Monthly Archives: May 2016

Museum Travelling Exhibit Honored

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Congratulations to Welland Museum!

Our local museum has received a high-profile acknowledgement for its travelling exhibit, at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The travelling exhibit is Passage to Freedom: Secrets of the Underground Railroad.

This acknowledgement not only does the museum proud, but also the community as well.

The museum made the announcement earlier today in its News from the Welland Museum release.

Here follows the text of the announcement about the exhibit  in its entirety:

The Welland Museum is also proud to share with you some information about our participation at the month-long Memphis in May International Festival.

As you may or may not have heard, we were invited to participate on the recommendation from the Consul General of Canada in Atlanta, Georgia, to represent Canada during the 2016 International Week as part of the International Salute to Canada showcase. As International Week is wrapping up (May 2-9, 2016), our travelling exhibit Passage to Freedom: Secrets of the Underground Railroad will remain on display at the National Civil Rights Museum for the entire month of May.

It is my pleasure to share with you a link to the National Civil Rights Museum. The direct link is:

This has been an excellent opportunity to provide a chance to market both the Museum and the City of Welland throughout North America, while contributing to our ongoing efforts to enhance the Museum’s image globally.

Memphis in May has been voted the “Best Southern Event” by USA Today readers.

For further information on this event, visit

Gadabout Gardener

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Gadabout Gardener almost always trains his camera on annuals and perennials grown in and around Welland. But calla lilies were spotted in such abundance along the Camino de Santiago in Spain that I had to bring a few home, via the camera. They are planted along fences, like these above, and in private gardens, among other locations. This shot was taken outside Arzua, Spain, Friday, April 29. (Photo by Joe Barkovich. Gadabout Gardener is a recurring feature on the blog.)

Niagara Catholic Announces 2016 Recipients Of Distinguished Alumni Award

WELLAND – Niagara Catholic is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Niagara Catholic created the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012 to recognize its graduates whose life journeys are visibly rooted in the Niagara Catholic education they received while attending our schools and who are described as distinguished, notable or acclaimed.

Graduates selected for the annual Niagara Catholic Distinguished Alumni Award continually fulfill the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations through their personal or professional involvement in our local or global community.

The following are the 2016 recipients of the Niagara Catholic Distinguished Alumni Award:

Dr. Jennifer Frendo

Dr. Jennifer Frendo is a graduate of Denis Morris Catholic High School.  Through her vocation as a family physician in Niagara, she actively lives the Catholic Graduate Expectations. She is actively involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and in her own community and is beloved by her patients as a caring, compassionate doctor. Dr. Frendo is an outstanding model of global citizenship and Catholic social teachings. She travels to Guyana 4-6 a year in partnership with a colleague, donating her medical expertise, surgical assistance and medical supplies to hospitals there. While in Guyana, she assists her surgical partners in procedures that allow patients with end-stage renal failure to receive dialysis treatment to improve or extend their lives. All of this is done on her own time and at her own expense. For her outstanding commitment to her local and global community, we are proud to include Dr. Jennifer Frendo as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Anthony Lacavera

Anthony Lacavera studied computer engineering after graduating from Notre Dame College School, but he is most readily identified as an entrepreneur as the creator of WIND Mobile. He was named CEO of the Year in 2010 by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, and also listed as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2006. Eager to share the wealth he accumulated through his endeavours, he created the SHAMBA Foundation, a charity which has raised more than $1 million to assist Canadian charities to increase their efficiency and capacity, helping them do more for the areas they serve. He donates a scholarship to his alma mater, and mentors and financially supports up-and-coming entrepreneurs and seeks to be an agent of positive change in society.  He was a founding supporter of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Gallery Italia, and was honoured as a Commodore in the Order of the Star of Italy for his contribution to the Italian community abroad.
For his outstanding commitment to science, technology, the arts, business, education and philanthropy, we are proud to include Anthony Lacavera as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Catherine Lacavera

