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President's Message

By Regine Baker

Like many Canadians, one of the things I like best about living in Canada is the changing seasons. While I do admit that I like to escape the cold weather for a few weeks in the winter each year, I seem to appreciate each season more knowing that it will change in just a few months.

Minor changes in our lives help keep us on our toes and make life more interesting. As retirees we’ve seen many changes over the years in our families, our neighbourhoods and our lifestyles. As teachers we saw many changes in our working lives. Every year there were different students’ names to memorize, new curricula to learn and then teach, and always new board and Ministry initiatives to implement.  As for the changes in technology, well…that’s a whole article in itself.

Regine

Regine Baker

Some changes feel a bit awkward at first but, once we get used to them, it’s sometime hard to remember how things used to be. Hopefully this will be the case with the three changes in District 34’s operating procedures that will start in 2015.

First, our Executive has developed a new Refund Policy which will apply to all the events we organize and sponsor for which there is a fee. Our goal is to be as fair and consistent as we can. Basically the policy states that, except in unusual circumstances, refunds will be given only if requested prior to the deadline for an event’s registration and only if the refund does not cause any extra expense for District 34. The actual wording of this policy can be found on our web page at www.34thstory.com.

The other two changes will be of interest to our members who participate in our bus and boat excursions. RTO/ERO, our Provincial organization, has issued a “Travel Protocol” for all Districts that mandates that we adhere to the standards of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). This means that all events that include transportation must be organized through a licensed travel agency with payments made directly to them by the participants. Our District 34 representatives will continue to collect the payments but the cheques must now be payable to Seniors Carefree Travel.

In addition, each individual participant, whether a District 34 member or a guest of a member, must sign an Acknowledgement, Waiver and Release form. A copy of this form can be found here and on on page 15 of this issue of 34th Story and will appear in all future issues. Since a separate form will be required for each trip, we encourage members to scan or photocopy the form or download it from our website if they wish to register for more than one trip.

Reminders of these new requirements will appear on the registration form for each event that includes transportation.

To conclude this Message, I’d like to offer a friendly suggestion to those members who have never come out to a District 34 event. Change that.