Cambridge Branch

Our meeting location is the Galt Country Club, 750 Coronation Blvd., Cambridge

Executive 2020-2021

PresidentMary Jane Novak519-622-0415
Past PresidentTerry Hamilton 519-622-2298
1st Vice-PresidentVacant
Secretary/ArchivistPat Taylor 519-623-5854
TreasurerAnita Mullin519-622-9231
InsuranceSheila Wittie 519-745-1884


Lunch Co-ordinatorCheryl Oliva519-623-1536
Goodwill ConvenorMary Latham 519-653-3097

Cambridge Branch, RWTO/OERO is a group of almost 100 retired teachers who meet four times a year for a luncheon, a speaker and short business meeting. Our average attendance is 50-60. We have three life members.

2020-21 meetings are tentative. We did not have a September meeting. We hope to have our November 17 meeting as well as April 20, 2021; however that will depend on the pandemic regulations.

In addition to meeting as a group we have two book clubs, a hiking group and a genealogy club which have continued to meet on a regular basis since stage 2 of the pandemic.

Members are contacted primarily through email; however those without email are called and receive the newsletter by mail.

Please click on the other tabs to find out more about our branch.

Cambridge Executive

Cambridge Callers


PresidentMary Jane Novak
Past PresidentTerry Hamilton 519 622 2298
1st Vice -President
Secretary/ArchivistPat Taylor 519-623-5854
TreasurerAnita Mullin


Lunch Co-ordinatorCheryl Oliva 519 623
GoodwillMary Latham519-653-3097
Insurance ConvenorMarg G.519-623-1425
Genealogy ClubSheila Wittie 519-745-1884

Interest Groups:

Genealogy Club:
Catharine M.  519 716 7605

Book Club 1:
Anne – 519-624-8261

Book Club 2:
Barbara – 519-653-7393 –

Hiking Club:
Mary Jane – 519-622-0415 –


Cambridge Branch, the first 25 years

Cambridge Branch Events 2020-2021

Events are tentative, depending on the pandemic:

Meetings are from 11:30-2:30

September 15, 2020 Meeting Cancelled

November 17, 2020, Luncheon,  Silent Auction in support of our charities

February 16, 2020, Meeting Cancelled

April 20, 2020, Luncheon, Speaker Dr. Sharon Livingstone, gerontologist


Preston Room, Galt Country Club, 750  Coronation Blvd. , Cambridge (Galt) which is beside Cambridge Memorial Hospital

The venue is totally accessible, with an elevator from the foyer to the second level meeting room. There is amble parking adjacent to the Country Club.

Gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian and vegan meals are available if requested ahead of time. Meals are $30, and are paid to our luncheon co-ordinator, Cheryl Oliva at the luncheon.

Cambridge Branch Luncheons 2018-19

September 18, 2018 – speaker- Joyce Palubiski – RTO Foundation

November 20, 2018 – Silent Auction and carol sing led by Dianne Winkler

Dec.1, 2018 – Annual walk in support of Bridges Homeless Shelter

February 19, 2019 – speaker – Jaime Griffith – Librarian at Idea Exchange

  • Sale of products from Ancora House (jams, tarts, meat pies)

April 16, 2019 –  speaker – Waterloo Regional Police – Fraud with Seniors

June 11 , 2019 – Garden Party, Social Victoria Park or Riverside park in Cambridge

September 17, 2019  TBA

November 19, 2019  TBA


Ongoing Events:

Hiking Club, every Thursday, 9:00-10:30 followed by coffee, goes all year round

Genealogy Club: first Friday of every month, 10:00-12:00

Guest Speakers for 2017-2018

February 20, 2018

Speaker –Terry Kennedy RWTO Provincial Insurance Broker

April 17, 2018

Speaker –Edith George – Environmentalist

June 12, 2018

– Garden Party, Social

September 19, 2017

-Waterloo-Wellington flag waivers

November 21, 2017

-Silent Auction and carol sing led by Dianne Winkler


Speakers At 2016-2017 Events

September 20, 2016
Eric Hageman – Next Level Performance Training –
Fitness and Strength for Seniors

November 15, 2016
Silent Auction
Chris Hamilton – Financial Horizons
Estate Planning and How to Invest for Your Grandchildren’s Education

February 21, 2017 (tentative)
Janet Howitt – Syrian Refugees in the K/W/Cambridge area

April 18, 2017
Elaine Charal – Understanding the Significance of Handwriting

Cambridge Branch Membership Information

If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Mary Jane Novak, President    Many of us worked for the Waterloo Regional District School Board; however we welcome retired teachers from any board. Some of our members live in Ayr, Brantford, Paris, Waterford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Goderich as well as the surrounding townships.

