRA is interested in facilitating an easier transition into retirement for GBC employees, and with Emma's assistance we will soon be publishing a variety of tools on our web site that people can use to record and document their contributions to the College and to students. We will also be working with the College to put some processes in place that enable us to make early contact with those who are retiring and offer our assistance in their transition. Finally, we will continue to offer a variety of social opportunities to facilitate some sense of continuation of the GBC community.
Musings and Meanderings- Member Spotlight
Marilyn McNeil-Moran - retired Director of the Fashion Exchange

Marilyn McNeil-Moran
Click above to view Crystal Kotow-Sullivan's interview with Marilyn McNeil-Moran. The interview is about 40 minutes so you may want to watch it in 2 sittings
What is the Fashion Exchange?

George Brown College’s Fashion Exchange (FX) is a vibrant hub where fashion education, design, production, entrepreneurship and engagement come together under one roof in the heart of downtown Toronto.

With global fashion industry facing challenges of over-consumption, exploiting labour force and environmental resources, FX was designed to share the growing impact and become a leader in sustainable fashion production. With the people and the planet in mind, it fosters a new generation of industry leaders - committed, professional, and ethical. Fashion Exchange values reside on:
  • Innovation and New Technology
  • Environmental and Social Sustainability
  • Expanding Local Apparel Production
  • Meeting Industry Needs
Sponsor Spotlight

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends!
Thank You Beaver Valley Ski Club

Many thanks to the Beaver Valley Ski Club for continuing to support our students and silent auction. Located in the heart of Grey Highlands, 45 minutes from Collingwood, the Beaver Valley Ski club is a family-oriented club which provides a welcoming recreational, competitive and social experience for the membership and their guests with short lift lines, uncrowded ski hills, top-notch programs and a full social life.

Click here for more detailed information.

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
Tips & Advice
Are you looking for a Canadian source of reliable up-to-date information about aging and health? Try browsing the McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal at www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org.

This free site has a broad range of information on healthy lifestyle and wellness, relevant medical advances, and cognitive health. It also has sections about finances, housing, and mobility. There are short e-learning segments with deeper information that typically take 15 or 20 minutes to complete. Information on the site is evidence-based, with articles and videos that are relevant to Canadian readers. 

Unlike similar sounding sites which are really thinly disguised advertisements to sell books and programs, this site provides meaningful information. The portal includes a link to subscribe for their free weekly email newsletter. Recent topics include preventing falls, tech strategies for seniors, strengthening intergenerational connections, and understanding probiotics. 

The site and newsletter are good sources of information to help us age healthfully and pleasurably. 

Click here for a sample of one of their articles concerning memory loss.

Member Feedback

We always appreciate hearing from you and we value all of your comments. The comments below are from our volunteer day at the Daily Food Bank along with some feedback about our newsletter.

"Well organized, fun to see everyone but hate carrots now LOL. Thanks again for organizing."

"Thank you for the invite! My husband and I were happy to participate in this worthwhile activity (food bank volunteer day) and happy to help anytime."

"I really enjoyed my afternoon at the Food bank."

"I can't make it because it's Passover. If this was the first time this happened, I wouldn't have said anything but unfortunately there is a pattern of this forgetting or perhaps not caring about ALL your members not just the ones that belong to the dominant culture." - GBCRA response: We welcome positive comments as well as those pointing to areas in which we can improve our services to our members. We apologize for the Food Bank volunteering date conflicting with the start of Passover and thank this member for pointing it out. We try to take all holidays into account when planning events and will be more mindful about potential conflicts in the future. Georgia Quartaro and Dianne Diniz, Co-chairs GBCRA

"Great newsletter! My appreciation to all of you - for the smooth running of the Association and for the newsletter. Looking forward to a great coming year and wishing all of you the very best."

"Excellent Newsletter, gang. Very impressive."
This Newsletter is compiled by a Board Committee of Bob Cox, Crystal Kotow-Sullivan, and Joan Reynolds.

Various members of the Association write articles for the newsletter and we encourage member participation. This month we thank Georgia Quartaro, Debbie Plested, Dianne Diniz, Bob Cox, Crystal Kotow-Sullivan, Jeannine Pharand-Theyer, Marilyn McNeil-Moran

Please feel free to contact our Communicatons Director, Bob Cox, to provide us with feedback, suggestions, and articles by clicking here