Volunteer Awards 2014


Sue Ann Bryce

Sue Ann is a dedicated and responsible person who operates in a quiet way behind the scenes to keep Woodglen running. For over 5 years she has been our treasurer. This involves keeping records on who attends, who has paid and how much, and preparing timely reports to the membership. She also purchases and brings juice every Friday evening and pays the teacher.

She was always a dedicated worker at our Scottish Country Teas and every year she dances for our Robbie Burns night at the church. Sue Ann often dances with newer dancers to put them through their paces.

Sue Ann began dancing in Belleville 13 years ago, and now dances at several groups besides Woodglen — Scarborough, Hillcrest, and Glenview — and she participates in workshops and out-of-town dances, especially Belleville and Kingston. She has also attended TAC Summer School. Her commitment to and love of Scottish country dancing is an example to us all.

Sue Ann has convened Branch classes (2009 to 2013), and sold clothes at workshops. She was secretary of the Glenview group and will be its membership secretary in the coming year.

Sue Ann’s many contributions to RSCDS Toronto and to our Woodglen group and others merit recognition.

Bob McQuillan

Robert George McQuillan started dancing with Betty Thompson shortly after she formed the group in Newtonbrook United Church in 1969, where he and his wife (also Betty) are still members. Over 4 decades later, he’s still dancing on Monday nights. He attended the first TAC Summer School in Kingston, organized by Betty Thompson and assisted by Bob Blackie. Bob has been a stalwart member of Newtonbrook SCD for nearly 45 years.

Cummer Avenue United Church (as Newtonbrook is now known since amalgamation with Northminster United in June 2013) is always locked, so Bob always arrives early, regardless of weather conditions, to greet and admit the dancers. He also does a security check at the end of each dance evening to ensure the building is securely locked. For more than two years, a refugee sought asylum in the church, so security was crucial.

Since it began, Bob has arranged for the church hall to host the Youth Ball, as he did for the 2012 event, Favourite Tartan Ball Dances.

In bygone days, he danced in Betty Thompson’s Newtonbrook demo team at various events: seniors’ centres and nursing homes, St. John’s Convalescent Home June Garden Party, and Gala Day demos in Toronto and Hamilton when the Toronto Branch had joint galas. More recently, he assisted the Petronella Group to dance in the Seniors’ Jubilee at Roy Thompson Hall. He danced with Celtic Connections in fundraisers for the Richmond Hill Pipe Band and has participated in many Burns’ events.

In addition to delivering Meals on Wheels and other community activities, he drives Scottish country dancers to cancer treatment appointments.

He happily plays piano for us to sing birthday greetings to dancers, and he freely treats us to a tune or two on one or several of his “mouthies” at Christmas and end-of-season dance parties. In grades eight and nine, he was a member of the school’s harmonica band.

Bob McQuillan is quiet, capable, and fully reliable. He handles every request and crisis with complete calm and analytical evenness. His volunteerism is a testament to the longevity and joy that Scottish country dancing provides and sustains over decades.

Tony Szeto

Tony has been Scottish country dancing since the 1980s and has been a member of the Hillcrest Social Group for many years. He’s an expert dancer — watching him execute a Strathspey setting step is awe inspiring! Recently, he decided to seek certification as a SCD Teacher, which he received in May 2013.

Tony volunteered on the Toronto Association Program Committee in 2006-7 and as Ticket Convenor for the 2001-2 Tartan Ball. He also took part in outreach activities such as fundraising for a youth team (under the direction of Georgina Finlay) to perform in Canada and in Scotland.

Currently, he is Registrar and Treasurer for the Toronto Workshop Committee. He’s been on this committee for 7 years, with different conveners, quietly contributing his time since 2008 (including last year while taking his candidate teacher classes and exams).

Tony helped the Toronto Association develop its PayPal account and every year assists the Workshop, Tartan Ball, and Membership Committees in updating, scripting, and testing the application forms.

In 2013, Tony and his wife, Lorraine, generously opened their home for candidate practices and in past years he stooged for other hopeful candidates. He danced for the Book 49 tryouts and is a member of the TA Demo Pool.

Tony is still is an active volunteer and dedicated member of the TA who is always willing to help and deserves formal recognition for his long-standing contributions to RSCDS Toronto.

Catherine Whitfield

Social groups depend on the year-in year-out contributions from volunteers who undertake essential but often not high-profile tasks.

Trinity has been made stronger over the years by the work of Catherine Whitfield, who, as our refreshments coordinator, has unobtrusively, unflappably, faithfully, and consistently kept us supplied with the essentials needed for the tea break — a brief nondancing period that is critical in building the interpersonal bonds and esprit de corps that give strength to RSCDS Toronto.

Catherine has undertaken these tasks for so long she can’t remember when she started, but we can say with assurance that it has been longer than 25 years, likely more than 30.

Catherine has been an active member of the RSCDS Toronto and supports and participates in all its key events including monthly dances, the Tartan Ball, and Dancing in the Park.

She is an avid cyclist, getting to many dancing events this way, as well as a skater, badminton player, and cross country skier.