8 bells: Tribute to Helen Cuthbertson

Helen Cuthbertson

Nov 10, 2022

by JohnKelly Cuthbertson

Mom passed October 25 in her 88th year. Here is an article I wrote for International Women’s Day on her contribution to C&C.

C&C comes from Cuthbertson and Cassian. In the archiving of the history of George Harding Cuthbertson’s work, I’ve come across many names associated with the creation of the company and of my Dad’s legacy. There is scant reference to one of the important persons that worked from almost day one to make my Dad and C&C Yachts the success it became. Helen Isabelle Donaldson was born in Teeswater, a small farming community in southern Ontario into a large family.

As a young lady she moved to Toronto and worked for CIL chemical company on Eastern Avenue. Up for some adventure she moved to California with Joy, one of her girlfriends from work. There she worked for a brassiere salesman for almost 2 years before coming back to Toronto.

One summer evening, at a social gathering of sailors with her boyfriend, she stole another young man’s heart. The second date was a road trip to Meaford with George, Bernice and Dick Telford to see the progress of Inishfree. In 1959, they got married.

She became the support that GHC needed. Cooking meals for surprise guests at their house in Port Credit, and if those guests agreed over dessert, she would quickly type up a contract and another boat was sold. Michael, the first child was born while George was off sailing, GHC was sure to be home for Jill’s and my birth. Helen looked after us kids, taking us to camps, riding lessons and sports, maintaining the house for those surprise guests.

She was the support that Dad needed to build the company. And her contribution has never truly been recognized.

Love you Mom, thank you.


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