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September, 2020 E-Newsletter

 “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller
Welcome to a new year with RTOERO North York District 23. We have moved to Stage 3 in the provincial pandemic plan, as we still continue to Implement and direct operations under the guidance of RTOERO, Toronto Public Health as well as Federal and Provincial government policies.  Our schools and our teaching colleagues are preparing to return to school in the next few days and the image of "back to school" holds different images than those we held as a child or in the Septembers of our years in education.  We wish them well as they embark on the most unique September start-up in our lifetimes. 

You have hopefully all received your copies of STONY Bridges via Canada Post or through your email. Merv Macarenhas did an amazing job on this magazine and it is the largest our region has ever produced. Several articles from our members were submitted and featured for your reading interest.  Thank you to all those courageous individuals --we already have offers for our next issue. 

Several of the articles in STONY Bridges indicated the ongoing format for the fall session of District 23's activities.  ZOOM sessions will be the only way our members get to "gather together and make connections" with colleagues. We hope to see some evolution in our methods as governing bodies work to determine the best level of participation for people to maintain safety. 

In this E-newsletter, we look at five events that will be available for ZOOM sessions.  For each event, you are asked to respond to a key contact to indicate your desire to participant with an email by a particular deadline two days before the event.  You will then receive a response indicating the information needed to facilitate your access to the link to join the ZOOM session.

Four of the sessions will be for regular District 23 activities:  Have - a - Java,  Needlework & Crafts,  E-Devices and Book Club.  The other activity is the Annual Champagne Breakfast to welcome our newest retired members -- but welcome to all registered members.  It will also be a virtual event this explained below.

Finally, we offer RTOERO's recent advisory of their travel coverage in the COVID-19 era.  A communiqué was sent out in mid-August to all members so this is just a reminder in case you are contemplating travel in the near future.  All necessary contact links are included.

STONY Bridges has provided you with the overviews of the fall events as we knew them at the time of printing in August.  We hope to see you at some of these early fall events.  Please check this monthly E-newsletter for the most current updates. 

They are also posted on our District 23 website:
and on our Facebook page:

(Cover photo credit: Cathy Hinchcliffe)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Our popular social activity is going to continue again this year in the format we ended with last June.
Quarantines are better with friends. Let's hang out virtually during these strange times for our first meeting of the year.  Convener Liz Clarke, along with District 23 Executive will host a ZOOM Have - a - Java.

When?   Wednesday, September 16th from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

BYOCAT (Bring Your Own Coffee And Treat):  You won't be disappointed!😋
Please RSVP by September 14th 
Liz Clarke to register:
Please include your name and your email address when you register. We will use that address to inform you of your link to join the Zoom meeting!

Needlework & Crafts  (ZOOM Session)

Thursday, September 17, 2020
This active group has continued to create many unique items over the summer break.  To keep in touch with one another, they engaged in three ZOOM sessions. They shared items they created and prepared popular items such as the Twiddlemuffs pictured above. The group is also working on new ideas for future projects.  Sessions are lively and the creative juices are flowing!  New members are welcome!

Please RSVP by Monday, September 14
Contact Karen Quinn to register:
Please include your name and your email address when you register. We will use that address to inform you of the link needed to join the Zoom meeting

E-Devices Group: ZOOM

Putting the Social Back in our Lives

Friday, September 18, 2020
Convener Vern Paige met with his group of enthusiasts biweekly over the summer months to explore the world offered online.  They learned how to virtually connect with family and friends, explore museums and art collections, conduct business transactions, attend educational classes and lectures, joining with up to 100 people interacting.  The sessions are held every two weeks on Friday.  Topics can be suggested to Vern and shared with fellow “Zoomers”.  All meetings are followed by Vern with discussion notes from the session.

New members are asked to contact the convener by Wednesday, September 16th, 2020.
Contact Vern Paige if you are interested in joining this group:

Vern will mail you the information you will need to sign in to the Friday morning sessions. Please include your name and your email address.


