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York University Co-operative Management Masters Alumnus Reunion - Reconnect

24 Jun 2016 3:57 PM | Terry MacDonald (Administrator)

A 35 YEARS Plus RE-UNION and RE-CONNECT EVENT OF York University (Faculty of Environmental Studies) - Co-operative Management  Students and Friends from 1979 thru 1987 was held on Sunday June 12, 2016    5:00 pm – 8:00 pm CST at the Twisted Vine Restaurant, Regina, SK Canada and live on the internet via Skype.

York Re-Union Re-connect FES Co-op Alumni June 12 2016 Password Protected.pdf

Master of the Environment (ME): The Honorable William Dinu, MES


Attendees included:

Brain Smith and guest, Bill Dinu and guest, Jo-Anne Ferguson and guest, Sandi Bergen, Duane Bristow, and Terry MacDonald and guest.  Anita McBride, Murray Gardiner and Jack Craig joined in via Skype.


Written updates and greetings were also received from:

Fred Clark, Fred Carden, Sherill Carden, Simon Owens, Bob Luker, Janice Cannon (Shahsavar), Suleman Chambo, Bonnie Rose, John Jordan, and Glen Taylor


The evening began with an informal reception complete with finger food and refreshments, followed by a delicious meal.   This was a chance for those present to renew old friendships and rekindle past memories.


We also spent time toasting Fred Carden on his birthday today, and even managed a Happy Birthday chorus for Murray Gardiner whilst he was connected online from the Toronto area.  At the same time, we were also able to link in Anita McBride, and a little later on with Jack Craig via Skype.


Just prior to the meal we remembered with a moment of silence those faculty friends and alumnus who had passed and were no longer with us. They included:

Ramadhan Megjhi, Moshi, Tanznaia 

Dick Hatlelid, Kelowna, BC

Al MacIntosh, Ottawa, ON

Prof. Michel Chevalier, Montreal, QC and

Stephan Haley, Atlantic Canada


As we began our meal, the ME asked the question as to how our experiences at York FES had influenced our lives. There were many different responses. While some had moved into related fields of study and work, everyone agreed that being in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and the Co-operative Module had significantly affected each of our lives in important ways. It also had long term impacts on our respective organizations and across the Canadian and African co-operative movements. Incidentally this theme pervades many of the updates we have received from many of our alumnus.


During dinner, after a glass of wine or two our round table touched discussion touched on our personal lives, but then turned to a group discussion of global economic issues, the state of the US political systems & democracy, radicalism and terrorism, the life-long pleasure of learning, and the applicability of systems thinking to understanding conditions today, to name but a few.  Given our co-operative backgrounds and our interests we also discussed the importance and the value of co-operatives in the world today.  The question was asked (but perhaps not fully answered) – “What, if anything, might be done to help change the fact that an ever smaller percentage of the world’s population is controlling more and more of the world's wealth?”  We also talked about the social economy and changing attitudes especially on the part of those in younger than ourselves.


As we were wrapping up, the concept of a one world credit union was tossed around. Please see the link to an interesting video by one of our alumni, Murray Gardiner, explaining the concept.


The idea of meeting again in the not too distant future was posited to the group.  Perhaps annually.  Some members of the group agreed that they would like to stay in connect with other group members.  I agreed and indicated we could use our co-operative’s (Global Co-operative Development Group Inc.) website blog

( as one way of doing so. The idea of meeting again in a year (instead of every 10 - 15 years) to carry on around some of the same topics received some interest.  I’ve included everyone’s email address in the personal updates provided, in case you wish to contact particular persons directly.   There even seemed to be interest in holding a gathering in Mexico this coming winter!


Anyway after a couple of glasses of red wine... it turned out to be quite a 'hoot' as one might alumni and friend I know used to say! 


Our gathering ended around 8:00 pm with best wishes shared by everyone, and a promise on my part to send final complete set of materials to everyone.  This is being done via private email to all participants.  An open “York University Co-operative Alumnus Discussion” thread has also been included within our website blog so that folks who may wish to can add further comments or discussion.   


My sincere thanks to everyone for contributing and for making the event the success that it was.


Terry MacDonald, MES


(c) 2023 Global Co-operative Development Network

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