Vol. 6, No. 4              October 2006

the Spencer Letter is the official publication of the
– Bishop Spencer College Alumnae Association –
PO BOX 21382,  ST. JOHN'S,  NL   A1A 5G6  CANADA
   Tel.:  709-739-0981
president: Judith (Barrett) Price '59       editor: Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54

Dear Spencerians:
   It is autumn in St. John's and the leaves are turning; meanwhile we still have roses in the garden. On the first Wednesday in October I paused for a few moments to remember the Spencer Sale and the fresh MacKintosh apples that were sold on the produce stall – is it my imagination or was the taste much better in those days? I recently bought some fresh apples (grown in Kelligrews) at a stall at the Churchill Square farmer's market – they were almost as tasty. Meanwhile farms on the Brookfield Road are selling their sweet corn – fresh corn was unheard of in the days of Spencer sales.
   I've just gone back through my Winter 06 survey (some results still coming in!) and I've noticed something interesting – we're happy folks, we Spencerians. So many of you wrote that you are (we are) content with our lives, with what we've attempted and accomplished. We take special delight in our families – children & grandchildren, nephews & nieces – a concept known in psychology as "generativity" (concern with seeing that future generations are established.) We're proud of our
family members' successes, we share the bad times as well as the good. Many of us have had happy marriages.
   Most of you who replied have said that volunteer work in the community has brought great satisfaction – giving back to others was, I remember, a concept often mentioned at BSC! For myself, I organized my first volunteer project, a fair for Junior Red Cross when I was 11 in Grade 6 so I've now been volunteering for 58 years! And yes, this has been a very satisfactory part of my life. Many of us are proud of, happy & satisfied with our careers. While the burning ambitions of youth may be tempered a good deal by time, some of us are still taking much joy in "a day's work well done."
   More from the '06 survey in the next Letter. Meanwhile – Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, and a Blessed 2007.

Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54
Saturday,      Nov. 4, 2006,      12 Noon
Clovelly Golf Club Gazebo,      Golf Course Road,      St. John's
(for details: click here)

Please call   570-7422   to reserve your ticket before the October 30th deadline.

   It was my privilege to travel to France and Belgium this summer with The Friends of The Royal Newfoundland Regiment. The purpose of the trip was to re-dedicate or in one case, dedicate, the Caribou Memorial in each of five towns on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. I was particularly moved when we stood in the morning mist and heard the Regiment Band play "The Banks of Newfoundland" while the full compliment marched up from behind a rolling green hill covered with the familiar poppies. Tears welled up in the hardest of hearts as we all came to realize just how much was lost to our tiny island in a few short years. The local townspeople came out to each memorial and the children were included in several ceremonies. The torch has been passed.
   Bishop Spencer was well represented "over there" with Faith (Hiscock) Henderson '50 and Sandra (Baird) Munn '50 travelling with the group and Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 and Rosalind Gill '64 joining us later. Elaine (Whitten) Polley '64, Joan Rusted '61, and Audrey Diane (Crosbie) Craft '50 were also in attendance for the July 1st ceremony. HRH Princess Anne, Colonel-In-Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and His Honour Edward Roberts, Lieutenant Governor and Honorary Colonel met with all members of The Regiment and most of us Friends of The Regiment after the ceremonies.
   The day was sunny and very hot, but the pride in the faces and hearts of the young men and women of today's Royal Newfoundland Regiment kept every one of them on their feet from early morning to late afternoon, unflinching and honouring our dead with a greater understanding of what had happened there. Many women lost fathers, sons, brothers in World War I and many have been lost since, but the tiny island of Newfoundland lost a generation of young men.
   I don't think I will be able to sing "The Ode To Newfoundland" again without a lump in my throat at the words "where once they stood, we stand". Unfortunately, we are still at war today and while we may or may not agree with the politics of it all, "our boys and girls" are still "over there" and deserve our support. They are all heroes.
   What has this to do with us? Everything. It is our history and it is our future. It is the cost of freedom and the stories of those who gave their lives and are still giving.
Judith C. Price, President, BSCAA, 2006

