Monthly Archives: June 2020

Welland’s Showcase Floral Beds In Bloom Again

A section of the showcase bed paying tribute to the 100th anniversary of Sacré-Coeur parish, Empire Street. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Showcase flower beds once again will highlight the work of the City of Welland’s own gardeners after the annual project was placed in jeopardy due to the pandemic.

“We almost did not do them for 2020, Covid-19 and all,” Peter Boyce, the parks department’s manager of planning and maintenance, wrote in an email. “Yes, our other work is way behind but these  beds are so important to our community, in my opinion  anyway.”

The four beds, and this year’s themes are:

Prince Charles Drive (near the fire station): Welland Knights of Columbus, 100th anniversary;

Prince Charles Drive (corner of First Avenue): Sacré-Coeur parish, 100th anniversary;

Niagara Street at Riverbank: Welland BIC Church (formerly Brethren-in-Christ), 100th anniversary;

Broadway (near the Croatian National Home); Welland Rotary, 100th anniversary.

This year, taking on the work was a challenge because the department found itself short staffed due to pandemic-related layoffs affecting city workers, said Boyce.

But, the floral beds are highly regarded as “part of the fabric of our community” and the project was given approval by city staff, although some smaller beds are not being done. 

“We will pick them back up in 2021,” according to Boyce.

Parks staff received a long list of requests from local groups and organizations wanting to be chosen for a showcase bed. Boyce said a council-approved policy is followed to help with final selection.

Over the years, Welland’s traditionally-outstanding showcase beds have received many compliments from local residents and visitors to the community, some of whom have praised them in letters to the editor of the local newspaper.

Sacré-Coeur floral bed, Prince Charles Drive at First Avenue.

Proceeding To Stage-Two, Happier Days Are Here Again

WELLAND – Niagara is now permitted to proceed to Stage-Two as part of the gradual and phased re-opening strategy under the Ontario government. On Friday, June 19, 2020, more Niagara businesses are permitted to re-open and begin to provide customers with the products and services they depend on, provided that protocols are followed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The following areas are permitted to open services, or expand services this Friday, June 19, 2020:

  • Personal and personal care services
  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants & bars
  • Shopping malls & centres
  • Photography studios & services
  • Film & TV production activities
  • Tour & guide services
  • Water recreational facilities
  • Outdoor recreational facilities with low contact
  • Beaches, parks & camping
  • Outdoor recreational team sports
  • Drive-in & drive-thru venues
  • Weddings, funerals and similar gatherings
  • Libraries
  • Community centres
  • Attractions & heritage institutions
  • Small outdoor events

The City of Welland is also preparing for Stage-Two and will be making changes to the following programs and service levels:

  • Welland Transit will provide expanded services beginning June 22 with the East and West Community bus routes from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Commencing Sunday, June 28, all eight municipal routes will be covered every day with hourly frequency from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Rosie Smith Pool has a target date to open on July 3, 2020
  • Outdoor wedding ceremonies can be performed by city officials within provincial guidelines starting on July 6, 2020
  • All city splash pads have a target date to open on July 11, 2020
  • The Welland Library is expanding curbside service at the Main Branch effective June 22, 2020 (appointments can be made between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday)
  • The Library will offer contactless pickup and limited services, such as computer appointments at the Seaway Mall location starting on July 6, 2020 (anticipated hours of operation will be Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

The City of Welland will continue to follow the Ontario Government’s three-phase Framework to Re-open the Province and expand city programs and services safely and efficiently. For more information on WellAnd Recovery – Moving Beyond COVID-19, visit welland.ca. For more information on the Province’s Stage-Two re-opening, visit ontario.ca.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Chambers’ Corner Revisited: Sign Language

1967 photo, showing from left: Fred Harvey, interim administrator, Ivan Buchanan, board vice-president, Mayor Allan Pietz, a member of the board, Dr. W. George Bowen, college president and Ross Sawle, chairman of the building committee. (Photo by Bob Chambers)

By Bob Chambers

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era ……

I was disappointed.

