Wilfred Spivey was born and raised with two brothers on a farm near Brussels, Ontario. He attended high school in Brussels about fifteen miles from the farm. He walked or skied into town on Monday mornings and then back home on Fridays after school. During the week he stayed with his great aunt. He was fortunate on the Mondays when his father was taking grain into Brussels to be chopped at the mill and when he was picking up the chopped grain on Fridays. Then Wilfred had a ride home with his dad and the team of horses.

In 1949 after grade thirteen Wilfred attended Stratford Normal School. His class continues to meet in a Stratford restaurant for an anniversary dinner every May. After one year of Normal School Wilfred began his teaching career in a rural one room school in Morris township with twenty two pupil in grades one to eight. He also taught in Ashfield township.

His starting salary was $1400 per year. By 1954 when Wilfred and his wife, Georgina, moved south to Point Edward his salary increased to $2800. He taught at Edward Street School, located near the current Point Edward fire hall,  then at the new Bridgeview for twenty years when five hundred children attended.

Local people may remember Georgina from her long career in the restaurant business at Gateway Steakhouse and the Chipican. She worked mostly nights so she and Wilfred passed each other at the front door as she left for work when he returned from school. Except for the evenings when he went to night school in Windsor they did not need a babysitter. During the school year Wilfred commuted to Windsor with a group of Sarnia teachers for night school classes then took two courses every summer while staying in Windsor. Thus he earned his degree.

For most of his career in Lambton, Wilfred was a vice principal but always worked in classrooms and enjoys being remembered by former students. His thirty-four years of teaching included four years at Lansdowne and four at Murray Street in Corunna, from which he retired as vice principal.

The Spiveys continue to enjoy their home and recently celebrated with thirty four family members there. They are fortunate that three of their four children live in Point Edward and Sarnia as do some of their nine grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Others live in the Kitchener Waterloo area. One daughter is like her father, a retired teacher. She finished her career as principal in Wyoming. He also has a grandson who is a supply teacher with the Lambton Kent Board.

If the weather is reasonable Wilfred walks from Point Edward to the main gates of Canatara Park. He recommends staying active even if it means walking inside the house in poor weather and gardening in fine weather. He has easy access to the trails which are former railway tracks in Point Edward.

Wilfred retired after thirty four years of teaching. He retired on a Friday and on Sunday his former principal Don Williams encouraged him to sign on as a starter at Huron Oaks Golf Club. That lead to about sixteen summers on the course.

Best wishes, Wilfred!  KEEP ON WALKING! The Spiveys say keep active. That is surely working for them!

Helen Cassidy
Helen was born and raised in the mining town, owned by Inco, called Copper Cliff. It is now part of Sudbury. Helen was one of eleven children in a French Canadian family. Her parents spoke French and so did she until she went to elementary school. Although Sudbury at the time was populated by forty percent French, Copper Cliff was predominantly English speaking, so she and her siblings thought speaking French was not cool. She attended high school in Copper Cliff. In 1947 she left home to attend the University of Toronto. She took a general arts degree at the time called Pass Arts. This course was intended to provide a well rounded education with a smattering of many different disciplines. She then attended teachers’ college at OCE and was ready to teach French and Physical Education in Sudbury. While she was teaching there, Clem Cassidy came on staff. Clem had taught in Sarnia and wanted to return. The draw for him was the Polysar Glee Club. They married in 1954 and came to Sarnia when Northern Collegiate was opening. Clem taught vocal music and English at Northern and was director of the Polysar Glee Club for some years.

Helen taught at Petrolia High School before giving birth to three daughters. In those days mothers resigned from the labour force and stayed at home with their babies. When their youngest daughter was in grade seven or eight, Helen went back to work as a supply teacher. Returning to teaching was eye opening. Previously, students raised their hands to answer a question and when one was recognized by the teacher, that student would stand up and answer the question. The classroom was a formal place. When Helen returned to teaching, discussions were open, no subject was private and language was colourful. In addition to supply work she continued to utilize her teaching skills by teaching night school at SCITS twice a week. She taught gym classes (Slim and Trim) and volleyball for many years. The facilities at SCITS allowed the adults to use the swimming pool, too.  Helen was also involved with Girl Guides at Sacred Heart Church.

Today, Helen plays bridge and more bridge. She enjoys duplicate bridge at the Sardo Club, formerly St. Peter’s Church. She feels blessed to be able to attend numerous community activities including the programs at the Art Gallery, films with CineSarnia and Live at the Met opera at the local theatre. Recently she celebrated her birthday in Toronto with her three daughters, nine grandchildren, partners and one little great grandson who now has a new baby sister. Two of Helen’s daughters are engineers and one followed her parents into teaching.

Best Wishes, Helen!

Fran Lewis
Fran is a life long Sarnian. She was born and raised here with three older sisters and a younger brother. Her sister June Bannister is also an RTO member. Fran attended a number of elementary schools including Confederation Street and Wellington Street. She then attended SCITS for high school where she later taught for her entire career.

After finishing high school Fran worked at Polymer in the gas lab for a year in order to save money to attend university at Western. Then she was back at SCITS to teach English and French.

Fran embraces her family of a son who lives in British Columbia , a daughter and a son in law who live north of Toronto as well as their two lovely daughters.

Joyce Kelly

Joyce Kelly was raised in Petrolia. That should make her a “hard oiler”! For five years she taught in rural Lambton schools where she was responsible for grades one to eight. For a one year change she taught in Fort William, long before it joined Port Arthur to become Thunder Bay.

She moved back south and taught in a rural school near London until 1951 when she married Fred Kelly, a pharmacist. While Fred operated a pharmacy, Joyce stayed home to raise one son and five daughters. Some of her girls left Lambton County and followed their mother’s career choice and became teachers. More recently they have joined Joyce as retired teachers!

From 1972 to 1988 Joyce taught at St. Philips School in Petrolia. She retired from there. Joyce and Fred often visited her sister in Fort Myers, Florida. Also they enjoyed European travel with pharmacists’ excursions.

Joyce continues to sew and has made fifty-three quilts and counting! Every wedding and new baby is celebrated with a quilt. With her children, fourteen grandchildren, spouses and four great grandchildren already, Joyce is busy! Now Joyce’s oldest daughter has caught the quilting bug. They are looking forward to visiting the new quilt shop in Petrolia.

Keep on stitching, Joyce, and best wishes from RTO!

Emily Gaborko
Emily Gaborko was born at her Lambton County home in the Inwood area. Her family lived on a farm on 27 Sideroad near the 6th Line. As a child she attended Shiloh School and Shiloh United Church.
Emily attended Petrolia High School in an era when no school bus serviced the area until her last year of high school. Most kids did not attend high school. The parents of four or five students hired a taxi to take them to high school. That last year of high school when an old bus began picking up students in the Shiloh area, Emily recalls that the bus was known to stall and the kids would jump out and push it.
After high school Emily attended Toronto Teachers College. Through the years she took some University of Windsor courses and also took her primary specialist. Her practice teaching supervisor was Jean Swan who in later years was an RTO member. Emily’s first school was Weidman school where Jean had also taught. Another of Emily’s rural schools was SS 17 Enniskillen. Emily recalls some of her principals; Brian Boucher, Bob Hext and Mark Gorth. Besides rural schools she taught at St. Philips, Centennial, Queen Elizabeth Petrolia and South Plympton. She even taught adults in Petrolia’s Fairbank House. Most were trying to complete their grade eight perhaps for improved job opportunities. This teaching assignment was rewarding because for the most part students were interested in learning except for the challenging days when some of the men had been “out the night before!” When she retired she had taught for twenty-seven years.
Emily has spent countless hours doing church work including seasonal decorating, making turkey pies, recruiting kitchen volunteers, ushering and teaching Sunday School.
Her advice is, “Make sure you have grandchildren . They keep you young.” Baking, studying math, playing games and visiting are fun with grandchildren. She has three daughters and four grandchildren.

