What is the formula that provides the impetus for family members to gather together on a regular basis? Most of us know of families who have sufficient numbers to support such an event, but are not inclined to do so. Perhaps it requires something more than an interest in one's roots or more than a simple purpose for congregating or more than a few persons with an ability to organize. Maybe it is sufficient to observe that the "elders" at the monument dedication or at the first reunion understood the reasons.

Phoebe Jean McGregor Ross (A8C) was born in the year that her father, Reverend John A. Ross, researched his family's roots in Scotland (1898). At the age of twenty, she obtained employment with the Continental Life Insurance Company in Toronto, but in 1920 she decided to join the Toronto Hydro-Electric System as a secretary in the personnel office. While boarding on Logan Avenue, she kept in touch with several first cousins and friends in her generation from other branches in the family.

One of her first cousins, Jim Ross (A3C) had moved to Toronto in 1911 at the age of 29 after having spent seven years as a cheese-maker in charge of the Cotswold Cheese Factory owbed by his father. Jim became a Dairy Inspector and, after his marriage to Minnie McLellan in 1917, he moved to 36 Woodycrest Avenue to raise a family. At this point in time, Phoebe and Jim were only a few city blocks apart.

In the same year that Phoebe moved to Toronto, her father's term of service began at Kilsyth Presbyterian Church, and he continued for two years there after church union in 1925. Family get-togethers on a small scale had become standard practice. In fact, while Reverend John A. Ross was still preaching in Kilsyth, he was in greater proximity to his relatives in Minto than to any of his children. Fraser was a Public Health Nurse in Belleville, Ontario. Marjorie was teaching at the Model School on Pape Avenue in Toronto. Jack had completed an apprenticeship in tinsmithing after his secondary school education, and he was working in the General Motors Company of Oshawa.


©The Ross-ter Collection