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McGill University Retiree Association

Association des retraité(e)s de l'Université McGill 




September 26, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Fall has begun and the leaves are starting to turn into beautiful colors.  For McGill retirees it’s no longer the beginning of term (or even what some considered as New Year!) but it is a particularly good time to travel to take advantage of the lower fares in hotels and resorts, partake in Montreal’s cultural scene, or engage in the various activities MURA has to offer. 

Statement of Principles
MURA signed in May, a Statement of Principles with McGill that will govern our ongoing relationship with the University Administration.  In accord with this agreement, MURA is working closely with Human Resources to enhance employees’ transition toward retirement and arrangements have been made to inform retirees of part-time positions offered on campus.  Further, we have concluded ongoing partnership agreements with the four major McGill employee associations and unions. These agreements greatly facilitate a close relationship between active and retired employees. 

MURA is already three years old and its membership has grown to 400. The annual membership fee to join MURA is $25 and the subscription year runs from September 1st to August 31st. We invite colleagues who have not joined yet to become members.  The membership form is readily accessible in the side menu of this website. 

Many of you will not have to pay the $25 annual fee as MURA has entered into partnership agreements with MUNACA, MUNASA, MAUT, and SEU Local 800-Trades. Members of these organizations at the time of retirement can become full members of MURA either without paying the annual membership fee or by paying a very nominal fee. Discussions are underway with the other SEU Locals to explore the possibility of signing similar agreements with these organizations.

For those who are not covered by the above Partnership Agreements, the $25 annual fee is payable via PayPal online or by cheque sent to MURA-ARUM, 515 Pine Avenue West, Room 101, Montreal, H2W 1S4, QC.  Your partner and/or significant other can join free of charge as a non-voting member. 

MURA is the official McGill member of the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC), a nation-wide association that plays an advocacy role for over fifteen thousand members across Canada. CURAC’s mandate is to promote the interests of retirees, communication between members, share best practices and offer competitive rates for group insurance and other services. The association holds annual conferences that are open to university retirees throughout the county. This year the meeting took place at Dalhousie University in Halifax from May 23rd to 25th, hosted jointly by Dalhousie and St. Mary’s retiree associations.  Thought provoking presentations were made among others on oceanic research, over prescribing drugs, racism against afro-Canadians, and key issues concerning climate change.  I encourage you to visit the CURAC website for further information about these and other activities and benefits: 

We are delighted that CURAC has selected MURA to host the 2021 CURAC Conference at McGill, from May 19 to 21.   The University Administration is most supportive of this undertaking that will mark McGill’s Bicentennial.  An organizational committee has been set up co-chaired by Maria Keenan and myself, that includes: 

Program: Bev Tallant and Judy Pharo
Sponsorship: Kate Maguire
Communications: Diana Grier-Ayton
Logistics: Maria Keenan
Liaison with CURAC: Ginette Lamontagne
Finances: Bob Stanley 

Hosting the 2021 CURAC Conference will be a major undertaking for MURA.  We will need the participation of all our members to make it a success, as participants, as organizers, and as volunteers during the conference.  If you would like to participate in the planning phase for the conference, please let us know by emailing us at

Activities & Events
On this website, you will find information on the proposed activities, events, and information session for the coming year.  Also included is a brief report on past program activities.   In addition, as MURA members, you already receive regular Communiqués to keep up to date on the latest news.

I am delighted to report that our editor Joan Wolforth has developed a new concept for the MURA Newsletter. She corralled several MURA members to share their retirement experiences whether it is during the transition to retirement, volunteering, traveling, or reflections on life in retirement. It’s fascinating! The full Newsletter is available on this website. Please offer any feedback that you would make the Newsletter even more interesting in the future, or send in your own story care of

MURA’s 3rd Year Celebration
MURA’s third Annual General Meeting was a huge success.  Nearly one hundred colleagues attended on June 6th.  Reports were presented by the four members of the Executive Committee on accomplishments during the year, members voted on amendments to the Constitution & By-Laws, elected the 2018-19 Board by acclamation, approved the financial review for 2017-18 and the proposed budget for 2018-19.   Following the AGM, Henry Mintzberg made an enlightening and humorous presentation on the theme of his most recent book “Managing the Myths of Healthcare” – a topic that generated an animated discussion with participants. A festive 3rd Year Celebration of MURA with food, drink, and merriment concluded the afternoon.

McGill Athletics & Fitness
McGill Athletics offers access to the Sports and Athletics facility to MURA members for 50% of the current staff monthly rate. In addition, MURA members are welcome to sign up for the lunchtime fitness courses and activities that are offered to employees as part of the Staff Fitness Program, providing spaces are available. If you are interested, please contact MURA to learn how to apply.

Other Activities
I encourage you to communicate with Kate Maguire, Vice-President (Internal), if you have ideas you would like to share or activities you would like to suggest by sending an email to: MURA will encourage all activities that have a critical mass of participants.

McGill Benefits
I am pleased to report that Board member, Kathy Mayhew continues to serve as MURA’s representative on the Staff Benefits Advisory Committee (SBAC) to provide a voice in the discussions regarding optimum coverage for active employees and retirees. If you have comments concerning the health care coverage please contact Kathy at the following email address:

MURA Executive & Board
I am pleased to welcome, David Kalant, as a new member on the 2018-19 Board, and Katherine Gray-Donald, as our Vice-President (External) on the Executive Committee.  David and Katherine are replacing Steven Blagrave and Henry Leighton to whom I am most thankful.  Henry, in particular, played a vital role as founding VP External with responsibility for the Bylaws, Constitution and Membership. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Board members who have agreed to continue to serve.  For your information, your colleagues of the Executive and the Board for 2018-19 are featured on this website. I invite you to communicate directly with them if you have any issues or comments you wish to bring up.

My special thanks to the many colleagues who contribute in a variety of ways to the development and ongoing vitality of MURA, and to all of you for your enthusiastic support for our Association. 

I look forward to seeing you this Fall at the upcoming MURA activities and events.



Ginette Lamontagne
President MURA-ARUM