Vera Johnston
Vera Johnston has been a Lambton County girl from the beginning. She was born on a farm on the 8th Line of Moore (now Rokeby Line) and Brigden Road. She grew up with a brother who later farmed and was also a bulk carrier truck driver.
After Grade Thirteen in 1949 Vera was in the last class attending London Normal School.  After that a new Teachers’ College was built. One year at Normal School qualified Vera to teach up to Grade Ten. Her friend Shirley (Shaw) Johnson, also an Lambton girl, was at Normal School with Vera. Both girls were hired the same weekend to teach near Highway 21 (now Oil Heritage Road) near Wyoming. Vera’s school was on the townline of Plymton and Enniskillen and was identified as SS 2 and 24 Plymton and Enniskillen (later Sunbeam School.) Vera married a Lambton farmer whose farm was near the school. She and her husband raised three children, a son and two daughters. While her children were young she did some supply teaching in rural schools. In 1959 teachers were difficult to find. Vera was asked to teach at Kertch school on London Road, a one room school with thirty to thirty-five students. With a one year old at home Vera did not think she could do that but a school board member convinced her to supply teach for a month while his wife babysat! For two years she covered maternity leaves at Oban School on London Road West. For three years she was principal’s relief for three half days a week. Then she taught Grades Five and Six for ten years in Wyoming.
In 1979 the Johnstons bought a place in Zephr Hills, Florida. They actually bought the land their winter home would sit on. Buying a home where he did not own the land did not sit well with a farmer! Vera enjoyed the snowbird lifestyle for fifteen years.  In Wyoming she lived for a number of years in the Royaleigh apartments and moved to a Petrolia retirement home this past year. Still a Lambton girl, on the day of the RTO Goodwill visit, Vera was driving some of her fellow residents around the area to see the local changes.
Vera has six granddaughters and one grandson with two teachers among them.

Georgie and her brother were raised in Wales. They lived in Swansea. The school system differed a little from the Canadian one. The children attended a public school until the age of seven. From seven until about twelve they attended another school which prepared them to take a “Preliminary Test” which primarily tested spelling and mathematics skills. If they passed that test then they could take a “Final Test” for entrance into high school. For Goergie’s test, three scary headmistresses from three area high schools listened while she read a passage about farming. Since one branch of her family was involved in farming Georgie was able to easily answer the questions that followed. She was questioned about life and home. The headmistresses then decided that Georgie was admissible to high school and she was offered a position. 
Upon completion of high school many girls became shop girls but an offer from the national oil refinery sounded more interesting to Georgie. She worked as a lab assistant for one pound, one shilling and nine pence a week in a job where she stood all day from 9 to 5:30. She did such tests as distillation, specific gravity and the sulphur content of water. Initially, the company was Anglo-Iranian Oil but when the British were kicked out of Iran the company became BP. It was located near Skewen. While Georgie was working for the company she met her husband and also took a three year course that included physics and organic chemistry. Then she wrote the National Chemistry Test, sort of like a BSc in chemistry.
Her husband whose studies lead him to chemical engineering encouraged her by saying, “You can do it!”  
After marriage and the birth of their daughter Georgie and Glyn needed more money. A green grocer who sold vegetables from a cart asked Georgie if she wanted a job for six weeks so he and his wife could take a holiday. They would teach her the skills needed. She was surprised to learn that the green grocer also sold fish. She had to learn to fillet fish. The grocer and his wife were kind people and they just laughed when she sold expensive silver hake as the cheaper “look-a-like” cod.
At the age of thirty-four Georgie was back at school enrolled in a three year teacher training program. In 1964, within a week of receiving her teaching certificate Georgie, Glyn and their two children were enroute to Sarnia. In Sarnia Glyn worked at Dow and Georgie eventually found a job teaching at SCITS. Again, Georgie’s husband had encouraged her to take her portfolio when they saw an advertisement for an art teacher at SCITS. There she remained for two years teaching art in forty minute classes with forty students in each class. After that, clean up was exhausting! Following the SCITS job she then taught an opportunity class at Confederation. She and another teacher, Norma Hunter, worked in a two room school on Brigden Road and Georgie also taught at Lochiel and King George where she taught English and guidance on rotation.
Upon retirement at the age of fifty with a $90 a month pension Georgie embarked on some other activities. She worked in a jewellery store. She took a stained glass course. Next she produced beautiful “Tiffany” style lamps in stained glass and paintings that were sold in such locations as a local mall, in London, in Grand Bend and in the Camlachie pottery store. Fifteen of her paintings have been sold and found new homes. At one time she had a studio in the basement of the family home and sold her work on consignment. Georgia expressed the advantages of indexing of our pensions with the illustration of a $90 pension going up to $300 a month.
Both she and Glyn “her Music Man” were involved in many musical pursuits, he often as a choir director. Ukelele Sues, Bluewater Chordsmen, Sweet Adelines, Barbershop, the Dutch Chorus and Harmonizers were some of their group affiliations over the years. 
As a child Georgie enjoyed the library and art school within walking distance of her home. She was especially interested in the work of the artist Zoltan Szabo and years later she was able to take a class from him. Art continues to be a big part of her life. She continues to enjoy stained glass, painting and music as well as her computer which is so handy for emailing and scanning. She has her ukelele and a small organ in her apartment.
Georgina Jones has amazing friends who planned a party at Stokes by the Bay to celebrate her birthday. The location was fitting as she enjoys living close to the water. When Georgina and her husband Glynwr (Glyn) lived in their own home they lived in the bird street subdivision near Lake Huron between Brights Grove and Camlachie. Currently, Georgie has a fabulous water view from her apartment.


