Northumberland-South Durham

Northumberland-South Durham

60th Anniversary

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Welcome to Northumberland South Durham Branch!

We are approximately sixty vibrant, retired women teachers, who are committed to RWTO as a vehicle of choice for their activities today.  We have three meetings a year in Spring (May), Fall (September), and Winter December). Connection, Consideration, and Community are three key words that I feel describe our vision and activities, with ‘fun’ being a key element of everything that we do. We wouldn’t want it any other way!   As part of Area 7, our Branch follows the route of Lake Ontario from Oshawa (south), through Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Hope, Cobourg, and Brighton, right up to the boundaries of Trenton, Belleville, and Peterborough.  Since 1956 when we were first formed, our Branch diligently recalls the visionary quest of our first RWTO group, as they voted to affirm our need for ‘caring and sharing,’ pensions, fun and fellowship.

In 2016, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of RWTO. It was a sell-out success!  Within the venue of a Victorian tea, we incorporated our theme, “Past, Present, and Future, Following the Yellow Brick Road” as based on the Wizard of Oz musical. Music, food, historical dress, exceptional decorations, archival displays, special guests and speakers, added up to an exemplary event. The returning comment from the Executive meeting was, “Can we do more of this?”

Canada’s 150th Celebration

At our fall meeting on September 27, 2017 we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday in style. Members were asked to wear red and white. Our branch’s choir, under the direction of Vicki Cubitt and Bunny Wright, met on several occasions to prepare a selection of Canadian music. Songs including “Land of the Silver Birch”, “They All Call It Canada”, “Alouette”, and “Something to Sing About” were sung with gusto to celebrate our sesquicentennial year. The highlight of our meeting was a fashion show produced by Lynne Templar and Dawn Waters, from the Northumberland Players in Cobourg. These ladies spoke to us about fashion across the decades, and then moderated the outfits that were worn by members of our branch. The ladies strutted their stuff on the “runway” with flair! We all truly felt what it means to be Canadian, eh?

Our Branch believes and acts on the principles associated with Connection, Community and Consideration in terms of their RWTO commitment. If you wish, do drop in for a meeting as our invited guest.  We would love to have you!

Please check the tabs above for information with regards to the date, time and location of our meetings.  Our contact information is also given. We welcome you and look forward to hearing from you.



PresidentJulia Esford
Past-PresidentJan Engel
1st Vice-PresidentVacant
2nd Vice-PresidentBonnie Brown
SecretaryLynne Snee
TreasurerSandra Nolte

Please note: If you wish to contact anyone on these lists, please contact Julia Esford, President using the following e-mail,


ArchivesBarbara Moorcroft
Sandra Boyko
Joan Smith
MembershipJoan Putnam
InsuranceAstrida Chalmers
MusicVicki Cubitt
CommunicationLynne Snee
WebsiteLynne Snee
Jan Engel
Goodwill EastAstrida Chalmers
Goodwill CentralShirley Stewart
Shirley Minifie
Goodwill WestVicki Cubitt
Table FavoursBunny Wright
TelephoneJan Engel
Bonnie Brown

Edwardian Tea at the Bowmanville Museum 2019

This past summer, some of our members attended an Edwardian Tea that was held at the Bowmanville Museum. The weather was beautiful, the food delicious. A memorable time of fellowship and fun was had by all.

Canada’s 150th Celebration

September 27th the Meeting at St. Andrew’s

United Church, Grafton



This is Billie Kemp, one of our oldest members

who attends every meeting.




President Jan Engel honours Billie Kemp with flowers on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

Our branch choir entertains members with traditional Canadian folksongs in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Vicki Cubitt directs the choir and is assisted by Bunny Wright playing the drum, and other choir members.

Verna Templer enjoys listening to the choir.

Verna Templer’s daughter Lynn Templer (curator), narrates a presentation of historical costumes from the Northumberland Players Archives in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The fashion show was an outstanding success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Thank to Lynn and her assistants as well as models from our own membership.  It was an awesome presentation as the following pictures attest!  


These photos represent the variety and beauty of clothes that Canadian women
wore over the past 150 years. Thanks to our models!

Edwardian Tea at the Bowmanville Museum

Last summer, some of our members attended an Edwardian Tea that was held at the Bowmanville Museum. The weather was beautiful, the food delicious. A memorable time of fellowship and fun was had by all.

Upcoming Events 2019-2020

 Wednesday, September 25th, 2019
Fall Meeting
Grafton United Church
Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Christmas Meeting
St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church
Port Hope, ON
Tuesday April 28th, 2020
Spring Meeting
 Location: Northminster United Church in Oshawa.


Ongoing Group Activites

Breakfast Club

A casual, informal get together every third Thursday of the month at Traditions Restaurant, 1053 Simcoe Road, North, Oshawa. There is no business conducted – just visiting, caring and sharing!

Contact Vicki Cubitt at

Archivist Team

The group continues to meet on a regular basis working at putting together an archival binder for our branch. For more information, please contact:

Barbara Moorcroft (Chair) at


Sandra Boyko at

New Members 2019



Jan Engel introduces Sandra Note, a new member, to the NSD group. Welcome Sandra!


Cora Bailey Award 2019

President Jan Engel presents Linda Hansen with the Cora Bailey Award for 2019. Congratulations Linda!

Cora Bailey Award 2018

President Jan Engel presents Joan Putnam with the Cora Bailey Award for 2018.


Frances (Bunny) Wright
November 25, 1942 – August 8, 2020

A very talented lady.

Frances (Bunny) Wright born in Toronto on November 25th, 1942 and passed away suddenly and peacefully on August 8th, 2020 at the age of 77 in her lifelong home in Oshawa, Ontario after a long life full of love, family, travel and creativity.

Daughter of Alf and Ada of Newmarket, Ontario, sister to Susan, Mother to Jody, Jeff and Stephen, Grandmother to Zachary, Jessica, Preston, Nigel and Nolan.  Great Grandmother to Brodie and Cooper. Survived by Fred, her best friend and love of her life. An amazing Mother, wife, and friend, she will be deeply missed.

Bunny was the “glue” for many relationships, and organizations. A teacher, artist, actor, musician, crafter, decorated Girl Guide of more than 50 years, master Zentangle artist, cake decorator, and bright light whose spirit and enthusiasm inspired all she came into contact with.

From making large dinners and cakes for every family occasion, to creating crafts for each table for event she was involved in, or writing custom songs for international events, Bunny always went above and beyond to create things that would imprint moments onto the hearts of all. A master cake maker and decorator, she spent her life bringing joy to others through her creative efforts. Bunny found joy and connection in many groups such as her online Zentagle drawing group, Durham Choir, a Djembe hand drumming group, and the Girl Guides Trefoil Guild. A member of St Andrews church for many years and more recently Northminster United, Bunny’s connection to her faith based community remained strong through the years.

She will be remembered with warmth and admiration by all the people she influenced and touched in her long and joyous life.