CCB BC-Yukon Division Newsletter – Fall/Winter 2019

Fall/Winter 2019

President’s Message

Hello, I can’t help but say – can you believe it? It’s December! And Christmas is almost upon us! I do appreciate this time of year, but wish I was a bit more organized and maybe a little more time to relax and enjoy… It is a busy time of year and I tend to get behind – hmmm maybe because most things take me twice as long and sometimes more to accomplish – hmmm I think I want my cake and eat it too – but I can only do my best and do what I can from my space in this wide world and for now you all are stuck with me as I am…

So… I have two jokes for you today – sorry, it was too difficult to choose just one… First: Why is a white board so great? Second: Why did the gingerbread man go to the hospital? Please check the end of this newsletter for the answers. And now I’d better get on with this – as I’m writing this in the wee hours of the day, I may be a little rambley…

You should soon be receiving a new pin to add to your collection – our Division’s 75th Anniversary as described above in the top right corner. Your Division Board encourages you to celebrate with your Chapter – an excellent excuse to celebrate and party in 2020!

Hoping you all got your National membership dues to Ottawa in time for the rebate; and thank you again for those Chapters who have sent in their $10 registration fee.

Information for our 2020 AGM and 75th Anniversary Bash should be coming to your inbox in January. Destination Comox Valley – starting Monday April 20th with an afternoon workshop and evening Meet ‘N Greet to Thursday April 23rd when we go home exhausted after all our celebrating. The Division Planning Committee along with the CCB Comox Valley Chapter have been enthusiastic about hosting these festivities and are planning some exciting and fun events – it would be great to see you there!

Remember we are planning to christen this newsletter with a name at the 2020 AGM. If you have a suggestion, please send it to me.

And please everyone, find the time to enjoy Christmas – no matter where you are in life and what you believe, there is always time for HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE. Be safe…

Remember your Division Board of Directors is here to help you. And please do not hesitate to email or call me or any other Division Board Member for more information or clarification on any matters concerning the CCB BC-Yukon Division. Ann McNabb, President

Facebook

Please keep sending your Chapter events and/or pictures to Lenni Kennedy at lennikennedy@shaw.ca to post on Facebook. We appreciate hearing from you!

Membership Tidbits

– submitted by Pat Chicquen, Membership Chair

In September, my guide Cindy Armstrong and I went on a road trip to Penticton for the first meeting of the resurrected Penticton CCB chapter. Well I just talked to Lori Cyra to see how they are doing (December 1st), they now have 19 members. Keep up the great work Lori.

I hope all the rest of our CCB clubs are doing well and please remember I am only a phone call away if you have a problem. I may not be able to help, but we may with talking be able to come up with a solution.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Chapter Call In Sessions

Calling All Chapters…

Your next Chapter Call In Sessions will be on Thursdays – January 16th, March 19th and May 21st. Please, Chapter Presidents encourage your members or join in yourself and come on the call to share your Chapter news or your views on the topics being discussed. These calls give you the opportunity to share and have open discussion and communication. It is the chance for you to share your ideas and opinions. It allows us to learn more about each other and what’s important to us.

Before each call, President Ann will send out a reminder with the call in instructions. We hope to hear you on this call. And please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to suggest discussion topics.

White Cane Week

– submitted by Bill Conway

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF ADVOCACY…

White Cane Week (WCW) will be soon upon us, February 2 to 8, 2020. Just a gentle reminder to fill out your National request form, regarding material required for your WCW event. Do not forget to check off the $100 funds available to host your event, (no receipts required). Also do not forget to send in all receipts to our Provincial office to receive total or partial reimbursement for hosting your event.

We are aware that clubs in areas that have normally nasty weather, will host a White Cane Awareness Day, during more pleasant weather times, please send in your receipts for these events also.

Here’s looking to all clubs in hosting a special day in your community, in CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF ADVOCACY. I will be in touch soon regarding your special event plans.

Sports & Recreation

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Hockey News…

Vancouver Eclipse blind hockey team just had their fundraiser in November; we raised a good amount of money to support cost throughout the year and travelling to Nationals in Toronto during the month of 2020. Players of the Eclipse and other hockey clubs are getting ready for the national tournament, getting excited to challenge their selves for victory to bring home metals and a championship spirit.

