Sault Ste. Marie


Welcome back to a new year of RWTO/OERO events as we celebrate our 55th Anniversary as the Sault Ste. Marie Branch. Your executive has been hard at work planning an exciting year for all of us. We hope it will be one full of fun, sharing and caring. Thank you to all the members who submitted the Branch Survey as the collected data will be of great guidance to us as we process through the year. We hope that each of you will attend the meetings and events planned for this year, perhaps bringing a recently retired educator friend as a guest.

As in previous years, the majority of our General Meetings will be held at the United Baptist Church on Malabar Drive. Once again you will be contacted ahead of each General Meeting by our phone committee who will provide more details about each meeting as well as confirm attendance.  We are also hoping to start up/revive some of our old clubs/activities that were enjoyed in the past as well as possibly bring in some new ones.

On another note, do not forget the Health Insurance Benefit that RWTO/OERO members enjoy – an excellent supplementary Hospital and Home Care plan offering outstanding benefits. Be sure to contact Beverley Brazeau our Branch Insurance Convenor regarding any questions or concerns you may have in this regard. In addition, it is important that you pay your membership dues by October 8th as only paid-up members of RWTO/OERO can obtain this topped up insurance. If you have any questions regarding membership contact Sandy Fulcher, our Branch Membership Convenor.

Interested in becoming more involved in the operations of our Branch? Possibly consider the positions of member-at-large or second vice president. Perhaps you would like to sit in as an invited guest at one of our upcoming executive meetings, possibly join a committee or help organize our 55th Anniversary Luncheon or bring a recently retired friend as an invited guest to one of our events. Contact me for this arrangement to be made.

In the future, Branch correspondence will primarily be by email. If you require a hard copy, contact Patricia Lambert, First Vice President for this to be arranged. (705-257-9393)

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact myself or any member of our Branch Executive and Branch Convenors. Contact information is provided.

Barb Perry

RWTO/OERO President

Sault Ste. Marie Branch  

Membership Dues:

Dues can be paid at the Wednesday, September 28th meeting or mailed to Sandy Fulcher by October 1st as the deadline for receiving payment is October 8th.
Sandy Fulcher,

4528 Second Line West RR6,

            Sault Ste. Marie, On

            P6A 6K4

Cheque: Sault Ste Marie RWTO

Amount: $50.00 if retired after 1980; $25.00 if retired before

Remember to have RWTO insurance you must maintain your membership with RWTO.


General Membership Meeting Dates for 2022-2023

Wednesday, September 28 – United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar

 Registration: 10:30 a.m.

Meeting Time is 11:00 followed by lunch, an opportunity to reconnect, especially after the summer holidays and to do some “fun mental gymnastics.”

Wednesday, October 26th – United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar

Registration: 10:30 a.m.

Meeting: 11:00 a.m.

This is a Joint Meeting with the Central Algoma Branch to welcome our Provincial President Judy Drummond.  There will be a catered lunch and opportunity to enjoy one another. Afterwards, there will be a short presentation from our Provincial Insurance Convenor for anyone who wishes to stay.

Wednesday, November 23rd – United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar

More information to follow

Wednesday, February 22,2023 – United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar

More information to follow

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – United Baptist Church, 41 Malabar

More information to follow

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 – High Tea at Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site “the  Old Stone House” at 800 Bay Street

 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m.

Registration deadline is May 17th. Cost $25.00/person.  Contact Patricia Lambert (705-257-9393)

June 2023 – A.G.M. and 55th Anniversary Luncheon

More information to follow


Other News

 Branch Newsletters (fall and spring) Look forward to receiving the Scribbler again this year.  Special thanks to Brenda Gallander for her time and effort. If you have contributions, please contact Brenda directly.

Breakfast Club: We are planning to once again meet for breakfast each month during the year. More information to follow.

Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW): Our Sault Ste Marie Branch has supported this charity since 1974. During the late spring of 2022 SCAW resumed operations distributing approximately 5000 bedkits between March and April primarily in the countries of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Uganda. Distribution will continue through 2022- 2023 to locations as they are deemed safe for teams to attend to. Donations will again be accepted at General Membership meetings.

Survey responses continue to be accepted. The information from the survey helps in planning future events.  Either mail to Patricia or drop off at a General Meeting.

