Monthly Archives

September 2021

RR Smith Grants for 2021

By | Reports and Updates

This year the R.R. Smith Board of Directors approved over $35,000 in grants to the following organizations.  Every cent of R.R. Smith Memorial Fund fees collected were spent funding these educational projects.  To learn more about R. R. Smith go to


  1. DEDICATED ACTION FOR SCHOOL HEALTH – for B.C. youth to teach their peers about risks of vaping and nicotine addiction.


  1. ARMENIAN CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF B.C.  – To provide financial assistance to B.C students to pursue higher education.


  1. ONE PROSPER INTERNATIONAL – To provide bicycles and school supplies to girls in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to enable them to attend school.


  1. STEP:  IMAGINE SCHOOL -To purchase books and teaching aids for 100 pre-school to grade three students in Odisha, India.


  1. TUMAINI FUND CANADA – To fund 16 HIV/AIDS orphan students to attend a two year college in Tanzania, Africa.


  1. CANADIAN HARAMBEE EDUCATION SOCIETY – To provide school supplies, uniforms and to each five required face masks in school colours to high school girls in Kenya and Tanzania.


  1. DAYS FOR GIRLS CANADA – To purchase materials needed to provide reusable personal hygiene kits to girls in various countries in order for them to attend school.


  1. KENYA EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND – To provide support for two students currently sponsored by R. R. Smith to continue to grade 10 at Lubino Secondary School in Kenya.


  1. DECODA LITERACY FOUNDATION – To provide materials for the community based literacy programs.


  1. AFRICAN CONTINUING EDUCATION SOCIETY (ACCES) – To provide post-secondary scholarships to gifted and impoverished youth in Kakamega, Kenya, enabling them to pursue a degree or diploma course.


  1. GIBSONS MARINE EDUCATION SOCIETY – To provide materials for their marine programs in Sechelt to help learners transition through awareness to knowing to caring to action.


  1. BETTY HUFF THEATRE COMPANY –  To purchase supplies for the theatre program.


  1. CO-DEVELOPMENT CANADA  –  To contribute funds to the project with the Columbian Teachers’ Federation to build peace education in Columbia.


  1. CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ALLIANCE IN CANADA  – To fund the drop-in program teaching English to up to 18 year old Rohingya boys living in refugee camps.


  1. UMOJA OPERATION COMPASSION SOCIETY  – To support grade 6 and 7 students and to equip the library with science and geography books.


  1. FOR THE LOVE OF AFRICA  –  To supply more  books for students due to the doubling of the student population living in the nearby Maasai village.


  1. LOVE GUATAMALA – To provide students materials to assist in their on-line learning due to COVID 19.


  1. CANADIAN WOMEN FOR WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN  – To support female education through small grants to students to cover their post secondary educational expenses.


  1. CHECK YOUR HEAD -YOUTH GLOBAL EDUCATION NETWORK  To purchase materials needed to help the Democracy Support workshops.


  1. BRIGHT BEGINNINGS  – To provide part of the post secondary tuition needed to fund promising students in Surrey, B.C.


  1. FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN, DHAKA  – To  provide educational support to 75 children in Dhaka while school is not in session due to COVID 19.


  1. KIDS INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY –  To fund basic school supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks etc.) to two schools in Cambodia.


  1. VICTORIA TAIAMA PARTNERSHIP SOCIETY  – To provide scholarships to young women in Sierra Leone to enable them to attend post secondary educational institutions.

RR Smith Funding for 2020

By | Reports and Updates

R.R. Smith Foundation Fund –distribution of March 2020

  1. Canadian Women in Afghanistan
  2. CHES
  3. Shiloh Place Orphanage (Umoja)
  4. Days for Girls Canada
  5. Families for Children
  6. One Girl Can
  7. Good Cents for Change
  8. Vancouver Opera Guild
  9. HUGGS
  10. Gibsons Marine Education Society
  11. For the love of Africa
  12. Children’s Care International
  13. ACCES
  14. Umoja
  15. First Robotic
  16. Love Guatemala -Commission to Every Nation
  17. Bright Beginnings
  18. Kenya Educ Endowment Fund
  19. Tumaini Fund
  20. Check Your Head

Total funds                       $40,000

Heartfelt Thanks to RR Smith Members

By | Reports and Updates

This June new retirees join the BCRTA and we strongly encourage them to join the R.R. Smith Memorial Foundation Fund.  The membership is a toonie each year, but what do you get for your toonie? The impact is immense, with combined effect of all retired teachers, it means that literacy projects in BC and abroad can transform lives!