The Vancouver Eclipse along with BC Blind Sports will be providing skating and hockey opportunities, working on getting more attention throughout the province. If anybody would like to get on the ice or participate in the national tournament, please contact Canadian Blind Hockey or BC Blind Sports. Players do not need to be a part of a hockey club to participate in the national blind hockey tournament, players need to have full equipment and ability to play hockey; depending on your skill level there are multiple divisions to play in. mattmorrow@blindicehockey.com

Tennis News…

The tennis season has started in Coquitlam at Pine Tree Community Centre, where players have practice at 4:30 to 6:00 PM Tuesday nights. We have a gymnasium reserved for players to have multiple courts set up to enjoy. At the moment we have a handful of players participating with volunteers in the area getting exercise and also having a fun time.

The Coquitlam blind tennis group supported by BC Blind Sports have gone to Vancouver Island to start a program; and we are always looking forward to new players or other programs starting in the province. If anyone wants to get involved with blind tennis, or wants to start a program of their own, please contact BC Blind Sports or myself. Brodster.m86@gmail.com

There are international blind tennis tournaments in other countries at the moment throughout the year, to represent Canada we are required to have a certain amount of players to build a team to participate. There are tennis programs on the West Coast, and East Coast, but we will have to have more players to get the chance to participate in any international tournament. Blind tennis is a new program to Canada, but we are always looking for players to make this wonderful sport grow for the future.

That’s all from the Tri-Cities and Blind sports news, happy holidays to everyone sending supreme strength and powerful positive vibes.

CCB Alberni Valley Chapter

– submitted by Jean Kanngiesser, President

Our monthly meetings resumed in early September with a review of the past speakers and our accomplishments over the past two years.

In October we renewed our CCB memberships and had a presentation from the organizer of the Port Alberni Age-Friendly Survey.

Evaleen Baker of Vision Loss Rehabilitation/CNIB was our November guest where she distributed “Tool Box” aides to assist us in our daily routines and activities.

For our December 4th meeting, Chief Rick Newberry, City of Port Alberni Fire Prevention Officer, will be our speaker. Following this meeting we will have our annual Christmas lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon of March 22, 2020, we will be hosting the Greater Victoria Police Chorus as a major fundraiser for our Chapter. This large very entertaining Chorus sings everything from Spiritual to Rock n’ Roll. For ticket information call me at 250 724 1272.

CCB Campbell River Chapter

– submitted by Lorraine Welch

We have been working on getting speakers for our meetings; and are looking for suppliers of items for an emergency Grab and Go bag and a first aid kit for our meetings. We are hoping to help our members know firsthand what supplies go into these emergency bags and how they can be prepared.

CCB Chilliwack Chapter

Our Chapter continues to be busy – going out for lunches, playing crib, and GTT monthly – enjoying bowling and chair yoga weekly – and our two monthly meetings. Christmas will soon be here and we will be feasting on turkey with all the fixings, rocking to the Christmas music provided by Heidi and Ray and celebrating the season with our special guests from our four local Lions Clubs.

In September, our guest speaker Ed Stone told us about live radio play performances coming to Chilliwack. On January 11th, we have decided to attend the performance of “A Pearl in the Hand”. We look forward to this performance and are hoping it will give us the incentive to attend more performances as they are offered.

Thanks go out to Craig Faris, Alfredo delArenal and My Hy from the CNIB for coming out on December 4th to do an informative technology workshop for beginners.

Chilliwack wishes you all the best of the season and peace for everyone…

CCB Comox Valley Chapter

– submitted by: Muriel and Charles REID

Our Chapter has kept busy with our monthly meetings and luncheons and we are looking forward to our Annual Christmas Party to be held at the Comox Legion on Tuesday, December 3rd. This get together has always been successful with a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings prepared by volunteers of the Legion and a visit from Santa himself!

We are also looking forward to the New Year around the corner and hope to keep up the momentum of our Chapter and we will work to surpass it with some innovative ideas coming forward from our group.