   For those of you who don't know me, I feel this is the most appropriate time to introduce myself. For those who do know me, I may have some things you didn't know about me before this.
   I graduated from Bishop Spencer College, Class of 1959, the last class to be schooled together from Kindergarten to Grade XI at that school. I went on to Bishop's College for a Commercial course and then to work at USAF Base, Goose Bay. The unfortunate death of my brother, Rodger in 1964 brought me back home and, since then, I have worked with Newfoundland Telephone, Canadian Red Cross, Avalon Consolidated School Board (Bishop Field and Brinton Memorial), Thorne Riddell, Chartered Accountants, and Cambridge Leaseholds (former owners of The Village Shopping Centre), the latter from 1981 until my retirement in 2003.
   I have been a single parent for over 30 years to my children Rodger and Raylene and give thanks for our time with my parents Frances (Rodger) Barrett (BSC 192?) and Cyril Barrett for their constant love and support. Some of you knew my mother and some may remember my father from his years at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.
   I sell the Weekenders ladies' clothing line, mostly in an one on one situation. I have been a volunteer for many organizations including The Air Cadet League of Canada, NL Provincial Committee and The Single Parent Association of NL. I have a black Labrador named Cabot. I love to knit and read. The feather in my BSC hat to date (other than passing Grade XI) came when Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 chose my idea for her generous donation of The Spencer Girl. We will all be remembered for generations to come because of that gift.
   I look forward to my term as your President.
Judith (Barrett) Price '59

   I've always been intrigued by nicknames and how they come about. Spencer seems to have been a hotbed of nickname creation (is this a tradition in a British-style school?); so I'm going to ramble on about various nicknames that belong to various Spencerians. I hope that if you see your nom d'ιcole here, you'll enjoy its context; if you see someone else's you can play guessing games to figure out who is meant. The thing is that these names have followed us all our lives. One of the factors in my changing my legal name (from Elizabeth L. Reynolds to Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds) was the use of Scam, as only those who knew me "when" understood it.
   My musings today are, in part, a tribute to the late Mett (Munn) Winter who used to walk me home from school. I don't know when Mary Ethel became Mett but I suspect her classmates had some hand – or voice – in it.
   In Grade 6, our group started shortening names and using all sorts of sobriquets – Catherine became Cat for all of three weeks; it simply didn't suit her and she's been Puss to us for nearly 60 years!
   I'd love to hear from any of you who have, or know of, any unusual nicknames for Spencerians of any era.
   Meanwhile this article is dedicated to BIZ & GOOG & BUMP & MUFFET, to FINN & EARLY (both of them) & LOUIE, to all those who became LIZ & LIB & BETTY & BETH & MAGGIE & MARGIE & MAME; to anyone who went by a name not the one given at baptism; and especially to the memory of METT & MIB & SUZI.

   The number 1296 has special significance for Spencer. What is it?
   A nice prize for the right answer – we'll put all the correct ones in a hat and draw for the prize. Write to "Quiz" c/o the Spencer Letter, 12 Kent Place, St. John's, NL A1B 1V5. Deadline is December 24, 2006.
   We will put the answer and other interesting numbers in the next Spencer Letter.
  BSC EXECUTIVE 2006 – 2007
Judith (Barrett) Price '59
will be chosen by the Executive
Past President:
Barbara (Parsons) Clancy '63
Chair, Archives:
Ruth (Noseworthy) Green '63
Ruby (Downer) Legge '64
Director – Membership:
Shirley (Bourne) Kelly '53
Director – Scholarship Committee:
Vivian (Bowring) Pallard '63
Director – Liaison/Chapters – Social:
Carolyn (Wells) Halliday '63
Editor – The Spencer Letter:
Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54

2.Strict honesty in work and games.
3.Good sportsmanship and an understanding of "fair play."
4.Cheerful helpfulness.
6.Scrupulous observance of all school rules.
7.Such behaviour in class and to all in authority as will serve as an example to newcomers and younger pupils.
8.Strict observance of "Honour Study" rule.
9.Courtesy towards and consideration for others at all times and under all circumstances.
– found in a notebook in Miss Millard's handwriting with the signatures of all prefects from March 1944 to May 1959.

