Inside this issue:

  • President’s Message
  • Mentorship Recruitment
  • Membership Information Update
  • May 2020 Letter of Support to BCPVPA
  • President, David DeRosa
  • 2020-2021 BCRPVPA Executive
  • Scholarship Committee Report
  • A Summary of “Nepal: One Step at a
  • Time” – our May 2020 AGM Speakers
  • Patti Lefkos & Barry Hodgins
  • Jeff Larcombe’s Vegetable Garden
  • Keeping Active While Supporting Others
  • Marsha Arnold on Daily Physical Walk,
  • Hike or Bike
  • Affinity & Benefits Report: Endless Savings & More, Trip Merchant, & Perkopolis – Chalkboard+


President’s Message by Ted St. Pierre

We are nearing the end of the fiscal year 2019-2020 for the BC Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association.    It has been somewhat challenging having to learn new ways of conducting meetings using media platforms, such as ZOOM.     Thanks to our Members, we were able to conduct BCRPVPA business with success.

Our Association also receives much support from the BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association.     This includes use of the building prior to Covid-19, & numerous assistances with finances, membership, communication, to name a few.

We strongly support our colleagues who are school-based administrators, the teaching staff, and support staff.    Schools are reopening in June, and retired administrators wish everyone great success.  A Letter of Support is included in this newsletter.

Congratulations to all our BCRPVPA Members who continue to keep ourselves healthy during challenging times.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Chief Medical Officer, encourages exercise such as walking, running, cycling.    Please keep on physical distancing.

All the best for a wonderful summer.



BCPVPA MENTORSHIP PROGRAM . . . Seeking experienced retired principals to be mentors for the newly appointed principals and/or vice-principals

If you have some time to give and are enthusiastic about sharing your breadth and depth of administrative knowledge to the ‘newbies’, then please consider becoming a BCPVPA mentor. Detailed information can be obtained from one of the following websites, or If interested, you may also wish to contact Kevin Reimer, Executive Director & Program Leader,




Have you moved recently? Have you acquired a new active email address?

Please send it to for database update. Thank you!


Letter of Support

Our Presidential team comprised of Past President, Eileen Phillips, President, Ted St. Pierre and Vice-President, Christine Johnson have been thinking about how to express our association’s gratitude for the enormous undertaking that our working colleagues are performing throughout the province since Spring Break. Hence, Christine Johnson, as incoming President acted on this thought and drafted a letter expressing our deep appreciation and undying support for their current responsibilities beyond the regular administrative educational duties. We wish our BCPVPA members much success in this endeavor as they prepare to welcome students back to their school community in early June! Please take a moment to read the letter of support sent on your behalf. Hats off to our presidential team for their quick action!

200-525 W 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K9


British Columbia Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association


May 7, 2020

David De Rosa
President, BCPVPA

Dear David,

Throughout its history the British Columbia Retired Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (BCRPVPA) has worked in liaison with the BCPVPA. The Executive and the members greatly appreciate our strong relationship.

At this time of COVID-19 we admire all the work that is being carried out by the members of the BCPVPA. The calm, caring and innovative leadership being demonstrated by the BCPVPA members and staff is exemplary. School-based administrators, the teaching staff and support staff of the schools in our province are showing determination and a strong sense of community. Many challenges are being met by these caring individuals and it is obvious that the overall well-being of students lies at the heart of all decisions.

Our thoughts and admiration go with you and your members. The BCRPVPA members thank and applaud you for all you are doing.

Yours sincerely,

Ted St. Pierre and Christine Johnson
BCRPVPA, President and Vice-President



Congratulations to the following members who were acclaimed as next year’s executive at our May 13th virtual AGM. Thank you to the following members for volunteering their service and time commitment to the association, all for the betterment of our members! We are extremely grateful to have four Past Presidents returning to our executive to lend a supporting hand. Their talents and expertise will be treasured by our current executive as we move forward within our association.

On behalf of the executive, we would like to extend a deep and sincere appreciation to Ted St. Pierre, our out-going President for his dedication and contribution to our association. We welcome Christine as our in-coming President and look forward to her guidance and leadership!

President                  Christine Johnson (Year 1 of 2 year term)

Past President        Ted St. Pierre (Year 1 of 2 year term)

Vice-President        Gerald Soon (1 year term only)

Secretary                  Celina Mau

Treasurer                  Lanny Young


Members At Large: Marsha Arnold, Allan Buggie, Bonnie Deren, Jeff Larcombe, John Parry, Eileen Phillips, Joy Ruffeski, Vivian Rygnestad


Here is a list of portfolios to be filled by the Executive members:

  1. Communications
  2. Memberships & Sunshine
  3. Pension & Affinity
  4. Program Topics & Speakers
  5. Scholarships
  6. Social & Refreshments
  7. Technology



Figure 1 Columbine in full bloom

Figure 2 Peony bud awaiting


Scholarship Committee Report

Submitted by Jeff, Allan and Christine, Scholarship Committee members


Despite the turmoil in the education system at the moment due to Covid-19, the Scholarship Committee is already looking forward to a good number of scholarship submissions from the present Grade 12 students.  Two years ago we had 28 students apply for our 5 ($1000) scholarships, and last year we had a record of 35 student applications.  Not only does the committee consider the students’ academic standing, but also considers their participation in various activities such as sports and music, as well as school and community involvement and leadership.  Consideration is also given to deserving students whose family is suffering financial hardship.

