September 2023 Edition
Did You Know....
We’ve recently become aware that many of our members are not familiar with our website. It 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 @:

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 Theatre Outing Gone Wrong; Tall Ships Cruise, Fund Raising Auction; Introducing GBC's Newest Retirees
  3. Upcoming Events
  4. Musings and Meanderings - Member Spotlight - Denise Pontone
  5. Sponsor Spotlight - Augmented Education Culinary Program
  6. Tips and Advice - Learn something new
  7. Lives Lived

Note From Co-Chairs
Georgia Quartaro
Dianne Diniz
And just like that …here we are at the Labour Day! In our former roles at the College, we would have been busy with all the activities of start-up, with the usual chaos and confusion as new and returning students – and some staff – try to find their classrooms, wait for elevators, and try to settle in for the fall semester. There’s a lot of excitement at George Brown, with the reopening of 200 King St. Some programs and services will move back there while others will stay we they have been over the past few years. Instead of participating in all that, as retirees we get to focus on these lovely last weeks of summer, when the mornings are a bit cooler though some days may still feel more like it’s July. We hope you are enjoying the weather and perhaps getting a little more time at a cottage or at least another glass of lemonade before fall is truly here.
You will notice a few changes in this edition of the newsletter. We continue to have written articles and columns, like this one, but we are experimenting with more video content as well. Please click on the links, be sure your speakers are on, and sit back. Please let us know how you like this format. We hope you will find it lively and enjoyable.
As usual, you will see some articles about events that have happened, one of which went differently than we planned. There is also information about upcoming events, with another opportunity to volunteer as a group this fall. We tried some new activities this summer, including a Toronto harbour cruise. It has become clear that members enjoy getting together for lunch, whether linked to an activity or, as we discovered with the cancelled theatre show, as an activity in itself. This gives rise to our newest club. 

You may have been wondering about our annual auction, which raises funds for the student bursaries we give, and you’ll see an update on that. We’ve decided to hold it a bit later this year and will be taking a somewhat different approach, although the end goal is the same. We know that many students struggle financially, and we hope our bursaries are helpful and encouraging.
We have a particularly interesting GBCRA Member Spotlight this month. Denise Pontone will be known to many of us through her work in a few areas of the College as well as her participation as a GBCRA board member. Watch this conversation in which Denise reflects on her work at the college and on family life during the pandemic. You’ll also learn about Denise’s talents in areas you may never have suspected. It’s always fascinating to get to know our members better and to hear how they are spending their time in retirement.
We hope you have had an enjoyable summer and we look forward to seeing you soon.  

Dianne and Georgia
Retiree News
A Theatre Outing That Went Wrong

On April 26th a group of 14 George Brown College retirees met at the Distillery District to enjoy lunch prior to a highly anticipated viewing of Anton Chekov's "The Sea Gull" performed by the Soul pepper Theatre Company.

Click on the box to the left to see some photos
About 30 minutes before lunch, some of us received an email announcing that the show had been cancelled. But because we are a techo savy group we decided it was Spam and met for lunch anyway. Not one of us had ever heard of a live theatre production being cancelled at such short notice, but we were mistaken. A cast member had injured herself during the morning rehearsal and the performance was indeed canceled. The news, while disappointing, showed us all how flexible retirees really are. We had a great lunch and gab session - then went our separate ways. It was fun!

On June 7th, a group of members enjoyed a tour of the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at 300 Adelaide St. A staff member guided us. We visited a class and had a chance to chat with the professor and some of the students. We dropped in to one of the beverage labs and saw how students learn to fill bar orders and make cocktails. Most of the bottles are filled with non-alcoholic liquids that just look like the actual ingredients. Students don’t sample as they learn and there was no sampling for us, either. We saw the central supply area, where the food and equipment for each class are assembled. There is a complex system of ordering and inventory control to ensure that everything is ready for each class while also minimizing waste. Everything in the baking lab smelled delicious, as breads and other baked goods were just coming out of the huge ovens. While all of us have probably bought food from Chef on the Run, or the Café, been to events, or otherwise enjoyed the result of the work of CHCA students, it was very interesting to get this “behind the scenes” look at how the classes are supported and what the students were practicing. 
By chance, the elevators were not working at 300 Adelaide on the day of our visit, so our trips up and down the stairs helped us work up our appetites for the delicious lunch that followed at The Chef’s House. There were 14 of us at lunch. We enjoyed the food and lively conversation, including several people describing how they began working at the College in the first place and at which campus. It was a very enjoyable event. 
Going down the left side of the table: Cal Shaw, Joan Reynolds, Susan Qadeer, Valerie Sonstegard, Sheila MacMillan, Lois Athanasiu
Going down the right side of the table: Bill Ferguson, Millie Ferguson, Ken Crooke, Helen Crooke, Colleen Thomas, Gayle Takahashi
Missing in action: Georgia Quartaro, Barb Dunlop
June Convocation 2023

GBCRA members were invited by GBC President Dr. Gervan Fearon to attend the 2023 convocations. We are pleased that Georgia Quartaro was available to send our best wishes to the graduates of the Preparatory and Liberal Studies Programs and Community Services Programs. We are also pleased that Ron Jeram was available to represent us at the Construction and Engineering Technologies Convocation.

Our presence was recognized by the President in his remarks and we were provided with VIP seating. We hope that next year more of our members will be able to attend.
Tour and Cruise on the Tall Ship Kajama

On August 16th a group of GBCRA members and guests met for lunch at Queens Quay and a cruise on the Tall Ship "Kajama." They say that a picture is worth 1000 words, so take a look at the slide show we have put together of the day by clicking the link below
GBC's Newest Retiree
Please join us in congratulating George Brown's newest retiree. If you happen to know Carl, please consider reaching out to welcome him to retired life. But remember, the College deletes GBC email addresses on employee's last day of work, so reach out before he leaves!