Thanks to the Board members for their input this year: Andy Hattrick, Barb Mikulec, Caroline Malm, Dave Carter, Gail Chaddock-Costello, Helene McGall, Karen Kilbride, Sarah Joyce, Sheila Pither and Steve Bailey.   Thanks also to Anders Ourom who advises us on legal matters.

We appreciate the wonderful staff at VanCity Foundation/RR Smith Community fund who write receipts for taxable donations. web: click on ‘funds’ at the top, type R.R. Smith in ‘search’ area, click on ‘R.R. Smith Community Fund’, click on ‘give to this fund’ and fill in details.  VanCity promptly sends a tax-deductible receipt for contributions over $20.

Here are some thank you notes, as student programs were greatly affected during the pandemic:


We are so grateful for the R.R. Smith Memorial Fund Foundation for supporting our project. The retired teachers of BC’s and your foundation’s generosity will help make a positive impact on the lives of the Rohingya boys in refugee camps. Thank you so much!

With deep gratitude,

Frances Dhanipersad 

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Tumaini Fund Canada please accept our sincere thank you for you generous donation to help our orphans. Those students now able to attend college will have the opportunity to change their world and those around them! We are once again beyond thrilled for your assistance. We will endeavour to keep you updated on their progress!

Margaret Gregory

I write to thank you, the retired teachers and the RR Smith Foundation for the continuing support you render to Umoja to support the children of Rwentutu village.  I will be sending you photos of the kids as soon as I get them.  They too have been affected by Covid-19 and through this funding they
will be able to find a way forward.  Amos Kambere

On behalf of Families for Children I would like to say thank you to the R. R. Smith Memorial Fund and everyone involved for your generous support and friendship over the years. We have certainly appreciated it, and now more than ever in these difficult times.

Again thank you for considering and approving us for the donation!   

Sandra Simpson

First and foremost, THANK YOU for your grant from the Retired Teachers of BC and the RR Smith Memorial Foundation Fund. This year, we have received 7 Scholarship applications and 5 Educational Award applications. While we would like to help all who apply, we are only able to provide up to 2 Scholarships and up to 5 Educational Awards annually through self-funding. With the generous support of the Retired Teachers of BC and the RR Smith Memorial Foundation, we will be able to increase the number of available awards this year.

Again, thank you very much. 

Kind Regards,
Jen Boyadjian

Wonderful! Thank you, to the RR SMITH FUND for offering this opportunity for vocational training to the young women of Taiama! The school year begins in October so we will have names and programs for four recipients identified by then.

Warm regards,
Maureen Mark

Thanks for your email.

This is fantastic news! I am very grateful to the retired teachers of BC for your support for girls’ education. 


Raju Agarwal
Executive Director, OneProsper International

We at KIDS appreciate your support which has enabled us to provide bicycles and needed school supplies for children in Cambodia so they can get to school and to learn. We greatly admire and respect the work your foundation does to help so many children and break the cycle of poverty.   warmly, Adrianne Dartnall and Rick Lennert. co-founders Kids International Development Society

The Canadian Harambee Education Society (CHES) appreciates the generous grant forwarded to us by the R R Smith Foundation.  This grant will be used to provide start-up kits for the new Form 1 Students in Kenya that will be starting school in July 2021. 

Sincerely, Joy Ruffeski Executive Director


Thank you so much for this contribution to the Nashipay Maasai School.  What a boost this will give to the children and their families. I assure you we will be able to share photos and a written report in the coming months.


Colleen Hanley
Consultant, Facilitator, Interculturalist

On behalf of Bright Beginnings Foundation, I would like to say thank you to R R Smith Memorial Fund Foundation for the generous gift. We will send a report and photos shortly. 

Tammy Neuman

Thank you for this very good news! It is a much appreciated donation. This money will go directly to fund education opportunities to approximately 1200 students for 1 year.  This includes basic student supplies to some of the poorest children in rural Siem Reap province, Cambodia and offers then the opportunity to attend school.  KIDS will send photos on the distribution of the school supplies to the children. 

Robyn Kemp


With R. R. Smith Foundation’s help, we have been able to get key school supplies for our experiential education programs, such as Biodiversity of the Salish Sea program.  Deeply grateful, 

Graham Starsage
Gibsons Marine Education Centre


Our Toonie does amazing work!

