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Brandon Area Retired Teachers Association (BARTA)

Brandon Area Retired Teachers Association (BARTA)


Brandon and Area Retired Teachers’ Association (BARTA), formerly known as Westman Retired Educators’ Association (WREA), came into being in April 2022, when a revised Constitution was approved.

BARTA’S aims and objectives include promoting wellness and the economic and social interests of its members, promoting interest in educational issues, and providing opportunities for personal growth. An important component of all BARTA activities is time for members to mix and mingle with other retired teachers from Brandon and the surrounding area.

BARTA maintains a relationship with Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) and Brandon Teachers’ Association. Currently, three BARTA members serve on the Executive Board and/or committees at the provincial level, and one BARTA Executive Board member attends the Council meetings of Brandon Teachers’ Association, with reciprocal sharing of information.

The BARTA AGM is held in April of each year. The fiscal year-end is June 30.

News and Updates

Along with a new name and logo, BARTA has an email address:

This year, BARTA has instituted an annual review of the Constitution and Bylaws. The process of creating a Policy and Procedures Manual has begun. In addition, the Board has undertaken reorganization of the chapter’s historical documents, with a view to digitizing the materials.

Thanks to Brandon Teachers’ Association and its offer to include an invitation to retiring teachers in the June issue of its newsletter, BTA BUZZ, we welcomed new members in September. Throughout this school year, the monthly BUZZ will include an advertisement encouraging retiring teachers to contact BARTA about membership.

The BARTA President and Vice-President attended the 2022 BTA Retirement Reception to congratulate retirees and invite them to attend the BARTA luncheon in September. They also attended the BTA reception to recognize the 100th anniversary of “The Strike that Wasn’t”, honouring the 88 Brandon teachers who sacrificed their jobs for the greater good of teachers in Manitoba.

BARTA is excited to accept the challenge of hosting the RTAM AGM 2023.

Executive Board – 2022-2023


Catherine McLaren

Past President

Rick Oakden


Darlene Wilkinson


Heather Shelton

Treasurer/Caring Connections

Mavis Johnston

Director/Caring Connections

Ida Hallatt

Director/RTAM Liaison

Pat Bowslaugh


Doug Adams



BARTA members gather for lunch on the second Tuesday of September, November, February, and April (AGM). These events provide a time to reconnect with colleagues, often followed by entertainment or educational program. Draws take place for door prizes and 50/50. On the first Wednesday of each month throughout the school year, members meet for breakfast or coffee at Chicken Chef; spouses and friends are welcome to share in the great food and lively conversation.

Our members volunteer at Brandon Teachers’ Association’s LIFT Conference each October. We present a wreath at Brandon’s Remembrance Day service each November. At each luncheon, we accept donations to a local charity. BARTA also runs a spring fundraiser for three charities in the Brandon area.

Our Caring Connections team provides cards and phone calls to members in times of celebration and sadness.

Thanks to RTAM’s Chapter Initiative and Wellness Grants, BARTA members enjoy an excursion and educational programs each year.

We are proud to have BARTA members serving on the RTAM Executive, Treasurer Pat Bowslaugh and Director Shannon Culbertson, both members of RTAM committees. In addition, Meryl Orth serves as a member of the Wellness Advocacy Committee. One BARTA member attend Brandon Teachers’ Association Council meetings to exchange information between the two organizations.

AGM Report
Westman Retired Educators’ Association
Annual Report 2021-2022

WREA’s AGM was held on Zoom on April 20, 2021, with the following Executive formed:

Past President – Ron McPhail (2019-20)

President – Rick Oakden (2020-21)

Vice President – Catherine McLaren

2nd Vice President – Don Berry

Secretary – Heather Shelton

Communication – Mavis Johnston, Rick Oakden

Treasurer – Mavis Johnston

Directors – Pat Bowslaugh, Darlene Wilkinson, Meryl Orth

Brandon Teachers’ Association Liaison – Heather Shelton

Caring Connections – Ida Hallett, Mavis Johnston

RTAM Liaison – Pat Bowslaugh.

Membership fees to WREA were not collected for 2021-22 due to COVID-19.

A fundraiser was organized in April 2021 for the Brandon Humane Society, Samaritan House Ministries, and Westman Women’s Shelter with $3,970.00 raised.

WREA Executive met with Cale Dunbar, President of the Brandon Teachers’ Association, on April 25, 2021, to present a ‘housewarming’ gift for BTA’s new offices and to discuss Bill 64.

Yard signs were distributed from BTA to WREA members to assist advertising against Bill 64.

In-person meetings or social events did not occur due to cautions regarding COVID-19.  RTAM funds acquired for Wellness events and Chapter Initiatives have been held for future use.

In October, WREA donated $250.00 to support Riverheights School teachers’ efforts to replenish reading materials damaged by water.

The Caring Connections committee sent cards and made phone contacts through the year to members experiencing special occasions or health issues.  Hazel Skuce was presented with flowers to celebrate her 110th birthday in February 2022.

Two committees worked through the year to address recruitment and to update WREA’s Constitution.

“Coffee Klatches” on Zoom were held on several occasions on the first Wednesday of the month, where WREA members met for informal talks.

On December 8, 2021, WREA held its “Zoom Christmas Concert 2” with members providing an enjoyable program that ended with a sing-along led by Deb and Brent Grey of the Brandon Ukulele Club.

WREA held a Zoom travelogue on March 16, 2022, with retired teachers Al and Linda Friesen presenting a PowerPoint review of their trip to Churchill, Manitoba.

WREA’s Executive has met on Zoom through 2021 to present.

WREA’s Annual General Meeting is planned to occur at 1:00 p.m. on April 4, 2022, on Zoom.

Respectfully submitted, Rick Oakden, President

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Additional Information

Membership Fee: $7.00 annually

Luncheon Schedule:
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 (AGM)

Luncheons are held at Seniors for Seniors Co-op Inc., 311 Park Avenue E., Brandon, MB.