Volunteer Awards 2012


Josie Dale

Josie Dale is a longtime member of Toronto Association, and she has played a significant role with children and their activities at Newtonbrook. She helped Margaret Ann Hunter with her Saturday morning children’s classes for over five years until the classes were unfortunately discontinued this past season.

Josie has played an instrumental role in the ongoing success of the Youth Ball. She is the chief cook. She shops and prepares the food for the meal. As busboy, she sets up the hall tables, finishes preparing the meal, and becomes waitress serving it! Finally, she plays the lead role of proverbial bottle-washer in clean up afterwards.

Her long-term, quiet supportive efforts on behalf of Toronto Association activities are very much appreciated.

Jess Houseley

Jess Houseley, a member of the Toronto Association who dances regularly at Newtonbrook, became leader of Celtic Connections upon the request of the group after their regular teacher retired. To fulfill that role, she honed her teaching skills by attending Betty Thompson’s children’s classes at Newtonbrook and many Branch workshops.

Many years ago, Jess was involved in organizing and performing Scottish country dancing at the Seniors’ Jubilee, in Roy Thomson Hall, a program show-casing senior talent that ran for nineteen years.

Jess organizes Celtic Connections’ demonstrations at seniors’ homes, and Burns dinners. In June 2003, they performed at the Richmond Hill Tattoo for the 130th Anniversary of the Town of Richmond Hill and the 30th Anniversary of the Richmond Hill Centennial Pipe Band. In 2010, she invited Moira Korus and her Rosedale teenagers to join the demonstration to encourage teenagers to dance and give them experience performing for the public. The climax of that performance was a combination of three distinct forms of dance – Scottish Country, Highland, and Flamenco – which delighted the audience. End-of-season parties at Newtonbrook might include a flamenco dance performed by Jess and her husband Mike.

Also in 2010 she prepared two sets from her group to participate in our Festival of Dance at St. Leonard’s Church.

Jess Houseley is dedicated to Scottish country dancing in many forms and settings and is unstinting in her support of dancers of all ages and stages of ability. Her creativity and enthusiasm are contagious and help to spread the news about Scottish country dancing - just what we need.

Marjorie Mason

Marjorie Mason has devoted countless hours to our Highlands of Durham Scottish Country Dance group and Scottish country dancing in general. She has been president for ten years and often steps in to teach when our regular teacher cannot make it. Marjorie has arranged many demos at retirement villages throughout Durham, at Parkwood National Historic Site, The Highlands of Durham Games, and at the Oshawa International Festival.

She is responsible for our group hosting ten Robbie Burns Dinners, which always include Scottish country dancing. She initiated the White Heather Ball and does everything from writing the program, to checking the food, and arranging the tables. These events are very successful and an inspiration to our group, especially new dancers.

Marjorie has guided over twenty tours to Scotland, England, Holland, Ireland, and the US. SCD is always part of her agenda, and she teaches her travellers some simple dances that they can do while touring. She has danced with groups in Ayr and in England and even taught a group of Germans how to do the Highlands of Durham Strathspey while in the pub of the Duntulm Castle Hotel at the northern tip of Skye.

Marjorie’s dedication to SCD includes, while at work at The Wee Tartan Shop, sometimes to the owner’s chagrin, talking to customers about the benefits of joining a Scottish country dance group.