The idea of organizing an official BCRTA branch was done not only so that retired teachers could have the opportunity to continue to be in contact with other retired teachers; but also as a way to preserve the rich educational history of the mid-island region. The Skipsey Educational Heritage Collection is overseen by our Heritage Committee.
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith Retired Teachers Association received its official charter in 1984. The formation of a local branch of the provincial Association was the idea of a small group of local retired teachers led by Gavin Halkett, with finding out about how such a group could be set up being left to Fred Bevis. The first chair of the newly formed Executive was Les Skipsey. Among the other members of that original group, were Doris Nash, Secretary and Ron Jones, Patricia Cambray, George Johnson, Bert Kropp and Christine Hartley. Over the years the NLRTA membership has grown from the original twenty-nine people to a group of over five hundred members.
The Branch advocates for public education locally and provincially, as well as, for the welfare of retired teachers and seniors. NLRTA members are extremely active and volunteer for a variety of groups, both in the local area and overseas. Our Branch has a regular newsletter and a List Serve for the dissemination of important information. The Executive meet every second month. Four catered lunches are held throughout the year giving members the opportunity to visit with former colleagues and new friends, while being entertained by a wide variety of groups. It’s a pleasant, relaxed group and any retired educator is welcome to attend the lunches.