Chantry Island Cham-bettes - a force to be reckoned with
by Sandy Lindsay

June 14, 2016

Women Today

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Chantry Island Cham-bettes
(some members absent)

Anniversary Organizing Committee
(L-R) Martha Bennett, Carol Gray, Vicki Colontino, Mary Ellen Renaud, Deb Morton, Vicki Tomori and Cheri Duhaime

The Chantry Island Cham-bettes celebrated their 60th anniversary on Sunday, July 12th at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.

Mayor Mike Smith and Cham-bettes President Sandy Howcroft

The group of women began in 1956 as the Jaycettes, wives of the Junior Chamber of Commerce members, the Jaycees, in Southampton.

After the Jaycees disbanded, the wives decided to keep the group going and renamed themselves the Chantry Island Cham-bettes.

The goal of the women was to work together to raise money for the community and, 60 years and some 283 members later, they are still following that goal.

Mayor Mike Smith

Mayor Mike Smith, who attended the anniversary celebration, said he admires what the group has done.  "What you have given the community over the years, is amazing.  I know that you have a lot of fun, but you have also given so much that is appreciated."

The women come from all walks of life throughout Southampton and Port Elgin and hold a wide variety of fundraising events throughout the year that include, the annual Christmas Home Tour, garage sale, craft sale,  Chantry Island 'sleepovers' and many more. 

From the many fundraisers, the group has donated thousands of dollars throughout the years to projects such as the Saugeen Memorial Hospital, Grey Bruce Regional Health Care for Cancer and Hospice,  the Women's Shelter Serving Bruce and Grey, local libraries, PRANCE, the Marine Heritage Society, Propeller Club, the local Police DARE program, Friends of the Flag, minor sports, music programs ... to name only a few.

Among their community involvement, the women have hosted events such as the Chantry Centre Octogenarian luncheon and have helped the local Legion with the Remembrance Day lunch, among others.

(file photo)

Original Member, Jane Johnston


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Mike Sterling

Mike Sterling, a founding member of the Propeller Club, Marine Heritage Society and Chantry Island Lighthouse restoration project, also thanked the group for their tireless efforts for the community.  "The Cham-bettes have always transferred their energy into action," he said.  Speaking directly to the group he said that  "... you don't see what a glowing presence you have in the community.  If anybody wants to start a movement in Saugeen Shores, one of the first things they should do is establish a relationship with the Cham-bettes.  Thank you for all the contributions you have made in terms of woman power, energy and kindness to the community."

2016 President, Sandy Howcroft

This year's President, Sandy Howcroft, thanked many of the members for their work.  "I would like to thank Heather Joynt, who although  not a full-fledged Cham-bette, has  helped us over 27 years with decorating and who has offered up her own home twice for out Christmas Home Tour fundraisers. 

Heather Joynt

"We also have to recognize, original member, Jane Johnston and June Fotherby who has been a member for 43 years and the other women who have helped us to reach this milestone today.  We have to remember that we are here to preserve our past and shape the future." 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016