RWTO/OERO Awards Policies

It is the policy of RWTO/OERO that the following honours may be bestowed on members.

Barbara Bain Membership Award

This provincial award was named in honour of our long-time member, Barbara Bain, who served on the Provincial Board of Directors for 11 years. Barbara served as an Area Director, Assistant Insurance Convenor, Insurance Convenor, 2nd and 1st Vice-President, President, Past President and Honorary President. Barbara was also the first Membership Convenor for RTWO/OERO. Barbara continues to be an active member in the London-Middlesex Branch.

Since its inception in 2006-2007, the provincial Barbara Bain Award has traditionally been given to the three branches, one in each tier, with the largest percentage increase in the number of regular paid-up members. In 2015, the formula was changed: the actual increase is now calculated on how many new members join, less the number of existing members who did not renew during the April 1 to March 31 period. Awards of $300, $200 and $100 will be given in each tier, based on actual increase in membership. So now instead of 3 awards of $200 being awarded, we have 9 provincial awards, 3 for each tier, totalling $1800.

Barbara Bain Recipients 2022

Tier Branch Net Increases
1 Hamilton-Wentworth 1st 26 $400.00
1 St. Thomas-Elgin 2nd 7 $300.00
1 Haldimand 3rd 5 $200.00
2 Durham North 1st 13 $400.00
2 Owen Sound 2nd 10 $300.00
2 Lanark 3rd 3 $200.00
3 Borckville 1st 10 $400.00
3 East Parry Sound 2nd 2 $300.00
3 Daisy Wilson Coldwater 3rd 1 $200.00

Barbara Bain Award Recipients 2021

Barbara Bain Award Recipients 2020

Barbara Bain Award Recipients 2019

The membership increases are calculated by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

The Feather In Your Hat Award

The Feather in Your Hat was established by the Membership Committee.

Criteria for the Feather in Hat Award

  1. This award recognizes creative, innovative and successful activities carried out by a Branch that has clearly enriched the programs offered by RWTO/OERO.


  1. Area Directors can submit the names of deserving Branches.
  2. Branches can nominate themselves by writing a descriptive article and submitting it to the Chair of the Membership Committee for consideration.
  3. Chosen Branches have an article describing their activity or program published in the Provincial Newsletter and the “Hat” itself is presented at the Annual Meeting.
  4. Two or three Branches are honoured each year.


Submissions for Feather In Your Hat must be made to the Membership Convenor after January 1st and before March 1st. Mail a hard copy via Canada Post to:

Kathy McLean
2303 Badger Cres
Ottawa K2C 1H9

Notify her that it is in the mail and she will confirm receipt upon arrival.

Feather in Your Hat Award

The “Feather in Your Hat” Awards are presented each year at the AGM/June Convention. It is given in recognition to branches for their creative, innovative, and successful projects that have clearly enriched the programs offered by RWTO/OERO at the branch level. Thank you to all the branches that made submissions this year.

Feather in Your Hat Awards – 2022   (Provincial Membership Committee)

The “Feather in Your Hat” Award for Branch ingenuity have been increased to include small, medium and large Branch categories this year!

Small Branch


The “Senior Centre Without Walls” Project gathered Community Grants to make all programs free to participants! Popular activities included; Yoga, fitness, weekly trivia, local speakers, teleconferencing, webinars, zoom contracts and power point slides – all beneficial and received in the safety of participants’ homes. Due to COVID restrictions, this project evolved into a program that reached many seniors beyond the Wiarton RWTO Branch in Area 1, including RTO (Retired Teachers of Ontario), District 10. The RWTO members were willing volunteers whenever needed.

Medium-Sized Branches

Brantford Branch (and Brant County) have had a long-term sponsorship of their Women’s shelter, Nova Vita, to help women and children in their community.  COVID prevented the collection of toys and gifts this yearbut they were still able to have their annual Elfin Tea Fundraiser at Glenhyrst Gardens’, The Golden Teapot. A HEPA filter ran the whole time and the room was aired and sanitized after each of 4 sittings of 12 ladies. They all sang, “All I want for Christmas is for Covid to Go Away”! Their generous contributions were stretched even further by corporate support!

Niagara Falls

The “United Way Back to School” Project received $250 and many hours of packing pencil cases with supplies for kids in their Community. Students chose their own backpacks with gift certificates. Branch President, Diane Ewen, arranged and was interviewed by 2 local newspapers – in print and online – describing the project and ending with an invitation to all retired women teachers to join RWTO!

Niagara South

The “PJ’s and Books Donation Drive” gave 101 pairs of PJs and many books to the Region of Niagara Social Services Department before Christmas – the most of any donating organization!!

One thankyou said, “Now we are all excited for this Christmas! We never thought we’d ever have a good Christmas but you have made it better for us to be a family.”

Large Branches


The ongoing “Remembrance Day Wreaths” Project has created 5 beautiful wreaths and have plans for 2 more. Volunteer RWTO members attended local services to lay them, be recognized and honour our Canadian veterans!