We are thankful for all of our Volunteers throughout the year for their excellent help.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to All!

CCB Kamloops Chapter

– submitted by Vern Short

On October 30th, 20 members enjoyed our Birthday Luncheon – Happy Birthday to Linda Hall. Chapter elections took place November 2nd and once again Linda is our Chapter President. Our White Cane Week committee is now formed and discussions are underway for 2020 plans. On November 3rd, chapter members participated in the North Kamloops Lions Club, 4th annual bowling event called “The Dog Bowl” for the Lions Foundation. 12 teams participated in this year’s fundraising event – with funds going towards raising and training service Dogs and made just over $2,000. Members continue to 5 pin bowl weekly each Monday.

Vern Short CCB BC-Yukon Division and BC Blind Sports Director and citizen of Kamloops attended the Accessibility & Inclusiveness consultation meeting on November 12th, providing input to the government re the Framework on creating the Persons with Disabilities Act in BC. Minister Shane Simpson was in attendance, listening to the input and concerns from those in attendance.

CCB Kelowna blind curling chapter

– submitted by Bill Mah

The members of the Kelowna Blind Curling CCB Chapter got back to curling this past October. We are down a couple of curlers but we have welcomed 2 new participants and 2 new sighted guides. Welcome to Luke and Jacquie as participants. Appreciations extended to Faye and Kenner for coming out and helping to providing guiding on the ice. Our practices still remain on Sunday mornings and our team has once again registered for the Monday night commercial league.

We are looking forward to being the hosts for the 2020 provincial blind curling bonspiel from January 10th to 12th. This bonspiel will determine the 2 teams going to the Westerns in March of 2020 and the BC representatives for the 2021 Canadian Vision Impaired Championships.

Any interested people wanting to try out curling can contact me at 250-878-0710.

CCB Lower Mainland Chapter

– submitted by Iris Thompson

In October, curlers from our Chapter were featured on an Accessible Media Inc (Ami) This Week Shortcut with Grant Hardy. If you would like to see it – copy and paste the following link into your browser…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFTGdgp_n0o&feature=youtu.be

CCB Penticton Chapter

PENTICTON CLUB OFF TO A GOOD START…

The recently revived Penticton White Cane Club, aka the South Okanagan Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) ended its third meeting on November 21st with a total of 19 paid up members. Club President, Lori Cyra, said she is pleased with the club’s progress so far.

The September initial meeting of the group was attended by Pat Chiquen, First VP of the BC/Yukon Division of the CCB who travelled from Comox on Vancouver Island to be with us, Cyra said, “We were very pleased to have Division support.”

The October meeting was attended by Lyndsey Rosevear of the Kelowna Office of CNIB, who spoke about rights of blind and visually impaired people voting in the upcoming Federal Election. The November meeting focused on HandiDart service in the South Okanagan area.

A Christmas Turkey Luncheon has been arranged for December 19th. “The cost of the luncheon to each member will be subsidized by a small grant from the BC/Yukon Division,” Cyra said, “something we are very pleased to receive. Our members are looking forward to the New Year with keen anticipation!”

CCB Prince George Chapter

– submitted by Margaret Storey

Hi everyone, news from the great white North. We have had the most amazing November this year. We usually have snow by Halloween, but it has held off. Now today, November 23rd, we have had some very wet white stuff, but it may be gone by morning.

We are a small group of mostly seniors, who don’t have much in the line of adventures. We hold monthly meetings and have a nice luncheon after each meeting. In July, we held our summer “picnic”- we are better at a building, rather than outside at our “tender” ages. One of the local senior groups catered to our picnic and Christmas party last year and we enjoyed this so much we were back in July and will be going back for our Christmas luncheon in December. We all seem to enjoy the get togethers and visits with each other.

We send Holiday greetings to all of you…

CCB Provincial Book Club

– submitted by Kathy Sanness

The Provincial Book Club meets by teleconference on the fourth Friday of the month at 9:00 AM. We read and discuss a book each month. Additionally, we talk about different ways to access books. Our members suggest the books we read and we have read all different kinds over the years.

