Northumberland-South Durham Branch News

Northumberland-South Durham

60th Anniversary

Click the arrow on the image to start the video.

 Congratulations Barbara Marian!

AREA 7 – Northumberland South Durham Connection Governor-General

As a Branch of RWTO we consider it very important to encourage women in their desire to pursue excellence in fields that are not usually open to women. In this way we establish viable role models for young women in our community and elsewhere.

Northumberland South Durham Branch is proud to announce that our recommendation for Barbara Marion (Colborne, Ontario), to receive a Governor General’s Award for Meritorious Service, Civil Division, has proven successful. His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada presents the award to Barbara June 23, 2016 in Ottawa.

The citation states that she is an ‘internationally accredited referee’ for tae kwon do. Barbara has ‘broken barriers for women and girls in a male-dominated sport,’ and is furthermore ‘highly respected’ in the ‘worldwide tae kwan do sport.’ The citation underscores ‘her fairness and knowledge’ and points out that she serves as ‘a role model to athletes’ and ‘as a mentor to Canadian and international

Our Branch is especially grateful to Joyce Benthem (now deceased), Astrida Jenkinson Chalmers, and Lee Beech (at that time a member of our Branch), who helped bring this nomination to fruition. We believe this initiative underscores RWTO’s September theme, ‘Moving Ahead’ in the most appropriate way possible.

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, two examples have testified to our superb programs and this active commitment. First our celebration of the 60th Anniversary of RWTO 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?”

Secondly, we chose to nominate and support Barbara Marian (pictured above), for the Governor General’s Award for Civil Service. Barbara was honoured for her breaking down of barriers for women as a referee in the male-dominated field of tae kwan do. She worked her way through barriers to become an internationally and nationally recognized female referee. Through the complex nomination process and the long waiting period, our Branch ‘stayed with’ the vision. We did not retreat. Eventually, success occurred and Barbara Marian received her well-deserved Governor General’s Award against stiff competition this past June. We were all just delighted!

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 Engle
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 Engle, President

using the following e-mail,


Membership and ArchivesBarbara Moorcroft
InsuranceAstrida Chalmers
MusicVicki Cubitt
CommunicationJoan Smith
Goodwill EastAstrida Chalmers
Goodwill CentralMuriel Bell
Goodwill WestVicki Cubitt
Table FavoursBunny Wright
TelephoneJan Engel and 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.