   The Rev. Canon Joyce Payne '54 writes from York Harbour, Bay of Islands that she's now adopted an abandoned dog from the SPCA in Corner Brook. "Chuckie" was chucked over the fence there! He keeps Joyce company as her brother David (Feild '51) has been in hospital since mid-August.

   Emmie (Dawe) Embury '41 writes from Ottawa that she met her late husband Phil at a square dance at the old Caribou Hut on April 15, 1944. He was in the navy and had gone to the Hut with friends. The building is now being restored and is (I think) being turned into condos.

   Nancy (Wild) Young '40 writes 'Greetings from "The Mother Country."' She was at Spencer in the mid 30's when her father (Mr. I. Wild) was a member of the Commission of Government (he was the Finance Commissioner) having been sent to Newfoundland by the Colonial Office. Nancy is 82 years old and appreciates getting the Spencer Letter. She says "Hello" to all her contemporaries. As the Wilds lived in the old Newfoundland Hotel, I remember Mr. Wild there when I was a little girl and I have a vague memory of meeting Nancy, I think, when she was visiting. So glad to hear from her.

   Our class had a very busy summer with visits from: Shirley (Peet) Baird, British Columbia; Bernice (Summers) Carter, Ontario; Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe, Ontario; Emma (Roche) Scott, Ontario; Ingrid (Bugge) Noseworthy, Nova Scotia; Sally (Winter) LeFeuvre, Ontario; and Susan (Templeton) Pahl, Quebec.
   We had a pot luck supper at Elinor's, a picnic in Bowring Park, tea in the Crypt, and lunch at Beachy Cove Cafι, with several of our classmates attending each one. In the interim, most of us e-mail each other or sometimes visit by phone or in person. There is no shortage of chatter when we are together and we share each other's good and bad times.
   Bill Parsons (Comm. '48) writes from Lansing, New York with memories of Edna (Wilson) Feaver '47 and Jean Holwell '47. Bill was so glad to have been reconnected with both of them through a Spencer meeting in Toronto which Elizabeth (Reid) Walker '56 attended and sent him the names & addresses – it had been half a century since he'd seen Jean and he wrote a lovely memorial to her in his letter to me. Thanks, Bill.

   Miss Joyce Hall has now moved into a new senior's complex – Cambridge Estates – built on the site of the Old Colony Club of happy memory. Joyce gets out for her walk every day and is settling in nicely with lots of help from the Class of '59 – Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe and President Judy especially.

   CONGRATULATIONS! Better late than never! We're indebted to June (Dwyer) Campbell '49 for sending a page from the McMaster University Alumni Magazine (Spring '03). On June 7, 2003 during Alumni Weekend 11 outstanding McMaster alums were honoured – one was a Spencerian and another the daughter of a Spencerian: Helen (Epstein) Ghent '51 (McMaster '56) and Dr. Elisabeth (Young) Nicol (McMaster '87), June Young's daughter.

   CONGRATULATIONS to Susan (Harvey) Patten '50 who was invested into the Order of Canada on October 6, 2006. She is the second Spencerian to receive this honour. (the late Gert Murray Crosbie was the other.) Susan, we're so proud of you – well deserved recognition of all your community service.


   Joyce Hall was walking one day this week (Oct. 9 – 13) and fell and broke her shoulder. Greetings from well-wishers should be addressed to: Miss Joyce Hall, Cambridge Estates, 64 Portugal Cove Road, St. John's, NL A1B 2L9.

Miss Cooksley
Misses LeGallais
Miss Clara Butler
Miss Nutting
Miss Cowling
Miss Edith de la Mare
Miss Stirling
Miss Richards
Miss Cherrington
Miss E. Millard
Miss Mary M. (Mollie) White
Mrs. Cramm
Miss Joyce Hall
Miss Jean M. Murray

   If you move, please send us your new address whether or not you're a member – we like to keep in touch! If you know of a Spencerian who has moved, please, please send us her (or his) new address with full postal information. Thanks. Once every two years (next time: Jan. 2008) we send a Spencer Letter to everyone on the list.

   Congratulations to the 2006 winners – they will be announced at the lunch.

   If you would like to make a donation to the Scholarship fund, please send a cheque to the treasurer. Contributions of any size would be most welcome and are tax deductible. 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.

