Vol. 7,   No. 1              April 2007

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's a go! SPENCER '09 Together Again! Yes, our next big reunion is planned for the end of July / beginning of August in 2009. The year was chosen because it is the 50th anniversary of the graduation of the last Grade XI class. The executive along with a few assorted others met in early March to make a final decision on whether or not to go ahead; the consensus was "yes" and as Spencer 2000 was such a success to use the same general timing and format. (If it's not broke, don't fix it so to speak.)
   Spencerians can look forward to a church service OK I'll break down this time and put To "Him" That Overcometh on the program; last reunion some younger Spencerians remembered it as "the school hymn." The "him" really crossed my values and I nixed it; our generation remembers Blake's Jerusalem (aka And did those feet ...) as a favourite. We'll do both and open with Lord Behold Us With Thy Blessing. We're also planning a sports day with egg & spoon and three-legged races maybe even crown a few victor laudorums (does anyone remember the Latin plural) at the end.
There'll be a dinner with entertainment and a Girl Guide campfire. Best of all a bigger & better FUN NIGHT in a bigger better auditorium we hope; so start rehearsing now! Who was the Spencerian that sang The Second Minuet in the 2000 Fun Night? It was one of the reunion highlights for me. There'll be lots of other "stuff" going on. Some members of the 2000 Committee are already on board and we're all of us excited about another big reunion.
   I should mention that Past President Barbara (Parsons) Clancy '63 and your editor (that's me) have been appointed by President Judy as Co-Chairs. That's probably going to work out as: one we are friends, two we worked on the last reunion, three Barb is more organized (I'm more verbose!), and four we're next door neighbours. Start planning now to be in St. John's in 2009 more later in this issue.

Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54
Saturday,    May 12, 2007,    11:45 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
RCAF Club,    Bldg. 565,    Roosevelt Ave.,    Pleasantville,    St. John's
(for details: click here)

Please call   570-7422   to reserve your ticket before the May 8th deadline.

   Hello girls, wherever you are! I know some of you are still sunning yourselves down South while the rest of us have just begun to put away our shovels here in Newfoundland!
   We are now in the process of compiling a list of volunteers to serve on various committees for the reunion. As quite a lot was done by the committee for the previous reunion, I am thankful that we can follow in their footsteps. This will make the 2009 planning much easier. BUT WE NEED YOU!
   Ideally, I would like a representative from each of the classes to keep in touch with the organizing committee as you are the ones in touch with your classmates. As the class of 1959 it will be our 50th Anniversary and I would like to have a real presence in 2009 as we did at the last reunion.
   Elinor Ratcliffe has agreed to come on as an "at large" member as she won't be here full time over the next few years. Jean Goudie has agreed to sit on the planning committee and I am hoping that Sally LeFeuvre will head up the Ottawa Group once again as the Branch Contact. We will endeavour to get a volunteer from the Toronto area and England.
   There are many areas where help will be needed: planning, contact lists, registration, finance, social, fun night, sports day, fund raising, girl guides, church service, and archives, plus we will be looking for ideas and/or suggestions as to what we should do the same as the last one and what we should do differently.
   Members of the current Executive, Barbara Clancy, Elizabeth Reynolds, Ruby Legge, Carolyn Halliday, Ruth Greene, Shirley Kelly, & Vivian Pallard are automatically put back in service (thanks for volunteering!!!) Scam informs me that Marie Walsh is on board once again as well.
   I will put Jean Goudie to work shortly as a telephone convener as I hope to have a "short list" of volunteers even before we send out our next Spencer Letter. Of course I will also be on the phone contacting all the people who were on the Reunion 2000 committee.
   For those who have the internet, please try to locate people by using the search engines. I recently found a girl I worked with in the early 60's!
Judith C. Price, President, BSCAA
   We've "lost" many Spencerians since the last reunion! We've tried to keep up with obituaries and put those names on the list of those "whom we love but see no longer" so that the Spencer Letter goes to active Spencerians but we miss the odd one. Many have moved to different cities, to new addresses.
   PLEASE if you know of any Spencerian who has moved would YOU track down a new address & phone number and send it to us. We don't have any staff to cope with news items that say (for example) "Oh, her brother lives in Carbonear he'll know where she is." Right now, we are asking every Spencerian to track down "their sisters and their cousins and their aunts" and their friends and classmates and make sure we have an updated list in order to send every Spencerian information about the Reunion in '09. Thank you.
   For those with access to the internet, please visit the class list page on the Spencer Website. Listed there are all the Spencerians' names we have found. The ones marked with an asterisk are those people we still need to find addresses for.
   Also, if you know of any Spencerian who did not receive this issue of the Letter please send us the name and address so that we can send a letter ASAP.

