Monthly Archives: November 2018

A Short Story About Two Crowlands

(Supplied photo)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Above is a photo of the war memorial from Crowland, in the United Kingdom. It shows an image from the Remembrance Day service held in that town, November 11.

The photo was provided to me as a  response to coverage of the local Remembrance Day service, showing the Welland-Crowland War Memorial in Chippawa Park, Welland. The sender noticed the word Crowland had application both here and back home in the UK.

I did some research on the name Crowland, first online, then turning to a trusted local favourite, Aqueduct, Merrittsville and Welland, A History of the City of Welland, the trilogy written by local historian and author, William H. Lewis, now deceased. Volume 1 has this info about Crowland:

“Many of the place names in the Niagara Peninsula originated in Lincolnshire in England, and were chosen by Colonel John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. This British county is located on the coast of the North Sea, about 100 miles north of London.

“Crowland is an ancient Lincolnshire town on the River Welland. Saxon King Ethelbert founded a monastery at Crowland in the year 716….”

The online research led to some travel sites. According to one of them,
a visit to the war memorial is part of a compilation, The 15 Best Things to Do In Crowland.  Below are three comments that were posted by recent visitors:

“The roll of honour is Crowland’s memorial to the service people lost during the wars. Interesting just to stand quietly and read the names.”;

“Lovely open air memorial to those that died fighting for the freedom of their country. Situated in a quiet corner of the village where you can sit and reminisce with your memories.”; and,

“There are just over fifty towns and villages in England known as ‘Thankful’ towns or villages because all the men who left to fight in World War One came back alive. Sadly Crowland is not among them.

Today Crowland has a male population of just over 2000. In 1914, with life expectancy being less and Crowland being perhaps smaller there were probably fewer.

Crowland has a War Memorial listing over 80 names, of which some 66 lost their lives in World War One. Four of their number received the Military Medal. Sixty six lives lost must have been a terrible toll a hundred years ago. It was called ‘The Great War’ and ‘The War to End all Wars’. Sadly within 20 years a further war came along and in due course a further 16 names added for that conflict plus two more for later wars.

Two families lost members in both World Wars as their surname appears under both wars.

Crowland is a lovely, peaceful place to visit, hopefully never to be touched this way again.”

The Welland-Crowland War Memorial in Chippawa Park lists the name of war dead from the two local municipalities in both world wars. There are 91 names from the First World War and 94 from the Second World War inscribed on the back of the monument.

Our Crowland no longer exists, except perhaps in memory, mementoes and a few names and landmarks. The township was annexed by the city of Welland in 1960.

A ‘Thanks!” to the sender of this captivating photo.


Tender Loving Care For Roses In City’s Showcase Garden

I visited the Joseph L. Mocsan Memorial Rose Garden in Chippawa Park last week to watch two gardeners in the city’s parks division prep shrub roses for the approaching winter. Top photo shows the bed before the canes were cut back. They were long and unruly and as such, easy targets for winter winds which can cause injury to a bush. Frank Redden, bottom photo, shows what a bush  looks like after canes have been cut back. Redden and Craig Danys, also shown cutting canes, are so adept they make short work of the art of rose maintenance. Another reason canes should be cut back is to minimize the presence of overwintering pests like rose chafers and leaf miners. Still some time to get this work done if you haven’t already! (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

Under Sullen Skies, A Reminder Peace Can Never Be Taken For Granted

A collection of images from Sunday’s Remembrance Day and centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War service, held in Chippawa Park: Sylvie Browne, from Troy, New York, has a special connection to the Welland-Crowland War Memorial – she is the granddaughter of the famed sculptor, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, whose name appears on the back of the granite masterpiece; two crowd perspectives; attendees pin poppies to the posters that stood near the monument, after the service the posters with the poppies still affixed became part of the exhibit at Welland Museum, which was open from noon to 2pm; and Betsy Warankie reads from In Flanders Fields, with co-organizer Ken Cassavoy looking on. Warankie said the service was also held in memory of Jean Luc Clin, who started it in 1997 and died early this year. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

CITY SHORTS ART: Check out this cool social event at the local museum! (Supplied graphic)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

City Shorts

City 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 – Branch 4, Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day service takes place November 11, at the branch, 383 Morningstar Avenue, 11am. (Note: Morningstar Avenue will be blocked to traffic at 10:30am.)
Also, the public is invited to attend a Community Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day at the Welland-Crowland War Memorial, Chippawa Park, from 10:45 to 11:15am, November 11.
The service centres around the live CBC Radio Broadcast from the National Cenotaph in Ottawa with a local live reading of “In Flanders Fields.”
In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, the names on the Cenotaph will be displayed in large posters placed beside the monument for the service. Following the service, the public will be invited to leave their poppies pinned to these posters near the names or conflicts of personal importance or significance to them.
The posters, with the public’s poppies still in place, will become part of the Welland Museum’s Remembrance Day exhibit “We shall not sleep, though poppies grow… In Flanders Fields.” The exhibit will be open November11 from noon to 2pm.