“The Baby Snuggle Project” was created by the Knitting and Crocheting Interest Group who have been donating afghans to charity for years. By adding an “I Love You to the Moon and Back” illustrated board book with the blanket, 21 young mothers, through the Salvation Army’s Grace Haven enjoyed Christmas! RWTO stickers were on the inside front cover and a booklet to explain the importance of reading to babies was included. (Mothers also receive schooling and parental support at Grace Haven)

St. Catharines

The “Niagara Workers Welcome” Project provided 500 farmworkers from the Caribbean and Mexico with “Welcome Kits” including personal and work wear from organized clothing drives, picnics and concerts! They distributed 75 Welcome Bags including masks, sanitizer, granola bars, soups, bandaids, toothpaste and brushes etc.

They also gave $11,00. To the local “Community Care” at Christmas.

Feather In Your Hat Award Recipients 2021

Feather In Your Hat Award Recipients 2020

Honorary Membership Award

A Provincial Honorary Membership in RWTO/OERO is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member for outstanding service at the provincial level. This award is presented at the Annual Meeting. Nominations are sent to the Honorary Membership Committee Chair.

Criteria for Honorary Members:

  1. The most important consideration must be the member’s contribution to RWTO/OERO at the provincial level.
  2. The contribution may include: length of service, provincial offices held with distinction, extraordinary care and devotion to a task, outstanding ideas or innovations introduced.
  3. The retiring Provincial President is automatically recommended for this honour at the completion of her term of office
  4. No more than 4 members may be selected in any one year.


  1. A notice and the criteria for selection of a recipient are placed in the November newsletter by the Honorary Membership Convenor inviting branch executives and/or members-at large to submit nominations for this award.
  2. The name and the accompanying background information about the proposed recipient must be forwarded to the Honorary Life Membership Convenor by January 31.
  3. The Committee selects the recipients as soon as possible after January 31. The chairperson forwards the choices, along with the rationale for the selections, to the Provincial President for presentation, discussion and ratification at the April executive meeting. The decision is relayed to the chairperson of the Honorary Membership Committee who then notifies the recipients.

Honorary Membership Award Recipients 2022

Judith Bennoch

Judith Bennoch was nominated by the St. Catharines Branch and Marilyn Emmett, Past Provincial President. She has served on the Provincial Board from 2015-2022 and continues as Program Coordinator. As Area Director for Area 4 she helped with the reorganizing of the Area 4 Branches.

Judith served on the following Standing Committees: Honorary Membership, Policy and Procedures, Membership Committee, which included working with the Membership Convenor. She created a storefront display at the Ajax Convention entitled Recruitment, Retention and Recognition. This resulted in ongoing support to all Branches, known now as the 3 R’s of Membership.

Judith also served on the Rocking Retirement Committee, Convention Handbook, and the Voting and Elections Procedures Handbook. Judith continued her service to RWTO/OERO on the following Ad Hoc Committees: Area Director Role Review, Cora Bailey Procedures Review, Convention Handbook Revisions, Constitution Review – Articles VI, VII, VIII and Virtual Convention Handbook.

In 2020, Judith took an active role in the Online AGM and was an integral part of the Virtual Convention in 2021. Judith is a natural leader, a great organizer and a wonderful support to Branch Presidents and the Area Directors. Judith’s many contributions and active involvement in RWTO/OERO at the Provincial level makes her a most deserving candidate for an Honorary Membership Award.

Jane Cartier

Jane was nominated by her RWTO/OERO Chatham-Kent Branch. She brings a thoughtful, diplomatic approach to the role of Parliamentarian and was appointed to this position in 2017. In her role, Jane assists the Provincial President in following Parliamentary Procedures at Executive, Board and Annual General Meetings. She is required to be fully knowledgeable of the organization of RWTO/OERO and the RWTO/OERO Constitution. In preparation for the Parliamentarian’s role, Jane tirelessly reviewed Bourinot’s Rules of Order with its intricacies which she skillfully applies at all meetings.

Jane excels in her ability to base her advice on common sense and the need to move through an agenda expeditiously. Her ability to quickly provide decisions and make recommendations on point of order, drafting motions, wording of resolutions at the Annual General Meetings are highly valued by our members and the Provincial Presidents.

Jane has been active member on many Ad Hoc Committees which have benefited by her collaborative approach, ability to stay focused on the mandate and complete the task using her expertise and knowledge. She actively contributed to the Voting and Election Procedures Handbook Ad Hoc Committee during May 2018 – September 2021, the 2020 and 2021 Virtual Conventions, and all resolutions. She continues to be a most valued member of RWTO/OERO.

Anne Wilde

RWTO/OERO Haldimand Branch nominated Anne Wilde for the Honorary Membership Award for her ongoing passion in all that she does both locally and provincially.

