Sault Ste. Marie Branch News


R.W.TO. /O. E.R.O. Sault Branch Members 

Parting Message from 2018-2019 President Sherrill D.
Another year has come to an end for our local R.W.T.O. group.I would like to thank everyone for making it such an interesting year for our group.The activities planned were enjoyed by all our members who were able to attend including our Area Director Joyce Ratz. Our Christmas meeting was very well received not only by our group but also by the people who received the ginger bread houses we made and donated.No matter what we did you could see a group who were sharing, caring and having fun and yes eating our delicious light snacks that were always provided.Enjoy your summer, and stay safe and healthy. Mark your calendars with the dates for our next year’s meetings when you get the newsletter.
Sherrill Dewar
Past President

Executive Meetings 2018-2019

**10:30 a.m. in the board room of the Royal Canadian Legion—on the main floor

Wed., Sept 12

Wed., Nov. 14

Wed., Mar. 13

Wed. Apr.10

Wed., May 8





1st Vice PresidentBrenda
2nd Vice PresidentDoreen
Past PresidentBrenda
Member at LargeBrenda
Member at LargeRita
Member at LargeBernice
Area DirectorJoyce


Social & ArchivesGerry Yeo705-945-8193N.A.
Issues & ConcernsPaula

And the Seed Was Planted!

On June 10th, 1968, eight superannuated women met at Miss Elsie Smith’s home. Their purpose was to form a social group for retired women teachers in the Sault Ste. Marie area. This little group of eight decided to send a delegate to the provincial organization recognized as Ontario Association of Superannuated Women teachers.

Quickly the local group grew in numbers. Twenty-five local retirees, who had taught over ten years, obtained an “F” pension due to the hard work of Mrs. R. Cockwell and Mrs. Annie Upper. The good news quickly spread thanks to the diligent effort of Mrs. Upper. Thus many more locally benefited by this dedication. Elevating the pensions of retired women teachers was a caring local cause aligned with provincial.

Caring was so evident in the roots of the Sault Ste. Marie Unit. Contact with local retired teachers in nursing homes as well as a “buddy telephone system” was established. Sing-a-longs, craft instruction, Christmas light tours and sharing of amusing school experiences bonded these Sault Ste. Marie ladies firmly together.

We of Sault Ste. Marie are proud to have had Annabelle Harten, Edna Mertes, Joyce Mertes, Irene Pinnel and Florence McInnis on the provincial executive roster.

Needless to say our group of Sault Ste. Marie women under the RWTO/OERO banner will continue to grow with caring, sharing and having fun at the heart of all that we do!


1st Vice-PresidentBrenda
2nd Vice-PresidentDoreen
Past PresidentBrenda
Past PresidentBernice
Insurance ConvenorBeverley
Social Convenor & ArchivistGerry Y.705-945-8193N.A.
Issues and ConcernsPaula
Member at LargeRita
Member at LargeBrenda
Member at LargeBernice
Area DirectorJoyce

Executive Meetings 2018-2019

**10:30 a.m. in the board room of the Royal Canadian Legion—on the main floor

Wed., Sept 12

Wed., Nov. 14

Wed., Mar. 13

Wed. Apr.10

Wed., May 8

Executive Meetings 2017-2018

(2nd Wed. of the month) at 10:00 the Royal Canadian Legion boardroom on the main level with one exception (See Nov. 8).

  • Wednesday, September 13, 2017
  • Wednesday, November 8, 2017 (downstairs today—elevator available)
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • Wednesday, May 9, 2018 (Resolutions)


*** Please keep this program in a prominent place for further reference. ***

General Meetings are usually the 4th week of the month. There are no meetings on Special Event days.

Wed., September 27“Our Sesquicentennial Celebration” We will meet at 11:00 a.m. in the United Baptist Church hall at 41 Malabar St. After the Welcome Back meeting, we will enjoy a complimentary luncheon of dishes from across Canada provided by the executive ladies. It would be special and fun if we dress like teachers of the nineteenth century; if not, red and white would be festive. We will be singing Canadian songs led by Mary Madonna. There will be another activity and there will be 5 door prizes. Sandy F. will have her receipt book and will accept membership dues if you have not yet paid them.

FALL SPECIAL EVENT on Thurs., Oct. 12—We will visit Meadowview Alpaca Farm, 908 Carter Side Road, Bruce Mines. The cost is $4.00 each for the tour. We will meet in the parking lot of the United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar St. at 10:45 a.m. to carpool to Bruce Mines. Driving time is approximately 45 minutes. Lunch will be had at Bobber’s Restaurant in Bruce Mines from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at our own expense. At 1 p.m. we will drive to the farm and visit the operation there from 1:30 to 3:00 approx. There are two barns for shelter if it rains. Alpaca wool is soft, durable and hypoallergenic. There is a shop for purchases if you wish. Around 3 p.m. we will leave to drive back to the church parking lot.

