Welcoming women to our community since 1987

President: Catharine Smider

I have been fortunate to live in some of the most beautiful places on earth – the 30,000 Islands in Ontario, the Cotswolds in England, the Bay of Islands in New Zealand and most recently, the Sunshine Coast in BC.  Now my husband and I have settled on the Saanich Peninsula – three of our four children live here, and more importantly, seven of our nine grandchildren are here too.  Family takes up a lot of our time these days.

We are enchanted with where we are now.  North Saanich and specifically, Canoe Cove meet all our criteria – easy access to the ocean, hiking and cycling, a great rec centre, cultural events at our fingertips, and stunning scenery everywhere we look. Leaving our cherished family home and all our friends in 2021 was difficult. Right away, I joined the Peninsula Newcomers Club to meet new people and get involved in local activities, making the transition from our old life to a new one much smoother.  I actually feel blessed to have had the opportunity to create this new chapter in our lives.  I joined the PNC Executive because I really liked the women who were giving their time and energy to running the organization. I wanted to get to know them better.  They gave me the Membership Coordinator role as it was transitioning to a web based format.  Over the last two years, I have learned a lot and laughed a lot, cursed and blessed computers in the same breath, made new friends and most importantly, welcomed many women into this wonderful, welcoming club.  I am happy to serve on the Peninsula Newcomers Executive again this year and engage with this amazing community resource that helps women connect with each other.

Vice President: Sherry Dudinsky

Hello, my name is Sherry Dudinsky. I moved to the lovely city of Sidney in August of 2023 from another beautiful place, Canmore, AB. I traded my life in the Rockies to a warmer one, where I now live much closer to my two children and their families in Victoria. Joining the Peninsula Newcomers Club has been a lifeline for me and I am very grateful for all the advice that has helped me settle in and make the most of this incredible region. The PNC is a great community of new friends and connections, where fellow members are open and ready to help. As a retired teacher, I look forward to the opportunity to join this board and do my part to help the club continue to flourish.

Secretary: DA Allan

I am an east coaster who moved to Sidney Sept 2018 for semi-retirement after trailing Stephen’s military career for 32 years, living across Canada (2 postings in this area) and 15 years in Europe. Our 2 daughters and their families live in another Sydney, (Australia).

Moving every 2-3 years I put aside my hope for a teaching career and embraced  volunteering as a good way to meet people and give back to my community. I have held positions on various Boards over the years including sport organizations, school Band programs, Military Resource Centres and choirs.  I have enjoyed convening the PNC Wine & Appies evenings for the past 4 years (starting as Covid closed us down). Another Convenor will be taking over soon.  

I spend my time as a member of several choirs,volunteering with Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association and in the company of friends I have made through PNC.

Treasurer: Helen Rowlands

I have been a resident of North Saanich for nearly four years, and for three of those I have been an active member of the PNC Executive.  The treasury role would be my third role, having been the Publicity and Activities Coordinator previously.  Clearly I have an addiction and you can't get rid of me. 

My husband and I live in beautiful Deep Cove with our pets Jebal (ferocious murdering cat) and Edna (cute naughty puppy). 

Monthly Event/Venue Coordinator: Deborah Dodge

My name is Deborah Dodge and I hail from Dartmouth Nova Scotia so I always tell people I’m an east coast gal living on the west coast!  My husband Philip and I moved here in August 2017 and I began my PNC journey one month later.  I had no idea how much I needed this group and how blessed I would be to meet and share my west coast adventure with so many amazing women. After one year with PNC I stood and was elected Hospitality Coordinator, a position I held for 2 years and really enjoyed. This allowed me to become more involved, welcome our newest members and let my creative side out.  After a few years hiatus from the PNC executive, I have decided to put my name forward for the 2024/25 Events Coordinator position. I love hosting and organizing dinners, parties, weddings, you name it and if it requires a co-ordinator I’m in.  I also believe that my years as a school secretary prepared me for a role that requires organizational skills, multitasking and working with a team. I believe that the members of PNC make the group amazing and PNC events enrich the lives of our members through the friendship we build when we attend them.