Catherine Lacavera’s resume is an impressive list of career successes and mentorship. A graduate of Notre Dame College School and Ms. Lacavara has a degree in computer engineering. She was called to the bar as a lawyer and also holds an MBA. She has had an illustrious career as an intellectual property lawyer, and is currently Director of Litigation at Google, where she leads a team of 20 patent and intellectual properly litigators and technical advisors. She remains passionate about computer engineering and continues to speak to girls and young women about the many opportunities in the STEM fields available to them. Ms. Lacavera views the world as an interdependent community and is committed to giving back to others. She urges students that they should not put off trying for fear of failure, or wait until later to create, innovate and explore opportunities. She is a mentor at the University of Toronto’s The Hatchery entrepreneurship centre, and a builder with the California Women Lawyers’ In-House Counsel Network. She has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property. For her outstanding commitment to science, law, education and entrepreneurship, we are proud to include Catherine Lacavera as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Dr. Christina Le Rose

Dr. Christina Le Rose is an award-winning classical pianist who has performed in venues across North America and Europe.  A graduate of Saint Paul Catholic High School, she received more than 60 scholarships, including four full scholarships, which allowed her to continue her musical education from her undergraduate degree through her Doctor of Music.  Dr. Le Rose believes that music plays a fundamental role in a vibrant Catholic community, and shares her gift by volunteering as a cantor, pianist and accompanist at parishes. She also mentors young musicians, and has been a motivational speaker, speaking passionately about the importance of the arts in higher education.

Father James T. Mulligan, C.S.C.

Father James T. Mulligan CSC needs very little introduction within the Niagara Catholic family. A graduate of Notre Dame College School where he was both an athlete and a coach, Father Mulligan CSC became a member of the Holy Cross Fathers, and then returned to Notre Dame College as a teacher and head of the school’s Religion Department. As a priest, Father Mulligan has served the Church locally and abroad, including as the Assistant General of the Holy Cross in Rome. During one trip to Europe, Father Mulligan participated in a pilgrimage and was so moved by the experience, he decided to replicate it at Niagara Catholic. He spearheaded the Notre Dame Pilgrimage, which began in 1975 has been adopted across Niagara Catholic and has raised millions of dollars to support development projects around the world. Father Mulligan is the author of four books on Catholic education, and is widely recognized throughout North America as an expert and impactful speaker on the subject, and for his commitment to Catholic education. He was recognized with a Niagara Catholic Award of Distinction in 2010. For his commitment to faith and education, and for being the vision behind one of Niagara Catholic’s most visible displays of our faith, we are proud to include Father James T. Mulligan C.S.C. as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Joseph Pillitteri

Joseph Pillitteri grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and is a graduate of Denis Morris Catholic High School in St. Catharines. He his family and his education laid the foundation for two very important parts of his life, which he now shares with others.  As the owner of Lakeview Vineyard, he knows the value of hard work. He also knows the importance of commitment to family and of having a good sense of humour.  Today, Mr. Pillitteri brings these experiences together to as a basis for his stand-up comedy. He has performed more than 50 times and donated the proceeds from his shows to charities and causes he supports. Several times a year, he and fellow comedians come together to raise money for charities and support local causes, donating all of the proceeds to the causes he supports, including minor hockey and lacrosse teams, the Terry Fox Foundation, and Red Roof Retreat, among others.  He is an active member of his faith community, and of the Niagara-on-the-Lake community, where he was named Citizen of the Year in 2014. For his commitment to business, philanthropy and community, we are proud to include Joseph Pillitteri as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Hector Pothier