Wed., Nov.22“Joyful Sock Stuffing” We will meet at 11:00 a.m. in the United Baptist Church hall at 41 Malabar St. If possible, bring one dozen Christmas cookies or bars for Josie V. and her helpers to package for home-bound members and for our dessert. After the meeting and light luncheon provided by branch funds, we will have a presentation by the founder of Joyful Socks, Leslie Cassidy-Amadio. Warm socks for men and women will be purchased using branch funds.

Those of us who wish to volunteer will fill the socks with personal hygiene items which we purchase and bring. Further details will be given at the September meeting. The full socks will be distributed to seven different locations town. How joyful our recipients will feel when they receive our socks, and we will feel joy as well knowing that we made Christmas brighter for those in our community who are not as fortunate as us!

WINTER SPECIAL EVENT in January. We will have a Murder Mystery luncheon led by Bernice W. We will order off the menu and pay for our own meals. Day and restaurant TBA. Join us for lots of laughs and to test your mystery solving skills!

Wed., Feb. 28 “Fabulous Flowers” At 11:00 a.m., we will meet in the hall of the United Baptist Church at 41 Malabar for a meeting and a light luncheon provided by branch funds. Then a florist from Routledge’s Florist shop will demonstrate how to prepare, care for and embellish cut flowers for a vase. This will cost us $5.00 each to pay for the flowers used in the demonstration. We will have a draw for the arrangement(s) made. You may be lucky enough to take one home!

Wed., Mar. 28— “Stretching with Shirley” We will meet at 11:00 the United Baptist Church hall, 41 Malabar. From 11:00 to 12:00, we will be taught gentle stretches to do in a chair by Gentle Yoga instructor, Shirling Koa. Dress comfortably for stretching. After we are all limbered up, we will have a light lunch paid with branch funds. Our meeting will follow lunch.

SPRING SPECIAL EVENT on Wed., April 25 “Kokodama” We will meet at the United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar, at 11:30 a.m. to carpool to the Boots and Saddles Road House at 2667 Second Line W. for lunch. We will preorder our lunches which we will pay for on our own. We will have lunch from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and then drive to the New North Greenhouses at 719 Airport Rd. where we will be until around 2:30 p.m.

Those of us who sign up will be taught a bonsai technique called KOKODAMA i.e. a hanging plant using fern, soil, moss and a piece of rope. The cost of the workshop and materials will be $25.00 plus HST. Simply perusing the greenhouse is another option. Early plants (pansies and herbs) and garden décor will be on display. There is a senior discount on Wednesdays. What better way is there to greet spring than by experiencing the colours and fragrances of flowers and herbs!

Wed., May 9— “Resolutions” All members are invited to attend the meeting at 10:00 a.m. in the board room of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 at 96 Great Northern Rd. We will discuss resolutions which are printed in the Connections newsletter. The board room is easily accessible on the main floor.

Wed., May 30thJoint meeting with Central Algoma Branch–Provincial President Lois Lockhart and Provincial Insurance Convenor, Donna Hemeon, will be attending. Our branch will be hosting and thanking the visitors, while the Central Algoma Branch will welcome them. Location and lunch details TBA. It is always pleasurable to meet with our creative, enthusiastic Central Algoma sisters!

Wed., June 20Branch Annual General Meeting– At this last meeting of the year, the new executive will be installed and Cora Bailey certificate(s) will be presented. Location and lunch details TBA. Be sure to come out to support fellow members!

WEBSITE: Be sure to check out our website which is updated regularly throughout the year with information and photos of our activities. Go to and click on Branch News. Scroll down to Area 11. Click on Sault Ste. Marie and enjoy!




Groups & Clubs

Breakfast Group: If you are an early riser and would like to join us for breakfast or coffee before you start your day, meet us at Gino’s Restaurant, 1076 Great Northern Road, the second Friday of the month at 9:00 a.m.

Book Club: This group meets once a month to discuss books of interest which we select. We take turns hosting the meetings in our homes and make an effort to provide foods that are relevant to the setting of the novels. Our list of book club meetings and books is included here. Contact Brenda G. at if you are interested in joining.

R.W.T.O. Sault Branch Book Club Reading List for 2017-2018

Meetings are at members’ homes the third week of the month unless circumstances arise that lead to date and/or venue changes.

