Vol. 7,   No. 3              March 2008

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:
   This issue is primarily about the next all-years reunion: SPENCER '09 Together Again; and this issue goes to everyone on the list. The Reunion Committee has had a formal, organizational meeting (and several impromptu informal ones). We've decided to keep the same format as the 2000 reunion as it seemed to work for most people; however, we would welcome your suggestions for changes (? improvements) get them to us ASAP.
   We need to know how many of you are coming, so this letter includes a form for you to fill in and send back in the enclosed envelope signifying your intentions don't send money at this point as we need a rough idea of numbers before we can establish the exact fee. Last reunion we had a problem: by Easter of 2000, there were about 350 registered so we ordered 500 of various items; it was the end of June before we knew there would be over 500 leaving us scrambling for additional bags, pins, and other supplies (eg. the supplier could not get enough
berets to us in time). Additionally there was not enough space for some activities because we figured on about 450 attending. (There were actually just over 600!)
   This time we'll have to be very firm about cut-off dates for registration. More about that in the next two Letters. So if you think you'll be attending let us know; those of you who respond by May 1, 2008 will have first chance to actually register and will have their names entered in an early bird draw for a nice prize.

NOTE: The next Spencer Letter will only go to members and to those who have sent back the form signifying attendance (or not) in 09.

Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds '54
Saturday,    May 10, 2008,    11:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
St. John's Elk's Club,    Carpasian Rd.,    St. John's

Soup, sandwiches, dessert, tea, & coffee
Cost: $12.00 (includes tax & gratuity)

Please call    570-7422   to reserve your ticket after April 25th but before the May 7th deadline.
You may pay for tickets at the door but they must be prebooked. You can also pay your 2008 dues.


   As the days get longer and we look forward to those April showers that will bring forth new life to the landscape, I cannot help but think how quickly we will forget the miserable winter we have just experienced. Those are the kinds of memories we don't mind losing. I am sure we have all had times when we couldn't remember a name or where we put our glasses. Fortunately, most of us will recall these things within a short time.
   At her request, for the past few years, Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 and I have been looking after former teacher, Miss Joyce Hall. When it became no longer safe for her to live alone it necessitated a move from her apartment to a senior's residence. After an untimely hip fracture she was transferred to the Health Science Centre; then to The Miller Centre and most recently to St. Luke's Home. At 90 years of age, Joyce (she prefers us to call her by her given name) has had quite a journey over the past couple of years. One of her life objectives was to write the story of Bishop Spencer College as she knew it, written from the perspective of the famous School Bell. Although she had mastered the use of the computer and had written small parts of "her story", failing sight and memory forced her to abandon the project.
   Speaking for myself, I wish I had asked more questions of my mother before her memory failed. My own children haven't questioned me very much on my memories, and like me, they may not get around to it. I probably should begin to write some of them down now, while my children are busy making their own memories. Only the other day I began thinking of when I was going to school. Watching for Miss Cherrington to descend the steps of her house and arriving just in time to open the door to her Prefect (the car) and accepting her offer of a ride to school. O'Mara's, The Blue Puttee, The Book Mark, Pierpoint's, The Tobacco Factory. Oh I really should write all this down... the boy across the street, Doyle's Cod Liver Oil, older girls, younger girls, classmates who were at Spencer when I was there, Cheese Pinwheels, teachers.
   Looking forward to wonderful memories at Reunion 2009.
Judith C. Price, President, BSCAA
   We're afraid we miss some Spencerians because every time we have a general mailout of the Spencer Letter (ie. to everyone on the list), we usually have 30 to 40 copies returned because these Spencerians have moved. PLEASE, help us find everyone. If you know of any Spencerian classmate, friend, or family who did not receive this issue, encourage her to send along the new address; or, better still, send the information along yourself. Thank you.

   Bishop Jones Hostel, located at 55 Rennies Mill Rd. in St. John's, was an Anglican Women's Residence that operated from 1940 1967 (and as Spencer Lodge from 1927 1939). Outport girls, who resided there, studied at MUN, Bishop Spencer College, and Summer School. A reunion of all women who resided there, including as Spencer Lodge, is being planned for July 2008.
   If you are or know of a "hostel girl", please call 709-368-6180, e-mail, or mail the information to BJH Reunion Committee, 67 Commonwealth Ave., Mount Pearl, NL A1N 1W7. We need present name, maiden name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, year(s) as resident, name of school, hometown, and the graduating year if you are a MUN graduate or a Spencer graduate. Our website is