If anyone is interested in trying us out, please contact me at 778-484-2298 or Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343.

Our book for November was “Dirty Blonde” by Lisa Scottoline, our book for December is “The 100 Year Old Man” by Jonas Jonasson and our January book will be “The Book Thief” by Marcy Zusak.

Due to the Christmas holiday, our December teleconference will be on the 13th.

Amy’s 2019 Europe Adventure continued

– submitted by Amy Amantea

Earlier this year I visited France and Amsterdam…you already heard about the ease of access of arts and culture for the blind. But as part of this wonderful trip I visited the Canadian WWI and WWII memorial sites…including Flanders Fields, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, Tyne Cot Cemetery and the Canadian Gate. All throughout Belgium (Flanders Fields) there was memorials to the allied troops and we visited as many of the Canadian ones as possible. This year, Remembrance Day felt very different. To have stood on the battlefield at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele and been in the preserved trenches in both places is a memory I will never forget!

The Canadian Mother statue at the back side of the Vimy Ridge memorial – the Canadian mother stands with her head bowed in sorrow at the sacrifice of the allied soldiers on the battlefield. She represents all mothers who lost sons during that battle.

When you visit the battlefield and museum at Vimy you learn that Canadian students have learned to speak French and travelled over to France to be the official tour guides. They feel a responsibility to share the stories of the Canadians who fought, and who died during this particular battle during WWI. It is quite humbling to learn about this victorious and war changing battle that was won by the Canadians when no other forces were able to take the ridge. These tour guides take you through preserved tranches and share the significance of the battle and those who fought! Where I stood, I was surrounded by fields dimpled with the evidence of explosives from 100 years ago. To read more about Vimy Ridge please visit…
http://www.vimyfoundation.ca

A visit to Passchendaele follow on this full day of visiting the Canadian War memorial sites throughout France and Belgium. There is a wonderful museum at Passchendaele – not only do they have recreations of the underground trenches on the tour they have artifacts from wartime including a gas mask, helmet and body armor, soldiers boots and so much more. They hang these items off the wall so you can touch them, feel their weight and even try them on if you wish. It was a wonderful tactile experience that really gave me insight on how heavy the gear was that a soldier would be carting around with them…more that 60lb at a minimum. It was so rainy at Passchendaele during the battle that wooden pathways needed to be constructed to help keep the feet of soldiers dry. And, if you happened to fall off this pathway you were likely to drown. The dimples from the bombs and guns left swimming pool sized pits in the ground and they were filled with mud and water from the never-ending rainfall.

The Canada Gate was one of my favorite memorials. It is also located in Passchendaele and there is an identical one located in Nova Scotia. It symbolizes the thousands of Canadian soldiers that left Canada and landed in Passchendaele during WWI. I have never been to Nova Scotia and have always planned on visiting that part of Canada and now that I have experienced the Canada Gate in Passchendaele, Nova Scotia is a much higher priority for me to visit! I was proud to have my picture taken wearing a shirt decorated with red poppies. This memorial is in a residential area at the end of a cul-du-sac in Passchendaele and has been lovingly maintained by the locals.

There were so many things to share from this particular part of my trip to Europe earlier this spring, but the Tyne Cot cemetery was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever been. With the graves lined up meticulously you get a sense of awe from standing amongst headstones with the names of those who sacrificed their lives and some are marked “Known only to God” – and when you see that it brings tears to your eyes!!

I would highly encourage anyone to take a memorial trip like this one. We hired a private tour guide and historian who picked us up at 9am at our hotel and drove us all over the place until 11pm when he brought us back to our hotel. He left us with a book he created with all the historical information, there is so much that you are being told that you feel stressed to remember it all, so I was so happy to have been given the book as a reference guide.

The final stop on our trip was to Yieppes, Belgium. (Pronounced EEPES). Every night, yes every night they do a LAST POST ceremony to honour Canadian and allied troops. They started this tradition in 1929 and only suspended it for four years during WWII when the city was reduced to rubble. There is a full marching band, parade and town’s people and visitors gather to hear the iconic bugle play and have words of remembrance spoken! This service is conducted all by volunteers and is one of the most wonderful things one can experiences in honour of our Canadian troops!

