Monthly Archives: February 2020

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar
Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee ≫
4:00 PM Monday Mar. 2 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area Meeting ≫
5:30 PM Monday Mar. 2 2020 –
Room 108/109, Civic Square, 60 East Main Street

Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole (Closed to the Public) ≫
6:05 PM Tuesday Mar. 3 2020 –
Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board:
– Land sale update.

Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees:
– Non-Union Vacancy.

A Trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board, which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, or organization:
– City owned land concern.

Council Ante Room

Council Meeting ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Mar. 3 2020 –
Council Chambers

City of Welland Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Mar. 4 2020 –
Room 108, Civic Square, 60 East Main Street

Town and Gown ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Mar. 4 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

(Source: City of Welland website)

Time Marches On: Don’t Forget To Change Clocks And Smoke, CO Alarm Batteries

WELLAND  – Clocks will spring ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on March 8, 2020. Welland Fire and Emergency Services is recommending residents install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks.

“In order for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries,” explained Deputy Fire Chief Adam Eckhart. “Once a year, old batteries should be replaced with new batteries. When you change your clocks on March 8, Welland Fire and Emergency Services wants everyone to take the time to install new batteries in all alarms.”

In order to survive a fire, you need to be provided with an early warning and know what to do when the smoke alarms sound. Working smoke alarms are required on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, it is recommended to also install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code can result in a ticket for $360 or prosecution resulting in a fine of up to $50,000.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Stations Of The Cross: Following The Steps Of Jesus

First Station: Jesus is condemned to die

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

The images on interior, side walls of Roman Catholic churches go largely ignored most of the year hardly getting as much as a second glance as people walk down the aisles to their pews. But during the liturgical season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday evening as the Mass of the Last Supper begins, and on Good Friday, they become an important form of personal and public devotion.

These 14 images are the Stations of the Cross. Most parishes hold these devotional services weekly during Lent, and some more often. At mine, St. Kevin, they are held Friday evenings. Attendance varies, usually from 50 or 60 to 100 or so. You may recall seeing or reading about high-profile public Stations, like those at World Youth Day. When Toronto hosted, in 2002, about 500,00 people watched and prayed in Nathan Phillips Square, along University Avenue, in front of the Ontario Legislature building and through Queen’s Park and finally, in front of the Royal Ontario Museum. In Rio de Janeiro in 2013, more than 1 million are said to have witnessed.

Much has been written about this moving and for many participants, intense devotion. One rich source of information was found on the Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska) website. It is clear and concise, explaining in simple language why it is that people “do” the stations. Here follows a passage about their history:

“From the earliest of days, followers of Jesus told the story of his passion, death and resurrection. When pilgrims came to see Jerusalem, they were anxious to see the sites where Jesus was. These sites become important holy connections with Jesus. Eventually, following in the footsteps of the Lord, along the way of the cross, became a part of the pilgrimage visit. The stations, as we know them today, came about when it was no longer easy or even possible to visit the holy sites. In the 1500’s, villages all over Europe started creating “replicas” of the way of the cross, with small shrines commemorating the places along the route in Jerusalem. Eventually, these shrines became the set of 14 stations we now know and were placed in almost every Catholic Church in the world.”


I often wondered about the Stations in my parish. With the assistance of office staffer Marney Donohue, I learned a little more about them.

The Stations are the work of Niagara Falls sculptor Helen Waimel Robertson. She was born in Estonia in 1917, emigrated to Canada in 1926 and died May 22, 2002 in Niagara Falls.

Mrs. Robertson attended the prestigious Ontario College of Art in Toronto on a scholarship, completing a four-year program in three. She was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal upon graduation. During the mid-1930s, she worked with prominent sculptors in Canada, one of them Elizabeth Wyn Wood, whose design proposal won the national competition held for the Welland-Crowland War Memorial in Chippawa Park.

According to information in Mrs. Robertson’s death notice, she made “a considerable contribution to the sculptor scene in Canada.” Her commissions included 12 Canada Coats of Arms, 10 Provincial Coats of Arms, Shields of Arms for Ontario Law Courts for various cities, architectural and ornamental sculpture for the Workmans Compensation Rehabilitation Centre, the crest for Niagara Falls City Hall and the Stations of the Cross at St. Kevin, among others.

In biographical information about her it is written: “After the Depression and years of World War 2, Helen Waimel married Blake Robertson, a contractor, and through his business contacts Helen’s talents were introduced to architects and fellow contractors. These partnerships opened the way to commissioned works for outdoor spaces, public buildings and churches…” This may explain how she received the commission for the Stations at St. Kevin, constructed in the early 1950s.

