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News Update

 

Letter to the Editor - “10-Pin Bowling with BMO in Toronto” by Linda (Aspland) Zumm, Port Moody, British Columbia

April 16, 2021

We are pleased to share with you the following letter from Linda Zumm which was in response to our article, “BMO and Curling” and requests for stories about curling or other sports our members have been, or are, involved in.

“In March 1988 International Payments Department Vancouver was closed and I accepted a transfer to Toronto with the same department. As we worked closely with our other counterparts within BMO, I knew some of my colleagues via phone only. When I mentioned I was transferring to Toronto, they were generous with their offers and information regarding my relocation. On my arrival to Toronto, I was placed in a downtown hotel by BMO. The weather was a shock for me as it was freezing cold and snowing, unlike Vancouver that was transitioning into spring. Before I left Vancouver, few of my Toronto counterparts advised me not to bring spring clothes but winter clothing as it was still below freezing in Toronto. I had a ski jacket and some sweaters; in B.C. we mostly need rainwear. I remember I arrived at around 10:00 p.m. at Toronto Pearson Airport and got a cab to the hotel.  After I had been checked in, I was asked if I needed anything and I responded by asking them if they had heat and hot water.

When I arrived at the department which was located in the Toronto Regional Data Centre on Simcoe Street, I was greeted and made welcomed by many of the staff. I was very fortunate as I was offered temporary accommodation by a kind co-worker until I was able to secure my own living arrangements. It was a process settling in, however, things evolved quickly and soon I was very busy with my job and the many activities available within the bank’s social life. Summer is very short in Toronto, so many activities are in the fall, winter and early spring months.

Within a few months I was approached by my colleagues regarding their 10-Pin Bowling Club. The activity took place on Saturday afternoons at Thorncliffe Bowlerama (now closed). I had limited experience bowling but agreed to join the club as my roommate was also involved and bowled. It turned out to be a great way for me to integrate and I wasnt too bad at bowling. The group was mixed and I made friends with colleagues who worked in other departments. Eventually, as I played more my skill improved and I won the title, ‘Bowler of the Season’ with the highest score.

We had lots of fun, winter passed quickly and lots of other social activities came about because of this first encounter with a game I had never played before. Softball, baseball games, barbecues, Dragon Boat Racing, volley ball, etc., filled my spare time.  My social life expanded quickly and the BMO community made my time in Toronto enjoyable and provided good memories and lifelong friends.

(By the way, I still have the same waterproof snow boots and ice spikes I bought while I was in Toronto, which I have only used once in 20 years here in B.C.)”

Linda (Aspland) Zumm, Port Moody, British Columbia

If you have any comments regarding this letter, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you.


 

Letter to the Editor - “A Tribute to Scott Bradbury Hean’s Legacy - March 18, 1948 - November 26, 2019”.

April 13, 2021

We are pleased to share the following letter we received from Joanne Gassman regarding Scott Bradbury Hean.

“Scott Hean was a devoted BMO employee for 17 years. Scott joined BMO Calgary as the Vice President, Oil & Gas, Corporate and Government Banking, in 1982 after working with J. P. Morgan in New York. Originally from the West Coast, he requested a transfer and moved to British Columbia in 1989 as Senior Vice President, CIFS (Corporate and Institutional Financial Services). He retired in 1998 at the age of 50 to pursue his love of entrepreneurship; working with a number of junior mining entities up until his untimely passing from brain cancer at the age of 71.

As time passes us by, many of us ask ourselves, “How have I made a difference? How can I continue to make a difference after I am gone?”  Scott was one of those people who looked at the bigger picture and positive change. Those of us who knew him remember him as a passionate, enthusiastic and generous man, who didn’t just think he followed through with action…he did.

Scott had a deep love for art and community and served as the Board Chair for the Bill Reid Foundation for seven years. Given his passion and belief in supporting young people and bringing people together, his beloved widow Mary, son Rob and family have joined together with the Bill Reid Foundation to recognize and honour Scott and have created a mentorship fund in his name. This fund focuses on the development of mentorship opportunities for Indigenous youth to become emerging artists, curators and cultural workers.