Anne was recruited to fill the Assistant Insurance Convenor in 2018-2019, coming directly from her various Branch experiences and followed up as the Provincial Insurance Convenor in 2019-2020. Being a life-long learner and a very compassionate person, she humbly learned how to navigate simultaneously both the Provincial Board of Directors and the Insurance portfolio. She willingly helped our membership learn how to use our special Hospital and Home Care Insurance Plan, and organized and presented in-person Branch workshops across the province during the Open Enrolment Program in 2019. Then she was able to switch gears through the first months of Covid-19 to present workshops online with Zoom, while continuing to help individual members with their insurance concerns.

Anne served diligently as the liaison with our insurance broker, Terry Kennedy, and provided updates to the RWTO/OERO Board of Directors as well as the members.

Anne’s involvement with Provincial RWTO/OERO includes interviewing retired women teachers over 90 years of age for the “Chalk, Challenge and Change: Stories from Women Teachers in Ontario 1920-1979”, a book celebrating the 50th Anniversary of RWTO/OERO. She also co-edited this outstanding history of our organization.

Anne is recognized for her positive, patient and kind manner in all her interactions.

Sandie Bender 

Sandie was nominated for the RWTO/OERO Honorary Membership Award by the Hamilton- Wentworth Branch and Nancy Papiez, Provincial Past President.

Sandie joined the Provincial Board in September 2016 when she became the Area 4 Director for a four-year term. At that time, she worked closely with the Provincial Manulife Insurance Convenor to organize yearly training sessions alongside the Area Meetings and to support the Branches in her area.

Sandie accepted the Archivist position on the Board. With great care and eagerness, she collected and filed the history of the organization that would later be placed into the archives at York University. During 2020 and 2021 Sandie planned the beautiful and meaningful in Memoriam Services for the Virtual Conventions.

In September 2020 Sandie assumed the Recording Secretary’s position. She has worked diligently and conscientiously to record well-written minutes of the Provincial Board Meetings. Sandie also collated the Annual Reports for the conventions in 2021 and 2022.

Sandie is a deserving recipient of the 2022 RWTO/OERO Honorary Membership Award.

Nancy Bell

Nancy Bell, RWTO/OERO Provincial President 2021 – 2022 was nominated by the Honorary Membership Award Committee as the 2022 recipient. The nomination was supported by her RWTO/OERO London- Middlesex Branch.

Nancy is deserving to be a recipient of the RWTO/OERO Honorary Membership Award which is the highest award to be bestowed on a Provincial Board Member. She conscientiously fulfilled her role as Chair or Ex-officio of all of the Appointed and Standing Committees during her tenure as Provincial President. She served on the following Standing and Appointed Committees as Chair: Constitution and Resolutions, Convention Handbook Revision, Finance and Goodwill. As Ex-officio Officer she served on the following committees: Honorary Membership, Nominations, Membership and Review with the Performance Appraisal for the Secretary-Treasurer position.

The following Ad Hoc Committees benefitted by Nancy’s patient and thoughtful suggestions: Review of Article IX, Branch Organization, Cost Saving Measures, Common Initiative, Marketing, Membership Extension, Review of Resolution #1 as Chair, Virtual Convention 2021 and Convention 2022, “Laughter Lifts Us Up” in London.

Congratulations, Nancy, for answering the new challenges diligently during 2021-2022. Your leadership and untiring energy saw the RWTO/OERO handle the COVID-19 as it presented difficulties meeting face-to-face both provincially and with other Branches. You chaired the Executive and Board Meetings via Zoom, as a new platform, for meetings. Under your leadership, the Board approved consultation with a lawyer regarding a legal opinion addressing the protocol for COVID-19 restrictions.

Meeting by Zoom kept the Board informed and safe. Many special Board meetings this year on Zoom ensured that the business of RWTO/OERO continued. You have been a role model for many as we look to the future which demonstrates that you are a deserving recipient of the 2022 RWTO/OERO Honorary Membership Award.

Honorary Membership Awards 2020

Honorary Membership Awards 20201

The Cora Bailey Award

Cora Bailey from the Peterborough Branch was RWTO/OERO’s first Executive Secretary-Treasurer. She held this position for eleven years until 1982 and wrote the History Book – OASWT 1956-1976. Beginning in 2003, this award was presented in her honour.

Criteria for Cora Bailey Award Recipients

  1. The Cora Bailey Award may be presented to a Branch member who has contributed outstanding service to her Branch.


  1. The certificate for this award is available on request from the Provincial Office and will be signed by the provincial President.
  2. All branch members are eligible for this award whether or not they have received an Honorary Life membership Award.
  3. One to three recipients per Branch may receive the award per Membership year (September 1st to August 31st).
  4. A picture of Cora Bailey, donated by Jean Axcell from Peterborough, is to be kept by the Archivist for display at the Annual Meeting.
  5. After being displayed at the Annual Meeting, pictures of the recipients for that year will be kept in an album by the Archivist.