   Any Spencerian who is a paid-up member and owns a business is eligible to have a link to her business Website put on the Spencer Website. E-mail Bruce at or call 709-754-0506.
   The next great all-years reunion (in reply to all your requests) is tentatively scheduled for the end of July in 2009. The year was chosen because it's the 50th anniversary of the graduation of the last Grade XI class.
   VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: We will go ahead with reunion plans only if we get positive feedback from Spencerians before Feb. 28, 2007. We need to know if there's enough interest for another reunion. We have set up a discussion forum on the Website where you can offer suggestions etc. for the Reunion. Just click on the "Reunion 2009 Discussion Forum" link. You can also address your comments to the BSCAA President Judith C. Price, 9 Cornwall Heights, St. John's, NL A1E 3G6, 709-739-9851, e-mail: or to The Editor, the Spencer Letter, 12 Kent Place, St. John's, NL A1B 1V5, 709-722-4546, e-mail: or to the President at the address at the top of this Letter. Please share this information with your classmates & Spencer relatives; ask each to write, phone, or e-mail. We're counting on you to spread the word to all Spencerians whether or not they are paid up members of the Alumnae Association. This is not a commitment to attend the reunion only an expression of interest.

   Many Bishop Feild graduates went to Spencer for Kindergarten and Grade I. Other male students took Commercial. President Judy says they'll all be welcome at any Spring or Fall Meeting. (Spencerians: please pass the word.)

   We still have prints of the original watercolour painting of BSC done by Elizabeth (Wheeler) Gibson '63 for the 2000 reunion. They are $30.00 each (Cdn. dollars, shipping in Canada included, $35.00 USD elsewhere) and can be ordered by writing "Poster" c/o the Spencer Letter, 12 Kent Place, St. John's, NL A1B 1V5.

   We are looking for a secretary. If you are in the St. John's area and can spare the occasional hour for a fun meeting, please call President Judy at 709-739-9851.

Fees are now due for 2007.
   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.
Hilda (Brinton) Dobson
Hilda (Brinton) Dobson '36 with a former pupil. Ottawa 2005.
BSC Building
Picture on an old postcard (before 1936 but after 1919).

   Bishop Spencer College celebrates its 108th birthday this year. The College had its beginning in 1845 in a house standing on the site of One Military Road. Bishop Feild first conceived the idea for a Church of England Girls' School which he hoped later would become a convent. The College was then known as the Bishop's Girls' School and the first principal was Miss Cooksley.
   In 1857 the school moved to a house on King's Bridge Road later known as Bishop's Court which Bishop Feild had bought. After this the Misses LeGallais came from Jersey to take over the school and the name was changed to Jersey Lodge. But in 1873 the school was closed and appears not to have re-opened until 1875. By this time it had moved to a house which was across the street from the Church of England Cathedral. Now the name of the school became the Church of England Girls' School.
   The principal at this time was Miss Clara Butler. Miss Butler was a native of Quebec and, it is said, brought her pet monkey with her to Newfoundland. She is supposed to have taught with this pet on her shoulder and he was a great favourite with the girls.
   In the files of the Evening Telegram, September 1st, 1881, there is the earliest announcement of a re-opening date after the summer vacation which reads:
   NOTICE: The Church of England Girls' School will re-open after the summer holidays on Monday, September 5th.
   When Miss Nutting came in 1882 the school was cared for and managed by the Executive Committee of the Synod and when the Synod Hall on Queen's Road was opened a short while later, the school moved there. In the time of Miss Cowling, 1887-1895 the name was changed again, this time to the Synod Girls' School. It remained at the Synod Building until that was destroyed in the great fire of 1892. For the next two years the school was conducted in a building near the site of the present Canon Wood Hall. In 1894 the school moved back to the new Synod Hall and the name was changed again and the school became Bishop Spencer College. At this time there were altogether about sixty pupils in the new school under a new English head-mistress, Miss Edith de la Mare.
   In 1898 Miss Stirling became the principal with
a staff of three, and sixty-five students. After this time the college progressed rapidly. The number of pupils increased and there were many new teachers on the staff. It is interesting to note that these teachers were from different parts of the British Empire; one was from India, one from Australia, another from South Africa, and a fourth from Canada.
   At this time there were many extra-curricular activities and the pupils and staff alike were very fond of dramatics. In one year alone two Shakespearean plays were produced. Needlework classes were also carried on as well as art, music, and cooking.    During the first World War Spencer had an interesting history teacher, Miss Smeaton, who loved to hike and often took long walks to outlying settlements. This made her appear odd, and during the 'spy scare' of those days she was actually accused of being a German spy!
   In 1918 the management and care of the college was transferred from the Synod to the hands of the Board of Directors. In this year, through the kind auspices of Mr. G. W. B. Ayre the British Hall on Bond Street was obtained. It had been built in 1894 for the British Society and the corner-stone had been laid by Governor Sir Terrence O'Brien. Previous to becoming Spencer the building had housed Rossley's British Theatre and had been a dancing hall! For many years afterwards part of the college was still occupied by the British Society and part by the Poor Law Commissioner.
   In February 1919 Bishop Spencer College moved for the seventh time. The college was still under Miss Stirling and now had over two hundred pupils. After twenty-two years of faithful service Miss Stirling left in 1920 and Miss Richards came to replace her. During Miss Richards' two years as Head Mistress she formed the first Guide Company in Newfoundland. She introduced fire drill, a school uniform, and a canteen at recess. Basketball, field hockey and games for the whole school were organized. She left in 1922 when Miss Cherrington came and began a new era in the history of Spencer.

