Over 25 Years Retired Celebration

On July 23 at theEldorado Hotel in Kelowna, RTO 422 celebrated three special retirements.

july 2015 over 25
ont Row: L to R. Wendy Gosselin (Goodwill representative), Phyllis Lewis, Albert Chan, Anne Chan
Back Row: L to R Mim Hunt, Larry Hunt

Albert Chan
Albert graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1947. During his time at the University he managed the university newsletter, was the Student Council Treasurer, and edited the yearbook and student handbook. Upon graduation, his career in accounting involved positions in Saskatoon and Toronto. He married his wife, Anne, in 1953.

In 1963, Albert began taking education courses which would eventually find him in his first teaching position at Huron Heights Secondary School in Newmarket, Ontario in 1966. He was a young 46 years of age at the time. As many first year teachers have discovered, there can be challenges in that first year. Albert’s Department Head, Mervyn Witherow, encouraged and helped Albert overcome these challenges such as timetable issues, racist insults, and even a threat to his life. He not only survived that first year, but went on to become a successful teacher of Commercial subjects for 19 years at Huron Heights S.S. Well done Albert. He has many fond memories. They include supervising the extra-curricular activities of students. And, beginning in his second year of teaching, he volunteered for the annual Christmas carol sing-along. After he retired, he was invited back to lead this for four more years. Albert was obviously a well-liked and respected former teacher. In addition, he and Anne were invited to the weddings of 8 former students. The secret of his success he mentions is “my philosophy is to be kind, patient, and reasonable”.  Your approach must have been a hit with your students Albert.

Retirement for Albert came in 1985. This was followed by a number of years of travelling and more volunteering for Anne and Albert at the Scarborough Senior Centre. They arrived in Kelowna in Dec. 2014 joining their son and his wife.

Congratulations Albert, on a successful teaching career and, may I say, on a life filled with many accomplishments. 

Barbara Baxter

Barbara , one of our Associate members, was looking forward to joining us, but her plans changed. Following is her “story”.

Thank you for this opportunity to praise the Ontario Secondary School system and my husband for providing with me with a delightful life as a stay-at-home Mom.

Cam Baxter and I met in first year at McMaster University in 1952. We married in 1956 when he graduated in Math/Science. He began teaching in Burlington. His salary doubled in four years.

He applied to teach in Ghana, Africa for two years. Accepted, we packed up our three children ages 1, 3, and 5 and headed to Takoradi where he taught 6th level young men. A grand opportunity.

He learned about the Open Concept Secondary School about to open in Bayside near Trenton, Ontario. This time we packed up our four children and moved to Belleville. As head of the Math Department, he and his three fellow math teachers enjoyed writing their own material.

Cam became head of Counselling. He was invited to lead a small group of inmates at Warkworth Penitentiary and I was invited to accompany him. We enjoyed this outreach for ten years.

He chose to retire at 55 (the open window opportunity ) wanting more time with me at our cottage.

Our choice that I not work for money, freed me to care for our family and home and to do volunteer work. Each fall when Cam and the kids headed back to school, I’d question where and what ages I’d like to be with- hospital ? school ? prison ? It has been most fulfilling to volunteer for about 55 years. Serving is my pleasure.

Phyl Lewis

I had a satisfying career teaching ESL in several schools. During my career I was employed by North York, East York, and Toronto. My husband and I travelled. I returned to art in my retirement. I have been using watercolours but want to work with acrylics.