Current Officers

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President Bill Sayers

Bill Sayers is a recent member to The St Andrews Society of Toronto.

Born in Edmonton in 1957 to an Irish father and a Scottish mother. Bill’s great, great, grandfather Archibald Hall came from Jedborough, Scotland to Galt, Ontario in 1827. George Hall was their only son. He was a lay minister in the Presbyterian Church and died reading scripture in a church service in April 1887 in Galt. From Galt some of the Hall clan moved to Neepawa Manitoba. Bill’s Grandfather was born there. He married Elizabeth McNab and Bill’s mother was born in Neepawa. During the depression Wilbur Hall moved to Gull Lake, Saskatchewan and ran the local dairy until his retirement. Bill’s mother grew up in Gull Lake.

Bill graduated from University of Western Ontario in 1979 with a BA in Political Science. Upon graduation he moved back to Toronto. (He grew up in Etobicoke) He has lived in Toronto since then. Bill remarried to Joy in 2014 and has four children. The family has a cottage on Georgian Bay and spends as much time as they can there, from the time the ice is out and before the ice returns!

Bill’s father was always proud of his family heritage both Irish and Scottish. He traced the family roots back to the early 1800’s and made sure each of his children had copies of the family tree. As a United Church minister the family grew up with celebrations of Robert Burns and the pipes and drums were part of a few church services each year.

For the past 12 years Bill has run his own sales consulting practice. His work takes him across Canada and into the USA and Europe.

Vice President Ann Pennington


I am delighted to introduce myself as Vice President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto and I look forward to working with Bill Sayers, President, Rory Sinclair, Past President, Graham Desson, Honorary Treasurer, Joy Sayers, Honorary Secretary and the rest of the Board to raise funds for our charitable work and to organize Scottish social and cultural events for our membership.

Some of you will know me from having served on the Board for the past three years as Hon. Treasurer (Big shout-out to Graham Desson for his mentorship and assistance in that endeavour!) upon my retirement from my busy and active midwifery practice.

I have attended the St. Andrew’s Ball, together with my husband, Kevin Little, for about the last 30 years, with about a 10-year hiatus while we were raising our three young children and we were both busy with highly demanding careers.

My maternal grandfather was a Catto (Chattan, MacIntosh) and I am proud to claim kinship with two past presidents of the St. Andrew’s Society, my dear cousins John and Margaret Catto.

In related matters, I have recruited several members of my family into the service of St. Andrew’s. My husband is serving as the Chair of the Investments Committee. One of our daughters, Rachel, is serving as the Editor of the newsletter and our other daughter, Alexandra, is running our social media platforms (under Jenna Little – no relation – who chairs our Communications Committee). Kevin and I also have a son, who is living in Ottawa.

2nd Vice President Katey Witt

My name is Katey Witt (née Matheson) and I’m pleased to introduce myself as Second Vice President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto. Some of you may already know me from my time as Co-Chair of the St. Andrew’s Charity Ball from 2009-2014.

I grew up on a farm just outside Inverness, in the north of Scotland. I trained as a Primary School Teacher in Aberdeen and taught in Carrbridge and Inverness for 13 years before coming to Toronto on a teaching exchange in 2004.  During that year I met my ‘Sassenach’ future husband and the rest is history!  We now live in the west end of the city and have two daughters aged 9 and 6. 

When I moved back to Toronto, after we got married in Scotland in 2006, I felt quite homesick. My husband, Richard, looked on the internet for ‘Scottish things to do in Toronto’ and we found the St. Andrew’s Charity Ball.  It was a truly wonderful evening and I soon found myself on the Ball committee then as Co-Chair!

My love of and interest in Canada started quite young as my maternal Grandmother was brought up in Virden, Manitoba, having been born in England. She was a nurse on Vancouver Island before moving back to London when she was in her early twenties. There she met my Grandfather who was visiting from the Isle of Skye. They brought up their family of five in the Black Isle, north of Inverness. I have an Auntie, Uncle and cousins in Winnipeg and cousins in Toronto and Vancouver.

I feel very honoured to be asked to be Second Vice President and I’m looking forward to working with Bill and Ann and the rest of the committee in providing you all with great Scottish events throughout the year and raising funds for the various local charities in the GTA.

 

Rory

Immediate Past President Rory Sinclair

Rory Sinclair is a familiar figure at Sinclair Clan Gatherings and Highland Games, and at many Toronto area events. Born in Toronto in 1946, he is the third son of Edward and Roselma Sinclair

He is acutely proud of his Scottish ancestry and is the current President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto.
Rory graduated in 1968 with a BA (Hons) in Political Science and Economics from Trinity College, University of Toronto and from 1971 to 1979 lived in Malaysia as an owner-operator of a fabric and clothing exporting business.

Over the years Rory has been a keen supporter of the Clan Sinclair Association of Canada. From 1995 to 2001 he was its Secretary and Newsletter Editor and from 2003 to 2011 its President.

During the years from 1979 through 1988, Rory was a member of a collective that was involved in the freeing of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter from jail. Carter was an American middleweight boxer wrongfully convicted of murder and later freed via a petition of habeas corpus after spending almost 20 years in prison. Rory was a director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) from 2000-2014.

He has also been active in his downtown Toronto neighbourhood as a board member of the Harbord Village Residents Association since 1992, holding the position of Chair from 2000 to 2011.

He plays the Great Highland Bagpipe — competitively for 10 years and now in several bands in Toronto — and also plays small pipes, guitar and bass. Since 1988 until the present day, Rory has been the owner-operator of Sinclair-Cunningham & Associates, a firm primarily involved in renovations, additions and restoration in older homes in downtown Toronto.