Whether one is spiritual or not, her Stations are noteworthy for simple elegance yet powerful imagery combining to create a masterful piece of religious art. They can’t be looked at even for a few seconds without inviting a longer and deeper study by the eye. These striking images may very well be the least known art treasure in the city.

At St. Kevin, various groups or ministries take turns animating each of the Stations of the Cross evenings, for example: Youth Ministry, Secular Franciscan Fraternity, Social Justice. Reflections, commentary and prayers during each evening come from the charism and spirituality of the animating group. Many people attend the entire weekly series, others pick and choose ones they prefer.

It is not an overly-long service, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes. Each Station has a specific prayer led by the hosting group with spoken and sung participation of the people in the pews. A verse from the hymn, At the Cross Her Station Keeping, is sung at the conclusion of each Station, then the movement continues to the next.

Another passage on the the Creighton University website offers this insight into why people participate in this old form of prayer:

“The most important reason for reviving the practice of making the Stations of the Cross is that it is a powerful way to contemplate, and enter into, the mystery of Jesus’ gift of himself to us. It takes the reflection on the passion out of my head, and makes it an imaginative exercise. It involves my senses, my experience and my emotions. To the extent I come to experience the love of Jesus for me, to that extent the gratitude I feel will be deep. Deep gratitude leads to real generosity and a desire to love as I have been loved.”

The 14 Stations are listed below as is the 15th which was more recently added.
First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Die
Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross
Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother
Fifth Station: Simon the Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time
Eighth Station: The Women Of Jerusalem Weep For Jesus
Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time
Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken from the Cross
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
Fifteenth Station: Jesus is Raised from the Dead.

Thoughts on Some Stations of the Cross at St. Kevin Church –  Rev. Jim Mulligan CSC

I asked Father Jim Mulligan CSC, associate pastor at St. Kevin to offer reflections for some of the Stations. I have used his text with the photos taken for this piece of work.
“I have always liked the stations here at the church. They are almost in the style of an icon. They are carved stone. Each figure is in relief,” Mulligan noted.

Station One – Jesus Is Condemned To Death

REFLECTION: It is clear that Jesus and the other players are human … but there is no identifiable human trait that stands out.

 Jesus is everybody.

The soldiers here in a row are everybody.

And the judgment will be for everybody.

Station Two – Jesus Takes Up His Cross

REFLECTION: There is resignation on the part of Jesus and determination. This is his hour. He has been waiting for his hour.

I can’t really do the stations unless I do them as a disciple. And one can’t really be a disciple unless one takes up that cross and walks it as Jesus did.

There is movement here. Jesus walking the cross. The three Roman soldiers right behind him. The invitation here is for me to walk along shouldering my own cross.

Station Four – Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

REFLECTION: Here just Jesus and his mother. Mary is there in her role as mother. And Mary is there in her role as first disciple; first believer.

Jesus shoulders the cross with one arm and the other arm directed towards his mother. Mary is kneeling her arms outstretched. Is she there to catch or embrace Jesus? Or is she there to let Jesus go – to encourage Jesus so that he can do what his Father wanted him to do?

The idea of a mother and child – roots and wings. There is time to hold and embrace and give security. And there is a time to let go as the bird flees the nest. In Mary’s posture she does both.

Station Eight – The Women Of Jerusalem Weep For Jesus

REFLECTION: This group of five persons, Jesus, two women and two children, is a powerful indictment of the patriarchal clericalism that there is still too much of in the church. No men here crying for or supporting Jesus. And I apply this to today.

In most parishes in most places in the world it is the women who are the mainstays. It is the women who by and large make up the worshipping church, the witnessing church and the serving church. It is the absence of women in the offices where the rules and regulations and decisions are made that is missed most.

The two women and the two children here jump out at us demonstrating what discipleship means in action.

Station Twelve – Jesus Dies On The Cross

REFLECTION: Jesus dying. Jesus dead. His mother. The disciple. Jesus gives the disciple (the church) into the care of his mother. Jesus gives his mother into the care of the disciple. Really – there are two disciples. Mary is the first of all of the disciples. She is discipling here trying to absorb what is beyond all of comprehension – the horrendous death of her son, her son who is Emmanuel, God with us.

Disciples are often called to accept that which is total mystery and to accept it on faith. This station always reminds me of that. The disciple looking up to Jesus; Mary head bowed and hands folded asking for the grace of acceptance; asking that her beloved son – no matter what, is safe and at peace, finally.