William (Bill) Danylchuk grew up in Toronto. He fondly recalls playing baseball at Christie Pits and football for the University of Toronto Blues First Team in 1948. A highlight was being named All Star half back in 1949. When he and Betty, now his wife, were in grade thirteen they began having dinner and going to a movie every Friday night. They have continued to do that for more than seventy years.
Bill began his work life at the age of nine. As a youngster he had many jobs including delivery boy for a drugstore. During the war he worked in a factory that made Lancaster bombers.
Upon graduation from university Bill was hired by the Sarnia Board of Education to teach at SCITS but he had a summer job teaching and caring for a child with cerebral palsy.  This was a dream job with a wealthy family in Costa Rica. The father sent Bill to New York for a week to  meet with the boy’s doctors. Then Bill proceeded to Costa Rica where the boy attended school during the day. Bill had freedom then to enjoy the outdoors, golf and play tennis with folks from the Embassy. Bill and Betty had planned to marry. The employer convinced them to marry in Costa Rica. Bill arranged for wedding attendants, a church and flowers while the employer provided a reception. Betty travel alone from Toronto and stayed in hotels along the way. Planes did not travel such long distances in those days so overnights stays were necessary. After a stressful, exhausting trip via New York, Miami, Havana, and San Jose, Betty was marrying...within an hour of landing. The employer wanted the Danylchuks to stay on in September but teachers were in such high demand that Sarnia would not release Bill from his contract. Bette and Bill decided to come to Sarnia and stay until the new year when Bill could legally resign without spoiling his reputation in case he ever wished to return to Canada. However, by Christmas the Danylchuks were enjoying Sarnia. They liked its location by the water. They had spent many happy hours at the beach and dancing at Sunnyside when they lived in Toronto; so Sarnia, a Great Lakes city felt like home. Bill taught geography at SCITS and had began coaching. In addition to coaching the SCITS football team, Bill was the assistant coach of the Sarnia Imperials that famous footnote in Sarnia history. Later Bill was a physical education teacher and then department head at Northern Collegiate. At the time the physical education teachers were expected to coach almost everything. Bill coached championship teams in basketball, football, volleyball and track while at SCITS and Northern. The Danylchuks never returned to Costa Rica until years later when they visited on a holiday.
Bill retired as a vice principal at LCCVI. He continued to return there for a number of years after retirement to serve as the starter with the pistol at Petrolia’s annual track meets. He has spent many hours on the golf course and he and Betty are world travellers. To celebrate his birthday this year Bill, Betty and their two daughters have travelled to Calgary, Banff and Jasper areas. Here is  hoping Bill does not talk Betty into tenting this year. Years ago, their first and last tenting experience involved Betty’s encounter with a moose!
The Danylchuk family enjoyed years as Riding Club members. Their girls took tennis and swimming lessons and always had summer jobs. Bill and Betty have travelled to eighty countries and islands...sometimes with their daughters.
Bill says, “The world is a book. If you haven’t travelled, you’ve only read a page.”

Maria (Chris) Wolff

Chris Wolff was born and raised in the Dutch East Indies, a Dutch colony, now known as The Republic of Indonesia. After World War II and after Indonesia's independence in 1948 all nonnative people had to repatriate to their countries of origin. Chris and her mother went to her mother’s country of birth, The Netherlands. There, Chris trained as a secretary and worked as such until she left for Canada. She first went to Mount Clements, Michigan, where she had relatives.

Her husband-to-be had left the Netherlands earlier and had secured a job with the Ontario Research Foundation. He was stationed in Sarnia. They married in 1957 and had two boys. About ten or twelve years later the government offered re-education to individuals interested in becoming French teachers. Chris decided to give the program a try after taking grade thirteen at Northern Collegiate. The boys were responsible and fairly independent by this time. After receiving her diploma in teaching Chris worked for the Lambton County Roman Catholic School Board. She began her career as an itinerant French teacher in various locations such as St. Benedict, St. Joseph, St. Margaret and St. Peter schools. 
Later, when the number of classes warranted a full time teacher she became part of the permanent staff at St Helen School for twelve years. Her last school was Gregory A. Hogan from where she retired in 1987.

Chris' two sons became engineers. One works for Hydro at the Bruce Generating Station and and other works in the United States for MFF (Manufacturer of Flavors and Fragrances).

picture of Evelyn Ball
Evelyn Ball
An early childhood education course and unpaid  work as a Sunday School teacher, as a Girl Guide leader and as a volunteer in a classroom for children with mental and physical challenges lead to a teaching career for Evelyn Ball.

After three summers at teachers college Evelyn was a  teacher and she never regretted a day of her chosen career. 
She says, "I taught at New Hope School and loved every minute of it."  She felt really great about everyday. 
The children were eager to learn.
Evelyn who was raised in Hamilton and Toronto now enjoys Sarnia as well as cottage life with her husband.  Their two daughters became teachers.  One lives in Ottawa and the other in Arviat where she is  Secondary School Program Coordinator Grade 7-12 for Nunavut Department of Education.

Recently, Evelyn moved to Twin Lakes Terrace. She has found good Care-A-Van service to provide transportation to visit Gord at Trillium Villa. She has enjoyed her family’s summer visits and especially going out to dinner at Swiss Chalet.

Evelyn turned 100 in August

Geraldine Sheppard was born in Blenheim.  She taught in about twenty schools beginning in Moore      Township with schools in Bridgen, Courtright and Corunna and then in Sarnia with schools such as Parkview, Landsowne, London Road, Wawanosh, George Perry, Blackwell, Brights Grove and Cathcart. As a French teacher for grades seven and eight, she taught at a number of schools each year and did lots of driving in all kinds of weather. She ended her career mostly at Cathcart when French was being taught in grades three to eight.
Geraldine and her husband enjoyed much travelling. They visited Russia and England while their son and daughter-in-law worked for Canadian Press and Associated Press respectively. Finland, Wales, Paris, Yugoslavia and Majorca were also on their travel agendas. In later years when Geraldine’s son worked in the United States Geraldine and another former teacher travelled to Baltimore and Virginia to visit their families. Geraldine was a golfer as well as a traveller.
The Sheppards moved into their home sixty-four year ago when it had an upstairs apartment and they had two children. When a third child came along they needed the whole house. Geraldine has two sons and a daughter. One son is a retired high school teacher. She appreciates the kindness of family members such as rides to appointments and special treats from Sunripe. Today the family includes seven grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. Geraldine looks forward to their visits when she enjoys their company and good swims in the pool.
Geraldine’s advice to new retirees is, “Enjoy every day as it comes.”


Dorothy Shea was born near Dutton in Dunwich Township. During the war, in 1944 there was a teacher shortage. Dorothy attended summer school for six weeks and became a teacher. This was a government program and the student teachers paid no tuition. The winter of Dorothy’s first year of teaching there was so much snow that she returned to her school after Christmas and was not able to go home until Easter. She and the boys from the home where she boarded walked two miles to school through that snow. After one year of teaching the government provided a second six week summer course which completed Dorothy’s teachers training. She had to get out into the school to find out what teaching was all about. She taught in three country schools. One school was in Brooke, one was in Warwick and the third in Elgin County. Dorothy enjoyed country kids.
She says, “They are true blue. They are great and they stick together.”
She then moved to Warwick Central. There she taught for eight years before moving to Watford for the next twenty years. During her career she taught all grades from Kindergarten to Grade Eight although the middle grades were her preference. This year the day before her birthday one of her “Grade Four boys” visited with her and they reminisced for two hours which prompted him to describe Dorothy as the “Grade four teacher he had for fifty-eight years.”
Dorothy and her husband who worked for the PUC lived in Watford, where Dorothy still lives at Brookside Retirement Community. There one of her former students is a nurse and another is a seamstress.  It is a joy to see them regularly.
Dorothy tells the story of country kids who made leaf houses with leaves from large maple trees in the school yard. Dorothy received a sealed note from the mother of three kids and wife of a trustee. It said, “ Get the kids out of the leaf house ‘cause they are smoking in it!” One boy was in the school for extra help with spelling. Dorothy asked the boy what he saw out the window.
He said, “Smoke.”  The boy thought he had escaped censure because he was indoors with the teacher but the teacher knew who had provided the cigarettes!  Fortunately, the kids were rousted out of the “leaf house” before anyone went up in smoke!

Elisabeth was born in Gorrsel, Holland. By the time her father was in his late twenties he had saved enough to build a home. Mortgages were not used at that time. The two storey house still stands today in this lovely community which Elisabeth had an opportunity to visit in later years. When she was a toddler her father moved his business to Zuphen. Although electrical and plumbing were part of the business, the focus was central heating which most homes did not have at the time. Elisabeth’s mother was a homemaker and later Elisabeth, too, was a homemaker as was the custom.
During summer holidays, when Elisabeth was a child her family rented an apartment in Scheveningen, a resort town, near The Hague. She along with her sister and her mother spent vacations there, with the father joining them on weekends. The girls spent wonderful days playing in the North Sea. Years later Elisabeth’s grandchildren found the Sea salty and that hurt their eyes!
Elisabeth loved every moment of school. Hers was a marvellous private school. Her schooling at the time included six years of public school and five years of high school, the first three years of which lead to a diploma. In the fourth and fifth year students chose business or science or gymnasium (philosophy, Latin and Greek). Elisabeth chose science. This school prepared students for post secondary education.  At seventeen just before completing high school her education came to an end as the fighting of World War II was all around their home. Behind the house was the family garden, then a meadow and then a railroad where the Germans stored their munitions. In front of the house were truck loads of pigs to feed the German troops. Elizabeth’s father had his two daughters sit on “look out” in their big bay window and watch for German soldiers while he listened to news from England on the radio. Eventually, the English “shot up” the Germans munitions so the family had to leave their home. The windows of the house were blown out and the curtains ended up in trees. However, the family was always prepared and
had their suitcases behind the door. They were able to leave and rent a cottage. Although that was the “last of school” all the students were given their diplomas.
Meanwhile John, Elisabeth’s future husband, was in the army. He had his uniform and kit bag, and was ready to leave in the morning when the announcement came on the radio for Dutch soldiers “not to report for duty.” That was May 10, 1940. All the bridges over the three biggest rivers had been blown up. Holland was then occupied until May 5, 1945 when it was liberated by the Canadians.
After the War Elisabeth’s mother was concerned about the Cold War and encouraged her family to move to Canada which lead Elisabeth and John to Ontario. John, by then a teacher, was hired for a teaching job in Englehart, 250 miles north of North Bay. That was followed by four years in Belleville before Inspector Johnston encouraged John to come to
Sarnia where the family settled and Elisabeth still lives.
Life has changed since Elisabeth grew up in Holland and since her years in Northern Ontario. Drug use and discrimination were not issues in those days.
Elisabeth and John raised their three children. One daughter is a retired family studies teacher while another daughter and their son are both doctors. Elisabeth and John had return trips to Holland with their
children and grandchildren. They had opportunities to learn to love the Netherlands and the Dutch traditions such as hanging out a flag when there is a birthday in the house or setting out a stork when there is a birth. Elisabeth has seven grandchildren and five little great babies. Her iPad helps her to keep in regular contact with them.
For many years Elisabeth was an IODE member. Now in addition to visiting family, Elisabeth has some locals haunts to recommend. Try the Dutch Shop for traditional treats, Dashwood’s Turkey Store and Grand Bend’s Aunt Gussie’s. Elizabeth, also, has a showy collection of orchids.

Everyone has a story and Joan’s begins in Battle Creek, Michigan on Wren Street where she was born. Joan has relatives on both sides of the border after some of her family came to Canada with the United Empire Loyalists. When her parents married they moved to Michigan and had a store. Joan came to Canada with her family when she was about eight.
She attended school in London, Ontario and became a laboratory technician. When she married she came to Sarnia to work in a laboratory in the chemical valley. Later Joan who has dual citizenship worked at Mueller Brass in Port Huron for ten years. She then went to teacher’s college in London and had a twenty six year teaching career. She began at Blackwell School, followed by Hanna and then a two year stint as a Special Assignment Teacher with Doug Barber at the board office. She
returned to classroom teaching and was assigned to Bridgeview in Point Edward. There she enjoyed team teaching with Barb Moore. They had such fun and activity that their classrooms often included the hall. Joan say she had good, supportive principals who were not upset by the learning that spilled into the corridor. She has wonderful stories about pet fish in the classroom. These tales are secrets, not for publication!
Joan’s story in education does not end with retirement! She was not ready to give up teaching so she continued at Bridgeview as a volunteer. Some time later when Barb retired the two of them taught in China for two years with visits to Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. In the summer holidays they took the slow train from Beijing and Moscow then backpacked through Europe.Then there was Australia and New Zealand.
Joan met backpackers and says, “You have to trust! You can’t be scared.” She teases that  RTO member Fred Moss, who often led travel excursions, would not allow her on his trips because he could not be responsible for someone as adventurous as Joan.
Joan’s teaching career still had more steam! Another of Joan’s adventures was helping to build a school in Africa then staying on to do more teaching. She moved in with the nuns who ran the school.
Travel continued to be on Joan’s agenda when she had a lovely trip to Cancun with seven members of four generations of her family. This trip could be nothing but a blast with nine year old twin boys!
Joan has two daughters, one son, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren so when she hosts family and spouses there is a big group in her basement. She could not have been prouder then when her great grandson was selected as class valedictorian at Northern Collegiate.
Joan was involved with interviews for the provincial RWTO book based on stories of teachers who taught in the nineteen thirties. Now, we also have Joan’s story who taught from the sixties to the nineties.

Eva was born in Hants County in Nova Scotia and was an only child in a farming family. On the other hand her husband was from a family of thirteen children. Eva attended Truro Normal College before beginning her career in Windsor Junction. Eva’s husband was “temporarily” transferred to Procor in Ontario. Eva supply taught for a year before landing a job at Murray Street School in Corunna where she taught for many years. Recently, Eva and some of her former coworkers continued their tradition of getting together by meeting at her current home, Fiddicks in Petrolia. Every summer Eva and her husband made the trek back to Nova Scotia to visit their parents and other relatives. Her older son lives in Nova Scotia. He has four daughters and some of them have children, Eva’s great grandchildren. Eva’s daughter studied nursing in Montreal and continues to work in her field in Richmond, BC. Eva’s younger son and his wife live in Sarnia. They have two daughters. One hopes to follow Eva’s career path and become a teacher. Eva lived in Corunna including some time in her apartment in Thompson Gardens before moving to Petrolia. She has always enjoyed reading and activities at her church, Corunna United, which has been very good to her. Eva has lots of visitors including a recent good visit with her daughter.
 Best Wishes from RTO to Eva on her special birthday.


After teaching in Windsor, Erleine worked at CPRI in London, before coming to Lambton as principal of New Hope. She and St. Clair principal, Phil Brown, coordinated the move of New Hope students to the high school. Then until retirement Erleine was principal at Aberarder.   
Erleine and her husband spent many winter holidays in New Symatra, Florida. About twenty-four years ago a group of Ontario teachers purchased the condo-hotel, Ocean Trillium, in the sunny south.

Best Wishes!

 We celebrate with Elsie Robbins!

Elsie grew up in St. Thomas and Tillsonburg then attended nursing school at Memorial Hospital in St. Thomas. She married her husband, Bill, a World War II veteran and they raised six children. After running his electrical business in St. Thomas Bill decided to try teaching instead of trying to collect bills! He enjoyed teaching electricity at Lowe in Windsor, then when that program ended he taught elsewhere in Windsor for a year before retirement to a Watford acreage.

Elsie did a little part time nursing but was very busy at home with the children. The family was involved in church in Windsor. She continues her church associations since her move back to St. Thomas.