Thursday, September 24, 2020
10:00 a.m.

Our first major event is our traditional Champagne Breakfast to welcome new retirees and introduce them to the variety of activities District 23 makes available. 

As noted in the introduction above and throughout STONY Bridges, due to necessity this will be a
virtual experience using ZOOM. Make your favourite brew of coffee/tea and enjoy a breakfast you have created. 

Both new retirees and regular members are welcome.

If you wish to attend, and we hope you do, please send an email to:
Mildred Frank @:
by: Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Please include your name, email address and if you are a new or returning member.

Looking forward to meeting you online and introducing you to North York District 23.


Book Club

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
2:00 p.m.

Becoming by MIchelle Obama (guest presenter)

Our North York District 23 Book Club continues to be a popular and successful initiative and easily lends itself to the virtual format.  The group has used ZOOM  We hope to eventually return to the format of meetings held at the Edithvale Community Centre but we have already held to virtual meetings using ZOOM and found them worthwhile and interesting.  Everyone is welcome to attend and we are always looking for new members!  We will have a guest presenter for this gathering.
Please RSVP by September 14th, 2020
Contact Sylvia Skippen to register:
Please include your name and your email address when you register. We will use that address to inform you of the link to join the Zoom meeting!

RTOERO Communiqué re: International Travel

This update was mailed to your homes from RTOERO office.  We are including this in this E-newlstter for your records in case you missed the earlier information.

As you know, for now the global travel advisory from the Canadian government remains in place. That means the government is telling Canadians that public health officials do not consider international travel to be safe. RTOERO will communicate directly with all members as soon as the advisory status changes.


The following answers are based on the questions we are receiving.


Q. Am I covered for travel within Canada?

  1. Travel within Canada is covered. Please follow the COVID-19 restrictions issued by the provincial and municipal public health officials for the area(s) you plan to visit.


Q. Am I covered for trip cancellation/interruption if I’m travelling in Canada?

  1. Yes. When travelling in Canada, you remain covered for trip cancellation or interruption as described in pages 72 to 76 in the RTOERO Insurance Plans Booklet.


Q. If I become ill with COVID-19 while travelling within Canada, am I covered?

  1. Yes. Emergency Medical coverage is available as long as you have not experienced any symptoms prior to leaving.


Q. If I choose to travel outside of Canada despite the government travel advisory, am I covered for medical emergencies?

  1. You are covered for medical emergencies, except for claims related to COVID-19, while the government travel advisory is in effect. This is a new enhancement to your travel coverage. You will receive additional communication regarding this change shortly.


Q. Once the travel advisory is lifted, am I covered if I become ill with COVID-19 while travelling?

  1. Yes. Emergency Medical coverage is available as long as you have not experienced any symptoms prior to leaving.


Q. Am I covered for cancellation of international trips?

  1. You are not covered for trip cancellation related to COVID-19 for trips booked during the government travel advisory. 
  • For trips booked after the travel advisory is lifted, you will be covered.
  • For complete details of trip cancellation/interruption coverage, see page 72 to 76 in the RTOERO Insurance Plans Booklet.
  • If you receive a vouchers instead of a refund, you can submit a claim for any unused portion if it expires.


Q. While travelling outside Canada, if I come home early, will I be covered for trip interruption?

  1. You are covered for reasons outlined on page 72 to 76 in the RTOERO Insurance Plans Booklet.
  • While traveling outside Canada, you are not covered for trip interruption related to COVID-19 during the current travel advisory.
  • For interruptions after the advisory is lifted, you will be covered for reasons related to COVID-19


Q. While travelling, will I be covered if my return flight is cancelled?

  1. The airline and/or travel agency normally provides a voucher or refund in this situation. 


More information


If you have other questions, please contact our Service Administrator:


This email was sent to all participants of RTOERO Extended Health Care and Supplemental Travel plans, district executive members, committee chairs, board of directors, RTOERO staff. 

Copyright © 2020 RTO/ERO District 23, All rights reserved.

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