Hector Pothier was a talented multi-sport athlete during his years at Denis Morris Catholic High School, but it was on the gridiron that he really excelled. Mr. Pothier was awarded a scholarship to St. Mary’s University in Halifax and McGill University upon his graduation from Denis Morris, and completed a combined degree in Education and History. In 1978, Mr. Pothier joined the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos as an offensive lineman, and played his entire 12-year career with the team. He is a two-time CFL All-Star, has six Grey Cup rings and has a place on the Edmonton Eskimos’ Wall of Honour.  During his playing years, Mr. Pothier dedicated many weekends to play hockey and basketball with teams around town, and was actively involved in the Carnival of Champions, which raised funds for a variety of causes in Edmonton. An example of servant-leadership, he often donated his time to accompany children in the community to events such as Klondike Days. In 1988’s off-season, Mr. Pothier became an educator in Edmonton, and he is currently and elementary school principal. He has donated his time to many youth-related causes and remains active with a number of organizations in his adopted hometown, including the St. John Bosco Knights of Columbus, the YMCA, the Eskimo Alumni Association and the CFL Alumni Association. For his commitment to business, philanthropy and community, we are proud to include Hector Pothier as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

Rob Robbins

Rob Robbins had a busy career as a sound engineer following his graduation from Saint Paul Catholic High School, when he was critically injured in a head-on car crash caused by a drunk driver. Critically injured by the devastating crash, doctors advised he would never walk again. But God had other plans.  Three months later, he was back at work, providing the communications system for evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. Through the Billy Graham Crusades, Mr. Robbins has travelled to some of the most dangerous places in Africa, including Tanzania, where he reached more than half a million refugees. On one trip, he was mugged and whipped with bamboo strands and left stranded on the side of the road, with only God at his side. Miraculously, his identification was turned in to the Canadian Embassy, and he was able to return home. Mr. Robbins is also an active philanthropist at home, giving of his time to the Rankin Cancer Run, and the MS Society. He has also played an integral role in live-streaming several community events. He is well-known for his expertise, work ethic, positive attitude, commitment to teamwork and his leadership, and is highly regarded by Niagara Catholic for the way in which he elevates special events such as the annual Graduation Celebration to beyond extraordinary. For his commitment to faith, social justice and the community, we are proud to include Rob Robbins as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

 Lydia Tomek

Lydia Tomek has been heralded as the youngest female winemaker in Niagara, but life is about more than the grape for the graduate of Notre Dame College School. Ms. Tomek grew up in East Welland, the daughter of immigrants who grew whatever they could in their backyard. The lessons she learned at home and at school taught her about the value of hard work and about the importance of giving back to others. She is equally at home in muddy boots on a vineyard at Hernder Estate Winery where she is winemaker, or in a gown at a gala. Heralded as the youngest winemaker in Niagara, Ms. Tomek is a recipient of Brock University’s Award of Distinction, as well as a Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence for Ontario Wine.  She is best known for her creations Pink and Pink 2.0, rose wines created in memory of two friends whom she lost to cancer. These wines have led to a pledge of $250,000 for the Walker Family Cancer Centre in St. Catharines. Most recently, Ms. Tomek created the LocaLove Garden Project. Through this, she joined students from St. Andrew Catholic Elementary School in Welland, her former Catholic elementary school, in creating a community garden. She built the plots from old wine pallets and broken hockey sticks, donated the earth for the garden and helped cultivate the young plants which the students harvest and enjoy in the autumn – truly a labour of love born of her yearning to introduce the students to the same love of gardening and wonder of watching things grow her parents instilled in her as a child. For her commitment to her local community and for teaching students about the value of getting their hands dirty while they work, we are proud to include Lydia Tomek as one of Niagara Catholic’s Distinguished Alumni.

(Source: Niagara Catholic news release)

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

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CITY SHORTS ART: Welland group holds annual barbeque Sunday. See City Shorts brief below. (2015 file photo/Joe Barkovich)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


city shortsCity Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to:


WELLAND –Welland Lodge 617, Croatian Fraternal Union, will hold its annual Mother’s Day Barbeque on Sunday, May 8.

The popular event is at the Croatian National Home, Broadway Ave. and Highway 58.

Barbequed lamb and pork will go on sale at 11 a.m. Come early so you won’t be disappointed.


WELLAND – Welland Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale is a growing experience.

It is being held Saturday, May 21 at the Exhibition grounds, Building B, 1100 Niagara Street North.

Hours are 9am to noon.

