Reports and Updates

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

President’s Report 2016

By | Reports and Updates

R.R. Smith Report 2016

The R.R. Smith Board of Directors were pleased to grant over $22,000 to 19 educational charities this past year. Every request was given some funding. Often grant recipients send updates on their projects to the Board. This past year R.R. Smith has published two newsletters that have contained these updates. Unfortunately, not all members receive these newsletters as they are sent via the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association email list serve and not all members have an email address or have updated the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association with their current email address. These newsletters may be read on the R.R. Smith website or on the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association website under R.R. Smith. The reports are heart warming and uplifting.

The affinity plan that R.R. Smith has with Enjoy Tours has earned over $1,600 and does not cost our members a cent. Enjoy Tours donates to R.R. Smith whenever a B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association/ R.R. Smith member books a tour or trip and lets them know that they are a member. Some branches are booking tours for their members. Please consider participating individually or as a branch.

There will be discussion of and decisions made at the upcoming AGM that changes the way R.R. Smith is funded. For the past 16 years R.R. Smith has received additional donations from the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association and branches to fund the many worthwhile educational projects in B.C. and around the world.
According to the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association lawyer, the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association may lose their “Not for Profit” status and run the risk of being taxed by Canada Revenue Agency if they make donations to R.R. Smith. In order to continue to support R.R. Smith, the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association has asked R.R. Smith to charge a membership fee and has split the $40 B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association membership fee so that $38 will go to the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association and $2.00 will go directly to R.R. Smith. Motions making these changes will be voted on at both the R.R. Smith AGM and the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association AGM in September and will take effect July 1st 2017.

Between November 28th, 2016 and November 28th, 2018, R.R. Smith will have to transition under the new Societies Act. Any necessary updates and changes to R.R. Smith’s Constitution and Policies and Procedures will be brought to the 2017 AGM for ratification.

I would like to thank Board members Beverly Anderson, Steve Bailey, Dave Carter, Andy Hattrick, Barb Mikulec, and Sheila Pither for their hard work, help and skill needed to run this organization smoothly. Thank you also to Patricia Laursen and Kristi Josephson who so capably handle everything in the office. As well, I would like to thank Anders I. Ourom who so freely donates his time and knowledge to help with legal matters. Thank you also to Dan Carter, a retired CGA, who donates his time and expertise to audit our books.

Respectfully Submitted,

Judy de Vries, President,
R.R. Smith Memorial Fund Foundation

President’s Report 2017

By | Reports and Updates

R.R. Smith Year End Report

The 2016/17 year has been rewarding and productive. 15 grants totalling $21,000 were made to educational projects in B.C and around the world. These grants were reported in the Postscript and the R.R. Smith Newsletter. The R.R. Smith Newsletter is published several times a year and is sent to members via email. The Newsletter is also on the R.R. Smith website, If you have not received it, then the B.C.R.T.A. does not have your current email address. Please contact Laurie at or 604-871-2260 and give her your current email address.

A number of changes have been made by the R.R. Smith Board of Directors to increase revenues leading to better support for educational projects in B.C. and around the world.

The first change happened at the 2016 AGM when the splitting of the B.C.R.T.A. fee was approved and R.R. Smith now receives $2.00 per member, annually.

The second change was to move the R.R. Smith Endowment fund into VanCity Community Foundation creating the R.R. Smith Community Fund resulting in an increase in revenue. Through this fund, members can now make tax receipted donations to R.R. Smith that can be designated to a particular charitable organization. All of the 2017 grants were successfully directed through the VanCity Community Foundation account. This system has been tested and it works. To make a donation go to , click on “Funds” at the top of the page, type R.R. Smith in the “search” area, click on “R.R. Smith Community Fund”, click on “Give to this Fund”, and fill in the details required. A tax receipt will be issued for donations over $20. If you wish to designate the funds fill in the organization in the “Leave a comment” section.

A third change is to introduce advertising in the R.R. Smith Newsletter. Members with businesses and businesses that provide services to our members are able to make a tax receipted donation for a space in the Newsletter.

  • Business card size for a donation of between $65 and $104;
  • 1/4 page (Horizontal or Vertical) for a donation of between $105 and $174;
  • 1/2 page (Horizontal or Vertical) for a donation of between $175 and $334;
  • Full page for a donation of $335 or more.

This is a unique opportunity for members to promote their businesses to over 7500 colleagues. Revenue generated from this initiative will further increase the support our members give to education.

R.R. Smith’s affiliation with Enjoy Tours continues to benefited many members. Members and companion(s) have an opportunity to enjoy fully escorted day tours, short trips or longer vacations from the Enjoy Tours catalogue . This Fall, R.R. Smith is offering to members living in Surrey three more day tours in addition to those listed in the catalogue. There will be one pick-up and drop-off in Surrey. In 2018, this opportunity will be expanded to other communities. Enjoy Tours donates to R.R. Smith when B.C.R.T.A. / R.R. Smith members book a trip.

A new initiative this year has opened up educational opportunities for R.R. Smith members as well. R.R. Smith has partnered with Linda Fawcus, the CEO of Gluu Technology, to achieve a goal of give older adults the tools and knowledge needed to use technology to enhance their life. Langley Retired Teachers’ Association has successfully piloted iPad/iPhone workshops for members. Now that Langley has developed a plan that works, other RTA’s are looking at similar services to their members in the Fall. Delegates to the 2017 B.C.R.T.A. AGM will have an opportunity to hear Linda speak.

R.R. Smith has worked with our lawyer, Anders I. Ourom, to reconfigure our constitution and by-laws to comply with the New Societies Act. Notice of Special Resolution is being given to members that changes are being made to our Constitution and By-Laws. These changes will be debated and voted on at R.R. Smith’s AGM at 9:00 on September 23, 2017 at Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel. The proposed Constitution and By-Laws will be on the R.R. Smith website.

On behalf of the R.R. Smith Board of Directors, I would like to thank Office Administrator, Kristi Josephson and Laurie Boyd for all the work they do for R.R. Smith. I would also like to thank Anders I. Ourom for his legal advice and the work he does for our organization each year. Another “Thank you” must be extended to Dan Carter who is a retired CGA and who prepares the R.R. Smith financial report. Working with Troy Opper of Enjoy Tours, Lisa Hansen of Johnsons and Linda Fawcus of Gluu Technology expands opportunities for our members and supports our goal to provide funding for educational projects in B.C. and around the world.

Lastly and most importantly, I wish to thank the R.R. Smith Board of Directors for their help to make R.R. Smith a success. Bev Anderson, Vice-President; Andy Hattrick, Secretary; Dave Carter, Treasurer; Sheila Pither, Member-at-large; Steve Bailey, Member-at-large; and Elaine Anderson, Member-at-large are dedicated to the work that R.R. Smith does.

Respectfully Submitted by
Judy de Vries, President,
R.R. Smith Memorial Fund Foundation