Dickies are back!


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/11/2022 (191 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Retired women teachers know stuff. Like the breaking news that dickeys are back.

(For those who don’t know, dickeys are detachable front pieces worn with blouses. Kids today think they’re neck warmers.)

This information was evaluated and given a passing grade by over two hundred attendees at the Retired Women Teachers’ Association luncheon held to celebrate the seventieth-plus-one anniversary of the RWTA, a division of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba. The first gathering since COVID restrictions were in place (hence the plus-one) was a joyful event for retired women teachers to reconnect with colleagues and to meet newly retired friends.

<p>Supplied photo</p>
                                <p>Retired Women Teachers’ Association president Pat Opalko.</p>

Supplied photo

Retired Women Teachers’ Association president Pat Opalko.

Reminiscing included the entire room singing old hit parade tunes and discussing fashions that are making a comeback, like capes and dickeys, thanks to a fashion show provided by Northern Reflections. A standing ovation was given to special guests who are ninety years of age and over. Imagine my delight at seeing my Grade 6 teacher! Just my luck, she remembered an unfortunate incident with tadpoles during a science lesson.

For a mere $8 per year membership fee (free for those 90 plus), there are quarterly lunches with entertainment and information provided on pension updates. President Pat Opalko says, “We are a charitable organization with a social conscience who also like to have fun.”

Besides providing a feel-good experience at the centrally located, accessible Masonic Centre, the RWTA collects and delivers toiletries for women’s shelters and resource centres as well as Harvest, and have also collected over 1000 pairs of eyeglasses for third world countries. Donations are collected at every gathering by Membership Chair, Cecile Alaire-Skene.

Drawing on a rich history of education in Manitoba, the RWTA’s records are housed at the Manitoba Archives. Record keeping began in 1951, when twenty-seven newly retired women teachers met at the Georgian Room at the Bay to discuss forming an association. Christine Forrester was the first President and the objectives of the first executive live on today. As Opalko says, we are a welcoming association and encourage all retired Manitoba women teachers to join in “supporting each other, assisting in a number of public services and fostering social relationships formed during the teaching years.”

One very much appreciated RWTA endeavour is the Visiting Committee which sends cards, flowers and holiday angel baskets to shut-ins unable to attend lunches in person.

For more information on joining RWTA or attending the lunch on Dec. 8, contact Cecile at 204-256-6176.

Heather Emberley is a community correspondent for Crescentwood. Email her at heather.emberley@gmail.com if you have a story suggestion.

Heather Emberley

Heather Emberley
Crescentwood community correspondent

Heather Emberley is a community correspondent for Crescentwood. Email her at heather.emberley@gmail.com if you have a story suggestion.

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