St. Thomas-Elgin Branch News

Hello Lovely Ladies

We hope this note finds you well, as we presently experience a global situation without precedent.  As such, a multitude of concerning changes are being met with compliance, acceptance and kindness.  It is with this in mind that we wish to inform you of the following, as it pertains to our branch.

April, May and June meetings are unfortunately cancelled. If you have made  booking arrangements for these meetings, please inform the venue and presenters of the changes.

The June 2020 Convention has also been cancelled.  If you have registered, the cheques have not been cashed and will be destroyed or returned.  All hotel rooms will be cancelled by hotel management, but you may want to ensure this by contacting the venue.

As a generous and dynamic group of women, we will adapt to a changing world with goodwill, friendship, generosity and compassion.  Please know that you are in our thoughts, and we eagerly anticipate our time together in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, your executive team extends warm greetings and sincere wishes for a safe and relaxing home stay, as we plan for opportunities ahead.

For some comic relief, you might have seen this advertisement in the personals!

Single male with Lysol and Purell, looking for single female with a roll

of toilet paper, for some good clean fun!

Yours in good health,

The Executive, St Thomas Elgin RWTO Branch


The St Thomas-Elgin Branch of RWTO/OERO is an active group of about 135 retired women teachers from Public and Separate Boards and Elementary and Secondary panels. We enjoy getting together seven times a year for a good meal, warm chats and catch up time with friends, participate in activities and charities and generally have a good time together.

September starts with a FREE Coffee Break from 10 am until 11:30am on Friday September 20th, 2019 where new members and new retirees will be welcomed and we catch up with old and new friends.

Regular lunch meetings are held six times a year (October, November, March, April, May, & June) at 11:30am at different venues for a yummy noon lunch, a short business meeting, and a fun activity/program. We usually finish by or before 3:00 in the afternoon.

Membership is $45, which includes a $5 social fee, due in September, if you have not already paid. Lunches are $25, each, payable at the door of each lunch meeting.

For further details re: dates, venues, meals, and activities see the YEAR AT A GLANCE chart under EVENTS.

For whom to contact to join please check out the ABOUT page, or come with a friend, or just show up at one of our meetings.

And to see all the charities we support, annually, look under the heading  CHARITIES.

Our group has a wonderful time together and new members are always welcome. Check the GALLERY for photos of our fun times.

                       JOIN US – WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU!!

To The St Thomas-Elgin Branch of RWTO/OERO


PresidentLynn Christie519-207-2383
First Vice PresidentSue Bandeen226-980-9719
Second Vice President. Catherine Gardiner519-852-9203
Past PresidentBeth Phoenix519-207-2384
SecretaryDiane Pease519-631-7954
TreasurerMillie Gremonprez519-660-9095


MembershipRuth Quenneville519-633-3267
Building MembershipHazel Sims519-637-1936
CommunicationsSusan Jakob519-773-2287
Central East ElginGisele
West ElginGinny Barfett 519-764-2419
Lunch Attendance NumbersPatricia Legault519-639-2227

 To Our New Retirees

 May You Enjoy A Long And Happy Retirement!


Year 2019-2020 At A Glance

Click on the words above to download the chart.

NOVEMBER 22,2019 

 Click on link to download the Agenda

RWTO Agenda November 22, 2019 – Masonic Centre

  1. 11:30 Registration, seat selection, socializing
  2. 11:45 Welcome – Lynn Christie, thank you for donated gift items, thank Millie Gremonprez for transporting gifts to Christmas Care depot
  3. 11:50 Raffle tickets and silent auction information – Carole Watson
  4. 12:00 – 12:50 Grace – Lynn Christie, traditional Christmas meal – buffet
  5. 1:00 – 1:50 Call to order, Business Meeting
  6. Recognition of birthday celebrants – Marj Baxter, Sylvia Van Velzer, (80) Marion Wallace(90)
  7. Thank catering staff – Rita Demcheson
  8. 1:10 – 1:25 Catherine MacPherson, registered dietician, Southwestern Public Health- You’re the Chef presentation, volunteer opportunities
  9. Minutes of October Meeting – errors or omissions, move to accept/ seconder/vote
  10. Correspondence –
  11. Treasurers report – Millie Gremonprez move to accept/seconder/vote
  12. Insurance update – Judy DeGroote
  13. Goodwill reports – East – Linda Laforge, Central – Gisele Toulouse (absent), West – Ginny Barfett
  14. Other Business
  15. Reminder of next meeting – March 27, 2020, St Thomas Golf and Country Club – Toonie Draw, Grace Café presentation – Ginny Trepanier
  16. Adjourn meeting – move to accept, seconder/vote
  17. 1:50 – 2:50 silent and quarter auction – Carole Watson, Beth Phoenix, Judy DeGroote, Linda Alton, Hazel Sims
  18. Thank you to Carole and elf helpers
  19. 3:00  Best Wishes, good health and safe travels during winter break – joke, Terry Sherratt


The St Thomas-Elgin RWTO/OERO




Left to Right:

Leslie Carroll-Frey is presently District 3 RWTO Director. This is her second year in this position which she has been thoroughly enjoying getting to know many in all District 3 Branches. She has also been one of the St Thomas-Elgin Branch Archivists for many years.