   Bishop Spencer closed at the end of the school year in 1972 which means that anyone in Kindergarten in 1971 1972 had to be born before September 30, 1966. The very youngest Spencerian will turn 41 this year! We are now all between 40 and 100 years old! And most of us with strong allegiance to BSC are over 50. There is one person on the list who is Class of '25 which means she was probably born in 1908; in this issue we celebrate the life and continued good health of Gertrude (Newhook) Davenport '26. Thanks to Ruby (Downer) Legge '64 for bringing it to our attention.
   So we plan at least one article in every Letter that addresses issues in common to those over 50. (See "Problems with Signs") and also we'll continue to use the results of our 2006 survey to celebrate our lives. We'd be happy to hear from anyone with any thoughts or issues.

   Does anyone else have problems with traffic signs? I find that most signage in Canada is off-white on green not the easiest to read. Driving into the sun is especially frustrating as when signs are backlit by the sun the overhead green ones are impossible. They're fine if you know where you're going and have been that route before, you can check by seeing a few letters; but if you don't know the road well and want to be guided by the signs, it can be difficult.
   Similarly traffic lights are dim when the sun is shining behind them so if you're driving east in the early morning and west in late afternoon, the colours are hard to recognize.
   Names of streets in most municipalities in Canada are printed in off-white on green on tiny strips of metal. These get bent by wind and snow (and vandals, perhaps) and obscured by trees and brush growing in front. Sometimes they get turned half around so that you have to drive past in order to see the street names!
   Several solutions occur to me: the large overhead signs on the TCH should be printed in larger black letters on white, in fact all signs now with a green background should be black on white; traffic lights should be moved to the right and left sides of intersections so that one side can always be visible; the small signs for streets should be at least twice as big. Mississauga has a very neat solution to part of this problem a cross street being approached is indicated by a sign two blocks in advance; all main streets are signed in this way.
   I've heard about a town in British Columbia that is taking steps to improve traffic signage; anyone know where that is?
   Have you noticed that high end cars now often have headlights that have a bluish tinge? These are really blinding when they shine in an oncoming driver's eyes. I understand they are banned in some places.
   As more and more of us get older, we have to be more careful when driving and these problems and their solutions are pertinent to our lives where ever we live. We love the freedom that driving a car allows us; we need to make sure that our streets, roads, & highways are safe for all of us.

   The BSCAA awarded two scholarships in November 2006. The recipient of the $1000 entrance scholarship was Jessica Griffiths, the daughter of Rosalind (Crane) Griffiths '64. Jessica is a graduate of Auburn Drive High School, Dartmouth, NS and is a freshman at Dalhousie University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Business. The winner of the continuing studies award was Laura Clowe, the daughter of Deborah (Smith) Dawe '64. Laura graduated high school with honours and is now attending Memorial University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in English.
Congratulations to both!

   We ask you to please encourage any eligible student to apply for the BSCAA scholarship. The criteria for the 2007 scholarship are available at the BSC Website (click here) or from the BSC Alumnae Association. If you would like a copy of the application and/or the criteria please contact Barbara at 709-739-0981 or by e-mail at The deadline for application is August 31, 2007.

   If you would like to make a donation to the Scholarship fund, please send a cheque to the BSCAA at the address on this newsletter. 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.

   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 and the Reunion. (Spencerians: please pass the word.)