67th Provincial RWTO/OERO Annual General Meeting / Convention: will be held July 6-8, 2023, in Kingston, Ontario

Executive 2022-2023

Past PresidentSandy
PresidentBarb Perry 705- 943-5801
1st Vice PresidentPatricia Mary Lambert 705- 943-5801
2nd Vice-PresidentVacant
Members at LargeBrenda
Sherill Dewar 705 256-5575
Area DirectorEmily Noble705-253-6106


Social ,Archives and Phone ConvenorGerry Yeo705-945-8193N.A.
Issues & ConcernsPaula
Communications ConvenorBrenda

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!


Past PresidentBrenda
1st Vice President Vacant
2nd Vice PresidentBarbara
Past PresidentBernice
Insurance ConvenorBeverley
Social Convenor & ArchivistGerry Y.705-945-8193N.A.
GoodwillRita Wagner 705-779-3905
Issues and ConcernsPaula
Members at LargeRita
Jenny Koprash
Sherill Dewar
Patricia Lambert
Area DirectorJoyce


Click on the above title to download the Events file.




Sault Ste Marie Brunch Bunch                                        Contact: Patricia Lambert

Sault Ste Marie Book Club                                             Contact: Brenda Gallander

Sault Ste Marie Scrabble Club                                        Contact: Carmen Charsley



Meeting Times: 10:30 till Noon

Location: Varies

Tuesday, September 13th

Tuesday, October 11th

Tuesday, November 8th

Tuesday, January 30th

Tuesday, March 7th

Tuesday, April 4th

Tuesday, May 9th

Tuesday, June 13th


EXECUTIVE MEETING – Wednesday, September 8 or 15 @ 11a.m. or @ 1p.m. Place is to be determined

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING – Wednesday, September 22 or Wednesday, September 29, 2021@ 11a.m.

PROGRAMME – WELCOME Back with Refreshments and pay your dues

Place to be determined

Ladies – Both these meetings are tentative. Meeting still depends on what is happening with Covid 19 lockdowns??

General Meetings are the 4th week of the month at 11:00 a.m. at the United Baptist Church hall at 41 Malabar unless stated otherwise. The hall is at ground level. 

Wed., September 25—Let’s Remember September is Alzheimer’sMonth

This Welcome Back meeting will begin with a short business meeting to present the executive for this year, to present the Cora Bailey Award to one of our members, and to update you on pertinent information gleaned over the summer. 

We will then have a light lunch and coffee/tea break. 

After lunch, Janice Seppala of the Alzheimer’s Society will give a presentation entitled “Healthy Brain”. She will give an overview of what dementia is, what Alzheimer’s disease is, the warning signs and ways to help prevent and lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. 

Janice will bring a donation box for those members who wish to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s society. Any amount is appreciated. Donors of $20.00 or more will get a receipt for income tax. 

You will have the opportunity to put your name in for a draw. We have two lovely Forget-Me-Not suncatchers and a beautiful deep blue silk scarf with light blue Forget-Me-Nots on it which we purchased from the Alzheimer’s Society. Three lucky members will go home with one of these items. 

Sandy F. will have her receipt book at the September 27th meeting and will accept membership dues if you have not yet paid them. 

Remember: Names of paid members will go in for a draw for a free membership. 

Wed. October 23rd—Together We Welcome the Provincial President and the Insurance Convenor to our Joint Branch Meeting

Our Area 11 Director, Joyce Ratz, will chair this meeting. 

A creative welcome will be given by the Central Algoma Branch to the Provincial President, Karen Lauzon-Clark. 

Both Branch presidents will give their short speeches, followed by the address by the Provincial President. 

We will have lunch catered by Sandy Punch. Lunch will be $15.00 each including tax and gratuity. More information will follow. 

The Insurance workshop will take place after lunch, so that those members who wish to leave may. Either Anne Wilde, Provincial Insurance Convenor, Karen Mussen, the new Assistant Insurance Convenor or Terry Kennedy, the Manulife Broker, will conduct the workshop. 

The Sault Branch will thank the two visitors for coming north to visit with us. 

Wed., November 27th–Caring Christmas Craft

This activity will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at The Davey Home. We will either meet at The Davey Home or carpool there. 

We will be making a Christmas craft with a group of residents this year. Plans are being finalized by Rita W., Sandy F., and Bernice W. The craft will be announced later. Craft materials will be provided. 