To find out more about Scott Bradbury Hean and his generous work to help make a difference in this world, please look up Scott’s name on the internet where his mentorship fund can be read and reviewed.”

Joanne Gassman, Bowen Island, British Columbia

 

If you have any comments regarding this letter, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you." 

 


 

 
 

"BMO and Curling" - by Joan Mesic, Senior Correspondent

March 28, 2021

We recently published a Letter to the Editor "Memories of BMO's Bonspiel, Kingston, Ontario" dated March 28, 2021 and some of our members have expressed an interest in learning more about BMO's involvement in this sport. You might be surprised to hear that curling became a popular sport in the bank dating back to 1817.  Click to read, "BMO and Curling", which was published on our website, April 4, 2018. 

If you have any comments regarding this story, or stories about curling or any other sports you were involved in, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you. 

“Material and images are the property of BMO Financial Group's Corporate Archives. No part of the material or photographs may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the Corporate Archives."


 

Letter to the Editor - “Memories of BMO’s Bonspiel, Kingston, Ontario” by Tom Dilworth, Milton, Ontario and Ron Stewart, Burlington, Ontario

March 24, 2021

We received a letter from Tom Dilworth with a photo of the “Third Event Winner - BMO Bank of Montreal, Kingston, Bonspiel - 70th Year Milestone - Feb. 6, 2010” trophy that his curling team won 11 years ago. He mentioned that there were two very strong curlers on his team, Ron Stewart and Ron Gates. We decided to contact both of these outstanding teammates to find out what they remembered about the bank’s bonspiel.  Ron Gates left the reminiscing to Ron Stewart and this is what he had to say.


Ron Stewart’s Memories of BMO’s Bonspiel, Kingston, Ontario:

“I first heard of the Bank of Montreal’s Kingston bonspiel in 1967 while working at Head Office Securities Department in Montreal. My fiancée was a student at Queen’s University in Kingston and it so happened at that time the bank’s Montreal curlers were afforded a cheap round-trip train ticket to Kingston. I joined them but didn’t curl. Instead, I had a weekend in Westport Ontario with my future in-laws and my fiancee. The trip was a success from my perspective as I must have passed the initial ‘test’ with my in-laws and received the official nod, as my fiancée and I got married and are still together many years later.

I started curling in the bonspiel events in the early 80s with a number of different curlers from the Hamilton - Burlington area. The weekend of the bank’s bonspiel event, usually started on Friday with lunch at the “Strathcona Hotel” on York Street in downtown Toronto at noon and then all of us flowed over to Union Station at 4:00 p.m. to the reserved BMO car for the trip to Kingston. A convoy of taxis took the group to our hotel where our hosts, Archie Kirkwood and Peter Tate, had set up the hospitality suite. A wonderful two days of curling and networking ensued and we all survived to curl another year.

In 1985 a team was formed at the Burlington Club by members, Paul Patton (Skip), Ron Stewart (Vice), Peter Mackay (Lead and Ringer) Dick Powers (Second). Powers was a ringer from the “Glendale Curling Club” in Hamilton. These reprobates won the A.G.M. (BMO’s Assistant General Manager’s), trophy that year and missed by 1 point in ’86. Curling history was made in ’86 when both the Lead and Second threw their first stones with their chins on the ice!

The trophy that Tom refers to was won many years later with another Burlington Curling Club and BMO pensioners consisting of myself (Skip), Bruce Crampton (Third), Ron Gates (Second), Tom Dilworth (Lead).

All in all, my memories of the bank’s bonspiels were filled with lots of camaraderie, new friendships and some good competition.  Plus, my first trip to Kingston was a big event in my life meeting my in-laws and subsequent marriage.”

Best Regards, Ron

If you have any tales about the sports you were involved in or any other stories, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you. 