Poppy Campaign

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Greetings to all members of the CCB BC and UConn division, hopefully everyone got a chance to get new gadgets and electronics from black Friday or getting excited for the holidays soon.

Myself, and members of the Poco CCB chapter and the Dogwood CCB Coquitlam chapter have volunteered 18 hours tagging with the Poco Legion and the Coquitlam Legion for the poppy campaign before Remembrance Day. The members were at SuperStore and multiple Safeway locations in both cities. It was a great time giving back to the veterans and showing our support for Remembrance Day. The one day I was tagging at Safeway, I was asked if I was a veteran, I said no, but that would be pretty cool if I lost my eyesight that way :-). One other person asked me to help her put her poppy on her jacket, I signed thank you back to her. All of the thankful wishes and support we had from the community made us feel very positive. As I was standing stoic volunteering my time. We will definitely consider volunteering for the Poppy campaign for years to come.

For anyone who wants to volunteer and get involved with the poppy campaign, get in contact with your local Legion in your area, they are always looking for volunteers to help out. I am so glad that members of both CCB chapters got involved, this is the least we could do for the men and women who fought for our freedom.

An excerpt from a letter from Legion Branch 114

We would like to take this opportunity to invite your members to join The Royal Canadian Legion Lynn Valley Branch 114. In addition to our significant community support role, we are an organization with a long-standing history and national prominence. Canadian citizens and British subjects are eligible for full voting membership. Non-Canadian citizens may apply for non-voting membership status. Membership information or application forms are available at the Branch. Phone 604 987-2050

Get Together With Technology (GTT) Corner

– submitted by Albert Ruel

GTT Program Blog…

GTT is an exciting initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, founded in 2011 by Kim Kilpatrick and Ellen Goodman. GTT aims to help people who are blind or have low vision in their exploration of low vision and blindness related access technology. Through involvement with GTT participants can learn from and discuss assistive technology with others walking the same path of discovery.

GTT is made up of blindness related assistive technology users, and those who have an interest in using assistive technology designed to help blind and vision impaired people level the playing field. GTT groups interact through social media, and periodically meet in-person or by teleconference to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.

If you wish to participate in the CCB’s Get Together with Technology discussions and gatherings, you can do so by participating through the following engagement point.

You can register your email address on the GTTProgram Blog as follows. Registering will have you receiving each blog post in your email inbox without any effort on your part.

1. Point your Web Browser to,

www.GTTProgram.Blog

2. Find the Follow Link near the bottom of the page and press the Enter Key. That will land you in a page containing an Edit Field where you will type in your email address.

3. Tab to the Sign Me Up Button and Press the Space Bar or Enter Key.

4. Launch your Email Program and find an email message from the GTT Program Blog and open it.

5. Scroll through the message to find the Confirm Link and Press the Enter Key.

6. This will take you to the GTT Program Blog and should display a message confirming that you have been successfully registered to receive ongoing Blog Posts.

Congratulations! You’re part of the GTT Team. Welcome aboard.

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

Albert Ruel
1-877-304-0968,550
albert.GTT@CCBNational.net
or
Kim Kilpatrick
1-877-304-0968,513
GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Windows from the Keyboard Tips…

Have you all seen Gerry Chevalier’s tips for Windows keyboard users?
https://gttprogram.blog/category/windows-from-the-keyboard-tips/

Here’s all of the ones posted to date in a list taken from the GTT Program Blog site. I followed the link to a category called, Windows From the Keyboard Tips and this is the complete list it generated. Once you open this page you’ll be able to use Headings navigation to move from one tip to the next. They are all at Level 1 Headings, so pressing the number one on your keyboard will take you to each tip in chronological order from the most recent to the oldest. All posts to the http://www.GTTProgram Blog can land automatically in your inbox if you follow the page. At the bottom of the page you’ll find a Follow Link, click on it and insert your email address, then click the Submit button and you’ll receive an email message asking to confirm the action. Once done you’ll receive all of Gerry’s tips.