We may meet for lunch on our own at an agreed upon restaurant after we leave The Davey Home. 

Wed., Feb. 26th—Paper Quilling 

Carmen C. and Stephanie H. have agreed to share their skills in quilling with us. They state: “Ladies, here is your chance to learn the ancient art of paper quilling. We will show you how to roll strips of paper and then turn them into designs to decorate a small heart valentine.” 


We will be introduced to enjoyable and easy to follow low intensity chair and resistance exercises that target legs, arms and balance. This session will even appeal to those of us who don’t exercise on a regular basis, so wear comfortable clothing and join in the fun! Exercises you lean can be done at home to help maintain your mobility. We will exercise after the short meeting but before the light lunch. 

Wed., April 22nd—Fun and Games

Brenda O. announces the activity she will lead again this year: “Ladies, put on your thinking caps and game face for our Games meeting. Enjoy cards, word games and more.” 

Wed., May 27th—Annual Branch Meeting

This get-together is a celebration and a time to socialize before our summer break begins. 

We will be starting with lunch in the River Room of North 82 Restaurant. We will order our own lunches from the menu. Lunches range from $10.95 to $15.00 plus tax and gratuity. 

At this meeting we will present nominations for our executive. Nominations from the floor will be taken. We will vote if necessary. Our Area director, Joyce Ratz, will install the new executive and the Cora Bailey Award will be presented. 

Be sure to come to support fellow members! 

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.

Membership Dues:

Dues can be paid at the Wednesday, September 28th meeting or mailed to Sandy Fulcher by October 1st as the deadline for receiving payment is October 8th.
Sandy Fulcher,

4528 Second Line West RR6,

            Sault Ste. Marie, On

            P6A 6K4

Cheque: Sault Ste Marie RWTO

Amount: $50.00 if retired after 1980; $25.00 if retired before

***Remember to have RWTO insurance you must maintain your membership with RWTO


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 2019

Brenda Ostaff

Brenda Ostaff joined the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario Sault Ste. Marie Branch on October 11, 2013. Immediately, Brenda demonstrated that she is a committed, supportive and caring member of the branch. She shares her time and talents with members, and as a result we all have more fun.

Since April 2016, Brenda has been a Member at Large on the Sault Ste. Marie Branch Executive. In this capacity, she attends the executive meetings regularly, listens attentively and offers her opinions and ideas on topics discussed.

Brenda attends most general meetings. She participates fully in activities by dressing in costumes when asked, wearing festive accessories for holiday themed meetings and bringing supplies for crafts and fundraising activities.

Brenda assists in setting out the light lunches at each meeting, filling boxes of cookies for shut-ins at Christmas and cleaning the kitchen after meetings.

As a caller, Brenda calls or emails members on her list to remind them of meetings and collects information from them such as lunch choices.

In 2019, Brenda planned a well-organized Games session which was well-received by the members who participated. She plans to present another Games session on April 22, 2020.

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


Sault Ste. Marie Area: 11 2018

Margaret Walker

Marg  joined The Ontario Association of Superannuated Women Teachers in June 1996 and got involved right away.

Marg was a board member for the newly formed Retired Women Teachers of Ontario for many years working her way up the ranks from Second Vice President to First Vice President and then President for the year 2008-2009. As President, Marg fulfilled her duties conscientiously and completed her year in this capacity.

Marg has attended many of the R.W.T.O. Conventions around the province over the years, paying for registration fees and her share of room and gas costs out of her own pocket. She assisted with the R.W.T.O. Conventions in 1997 and 2102 hosted by Sault Ste. Marie.

Marg continues to regularly attend General Meetings supporting activities and dressing up according to the occasion. She is a good sport about having her photo published in local newspapers. To take part in fieldtrips outside of the city and to participate in Joint Central Algoma and Sault Branch Meetings, Marg is willing to drive. Marg participates in the Breakfast Club regularly meeting with fellow members the second Friday of each month.

With her quiet presence, Marg is a faithful member of our organization. It is with pleasure that the Sault Unit recognizes Marg Walker as a long overdue recipient of the Cora Bailey Award.


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.”

JOYCE MERTES -February 7, 1930 to May 22, 2022

Joyce worked for many years as a Grade One Teacher for the Sault Ste. Marie School Board of Education, and then as one of its pioneering teacher-librarians where she shared her love of reading with students in grades 1 through 8. Joyce retired as a school librarian in 1986.

