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Judy Anderson

All About Giving Back


Jonathan van Bilsen

March 27, 2024

Anyone who lives in North Durham, and has had the pleasure of being involved in any theatre or musical production, certainly has had the opportunity to meet Judy Anderson, a woman who knows no end to giving, to help others.

Whether it is volunteering for the Hospital Auxiliary, helping people getting out of the lake during the Polar Plunge or playing a musical instrument in am orchestra, Judy is always ready and willing to participate.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Judy on my TV Show, and was surprised at the history of this interesting lady. Being involved in the community theatre companies, as well as performing many volunteer duties, Judy has embedded herself well into this community. One of the reasons she is so sought after is her ability to perform most any task associated with the Town Hall Theatre.

Originally from Toronto, Judy was born in the High Park area. After graduation from Humberside Collegiate, she became a teacher and met her future husband Gary. The couple bought a house in the east end of the city, but they quickly outgrew it and moved to Pickering. It was not long before they found the area too busy, so when Judy came home from work one day, her two sons and her husband were sitting in the kitchen. They said the family should move to either Uxbridge or Port Perry. Judy said Port Perry and the rest is history.

Judy continued to teach in Toronto and commuted for five years. Teaching every grade from elementary to Grade eight was very fulfilling. She specialized in physical education and swimming, and taught English as a second language. Judy decide to retired and enjoy a relaxing time of her life. That notion could not be further from the truth.

Bored with the concept of not doing anything, Judy’s first decision was to sign up as an occasional teacher, a position she held in Toronto for 15 years. She has always been interested in volunteering, a trait, which she believes, she inherited from her mother. When Judy was in high school, her father passed away and her mother, in order to make ends meet, had to reach out to social assistance.

“Back in those days, you were not allowed to work if the government subsidized your standard of living.” Judy explained.  That is when her mother turned to volunteerism.

“My mother joined an art workshop and worked with mentally challenged individuals.” It was a time, which really showed Judy the compassionate side of volunteering.

Once she did retire, Judy joined the provincial board of RWTO/OERO and is responsible for the greater Toronto area. One of Judy’s favourite pastimes is travelling and when she retired, she decided to venture on a trip to Norway… with a backpack, sleeping in hostels.

Judy has performed in numerous local productions and I asked her what her favourite was. “When we did the Sound of Music, I was one of the nuns, and the combined singing was just amazing,” she said, with a look of gratification on her face.

A local producer, Liz Auston, wrote a play entitled ‘Once Upon a Winter’s Eve. I remember seeing the production and Judy was the stationmaster, which was the starring role of the musical.

Judy loves to sing and is a member of the choir in Uxbridge. She also enjoys playing and on Wednesday nights, she plays percussion instruments for a local concert band. An accomplished flautist, she is very versatile and plays ukulele for the Dukes (Durham Ukulele group). “The latter combines my love of singing and playing,” Judy explained.

No matter where you turn in the northern part of Durham Region, you will surely run into Judy Anderson. As if not everything she does is enough, Judy recently joined the UUCD, a group who entertains using tone chimes, an interesting instrument with a very unique sound. Of course, Judy also plays the recorder for the group. We are very glad to have Judy as part of our community, as many organizations continually depend on her talent and involvement.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. His show, ‘The Jonathan van Bilsen Show’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube, features many of the people included in this column.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. His show, ‘The Jonathan van Bilsen Show,’ on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube, features many of the people included in this column.

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