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 92 members and 2 life 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 in February.

The Haldimand Branch President is Joanne Weeks (289 )442 5730 or email weeksj13jrw33@gmail.com.   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.



Past PresidentSandra Salerno905-765-0201 smsalemo@rogers.com
PresidentJoanne Weeks289-442-5730 weeksj13jrw33@gmail.com
1st Vice PresidentAnne Mageran905-774-1055 a.mageran@rogers.com
2nd Vice President/GoodwillKate Head905 807 9213 katehead13@gmail.com
MembershipRoberta Bridge905-765-3351 rebridge49@#rogers.com
InsuranceSusanne Austin905-774-6150

October 4, 2021

Wesley United Church

19 Church St. Jarvis N0A1J0


“Haldimand Branch is holding two outdoor events in October for socialization but also to contribute in a caring way to our communities.

Wednesday October 13th Dunnville Lions Park   

Meet in the parking lot 10:00 am
Food drive for Dunnville Food Bank.  We will have the trunk of a car open to gather non perishable food donations.   School snacks, cookies, juice boxes, Mr. Noodle plus the regular donations of cereal, peanut butter, jams.  No pasta at this time.

Bring your lawn chair and we will visit outdoors for a while.  A surprise is involved as well.

Thursday October 14th. Hagersville Park (corner of Alma and Laidlaw).

Meet in the parking lot.10:00 am
Food drive for Hagersville Food Bank.   We will have the trunk of a car open to gather non perishable food donations.   Regular food items as above but also pasta sauce needed.
Bring your lawn chair and we will visit outdoors for a while.  A surprise is involved as well.

Looking forward to seeing you!  Come to one or both.

Remembrance Day Services:
RWTO Haldimand Remembrance Day wreaths have been created to lay at November 11th services in Caledonia, Dunnville, Hagersville, Cayuga and Jarvis.   if public health guidance prohibits having formal services we will still lay the wreaths.   Please join us at services.  It is important to honour those who served or are serving now.

Contact Joanne Weeks if you are able to assist at any of the above services.   289 442 5730

Christmas Decor Workshops:   Grand Erie Home Hardware

Arrangements have been made to have both a Zoom workshop and an in person workshop in their huge greenhouse.   Safety protocols in place.
Dates: November 22nd.  1:00 p.m.   November 23rd.  1:00 p.m.


Flyer about registration coming out.   Register directly with Grand Erie Home Hardware.
Detailed Information about the decor items is on the flyer.


December 6, 2021

Grace United Church

174 Caithness St. Caledonia

February 7, 2022

Hagersville United Church

34 Main St. S Hagersville  (Friendship Tea)

May 2, 2022

Fisherville Trinity Lutheran Church

30 Erie Ave. N Fisherville

Celebrating with Grace McBride April 2015


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!

Grace McBride

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.

Jackie Carson


Barbara Bain Award

Feather In The Cap Award

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.


Retired Women Teachers of Ontario gives annual gift to Haldimand and Norfolk Women’s Services

‘The response was amazing’

The Sachem
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

More than just a chance for friends and colleagues to get together, though, it was a chance for the group’s members to bring in donations for the Haldimand and Norfolk Women’s Services shelter; things like toiletries, sheets, pyjamas and winter wear.

“But, in this year, when we were not able to meet in person, we invited our members to donate cheques and gift cards,” said branch president Joanne Weeks. “The response was amazing.”

Left to Right: Sandra Salerno Past President, Joanne weeks President, Anne Mageran 1st Vice President, and a representative of the staff at the Haldimand Norfolk Women’s Services.

The Haldimand Branch of the Retired Women Teacher of Ontario (RWTO) has initiated an

Outreach Program to assist a local woman in her educational journey. Once a year, a deserving

candidate, whose information and application has been submitted by one of our members, will

receive a one-time donation of $500 to help with her educational needs. To be eligible,

submissions must meet the following criteria:

• Be needed for educational purposes, i.e. computer needs, tuition, books or tools,

transportation to course, babysitting, other needs linked to improving education

• Be for a local woman

• Be for someone in financial need

• Be recommended by a community agency (optional)

• Be submitted by an RWTO/Haldimand member

• Be received by a committee member no later than Dec. 31, 2021

Please click on the file below to open up the form and the follow the instructions:


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 Program