Susan Jakob has been a member of the St Thomas-Elgin executive since she retired in 2010 holding the positions of treasurer for four years and then going through the Chair positions. She is presently Communications Convenor.

Wendy Glover has worked closely with good friend, Leslie, sharing the St Thomas-Elgin Branch role of Archivist. These ladies have recorded written and photo documentation of all our meetings for many years.

All their efforts are greatly appreciated by our branch!


SEPTEMBER- Backpack Project for children at the Women’s Shelter (cash preferred)
OCTOBER- West Elgin Daffodil Society (Food Bank)-(Any non perishable food item, sanitary products, or cash or cheques are appreciated.)
NOVEMBER- St Thomas Caring Cupboard (Food Bank) or Christmas Care (a gift for a child)
MARCH- Grace Cafe
APRIL- Violence Against Women Services Elgin County-VAWSEC-(monetary gift or cheques made out to VAWSEC or new children’s books are requested)
MAY- East Elgin Community Assistance Program-EECAP-(Aylmer Food Bank)
(Any non perishable food item, sanitary products, or cash or cheques are appreciated.)
JUNE- Backpack Project for children at the Women’s Shelter (cash preferred)

NOTE: FYI: For many of our charities rather than donating “stuff” (example, non perishable items) if you choose, rather to donate by cheque, most of these charities give out income tax receipts so it becomes a win-win for both the giver and the receiver.
NOTE #2: The monthly donations are strictly voluntary.

McCALLUM, Frances Marion

Peacefully, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at Bobier Villa, Frances Marion McCallum (née Simpson) passed away at the age of 105. Born in Mosa Township on February 18, 1915 to the late Charles F.Simpson and Jemina (née McEachran). Predeceased by her beloved husband Duncan A. McCallum (1984). Loving mother of Dorothy Gillies (late Duncan) of London, Cathy (Arnold) Clarke of Dutton, Mary Howard (late Ken) of West Lorne and Helen McCallum (Jerry Cherwonick) of Delta, British Columbia. Cherished grandmother of Carrie Howard (Bill Lang) and Mike Howard (Teresa). Fondly remembered by her great-grandchildren; Connor and Katie Howard and Hannah and Emery. Survived by her sister, Ina Nelms (late Vern) and brother-in-law, Harvey Parker. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. Frances is predeceased by her siblings; Douglas (Edna) Simpson, Stewart (Betty) Simpson and Dorothy Parker.

Frances lived a full life, guided by determination, love and faith. In her early years, she taught grades one to eight in various one-room schools in Mapleton, Campbellton, Willies as well as S.S.#3, and later, schools in West Lorne and Dutton. Frances was always able to clearly recall stories from her early teaching years to share with family and friends. Even after retirement, Frances returned to school, this time as a student, to obtain her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1993. While living in West Elgin, Frances practiced her faith as a member of the Argyle Presbyterian Church, Crinan.

Due to gathering restrictions as a result of COVID-19, a Celebration of Life with interment of ashes in Oakland Cemetery, Glencoe, will be held at a later date. If desired, memorial donations to Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, Argyle Presbyterian Church, Crinan or a charity of choice would be appreciated by the family. DENNING’S OF WEST LORNE (519-785-0810) entrusted with arrangements. Condolences online at

Published on May 9, 2020

Shirley Ann Millington

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Shirley Ann Millington of St. Thomas, passed away at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Dearly loved sister of Norma Jean and Beverley Millington. Born in Blenheim, ON, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Madeline (née Willcox) Millington. Shirley was an elementary school teacher in Sarnia for many years, having been a graduate of London Teachers College and the University of Western Ontario. She was a member of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario, St. Thomas Anglican Church and the former Trinity Anglican Church, St. Thomas. Honouring Shirley’s wishes, a private funeral service was held on Thursday, February 20th at the SIFTON FUNERAL HOME, 118 Wellington St., St. Thomas (519-631-1160), followed by interment in Elmdale Memorial Park. Memorial donations to the STEGH Foundation, St. Thomas Anglican Church or the charity of one’s choice will be gratefully acknowledged.

Jessie Elizabeth Turner

02/04/1930 – 01/08/2020

TURNERJessie Elizabeth (Whitelock) of Maple Manor, Tillsonburg and formerly of Sparta, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 8th , 2020, in her 90th year. Beloved wife of the late Basil Myrvn Cadell Turner (2011). Step-mother of Vanessa Turner, Carole Turner (Farooq Fatah) and the late Bill Turner (late Lila). Cherished grandmother of Kira, Kyle, Kathy, Kevin, Malcolm and Zoe and great-grandmother of Jillian, Madyson, Isaac, Ryan and Tyler. Dear sister-in-law of Nina Riches (Stan) and Gaynor Norman (Edward). Predeceased by her two sisters. Remembered by several nieces and nephews. Jessie was born in Dunwich Township on April 2nd, 1930, daughter of the late Archibald and Edrie (Nott) Whitelock. She had a successful teaching career, working in Chatham, Mississauga (South Peel), Sandy Mount and Elgin County. She was a member of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario. A Memorial Service to celebrate Jessie’s life will be held at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 11:00am. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 10:00-11:00am. Cremation has taken place with private interment of ashes in St. Stephen’s Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to C.N.I.B. or charity of one’s choice.

To see the full obituary for Jessie Elizabeth Turner, click here