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

Governor General’s Award

 Barbara Marion receives her award from the Governor General.

Barbara Marion being recognized by the Northumberland South Durham Branch for her outstanding work which resulted in a Governor General’s Award.

Canada’s 150th Celebration

September 27the 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!

Upcoming Events 2016-2017

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
Fall Meeting
Grafton United Church
Guest Speaker – Barbara Marian

Thursday, December 8th, 2016
Christmas Meeting
St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church
Port Hope, ON
Christmas music and auction with Jean Axcell of Peterborough as auctioneer.
(see photos on our “Gallery” page)

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

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!


In Memoriam



Margaret Whyte Irvine

April 29, 1929 – February 11, 2017

Peacefully at the Northumberland Hills Hospital on Saturday February 11th, 2017 in her 88th year.  Beloved wife of the late Alexander Irvine.  Loving mother of Duncan (Sophie) and Kim Armstrong (Dwayne).  Cherished grandmother of  Dawn, Jordan, Amanda, Rory, Sofia, Drake, Kyleah, Jana and Piers and great grandmother of Felix.  A Memorial Service will be held in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Tuesday February 28th at 1pm. with visiting from 12 noon – 1 pm.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Northumberland Hills Hospital.  Condolences received at


Elizabeth Joan Anderson (nee Knox)

Peacefully at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg on Monday January 23, 2017.

Beloved wife of the late Donald Anderson. Loving mother of Janet (Jim Daignault), Robert (Faye Crerar), Karen, Kevin (Denia Garcia) and the late David. Dear sister of Carson Knox (Betty) and lovingly known as “Dippy” by her nieces Lesley, Joan (Wayne) and Jennifer (Greg) and her nephew John (Julie) and her grandsons Harry and Hugh.

Born and raised in Fenelon Falls, Elizabeth was a cherished Primary School teacher in Bowmanville, an active member of Trinity United Church and a giving member of Community Care Durham. She was also a loyal member of the Bowmanville Lioness Club for many years.

Elizabeth will be deeply missed by her family, friends and community.

Visitation will be held at NORTHCUTT ELLIOTT FUNERAL HOME, 53 Division St. N. Bowmanville on Saturday January 28th from 2 – 4 pm. A Memorial Service will be held at Trinity United Church, 116 Church St, Bowmanville, on Sunday January 29th at 2 pm, with visitation one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Community Care Durham or The Canadian Diabetes Association.