Vol. 6, No. 2              October 2005

the Spencer Letter is the official publication of the
- Bishop Spencer College Alumnae Association -
P.O. Box 21382, St. John's, NL, Canada    A1A 5G6    709-739-0981

president: Barbara (Parsons) Clancy '63
editor: Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54

Dear Spencerians:
   It is with great sorrow that I write of the death earlier in the summer of associate editor June (Earle) Wheeler '55. June was charter secretary of the BSC Alumnae Association and was always a great help to me; the moral support she gave for every alumnae activity was unparalleled. Sonia (Streeter) May '54 and I attended her funeral at St. Thomas's there was quite a turnout and many Spencerians were seen in the crowd. The day before, President Barbara and I went to the funeral home to express our personal sympathy to her son Ian and to her mother and granddaughters and, of course, the sympathy of all members of the BSCAA. I knew June for over 60 years; our grandmothers were friends; she nursed my aunt with exemplary care; I can't believe she's gone.
   Lately I've been thinking about Latin classes!!! Our class began studies with Miss Bulley in Grade VIII and finished with Mrs. Howell in Grade XI. Some classics were considered essential in educational systems like ours; in the broader world in Newfoundland, Latin was universally taught in high school French being largely unavailable.
   In one test, we were required to pick from a list a phrase suitable for a cemetery headstone. The list included terms like carpe diem, tempus fugit, requiescat in pace, et alia, etc. (no pun intended there). One of my classmates checked off "tempus fugit." At 16 years old, we thought that was hilarious. At 68, though, I find it a lot less funny not funny at all, in fact just a reminder.....
   By the way, Pauline (Verge) Howell, BA., B.Ed., a graduate of Mount Allison and Acadia, has severe Alzheimers and is a resident of Chancellor Park in St. John's; her sister Elizabeth "Beth" (Verge) Strong (Commercial '44) has the same tragic illness and is at Agnes Pratt Home in St. John's.
   On a lighter note. It's just 10 years since I sat down on Labour Day of 1995 to write the first Spencer Letter. That turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done thanks to all of you. I continue to hear from and about Spencerians all over the world.
   Keep your letters coming, please. Have a good winter. Merry Christmas; Happy Channukah. Take care, stay well.
P.S. The next Spencer Letter is the big one that goes to everybody on the list. Forward changes of addresses for yourself, friends, classmates, & relatives, please.

Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54

   I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Now that it is autumn it is time to get back on schedule and return to all of our regular activities. Whether it be our weekly bridge game, our book club, classes (academic or otherwise), we all need something to keep us focused and active.
   Our Association is also getting back to its activities for the coming year. We will be presenting two scholarships to well-deserving young ladies at our November meeting as well as holding our annual "Spencer sale". At the Annual General Meeting in May we will be holding elections for most of the positions for the Association executive.
   I ask that you give careful consideration to offering yourself for nomination to one of the Executive positions. I can personally recommend it as a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. I have been on the Executive since 2000 and have enjoyed every minute!
   If you prefer something more short term, we are also looking for some members to fill some vacancies on the Scholarship committee. This committee works for the months of September and October several meetings to discuss the applications and choose the winners of the scholarship (as well as a bit of homework but no exams!)
   Please think about it over the next little while. Think about making a contribution to your Association, either as a member of the Executive or in serving on a committee.
   Don't forget our November luncheon details elsewhere in this newsletter. Get a group together and come and enjoy a few hours with your sister Spencerians. I look forward to seeing you all!

Barbara Parsons Clancy 63
As of July 2005, the materials in the BSC Collection at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives of Memorial University of Newfoundland include:
- Postcard and list of senior sports cup winners
- List of Shields and cups
- Staff related items including biographical info
- Obituaries of BSC Alumni
- Music Festival Association of Newfoundland Kiwanis Club certificates
- Awards, Prizes, and medals
- Several books, including cookbooks
- Dance invitations and cards
- Commercial Class items including lists of pupils and a certificate
- An attendance certificate, 1906
- Council of Higher Education Register of Candidates, June 1949
- BSC Hymn
- Prefects' rules and pins
- Prospectus
- Poem by Elizabeth L. (Scammell) Reynolds, 1954 BSC Revisited 1995
- Research material on Spencerians whose parents were stationed at Fort Pepperell in 1950's and 60's
- Scheme of Work
- Speech Day programs
- Speech Night speech
- Spencer Club Treasurer's statements
- The Spencerian, Vol. 1 (2) June 1921
- Spencerian Leaflet, 1921, 1926
- The Dispence, no date
- Newsletter from the Ladies' Class of 1935 and 1936
- Plans for Spencer statue at King's Road, Military Road, Dec. 11, 2001
- Program from Thanksgiving Service BSC on June 15, 19?
- Artefacts such as a piece of desk with names, 1937; pins and medals
- Sewing: Kit made in Grade VII 1958; Souvenir of BSC, 19 June 1964
A reminder to all Spencerians that the CNS Archives is accepting materials on a continuing basis and if you have anything that you would like to contribute please contact Ruth (Noseworthy) Green at 895-2005 or e-mail:

This fill-in contains the surnames of all Spencer Headmistresses from 1845 to 1972! It was compiled by Clarence Dewling, antiquarian, erstwhile archivist at the Cathedral, and husband of Sarah (Elliott) Dewling '59(X). Thanks, Clarence.