WELLAND – Koats for Kids takes place until December 15. Needed are new or good used winter coats for men, women and children, these donations can be dropped off at any local cleaner. Koats for Kids is based at Central United church house on Young Street on Monday to Friday from 11am until 3pm to Saturday, Dec. 15. Koats for Kids is done in partnership with the Hope Centre.

WELLAND – Saturday, November 17, join in the fun as Welland welcomes Santa Claus. Parade Route: The 2018 Santa Claus Parade begins at Canadian Tire Financial Services (corner of East Main & Wellington Streets), travels west on East Main St, ending at Civic Square. Parade Start Time: 4pm. Movie Start Time: 5:15pm.

WELLAND – Popular, annual bazaar Sunday, November 18, noon to 3 pm includes penny sale, bake table, white elephant table, craft table, lunch, peroghys & sausage, refreshments. Free admission, all welcome. Please visit Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Hall, 291 Beatrice Street (off Ontario Rd.), Welland.

WELLAND – A fall tradition continues! 21st annual Distinguished Speaker Night at St. Kevin parish, 303 Niagara St., Monday, November 26.
Guest: Cristina Vanin, associate dean, Department of Religious Studies at St. Jerome’s University, University of Waterloo, speaks on One Earth: Pope Francis’ Call for an Integral Ecology, 7 p.m. in the parish hall. Open to the community.

WELLAND – An evening of Kindred’s Celtic to Cajun Journey, and some reflections of the Christmas season. The popular local group performs Saturday, December 1, in the theatre at the Welland Community Wellness Complex at 7pm. Tickets: $12 for passholders and $15 for non-passholders. More Information: 905-735-1700 Ext. 4000 or

WELLAND – Long-running charity event is back, Sunday, November 18, from noon to 6pm at the Royal Canadian Legion, 383 Morningstar Ave. Admission: New unwrapped toy or non-perishable food donation.

WELLAND – Sacré-Coeur parish on Empire Street hosts its second annual Trivia Night on Friday, November 30 at 7pm (doors open at 6:30) at the church hall. Tickets are $15 per person (includes pizza, great door prize, penny sale table) or $110 for a table of eight. For tickets or more info: Pauline Falardeau 905-735-1441 or by email: Proceeds to support parish operating expenses.

WELLAND – Annual Christmas performance by the Velvetones, Sunday, December 9, 2pm in The Theatre at the Welland Community Wellness Complex. Tickets: $7 for passholders and $9 for non-passholders Join the Velvetones as they perform a variety of choir, solo, duet and ensemble songs – both sacred and popular Christmas music.

WELLAND – Longing to connect with your past? Wondering where to look beyond Ancestry? Ask questions and learn best family history research practices in this session. Steve Fulton, UE of the Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, is the host of this program. No experience required. Date of session is Tuesday, November 13, 6pm, at Welland Library’s Seaway Mall branch.

WELLAND – Welland’s Harvest Kitchen program started its 23rd season on Thursday, November 1 at Hope Centre, 570 King Street.
The weekly schedule is:
Sundays: Central United Church, 12 Young St., 5pm; Mondays: Eglise du Sacre-Coeur, 72 Empire St., 5:30pm; Tuesdays: Hope Centre, 570 King St., 5:30pm; Wednesdays: St. Kevin Roman Catholic Church, 307 Niagara St., 5pm; Thursdays 5pm for all: first Thursday of the month, Hope Centre, second Thursday, Southridge Community Church, 414 River Rd., third Thursday, Holy Trinity Anglican Church (use the market square door at the back), fourth and fifth Thursdays, Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, 300 Chaffey St. and new this season, third and fourth Fridays, 5pm: Southridge Community Church.
For emergency shelter please call 905-714-5007.

WELLAND – Put your best foot forward! Meet Mayor Campion at the Merritt Island parking lot Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m. for a 40-minute walk on Merritt Island.

(City Shorts is a weekly feature on the blog appearing most often on weekends.)

Getting Them Ready For A Long Winter Nap

Craig Danys, left, and Frank Redden of the City of Welland parks division were in Chippawa Park’s Joseph L. Mocsan Memorial Rose Garden Wednesday putting the last of the roses to bed for the winter. After canes have been cut back, these hills are built up around the base of the bush to help protect the vulnerable crown or bud union from severe winter freezing. Amazingly, the soil used for this is not imported, but scooped up from within the bed with hoes. This work is done in late October to early November, but before the ground is frozen. Rose growers unsure of these procedures are best advised to follow the example of the city’s gardeners. If you’re lucky enough to be in the parks when it is being done, they don’t mind sharing their tips and words of gardening wisdom. More to follow. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

Forks Road Bridge Update Issued By City

WELLAND – The City of Welland closed Forks Road Bridge on Friday, November 2, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. to ensure public safety. A thorough inspection of the bridge deemed the structure not safe; therefore, staff made a decision to restrict vehicular access but allow for pedestrian access.

