London-Middlesex Branch News

As Canada celebrates its 150th year, London-Middlesex is excited to share programs and a wide variety of activities.

We welcome new members to our Branch of over 200 Retired Women Teachers from the London-Middlesex Public, Catholic, and Private School Boards including the elementary, secondary and college/university panels.  We offer six major events and a wide variety of Interest Groups and Friendship Activities which are active throughout the year.

Please check out our action packed Program for 2017-2018 and Welcome Brochure for New Members.

Our “Chalk Talk” Newsletter and other information are listed on the site under the Newsletters tab.

Most importantly, we have FUN!  Jump in, join in, and become part of our friendly Branch.

For further information, we welcome you to contact:

President: Nancy Bell

Membership:  Karen Tierney

President’s Message

150+ Acts of Kindness”


The regenerative feeling of a summer break rejuvenate the energies for a new season filled with fun and new friendships. I hope that you have enjoyed opportunities to create memories with family and friends, relax with a good book, travel, or take in some local activities.

Our theme this year is “150+ Acts of Kindness” in recognition of the dedicated ways our members volunteer their time and talents in this community.  We’d love you to share your “Acts of Kindness” which you’ve either be given or received, throughout Canada’s sesquicentennial year. You are welcome to remain anonymous as we record these special deeds.

Your warmth and enthusiasm have inspired new members to join the Branch and enjoy our beautiful venue, delicious luncheon menus and interesting programs.  We welcome your friends who are potential new London-Middlesex members to the “Each One, Reach One” promotion in the fall. As a result of your welcoming spirit, the London-Middlesex Branch won the “Provincial Barbara Bain Membership Award” for the greatest increase in members across the province at this year’s convention!  Congratulations everyone!

With excitement, we’ve been offered an opportunity to receive discounts from the Columbia Sportswear Employee Discount Store this year. Enclosed is the first invitation for your use.  Please remember to bring photo ID, your RWTO membership card and the invitation letter. Four guests may accompany you.

A variety of Friendship Activities have been planned so please mark your calendars and join in the camaraderie.

Looking forward to a wonderful year with RWTO.




Who To Contact?

Karen Tierney
Membership Chair

We are always happy to talk with retired teachers from all aspects of the teaching profession, elementary, secondary, college, private schools..

Click on the image to the right for the Program Brochure


“Keeping in Touch”
A group of active members who visit from time to time, those members who are ill or confined to home or are living in a Retirement/Long Term Care Residence and are unable to attend meetings. These visiting volunteers bring greetings, little gifts and a time of conversation to over a dozen of our members.


This is a very popular group within the whole membership. The aim is to bring members together and do fun and friendly things such as theatre outings, monthly breakfasts, road trips, car rallying, crafts.


Members who love to sing and enjoy making music together meet for eight weeks in the Fall and again in the Spring to prepare a musical selection to present to the membership at the Christmas luncheon in late November and the May Annual banquet. They are directed by two leaders Johanna Hurd and Gillian Laidlaw.

Book Clubs

Two separate small groups meet monthly after reading a mutually chosen selection from current best sellers to chat and discuss the selection. New members are welcomed.

 Book Sale

At each regular luncheon meeting members pre-owned books are contributed to the Book Sale table to be circulated to new owners. This is a very popular fund-raiser which sponsors Branch delegates attending the annual RWTO Convention.

Table Decorations

A group prepares centre-pieces for each luncheon table at our six Luncheon Meetings. They are  effective in providing the theme of the month and draw the admiration of attending members.

We Are Growing!

Our membership continues to grow by a healthy percentage each year for the last few years thanks to the support of our members who respond so well to our call for Each One, Reach One! Members bring prospective new members from their retired teacher contacts in the community.

As well, our networks and community contacts remain strong and numerous. The large majority of our membership are active within London-Middlesex in a wide variety of volunteer activities and services. From new speakers to additional fund-raisers, we continue to be a positive force for caring and sharing.

We are proud of our efforts, the enthusiasm and genuine warmth of our growing membership and the contributions we are making in our area.

Here’s to RWTO/OERO across this province!!



Kathleen Cart turned 100 years old on May 26, 2015. Our London-Middlesex RWTO Branch travelled to the Meadowview Villa in Petrolia, ON to celebrate with her. Pictured with Kathleen is her niece, Pat Coke and our members, Connie Cameron, Jane Williams and Nancy Bell.

The London-Middlesex RWTO Branch welcomed our Provincial President, Marilyn Emmett on April 23, 2015. Marilyn brought greetings from the Provincial and explained that she has just received her 5,000th e-mail for the year! We were delighted to have her with us for our last regular luncheon of the 2014-2015 year.

London Middlesex RWTO was graced with the presence of our Provincial President, Anne Graham, at our luncheon on March 27, 2014. Standing with Anne is our Secretary, Nancy Bell, Honorary President, Mara Hitchins and our First Vice-President, Jane Williams.

London-Middlesex RWTO Reaches Out Into Our Community

One of our wonderful RWTO members, Barbara McGregor, donates her time to sharing with others during a monthly community breakfast at St. Alban The Martyr Church in London. Ontario. Here she is pictured with some of the books culled by Karen Tierney and Juanita Johnsson that were donated by our RWTO members to help those in need of some reading materials over the Easter weekend.