The committee is well aware of the high calibre of submissions from students each year, and always express the desire to have additional scholarships available, to more effectively meet the high standard of the submissions received.  To this end, a motion was passed at our General Meeting on May 13, to increase from the present 5 yearly scholarships to a maximum of 7 scholarships that can be awarded.

In the past, the Scholarship Committee has met each October to read the student submissions, and then choose those most worthy of recognition by our BCRPVPA.  The committee plans to continue the same practice this year, although we may have to modify how we meet, if the corona virus continues to rear its ugly head.

The Committee can assure all our BCRPVPA members that the scholarships we fund each year are greatly appreciated by the students receiving them.  This is borne out by the wonderful letters of gratitude we receive from the successful candidates.


AGM Presentation on Nepal: One Day at a Time – A brief summary

by Patti Lefkos


Former Vancouver teacher and principal Patti Shales Lefkos is excited to introduce her debut non-fiction book, NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME.

  • A Himalayan adventure travel memoir with a humanitarian twist
  • One woman’s quest to teach, trek and build a school in the remote Himalaya.

NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME is story of facing fears, taking risks and discovering the endless possibilities for meaningful connections and service in a developing country.

January 2014

About to turn sixty-eight, Patti’s life was disintegrating. Leaving behind her injured husband, she packs her bags and heads back to Nepal, this time on her own. Solo travel forces her to surmount daunting hurdles – both physical and emotional. Volunteering in remote Ratmate village presents unforeseen challenges and a visit to nearby Aprik offers a life-changing opportunity. While trekking in the rugged, roof of the world forbidden kingdom of Upper Mustang she realizes her strength and determination when injured in an isolated cave monastery. Along the way, conversations with fascinating monks, teachers, and entrepreneurs provide insight into how best to serve the children of Nepal.

This is a story for both active and armchair travellers, particularly anyone who is afraid to travel alone, yet still longs to leap out of their comfort zone, immerse themselves in a new language and culture and truly make a difference in the lives of others. All profits from the sale of the book support education in Gorkha, Nepal, a region at the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake still recovering from horrible devastation.

For the fastest delivery, buy directly from Patti by sending her a cheque or an e-transfer. Contact Patti:;; #613 353 5060

Cost: $32 ($25 for the book, $7 postage) with your mailing address to: Patti Lefkos, Box 3093, Vernon, BC. V1B 3M1.



Paperback is available for purchase from either or Red Tuque Books, distributed by Red Tuque Books.

ZOOM HER IN: Patti also offers Zoom Book Club presentations.

On Facebook:  Patti Shales Lefkos and Nepal One Day at a Time.



“Both an inspirational travel memoir and a story of personal re-awakening. Her compelling personal story captures the essence of what it means to truly live a life of full of intention and reminds us all that it is never too late to chart a new course towards a life of greater purpose.”

Sarah Wiley ~ Executive Director for Outward Bound Canada


“Patti’s dedication as a citizen of the world and a Rotarian is a fine example of how Rotarians are People of Action. From her vision, she has connected individuals and organizations across the world to develop both bricks and mortar buildings and peace and understanding. She is an inspiration and represents the best of Rotary.”

Dr. Carmen Larsen ~ President for Kalamalka Rotary, 2019-2020. Vernon, British Columbia. District 5060.



Jeff Larcombe’s Vegetable Garden

by Celina Mau, Communications

Look at those healthy growing plants! Are you interested in creating one of your own? A reminiscence of last year’s AGM presentation from Jeff on ‘How to grow a healthy organic vegetable garden’. According to Linda Gilkeson, author of Backyard Bounty, it is still not too late to plant for winter harvests! Check out gardening tips from her website, This is by far, the most profitable way of staying healthy and keeping fit! Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your garden of joy!


His pear tree in bloom

A vegetable patch filled with lettuce, bok choi, spinach & radish . . . yummy, yummy!


Look at this, garlic crop ready to harvest in the Fall!

Broccoli & Cabbage are fenced in against moth invasion

Raspberries & Rhubarb tucked in a corner


Wow! A container box made by Jeff. What a work of art!

Look at those beautiful healthy green onions! Jeff, you are putting my little patio patch to shame!


Keeping Active While Supporting Others by Marsha Arnold


A FREE event, which involves engaging in physical activity of your choice and sharing your experience on social media and hash-tagging #HospitalityHustle. Hustle for Hospitality goals: • Show solidarity with those owners and workers in the hospitality industry who § have lost their livelihoods § are still working hard to deliver food to frontline workers § are providing a takeout option for those who are socially isolating • Give people a healthy goal that will help keep them physically and mentally strong • Create awareness of the BCHF and other non-profit groups in BC that support hospitality workers The event will conclude on the evening of Sunday, May 31, 2020 with a virtual dance party hosted by a live DJ.  or call 604 986-3262




In times of crisis, everyone’s mental health needs increase. As we face an unprecedented health crisis due to COVID-19, CMHA, Vancouver-Fraser is responding as best we can to support our community’s mental health. So today we are repositioning Ride Don’t Hide as a virtual event – Ride Anytime, Anywhere.   Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that we still need to go outdoors and to breathe in fresh air. Being physically active is key to mental health. Cycling is a perfect physical activity with natural social-distancing. So, from today to June 30, you can ride anytime, anywhere – and self-isolate – to support critical mental health services in Vancouver-Fraser.