from the SPENCERIAN, 1953

Saturday,    Nov. 4, 2006,                   12 Noon for lunch at 12:30 pm

Place: Clovelly Golf Club Gazebo,    Golf Course Road,    St. John's
(off STAVANGER DRIVE, just past WalMart)

Apple-stuffed pork loin, potato and vegetables, Newfoundland berry flan, tea/coffee.
Cost: $25.00

Please call    570-7422   to reserve your ticket by October 30th — ABSOLUTE DEADLINE!!
Please indicate if you will need a diabetic dessert.

Tickets and 2007 dues can be paid for at the door – cash, cheque, VISA.

Call TODAY to reserve your ticket!!

Don't forget the Spencer Sale!

Proceeds of the Sale go to the BSCAA Scholarship Fund.

Donations needed for 3 stalls:
1. Baked goods – pickles, preserves, cookies, bread, etc.
2. Crafts – handmade items.
3. Used books – paperbacks in good condition only please.

                          *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *
     Ottawa: Sally (Winter) LeFeuvre '59 at 613-741-9483
     Toronto: Elizabeth (Wheeler) Gibson '63 at 905-853-9646
     England: vacant
     St. John's: Barb (Parsons) Clancy '63 at 739-0981 or e-mail:

We're looking for a Spencerian in London (or anywhere in the home counties) to chair the group in England. Apply to the President if you'd be willing to do it.


In Memoriam
1.Mary Ethel "Mett" (Munn) Winter '46. Our sympathy to Win (Munn) MacLauchlan '45 in Ottawa and Arch Munn (Feild '54), her siblings, and to her children.
2.Shirley (Thomson) Armstrong '52. Our sympathy to her children.
3.Patricia Chubb F in England.
4.Frances Godden '43.
5.Gertrude Peters '26.
6.Christine (Adey) Kinsman '44.
7.Beatrice Garland F.
8.Mabel (Morris) McKinlay '33.
9.Chrissie (Symonds) Noel '35.
10.Margaret (Macdonald) Vaughan '45.
11.Janet (Ayre) Murphy '37.
12.Cynthia (Woolridge) LeMessurier '46.
13.Lucy (Parsons) Pope '40.
14.Gwen Woodley '36.
15.Sophie (Rees) King '42.
16.Lois (Payne) Saunders '48.
17.Genevieve (Winter) Richardson F.
18.Etha (Peckford) Barrett.
Deepest sympathy to the families who mourn.
Please let the Editor or the President know if anyone should be included in the Obituaries. Note: These are obituaries that we have found or been sent from time to time that have not appeared in the Letter before. Some of these Spencerians have been gone for some time.

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