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News Update


Letter to the Editor - “Who Invented the Name GENIE?”

January 19, 2021

We recently received a letter from Lloyd Varner, Sackville, New Brunswick about the name GENIE. He sent us a snippet of information about how that particular name was chosen by the Bank of Montreal. You may find it interesting.

“When Bank of Montreal was preparing for the introduction of its first regional computer processing centres in the early 1960s they initiated a bank-wide competition for a name which would reflect its services. Any employee of Bank of Montreal would be eligible to submit proposed names and a cash prize would be awarded for the winning entry. As the campaign neared its close, Dick Filliter, Manager of the bank's Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Branch, made it known to his fellow bankers that after he had made two or three submissions he came up with a great name and had to rush its submission in order to meet the deadline for the campaign. His great idea was chosen as the winner of the contest and that is how Bank of Montreal's GENerating Information Electronically (GENIE) Centres got their name.”

Lloyd Varner, Sackville, New Brunswick

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



"Bank of Montreal’s Data Centres" by Joan Mesic, Senior Correspondent

January 14, 2021

We recently received a request for a story about Bank of Montreal's data centres. So, we contacted BMO Corporate Archives to determine what they could share with us concerning this subject. They were able to provide us with some information such as: a list of the data centres, when they opened, a few photos as well as some information about the type of data processed and the complexity of the machinery. The birth of modern computing technology happened in the 1960s well into the 1970s and onwards. (*The world’s first general microprocessor, the Intel 4004, came out in November 1971.  The C programming language was developed early in the decade and the Unix operating system was rewritten into it in 1973. The 1970s was also the start of the video game era.) However, it was primarily in the 1960s when business began to widely employ this commercial computing technology e.g., the IBM 1401 replaced soon after by System 360. BMO moved into the business computing era in 1963 with the Montreal GENIE Centre. Due to the magnitude and speed of technology changes at this time Corporate Archives had difficulty capturing everything.  Corporate Archives also sent us a copy of the staff magazine, “MECH Concordia On-Line Supplement - 1976” which provides additional context.

To read "Bank of Montreal's Data Centres". Click Here 

We know some our members have worked in BMO’s data centres and are calling on them to send us their memories and/or stories which will provide a personal perspective of the work that was done in these centres. If you have had experience working in one of BMO's data centres, or jobs that were involved or connected to these processing centres, we would like to hear about them.  Please email us at:

(*) = from the internet

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


“Working at Bank of Montreal, Aldwych House, London, UK 1974-1976” by Linda (Aspland) Zumm, Port Moody, British Columbia

December 31, 2020

Linda (Aspland) Zumm, Port Moody, British Columbia, has written a very interesting story about how she got into international banking in the UK.  The story also gives us a glimpse of some of the out-dated practices in the work place during this time. Additionally, it touches on England's history with the IRA.  We know you are going to enjoy Linda's story.  This is Linda's second story she has sent to us.  In 2011, she wrote and submitted, "Best Annual Historic Motor Racing Event at Goodwood Revival 2011, West Sussex, England" which is in our Archives if you would like to read it as well.  Click "Working at Bank of Montreal, Aldwych House, London, UK 1974-1976" to read the story.

If you have any comments regarding this story, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at We look forward to hearing about your BMO memories.


“The When and Why of How I Got Into International Banking” by Robert E. (Bob) Smith, Abbotsford, British Columbia

December 21, 2020

Bob Smith, who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia has written a very amusing story about how he got into international banking. Bob submitted his story in response to our request for members to send us their tales on this topic in the last installment of, "A Journey into Bank of Montreal's International Banking Subsidiaries, Branches and Offices" dated December 1, 2020. At the end of his story, Bob also throws out the challenge to the rest of our members to tell us their BMO memories. We hope to hear from you.To read, "The When and Why of How I Got Into International Banking".Click Here 

If you have any comments regarding this story, please contact the BMO Cyber Pensioners News team at We look forward to hearing about your BMO memories.

1971 Bob as a Young Man


"Stuck in an Elevator" by Sharon Gerger, Waterloo, Ontario

December 14, 2020

Sharon Gerger, Waterloo, has written a story which nobody wants to have happen to themselves. However, despite a very frightening experience, she has used a good dose of humour to tell the tale. There are so many things that affect an individual's psyche and becoming trapped in an elevator is top of the list.  Elevators are not air tight and suffocation in a stuck elevator isn't going to happen. However, the fear of elevators is common. To read "Stuck in an Elevator". Click Here 

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



Letter from the Editor - “Looking Forward” by Dave Harmer

December 10, 2020

To say the least, 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, requiring significant adjustments to almost every facet of our daily lives. But despite that, for the most part many people have demonstrated adaptability and resilience.

I suspect few would have imagined that we would become so expert at baking bread; ordering by phone or through the Internet for home delivery or curb-side pick-up; searching for out-of-stock items or lining up for those routine purchases we normally just slip in a store to buy.

We have learned to read facial expressions behind often colourful home made masks, tried not to be offended when someone gives us a wide berth, displayed patience waiting for supermarket equipment to be sanitized and understood definitions for 'zones, supply chains, lockdown, physically distancing, bubbles and curves'.

There are many familiar things we miss of course and have learned to adjust. But perhaps the most difficult has been giving up being with those people who matter most -  family and friends. Platforms like FaceTime, Zoom and Facebook together with phones and email have helped to close the gap and I suspect have been used to enable even more regular contact than before, but it is not the same.