Pictures of Gertrude (Newhook) Davenport '26. One of our oldest Spencerians. She loved attending Spencer and felt they were some of the best years of her life. She is an avid reader and has a wonderful memory. Currently residing at St. Patrick's Nursing Home, St. John's. The younger Gertrude picture on the right was taken in July 1941 on the S.S. Burgeo in Bay D'Espoir while she was on vacation; photo below is Gertrude today with treasurer Ruby (Downer) Legge '64. Gertrude's daughter, Marilyn (Davenport) Smith '60, lives in San Antonio, Texas and her niece, Jacqueline (Newhook) Henderson '47, lives in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.   Gertrude / S.S. Burgeo
Ruby / Gertrude

Joyce Hall and friend.
  Joyce Hall

   Edna Ray (Kelsey) Martin '48 wrote a very interesting letter from Montreal telling us some details of her life there. She's recovering from cataract surgery we wish her well.

   Ruby (Morgan) Mercer '53 has added to my list of nicknames from the last issue: Snips, Biff, Dusty, Hoppy, & Dykie! Great names!

   Thanks, Dorothy (Dot) who wrote while she was in hospital with two broken legs saying she enjoyed reading the Spencer Letter while recuperating. (I don't have the last name .... mea culpa.)

   Karen (Colbourne) Martin '65 had an article devoted to her and her fabric art in a recent issue of The Canadian Quilter. CONGRATS, Karen WELL DONE.

   The father of Joan Rusted '61, Dr. Nigel Rusted, is about to turn 100 years old. He just had his driver's license renewed. Spencerians wish him all the best.


   Their many friends & classmates will be happy to know that Florence (Martin) White (Head Girl 1953 1954) is recovering after treatment for a serious illness and Jean (Ryan) MacKinnon after major surgery. We are all sympathizing just now with Margaret (Roberts) Frazer who lost her son just a few months after her husband's death. Shirley (Earle) Clarke writes that she is still enjoying living in Brazil but will be home in St. John's for a short visit in late May / early June. The rest of us are holding up despite the trauma of turning 70 this year. Joan (Finlay) Crocker writes from Ottawa that her mother Hannah is now 104, very "with it," and living in the Perlie Seniors Complex. Hannah Carver Finlay is a descendant of a Carver who came over on the Mayflower; his descendants became United Empire Loyalists and settled in PEI in the late 1700's.
   A letter from Daphne (Eden) Brewster says she's doing fine her son Francis lives with her just outside Winchester. Daphne says she "has a natter" with Doreen (Thresher) Bright on the phone from time to time. I'll always be grateful to Doreen who taught me how to use commas in lists. (Lynn Truss calls this "the Oxford style" in Eats Shoots & Leaves; if you haven't read this book, it's great fun.)

   Had a chat with Joyce Hall a few days ago. She'd rather be in her apartment than in the lovely seniors' complex on Portugal Cove Road. Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 and Judith (Barrett) Price '59 (our prez.) look after Joyce she's lucky to have them.

   Margaret Glover is back home recuperating after a broken hip and is doing very well. Brave lady!

   Joyce Hall has fallen and broken her hip; we're so sorry to have to tell you. She's at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's for the time being.

   Ruby (Downer) Legge would like to have e-mail addresses for all you gals so she can keep you informed as to what is happening regarding the reunion. If you don't have email please make sure we have your correct mailing address and phone number. Contact Ruby at or 709-579-6219 or 58 Airport Heights Drive, St John's NL A1A 4Z7. Hope to see you at the reunion!!

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

   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.

   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 Green at 895-2005 or e-mail:

Saturday,    May 12, 2007,        11:45 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
Place:    RCAF Club,    Bldg. 565,    Roosevelt Ave.,    Pleasantville,    St. John's

Soup, Sandwiches, & Fresh fruit.
Cost: $15.00


Please call    570-7422   to reserve your ticket by May 8th ABSOLUTE DEADLINE!!

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

Call TODAY to reserve your ticket!!

                          *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *
     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.Diane (Crosbie) Craft '50.
2.Margaret (Harvey) Neal '33.
3.Armorel (Hutchings) Miller '35.
4.Frances (Cowan) McKinley '48.
5.Barbara (Clark) Janes '44.
6.Olga (Crosbie) Ayre '32.
7.Marie (Spencer) Barnes '36.
Deepest sympathy to the families who mourn.
Please let the Editor or the President know if anyone should be included in the Obituaries.

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