South Bruce Branch News

Welcome to the RWTO South Bruce Branch

South Bruce Branch has approximately 50 members which includes four life members. Although small in number, we continue to care and share while having fun. We invite retired women teachers from Kincardine, Walkerton, Hanover, Port Elgin, Southampton, Paisley and Ripley or surrounding areas to join our branch.

We generally meet five times each year. Two lunches and a Christmas tea at different venues throughout the area involve a business meeting conducted before the meal followed by some form of program: an inspirational speaker, a healthcare specialist or perhaps a craft making session. We also enjoy gathering informally for a back-to-school breakfast in early September and a year-end potluck meal in June.

At each of our meetings we have a raffle, book exchange and/or we accept donations to local food banks. We support the Kincardine and Saugeen Shores food banks, the Grey Bruce United Way, the Women’s House of Grey Bruce and the Huron Shores Hospice.




Insurance ConvenorBetty

Meetings 2021

October 21, 2021
at 12:30 pm via Zoom.

Provincial President Nancy Bell will be our guest speaker.

November 18, 2021 at 12:30 pm via Zoom.

Get in the Christmas spirit with readings, stories and a craft.


Meetings 2020

Tuesday, September 29 (Sept 30 rain date) @ 12:30 p.m.; BYOE (Bring Your Own EVERYTHING) lunch – Bring your own chair, food, drink, cutlery, plate, etc for an outdoor lunch and socially distanced gathering. Location: 48 Boiler Beach Road, Kincardine. RSVP to Christine Roberts, or Pat Emmerton,

Thursday, November 19 at 1 p.m., Zoom meeting with guest speaker Cheryl Cottrill, co-founder of the Huron Shores Hospice. RSVP to Pat Emmerton,

Meetings 2019

Thursday, September 5thBack to School Breakfast
Celebrate the start on another year of retirement at Ainsdale Golf Club, 2264 Huron Township Concession 12, Kincardine, ON
Arrive at 9:30 am, meal at 10:00.
Cost is $15, gratuity extra
Potential new members enjoy a complementary meal.
Bring donations of peanut-free school snacks for the Kincardine food bank’s school “grub tubs”.

Fall MeetingOctober 17, 2019. Guest speaker Patt Lowry, director of Kincardine Community Singers.
Location and details to be determined.

Christmas TeaNovember 14 at Kincardine Baptist Church, Kincardine.

Registration: at 11:30,

Lunch: at noon. Cost is $13.

Wear your best ugly Christmas sweater.

Contact: Carole Machan 519-396-6589

May 9, 2019 – Tour of the Bruce Nuclear Power site

You will need to bring with you a piece of identification that includes your picture (passport, driver’s licence, or any other government document that includes your picture).  When registering for this event you must include your complete name as it is written on the ID you are bringing with you.  You will also need to give your complete address.  This information is used by Bruce Power for a security check and must be submitted two weeks before the tour.  It is vitally important that we receive this information by April 23rd. 

Cost: $12 for cold lunch of sandwich fixings, buns, cheese, vegetables and fruit, dessert, tea and juices.

Meet at the Bruce Power Visitors Centre (3394 Bruce County Rd 20, Tiverton, ON) at 11:30 am. We will eat lunch and view a short film before beginning the tour at 1 pm to 3 pm.

Contact: Pat Emmerton, 48 Boiler Beach Rd, Kincardine, On., N2Z 0B3; 519-396-1120; by April 23.


Thursday, June 20, 2019 – Pot Luck Dinner at the home of Pat Emmerton, 48 Boiler Beach Rd., Kincardine.  Happy Hour (BYOB) – 4:30-5:30 pm followed by dinner.

Bring: plate, cutlery, lawn chair and something to share

A short business meeting will follow dinner.


November 15, 2018 – Christmas Tea

Place: Kincardine Baptist Church,

559 Queen St, Kincardine

Registration – 11:30  Lunch-12:00 pm.

Cost -$13

Menu – Soup, sandwiches, dessert, tea & coffee.

There will be an opportunity to donate to United Way (Christmas projects) .

Bring a wrapped gift worth $10 for a fun game.

Wear your best Christmas hat or fascinator and gloves.  There will be a carol sing.

Friday, September 7, 2018:
“School’s In, We’re Out” Breakfast.