We hope in some way our offerings on Facebook and website have helped and that members have been able to use our extensive cyber network to stay in touch. We are constantly looking for ways to increase that membership although most pensioner luncheons, which have traditionally been our largest source of new members, were understandably cancelled.

Nonetheless, referrals from friends have thankfully remained constant year over year. We  welcome all those new members, yet remember at the same time all those who have sadly passed away.

As we move towards what we all hope will be a brighter New Year, on behalf of the BMO Cyber Pensioners News Team I would like to wish our readers and their families the best for the upcoming holiday season.

Please stay safe.

Dave Harmer, Editor


BOMPA BC Lower Mainland December 2020 Newsletter

December 2, 2020



The latest BOMPA BC Lower Mainland Newsletter is now available.

Go to the Association Newsletters webpage to read the latest issue. 

Thanks to Ron Gillies for sharing.






“A Journey into Bank of Montreal’s International Banking Subsidiaries, Branches and Offices”
by Joan Mesic, Senior Correspondent

December 1, 2020

1964 - A model posing in front of BMO’s representative office Paris, France.


This is our 5th and last instalment regarding International Banking.  Other articles on this topic have been placed in our 2020 Archives.

Our contacts at BMO Corporate Archives inform us that unfortunately, overseas branches/rep offices’ records did not make it back to BMO’s archives in Canada.  As an example, the London, England office kept their own records and very few of them made their way across the ocean. The London office locations also moved frequently. BMO Corporate Archives provided us with a partial timeline which has been included in the material we are sharing with you. It includes the most basic information they have about international offices, etc. We know there were branches and rep offices in Milan, Italy, Frankfurt, Germany, Brazil, etc., but the archives have skimpy or no material on these locations as well as some of the others listed on the timeline.

As the information provided to us is sparse, we are calling on our members who have had international experience with Bank of Montreal, to send us their stories, anecdotes, letters and photos.  Also members who have had experience working for the bank in Canada or the US who have worked with the bank’s international community may also have some interesting stories to send us. We are sure your submissions will be enjoyable and appreciated by our members as well as BMO Corporate Archives.

To see the archived photos and material which have been provided to us by BMO Corporate Archives, click here. These items may trigger some memories which you might like to share with us.

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



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 BMO Publications

BMO Obituaries - Apr., 2020
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BMO Retirements - Apr., 2020 
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 New Members

January 16, 2021
Anne Dessario of Penticton, BC

January 13, 2021
Gail Guastella of Lasalle, ON
Larry Cashman of Mississauga, ON

January 12, 2021
Margaret Peterson of Chilliwack, BC

January 11, 2021
Robert Kiefer of Goodwood, ON
Eleanor Neumann of Winnipeg, MN

January 10, 2021
George Leung of Toronto, ON

January 7, 2021
David Young of Aurora, ON

January 5, 2020
Karen Diemert Kennedy of Stoney Creek, ON
Sandra Sorrenti of Nepean, ON
Nicandor Valdez of Markham, ON
Carol Ropp of Waterloo, ON
Sharon Grant of North Vancouver, BC

January 2, 2021
Steven Knaack of Collingwood, ON

December 29, 2020
Kathy Stapleton of St. Catherines, ON

December 24, 2020
Eva Kujawa of West Moors, Dor, UK
Joanne Pink of Guelph, ON

December 23, 2020
Robert Bell of Oakville, ON

December 22, 2020
Peggy Floreani of Grande Prairie, AB

December 19, 2020
Ursula Syal of Courtice, ON

December 16, 2020
Karin Seth of Coboconk, ON
Donna Nantais of Hamilton, ON

December 15, 2020
Michael Dunbar of Elmira, ON
Connie Casciato of Queensville, ON

December 12, 2020
Viviana Johnson of Coquitlam, BC

December 11, 2020
Francine Amyot of Gatineau, QC
Pauline Webb of Ajax, ON
Debbie Monopoli of Ajax, ON

December 10, 2020
Antony Roussos of Montreal, QC
Jocelyn Veronneau of Ste-Julie, QC

December 9, 2020
Gail Head of Mount Albert, ON

December 8, 2020
Julien St-Jean of St-Charles Borromee, QC
Linda Aspland-Zumm of Port Moody, BC
Julia Schmidt of London, ON

December 7, 2020
Bill Haldane of Owen Sound, ON

December 5, 2020
Deborah C Erwin of Mississauga, ON

December 3, 2020
Chuck Burega of York, ON

December 1, 2020
Robert E. (Bob) Smith of Abbotsford, BC

November 25, 2020
Trish Flaherty of Toronto, ON

November 23, 2020
John Fallon of Edmonton, AB
Doris Card of Kelowna, BC
Lynn Slade of London, ON
Nicole Tanguay of Laval, QC
Alex Wong of Msrkham, ON

November 22, 2020
Sharon Gerger of Waterloo, ON
Laurie Moore of Newmarket, ON

November 21, 2020
Scott Elliott of South Bruce Peninsula, ON
Rhonda Bennitt of Dundas, ON

November 18, 2020
Al Howling of Trenton, ON
Chris Whittaker of Ajax, ON
Leslie Chambers of Toronto, ON

November 17, 2020
Mike Carlin of Calgary, AB
Esther Rahmel of Stoney Creek, ON
Lynn Skillings of Port Colborne, ON

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