It features annuals, perennials, shrubs and more. Experienced gardeners to answer your gardening questions will be on hand.


ideasWELLAND – The Welland Public Library (WPL) is developing a strategic plan for future services in 2020, and we want to hear directly from you .

It is hosting three meetings in May with the project consultants, Pitters Associates. Please join one of the meetings to help shape the future of WPL’s services.

May 7th, 11 am – 1 pm at Diamond Trail Branch Meeting Room (315 Southworth Street, Welland, ON)

May 11th, 10 am – 12 pm at Wellness Center Meeting Room– FILLED

May 17th, 10 am – 12 pm at the Welland Public Library – Main Branch (50 the Boardwalk, Welland, ON)

May 17th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Civic Square Community Room (60 East Main Street, Welland, ON)

Simply RSVP to the Welland Public Library by today (May 6th) at 905-734-6210 ext.2521 or

If you cannot attend one of the public consultation meetings, consider completing a brief online survey here:


WELLAND – Niagara College has received more than $1.4 million from Ontario’s Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund program to build a Green Tech Automotive Lab at its Welland Campus.

The project allows Niagara College to expand its focus on green technologies in its automotive programs – an area where Niagara College is already ahead of the curve.

The 3,600-square-foot Green Tech Automotive Lab will be an extension of the existing automotive facilities at the Welland Campus’s Rankin Technology Centre. It will include open bays, a work area and classroom, and will house the latest in green automotive technologies, including electric charging stations, alternate fuel technology, diagnostic equipment, green technology simulators, and electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Whether it’s through our academic programs or our commitment to environmental responsibility in our operations, Niagara College is a leader in sustainability and we’re pleased to build on the renewable technologies offered through our automotive programs,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We’re very grateful for the provincial government’s investment in this important area.”


WELLAND – St. Matthews’ Lutheran Church is holding its 10th annual Bike Clinic and Block Party on Saturday, May 7 from 10 am to 12 noon.

Everyone is welcome. Bring your family’s bikes for simple maintenance: air in tires, seat adjustment, lubrication, reflective tape.

The event is also a great opportunity to chat with neighbours, enjoy a free barbecue lunch and enter the free bike helmet draw.

Last but not least – Learn the proper way to wear your helmet and the ABCs of bicycle care.


WELLAND – Taizé Pentecost Prayer is being held at the Parish Community of St. Kevin Tuesday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.

Taizé Prayer is held four times yearly at the Niagara Street parish: Advent, Lent, Pentecost and Thanksgiving. The evening, rich in song, music and chant, is open to the community. A posting in the parish bulletin says: Come, be silent, pray!  




WELLAND – Did you know that with your Welland Public Library card, you have access to Prince’s entire music catalogue using hoopla digital?

Log in to hoopla digital  and enjoy your favourite Prince songs here.

hoopla digital has been making national headlines with this information. Please see some of the great coverage this library exclusive service has gotten on Entertainment Tonight, USA Today, Digital Spy, ABC News, and People Magazine.


WELLAND – The wine industry is raising a glass to Niagara College chef professor Peter Blakeman.

peter-blakeman-wine-glass-for-incBlakeman will be honoured with a Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) Promoters Award, which acknowledges those who celebrate the Ontario VQA wine industry with enthusiasm, constructive input and unsolicited promotion. He was recently announced as the winner, and will be presented with the award today (Friday, May 6) at the annual Experts Tasting, managed by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University.

Manager and chair of the VQA Promoters Awards Barbara J. Tatarnic, from Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, noted that Blakeman was selected for the award due to his professional achievements, commitment and passion for the grape and wine industry.

“Peter’s professional achievements and commitment to the grape and wine industry make him a natural fit to join the growing group of VQA promoters,” said Tatarnic. “As our winner in the Education category, Peter devotes a significant amount of time to ensuring all of his culinary, hospitality and food science students at Niagara College are exposed to Ontario VQA wines through both dedicated tastings as well as food and wine pairings. With passion and dedication to the Ontario VQA grape and wine industry, Peter takes great pride in going into much detail about the wineries’ stories.”