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

July 28, 2009 to August 2, 2009

Tentative program:
Tuesday July 28Registration    Noon 4 p.m.
Wednesday July 29Registration    10 a.m. 2 p.m.
Church Service    7 p.m.
Reception to follow service
Thursday July 30Class lunches / meetings daytime
Fun Night    7 p.m.
Friday July 31Girl Guide Reunion    Noon 2 p.m.
Dinner    7 p.m.
Saturday August 1AGM    11 a.m.
Sports Day    2 p.m.
Sunday August 2Closing Ceremony
We are planning to have one fee to cover all events for Spencerians. If you are bringing a guest to dinner and/or Fun Night, there will be an additional fee for that person which will cover both events!
Class lunches and Girl Guide fee will be separate.
   While Senator Bill Rompkey (Feild '53) was at Beaumont Hamel in 2000 he saw in the museum a plaque commemorating those boys from St. Bonaventure's College who paid the supreme sacrifice during the battle in 1916. He was inspired and when he arrived home he asked a small committee to get to work on a suitable memorial for those Feildians who died there and during the First World War.
   Bill asked Feildian alumni Dick Cook and Peter Chalker to come up with an idea for this effort. They approached Gerry Squires; and Gerry, along with Boyd Chubbs, created a stunning painting incorporating Feildian heraldry which will stand forever as a testament to those boys who were killed at that battle.
   Now, they have arranged a tour of the Beaumont Hamel area which will culminate in the installation of this artwork in the museum there. The tour leaves for Paris from St. John's on Saturday, May 17 and ends in St. John's on Sunday, May 25. If any of you wish to partake in the tour contact Peter Chalker at 895-2873 or or Dick Cook at or 739-7979.
   The BSCAA awarded two scholarships in November 2007. The recipient of the $1000 entrance scholarship was Shannon Driscoll, the daughter of Lorna Proudfoot '68. The winner of the continuing studies award was Claire Press, the daughter of Jean Press '61. Both are attending Memorial University. Congratulations to both!
   We ask you to please encourage any eligible student to apply for the BSCAA scholarship. The criteria for the 2008 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, 2008.
   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.

   You may not have known the late Barbara Hopkins; I met her in 1952 when she & Moody Raines represented the Grand Falls Girl Guides at the National Camp in Ottawa. In September 1953 Barbara, Moody, & I were the first Newfoundland Guides since Confederation in 1949 to receive our Gold Cords presented by Lady Baden-Powell, no less. I went to MUN with Barbara and saw her often. The following letter speaks for all of us.

Subject: Use of the word "elderly"
   I have attached a page photocopied from Encarta defining the word "elderly."
   It has always been my understanding that good reporting and appropriate journalistic terminology avoided most adjectives especially those considered emotive!
   Your reporting on the 25 Tiffany Lane fire and the death of Barbara Hopkins used the word "elderly." Many of those who were at her funeral remarked on this offensive and inappropriate use. The late Ms. Hopkins was the immediate past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government Pensioners Association, the chair of the residents' board of the condos at 25 Tiffany
Lane, indefatigable traveller (returned from a tour of China in mid-December 07), occasional tennis player, dedicated bridge player, and a woman of great physical and mental ability who had the moral and ethical strengths to support her causes.
   Your use of the word "elderly" conjured up a vision of a little frail old lady with sticks or a walker confused and dependant. Barbara Hopkins would have been incensed by your story as it is a blatant example of ageism.
   As for myself, I am six weeks older than Barbara Hopkins, run my own business, am a partner in another one, have been a long time alumni volunteer at MUN, edit & write an alumnae letter for Bishop Spencer College Alumnae Association, play tennis, & work out; my physician tells me I have the blood pressure of a 20 year old, cholesterol levels below normal, and blood sugar at the lower end of normal don't you dare call me elderly!
   Finally, I'll have the last laugh you too will be 70 some day; I hope when that day comes you'll be as spry as Barbara was and as I am we'll see.

P.S. Your editor gave a eulogy for Barbara at the March 8 (International Women's Day) Women's Network Dinner in St. John's.
   Normally, we list the deaths only of those who have actually attended Spencer. However, in my column on ageism I include a letter I wrote to two news media that covered the death of the late Barbara Hopkins.
   As well, we must report the death of Barbara Ann (Galway) Chalker who was a moving force behind the Mercy all-years reunion (before we had ours). I sent a message to her at that time wishing them "all the best" and Barbara came to our tree planting ceremony in Bannerman Park representing Mercy alumnae. The Galway sisters (Barbara was the youngest) were well known to Spencerians as several of us took dancing from them at Mercy.
   I went to both funerals.
   We extend our sympathy to their families.
   Also our sympathy to Spencerians Elizabeth "Biz" (Carter) Gibson '42 and John Carter on the February 2008 passing of their sister Maggie (Carter) Halleran '38. I understand lots of Spencerians were at the funeral. A long time ago, I was conducting a seminar on Water Street but had to park on Duckworth. At the end of the day I was struggling up the steps of the National War Memorial when I tripped! I went flying; heavy briefcase went west; tripod with flip chart went east. I was helped up off my scraped knees by a lady in blue blazer & red beret who collected my paraphernalia and insisted on carrying part of it to my car. It was Maggie Halleran the best of Spencer.

THOSE BORN 1920 1979
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!    First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
   They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
   Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
   We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.
   As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
   Riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was always a special treat.
   We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
   We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
   We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
   We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
   No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
   We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
   We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies, or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDS, no cell phones, no personal computers! No Internet or chat rooms.......
   WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
   We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
   We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
   We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
   We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
   Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
   The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
   These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever!
   The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
   We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
   If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!
   You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives 'for our own good'.
   While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.
   Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

   Happy Birthday to the Class of '63 who are turning 60 this year and collecting CPP!