My visit on Aug 24, to the Welland Library to ferret out the file of the Tribune’s coverage of the Niagara College sod turning, in 1967, turned out to be anti-climactic.

My memory of that Tribune coverage, was of a big spread, across most of a page, with at least two pictures. After all, Niagara College was a certified, “big deal”. It was a real coup for Welland. For, just a couple years before, St Catharines, the big city down the canal, had become home to a university, and now, little Welland was building a college. I remember going out to the college site that day to take pictures of the ceremony for  the Tribune, it was a hot, dusty spot, bustling with construction work.

Certainly it was long past the actual first sod being turned (ceremonial sod turnings are common) but this one turned out to be somewhat unusual. There, behind the official microphones, was a large billboard trumpeting, “Niagara Colleage of Applied Arts and Technology’s Temporary Building”. Yes that word was spelled “Colleage” …. just a relatively harmless typo, but not for the key sign on the grounds of an institution of higher learning, on a very special day

So, now, in 2015, we decided that my picture of this event would be a fitting way to kick off back-to-school coverage on the blog, I was looking forward to seeing my paper’s 48-year- old coverage of the biggest education event to ever hit Welland. An accurate way of describing my look at the Tribune’s page five of June 8th 1967, the other day, would be “pffftt” or maybe “piffle”.

There it was, all of 1/6th of a page, with one picture, tucked in beside a story of a new sewer line. The picture’s caption did call attention to the sign, stating it, “did not spell the word ‘college’ quite correctly”. Not quite correctly, you say! Talk about being politically correct …. they got it WRONG.

Though the story, written by a Tribune reporter, David Michener, didn’t mention the faux pas, it certainly praised the college board and mentioned how the board praised each other at the preceding luncheon at the Welland Club …. not without reason …. as the school had come from concept, to building going up, in just over six months. Oh, and incidentally, that “temporary” building turned out to have a measure of longevity, serving the Welland campus more than 40 years! It was demolished during the summer of 2011.

– Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957 -1970.

Comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer. You can comment directly on the site.

Editor’s note: Chambers’ Corner appeared on the blog a few years ago as a recurring feature, this submission in August, 2015. It is presented here unchanged. The series has been rebranded as Chambers’ Corner Revisited and is appearing at the request of readers. It will be on the blog Wednesdays.

HERITAGE LIVES: Still Have Those Jingles In Your Head?

Supplied graphic/Terry Hughes

By Terry Hughes

Radio is sometimes referred to as the theatre of the mind where the listener used their imagination to picture the audio coming from the speaker. And it was here where the concept of jingles originated.

During the middle thirties popular radio programs were in the form of soap operas. These programs used soap products as advertisers and thus inherited that title. For example, ”Duz Does Everything.” or “Lux Soap, The Soap Used By Beautiful Women.” These women were of course movie stars.

Soon, the airwaves were carrying a wide range of products with catchy phrases and some with tunes that stayed in the minds of the listener and successfully encouraged them to buy their products. “L.S.M.F.T….. Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco” or “ It’s Fun To Take The Wheel Of Your Brand New Oldsmobile…”

With the age of television the public not only heard the jingle but saw them on the screen. Color T.V. further enhanced the product. “Kelloggs Sugar Corn Pops, Sugar Pops Are Tops.” That commercial was used in the series, “Wild Bill Hickock” starring Guy Madison and his sidekick Andy Devine. Dental hygiene was popularized by “You’ll Wonder Where The Yellow Went, When You Start Using Pepsodent” or “Brusha, Brusha, Brusha , New Ipana Toothpaste” sung by Bucky Beaver.

How about testing your memory on the jingles you may remember growing up in years gone by. Using the accompanying diagram and your memory banks can you match the jingle to the product? There are some distractors to fool you. