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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!!



Joan Russell grew up in a Canadian Pacific Railway family. While her elder brother, Ralph Harshaw, was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick; Joan, her sister and another brother were born in Maine when their father worked there. Joan returned to Ontario when she was in Grade Eight. She attended Ontario Ladies College, later called Trafalgar School, in Whitby which her sister had attended some years earlier.

Joan’s brother Ralph came to Sarnia to work at Imperial Oil. He bought a house in Sarnia with their mother and eventually Joan joined them.

Joan’s was a reading specialist with the local board. She worked as an itinerant teacher assisting individuals and small groups with their reading skills. Errol Road was one of the schools she visited. She usually had a home school where she taught and "visited other schools to help where she could."

Joan’s son lives in Michigan.


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.

No picture available.


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.

No picture available.



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.

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!!


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


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



No picture available.


Irene Hill Celebrates her birthday in September!
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!



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. 


Ella Norton 
is a Lambton County girl. She was born in Corunna. Both Ella and her sister, Mabel Young, were teachers and both live at Marshall Gowland Manor. Mabel had to resign from teaching when she married but Ella had a twenty-five year career in classrooms. She was a kindergarten teacher. She taught for ten years in London and fifteen years in Corunna. Her sister taught at Black Creek, Sombra and Aberarder.
Ella married and has two daughters and a son. She was feted for her birthday by having all her family visit. Her eldest lives in North Carolina and the other two live in the Ottawa area. Ella has a sister-in-law and two nieces who live in this area.
Ella wrote about her family in a book called The Porridge Eaters, a lovely gift to her family. The book required much searching and travelling to gather the information. All that work was done without a computer!
She was also an active volunteer. She spent fifteen years with the Sarnia Cancer Clinic and twenty years with Moore Museum.
Recently, Ella was honoured by RWTO when she was made a life member.
Ella turned 90 in January, 2012

Graham Stevens was born in Scotland and came to Canada in 1924. He lived in Windsor until after the war. He attended the University of Western Ontario in London and then the University of Toronto for teachers college. The University of Toronto Schools provided practical training for teachers at that time.
Graham began his career in Beaverton, Ontario. His starting salary was $2400. $200 of that was for a post graduate degree. A bonus for department heads and assistants was introduced after one board started the trend. In 1956 Graham came to Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School as head of history. Central Collegiate had just opened in January 1956. Northern was due to open when Graham arrived and SCITS shared the SCITS building with Northern. SCITS students and teachers used the school in the mornings while Northern people used it in the afternoons until the new school opened. Later Graham became a vice-principal at SCITS. Some of the staff at SCITS were Catherine Wilson, Art Barnes and Major Philips.
Graham moved to Northern as the vice-principal until retirement. There he worked with Principal Ted Gowinski.
Currently, Graham has a spacious apartment at Fairwinds. Both his son and his daughter live in this area.

Graham turned 90 in July


Robert Mummery’s home town is Blenheim. After working for ten years in industry with Chatco Steel, Bob chose teaching. His first teaching job was at Maple Leaf School, Tilbury East, a one room school with every grade. His salary was $2400 a year with a extra $350 for janitor work. After three years at Maple Leaf he switched to Tilbury District High School when he received his BA from Assumption (Windsor) which was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. From 1959 to 1965 he taught in his home town.
Bob then moved to Wallaceburg (WDSS) high school and the Mummerys from then on made their home in Lambton, first in Port Lambton and, since 1988 in Grand Bend. Bob retired after thirty two years of teaching in 1982 and he and his wife spent twenty winters in Florida. In retirement Bob enjoyed travel to such places as Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia/Bali, and Singapore. Earlier as an observer Bob had accompanied Dr. Fisher of Laurier University on two six week trips, one of the Middle East and one of Egypt, Israel and Jordon. Bob wrote some travel articles which were published in the Globe and Mail. Bob also loved golfing.
Bob and Marion, Bob’s wife of sixty years, have enjoyed their manufactured home in Grand Bend which is directly across the road from Oakwood which provides a swimming pool and fitness centre.
They have been impressed with the support services provided by home care in Lambton which has allowed them to continue to live in their own home and community.
Robert turned 90 in October

No picture available.

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

No picture available.

Edith Davie was born in the North of Scotland. At the age of eight she and her mother immigrated to Birch Hill, Saskatchewan. They later moved to Toronto where Edith completed her schooling. Before her marriage Edith worked as a laboratory technician for the Ministry of Health. When she "tired of working with test tubes", she chose "working with humans" in the teaching profession. She taught at Oakwood "but didn’t get past Grade 3". She also taught at Clarke and Parkview.
When Edith and her husband, a laboratory supervisor, married they moved to Sarnia where he worked for Polysar. They raised their three sons in Sarnia where Edith has lived for sixty two years. She is a life long learner. Edith received her degree in twentieth century literature and her old age pension in the same year. She also studied the Byzantine period although she has not been called upon to share that knowledge! She keeps up her driver’s licence, walks to Northgate for shopping, participates in Dunlop United Church and RWTO activities and "is still buying green bananas"!
Edith turned 90 in November

