Our History

CARTA is proud of its history!

In 1971, seventeen retired teachers met to discuss forming a branch in Red Deer and its surrounding area. The teachers included Norman Bowles, Miss Janet Cook, Don Carlson, Mrs. B. Amy, Mrs. Lyla Bennett, Mrs. Leona Bent, Mrs. B. Glass, Mrs. E. Metz, Mrs. E. Whitney, C.B. Moore, Stan Mallett, Mrs. Marie Mallett, Mrs. Dorothy Read, and Mrs. Sterling. Daisy Garrod and Miss Ada Lent, from Edmonton, provided the essential information for setting up a branch. Retirees were from as far north as Ponoka, south to Bowden, west to Rocky Mountain House, and east to Stettler. The objectives were to improve and protect the welfare of retired teachers, to provide a stronger and more influential voice for retired teachers, and to promote fellowship for retired teachers.

A holding committee was drafted. Their first executive was President Don Carlson, Vice President Mrs. Stirling, Secretary Mrs. Dorothy Read, and Treasurer Mrs. B. Amy. The yearly fee was one dollar.

Dorothy Read became the President of ARTA in 1975, and by 1979 membership in CARTA increased to 91.

In 1984, Mary Morrison and Dorothy Bishop gathered with nine other teachers to celebrate their retirement. Thus began an annual event, To Hell with the Bell. A brunch is held each year to recognize retired teachers and to welcome them into the organization. 2012 marked the 28th brunch; 100 members celebrated with new retirees. The idea has spread to other branches and even beyond Alberta.

In 1985, CARTA joined the Alberta Council on Aging and played an active role.

Gerry Beauchamp, president of CARTA in 1985, became the President of ARTA and Ray Heard was the Secretary Treasurer. Very active members of CARTA at this time included Gerry and Terry Beauchamp, Bern Roe, Mary Lovejoy, and Nap Wyshynski.

In 1994, Ron Hitchings, Nick Miaszga, Gil Graboski and Gordon Girvan started a Men’s Golf Group with four players; the annual event now has 60 to 70 men. The group contributes to Prostate Cancer Research. In 2000, Arlene Girvan, Virginia Arnold, and Maureen Yamagishi started a Ladies Golf Group with 15 ladies; they now have about 36 golfers.

In 1995, ARTA launched the Health Benefits Plan and membership in CARTA increased to about 130.

In 2000, a new CARTA pin was introduced with a blue bell to signify To Hell with the Bell. By that time membership in CARTA increased to 242.

From 2002 to 2005, Edwin Olsen was President of CARTA and Secretary of ARTA. Ed has many memories of seven years as CARTA President.

In 2010, Irene Harrington, who had been an active CARTA member, celebrated her 100th birthday. Her centennial was honored at the Christmas dinner.

In 2011, thanks to the efforts of Margaret and Jack Roome, CARTA held the first Art Show and Sale.

In 2011, the first brochure was published to highlight the activities of CARTA and ARTA. The brochure is beneficial at conventions and at information sessions for teachers considering retirement.

CARTA celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012. Display boards illustrated CARTA’s progress over the years.

Membership has continued to grow, and today there are roughly 300 members. Newsletters keep members apprised of relevant information on CARTA, ARTA, and seniors. Information is available at functions such as Council on Aging, speakers from ARTA, travel organizations, seniors’ safety issues, wellness, and Continuing Education through Red Deer College. CARTA has talented members and guests who provide musical entertainment. CARTA provides many opportunities for fellowship. Volunteerism through CARTA is appreciated by several groups throughout Central Alberta.

CARTA is proud of 40 years as a branch of ARTA — and looking forward to planning for its 50th!