The London Middlesex Friendship Group, Elizabeth Van Dongen, Evelyn Holmes, Kaye Harries and Karen Tierney are having loads of fun golfing with the alligator on March 20, 2014

This is Jane Williams, First Vice President of London-Middlesex RWTO masquerading in her costume as she led the Hallow’een – Hoot, Holler and Howl luncheon on October 24th, 2013. Jane and her committee organized games such as Hallowe’en Bingo, Quarter Frenzy, Taste the Witch’s Brew, Hallowe’en Poetry Writing, Bucket Toss, Ring Toss, Bowling, a Candy Guess and a creative pumpkin contest. We had a wonderful time!

Two valuable members of our London-Middlesex executive, Sue Scruton and Helen Munce, joined in all the fun!

Margaret Williamson of London-Middlesex RWTO helped Santa bring gifts to members at the November 28th luncheon.

Bernarda Norwood and Marilyn Gibson at our London-Middlesex RWTO Christmas Friendship luncheon on December 5, 2013 at Westhaven Golf Course.

April-McCarthy-Braca and Linda Smith share caring and sharing at our Friendship group Christmas luncheon on December 5. 2013 at Westhaven Golf Course.

New members joining London-Middlesex RWTO in November are: Julia Sofalvi, Gloria Granger, Celia Nicols, Julia McNaughton and Sonia Loblaw.

Nancy Bell, Jean Marshall, Joanne Watson and Cathy Harrison

Our Keeping In Touch group of the RWTO London-Middlesex visited Jean Marshall on June 16, 2013 to celebrate her one hundredth birthday. Jean was presented with a beautiful vase of flowers, a special picture frame with a teacher theme and some unique 100th birthday cards.

Current Newsletter

Archived Newsletters


Cora Bailey Awards

Nancy Bell presented Jane Williams with the prestigious  Cora Bailey Award for 2016-2017.  She was a commentator for the Fashion Show in 2016,  as well as her dedication on our Executive as our First Vice and then President.  Jane has been an outstanding volunteer in her church as a leader and mentor.  Congratulations Jane!

Branch Newsletter Editor Juanita L. Johnsson, pictured receiving the prestigious Cora Bailey Award on September 24, 2015 at the London-Middlesex RWTO/OERO luncheon held at the glorious new site at the Riverbend Golf Community dining room.

Area 3 Director Val Luscott congratulates Juanita. Pat Savage read Juanita’s story of being a pioneer, journalist and teacher. Among Juanita’s contributions to her Branch include editing Chalk Talk, creating and printing the yearly program, serving as one of the provincial editors of the RWTO/OERO Connections, maintaining the Branch online website, co-handling the used Book Sale at monthly meetings and working on the steering committee for the 60th Anniversary celebrations.

Juanita commented that winning the beloved Cora Bailey Award is a result of a group of people working and supporting each other and recognizing each other’s strengths in a caring way. Juanita thanked her executive and her members for their support and co-operation in meeting publishing deadlines and especially for their friendship.

Barbara Bain Membership Award

At  the Convention in Stratford, The Barbara Bain Membership Award was presented to  the London-Middlesex RWTO Branch for having the largest membership increase for  a large Branch in 2014- 2015. This award is very special to us since our own  Barbara Bain is our beloved, very active member of our London Branch.

London-Middlesex RWTO Award

Jane Williams accepting the Feather in Your Hat Award for London-Middlesex

At the 2015 Convention in Stratford, London-Middlesex RWTO won the Feather In Your Hat Award for recognizing creative innovation and successful activities carried out by a branch that clearly enriches the programs offered. We have a wonderful Keeping In Touch program, chaired by Nancy Bell that is a group of caring members who volunteer to visit RWTO members who are unable to attend our monthly luncheon meetings. Members are eager to catch up on the friends and programs within RWTO and are truly appreciative that they are remembered. A small gift and RWTO card are left to enjoy later and to inform family members that their loved ones have been visited.

Shining Star Award 2015

Karen Tierney, Irene Gauvin and Mary Vernon are our RWTO London-Middlesex Shining Star Award winners for 2015.

This award was initiated by Patricia Savage to honour local members for excellent contributions in upholding the goals of Caring and Sharing and making a difference in the lives of our members.

Karen, Irene and Mary are wonderful examples who have made a long-term commitment to our association and have helped in many ways to create a successful and thriving group. They are also outstanding candidates in the field of volunteerism in their communities.

Shining Star Award 2014

Doris Rowbotham and Marilyn Chamberlain were the two well-deserved recipients of our Shining Star Award for 2014. This award honours members who have made a long-term commitment to our association and who have worked hard in our group and in our community to uphold the goals of Caring and Sharing.

A great majority of our members are active in the London-Middlesex Community through their church or other agencies and organizations. From May Court Club, Sororities, Meals on Wheels, Cancer Clinic, Lioness, to Optimist Club, Grandmothers for Grandmothers Campaign… the list is long and varied… hundreds of hours each year are spent helping and serving others.

As well, we have our own special Projects that we support through fund-raising among our membership. Each month we meet is a different charity!

Our Charities

  • September – A Book for Every Child
  • October – Women’s Rural Resource Centre
  • November – My Sisters’ Place
  • December – Salvation Army Christmas Program
  • March – London / Ailsa Craig Food Banks
  • April – Kiwanis Music Festival

In June 2015, the RWTO London-Middlesex Branch donated funds to the Ailsa Craig and area Food Bank to purchase backpacks and supplies for children in need from the north Middlesex Region. Rev. Mark Isaac accepted with much appreciation the gift from our President, Jane Williams (left) and our Treasurer, Mary Maxwell (right).