Elsie and Bill were square dancers and now Elsie is a clogger. She is involved with the St. Thomas Seniors Centre and exercises there three times a week. Her special birthday was hosted by her family and held at the centre.

Best Wishes!!




Elie Bergeron
Elie Bergeron, a New Year’s baby, was born in Moonbeam, Ontario. He was one of five sons in a family of eight children. His dad was a carpenter. Elie moved to Kapuskasing, a one industry town, to work in the paper mill along with two of his brothers. At the time the mill made Kleenex and newsprint for the New York Times. Even before the mill was plagued by a strike and a major accident involving loss of lives, Elie had moved south with his wife and children. They felt they would find more opportunities and a better climate.
He says, “My kids are grateful.”
After the move to this banana belt, Elie worked as a carpenter for a number of years in Michigan before finishing his career in Sarnia. His late wife, Jeanne, taught in the north and will be remembered by colleagues who taught at St. Thomas Aquinas and Bright’s Grove. Jeanne and Elie enjoyed more than seventy years of marriage and Eli has the greetings from the Queen and Prime Minister Trudeau to prove it. They raised four children, two daughters and two sons. Three granddaughters and a grandson live in Ontario and twin grandsons live in Michigan. One granddaughter is a French teacher like her grandmother.
Elie has shared his talents over the years with the Knights of Columbus which he joined in 1951. He attends mass regularly.
Today, he enjoys visits with his family and friends, and musical performances at Vision Rest Home where he resides. Elie is a joyful guy with a great sense of humour. He is a “people” person and a wonderful story teller. His stories are illustrated with a roomful of photos.
Best Wishes, Elie!


Mark Gorth’s poor vision disqualified him from the army so what next? After Grade Thirteen his high school principal in Galt suggested teaching. He said after five weeks of summer school Mark could receive a Deferred Interim Second Class Certificate for teaching. Mark would have to apply to a school on his own and assistance would be provided by the board. Mark checked with his father and his father thought the principal’s suggestion sounded like a good idea. The father’s cousin Mr. Beale was a teacher and later in charge of the Normal School. Teaching seemed like a good career and forty years of teaching followed for Mark.
His first school was north of Bobcaygeon, about ten miles from Fenelon Falls at SS#10 Sommerville.
After a train ride via Toronto, Peterborough and Fenelon Falls, and a Model A Ford ride north over a settlers road and then west through a swamp, Mark wondered, “What in the world am I getting into?”
Mark didn’t have a place to stay but with the help of the Model A driver,  a boarding place was found for him with a couple and their son.
His school was a union school combining East Mudlake, later called Silver Lake, and Stoney Lonesome, later Fel’s School. He had nineteen students in grades one to eight. The students brought their own paper and they had crayons. The school had no supplies except a “sheet of jelly” for making copies, four coal oil lamps for dull days and a wood stove with eighteen inch maple blocks for cold days.
Mark grew up in the city of Galt and had never attended a one room school. Keeping everyone in all grades gainfully employed was difficult.
Mark wrote to his Dad, “Don’t be surprised to see me on the CN train to Galt!”
His Dad, a resourceful man, went to the school Mark had attended in Galt and asked the principal for help. Marks’s former teachers collected extra Gestetner copies for him. A box of materials was sent to Mark. To preserve the precious Gestetner copies Mark had the students trace all the seat work and avoid making a single mark on the originals so they could be reused.

The following summer Mark took an additional  five weeks of teacher training in Peterborough so he could receive an Interim First Class Certificate. He was allowed to close the school for two days so he could write the examinations. He drove to Peterborough in his Model A Ford Coupe.
Then after ten weeks of training and two years of teaching he was a fully qualified teacher. Compare that to the four years of university and two years of teacher training that are required today.
After two years in the North, Mark moved back south and taught for five years in rural schools in Waterloo County near Galt. Then came a move to Windsor where he taught for three years before marrying Mildred, a Sarnia teacher, and joining her in Sarnia.
At summer school at Western, Mark says, “I got a wife and a degree, but the wife came first!”
At that time Sarnia was considered an excellent place to teach.  Mildred and Mark were probably the first teaching couple in Sarnia. They both had assignments at Devine Street School. She gave up her older grade class to him. She then taught grade four. They enjoyed working on music festivals together. The principal, Ralph Knox, was very organized and his ideas encouraged teacher participation.  Mark feels he learned a lot from Ralph.
Then Mark worked at Confederation Street School with Prinipal Benny Ziegler, followed by one year at High Park with Principal L. Crich. For about four years Mark was vice principal at Queen Elizabeth School in Coronation Park where Victor Kidd was the principal. Parkview School, formally on the site of the current Marshall Gowland Manor, was Mark’s school for eight years, followed by one year at Woodland before it closed. It was located on Errol near the cemetery and is now a church. Finally, Mark served as principal of South Plympton School for three years, a school where Bob Hext also served.
This year Mark is celebrating thirty one years of retirement. He and Mildred continue to enjoy their family camper.

Mildred and Mark have two children, Alan and Julie, and eight grandchildren. They are honoured that their granddaughter, Amy, received an RTO bursary.


Wilma grew up on a one hundred acre farm in the Kirkton area, north of
St. Marys and London.. Wilma is the middle daughter of the three girls
of William and Margaret Gilfillan. Their father was proud that they all became teachers, all attended Western. The other sisters thought Wilma took the “easy” route. She had been ill in grade thirteen so never
completed high school. In 1944 when teachers were in demand, teachers could be trained in two six week summer courses. A school board paid for Wilma’s first summer. She began her teaching career in the school just north of Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend, in Stephen township. Check to see if the old school pump is still there! She taught is the rural school for six years and boarded on the Playhouse property with
relatives of her husband, Mervyn.
After first year at Emmanuel College, Mervyn had joined the Air Force and was a staff pilot for gunner practice. After the war he returned to Parkhill to join his brother in a hardware and appliance store. Later he
returned to complete his education and became a United Church minister.
When the Loves married they moved to a northern settlement with the United Church. For three years they were north of Bruce Mines at Rydal Bank, an hour east of Sault Ste. Marie.  Finally, they returned with the
church to southern Ontario. They spent thirteen years in Leamington and thirteen years in Wyoming. By then they had their two children, Allan and Carol. When Carol was in grade four, Wilma returned to work when
teachers were in short supply in Leamington. She taught English and mathematics in senior public school. When Wilma returned to work she decided that the family would use the extra money to travel. Their
travels included trips in Canada and to Hawaii, Europe and the British Isles. Wilma and Mervyn also visited Scandinavia.
Wisely, the family invested in property in the Grand Bend area and in Florida so they would have places to live in retirement. In those days United church ministers lived in church owned manses during their ministries.
Wilma remembers well the day the United Church on Wyoming’s main street was burned. The family was awakened in the manse next door. The Loves stayed with the congregation through the loss of their church and to see the beautiful new church built in the north end of Wyoming.
While living in Wyoming Wilma taught special education at Lakeroad School for nine and a half years. She had not really planned to work in Sarni
a but a teacher with a special education certificate was need at
Lakeroad. Later she moved to Bright’s Grove School and taught Grade Three there for four years before retiring.
Just as with many other RTO members’ families...”the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Wilma’s daughter taught special education in Simcoe County and she, too, has the urge to travel. Her travels have included Florida trips and excursions to Mongolia, Nepal and India. Carol’s husband is also a
retired teacher.
Wilma and Merv spent thirteen winters in Florida where they enjoyed ballroom dancing. She has spent another eight winter in their Florida home. Lawn bowling and artwork have also been enjoyable activities.
The Loves were active in protecting their part of the Lake Huron shoreline.  They found that “gabians” have been a good solution. They also used plants and trees. Wilma has  also stood up to prevent changes to one part of the shoreline that could cause erosion in another area on the lake.


