Did you know that The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) has been a strong supporter of The Salvation Army initiatives over the past 30+ years, and that our members devote over 130 hours ringing the bells to help The Salvation Army reach their giving goals each year? Yesterday at The Devonshire Mall, 90-Year-Young WWII RCN Veteran Dorothy Grondin, rang the kettles for The Salvation Army. She wanted to give back to an organization that has helped her in the past and felt that getting into the Christmas spirit and ringing the bells would be the perfect opportunity. Dorothy volunteered alongside Andrea Grimes who was ringing the bells on behalf of The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918). A friend of Rotary, Andrea is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Sovereign’s Medal in recognition for her volunteer work in support of our Veterans and military families.

Bio of Dorothy Grondin

Written by Andrea Grimes

Windsor's WW II Veteran, Dorothy Grondin did her bit for the war effort at 13 years of age making cones for the tops of bombs. Being mechanically-inclined, she was transferred to Northern Electric (Montreal) assembling radios for the Army, however those jobs were reserved for men.

Grondin didn't think twice about leaving her job to enlist in the Women's Royal Canadian Navy Service. She remembers the day she told her mum that she enlisted. "It was on my 16th birthday 1943. I got "creative" with my birth certificate. When mum caught wind of me enlisting, she just calmly replied, "Lots of luck, Dot. I am so proud of you. I know that in my heart you will do your very best."

While stationed in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Grondin was assigned to the laundry department sorting linens that came in from the hospital ships out with the Atlantic convoys. Grondin recalls: "When I opened the canvas bags, I was horrified to find mangled fingers, bits and pieces of scorched flesh and mounds of bloody bandages taken from our wounded."