The ALS Society needs your support to raise funds for therapies, equipment, and much more – including a cure! Although we cannot walk together this year, we are coming together virtually to show our support for the Walk to End ALS! ALL Walks across the province will be an online experience considering recent events. Walk for those who cannot walk for themselves. Join on Saturday June 20th.  Register at






Workout to Conquer Cancer is a movement by a community that celebrates what their bodies are capable of while raising funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.  In May 2020, we are asking British Columbians to move every day in May to help change cancer outcomes and honour those who have been affected. Join at



Help B.C.’s kids get out of their hospital gowns and back into their jeans. When you Jean Up, you will help BC Children’s Hospital Foundation support over 93,000 kids annually with everything from innovative healthcare research and equipment to specialized care tailored to their unique needs. Wear your jeans this month and donate at so that kids can get back to being kids. 1.888.663.3033 (BC Children’s Hospital Foundation)



Marsha Arnold on her Daily Physical Nature Walk, Hike or Bike

Here is another member sharing her daily physical distancing while getting in her number of clicks in this pandemic. Let’s sit back, enjoy these pictures, and reminisce about beautiful Metro Vancouver’s many sites and scenes!


Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park

Burnaby Lake Nature House


Deer Lake

Mallards fishing in pond on PiCo trail

Robin by Fraser River


Crystal Falls in Coquitlam

View of Golden Ears and Fraser River


Affinity & Benefits Report by Marsha Arnold & Allan Buggie


Endless Savings & More (ESMon your smart phone to save!  After downloading the APP use the organizational code: bcrpvpa.  Here is a sample of some of its present exclusive offers: $100 Rogers cellphone credit, 10% off at Indigo, or up to 40% off Cooperators home insurance. Savings now include the following: Save with hundreds of discounts and savings available on your smart phone, Peoples Jewelers – Save 25% off storewide and an additional $25 off purchases of $125 or more, Canada Gift Baskets – Save an additional 15% on sale and regular priced items, – Save 20% when you spend $30 or more, SAXX Underwear Canada – New Customers save an additional $15 off orders of $100+ on sale and regular priced items or Frontline Workers receive 30% off the full regular retail price, HelloFresh – Save $80 of your first 3 boxes, Budget and Avis – Save up to 25% off car rentals and Budget truck rentals, TurboTax – Save up to 25%, Dell – Save up to 50% or more plus up to an additional 5% with ESM promo code on laptops, accessories and more. If interested to pursue, please take a read of the attached ESM Welcome Message or visit its website,


Trip Merchant offers personalized travel at discounted rates for our members.  This website is password protected for members-only access. Simply click on this link, Once you click on it, you will have to enter your password, which is “BCRPVPATM18“. This password is case sensitive, so do be sure to enter exactly as shown, or contact Tom MacLean, Co-Founder of Trip Merchant (Telephone: 604-329-7650 / Email: He will be most pleased to help you. Trip Merchant has negotiated special membership savings directly with travel suppliers, some as much as a 30-50% savings on unique travel experiences. They work with a wide variety of travel suppliers that represent different travel styles in order to accommodate the diverse interests of all travelers. Take a view of the video that they did for Colombia, .

Perkopolis (now Chalkboard Plus) presents special offers to our retired education community. Use this link:  to sign on. You can pursue the recent discounts by clicking on the tabs at the top before you register. For new members to join, use a personalized BCRPVPA code obtained by emailing to, which will be found in your welcome letter when you first join our organization.  Recently offers were for discounts on a wide variety of offerings: trips, car rentals, cellphones, merchandise such as shoes, clothing, special events, etc. Monthly updates with new offerings continue to make this site attractive for BCRPVPA members.   If you have previously subscribed to Perkoplis, you are already in.


Note from Authors:  We are pursuing other affinity groups such as Hearing and Vision care and will update these options as benefits to members come online. We are always happy to entertain suggestions or new opportunities.  Please send these to If members also belong to BCRTA they could purse their membership Advantage options as well,


What a beautiful garden! Thank you to Jeff Larcombe & his wife for sharing.







President: Ted St. Pierre

Vice-President: Christine Johnson

Past President: Eileen Phillips

Treasurer: Lanny Young

Secretary & Communications: Celina Mau

Affinity & Benefits: Marsha Arnold & Allan Buggie

Membership & Sunshine: Bonnie Deren

Pensions: Marsha Arnold, Allan Buggie, Gerry Tiede (Advisor)

Scholarships: Jeff Larcombe; Allan Buggie; Christine Johnson

Technology: Ted St. Pierre