We meet at the Galt Country Club, 750 Coronation Blvd., which is next to Cambridge Hospital.

In pre-pandemic times our meetings are the third Tuesday of the month in September, November, February and April. We meet from 11:30-2:30, with a business meeting followed by a luncheon and entertainment of some sort.

If you are interested in the RWTO insurance plan, please contact:

Sheila Wittie 

519 745 1884


Barbara Bain Award

Cambridge Branch was honoured to receive a Barbara Bain of award of $200 for increasing our overall membership by six in 2019-2020. We welcomed twelve new members, some of whom were inducted at our November meeting. Most of our new members had a personal contact with an existing member, either a former colleague, or a community connection.

This provincial award was named in honour of our long-time member, Barbara Bain, who served on the Provincial Board of Directors for 11 years. Barbara served as an Area Director, Assistant Insurance Convenor, Insurance Convenor, 2nd and 1st Vice-President, President, Past President and Honorary President. Barbara was also the first Membership Convenor for RTWO/OERO. Barbara continues to be an active member in the London-Middlesex Branch.

Since its inception in 2006-2007, the provincial Barbara Bain Award has traditionally been given to the three branches, one in each tier, with the largest percentage increase in the number of regular paid-up members. In 2015, the formula was changed: the actual increase is now calculated on how many new members join, less the number of existing members who did not renew during the April 1 to March 31 period. Awards of $300, $200 and $100 will be given in each tier, based on actual increase in membership. So now instead of 3 awards of $200 being awarded, we have 9 provincial awards, 3 for each tier, totaling $1800.

Cora Bailey Awards




Cora Bailey Awards  presented at the Garden Party,

June 2018 to Mary Jane N., Barb W., Sheila W., Pat T., Helen D., Sue M., Mary L.



Terry Hamilton


Barbara Welfred

Pat Taylor

Helen Darby





Our charities are supported in a variety of ways. We collect items such as toiletries, coffee/tea, Winter hats/mitts/scarves, socks or cleaning supplies at our meetings. The proceeds from our annual Silent Auction are distributed to our charities. This past year Haven House which is a safe house for women experiencing abuse, and Ancora House which is a sober living home for women who are transitioning into recovery-based independent lifestyles received $700 each.

The women of Ancora House also brought some food products from their social enterprise program which they sold at our February meeting. The residents make and sell homemade beef and turkey pies, butter tarts and jam. The program provides opportunities for the women to raise money for resources needed at the houses and gain skills related to running a business and financial management while teaching life skills. Their products may be ordered online throughout the year and are also sold outside of Wesley Church at the Cambridge Farmers’ Market.

Haven House is a 40-bed crisis shelter which provides support groups, and community referrals, for women and their children in abusive relationships. Their new facility opened on Acorn Way in 2016. This year Cambridge Branch RWTO are collecting children’s books as a memorial to our late President, Dianne Winkler for the library at Haven House.

Bridges Homeless Shelter    includes

Ancora House (for women)  and Saginaw House (for men) which are Sober Living Homes

Haven House    Women’s Crisis Shelter

Our charities are supported through donations of “most needed” items at the luncheons, the annual Silent Auction in November, sponsoring walkers in the annual Bridges Walk in December and by purchasing the food items produced by Ancora and Saginaw Houses.

Ancora House Jam Sales

Bridges Walk Lunch 2017

Fundraising Prize won by RWTO Team

Dianne Winkler

 Cambridge Branch President 2019-2020
February 16, 1945 – August 7, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dianne Winkler (nee Bower) after a courageous battle with cancer. Predeceased by her parents Christopher Bower and Clara Bending and sister Nancy as an infant.

