The Greater Bridgeport Retired Teachers Association (GBRTA) recently held their annual memorial service to honor those members who passed away since last May. The event was held on May 9, at Testo’s Restaurant in Bridgeport.
Those honored were Rita Hibyan, Veronica Litrop, Cynthia Morton, Alice B. Nealon and Ralph Veneruso (all of whom taught in Bridgeport); Lorraine Brodsky and Ina Kolaric (Fairfield); Helen Breck and Kenneth Moulden (Milford); Jeanne Baklik (Shelton), Anita Henschel and Mary Rose Patton (Stratford); and Malfada "Mickey” Gigliotti and Ralph Money (Trumbull).
The service included a welcome by GBRTA chaplain Lucille Baver and scripture readings by member Stephanie Fians and GBRTA president Robert Pitzschler.
The opening prayer and message “To Serve with Love” was delivered by retired teacher Rev. Edward J. McAuley, pastor of St. Bridget’s of Ireland Church in Stamford. McAuley worked for 32 years as a Trumbull High School social studies teacher before his years of seminary training.
McAuley said, “I’m still teaching … just in different ways. I serve as a wounded healer with countless learning opportunities.” He concluded with the words, “What a blessing to be lifetime learners,” the poem, The Dash, by Linda Ellis, and the observation, “What matters most is how we spend our dash.”
A ceremony of lighting a candle and ringing a bell after the name of each deceased person was read memorialized those teachers who had served.
The May business meeting and luncheon followed the memorial service. GBRTA gatherings resume in the fall.