Germaine LePage came to Sarnia from Montreal to visit her older sister.  At that time Germaine’s husband, Richard (Dick), and a friend came to Sarnia for work. They were Northern Ontario.
Germaine came to Sarnia two weeks and stayed for three years. The French people in Sarnia socialized together so Germaine and Richard met then, although they did not marry for five years. World War II intervened. Richard was called to the army. When Richard returned from the front he learned the barbering trade. He operated a barber shop on Mitton Street for many years.
Germaine says, “We had to wait to marry until he could provide for me!”
When Germaine’s children were in school and university, then Germaine attended St. Patrick High School, her children’s school, for Grade 13. The LePages lived across the street from High Park School where Lawrence Crich was the principal. He knew of the need for French teachers. Germaine took two summers of teacher training in Toronto and when she was ready to teach she set out for the mass interviews in Toronto. Lambton County Board was represented and Germaine was told to go home and sign a contract. She did that and High Park became her home school. From there she travelled to about  three schools and taught French to Grades Seven and Eight. Some of the schools she travelled to were Blackwell, Wawanosh, Lakeroad and Devine. In addition to Lawrence Crich; Dick Acton, Dwayne McKlinchey and Doug Farrar were some of the principals in school where she taught.
When French instruction was expanded to include Grades Three to Eight , Germaine and another teacher taught all the French at High Park which had a high enrollment at the time. Germaine was no longer itinerant!
Germaine complimented the good staff at High Park and the good staffs everywhere she taught during her seventeen year career. She “enjoyed the work, most of it!” She taught “kids who had nothing and kids who lacked for nothing. Kids were nice in both places.” Children in her classrooms were well behaved.
Teaching an oral language full time is very challenging for the teachers’ voices. She says the first course in training oral language teachers should be voice lessons to protect and preserve their vocal cords.
The LePage family trips used to involve travel to music festivals including ones to Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Dick and their sons are musicians. All of the LePage children are now retired teachers. Germaine and Dick are proud of them and their eight grandchildren.
Germaine enjoyed bridge at the Kinsman Centre and has done beautiful needlework that she has used creatively in decorating the home.



Helen Mutton was born in Campbellford near Belleville. Her father was a Methodist minister so her family moved a few times during her childhood. She and her husband were married by their fathers who were both United Church ministers. The Methodist Church had become part of the United Church in 1925.
During her high school years Helen had attended a number of schools. She spent her final year at Alberta College, a United Church school in Belleville, which her mother had attended. There Helen had her first formal education in music. Her mother was a singer so previously Helen had learned some things from her.
In 1942 Helen graduated from Peterborough Normal School. She was hired at a county school outside of Peterborough to teach twenty pupils. There was a new a munitions plant in the area. She arrived at the school at the tender age of nineteen to met forty five children in eight grades. The oldest boy was sixteen.
After one year of teaching in the country Helen began teaching in Toronto’s north end at John Fisher School. This move enabled her to take vocal training at the conservatory. This was wartime and she fell in love with and married an air force meteorologist. Because she was married she could no longer teach but had hoped to follow him. Her husband had only been in Toronto for a crash course in meteorology. While they were engaged he was in Charlottetown, PEI and in Gaspe. When they married he went to his next posting and the bride went home to her parents in Hastings. She did supply work. When he went to Ste. Hubert she did join him and while there Helen attended George Brown College in Montreal.
The day the war ended her husband was on the way to Toronto to try to get into university. He did study chemical engineering and because he had an arts degree he was able to graduate in three years instead of four. Thus he was in the job market a year ahead of the other veterans. He had four job offers from Toronto, Montreal and Sarnia where there were two openings. He chose Polysar.
While the couple were in Toronto the board tried to find work for Helen. She supervised a day care at Jesse Ketchum School. She supplied for teachers and secretaries. The business course at George Brown was useful. She spent at year as Hart House secretary. Then in 1947 Toronto allowed married women to teach just when Helen learned that the Sarnia board did not accept married women. By 1953 there was a desperate need for teachers and Helen was hired to teach forty five grade ones. In 1955 married women were formally accepted as teachers. By 1956 Helen had three children herself. In the early 1960s Helen did a lot of supply work while a friend kept Helen’s youngest child . After two long term supply contracts at High Park, Helen served as principals relief at Woodland for fourteen years. There she taught senior grades and lead trios and choirs.
After a year off she returned to Woodland then finished her career at Clarke. Between 1972 and 1978 Helen completed her degree in English and sociology. She retired in 1985

Helen and her husband were active in Central United Church. They both sang in the choir. Helen was in that choir for over sixty years.
They enjoyed travel. Her husband had been stationed in Belgium for a year troubleshooting for Polysar. Helen spent five weeks there with him. She has been to Australia twice and travelled to China, Japan, Hong Kong and Greece.
Helen is an active member of RWTO. She served as local president and served as provincial president in 1993-4.
Helen has three children. Her older son lives in Vancouver. Her second son has followed in his mother’s footsteps. He teaches high school in Oxbridge and is also an artist. Helen’s daughter is an accountant with General Motors in St. Catharines.
After thirty four years of teaching and twenty eight of retirement Helen has advice.
“Continue to make the most of every day. Give back. There is great satisfaction in that. Enjoy travel. ‘Life is short so every day is a gift. Make the most of it!’”
Helen turned 90 in June, 2013



June Banister is a life long Sarnia resident. She grew up in Sarnia’s south end as one of five children. She attended Confederation Street School, now the Armoury, and Johnston Memorial School.
After spending years at home with her children June commuted with a Sarnia group to teachers’ college in London. After a few months of supply work June was hired in January of the next year to teach home economics at Central for a semester before going to Alexander McKenzie. Later she taught at LCCVI in Petrolia. Retirement came after seventeen years of teaching.
June and her husband Bob raised three children, a daughter and two sons. When Bannisters moved to their north end home in 1952, "Woodland" was truly woods from Colbourne to Coral Way. Instead of streets and homes the neighbourhood had sand hills and orchards.
June and one son are "on the cutting edge" for sending solar energy to the grid. Ask June sometime about squirrels and solar panels!
June does have visual impairment and does have suggestions for resources for others in similar circumstances. CNIB sends a represntative from London one day a week to Bayside Mall. CNIB will provide a "DAISY Reader" which holds a dozen books that can be downloaded using WiFi. The Ontario Government covers part of the costs. June also says the Mallroad Library staff is helpful in providing audio books.
When one son and a granddaughter lived in Singapore June made a couple of visits and learned to love the "high rise" city. She travelled around the city on the subway and enjoyed the sights and activities..
June’s travels this year have taken her to the west coast to visit two of her children, two of her three grandchildren and her two great grandchildren. After seven weeks in the west she thought winter weather would be over here. We fooled her!
Currently, in addition to knitting, she is making good use of her new touch screen computer and loves her ipad. It is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with her western relatives.
Happy Birthday from RTO!!