   President Judy visits Scam:
Judy: I'm putting my name down for a cottage at St. Luke's
Scam: But Jude, you have to be 65 for that
Judy: Scam, I am 65!

   Dr. Sandra Clarke '61 was named Professor Emerita by Memorial University in Oct. 2007. This is a great honour given to very few retiring full professors. Congratulations Sandra.

   Elinor (Gill) Ratcliffe '59 was inducted into the Order of Newfoundland & Labrador in the last induction ceremony. Congratulations, Elinor.

   Your editor met Roberta Prowse Pafford in Corner Brook in November; Roberta's mother was at Spencer in the 1920's and played ice hockey. I have a copy of the team photo but the quality wasn't good enough for reproduction. I enjoyed hearing Roberta's stories of her mother while at school.

   Finally, some feedback from an editorial! See the following e-mails between Barbara & Mary and letter from Lenora.
THANK YOU for all your letters.
From: Mary Galuga    To: Clancy    Oct. 28, 2007
Subject: The Spencer Letter, Vol. 7, No. 2, Oct '07
Hi Barb: Really enjoyed the Spencer Letter but was disappointed to read the article "Darling..." by ESR. One of nice things I like when I get off the plane in St. John's is to head to the car rental booth and hear the clerk say, "I'll be with you shortly, my love." I know then that I am truly back home and all is right with the world.... As for me, I happily soak up all the terms of endearment that anyone wants to hurl my way while I am in Newfoundland. It certainly beats the all-too-common cold treatment bestowed on mankind in other parts of the world. On leaving Newfoundland, the last contact I have is with the attendant at airport security who is apt to say: "You have a good trip now, 'my love' "..... "Well, my treasure, you have a great day, o.k.?"

From: Clancy    To: Mary    Oct. 28
Hi Mary, my duckie!
I'll pass on your comments to Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds as she is the author of the commentary. I'm sure she will appreciate your viewpoint.

From: Mary    To: Clancy    Oct. 28
Oh dear! I didn't connect (ESR) Elizabeth
Scammell Reynolds to the article. It certainly was not my intention to be antagonistic.... I hope Elizabeth realizes that it's all in fun. Seriously, though, I think the world is too 'standoffish' and too proper at times, so if we can spread a little more love and friendliness around by addressing others as "sweetie", "dearie", "duckie", "lovey", or the like, my response would be "Let's go for it."

From: Scam    To: Mary    Oct. 31
Now, my duckie we'll just agree to disagree! However I do agree with you it's all in fun. I enjoyed your comments no end and I know, my lovie, I'll chortle over them again in the coming days. You'd better come to the '09 Reunion so we can pursue this in person. Anyway, I'll run your comments in the next Letter.

From: Mary    To: Scam    Oct. 31
Hi Elizabeth: (Dare I say, Elizabeth, my love?)
It was a pleasure hearing from you, and I was very relieved that you did not take offence at my response to your column in the most recent Spencer Letter. You are obviously a darn good sport. I see that you have a business in St. John's (Reynolds Fine Art Services) yes? Well, if I ever drop by to see you, I'll be most disappointed if you do not shower me with lots of Newfoundland's favourite "terms of endearment"!
Well, that's all for now, my duckie!

from Lenora Stanford
Dear Ruby,
Who, I wonder, was the lady who objected so strenuously to being called "Darling" by a girl at a checkout. Personally, I love being called "love", "dear", "sweetie", "honey" and all the other gooey names by anyone including girls at check-outs, and especially in doctors' offices & hospitals.
Thank you for letting me blow off steam.


Yes, we really did go out on the roof!
Here's a photo to prove it.
L to R: Joan Finley Crocker, Shirley Earle Clarke, & Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds (all Class of '54) in late March 1952. The photographer later became Head Girl & wishes to remain anonymous! Other notables were also present.
  Out on the Roof
Ottawa 54

Four members of the Class of '54 met in Ottawa last summer along with two other Spencerians.
L to R: Myra Barnes Carter, her husband Roger, Jean Ryan MacKinnon, Georgina Pike Jones, Isabel Pike Murphy '56, and Joan Finley Crocker.

Fees are now due for 2008.
   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.

   Ruby wants to remind everyone that all monies (dues, scholarship donations, etc.) should sent to her at Ruby Legge, 58 Airport Heights Drive, St. John's, NL A1A 4Z7. That way cheques are not late being processed.
   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:

   If you were a student at Memorial anytime between 1954 & 1958 (or know anyone who was), the Class of '58 is inviting anyone who fits the criteria to join them at their 50th Reunion dinner on August 2, 2008. Call Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds at 709-722-4546.

     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.Margaret (Carter) Halleran '38.
2.Barbara (McNab) Martin '36.
3.Gwyneth (Winter) Breckon '40.
4.Marion (Lane) Forward '43.
5.Valerie Noel '72.
6.Marion (Lane) Forward '43.
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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