Ruff, Ruff Corner

– submitted by Bill Conway

Recently, while advocating for a BC citizen and their Guide Dog, I found out some interesting policy of BC Transit. The person in question, was denied access to a BC Transit bus, for they did not have the BC Certification ID card. The person did have their CNIB ID card and their Guide Dog School picture ID card. The person was informed that BC Transit would not pick them up until they acquire the BC Certification ID card. I spoke to a number of BC Transit representatives and was informed of the following.

…with in BC Transit policy and operators manual, if a person, who boards a BC Transit bus using a Guide Dog or a Service Dog, and without the BC Certification ID Card, the operator can deny the team access to the bus…

I pointed out that on all schools student picture ID card there should be a stamp indicating that the team has gone to a training facility that has been Internationally Certified. The stamps should be either IDGF or ADI. The person in question had an IDGF stamp on their school students picture ID card. After a healthy discussion on this matter, the representative indicated that they will be recommending that they rewrite the policy to exclude these points and insert words to accept the students picture ID card that has the appropriate Internationally Certification stamp on the card.

To me folks, this BC ID card is discriminating and is totally something that is not necessary. The person, in question, did agree to acquire a BC Certification ID Card.


Guide Dogs for the Blind Reunion

– submitted by Iris Thompson

I had the pleasure of attending the 7th Guide Dogs for the Blind Reunion held in Portland Oregon. The event took place over 3 days in October. We stayed at the Marriot, right downtown Portland along the Willamette River. There were over 100 graduates and their guide dogs that attended the reunion. It was a busy few days. Guide Dogs for the Blind had a gift store set up for individuals wanting to pick up a souvenir or two. There were some graduates who have a business selling their items, some of these items included talking battery charger for cell phones or victor streams, lots of dog toys and accessories.

The first evening started off with a wine reception. Graduates got to mingle with each other, have some delicious wine and tasty appetizers.

The following day was busy with workshops and a variety of tours that graduates could choose from. Some of these workshops included a workshop on the Aira app, bird calls, and a workshop on cruising with your guide dogs.

Some of the tours were a food tour, where a guide walked with you through downtown Portland and visited local food establishments, the best part you got to try many different foods. There was a campus tour in Boring Oregon. Boring is about thirty minutes from downtown Portland. The campus is where the training is held for new and returning graduates. There are kennels where the dogs in training are being housed. The vet clinic is also on campus. There was also a brunch cruise along the Willamette River.

There was a banquet on the Saturday. This included a delicious dinner, meeting new and old friends. A documentary called Pick of the Litter that Guide Dogs developed was screened during the banquet. The film was on 4 dogs from the time they were born, in the kennels, the time the dogs spent with their puppy raisers, to their formal guide dog training, then placed with their new partners.

It is always amazing to see all the guide dogs in this environment. With so many dogs, they are all so well behaved, there is of course lots of sniffing on their part. Not only do guide dogs and their handlers show up, but lots of puppy raisers attend too. Some bring their puppies in training, and some meet up with dogs they have trained and get to see their dogs so hard at work.

These reunions are a lot of fun, it is a great experience visiting Portland or San Francisco, which is where Guide Dogs for the Blind has their other campus.

This was the third reunion I have been to. These reunions are held every two years. I hope I get an opportunity to go to the next reunion being held in San Francisco.


CCB BC-Yukon Division Board of Directors

Bio Pat Chicquen, 1st Vice President & National Delegate…

This past April, Pat Chicquen was elected to the position of 1st Vice President and a National Delegate for the CCB BC-Yukon Division. Luckily, past board member and fellow Comox Valley Chapter member Joyce Chevsky persuaded Pat to run on the Division Board six years ago. During this time Pat has served as 2nd Vice President for four years and has served on numerous Division Committees – past chair of the White Cane Week and Book of Honour Committees and currently chairing Membership. Pat looks forward to the challenge of growing the Division membership and knows her success is our success.