This station reminds me too of the hole in Jesus’ side from which came water and blood, the water of baptism and our birth into new life and the blood of the Eucharist that is food for our journey in our discipling and in our living this new life. The death of Jesus gives new life in abundance.

Station Fourteen – Jesus Is Placed In The Tomb

REFLECTION: A group of five. Jesus dead being laid gently on a slab of stone. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea doing the heavy work. Is it Mary Jesus’ mother in the background .. is it the gospel’s other Mary?

This grouping is both solemn and very sad. Not unlike the groupings we have at a funeral liturgy seated just 12 metres from this station. The looks of the four involved in Jesus’ burial are painful looks, looks that are without hope. We know how the story continues — the joy and power of the Resurrection. For the four that was it. Finis.

Here is the weekly schedule and the animating groups for this Lenten season’s Stations of the Cross at St. Kevin, all on Friday evenings. Each week, the Stations follow the 7 p.m. Mass:

February 28: Catholic Women’s League
March 6: Secular Franciscans
March 13: Holy Name Society
March 20: St. Vincent de Paul Society
March 27: Youth Ministry
April 3: Social Justice
April 10:  Notre Dame College School

(Note: Stations of the Cross at St. Kevin first appeared on the blog several years ago. It has been revised and updated. Photos by Joe Barkovich)



THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar
Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole, in Camera (Closed to the Public) ≫
6:05 PM Tuesday Feb. 18 2020 –
Receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose:
– Welland Rose Festival Inc.

Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees:
-Citizens appointments to:
Waterway Advisory Committee
Committee of Adjustment.

Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board:
-Update on land sales.

Council Ante Room

Council Meeting in Open Session ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Feb. 18 2020 –
Council Chambers

Committee of Adjustment Hearing(s) ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Feb. 19 2020 –
Council Chambers

Market Square Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
6:00 PM Wednesday Feb. 19 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness, 145 Lincoln Street

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
9:30 AM Thursday Feb. 20 2020 –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

North Welland Business Improvement Area Meeting ≫
4:00 PM Thursday Feb. 20 2020 –
MT Bellies, 871 Niagara Street

Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
3:00 PM Friday Feb. 21 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

(Source: City of Welland website)

Julia’s Hope Cup: ‘That’s What Love Is About’

Eddie Burkholder, left, and Jimmy Larouche are shown with Julia’s Hope Cup. Burkholder promotes the event through social media connections and Larouche acts as liaison with the city. They have been involved with the popular fundraiser since its beginning. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich,  Scribbler-at-large

More than a pond hockey tournament and fundraiser, Julia’s Hope Cup is also a love story.

We know about the Turner family, their loss of 15-year-old daughter Julia in December, 2011 to brain cancer and the community’s great outpouring of love in their support.

We know about the Turners’ love of Welland, manifested in layers and layers of community involvement and interaction.

But another love story not so well known comes into play: friendship. It’s about friendship and how its bonds have grown stronger over the passage of time.

I was in Eddie Burkholder’s Fitch Street office a few days ago to chat with him and Jim Larouche (who was a tad late in arriving), about their involvement in Julia’s Hope Cup. Paul Turner, Julia’s dad was there and on his way out to do some errands for the event, said to Burkholder, “I love you, buddy.” Burkholder reciprocated.

This relationship is decades old. Burkholder skated through years gone by with an animated retelling of how it began. The three families lived in the Chippawa Park neighbourhood – the Turners on Edgar Street, the Burkholders on Glen View and the Larouches on Pine Street. The boys attended St. Kevin Catholic elementary school, Eddie a few grades behind the others, who were older. They shared a passion for sports. Some days, they (with siblings and other friends) held Olympics-like competitions engaging in four or five seasonal sports. In winter, their favourite meeting place was the park because of its frozen pond. If I can be allowed to paraphrase a saying: ‘There is no greater waste than an unused sheet of pond ice.’

“We’d go out early in the morning and come home after dinner,” Burkholder recalled. “It just had to be frozen, that’s all that mattered. It didn’t matter how much snow there was on it, we brought our shovels. Back then you went to the park because you always found a game to get into. I know it sounds like Norman Rockwell, but every time we got back home from the park, mom would have hot cocoa on the stove.” It was a ritual at all three homes.

Their “extra-strong bond” held firm over the years because of a combination of trust, their on-going enjoyment of special times and the lessons that reality taught them.

Said Burkholder: “One of the things about our friendship is that we’ve been there for each other not just in good times but bad times. That’s what love is about. Let me tie Jimmy into that.