· April 18, 2016 – Close up inspection of the Forks Road Bridge found significant corrosion of structural steel supporting members. An immediate 5 tonnes maximum load restriction was posted.
· April 29, 2016 – Further engineering analysis determined that the Forks Road Bridge was unsuitable to carry any loading at all. The Bridge was immediately closed and temporary repairs were completed by Rankin Construction and Black Creek Metal
· May 12, 2016 – Forks Road Bridge re-opened to the public
· Staff anticipated the maintenance would give the bridge several more years of life expectancy

· The bridge was constructed in 1930. The lift bridge was decommissioned in 1973 and the towers were removed in 1997. The City was downloaded ownership in 2000.
· Bridges are inspected every two years and the Forks Road Bridge was last inspected in the Fall of 2018. A Load Capacity Evaluation was conducted on the structure following inspection.
· In addition to inspections, the city’s Engineering Division routinely monitors the bridge’s condition and structural integrity Vehicular access is NOT permitted until further notice
· Pedestrian access remains open
· Fire and Emergency Services have developed alternate routes to ensure timely responses
· Engineering staff are working with bridge engineers to obtain information on options and costs
· The 2018 inspection and Load Capacity Evaluation found that corrosion of supporting steel members was occurring at an accelerated rate, and that the posted load capacity was no longer suitable. A decision to close the bridge was made due to the following issues:
o Not being able to limit heavy commercial vehicles accessing the bridge,
o winter freeze and thaw season,
o snowplows cannot access the bridge due to weight,
o corrosion from road salts, and
o unpredictability of current and future effects of advanced corrosion

· A Public Open House will be held in the near future once engineering reports are received, analyzed, and options are determined. Information about the condition of the Forks Road Bridge, potential options, and estimated costs will be provided. Bridge engineers and City Engineering staff will be in attendance.
· City staff will present Welland Council with an information report. It is expected to be presented at the December 11, 2018 General Committee Meeting
· Council will discuss and make a decision on which option will be selected to address the Forks Road Bridge issue at the following Council meeting
· Another public open house will be held to inform the public of the details and timelines associated with the selected option.
· Information will be added to the city’s public engagement platform, Your Channel, on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Residents will be able to engage in the conversation and voice their concerns and thoughts on the future of the Forks Road Bridge

City of Welland Council and staff understand the significance and impact that the Forks Road Bridge closure has on the public and are approaching it as a priority. Future updates will be provided as information becomes available.

(Source: City of Welland media release)

Q&A: Food Drive Afterthoughts

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Who would have thought when it started, the Welland Food Drive would still be going strong 26 years later? Who would have thought need for it would still be here?
Even more disconcerting: there is no end in sight. The same applies to food banks or food pantries. They were thought to be a short-term measure some 35 years ago when the first started. Surprise, surprise.
As a postscript to Saturday’s Welland Food Drive, I submitted a few questions to the coolheaded coordinator, Monique Finley. Here’s what she had to offer:

Q: How did things go Saturday?
A: Saturday went like clockwork. ‘Old timers’ took to their stations and the generosity flowed!

Q: Was the weather a problem in any way?
A: The weather cooperated in that it did not rain…. no it wasn’t a particularly glorious day weather wise….. but it was in the sense that vehicles and now shelves are filled!

Q: Any idea how much food was collected – more than last year? Less? About the same?
A: I think the estimates might put us either even or a little lighter than last year

Q: What was the reaction from Hope Centre, Open Arms, Salvation Army? Everyone pleased?
A: Everyone was indeed pleased. It would be a rarity these days to hear any complaints from our charity partners. They of course have a great deal of sorting and unpacking to do ….. they never complain about that either! I believe they are too filled with gratitude.

Q: Will the food collected get them through the winter?
A: I think this question varies depending on the charity. Some will still have food into March others not so long and then I believe with one the food can last even longer….

Q: Do you have a comment or two you may have heard from your volunteers about Saturday’s experience?
A: I found myself reflecting a few times on Saturday how far along the Food Drive machine has come over the last quarter century. Volunteers come back year over year and they remain committed to their task and they get good at their task. Everyone’s willingness to show up really makes the day a bit of a wondrous experience for all those involved. I guess giving and coming together to help and knowing that each of our individual efforts is needed and appreciated makes the commitment a heart-warming experience.

(Q&A is a new feature on the blog. This is the first.)