Northumberland-South Durham Branch News

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.



PresidentJan Engel
Past-PresidentSandra Boyko
1st Vice-PresidentVacant
2nd Vice-PresidentBonnie Brown
SecretaryLynne Snee
TreasurerJulia Esford

Please note: If you wish to contact anyone on these lists, please contact Jan Engel, President

using the following e-mail,


Membership and ArchivesBarbara Moorcroft
Sandra Boyko
InsuranceAstrida Chalmers
MusicVicki Cubitt
CommunicationLynne Snee
Goodwill EastAstrida Chalmers
Goodwill CentralShirley Stewart
Shirley Minifie
Goodwill WestVicki Cubitt
Table FavoursBunny Wright
TelephoneJan Engel
Bonnie Brown

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, May 1st, 2019
Spring Meeting
Northminster United Church, Oshawa
Guests of Honour: Sharron Colter, RWTO President, Judy Ann Tumber, Area 7 Director
Presentation: Monarch Butterflies
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 TBD


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

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


Cora Bailey Awards 2017


President Jan Engle presents Sharon Staples with the Cora Bailey Award at our September 27th 2017 meeting. Congratulations Sharon!


At our 2018 fall meeting, Past-President Sandra Boyko presided over a moving In Memoriam Service for Joan Anyan, who passed away on April 5th, and Alberta Macmillan, who passed away on August 4th.  Sandra opened with a quote about science being the poetry of the universe, and lit candles in memory of our two members.

Joan Putnam spoke about Joan Anyan (1934 – 2018), who was born in Thurlow and taught in a number of schools in Bowmanville. As librarian, Joan made the library a special place to visit and reading a fun activity to pursue. She was the mother of three, and always had an open door policy in her home. Joan participated in a variety of community activities in her retirement years. She became a member of RWTO in 2016, when she saw how much fun we were having at our meeting at Trinity United Church in Bowmanville, where she was the chairperson of the church catering group.

Sharron McMann spoke about Alberta (Bert) Macmillan (1939 – 2018), who taught in both the Scarborough and Northumberland boards. She was beloved by her students. Bert volunteered for many community activities in retirement, and earned the distinguished citizen award for Cobourg and Port Hope.  Her weeks were 10 days long, not 7. She loved everything British and on one occasion, had high tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. She was the mother of three daughters, the woman behind the man, and a wonderful hostess who always welcomed company into her home.

Our service concluded with a prayer by Sandra, and the singing of “The Rose” (Bette Midler), performed by Vicki Cubitt on piano, and Bunny Wright on vocals.