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As this is my first President's Message for NBSRT it is important to me that I let all of you know what an honour it is to have been elected your president. I am excited to work with and for all of you to carry on the important work of the NBSRT. It is a credit to all of the hard working people who have volunteered at the Branch and/or provincial levels over the years that we are such a well-run and highly respected organization. I am so impressed with the efforts of the past executives to put NBSRT on a sound fiscal and organizational footing . The work of President June and her executive over the last few months has been particularly noteworthy. From the perspective of a person who had never heard of zoom except as a verb or sound effect until recently, I find it is especially awe inspiring to see how well our executive has done with the new technology. They have managed to hold a number of successful meetings electronically, including large meetings like the Board and AGM. They have also done a great job keeping all of us well informed during these challenging times.

I, with your incoming executive and board, will do all that I can to continue the excellent work of our predecessors. But we will also endeavour to move the organization forward and build upon everything they have done for us.

Our first order of business will be to work with as many of you as possible to map our future direction by carrying out an extensive strategic planning process. We will set goals that will lead to an even more active and relevant organization that encompasses even more of our retired colleagues. To be successful and to be acknowledged as the voice of retired teachers we must continue our emphasis on increasing our membership. In the future when challenges arise we need the numbers to be able to proclaim with confidence that we are the undisputed representative organization of retired teachers in this province.

My plea to all of you is to be involved. We know from our previous work recruiting members that the most effective recruitment tactic is personal contact. Help us to convince former colleagues to join us to help make us stronger and to have some fun experiences with kindred spirits. And please be involved in our strategic planning process. We will reach out to individuals and to Branches, as things return to normal, to get as much input as possible into our strategic plan.

I can't leave you without expressing some heartfelt appreciation. Thanks to all of the local executives and committees for volunteering to do so much for your members. Thank you to President June and her Executive, Board and committees for their incredible work over the last two years and to all of their predecessors for building such a strong base for NBSRT. Also, thank you to the individuals who offered for provincial office and to all of the members who took the time to vote.

Finally, please look after yourself. I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. My emphasis here is on the health of NBSRT but it goes without saying that your well-being is paramount. We have to believe that things will get better eventually so let's all be safe and be around to enjoy it. I look forward to meeting with all of you over the coming months. Take care.

Bob

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