Haldimand Branch News
Haldimand is a rural county on the Niagara penninsula in southern Ontario, located on the north shore of Lake Erie and on the Grand River. Our largest towns are Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Jarvis and Hagersville.
The Haldimand Branch of RWTO/OERO has over 85 members. Our branch has met faithfully for many years at a Spring Luncheon (May), a Fall Luncheon (October) and a Christmas Luncheon (December).
Watch this space for news about other events throughout the year including a Friendship Tea (February) which we hope to make a yearly tradition too.
The Haldimand Branch President is Evelyn Martin (email at firstname.lastname@example.org) For more information about joining our group, upcoming events, arranging transportation to Haldimand Branch events or for other inquiries from any retired women teachers contact Roberta Bridge at (905) 765-3351 or Betsy McBurney at (905) 772-3296.
V.S.N. (Very Special News) from Haldimand RWTO/OERO
Our own Lois Lockhart, a Past President of Haldimand RWTO/OERO, will become President of RWTO/OERO at the 2017 RWTO/OERO convention!
(Photo Credit – Anne Wilde)
Nine quilters gathered at Peggy Taylor’s home again as part of our regular bees to complete Touch Quilts. Haldimand RWTO members suggest names and places for quilt recipients. Thanks as always to Peggy Taylor for initiating this project and opening her home to the quilters monthly throughout the year.
Over seventy retired women teachers gathered at noon at South Cayuga Community Church on Monday, October 1, 2017.
Linda Enns Pitt led in the singing of O Canada and our traditional Blessing. Members of the church served a delicious lunch. President Sandy Salerno presented Evelyn Martin with her Past President pin. Betsy McBurney was surprised and very honoured when Evelyn Martin presented the Cora Bailey Award to her. A representative of the local Women’s Shelter spoke, thanking us for past donations and offering ways that we could continue to support this group. Many of those attending made donations to the Scarf initiative – purchasing scarves designed as a fundraiser. The scarves will then be passed on to women using the Women’s Shelter – a sign of solidarity, women to women.
Several members attended the RWTO/OER Convention in June. The accommodations at the Nottawasaga Inn were lovely. We supported our Haldimand President Evelyn Martin as she praised outgoing RWTO /OER President, our own Lois Lockhart for an impressive year in office. Lois moves to the position of RWTO/OER Past President for the 2018-2019 term.
February 5, 2018
Second Annual Creative Hands Friendship Tea
On a sunny afternoon members of Haldimand RWTO/OER
met in Dunnville. Several women set up displays of their crafts and special interests. After a delightful tea, RWTO/OER President, our own Lois Lockhart and RWTO/OER Provincial Insurance Convenor, our own Anne Wilde led all in a very enjoyable game of Quarter Frenzy. The prizes were donated by our executive members.
Creative Hands Friendship Tea – February 2017
This new event for the Haldimand Branch was held at the Grace United Church in Caledonia. Those who attended, if they chose to, could put on display something they have created as a hobby or business. The displays were impressive and included Karen Walton showcasing the Touch Quilts that are made by women from our branch under Peggy Taylor’s direction. These lap quilts are donated to members and others who would appreciate a warm blanket with lots of tactile and colourful squares. This event was enjoyed by all and plans are being made to repeat the Friendship Tea in February 2018.
The Haldimand RWTO/OERO Christmas Luncheon 2016 was held at Grace United Church, Caledonia, Ontario. We welcomed two members of the executive of the Hamilton RWTO/OERO to this luncheon. Following a delicious turkey dinner
Linda Enns-Pitts led our group in a Christmas Carol Sing Along. There were many happy recipients of lovely gifts in the Christmas Raffle and many generous donations were made to the Haldimand-Norfolk Women’s Shelter.
The Haldimand RWTO/OERO Christmas Luncheon 2015 was held at Grace United Church, Caledonia, Ontario on Monday, December 7, 2015. Following a delicious turkey dinner we participated in a (short!) One Room School Chistmas Concert.
Several Form One “students” even made recitations like these ones:
The funniest face looked out at me
From a silver ball on the Christmas tree.
At first I thought it was Santa’s elf,
But I looked again and it was just myself!
I’ve been preparing for Christmas,
I’m revving up for that great day.
My credit card’s cracked and my freezer is packed,
‘Cause I started getting ready in May!
There were many happy recipients of lovely gifts in the Christmas raffle and generous donations were made to the Haldimand-Norfolk Women’s Shelter.