Blakeman has been a chef professor with the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute since 2003.


WELLAND – Apply to be this year’s Welland Rose Queen!

Applications are available at the Rose Festival Office, 30 East Main Street in downtown Welland.



The 19th annual Croatian National Home golf tournament is being held Saturday, July 9 at Sparrow Lakes Golf Course.

Cost is $90 per person which includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, prizes and a barbequed lamb and pork dinner at the Croatian National Home.

Please contact Randy Zdelar, 905-658-7235.


logocontest2.jpgWELLAND – The City of Welland is rebranding, redesigning, and rethinking its image. Creating a new look and feel to the City’s corporate image calls for a new City of Welland logo.

The City of Welland reserves the right to extend all deadlines associated with this contest to ensure that a sufficient number of entries are received.

All submitted designs and source images must be the original work of the person submitting the application. No third-party artwork or images, including clipart or copyrighted graphics, may be used. The final design chosen as the contest winner may not necessarily be used as the final logo. Artwork that has been previously published or exhibited is not permitted.

By submitting an entry, the person agrees that the City of Welland will become the rightful owner of the image and any likeness of the image, and may alter and reproduce the image at its discretion. Incomplete information will disqualify the entry.

All entries will be judged on the artwork’s creative ideas that reflect the uniqueness of our beautiful city.

The judging panel is made up of the City’s Mayor, Council Members, Management Team, City Information Services Division, Graphics Personnel, and select community representatives. More info on the city’s website.


WELLAND – The Notre Dame College School Alumni Association is inviting all alumni to register on its new website in order to re-establish the contact list. Once logged in and registered you will be able to peruse over 65 years of Notre Dame yearbooks online. Please register at Click on Notre Dame Alumni.


WELLAND – Meet Mayor Frank Campion at the Merritt Island parking lot Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m. for a 40-minute walk on Merritt Island.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Weekly Meetings
May.9 ’16
5:30 PM – Canada’s 150th in Welland Committee Meeting
– Community Room.
May.10 ’16
4:30 PM – Welland Recreational Canal Corporation Interim Board Meeting
– Council Chambers.
May.10 ’16
6:25 PM – Special Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole In-camera (Closed to the Public), in the Council Ante Room, to discuss the following:

  • Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board.
    – Purchase of City-owned lands.
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.
    – Personnel Matters.
May.10 ’16
7:00 PM – Special Council Meeting, in the Council Chambers and in Open Session, to approve any matters (if any) arising from Committee-of-the-Whole and the Confirmatory By-law;

FOLLOWED BY:– General Committee Meeting, in Open Session, in the Council Chambers.
May.11 ’16
1:00 PM – Human Resources Committee Meeting In-camera (Closed to the Public), in the Council Ante Room,
to discuss personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.
May.11 ’16
5:00 PM – Transit Advisory Committee Meeting
– Council Ante Room.
May.11 ’16
6:00 PM – Arts and Culture Advisory Committee Meeting
– LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

Experience Of A Lifetime

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SKY-HIGH SELFIE – Pilgrims pause for a selfie at Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mount) near Braga, northern Portugal. The church is a notable example of pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 metres and vistas that are, in a word, breathtaking. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Wow! What a week it was, our visit to Portugal and Spain.

DSC_0635 (3)There are many people for us to thank: Ineke Brinkman of Brinkman Travel in St. Catharines, Notre Dame College School for organizing this pilgrimage/adventure as a way of commemorating its 40th annual pilgrimage last October, teachers Carol Berkhout and Robin Ellis, the ND students and the adults – a great group of 27 in total – with whom we shared the joy, excitement and various discoveries in our travels both in northern Portugal and of course Spain.

Personally, as the experience of a lifetime, this is forever to be remembered: ‘El Camino Es La Meta’ – The Journey Is The Reward.

At the same location, Wellander Lynda Lemon gets ready for a shot of her own.

At the same location, Wellander Lynda Lemon gets ready for a shot of her own.