Crossword Fill-In

   Received a lovely letter from Margaret (Hussey) Joyce '33 who lives in Toronto. She will turn 90 in February 2006 and has sent in her dues for '05 and '06! Although she's in good health, she's now legally blind. She wants to keep getting the Spencer Letter someone will read it to her. The printed adage at the bottom of her note paper said "Make every second count." We wish her many more years of good health and happy 90th in February. Spencerians who would like to send her a note, please write or phone me for her address.

   Jean (Ryan) MacKinnon '54 was in St. John's from Ottawa in September and Canon Joyce Payne '54 from York Harbour in May so the remnants of the class of '54 got together for lunch each time. We had also met in St. John's for afternoon tea with Florence (Martin) White '54 from Trinity to express our sympathy on the sudden death of her husband David (Feild, '54) early in the winter. That's three class reunions this year.

   Two Spencerians volunteering we love it! The latest edition of the SPCA newsletter NEWSPAWS has a photograph of a presentation of a cheque made by HR. Lady Myra Torraville (Myra Blackmore '45) of the Royal Purple of Canada Lodge #237. Receiving it was longtime SPCA volunteer (chief SPCA mover & shaker, shelter organizer, and special constable) Debbie (Crosbie) Powers '59.

   Thanks to Canon Joyce Payne '54 for her donation to the archives. The items aren't catalogued yet but will be listed in due course. (see Archives holdings list in this Letter)
Re: Archives the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at MUN maintains a Spencer collection and the Head of the Centre Joan Ritcey '69 is always interested in reviewing items for possible donation generally any paper item but occasionally other types (eg. medals & pins).
   Miss Joyce Hall dropped in one day in the summer and had a cup of tea with me. All her former students will be glad to know she's in good health and fine form. She's still driving and is writing down her experiences at Spencer we're looking forward to the publication! I was standing in a line-up at Dominion Supermarket the other day when I heard one young woman behind me say to another: "I just had the longest chat with Miss Hall who was my favourite teacher at Spencer; so lovely to talk to her." My ears pricked up and I introduced myself. She's Catherine (Belbin) but I don't have a name or address for her. HELP we'd love to put her on the list send me the particulars, please.

   Past President Betty (Cook) Williams '51 writes from Bellevue, Trinity Bay where she & Chico have settled in and become active in church and community (no surprise there!) She says that the date on Cherry's letter to Shirley (Earle) Clarke '54 published in the last Spencer Letter has to be wrong. The letter was dated Nov. 29, 1956 and Betty says that Cherry died in the General Hospital just a few hours after Betty graduated from the School of Nursing there on Oct. 4, 1956. Betty spent a short time visiting her after her graduation and Cherry congratulating her. Betty was probably the last Spencerian to talk to Cherry. Thanks for this, Betty.

   My son Brian & I were invited to the 2nd Annual Trinity Heritage Fair to be the fine art consultants. We stayed at Trouty with Sarah (Elliott) Dewling '59(X) and her husband Clarence (see his contribution to the Spencer Letter later in this edition). We had a marvellous evening with them talking about history & politics, literature & learning. They have a complete collection of ten years of Spencer Letters and memorabilia all filed in a binder. Thanks, Sarah & Clarence.

NOTES - cont'd.
   Class of 1959 This year they had afternoon tea at Edith (Maidment) Noel's, a pot luck supper at Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe's, the 2nd annual picnic, this year at the site of The Rower (joined there by Ingrid (Bugge) Noseworthy from Halifax and Susan (Templeton) Pahl from Ottawa), and supper at Beachy Cove Cafe (joined by Emma Roche from Ottawa).

   We notice in the Cathedral Messenger that Canon Margaret Hall '57 is one of the three Honorary Assistant Priests at the Cathedral.

   Douglas (Robertson) Ziedalis '47 in Massachusetts keeps her eye peeled for articles about Newfoundland in the Boston papers and sends me items clipped from them. It's always interesting to see how other folks view us. Thanks, Doug.

   Carol (Gardner) Kirby '55 writes I have now "retired" three times but am still not good at it. The latest as Headmistress of Elmwood School. Husband Roy and I spent three months travelling in Europe and upon our return, I began teaching in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. We now have seven grandchildren with the eldest just four.