Fall Luncheon 2015
The Haldimand RWTO/ERO 2015 Fall Luncheon was held in the Coach House at Ruthven Park near Cayuga, Ontario. The young lady who was awarded the Haldimand RWTO/OERO prize at the local historical fair shared her project about Celia Franca. Thanks to Sue Devereux for these photos.
Spring Luncheon 2015
The Haldimand RWTO/ERO 2015 Spring Luncheon was held on May 4 in Dunnville at the Hunter and Anglers Hall. Those present enjoyed lots of visiting and a delicious lunch. Some of our lucky draw prize winners are pictures below!
Christmas Luncheon 2014
On December 1, 2014 retirees from Haldimand met at the Grace United Church in Caledonia, Ontario for our annual Christmas Luncheon. Members of the church catered a delicious turkey dinner. Following dinner a group of enthusiastic music students from McKinnon Secondary School in Caledonia under the direction of their teacher, Ms R. Amos, played several songs of the season.
Most songs became sing-alongs! Some Caledonia retirees were thrilled to see former students in the band.
Christmas Luncheon 2013
Ninety women met in the beautifully decorated Dunnville Communtiy Lifespan Centre in the new Dunnville Arena for the Haldimand RWTO/OERO annual Christmas Luncheon on December 2, 2013.
Our president Jackie Large welcomed everyone including several new retirees. Each place at the tables was decorated with Christmas favours lovingly made by President Jackie! After a traditional turkey dinner and toffee pudding dessert, we were entertained by the Free Spirits, a fun loving musical chorus who shared their wonderful Christmas repertoire. Of course, whenever possible, the retired teachers sang along!
The afternoon closed with a Christmas gift draw and our 50/50 draw. The lucky winners were thrilled! At this luncheon many of the Haldimand RWTO donated generously to the Haldimand Norfolk Women’s Shelter. Heather Gross was our Christmas Luncheon photographer. Thank you Heather!
Fall Luncheon 2014
Seventy-eight retirees attended the Fall Luncheon held at the Coach House in Ruthven Park, near Cayuga, Ontario. More information about Ruthven Park, Haldimand County’s only National Historic Site can be found at ruthvenpark.ca.
Special guests were Provincial President Marilyn Emmett, Area 4 Director Lois Lockhart and Provincial Insurance Convenor Nancy Iunnuzzi. Delights Catering provided a great roast beef lunch.
Following lunch Provincial President Marilyn Emmett led the installation of the new executive: Past President: Jackie Large, President: Peggy Taylor, First Vice President: Evelyn Martin, Second Vice President: Sandra Salerno, Treasurer: Vivian McCreight, Recording Secretary: Vicki Duxbury, Event Planning: Sue Devereux, RTO Rep: Karen Walton, New Membership Convener: Roberta Bridge, Archivists: Anne Wilde and Linda Hart, Web Site Convener: Betsy McBurney.
There were door prize draws and a Share the Wealth draw.
Following lunch there were two more activities planned for those who were interested. One group met with a guide from the site to tour the Ruthven Mansion. A second group traveled to the Haldimand County Museum in Cayuga where Curator Karen Richardson led a workshop about preservation and storage of paper and photos.
Touch Quilt Bee Jan. 2014
Touch quilts provide comfort, calming and stimulation for people with late-mid- to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. They are small, 30 to 36 inches square, with many textures to intrigue the sense of touch. Peggy Taylor has completed the first six Touch Quilts that this talented group of Haldimand Branch RWTO/OERO assembled in the Spring of 2014. These quilts can be seen at the Fall Luncheon. Please make suggestions for their distribution! Peggy will continue to host Quilting Bees at her home once a month in the Waterford area to construct more Touch Quilts. All are welcome! Contributions of textured fabrics and cotton backings and other quilting supplies are always appreciated.
Call Betsy (905-772-3296)
Working together at a Touch Quilt Bee – January 2014
Spring Luncheon Meeting 2014
The Spring Luncheon was held at the Fisherville Trinity Lutheran Chruch. There were several special guests including Provincial RWTO/OERO President Anne Graham and the young lady who received the $100 Haldimand Branch bursary award at the Heritage Fair held in Dunnville. Her interesting project about Laura Secord was there for all to appreciate!
After a delicious lunch there was a very special event for the Haldimand Branch.
