Tale End: ARA 2019 fond farewells

May 28, 2019

The 102nd Annual Representative Assembly took place in Edmonton over the May long weekend. As well as dealing with ATA business such as the budget and policy, delegates experienced many amusing and poignant moments.

Fond farewells

ARA delegates paid tribute to former district representative Heide Doppmieier, who died earlier this year.

Also honoured with a standing ovation was Jere Geiger, a retiring district representative who is the longest serving PEC member in ATA history (22 years).

Also attending their last ARAs as PEC members were Mark Ramsankar,
Markiana Cyncar-Hruschuk and
Elaine Willette-Larsen.

Fellow PEC member Paul Froese hugs Jere Geiger during the standing ovation.   

A gavel for Greg

In accordance with a longstanding ATA tradition, past president Mark ­Ramsankar presented outgoing president Greg Jeffery with a gavel as a symbol of Jeffery’s leadership. Ramsankar used two words to encapsulate Jeffery’s leadership style: wisdom and patience.

Ramsankar also pointed out that Jeffery is currently the second longest serving member of Provincial Executive Council.

“It’s nice to have your obituary read in front of your peers while you’re still here,” he quipped to Jeffery.

Overheard at ARA

“At least the assembly is not interfering with the watching of the two Alberta NHL teams in the playoffs. Old habits do die hard; however, as you note that we still do not seat Calgary City and Edmonton McMurray delegations in adjoining sections.”
— ATA president Greg Jeffery


“In my work life, I’ve specialized in dealing with behaviour problems, which I think will come in quite handy in my new political life.”
— Education Minister Adriana LaGrange


“As we all know, the greatest formula for success would be turning simple base metals into gold. So my question is: of the over 100 employees at ATRF, how many are alchemists?”
— Scott Onuczko, Parkland Local No. 10

Much ado about socks

In recent years, Timberline Local No. 9 delegate Mike Wheeler has run a Twitter-based competition centred around the hashtag #fashionARA. This year the competition was for “Sock Champion.”

A series of elimination rounds produced four ­finalists and an eventual winner: “Quarter Pounder.” The ­winning delegate left before claiming his prize or even giving his name (his Twitter handle is @cleveterinarian). 

ATA staff officer Dave Matson (left), runner-up in the Sock Champion competition, accepts his prize from organizer Mike Wheeler.

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