Irene Hill was born in England as was her husband Bill. She began her nursing career in England at the age of seventeen and completed her work life at the General in Sarnia. Bill was in the Air Force during the war then taught at St. Clair when it opened in Sarnia and also taught at Northern and SCITS. He worked in auto, drafting and electrical shops.
Irene follows her own advice, which is keep moving, keep busy, busy, busy! Tia Chia and church activites are her choices. She recommends "Shine at Home" which will provide transportation and other services upon request.
Happy Birthday, Irene!



Margaret MacDonald was born to a Bruce county farm couple ninety years ago. She has two younger brothers. Her brother Graham MacDonald was a teacher in Petrolia at the beginning of his career. He went on to be a school inspector stationed in Watford and then London. After his retirement from teaching, both he and his wife attended Knox College to became ministers.
They served in the Burk’s Falls area and have retired there. Margaret’s sister-in-law sends daily devotions by email to Margaret’s laptop computer. Margaret’s other brother lives in Sarnia and was a research chemist at Imperial oil. He and his wife are helpful to Margaret as she uses her computer.
Besides the use of computers, Margaret commented on all the changes that had occurred in the last ninety years and speculated on what the next innovations will be. As a child she was driven the two and a half miles to school in the mornings. In the afternoons she and other children made their own way home. The children were taken to school in horse drawn sleighs, wagons or buggies. In the afternoons they often found a ride home, too.
"Basically, we were hitch hiking after school," Margaret said. This was the era before school buses.
The farm work at Margaret’s home was done by Doll and Floss, two horses. Before sewing machines beautiful clothing was made by hand. Margaret’s grandmother knit stockings although her grandchildren did not always appreciate her efforts because other children did not have hand knit stockings. Baking was hard work. A wood fire had to be built. Margaret’s grandmother had had to draw water from a spring before she could begin preparations.
Margaret recalls that hydro came to the family farm 1948 and that was great! When hydro was new at the farm the family turned on all the lights in the house and everyone went outside and checked to see how the house looked! No longer did the battery have to be removed from the car to operate the radio in the house. What changes this last ninety years has wrought!
Margaret attended teachers’ college in Toronto where she stayed with her aunt. Many Bruce County students attended the teachers’ college in Stratford, located across from the present day theatre. Margaret returned to Bruce county and taught in country schools for six years and then was hired in Sarnia. The Sarnia board was expanding its boundaries to take in more schools so more teachers were hired. A new school seemed to open every year. Margaret’s career included teaching at Johnson Memorial , Lochiel, Confederation Street (now used by the military) and Hanna. On a tour of the former Lochiel Street School, now a community centre, Margaret was surprised to be offered an elevator ride!
Margaret completed her degree while she was teaching. She would take one course each winter and two every summer. She was a busy lady then and continues to be active.
For many years Margaret sang with the Rainbow Singers. She continues to sing in the St. Andrews choir, she prepares the program for St. Andrews Seniors as well as the worship and mission service for St. Andrews Presbyterian Women, she attends presbytery, and belongs to RTO, RWTO and University Women.
Her advice is "be optimistic" and she recalls a quote from one of the W studies at her church which is "Don’t worry. Have Faith."
Best wishes to you as you celebrate this milestone birthday. Also congratulations and thank you to you and your church crew for hosting luncheons and programs twice a month for seniors in our community. Great work!

Margaret turned 90 in October, 2013

Best Wishes to Doris Withenshaw. Doris taught for twelve years. Her husband was also a teacher but he had another career as a minister. They came to Sarnia when he was hired at New Horizons Community Church where Doris is still active. Doris says she was able to use RTO’s Good will gift of cards and stamps to send thank you notes for the table full of gifts, cards and flowers she received for her ninetieth birthday. She and her twin sister were feted  by family and friends. 




Marian Douey grew up in the Watford area and started her teaching career in the country outside Watford. She taught in Fairbanks School near Alvinston for two years and for one year at Henderson School. She remembers the days when married women didn’t teach.
She and her husband, who was from Windsor, farmed for a short time before moving to Windsor.
He worked for and was transferred to Sarnia by National Grocers while Marian who had young children did supply work. One year Marian’s brother Vic, the principal of Queen Elizabeth, called her to come in the second day of school. A newly hired teacher never arrived and Marian was at Queen Elizabeth until June. Another year she was called in February to cover a class at Johnston and, again, she taught until June. Her final supply call came to teach at Parkview and she stayed twenty two years. Her first principal was Morley McGregor. Another principal was Howard Coleman, who had been Colonel Coleman in the army.
Marian often acts as chauffeur for her older sister and enjoys RWTO luncheons and her church activities. She has a son and two daughters. Marian was feted on her special birthday by her family, friends and fellow church members at Patterson Presbyterian.
Marian turned 90 in November

Julius Szabo
Picture Of Julius SzaboJulius was born in Oradea, Romania but of Hungarian descent. He, his wife Judith (Judy) and their six year old daughter immigrated to Canada in December of 1969. They came via Italy from communist Romania. After waiting five years to leave Romania, Judy’s Jewish sounding surname provided them with an opportunity to depart. They chose Canada where Julius had three uncles who were tobacco farmers in Delhi. By February of 1970 Judy and Julius were in English as a Second Language classes. 

Although Szabos spoke an number of languages, English was not one of them. By September of that year at the age of forty-two Julius was 
attending Western University in London for teacher training.

Fortunately, Julius’ education in Romania was recognized by Western so the next year found him teaching in Barry’s Bay. After a year back in London working in tobacco Julius returned to teaching. This time he went to Thornhill to teach geography and economics in York District High School. He taught there for about eighteen years while Judy worked as a secretary in the same school for twenty-six years. Julius retired in 1988 but continued to supply teach in Thornhill and later in Exeter.

For twenty-five years Julius worked with the Hungarian community in Toronto by teaching and participating in their travelling theatrical 
group. The group performed for many Hungarian communities in many locations including Norway, Sweden, Italy, France, Florida and Vancouver.

Since they had lived in London for a couple of years they knew Grand Bend and loved it. In 1983 they bought a piece of property near the 
theatre and eventually built a cute cottage and then a retirement home.

Julius loved to learn and while teaching he earned a masters degree from York University. He also enjoyed sports such as skiing, tennis and boxing. The family often spent Christmas break skiing in Europe. Recently their daughter and her husband moved to Markdale near a ski hill. Both Judy and Julius did cross country skiing behind their home in Aurora. Into his eighties Julian walked six miles a day. At one time, three times a week he would walk the twelve miles of trails in Exeter. 
Now television sports especially tennis are favourites, as well as their two and a half acres of mostly beautiful flower gardens. When Szabos married, Julius was a good cook and baker. He taught his young wife and now she is the family cook. One of her wonderful specialties is Hungarian coffee cake made with apples and gooseberries picked by Julius!

The Szabos have two granddaughters.