September 20—–Jenny—–My Secret Sister by Helen Edwards

October 18—–Bernice—–The Paper Boy by Tony MacAuley

November 15—–Rita—–Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madelein Thien

December 13—–Carmen—–Still Life by Louise Penny

January 17—–Brenda—–The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

February 21—–Bernice—–The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

March 21—–Jenny—– Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

April 18—–Carmen—–The Children Act by Ian McEwan

May 16—–Rita—–The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

June 27 (4th Wed.) —–Brenda—–Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese


Scrabble ClubOur Scrabble Club meets the second Friday of every month at 1 p.m. Currently, we have five members who meet at a member’s apartment, but should the group enlarge, we will move our location or split into two groups. Contact Brenda G. at if you would like to join.

Memberships are $50.00 and are due at the September 27th, 2017, meeting. If you are not able to attend, make a cheque out to RWTO and mail it to:

Sandy Fulcher

4528 Second Line W. Prince Township

Ont. P6A 6K4.

Remember, to have RWTO Insurance, you must maintain your membership with RWTO. This is a supplementary insurance to your existing plan. See Beverley Brazeau to find out more.

Our branch newsletter entitled The SCRIBBLER is published twice a year in January and June by Brenda G., Editor and Publisher. She and Gerry Y. take the photos at meetings.

The January newsletter covers news from the previous June, September, October, November and December.

The June newsletter covers news from January, February, March, April, May and the Convention in early June.

We now have two-thirds of the newsletters being emailed to members, which is wonderful as we save a lot on printing and mailing costs.
One third of the newsletters are brought to meetings to hand out to attendants.  If members are not in attendance, friends deliver some of the newsletters and a small number are mailed.


Archived Newsletters

Cora Bailey Awards

Sault Ste. Marie Area: 11 2017

Brenda Gallander

Brenda Gallander retired in June 2012 and joined RWTO in September of the same year after receiving a recruitment invitation letter. Immediately Brenda brought her energy and skills to the forefront. In 2013 she offered to become the Communication and Recruitment chair. Each spring Brenda has written a letter to new retirees in the area inviting them to our first general meeting and asking them to give serious consideration to joining our organization. A newsletter evolved and became an annual occurrence. Members looked forward to seeing local pictures and write ups. As a result, Brenda graduated to two newsletters per year, a fall-winter edition as well as a spring one.

In 2015 Brenda moved into the position of Second Vice-President as well as continuing on as communications chair.

During the summer of 2016, besides moving into the position of First Vice-President, Brenda worked with provincial and the unit president in order to have the Sault Ste. Marie unit on the provincial website. Hours were devoted to keeping our section current and dynamic.

Yes, one person can make a difference. Brenda is definitely an example of this. Four years ago she initiated a book club which meets once a month from September until the end of June. Two years ago Brenda initiated a Scrabble Club which meets once a month in a senior retirement home. This offers an opportunity for some of our seasoned members to stay actively involved!

It is evident that Brenda shares her time and talents with her sisters in the Sault Ste. Marie unit of R.W.T.O. As a result of her caring and sharing we all have more fun.

It is without hesitation that we name Brenda Gallander as a recipient of the Cora Bailey Award.

Carol McFarlane

In September 2006 Carol McFarlane joined RWTO. She attended her first meeting at Sandy Fulcher’s home and has been present at almost every scheduled meeting since that time. Carol  is a loyal member, often working in the kitchen at the end of a meeting. She is always willing to help out in any way she can.

In June 2010 Carol was elected secretary and attended her first executive meeting on July 21st. For seven years Carol has continued to work diligently for the unit in this capacity, recording detailed minutes for our archives. In 2012 Carol was a member of the planning committee responsible for entertainment, tours and transportation connected with the RWTO Convention hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie unit and Central Algoma. Carol meticulously costed transportation for the various convention tours. She provided input to the core planning group in order to offer tours at a reasonable rate for the convention participants. In the Call to  Convention at Niagara Falls Carol was a life sized Loonie. (The loonie had been created by our local artist Robert Carmichael.) It was also Carol who assumed the role of tour director for our city bus tour during the convention. Our ever busy Carol was highly visible throughout the convention working in the silent auction room.

Carol McFarlane is a busy, helpful, caring person. Indeed we are proud to call her sister!

It is without hesitation that the RWTO Sault Ste. Marie unit celebrates Carol McFarlane as a recipient of the Cora Bailey Award.


Cora Bailey Award Recipients

  • 2015-2016 Rita Wagner And Bernice Whalen
  • 2014-2015 Carol C., and Sherrill D.
  • 2013-2014 Paula H.
  • 2012-2013 Sandy F., Beverley B., and Josie V.
  • 2011-2012 Mary K., Joyce MacK., Joyce M., and Betty W.
  • 2010-2011 Gerry Y.