Helen Farrar is a Sarnia native who performed in Sarnia's first music festival.  Her forty years teaching career began in 1937 in her home town with the princely salary of  $4.25 per day.  She accompanied every musical activity from choirs to rhythm bands.  When she married she had to resign however that September an extra teacher was required and Helen became the first married female teacher in Sarnia.  That restriction was soon forgotten because of teacher shortages during the war.  In 1954 kindergarten was introduced and Helen was one of the first kindergarten teachers in Sarnia and she found that job to be really fun. She finished her career after nine years of teaching special reading skills.
Helen's advice is "wear something bright on a down day"  and "keep active".  She follows her own advice. She served as president of the Women Teachers Federation, taught kindergarten methodology at summer school and has been a member of the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club for fifty-two years.  Although she no longer curls she does walk for a half hour every day, has volunteered at the hospital cancer clinic for almost thirty years and has sung in St. George's choir since the age of fifteen.
Helen has a son who lives in Sarnia.
Helen turned 90 in May

Flo Wilkie was born on a farm between Port Hope and Coburg.  After business college, her first job was at Coburg General Hospital. She later worked at the Port Hope Royal Bank and managed the office of an electrical store and contracting business. She moved to Sarnia in 1956 with her husband, Lorne, and three children. Another was born in Sarnia.
Before coming to Sarnia Lorne was in the Air Force then worked in auto mechanics and carpentry. Lorne taught in the auto shop at Northern Collegiate then became the technical director as well as a guidance counsellor.
Lorne and Flo loved Sarnia and Lorne loved the guys with whom he worked. At school he was involved in timing for football games, in advising the interdenominational Christian club and in teaching night school. Flo was at home with young children until embarking on a twenty year real estate career. She credits Toast Mistresses as a 'stepping stone' for her career. While at  home she painted and played golf, a game that both she and Lorne played competitively. They were both involved in the Olivet Baptist Church.
For thirty five winters Flo has enjoyed her place in Florida. There she plays the piano in jam sessions and writes with a group of seventeen writers. She has written over three hundred short stories and has produced books of family stories and of Lorne's one liners.
Flo's son, Arn, has a Bed and Breakfast at Erieau while the two daughters, Janice and Christine, live in Sarnia.
In addition to making music, dancing, and writing she follows the stock market the old way, in the daily newspaper.
Flo turned 90 in July


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 95 in April






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 95 in Auguast
















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, Carolyn Arnold, Marie Bailey, Janice Baker, Evelyn Ball, June Bannister, Jeanne Bergeron, Charlotte Berry, Bill Blake, Pauline Bourassa, Howard Brawn, Beulah Brennan, Helen Cassidy, Patricia Charpentier, Margaret Core, Eval Dalrymple, Bill Danylchuk, Edith Davie, Edward Davies, Ken Dennis, Ujjal Deol, Douglas Dew, Lois Dixon, William Dobbin, Eleanor Doolittle, Marion Douey, Joan Downie, Mary Edgar,  Lorraine Erickson, Helen Farrar, Phyllis Ferguson, Ivan Ford, Rome Forgues, Eleanor Forsyth, Emily Gaborko, Marilyn Garrett, William Gilchrist, Mark Gorth, Dick Graham, Eugene Graham, Betty Greening, Robert Griffin, Jocelyn Griffiths, Jean Haggitt, Marjorie Hands, Priscilla Harkins, Ruth Haughey, Catherine Hefferman, Sherry Hext, Irene Hill, Joan Hinch, Gladys Holbrook, Gladys Howarth, Virginia Hunt, Nancy Jaques, Shirley Johnson, Verna Johnson, Phyllis Johnston, Georgina Jones, Robert Julian, James Kaempf, Gladys Kells, Joyce Kelly, Leah Kelly, Glen Kinna, Donald Knight, Jacqueline Krech, Margaret Kuenzik, Gladys Lang,  Ada Laurene, Evelyn Lecky, Nathley Leitch, Germaine Lepage,  Bonnie Lester, Jules Levesque, Pauline Levey, Frances Lewis, Arthur Lloyd, Mary Lindsey, Wilma Love, Joan MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald, Joan MacDonald, Margaret MacDonald, Doris McArthur, Mary Jane McArthur, Virginia McArthur,  Shirley MacMillan, Lois Marley, Gene McCaffrey, Ben McCall, Monica McCall, William McCordic, Murray Metcalfe, James Miller, Kathleen Mitchell, Ronald Morphew, Shirley Mouseau, Robert Mummery, Donna Murray, Helen Mutton, Ella Norton, Lois O'Harare, Katharin Orrange, Florence Park, Frank Peaslee, Paul Pratt, Arnold Pole, Sara Puthuvelil, Denise Raiche, Elsie Robbins, Doris Robinson, Joan Russell, Marie Rutledge, Elsie Scott, Melvin Seward, Margaret Sharp, Ada Laurene Thomas Shaw, Dorothy Shea, Geraldine Sheppard, Kenneth Skinner, Joyce Skuce, Shirley Slatterie, Wilf Spivey, Roy Smith, Ross Stephenson, Francis Stevens, Gord Swan, Marilyn Swan, Julius Szabo, Elizabeth Tighe, Donna Thomas,  Shirley Thompson, Sar Townsend, Elizabeth Vanderhoeden, Eleanor Vargo, Dorothy Vogt, Dorothea Vokes, Mary Wade, Emmy Wassenaar, Irene Watson, Glenda Welsh, Barb White, Floris Wilkie, Mary Williamson, Doris Withernshaw, Maria Wolff

80+  Birthdays by the Month  --  90+ Birthdays

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

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Christmas Banquet 2015

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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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