October 25, 2018 – Fall Meeting

April 26, 2018 – Spring Meeting

For more information contact:
Carol Machan – 519-396-6589

Verlie Maisie Sherk (nee Mervyn)

Verlie Maisie Sherk (nee Mervyn), of Hanover, passed away peacefully at The Village Seniors Community, Hanover on Thursday, February 18, 2021. She was 95.

Verlie was born at home in Bentinck Township (Lot 19, Con 14) to the late George and Susan (nee Mighton) Mervyn on November 9, 1925. Verlie attended several schools including Lamlash Public School, Hanover High School and Stratford Teachers College where she found her love for teaching. Her career took her to numerous rural areas which is where she loved to teach — Crawford, Bunessan, No# 12 Brant, and Ceylon (where she became good friends with Agnes McPhail).  She enjoyed teaching Kindergarten from 1967-1984, and will be remembered by many past students and staff from James A. Magee Public School. She married the love of her life, Murray, on July 5, 1947, at Lamlash Church and was excited to figure this life out together with nothing but love and faith in God. Murray and Verlie made their home on the Sherk Farm on Con 12 Bentinck, where they raised their family. They loved to travel and spent 12 winters in Lakeland, Florida. Verlie’s greatest accomplishment was learning to play the piano and organ by ear. She was a woman that was faithful and giving, always practicing what she preached. She also was a faithful and devoted member of Victory Fellowship Baptist Church. She made herself available for service in any committee and would also help out with Sunday School. Many relationships will be treasured and remembered. She enjoyed God’s work and faithfully went to the Villa every Thursday, to provide a time of music, Bible thoughts and friendship with other residents and staff. With the eventual decline of her health, she and Murray soon took up residence at the Village and they were happy to be “home” amongst many friends and staff there.

Survived by her devoted husband, Murray Sherk, who gave support and encouragement throughout their married life of 73 years. Devoted mother of Lorraine (Ken) Helwig, Carol (Keith) McDougall and Colleen (Brad) Yenssen. The gift of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren growing up in Christian homes filled her heart with joy. Always treasured grandmother of Nancy (John) Ball, Lorretta (Helwig) Fisher, Michael (Leslie) Helwig, Kattie (Quest) Hallman, Bonnie McDougall, Brent (Nicole) McDougall, John (Ashley) Yenssen, Rashelle (Jeff) Dennison; great-grandmother of 19; and great-great-grandmother of 4. Fondly remembered by her nieces, nephews and their families. Predeceased by her beloved son, John Lyle Sherk, brother, Gordon (Lillian) Mervyn, sister, Edith (Fred) Schmidt and sisters-in-law, Helen (Charlie) Campbell and Margaret (Keith) Robinson.

To honour her wishes, a private graveside funeral service will be held in Chesley Cemetery in the Spring. Memorial donations to Victory Fellowship Baptist Church or to the Gideon Bible Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.  Arrangements entrusted to the care of Mighton Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at

God gives every person their own unique song — it’s one that will play their entire lifelong. Through the love that they give and the gifts that they share — through the memories they make and the dreams that they dare… it’s a song filled with beauty and day-to-day grace, that plays through until they see God face to face. A song that is heard in the heart, loud and clear — A song, if we listen, we’ll always still hear.

Joan Lillian (Shier) Kirkham

Joan Lillian (Shier) Kirkham of Kincardine died peacefully at Huron Shores Hospice, Tiverton, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in her 79th year. Loving wife of Clarence Hehn and the late Stan Kirkham.
Dear Mom of Tom Siegel and his wife, Tresa; Shawn Siegel and his wife, Nancy; Tessa Shier; Sandra Kirkham; and Shawn Kirkham and his wife, Anna.

Proud Grandma of Courtney, Caleb, Catlin, Cassie, Stephanie, and Austin.

Joan taught for 35 years – 33 of them in the Kincardine area, including Kincardine Township-Tiverton Public School. She was well-liked by her students and after retirement, she was always eager to lend a helping hand to children in need.

She loved the time she spent with children she could assist, including those in the local Amish community. And she was a member of the South Bruce branch of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario (RWTO), serving on the executive and winning the Cora Bailey Award for outstanding service to her branch.