With deep appreciation to each of you,

the Board of R R Smith

President’s Report 2021

By | Reports and Updates

As the year unfolded with a pandemic closing many schools in parts of the world, there was an urgent need to look at new innovative ways to aid literacy granting from the R. R. Smith Memorial Fund Foundation.  The Board members met through the technology of Zoom to conduct our meetings and deliberations.  We ensured that every member’s $2 yearly donation went directly into the grants.  Careful management of all donations were held through the VanCity Investment /R. R. Smith Community Fund with their office receipting donations immediately if donated on-line, and at year end if donated by cheque.  Grants this year totalled $35,000 as reported in an earlier Postscript.

This year we undertook a process to review the transparency of the grant procedure, by using a matrix to identify if applicants completed the correct paper work in a timely manner, and if the applicants met the requirements as set out in the application form.  Also, we identified if applicants had received previous grants.  This committee then brought their suggestions to the Board to be discussed and agreed upon. With consensus, we have a streamlined application process which will improve the deliberations for the yearly disbursal of funds. Major thanks for the leadership of this committee go to Helene McGall.

We continue to receive letters from the six universities funded with the $150,000 awarded from the R. R. Smith Fund in 2006 after a court decision giving funds directly from the BCTF to R. R. Smith.  The six universities shared the funds and set up bursary programs in their education/PDP programs at University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Northern BC, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Island University.  Students apply directly to the universities. Many students have received funds, which through careful management, continue to grow.

We have a two sided postcard which we hope to distribute at future meetings, or retirement seminars. This postcard explains our purpose, grants to universities and literacy grants in BC and internationally.

The Board consulted with our lawyer Anders Ourom about our status, to ensure that our charitable status follows the guidelines as a Canadian charitable entity.

Thanks to each member of the Board for sharing their skills: Steve Bailey, Dave Carter, Gail Chaddock-Costello, Andy Hattrick, Karen Kilbride, Sarah Joyce, Sheila Pither.  Thanks also to our BCRTA representatives Caroline Malm and Helene McGall.  We also recognize Tim Anderson and Richard Beaudry for their skills with the website. Special thanks to Kristi and Laurie at the BCRTA office.

Barb Mikulec

President’s Report 2020

By | Reports and Updates

This year has rolled out into a wave of changes.  With the support of our dedicated Board we have found the momentum to steer the course for success. We managed our important meeting to award grants –one week before COVID-19 closed everything and meetings changed to Zoom.

The R R Smith Fund has grown through careful management of the VanCity Investment Fund/R R Smith.  We are now able to direct contributions directly to this fund with VanCity producing a tax deductible receipt promptly for contributions over $20. This change took many months of negotiations, but we are satisfied with the results, which will be more efficient and less time consuming for all. Two branches deposit funds, and their funds are noted in the memo line of deposit such as: friends of…

We were able to produce business cards for each of our Board members. We updated our website page thanks to Tim Anderson.

Our grants to universities came about from the 2006 court decision which gave funds directly from BCTF to the R R Smith Foundation and enabled 6 universities to share the $150,000 and set up bursary programs in their education/PDP programs. Applications are made directly to the universities –University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Northern BC, Thompson Rivers University, and Vancouver Island University.

Our grants to charitable groups working in BC or internationally are given yearly in March.  Our granting of $40,000 was an exciting process where the Board discussed each application carefully.  Our change to this process this year is to not require a local branch of the BCRTA to endorse the application, as this may be difficult to obtain for some of the qualified applicants.

Our Board also discussed with our lawyer about our status, and with the suggestion of the BCRTA president, we have taken off the wording ‘the charitable arm of the BCRTA’ from our advertising, as we are both independent organizations.  We hope all members of the BCRTA join the R R Smith Foundation, but there is an option to opt out. The R R Smith funds are only $2.00 yearly per member.

We have now produced a two sided postcard which we hope will be widely distributed, at the AGM, Zone meetings and retirement seminars, or similar venues. This postcard explains our purpose, grants to universities, and to literacy grants in BC and internationally.

Many thanks for all the input, support and dedication of our Board, who are elected at the AGM. Members include: Barb Mikulec, Gail Chaddock-Costello, Andy Hattrick, Dave Carter, Steve Bailey, Caroline Malm, Sterling Campbell, Sarah Joyce, Karen Kilbride, Sheila Pither.  We thank our lawyer for his exemplary service Anders Ouram, too.


Barb Mikulec