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Vancouver Island Chapter Organized

In April of this year we received a call from Sandi Dewdney, President of the Vancouver Island Dog Guide Society. She asked if President Gabias could come to speak to her group's annual general meeting in June. She said she was interested in the work of the National Association of Guide Dog Users (a Division of the NFB in the US of which Paul Gabias is the president). She was most interested in learning more about the NFB:AE.

That phone call began a series of events which led to the establishment of the Vancouver Island Chapter of the NFB:AE. When Sandi Dewdney decides to work on a project she devotes her considerable talents to it. Within a month she had made all the arrangements for thirty-three people from Vancouver Island to attend the NFB Convention in New Orleans.

President Gabias traveled to Victoria in May and again in June and by the time he returned home after the June meeting the Chapter had been established with a membership of twenty people. The group decided to elect provisional officers until a regular chapter meeting in October. Its president is Sandi Dewdney, First Vice President Marie Pearson, Second Vice President Dorothy Servos, secretary is Tiffany Carrier, and treasurer Oriano Belusic. The chapter has plans to bring "Newsline" for the Blind to Victoria and to work with parents of blind children to advocate for improved services throughout British Columbia. Because Victoria is the provincial capital, the chapter also hopes to do a good deal of public awareness work among elected and non-elected government officials. With its dynamic leadership and enthusiastic members, we can expect to hear great things from the Vancouver Island Chapter of the NFB:AE.