RWTO provincial president Lois Lockhart (right) presents Joan Kirkham with her past-president pin and Cora Bailey pin, in 2017

Joan had a love of flowers and enjoyed spending time growing and cultivating them, and watching the results of her work. She would invite people over to watch her Moon flowers bloom – at dusk, the flowers started to open up. She loved sharing this beauty with others.

She and Clarence travelled to Alaska and all through the United States.
Not only did Joan’s loving care extend to people but she loved to feed the birds in the off-season and watch them come to her feeders.
Simply put, to know Joan was to know love.
A Celebration of her life will be held at a later date when family and friends, from near and far, can attend.

Memorial donations to Huron Shores Hospice or the Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan, visit the Huron Shores Cremation tribute store.

Joan Kirkham (second from left) with former Kincardine Township-Tiverton

Mary Fleming (nee Ferguson)


Mary Fleming (nee Ferguson) passed away peacefully at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Walkerton on Thursday, November 8, 2018 in her 105th year with her family by her side.

Loving aunt of Marg (Dave) O’Reilly, Mary (Ray) Mercey, Kathleen (Allan) Fox, Helen (Jim) McGrath, Hugh (Darlene) Ferguson and Tom (Terry) Ferguson. Mary is also survived by her nephew-in-law John Wallace as well as 28 grand nieces and nephews and 36 great-grand nieces and nephews.

Mary was predeceased by her husband James Fleming, parents Hugh and Alice (nee Sweeney) Ferguson, brother and sister-in-law Hugh and Mary Ferguson, nieces Theresa Ferguson and Ann Wallace, nephew Michael Ferguson and grandnephew Mark Ferguson.

Family will receive friends and relatives for visitation on Friday at the Cameron Funeral Home, Walkerton from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. with parish prayers at 3:45 p.m.

The funeral mass to celebrate Mary’s life will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Sacred Heart Church, Walkerton at 11:00 a.m. Fr. Les Szczygiel officiating.

Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Walkerton.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Walkerton & District Hospital Foundation – CT Scan or WES For Youth Online would be appreciated.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The family of Gladys Eileen Morris is saddened to announce her passing on Friday, February 8, 2019 at Trillium Court, Kincardine.
Wife of the late Andrew Morris. Beloved mother of Jim (Josie) Morris of Glammis, Helen (Steve Crossley) Tovey of Kincardine Township, and Lorna (Clayton Lemay) Carston of Bolton. Grandma to Lauren, Katie, Michael (Samantha Bester), Heather, Andrew, Kailey, John, and Rachel. Great-grandma of Darren, Bentley, and Cian. Eileen will be remembered by her sisters; Teeny Garland of Pinkerton and Shirley (Bob) Bourgeois of Walkerton, in-laws; Shirley Thompson of Glammis, Eleanor Thompson of Kincardine, and Felix Brockway of Brampton. Eileen is predeceased by her beloved daughter, Anne Brockway and Anne-Marie in-infancy. Brothers; Howard, Ron, Lloyd and Stewart (Vina) Thompson, and sister Belva (Bob) Agar. Brother-in-law Arthur Garland.

At 17, Eileen finished high school in Walkerton and moved to her sister, Belva’s in Stratford to attend Normal School to obtain her teaching certification. By 19 she was teaching in a one room schoolhouse back in Glammis. She taught until retirement 40 years later, much of that in the Bruce Central School, and Kincardine Township School. In 1956, she married Andrew Morris and moved to the farm on the 10th concession of Kincardine. Teaching, farming, raising 4 children and obtaining her university degree occupied the next 25 years. Mom put her heart into everything she did. We were repeatedly reminded, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.”
She loved teaching and in return she was loved by many children she taught. One of these children that she taught in the late 50’s, Sandy Bill Henderson, called mom every year on her birthday. How she loved to get that call. After retirement, Eileen kept every bit as busy as before caring for her grandchildren, volunteering for the Heart and Stroke Association, and helping write the history of Glammis.
When her health declined, Eileen moved into Tiverton Park Manor where she reconnected with old friends and made new ones. For the past 2 years, as her Alzheimers significantly progressed, Eileen was blessed by being cared for by the staff at Trillium Court. Our family is so appreciative of the love and respect that mom was treated with by all members of the long term care staff. And we marvel at the kindness of those palliative care volunteers who are so generous with their time and love .
We also want to express our gratitude to those friends and relatives who continued to visit Mom even as those visits became increasingly difficult. Marg McKinnon, a dear neighbour and old friend, visited regularly until the end. Ever gentle and kind, the last words I heard Mom say after months of silence were “Thank You” when one of her caregivers made her more comfortable last week.

