In the year 1942, with Canada involved in World War II and the Canadian people living under the ration system, a small group of interested music teachers from Chatham, ON, formed a group aimed at developing culture and strengthening each other by encouraging an interest in all forms of good music.  This group of teachers applied to the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association and was granted a charter to belong to the organization.  They became known as the ORMTA Chatham branch.  Most of the teachers were trained musicians, having been schooled in various Conservatories or reputable Music Institutions of the time.

For years, members of this group included both men and women who dedicated their lives to teaching music to students of all ages. They also enriched many lives by serving in their communities as church musicians, organizing community concerts, student recitals, music festivals, ORMTA conventions, music teachers’ meetings and social gatherings within the Chatham branch.  This type of dedication contributed greatly to the growth and development of many young people.

In the year 1998, the ORMTA Chatham branch became the ORMTA Chatham-Kent branch when twenty-two towns and villages within the county of Kent amalgamated to become the municipality of Chatham-Kent.  This way, the rural teachers throughout the county were recognized under the banner of ORMTA Chatham-Kent.

Since the formation of the Branch many years ago, lasting friendships have been made and many opportunities to improve teaching skills have become available. The Chatham-Kent branch has endured through both good and bad times.  As of now, because of aging members and changing lifestyles, membership has been declining. However, there has always been strong leadership throughout the group. Hopefully, for both younger teachers and students, the Chatham-Kent branch of the ORMTA will remain a viable group, continuing to serve the community, as they have since becoming a chartered branch in 1942.

                  Submitted by Pauline Badder,

a 50 year member of Chatham-Kent ORMTA branch.

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