Sleeping Children Around the World

Our main charity is “Sleeping Children Around the World”. Iva Beaton, a former RWTO Sault Ste. Marie Branch member, initiated this charity work in 1971. Since 1971, we have donated 140 bed kits. We give a bed kit to each guest who comes to speak to our members, as a token of appreciation and in memory of our members who pass away.

Bed kits are $35 and contain the following items: mosquito net, plastic mat, blanket, pillow, pillow case, bath towel, slippers, raincoat, t-shirt, shorts, flip flops, tooth brush, schoolbag, notebooks, art set, pencils, pens, notepads, lunch box and tumbler. All of the items are locally sourced to spur economic development In the countries where the children live.

The charity uses 100% of the donated money to manufacture bed kits for children in developing countries around the world. Administrative costs are covered by the interest gained from a legacy account. As part of the donations, each child is photographed with their bed kit displaying the donor’s name and country or a special occasion message on a label. Each photograph is mailed to the gift recipient within 4 to 6 months.

S.C.A.W.’s mission is: “Through free-will donations and in partnership with our volunteers, we give bed kits to needy children in developing countries, thus helping them to face the challenges of the coming day.”

Mary Beaver by Rita Wagner

Mary had a very interesting career. She was employed as a bookkeeper and did translation of the pictographs and of North American history at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Mary taught Ojibwa at Holy Angels, White Pines, S.F. Howe and she worked at the Indian Friendship Centre, for the Batchawana First Nation and at the Northern Treatment Centre. She was also a member of Friends of Lake Superior.

Family life was very important to Mary.

Thank you for all you have done, Mary.

Lillian Nisbett by Sandy Fulcher

Lillian was a calm, gentle, soft-spoken Norwegian with a great love of reading. She enjoyed sharing this love with her students as a librarian and teacher at Northern Heights and Francis H. Clergue Public Schools.

She had two children and was dedicated to her own family as well as her school family.

Rest in peace, Lillian.

Remembering Valerie Scott, my friend of 50 years – submitted by Sandy Fulcher

Valerie used to say that she was a true Canadian as she was born in Rouyn, Que.; attended public school in Toronto, Ont.; attended high school in Vancouver, B.C. and graduated with a degree in ‘Home Economics’ from University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Man. She left the cold of Winnipeg to come to the cold of Sault Ste. Marie teaching for 30 years. Her teaching changed from Home Economics/Family Studies to Resource as the School Board eliminated the previous programs. She arrived in Sault Ste. Marie in her blue MG, which she sadly gave up for a warmer vehicle. She belonged to the ‘Red Hats’ and enjoyed their outings. She was a very creative person crocheting, embroidering, quilting, making dolls and painting. Pumpkin, her cat was the love of her life. Pumpkin, having diabetes, did not live to be an old cat. I’m sure that they are together now – enjoying each other’s company.

Farewell To Good Friends

Mary Kidd 
Mary Kidd devoted 40 years to teaching. This “little lady” made her presence known. She conducted pension and negotiation workshops for the federation of Women Teachers of Ontario (F.WT.A.O.) at the regional level. As president of the Sault Ste. Marie unit she inspired others to join.

Mary got her degree at a time when most women did not hold one. She was definitely a role model for other women in the profession!

Mary was a driving force working with her church to raise monies for the Alzheimer’s Society through an annual luncheon. The Sault Business Women’s Club recognized Mary for her contributions to nurturing women to go further.

She and her husband Bill were honoured by the local Retired Teachers of Ontario for their contributions to R.T.O. and education.

This dynamic lady also received an Honorary Life Membership in F.W.T.A.O. and E.T.F.O. for her contributions to federation.

Mary was noted for her cooking and warm hospitality. There was always room for one more person around the Kidd’s family table. Indeed Mary’s presence will be missed by her sisters in the Sault Ste. Marie unit of R.W.T.O.

Written by Emily N

Margaret Siltala, nee Golec – July 6, 1937 – December 24, 2015 was lovingly known as Maggie by her family members and close friends. Her teaching really started at the piano as she was very talented and passionate about music. Everything Margaret did was very thorough and complete which showed in all her endeavours especially in teaching the intermediate grades where she made history come alive through costumes and role play.

Margaret loved books and was an avid reader. She developed this gift into being a great story teller for her students and her family. She made all the holidays extra special.

She transformed her home, house and backyard into a beautiful garden – a show place of strength and beauty. In her retirement Margaret, her sister and her friend formed ‘The Three Garden Musketeers’ and they landscaped people’s gardens, flowers boxes and containers into works of art.

Written by Sandy F.