Joyce was an active advocate for women teachers and served as President of the F.W.T.A.O. in Sault Ste. Marie.  Joyce joined R.W.T.O. in 1988, and became our Area 11 Director on the Provincial Board of Directors. She was to become the 44th Provincial President of RWTO (2000-2001) when her husband became ill, and she chose to give up this position to attend to Bernard’s needs. She received an Honorary Life Membership in RWTO.

Throughout her busy career, Joyce found time to raise two sons, Ted and Paul, as well as complete her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees. She was an active member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Teachers’ Sorority and Central United Church including its choir, U.C.W. and the McDougall Club.

When the Sault Branch of RWTO formed a Scrabble Club, Joyce, a long-time Scrabble player, enthusiastically joined right away. She hosted the club in her apartment at Collegiate Heights.

Joyce continued to read avidly in retirement frequenting the public library and completed challenging crossword puzzles in the Toronto Star. Her attention to detail included ironing her own clothes while at Collegiate Heights. She loved pretty greeting cards and sent and received many. She kept journals and book lists which her family treasures.

Joyce will be missed by all who knew her. Rest in heavenly peace, Joyce.

PHYLLIS RANCIER née  Koivisto   –  September   30,  2020.

Phyllis learned at a young age ‘how to get along’ as she had 4 brothers. She quickly learned how to stand up for herself. These skills helped her to make her a very caring teacher enriching the lives of many children. Phyllis was just as caring in all her dealings with others throughout her whole life. In retirement, she continued to be active, being very involved in gardening, in quilting and  in her swim group. She had a beautiful smile that lit up her whole face and she always made you feel ‘welcome’ and ‘special’.


LILLIAN ‘ ELAINE’ MCFARLING  née  Armstrong  –  June  15,  2020.

Elaine’s teaching career was a story to behold. She started teaching right after completing Grade 13, travelling by train to her first teaching position in a one-room schoolhouse in Glendale, north of Searchmont, north of Sault Ste. Marie. As there was no official train stop, the conductor would slow the train down and call out ” Jump, Teacher, Jump” and Elaine would jump  and then walk / run to her one room schoolhouse where her students were eagerly waiting. Many interesting events  became part of the everyday teaching and learning in that one room schoolhouse, like going on a search to try to locate a lost fawn. It was those early teaching years that guided her the rest of her teaching career and she moved from that one room schoolhouse  to a Special Education Consultant, the position she held when she retired.

ELIZABETH ‘BETTY’  CARSCADDEN   née Agnew  –  May  3,  2020.

Betty was an exceptional kindergarten teacher with the Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education.

Kindergarten was her calling and she excelled in every facet of it. She was extremely artistically gifted making wonderful crafts and creations, which are now proudly displayed  in many homes of her friends and loved ones , as well as in her Presbyterian church, her second home. She had a clear soprano voice and was often heard singing at home and of course, in the church choir.  She had a wonderful sense of humour which brightened every family gathering.

JOYCE MACKAY   – April  11,  2020

Joyce was a founding member of the Sault Ste. Marie RWTO Branch. She was 95 when she died, having lived a very full life. She had taught for 37 years  and had enjoyed teaching and her pupils immensely. She herself was a lifelong learner. She completed her university education ‘cum laude’ with a double major in geography and social welfare graduating in 1979. She was active in her church, the ADK sorority and the Retired Women Teachers of Sault Ste. Marie. She was very interested in all the happenings with her family, the  community and with her surroundings.

JEAN SYLVA SPELLER  née Mogg  –  February  27, 2020

Jean was 99 years old when she died at the Upper Canada Lodge, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Even her own doctor commented on her longevity saying that ‘ it was due to the abundant love and care  that she received from her family that kept her going’. Not only was the love given but she herself had instigated it over the years. She had nurtured and planted it in all her 10 own children, their children, the 33 great grandchildren and the 8 great, great grandchildren. Not only did she instill this love and care in her own family, she also extended it to her teaching career. She taught ‘Special Education – Opportunity’ as it was called for many years and she used that same ‘love and care’ to make a difference in the lives of many students.

Ladies, rest in  peace and may your memories be  ‘bright shining lights for us to follow’.

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.

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.

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.