 

“My Second Career as a Computer Centre Tour Guide” by Wayne Fowler, Markham, Ontario

March 2, 2021

 

Wayne Fowler, Markham, Ontario has written an interesting and amusing story about some of his career experiences in technology which include how he qualified for the role of Computer Centre Tour Guide. His story has snap shots of his ingenuity, adaptability and is sprinkled with his personal brand of humour.  To read "My Second Career as a Computer Centre Tour Guide", click here.

“If you have any comments regarding this story, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you." 

 

 

 


 

Letter to the Editor - “Elliot Lake Branch, Ontario” by Lloyd Varner, Sackville, New Brunswick

February 27, 2021

 

 

We recently received a letter from Lloyd Varner, Sackville, New Brunswick regarding our story, “Memories and Reflections - My International Posting” by Bruce Sinclair dated February 15, 2021 which we are pleased to share with you.

“I do not know how it happened, but somehow I am in possession of a beer stein inscribed:

      CF-104 CLOSEOUT

      26 FEB - 2 MAR 1986

      CFB BADEN-SOELLINGEN 

Looking at this thirty-five-year-old mug I feel directly connected to Bruce Sinclair’s story, “Memories and Reflections - My International Posting”. He is privileged to have served in one of Bank of Montreal’s branches at Canada’s European NATO bases. His reminiscences are delightful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bruce’s story.

Bruce had a unique and interesting career path and the account of his European posting only scratches the surface. He very casually mentioned his early posting to the newly opened Bank of Montreal branch at Elliot Lake. I can assure you that was a once in a lifetime experience. I was one of a two-person team that inspected our Elliot Lake branch at some time in those early days and I have never seen another bank operation like it. Our Bank of Montreal branch was the only bank in a large remote frontier community which was under construction in the wilderness. Bank of Montreal's building could only be described as a rough construction shack with a makeshift layout. Needless to say, it was extremely busy and the niceties of a normal branch routine did not exist there. It was memorable to me that, at one time or another over the previous year, every member of the staff including the Branch Manager and the stenographer had been assigned cash and had served as a Teller. Things were hectic when it became busy, as it often did, and they did what had to be done. I understand that more than one young banker left the bank’s service rather than stay working at that branch.

The Manager who opened Elliot Lake branch must have been either a glutton for punishment or a daring pioneer. He was also the Manager who opened Bank of Montreal's branch at Frobisher Bay, NWT (Iqaluit, Nunavut). Unfortunately he, like our Iqaluit branch, is no longer with us.”

Lloyd Varner, Sackville, New Brunswick

If you have any comments regarding this letter, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We would also enjoy hearing about other experiences working in unusual or strange places with the Bank of Montreal.” 


 

“Supporting the Bank’s Mainframe Operating Systems – the RDCs” by Alan Grundy, Georgetown, Ontario

February 23, 2021

 

Alan Grundy, Georgetown, Ontario has written an interesting story about the role he had in the Bank of Montreal providing support for the bank's mainframe operating systems in relation to the Regional Data Centres.  The story provides 'behind the scenes' technical insights that many of us never knew was being performed. To read, "Supporting the Bank's Mainframe Operating Systems - the RDCs", click here.

If you have any comments regarding this story, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you." 

 

 


 

“Memories and Reflections - My International Posting” by Bruce Sinclair, St. Catharines, Ontario

February 15, 2021

Bruce Sinclair, St. Catharines, Ontario has written an amazing story about his international assignment with the Bank of Montreal working on a NATO Base. It is a fascinating story filled with lots of history and interesting information. We are very fortunate that Bruce has taken the time to write about his experiences as it is a piece of banking history that is not commonly known to many of us. To read, "Memories and Reflections - My International Posting" click here. To read  Click Here 

 

 


 

 

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 BMO Publications

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BMO Obituaries - Apr., 2020
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BMO Retirements - Apr., 2020 
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April 17, 2021
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April 15, 2021
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April 8, 2021
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February 17, 2021
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We look forward to input, material and photos from our registered members.  Please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at cyberpensioner@gmail.com