   The Ottawa chapter had a very successful spring meeting. The group were very excited to have Hilda (Brinton) Dobson '36 former faculty member with them again she's always the star of the show. Myra (Barnes) Carter '54 came from Montreal and Janet (Carter) Green '53 from Canton, NY to keep in touch and have some fun. (See photo later in this Letter.)

   The book Rogues & Heroes by Paul Butler & Maura Hanrahan has biographies of former Headmistress (and later Suffragist) Armine Nutting Gosling and of Spencerian & WWII broadcaster ("Calling from Britain to Newfoundland") Margot Davies.
   Deborah (Crosbie) Powers '59 was a recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for her work as the shelter director for the SPCA, volunteering with the Alzheimer Society, Vera Perlin Society, co-founder of The Retired Citizen's Club, and a member of The Anglican Cathedral of St. John The Baptist.

   Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 continues to support "art in the city" with her recent significant donation of the bronze statue "The Rower" at Quidi Vidi Lake.
Elinor, accompanied by her sister Rosalind Gill '64 unveiled a commemorative plaque at the doors to the new Provincial Archives at The Rooms. The doors were presented to The Rooms by Elinor in memory of her father, former Provincial Archivist, Burnham Gill, and depict stylized fish in a circle, aptly named "At Swim."

   Phyllis (Miller) Angel '52 was named to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Hall of Fame for her work in dance. She was the first Honorary Member of the Dance Teachers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. Thanks to her husband Frank Angel for letting us know.

   Helen Parsons Shepherd '39 and her late husband Reginald Shepherd have been honoured by a large retrospective show of their work: "A Life Composed" the first major show of Newfoundland artists at the Rooms. Helen has just completed a new print "Morning Light" and a book has been published about Helen's & Reg's work.

Contributions to this space would be most welcome short verse or essay, any special or general memory, class news. SEND ALONG ASAP.

The Scholarship Committee has had a number of resignations and we need more Spencerians to serve on this group. It meets two or three times in September to review applications and decide on recipients. Each member of the committee goes over each application in her own time, "grades" the entries using a point system, and brings her results to the committee meeting. Call President Barbara if you are willing to serve. Educators are especially welcome.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are now being sought. Contributions of any size would be most welcome and are tax deductible. You can send a cheque to the treasurer. For donations of substantial size, please call treasurer Ruby Legge at 709-579-6219. Our scholarships are supporting deserving young women in post-secondary studies.
Fees are now due for 2006.
Your $10.00 fee for membership is due every January. This fee enables us to keep running and to publish the Spencer Letter. Please send it along to treasurer Ruby Legge, 58 Airport Heights Drive, St. John's, NL A1A 4Z7. THANK YOU if you've already done so.

Congratulations to the 2005 winners:
1.Stephanie Petten (continuing) granddaughter of Audrey (Chaytor) Petten '50
2.Deidre Driscoll (entrance) daughter of Lorna Proudfoot '68 and granddaughter of Helen (Cole) Driscoll '47
     Ottawa: Sally (Winter) LeFeuvre '59 at 613-741-9483
     Toronto: Elizabeth (Wheeler) Gibson '63 at 905-853-9646
     England: Elaine (Whitten) Polley '64 at 011-44-189-523-9946
     St. John's: Barb (Parsons) Clancy '63 at 739-0981 or e-mail:

Ottawa Chapter
The Ottawa chapter, June 2005 with president Sally (Winter) Lefeuvre '59(XI) kneeling at right beside Hilda (Brinton) Dobson seated centre front.

Crossword Answer

Saturday, November 5, 2005                   11:45 for lunch at 12:15 pm

Place: Bally Haly Golf Club, Logy Bay Road, St. John's
Cost: $18.00


Tickets can be paid for at the door (cash, cheque, or VISA).


And don't forget the Fall Sale!! Donations will be accepted for three stalls:
1.   Baked goods, preserves, candy, etc.
2.   Crafts and handmade items new
3.   Books

NOTE: there is no miscellaneous stall this year.

                          *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *
Carpe diem: seize the day
Tempus fugit: time flies
Requiescat in pace: (may she or he) rest in peace
Et alia: and the others

Non moritur cujus fama vivit: one whose fame liveth shall never die (the motto of Spencer and Feild we take the name of the FAMA VIVIT award from it) Can somebody let me know the Latin for the words on the old Newfoundland red ensign, loosely translated. I think they mean These I bring to thee as gifts."


In Memoriam
1.June (Earle) Wheeler '55.
2.Helen (Young) Marquis '48.
3.Shirley (Porter) Farley '47.
Deepest sympathy to the families who mourn.
Please let our secretary Ruth (Noseworthy) Green '63 know if anyone should be included in the Obituaries.

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