Carl Nowack
Servers and Storage, ITS
Retiring October 31, 2023
GBCRA Returns to Stratford

After a two-year absence during the COVID 19 pandemic, GBCRA members are heading to Stratford on September 14th to see "Rent." Although the registration has been closed for some time now, if you would like to be put on our waiting list in case someone cancels let us know. We leave by bus from downtown Toronto at 10:00 AM, arrive in Stratford at noon, see the production at 2:00 PM, and catch the return bus at 5:00 PM. To read the review click here

To be added to the wait list send an email with "Rent" in the subject line by clicking the button below.

Volunteer Day at the Daily Bread Food Bank

Join us on Wednesday, October 4th at the Daily Bread Food Bank as GBCRA supports families who are food challenged during the Thanksgiving season. The shift runs from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. You can register by clicking the button below.
The Silent Auction is Back - With a Few Additional Treats!

For the past three years we have held our fundraising auction online due to the COVID 19 pandemic. This year we are going "live" again. While we are still in the midst of confirming the date, location, and program, we wanted to let you know what we are planning.

We are hoping to concentrate our efforts on providing auction participants with a variety of unique experiences in addition to offering different kinds of goods and gift cards. For example, we already have confirmed a six-course tasters menu and wine pairing for two and four one-day ski passes, along with a variety of other gift cards and goodies. Our goal this year is to raise $3000 to contribute to the growing GBCRA scholarships.

In addition to the auction, we hope to offer attendees a cocktail reception at a private club and an art exhibition of some of the artistic endeavours of GBCRA members, and a private piano concert. Keep your eyes open for notification of the date so you can reserve your spot.
The Out-To-Lunch Club

The newest GBCRA club, The Out-To-Lunch Club will begin meeting the second last Friday of each month beginning October 20th. The idea is simple; club participants choose a local restaurant to have lunch which GBCRA members and guests are invited to attend. Everyone pays their own bills and enjoys the company of one another. Easy and fun! In order to obtain reservations, we suggest limiting each lunch to 15 participants.

Our first lunch will be at "Irene's" on the Corus Quay right next to the George Brown College Waterfront Campus. We will meet there at 12:00 PM. Click here to view the menu. If you would like to join the first lunch click here to register.
Musings and Meanderings- Member Spotlight
Denise Pontone

Click above to view Crystal Kotow-Sullivan's interview with Denise Pontone. The interview is about 50 minutes and is divided into 3 sections

Sponsor Spotlight

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends!
Thank You Augmented Education Culinary Program

The Augmented Education Culinary Skills program kindly donated a “dinner in your home" to our GBCRA auction last year, which was an especially successful item. Program manager Suzanne DeFreitas generously arranged for a chef and a job coach from the program to plan a dinner with the lucky bidder, prepare and serve the dinner, and even clean up the kitchen afterwards. GBCRA also was able to send a few members to the GBC Foundation’s annual Food Court Social. This event, now coming up to its 10th year, raises money toward the cost of these programs through a gala marketplace-type evening with delicious food samples provided by many Toronto restaurants and culinary suppliers. We greatly appreciate the contribution GBCRA received from this unique program that has changed so many students’ lives for the better.  

Click the video below for more information.
McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
Tips & Advice

Do you have 15 minutes and want to learn something new? Are you looking for a Canadian source of reliable up-to-date information about aging and health? If yes, explore our interactive online lessons. Most can be completed in 15 minutes, and your progress is saved in case you are short on time and need to return to where you left off.

Lives Lived

Tina Intini

Tina passed away peacefully on May 17, 2023, at the age of 63. Her great passion in life was teaching ESL students at George Brown College, a position she fulfilled for over 30 years. Tina was an early adopter of web-based technology in the classroom, using it to enhance students’ experience and to promote their language acquisition. She took great joy in meeting and teaching students who came from many places in the world. Her family describes her ESL students as “the highlight of her life and in turn they greatly appreciated her efforts in teaching them.” 

Tina’s career as a dynamic educator has also left a lasting legacy on countless aspiring ESL instructors in her role as a TESL Ontario methodology professor and as a regular presenter at TESOL international conferences held in numerous cities across the U.S.A.
Tina enjoyed travelling, especially to the Bahamas, and socializing with friends. She was deeply devoted to her extended family and attended all their celebrations and festivities.   

Patricia Ralph

(9 November 1955 – 2 July 2023) 

Patricia died peacefully, surrounded by her loving devoted family. She leaves her two children and two grandchildren, as well as other family members. After graduating with a BA from Victoria College, the University of Toronto, Trish was hired under a then-current funding program to work in the Redirection through Education program at George Brown College. She is remembered by a GBC colleague as a lovely person who “had never worked with a population remotely like RTE students…. She was funny, smart and flinty. She was practical and imaginative.” Trish went on to receive her BSW at Memorial University in St. John's and worked for over thirty years as a social worker for various organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Patricia Hamilton

(27 April 1937 - 30 April 2023) 

Patricia Hamilton, a well-known Canadian stage, film, and TV actor, has died at age 86. She was probably best-known recently for playing Rachel Lynde in the Anne of Green Gables television series and films. A stage actress for more than 4 decades, she worked in theatres across Canada and internationally. She played many roles in Toronto theatres, including Soulpepper, Tarragon, and Nightwood, as well as at the Shaw Festival. She taught courses in the George Brown College Theatre School and was a long-serving member of the Program Advisory Committee. 
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, Dianne Diniz, Bob Cox, Crystal Kotow-Sullivan, Debbie Plested, Susan Heximer, Layne Melanby, Denise Pontone, Joan Reynolds, Cal Shaw, Betty Magelssen, Tetsuro Saito

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