Friends and relatives are invited for a casual memorial visitation from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Cameron Funeral Home, Walkerton.
A service celebrating Eileen’s life will be held at later date.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to Heart & Stroke Foundation and Alzheimer Society, would be appreciated by the family. Cards available at the funeral home (519-881-1273) Donations and condolences may also be made online at


October 15, 2018

Margaret J. Ferguson (MacMurchy) died peacefully, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, at the Kincardine hospital, in her 95th year.Survived by children, Glen (Doreen), Grant (Diann), Wayne (Diane), Mary Lynne (Murray), Kevin, and Carol (Bill). Also greatly missed by grandchildren, Doug, Julie, Kerry, Sarah and Jenna; great-grandson, Everest; sister, Audrey; and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by husband, William; sons, Ron and Roy; and sister, Norma. Margaret was an avid reader, gardener, and a retired teacher who had a life-long joy of learning. She was a member of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario (RWTO) which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016. At that time, she told the South Bruce branch that she was teaching in Kingsbridge in 1956 and remembered being storm-stayed at the school. “It was so cold, we took the heavy curtains off the windows and rolled them up like blankets. I enjoyed teaching, and I still meet some of my pupils which is a real joy.” She will be missed by her family and many friends. A Celebration of Margaret’s Life will be held at the Pine River United Church, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at 11 a.m., with visitation two hours prior. Interment Lochalsh Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation, the Pine River United Church or a charity of your own choice, would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Leona Cavanaugh

Date: Monday, July 23, 2018

Service Summary: Visitation at the Eagleson Funeral Home, Southampton on Friday July 27, 2018 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass for Leona Cavanaugh will be held at St. Joseph Church, 920 Wellington St., Port Elgin on Saturday July 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Followed by luncheon in the Parish Hall.

Cavanaugh, Leona T. (nee Connelly), passed away peacefully at the Southampton Care Centre on July 23, 2018 at the age of 96. Cherished mother of Sharon and her husband George Carere, Shiela and her husband Robert D’Aoust, and Mary Jane Low. Proud and loving grandmother of Harlan (Erica), Gian (Amanda), Alexis (John), Patricia (Matthew), Pierre (Rebecca), Andrew (Angela), and Kaitlin (Paul). Delighted great grandmother of Camilla, Nico, Ava, Cecilia, Timothy, Joseph, George, Nora, Alyssa, Nicole, Brigitte, Francis, Kinley, Felicity, Jett, Myles, and Calvin. Survived by her nieces Linda and Suzanne, and by her nephew Martin. Predeceased by her parents Joseph & Mary, by her sisters Marie, Theresa, and Kathleen, by her brothers Montcalm, Ernest, Nelson, and Oliver, and by her son-in-law Philip Low. Leona’s life-long love of learning enriched her teaching career over more than 30 years. Visitation at the Eagleson Funeral Home, Southampton on Friday July 27, 2018 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass for Leona Cavanaugh will be held at St. Joseph Church, 920 Wellington St., Port Elgin on Saturday July 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Followed by luncheon in the Parish Hall. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation or to the Children’s Hospital at the London Health Sciences Centre.


 Jean Hargrave, of R #1 Hanover, passed away at South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Durham Site, on Thursday, August 31, 2017. She was in her 92nd year. Born in Walkerton on March 24, 1926 to the late Harvey and Emma (nee Loughleen) Grice. Jean was a beloved public school teacher in rural Ontario for many years. She was a devoted member of Crawford United Church. She will be remembered as their organist. Survived by daughter Emilie Whitefield of R #1 Hanover, step children Russ (Darlene) Hargrave of Humphrey, Shirley Neff of Oakville, Dene (Bryan) Forrest of Vancouver, Bob (Barbara) Hargrave of Utopia and Donna (Garry) Kuehl of Kitchener. She will be missed by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Predeceased by her husband Carman A. (2000) and sister Elsie Grice. Visitation was at Knox United Church, Durham, Tuesday, September 5, 2017 from 10 am – 11 am, followed by the Funeral Service at 11 am. Rev. Tessica Hackshaw officiated. Interment in Durham Cemetery. Memorial donations to the South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Durham are appreciated as expressions of sympathy. Arrangements entrusted to MIGHTON FUNERAL HOME , Hanover. Condolences may be sent to the family at