“I lost my dad in 1989, he died of cancer at 59, I was 21. I was diagnosed at 26 with testicular cancer. After chemotherapy and other treatment I’m 24-years cancer free. My point is Jimmy was there every day for me. He drove me to cancer treatment almost every day. When both my parents died (Burkholder’s mother, Ellen, passed in 2004) both times he was the first guy at my house.”

They shared in each other’s joys, they shared in each other’s tears. That’s what friends are for. That’s what love is.

“When you see someone you love like Paul and Tina go through pain, it hurts,” Burkholder said, tearing up behind his desk as he fast-forwarded the story. “As a friend you want to take their pain away.”

Burkholder has been involved in the hockey tournament from its inception. Here’s something I didn’t know: It started in his office with some casual conversation amongst the friends:

“We said let’s do what we did when we were kids – let’s throw our sticks into the middle of the rink, it didn’t matter who was on your team. We said let’s throw in $50 or $100 or whatever, and we’ll give back to the community.”

That’s what led to the Hope Cup, a hockey fundraiser for Hope Centre. Then after Julia passed, it was re-dedicated in 2012 as Julia’s Hope Cup in her memory.

Jimmy Larouche joined in with: “Building on what Eddie said, the Burkholder, Turner, Larouche families were inseparable. Our bond is unbreakable. It’s the foundation our parents built for us and to pass the message on.”

Burkholder added: “We were fortunate to come from very good families. At the end of the day, it’s love that has been the foundation of our friendship.”

They knew Julia, of course, from their family friendships. They spoke of her glowingly: sweet, wonderful, inspirational, full of spirit, athletic, committed to giving back to the community, and more.

“She loved helping young kids with their homework,” Burkholder recalled. “She was my daughter Emily’s reading buddy. My daughter adored her.”

They’re not surprised Julia’s Hope Cup day has the backing it does. Welland and Wellanders are known for turning out to support good causes that benefit others, Larouche said, and this is one that qualifies.

“The three of us share the belief that it’s our duty to give back to the community,” he said. “We all share that commitment. What’s ironic is that we go back to a frozen pond playing when we were kids, and here we are again, all these years later, back in the park, back on the pond, still having fun and doing it for a good cause. You gotta love that.”

The ninth annual Julia’s Hope Cup takes place Saturday, February 15. For information about the event, visit

Sign Language

Please Support/Attend This Deserving Community Event, Saturday, February 15, Chippawa Park, Welland.

Julia’s Hope Cup is a fundraiser for Hope Centre. Exciting hockey action, silent auction, food festival, more! Great event for the Family Day weekend. (Sign Language is a recurring feature on the blog. Photo by Joe Barkovich)

2020 National Rowing Championships, Canada Cup Stroking To Welland

WELLAND – The City of Welland has been awarded the 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup, which will take place September 17 to 21, 2020, at the Welland South Canal.

Welland last hosted the National Rowing Championships in 2013, and has been the site of multiple Row Ontario provincial championships as well as the 2017 Canadian University Rowing Championships.

“The City of Welland is excited and proud to have been selected to host our national rowing athletes in September at the RCA National Championships and Canada Cup Regatta,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “Our Organizing Committee will be working diligently with Rowing Canada Aviron to ensure a positive experience and championship regatta for all in attendance. Welland’s flatwater courses are recognized internationally as among the best in the world.”

“RCA is extremely pleased to announce the venue and host of the 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup,” added Rowing Canada Aviron CEO, Terry Dillon. “It will be the first time since 2014 that this event will be held outside of British Columbia, so we are expecting strong participation from central and eastern Canada. The City of Welland is an experienced event host and we are confident the Organizing Committee will deliver an outstanding National event.”

The 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup will follow the same format as 2019, with the 2000m National Rowing Championship small boat races (singles and pairs) contested from September 17 to 20, and the 500m Canada Cup big boat races (quads and eights) completed on September 21.

Medalists will once again be celebrated at the annual Athlete Awards Banquet and top performances will be recognized with RCA’s six National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup trophies.

When and Where: September 17-21, 2020 Welland South Canal, Welland, ON
Schedule (Subject to change) September 17, 2020 – Course open for practice September 18, 2020 – NRCs Time Trials and Repechages September 19, 2020 – NRCs Quaterfinals and Semifinals September 20, 2020 – NRCs Finals September 21, 2020 – Canada Cup

Join the conversation @rowingcanada: #CDNRowing #AvironCDN #rowingcanada

(Source: City of Welland news release)