Hospitality: Liz Turner

Liz moved here after being on Salt Spring Island for 33 years, where she ran a high end B and B and also taught grade 1/2. She enjoyed catering and often did theme base dinner parties which included food,  music , and decorations to complement the theme or country .Liz was an active member of the Salt  Spring Singers and has since moving has joined the Via Choralis choir here. Liz is a high energy person and is greatly appreciative of PNC where she has made several friends that she thinks  will be a lifelong connection.

Publicity/Website Coordinator: Ande Axelrod

For decades, I would blow out my birthday candles every year with "I wish I could put my kayak in the water without putting it on the car first." Last summer we found our home to make that wish come true. My path here started in Chicago, then to San Francisco, Vancouver and now on Roberts Bay in Sidney. Larry and I moved here at the end of last summer, and it has quickly become our home and very happy place, in great part to the fun and friendships I found with you in the Newcomers Club. You can find me paddling as much as possible, but also hiking on Mondays, walking on Lochside on Wednesdays, discussing books and movies, biking, knitting, and more... and of course indulging in wine and appies each month! I am very happy to join the wonderful women in leadership of the Club next year and help keep this a thriving organization into the future.

Newsletter Coordinator: Trish Hazard

My name is Trish Hazard. I arrived 2 years ago  and live in beautiful Sidney by the Sea. My dad was an officer in the British Royal Navy which meant that I grew up at the coast with many moves throughout my childhood. We then emigrated from England to South Africa when I was a teenager and eventually moved down to Cape Town from Johannesburg. Back to the coast! A further move took my husband and I plus two daughters to Calgary, Alberta where we worked for 25 years in the oil and gas sector. Calgary was good to us and a great place to raise our children. I always yearned to get back to the coast and once we retired and our two daughters left Calgary it felt like a good time to make yet another move. With all the moves we have made this was by far the hardest. Not being as young to run around lifting boxes, having to downsize drastically and arriving in the midst of a price war on homes was no fun. However, we made it !!!  I just love the island and everything it has to offer and feel such gratitude to be living here. Not sure how easy the transition would have gone without this club. I have met so many lovely people and love all the activities.

Activities Coordinator: to be announced

Membership Coordinator: Helen Simpson

I had always dreamt of living by the ocean, and when it came time for us to plan for retirement, the opportunity to move to Vancouver Island became a reality. Having immigrated to Canada from England in 1984, we raised our two daughters in Ontario. We moved into our new home in Sidney in February 2022, and since then we have enjoyed exploring our new community and making many new connections to some wonderful people via my membership in the Peninsula Newcomers Club. Over the years I have volunteered in various capacities, including being the membership coordinator of a group that set up a children’s theatre subscription series in a local theatre; co-chair of a parent teacher council; and being involved in many fundraising activities at my children’s schools, including organizing hot lunches, and meet the teacher night BBQ’s. For 16 years, I worked as a medical office administrator.For the past nine months I have been mentored by the current Membership Coordinator, and have been responsible for producing name tags for the new members that have joined. PNC has been invaluable in our transition to Sidney, and I look forward to being able to help out on the executive.

New Member Liaison: Jaki Fram

Originally from Ottawa, then Toronto, Mississauga and Oakville Ontario. Attached to me is my husband, David, our 2 daughters, 1 son-in-law, our grand dog and a darn cat. North Saanich became home in June of 2020, Covid arrivals we were for sure. Thank goodness for the PNC.

My day job, was and still is to a lesser degree, office manager and bookkeeper for my husband’s law practice and firm for the last 35 years. He is now semi-retired, not me...at least it seems that way most days. My background also includes a great deal of volunteering, A Girl Guide leader and Commissioner for over 20 years. I received an award from the Province of Ontario for my service. I also gave a large amount of time to the Parent’s Association of the school my daughter’s attended in Oakville, Ontario. I headed many committees and chaired a Gala and major Christmas event which raised a great deal of funds for the expansion of this Independent school. I am very proud of the volunteer services I have done over the years and I’ve learned a life lesson or two along the way.

Peninsula Newcomers Club, PO Box 2665 | Sidney | BC | V8L 5Y9

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