Margaret Kuenzig turns 100 years old
Margaret Kuenzig
was born in Guelph. When she was six months old her father, a barber, passed away as the result of the 1918 flu. This left Margaret’s mother a widow with three children to raise. The family moved in Margaret maternal grandparents. Longevity must be hereditary. Margaret says her grandmother was a "long liver" at 101when she was pictured a Toronto newspaper with the caption "oldest person watching TV."
When Margaret left school at the age of sixteen she became a hairdresser. She married John Kuenzig in August of 1940 and John was sent overseas with the army in December of 1940.
Margaret jokingly says, "We had our separation at the beginning of our marriage."
She kept all the letters that he wrote to her while he was overseas. He always seemed to be "going on vacation or going on a course" while he was in England. He also served in Italy including Montecassino, and in Holland. Margaret recalls that everyone sent cigarettes to soldiers. John had joined the army as a private and retired as captain’s command. Then he went to teachers’ college.
John has always wanted to teach. He started out as an engineering instructor at the University of Guelph then had an opportunity to teach in Sault Ste. Marie before moving to Sarnia where wages were better. Sarnia was booming in 1953. This was the year before Northern Collegiate was built. SCITS students attended SCITS in the mornings while Northern students used the same high school in the afternoons. John taught for ten years at Northern and retired as technical director at St. Clair Collegiate in 1976.
The Kuenzigs had found Sault Ste. Marie cold and preferred the climate in Sarnia. The family had always planned to return to Guelph or at least change houses.
"However,"says Margaret, "every time we thought of moving John knocked out a wall," in the house that has been home since 1953!
Margaret worked all the time John was overseas and quit hairdressing upon his return to Canada.
It total she worked ten years as a hairdresser and then raised five children. Homemaking was heavy work at that time. Automatic washers, prepared foods and other conveniences were not readily available.
Margaret and John’s children wanted nothing to do with teaching. Now, one daughter is a former library technician who worked in the local school system. She is married to a retired teacher, Ken Winch. A daughter in London was an early childhood educator and a third daughter is a school secretary in Michigan. One of Margaret’s sons and Bert Phills, our Chit Chat editor, are married to twin sisters. Bert’s wife is a teacher and her twin is a nurse. Educators are unavoidable!! Margaret does have a son who worked at Nova and a grandson who is as local optometrist.
In retirement along with his woodworking hobby, John was on the committee when the Strangway Centre was built. Margaret and John enjoyed shuffleboard at the new facility. Until recent years when their church closed, Margaret appreciated the fact that it was located almost across the street from their home.
Margaret recommends the services of the CCAC. Along with assistance from family CCAC was helpful to her after a fall last year.
Margaret’s siblings are her sister, who was a nurse, and her brother, who was a manager with Miracle Mart. Remember that grocery store chain!! Margaret has eleven grandchildren. She also has three great grandchildren.

Margaret turned 100 in April



Poinsettias have been delivered to the shut-in members of our district.
Check the list.                  Pictures from some visits.


Suncatchers have brightened-up some of our shut-in members rooms in the district.
Pictures from some visits


The Goodwill Committee will be including a business card inside each birthday card for those turning 80.  This card has contact names, telephone numbers and email addresses for all our committee members.  These cards will also be available at the No-Bells breakfast, Executive meetings, the General meetings in December and June, or by request.
Please contact a committee member when sending a card would be appropriate for you or another RTO member.  (e.g. special anniversary, illness, marriage, hospitalization, thinking of you, death of a family member, special milestone-becoming a first-time grandparent, etc.) 


Birthday cards sent to people in their 80's and 90's

Dorothy Acton, Marie Aicken, Melba Alexander, George Allan, Janet Allen, Carolyn Arnold, Janice Baker, Evelyn Ball, June Bannister, Ellie Bergeron, Doreen Blake, Helen Cassidy, John Clarke, George Bice, Bill Blake, Pauline Bourassa, Al Breakevelt,  Ivan Glen Brooks, James Brough, June Chaput, Helen Cassidy, Patricia Charpentier, John Choy, Eval Dalrymple, Bill Danylchuk, Edward Davies, Nadyne Dell, Ken Dennis, Douglas Dew, Lois Dixon, William Dobbin, Eleanor Doolittle, Marion Douey, Joan Downie, Karen Duchene, Mary Edgar,  Lorraine Erickson, Lloyd Eyer, Barbara Feaver, Caroline Fera, Margaret Fera, Phyllis Ferguson, Betty Fitchett, Ivan Ford, Rome Forgues, Eleanor Forsyth, Alice Francis, Warner French, Emily Gaborko, Marilyn Garrett, Mary Helen Garvie, David Gilham, Corinne Gill, Alexia Gladdy, Mark Gorth, Eugene Graham,  Jocelyn Griffiths, Jean Haggitt, Tom Hamilton, Frances Harper, Marjorie Harris, Catherine Hefferman, Patrick Heisler, Sherry Hext, Irene Hill, Joan Hinch, Gladys Howarth, Virginia Hunt, John Hunter, Christie Johnston, Vera Johnston, Verna Johnson, Phyllis Johnston, Georgina Jones, James Kaempf, Gladys Kells, Joyce Kelly, Joan Kerwin, Glen Kinna, John Knackstedt, Jacqueline Krech, Margaret Kuenzik, Gladys Lang,  Stella Marie Lannon, Ada Laurene, Evelyn Lecky, Nathley Leitch, Germaine Lepage,  Bonnie Lester, Jules Levesque, Frances Lewis, Linda Lewis, John Lewis, Joshua Lipszyc, Arthur Lloyd,  Thelma Loosemore, Wilma Love, Robert Machan, Joan MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald, Joan MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald, Doris McArthur, Jim McArthur, Mary Jane McArthur, Virginia McArthur, Bob McCarthy, Shirley McFarlane, Shirley MacMillan, Gene McCaffrey, Ben McCall, Monica McCall, William McCordic, Louise McQueen, James McVicar, Marilyn Maderey,  Lois Marley, Joe Matz, Howard Maw, Murray Metcalfe, James Miller, Mary Anne Miller, Barb Moore, Ronald Morphew, Fred Moss, Shirley Mouseau, Marion Mummery, Robert Mummery, Dolores Murray, Helen Mutton, Fred Meyers, Lois O'Harare, Florence Park, Eilene Patterson, Paul Pratt, Arnold Pole, Wilfred Pole, Barbara Porter, Sara Puthuvelil, Denise Raiche, Eleanor Ritchie, Elsie Robbins, Doris Robinson, Marie Rutledge, James Savage, Donald Sawyer, Elsie Scott, Lawrence Scully, Melvin Seward, Ada Laurene Thomas Shaw, Dorothy Shea, Geraldine Sheppard, Joyce Skuce, Wilf Spivey, Ross Stephenson, John Stewart, Phyllis Sutherland, Marlyn Swan, Julius Szabo, Terry Taylor, Esther Tebbens, Elizabeth Tighe, Shirley Thompson, Sar Townsend, Elizabeth Vanderhoeden, Eleanor Vargo, June Verbeem, Dorothy Vogt, Dorothea Vokes, Bob Volland, Mary Wade, Audrey Wagner, John Walker, Emmy Wassenaar, Shirley Wilton, Glenda Welsh, Barb White, Mary Williamson, Doris Withernshaw, Maria Wolff, Reta Young

80+  Birthdays by the Month  --  90+ Birthdays

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

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Annual General Meeting June 2019

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For a list of Members who have recently passed away (click here):

So that this information can be kept up to date please call 542-0998 or contact any member on the Goodwill Committee to keep us informed about member's birthdays, first time grandparents, milestone anniversaries, members in need of a visit or a call, illnesses, hospital stays, in the news for special accomplishments, and moving to retirement or nursing homes.

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