Provincial President Anne Graham and Linda Hart, Archivist, presented long time RWTO member Margaret Clause with the Cora Bailey Award, given to a member who exemplifies our “Caring and Sharing” motto. Margaret was involved with the HRWT Executive Committee from 1989 to 2001 as Secretary. A terrific organizer, she was responsible for the luncheon planning as well as the minutes. Even after retirement from this position, Margaret still volunteers as a phone convenor for the Jarvis area. After the Provincial President presented the award, Margaret thanked everyone for the nomination and spoke about how much she enjoyed her years on the executive committee. Margaret lead a genealogy group for several years recently and stated that she could always count on teachers to help her when needed!
Spring Luncheon 2013
On Monday, May 6, 2013 the Haldimand Branch of RWTO/OERO gathered for our Spring Luncheon. We met in Caledonia and had a great turnout of retired women teachers. We were thrilled to have two new retirees join our group. President Jackie Large welcomed everyone. We enjoyed a delicious lunch
Spring Luncheon – Monday, May 1, 2017 at Fisherville Lutheran Church
Cost: Members (subsidized to celebrate Spring!) only $10!
Non-Members – $19 Please note – if you chose to become a member at this luncheon you will be considered “paid up” until October 2018.
There will be a Summer Book exchange. Bring some gently used books and exchange them for a new to you book.
Fall Luncheon – Monday, October 2, 2017 at Wesley United Church, Jarvis ON
It’s the Invite a Friend Luncheon. Bring a retired woman teacher friend to share fun and fellowship with the Haldimand Branch Entertainment.
Christmas Luncheon – Monday, December 11, 2017 at Grace United Church, Caledonia
Carol Sing and a Pajama Campaign (Bring a new pair of pajamas – for babies, children, teens or women – for donation to the Women’s Shelter
Grace McBride, who is now 102, was an elementary teacher in Haldimand County. When she finished high school in Cayuga where she grew up, she was too young to attend Hamilton Normal School. With a friend’s help, she taught herself to type in order to work in a lawyer’s office for two years. She had been an outstanding student and would have liked to attend university, but as she was the oldest of four children, the family could not afford the expense.
After teacher’s training, she taught in one-room schoolhouses in Haldimand County for the next ten years, driving out from Cayuga in a very old car with no heater and ising-glass curtains for windows. Her father gave her a pair of old buffalo skin mittens to keep her hands from freezing, and hand-carved some beautiful wooden pointers to bring her luck. She enjoyed teaching and tried to give her students something special to look forward to including literary evenings (featuring recitations and a play) Christmas concerts, picnics and sports events. She taught the girls to knit and sew and the boys how to use a jig-saw to make wooden animals and birds. When the weather was not good, they all learned the basics of Scottish country dancing.
During the summers, she took courses at McMaster and Western to achieve a year of university. When the war came, she and the whole class made a quilt which was donated to the war effort. She had met her husband-to-be when they were both sixteen, but he worked for a bank which forbade their young employees to marry and as a teacher she would not be allowed to teach if she married. Finally they were able to marry and she stayed home to look after the children John, Robert and Mary Jean. They lived in several towns as the bank moved the family around in Southern Ontario. Occasionally she was asked to supply teach when people learned she was a teacher. Grace discovered that she was only one year away from a small pension, so when her children were in high school, she went back to teach long enough to achieve her goal.
At the age of 51, she took a course in watercolour painting and found that she was a natural artist. Many friends and acquaintances have requested her paintings. Another hobby over the years was Scottish country dancing which she enjoyed until she was 88! When her husband retired, they settled in Dunnville. He died several years ago. Now Grace lives with her daughter Mary Jean Folinsbee in a house on the shore of Lake Erie.
She is proud of her children (two became teachers) her six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. As well as her art, she enjoys reading, television, attending community events and watching the birds. What is the secret of her long life? She says she has always had a strong faith. Her daughter says Grace has the gift of enjoying the moment and looking forward to the future. Beware if you visit – with a twinkle she may try some mental arithmetic on you! Her parents named her “Grace”, a name that certainly suits Grace McBride.
Recently Sandra Salerno from the Haldimand RWTO Executive had the pleasure of attending a celebration for the 103rd birthday of Grace McBride. Sandra presented flowers to Grace at a Haldimand-Norfolk Community Senior Support Services event. Rebecca Bailey, who runs the program in Caledonia and Sandra Salerno posed for a photo with Grace who is a very active centenarian!
Caring And Sharing
Throughout the year those attending Haldimand Branch of RWTO/OERO events make donations to charities and special projects including the following:
- Haldimand- Norfolk Women’s Shelter
- Grand Erie Regional Heritage Fair
- School Breakfast Programs
- Local Animal Shelters
- Haldimand Food Banks
- Grandview Lodge Christmas Stocking Progra