Beloved wife of 54 years to Werner and loving mother to Michael and Stephen (Krista). Cherished sister to Susan Sippel (Will) and Gary Bower (Linda). Loving aunt to Laura (Robert), Julia, Kim, Jamie and Christine. Amazing ‘Ome’ to Jonah, Darcy, Lucas, Logan and Carly.

Dianne was a respected and loved kindergarten and music teacher at schools in London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. Throughout her career she touched the lives of many students by marrying learning and music, creating a welcoming, fun and memorable classroom. Her students to this day fondly remember the impact Mrs. Winkler had on their lives. She retired from teaching in 1998 however remained dedicated to the teaching community and subsequently served as President of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario (RWTO) organization for many years. She was an active member of the Preston Mennonite Church community and was awarded the prestigious YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2007.

Her love for music carried throughout her life as she served as a past President and respected member of the Addison Women’s Choir and a member of the Community Connections Choir as well as the Concordia Club Choir. In 2005, her love of music and entertaining continued when she founded the singing group “The Ch’ckl’ts”. A beloved small choir and entertaining troupe comprised of a group of lifelong friends performed at many nursing homes throughout the Region bringing joy to the community with every performance.

Dianne was loved by many and was a true friend to those who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was always full of life, joy, music and love. Her excitement for life also made her ready to entertain anyone at any moment.

Dianne shared her love of life and special talents with everyone who crossed her path and will be greatly missed.

Resting at Lounsbury Funeral Home, 1766 Franklin Blvd., Cambridge where family will receive friends on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 2 – 4 p.m. and 7 – 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 11 a.m. followed by interment at Hagey Cemetery. Please be aware that Provincial Guidelines for mandatory masks and social distancing protocols will be followed.


Memorial tributes to Dianne Winkler

Members may donate a children’s picture book or junior level novel which will become part of the library at Haven House Women’s Shelter.  We are hoping to collect the books at our November meeting, but if we can’t meet, then your book could be dropped off at Terry Hamilton’s home. RWTO members may wish to donate to the Addison Women’s Choir Fundraiser for Dianne. Choir members are hoping to purchase a seat with her name on it and a tile honouring her at the Hamilton Family Theater.  E transfers can be sent to  Cheques can be mailed to: Brenda Totten, 14 Hilltop Dr. Ayr, ON N0B 1E0

Haven House Women’s Shelter, Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, Cambridge

Hamilton Family Theatre, Drayton Entertainment, Cambridge


Margot Yvonne Bogdon

July 30, 1958 – May 8, 2019


After a life lived fully with much laughter and joy, Margot passed away surrounded by her family in their home on May 8 2019 in her 61st year.

Margot leaves behind her beloved soul mate and best friend Peter, adoring sons Luke (Sara), Zachary (Stephanie), loving siblings Bob Birtch (Dyann), Susie Reid (Jason), Sandra Bogdon, nephews Joshua (Laya), Matthew (Leena) and Nathan (Paula), nieces Rachel and Laura, and her cherished granddaughter Brynn. She will be sorely missed by her extended family – the countless friends whose lives she impacted so positively.

Born in Woodstock to The Venerable Robert Birtch and Yvonne Birtch (nee Potter). Margot enjoyed her rural Ontario upbringing in homes filled with happiness and love. She studied to become a teacher at Huron College at Western University, where she found her true life calling as a beacon of love and positivity for so many. A creative mind, she also ran a successful interior decorating business with her sister for several years.

Margot and her life partner Peter married in 1987, spending the next 32 years building a beautiful home, family, and successful business together. They travelled extensively and often held celebrations with their friends, sharing their joy and their home with open arms. She was a genuine and thoughtful friend to so many.

Mom loved unconditionally and was known for putting an extra place at the table for anyone who might show up. She will be sorely missed by many of the boys’ friends who she welcomed into her home over the years, as well as her book clubs, rug hooking groups, knitting circles, and scrapbooking friends. She had a beautiful soul and a contagious smile that will not be forgotten. Now she is resting with the angels…and joy in the morning.

A celebration of life will be held in early June. Please contact a member of the family via email at or the Barthel Funeral Home in Cambridge (519-653-3251) for further information.

In lieu of flowers please spend time being present with a friend or contribute generously to a charity of your choice.