DEVITT, Althea

DEVITT, Althea Of Tiverton , passed away at the Kincardine Hospital on Wednesday January 11, 2017 in her 98th year. She was born on October 18, 1919 to the late Melvina Shantz and Emerson Bock. Beloved wife of the late Homer Devitt who predeceased her in 1991. Greatly missed by her children Sylvia (Erv)Nixdorf of Vancouver Island, Graham (Carol) Devitt of Waterloo, Blake (Patty) Devitt of Ripley, Brad (Marla) Devitt of Florida and Lavonne (Brian) Robinson of London. Also survived by 9 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, sister-in-law Grace Bock of Toronto and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her son Dennis in 1957 and siblings Ronald Bock, Cameron Bock and Marjorie Sherk. Althea had a deep faith that sustained her throughout her life. She was a gentle and caring person who made everyone she met feel special. She was a gifted artist and writer who took pleasure in sharing her artwork and memoirs with family and friends. A Funeral Service will be held at the MACKENZIE & MCCREATH FUNERAL HOME, Ripley, on Thursday January 19, 2017 at 2 PM with visitation 2 hours prior. Interment Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener. The family wishes to thank the staff at Tiverton Park Manor for their support and compassionate care given to Althea. Donations to the Alzheimer Society, Heart & Stroke or the charity of your own choice are greatly appreciated as expressions of sympathy. Memorial online at

McFARLAN, Betty Thelma (née Elliott)

Betty Thelma McFarlan (née Elliott) of Kincardine, passed away peacefully, with family by her side, at the South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Kincardine on Sunday, February 12th, 2017, at the age of 83. Born in Huron Township on October 20th, 1933 to the late Earl and Margaret (née Byers). Beloved wife of Ken McFarlan. Dear Mother of Andy McFarlan of Stittsville and Steve (Joanne) McFarlan of Kincardine. Missed by grandchildren, John, Amanda, Anna, David and Scott McFarlan. Survived by her brother Bill (Betty) Elliott and sister-in-law Donna Elliott all of Kincardine. Fondly remembered by nieces, nephews, friends and members of the McFarlan family. Predeceased by her brothers, Joe Elliott, Jim Elliott, Bert Elliott (Marjorie) and sister Edith Simpson (Donald). Betty’s focus was always family and friends. She loved entertaining, cooking and baking for the numerous people she welcomed to her home over the years. She was a notoriously great cook and her butter tarts are remembered by many. Betty also enjoyed music, gardening, spending time at the cottage, and a good game of cards. The funeral service to celebrate Betty’s life was conducted from the Kincardine United Church on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., with Betty Elliott and Pastor Judy Zarubick officiating. Serving as pallbearers were John, David and Scott McFarlan, Brent and Jim Holroyd and Robert Elliott. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Kincardine Hospital Foundation appreciated as expressions of sympathy. Portrait and memorial online at


ELLIOTT, June E.Beloved wife of the late Gordon J. Elliott, passed away peacefully at Pinecrest Manor, Lucknow on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in her 92nd year. She was born in Kincardine on June 2, 1925 to the late Emma (Wilson) and Jim Farrell. Greatly missed by sons Rick (Susan) Elliott of Point Clark and Terry (Mary Ann) of Alberta, grandchildren Kristen, Erin, Mark, Josh and Diane (Chris) and great-grandchildren Connor, Tyler, Dean, Kent, Kaylan, Miles and Nyla. Also survived by sister Marion McLeod of Lucknow. Predeceased by daughter Jill, granddaughter Melissa and brothers Wilson, Gordon and Murray Farrell. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of June’s life will be held at a later date. Interment Lurgan Cemetery. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are greatly appreciated as expressions of sympathy. Arrangements have been entrusted to the MacKENZIE & McCREATH