Pat is the President and has been the force behind the growth of the CCB Comox Valley Chapter; and she is proud they now have more than 50 members. The Chapter has great volunteers, who help Pat plan exciting activities – like car washes, picnic lunches at the local winery, festive Christmas gatherings, informative White Cane Week events and much more. Pat believes the working relationship she and her Chapter has developed with the CNIB has led to much of the positive happenings in the Comox Valley.

Pat now serves on the Board of Directors for BC Blind Sports. And through this connection Chair Yoga classes are now being offered for the blind and partially sighted in Courtenay/Comox.

Family is important to Pat and hers keeps her busy. Pat has five children and her family continues to grow – now with 18 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Bio Bill Conway, 2nd Vice President & National Delegate…

In April, I was elected as 2nd Vice President and National Delegate for the Provincial Board of Directors of the CCB BC-Yukon Division.

A brief history… My blindness started sixty-one years ago, from a traumatic injury. Since the late seventies, I have learnt how to live independently with no visual acuity. Most of my education took place in Southern Ontario, with additional courses taken in Vancouver.

During the mid-70’s athletics became part of my life. This gave me the opportunity of becoming a team player, confidence in my abilities, & the determination not to quit. When I put on my running shoes, I participated in local, provincial, national & international track events, from the 100 meter dash, to the marathon. When I put on my cross country skis, opportunities opened up for me to participate in events, from provincial, to the 1980 Olympics.

My working years has been always within the disability community. From working in the recreational field, with citizens with visual impairments, to working for those with a variety of disabilities, in the job search market, & by doing so, it gave me a real understanding of all of the barriers we must face on a daily basis.

Learning about barriers became front & centre after I received my first Seeing Eye dog in 1979. Educating the general public on simple guidelines is an ongoing commitment, when using one of these magnificent puppies. My current Seeing eye dog, The Chief, & I visits schools, hospitals,& aged friendly homes to give talks about Guide Dogs, & put smiles on a number of faces.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have involved myself in a number of committees& community affairs…

1995 – 2017; Attended PAWS Bi-annual International Guide & Assistance Dog Conferences

1995 – 2005; board member BC Coalition for People with Disabilities, (BCCPD) – now known as Disability Alliance of BC

2008 – 2018; District of Sechelt Accessibility Advisory committee, (AAC), Chair, past 9 years)

2010 – 2016; District of Sechelt Revitalization Advisory committee, (chair)

2006 – 2011 & 2013 – current; President Sunshine Coast White Cane club

2011 – current; Provincial Director, CCB BC-Yukon Division

2017 – current; Sunshine Coast Lions Club currently sit on board of directors and housing committee

2018 – Received a citation, from Mayor, for the District of Sechelt, for chairing AAC for 10 years, (committee was dissolved after new mayor was elected, in 2018)

2019; Appointed to Lions Cabinet MD19

Other activities…

Have attended CCB National conventions as a delegate for the CCB BC-Yukon Division

– Given presentations at BC Ferry public hearings

– Involved with Transit 25 year Vision workshops

– Involved with the development of low cost housing

– Participate in a number of community events

– Participate in discussions regarding national concerns, Guide & Service Dogs to Barrier Free Canada – C81, and other national concerns

In my spare time, I mentor a number of citizens with disabilities, enjoy good walks, reading great novels, & repair antique caned furniture.

There is no place I will not go when asked, to talk about my experiences dealing with a vision loss and the use of a Seeing Eye Dog.

Your Division Board of Directors Contact Information

Ann McNabb, President – 604-795-7230 – ann4council@telus.net

Gerry Braak, National Representative – 604-485-5028 – gbraak@shaw.ca

Pat Chicquen, 1st Vice President – 250-339-3904 – patchicquen@hotmail.com

Bill Conway, 2nd Vice President – 604-740-5896 – 5122wac@telus.net

Kelvin Adams, Director – 250-895-9835 – kelzar@hotmail.com

Brodie McKenzie, Director – 604-942-4255 – Brodster.m86@gmail.com

Vern Short, Director – 250-376-4493 – vshort59@shaw.ca

Iris Thompson, Director – 604-939-1258 – iris.thompson@shaw.ca


Answer to President Ann’s questions

First: Because it’s remarkable.

Second: Because he was feeling crumby.

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