South Bruce RWTO/OERO Celebrates Spring and Presents the Cora Bailey Award

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The decidedly unspringy weather was an inconvenience, but did not dampen the spirits of the twenty-two members of the South Bruce Retired Women Teachers of Ontario/Organization des Enseignantes retirees de l’Ontario (RWTO/OERO) who gathered at the Camp Kintail on Tuesday April 19 for a Spring Luncheon.

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Concerned about health issues, the ladies found the spacious dining room well suited and set up for social distancing and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal served by the friendly staff. The snow and wind outside was offset by the cozy atmosphere inside with a crackling fire in the stone fireplace.

After the meal, member Christine Roberts gave a presentation to the group detailing her personal experiences and growth as a gardener. Since retiring and moving permanently to Blair’s Grove in 2012, Roberts has volunteered with various national, provincial and local conservation groups. These experiences led to a fundamental change in his attitude towards gardening. She and her husband now eschew well-known non-native ornamental plants in favor of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers that provide food and habitat for insects and birds. Their goal is to bring a better balance to their gardens and property by creating a haven of nature in all its forms.

Betty Johnson proudly announced that Dianne Simpson is the 2021-2022 recipient of the Cora Bailey Award for Outstanding Branch Service. Johnson read the letter of appointment which provided insight into Simpson’s life and teaching career in Bruce County ending with his 2015 retirement from Ripley-Huron Community School. This was soon followed by his joining the South Bruce Branch RWTO and his involvement in the executive as a goodwill leader where his irrepressible good nature brings joy to members through calls, notes and Cards. Johnson, herself a Cora Bailey recipient, presented Simpson with the certificate and a pot of flowers. The nomination letter and photo will appear in the RWTO/OERO Area 1 Cora Bailey book at the provincial convention in June.

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In the Treasurer’s Report, Carole Machan identified the Gray Bruce United Way Backpack Program and the Huron Shores Hospice as the two charities that will be supported by branch year-end donations.

Betty Johnson, Insurance Manager, explained recent changes to the Supplemental Insurance Program and Dianne Simpson, Goodwill Manager, provided an update on members experiencing difficulty.

Throughout the gathering, many memories were shared of good times in class and special relationships with colleagues. Individual members expressed gratitude for the support offered during difficult times and all look forward to continuing to forge and strengthen collegial bonds at future branch events. The next rally will be held outdoors at the Kincardine home of Vice President Frances Nixon on June 22 for lunch.