Beta Rho Masters membership is made up of interesting and interested women who work and play well together. We are 17 in number and hold meetings in our homes on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Ottawa has become a large city so we are zoned-East for driving convenience. Our members support our chapter events, city council events, and our community. We welcome visitors, transferees or potential new members. Many of us visit BSPs International website for information or inspiration or use the internet for communication to other sisters in this area or around the world.
Our members have progressed from many different chapters but we all eventually found our home in Laureate Alpha Upsilon. In 2003, with the majority of our membership eligible for a Master degree, all 19 of us were granted the Charter of Ontario Beta Rho Master Chapter. We are proud that 14of those original 19 members remain active today and three of them, Vera Wilson (2004), Marie Tilk (2005) and June Craig (2011) have celebrated 50 years in Sorority.
Interesting programs are a unique part of the fellowship within Beta Rho Master.
Some years we use the International Theme for our programs and sometimes we come up with our own ideas.
In 2003-04 the International theme was "Colors of Friendship". Each member chose a crayon from the 100th Birthday Special Edition of Crayola crayons. She then developed a program around the color. For example, 'Cornflower Blue" led to a discussion of the flower and the Cornflower crystal design which was very popular in the 1950's when many of our members married. Jungle green evoked memories of a eco-trip and carnation pink reminded us of the sock hops of our youth.
The 2007-08 theme, "Sing a Song of Sisterhood" led to an exploration of all kinds of music from classical to nursery rhymes to Elvis Presley and everything in between.
"Share our Passport to Adventure" (2009-2010) was a natural for us with many travellers in our midst. We visited the countries Germany, China, Kenya and Tanzania, Saudi Arabia and Great Britain to name a few.
We are pretty creative on our own as well. One year, all our programs centred on humour in its many forms. We learned about the life of Stephen Leacock, how laughter keeps us happier and healthier and how satire and comedy can drive home truths. We had lots of joke telling and light-hearted meetings with everyone going home in a better frame of mind.
Recently we used the theme "The Magic of Words". We had lots of word games, some great book reviews, and discussions about what words mean to us. The word "Green" produced descriptors such as envy, ecology, nature, favourite color and newness.
For one of our programs on "Bytown, Our Town" we were given pictures of monuments located around the city. Our job was to identify what it was and where it was located. We have become a little more observant as a result. Another member gave information on streets in Ottawa which used our names such as Ann Street and Russell Road. We also visited the Supreme Court which was very interesting.
We liked the travel theme so much we are using it again, learning about Poland, New Zealand, Peru, Spain and Finland to name a few. We started the year with a bang, when one of our members, along with her Chorus Group, took us on a "Sentimental Journey" around the world.
We look forward to the programs throughout the year as it gives us a more intimate insight into our sisters’ lives and experiences.
Our sisters enjoy social times together and at our mixed socials, our husbands enjoy the camaraderie and good food provided. Beta Rho Master sisters support City Council events the Fall Dinner, the Preferential Tea, the CC Christmas Meeting, Rituals, and Founders Day.
We all love to eat and most socials include a delicious meal provided by members. We have about four mixed socials each year, using our theme when possible.
We observe the traditions of Beginning Day, the Ladies Christmas party where we give small decorations to our Secret Sisters, and our closing Birthday party.
At our Birthday Party, we reveal Secret Sister Names and exchange a gift. We also add our personal age - a penny a year (and now we round it up to the nearest even amount) to our treasury. Another warm tradition of Beta Rho Master!
We change our service projects periodically to keep us fresh. Over the years we have supported Madonna House, Cornerstone, The Well, CNIB Talking Books and the May Court Hospice.
Beta Rho Master supports City Council service projects and donates money to International. Many of our members are involved with worth-while service and volunteer projects in their church or the community.
Vera joined a Ritual Chapter of BSP in 1954 in Moncton, NB. After moving to Ottawa, Vera moved steadily through Ritual Chapters, Zeta and zoned Xi Gamma Psi, progressed and was a Charter Member of Preceptor Alpha Phi, Laureate Alpha Upsilon and now Beta Rho Master. She has held every office and actively takes part in all events at Chapter level and City Council level. Of her many achievements over the years, she is proud of coordinating the furnishing of a BSP room at the Riverside Hospital. Professionally, Vera was a Registered Nurse.
A true BSP, Vera is a sharing, caring sister.
After leaving high school for the working world, Marie was at a loss to find an outlet after the many extra-curricular things she had left behind. Nu Phi Mu was the answer! After less than a year, the Ritual Chapter became weak through lack of members, so the young women of Nu Phi Mu were invited to progress. Some of those original women are still friends. As Marie moved from city to city and degree to degree, she always found lasting friendships and interesting women who shared their experiences and taught her life skills. After raising a family, Marie returned to the workforce and developed a professional career in Management Consulting, specializing in Technical Writing and Training. She continues to instruct Christopher Leadership Courses (Public speaking, confidence-building, presentation and human resource skills) and facilitates at Bereaved Families as a volunteer.
Marie is forever grateful to be a part of an organization that over the years has supported her, has made her laugh, has provided warm relationships, and has given her an opportunity to know and respect a fine group of women.
June joined sorority in 1961 in Toronto, ON when International had a membership drive. June was President her first year in sorority and a number of times since. She held an office on Toronto City Council and every other office in her chapters many times. She progressed through the degrees and is now in Beta Rho Master. She was in Sorority chapters in Toronto, Hamilton and twice in Fredericton and Ottawa. June worked for a number of company Presidents and also managed offices for consultants.
Having moved a number of times June appreciated the fact that she had an instant group of friends in all the above cities. Some of those friendships have been life-long. June has two daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.