Honouring Interior Unit Retirees

We honour the following members for their careers and celebrate their long retirements, often involving family, travel, and volunteering. Retired 24 years, Ramona Wainwright, 23 years Walt Duncan, Joan Jay, 22 years Shirley Bradley, Walter Breiteneder, Joan Davidson, Bev Kondra, Dennis Krause, and Joan Packota.

2016 retirees honouredLeft to right-Linda Coppin, Joan Davidson, Wendy Gosselin, Walt Duncan, Walter Breiteneder and in front Gladys Jones

A “tea” was held at the Eldorado in Kelowna on Wed. July. 13, 2016.

Shirley Bradley
Shirley Bradley had a fulfilling career. She taught in Ontario, Alberta, and British
Columbia. She also taught English to Spanish speaking children in the Dominican
Republic. Her students ranged from pre- kindergarten to college level. Shirley’s
retirement revolves around the adventures she has had with other RVers for the
last seventeen years. Her 35 foot motor home has solar panels and a generator.
Traveling in Canada and the US provides opportunities for kayaking ,hiking, four
wheeling, and dancing.

Dennis Krause
Dennis taught Building Construction in Fort Frances and became Head of the Tech
Department. His wife, Joan, was an elementary teacher. They moved to BC to be
closer to their two daughters and their families. For seventeen years they have
enjoyed their active role in the lives of their four grandchildren. Both daughters
are teachers.

Joan Davidson
Joan Davidson has been retired 22 years. She taught in both British Columbia and

Joan Jay
Joan has been retired for 23 years and is now back home in Toronto.

Joan Packota
Joan is an associate member and retired nurse. She met her husband John, a
teacher, in Manitoba. They moved to Thunder Bay in 1958 where he taught
Science at Hillcrest and became Head of the Science Department. Sadly his health
declined, Joan retired from her career as a Nursing Supervisor, and they moved to
the Okanagan in 1985.John died in 1993. Joan is now married to Don Pool.
After moving to BC, Joan’s husband, John, became active in Human Rights and
Peace issues. At a meeting, he spoke out several times. A young man came up to
him and said, “You have to be Mr. Packota. Do you remember when you talked to
me in the hall when I was misbehaving ? You turned my life around and now I am
happily married and have a job. “
John taught in several schools in Manitoba. When retired and attending a high
school reunion there, he recognized and called each person by name.

Ramona Wainwright
Ramona was born in Salmon Arm, trained to be a teacher in Victoria, and taught
there. She married James Wainwright and they moved to Toronto where she
taught elementary school for the rest of her career. They moved to Salmon Arm
to retire. Sadly James has died. Ramona loves being back in Salmon Arm and has
wonderful views of the waterfront.

Walt Duncan
I worked for the Scarborough Board of Education for 35 years.
I have fond memories of meeting and working with a fine group of teachers in the many schools I taught in over the years. Also a great many friendships with those who worked in the schools and Board office including secretaries, caretakers, and especially department heads, superintendents, etc.
Highlights were marrying my wife, Linda, who was also a teacher in Scarborough, becoming a principal, and attaining fluency in French when it was introduced to Elementary schools. Another highlight was being a member of staff of the Ontario Ministry of Education French courses that allowed many teachers to become elementary French teachers.
Six months after I retired, my wife, Linda Coppin, handed in her resignation and we moved to Vernon. Our two girls were in grades One and Five. They have both graduated from University and agree that they enjoyed living in Vernon and making many new friends that they still consider as good friends.
Note from Wendy
Not only has Walt been very active with RTO at the Unit, District, and Senate levels, he has given much to the Vernon area. We appreciate his involvement and leadership, past and present, with the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, SOLD (Society for Open Learning and Discussion ), Community Policing, X-C ski partners, and the Museum.

Walter Breiteneder
Walter was born in Vienna, Austria and came to Canada when he was 23.
While working as a beautician, a Canadian client, a minister in politics, suggested
that Canada needed people like him. She arranged employment for him in
Ottawa, but while on the ship, he decided to go to Toronto and got a job in
a salon.
Walter opened his own salon at Bloor and Yonge. He tested products for Clairol.
In 1959 Walter earned the Clairol award for Outstanding Service Rendered the
Beauty Industry as a Member of the Clairol New Product Testing Panel. A
client encouraged him to go into teaching. He completed Gr. 13 and earned his
Teaching Certificate from U of T. Walter taught cosmetology in Toronto high
schools- York Humber and George Harvey Collegiate. Students studied
cosmetology for three years. They graduated with Gr. 12 and a beautician’s
In 1973 Walter arranged the first intercollegiate championship in Metro Toronto.
In 1976 Walter earned a teacher’s Education Course Certificate.
In 1980-81 Walter’s Gr. 12 students won the Ontario Secondary Championship
twice. The third time they had 60 points. The nearest school had 25 points.
Walter became an examiner for the Ministry of Education. In 1988 he was
awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Ontario Cosmetology Teachers’
Association for Outstanding Contribution and Dedication to the association and
the cause of education. In 1988-89 he was appointed as an associate teacher at
the Faculty of Education at U of T. In 1989 he was given a major headship at
George Harvey Collegiate.
He opened two schools of Cosmetology.
Walter has many plaques and awards which attest to his skills and the love and
respect shown to him by his students. At least one of his students entered the
teaching profession and is now a department head. She was inspired by Walter’s
example. He believed in offering criticism in a constructive manner.
After 22 years of retirement, Walter is still in touch with some of his students.
Besides his pride in his students, he is very proud of his three children- a pilot, a
scientist, and an import businessman. After forty-three years of marriage,
Walter’s wife, Erna, died. She was a Registered Nurse and worked in Sick
Children’s Hospital and Mt. Sinai.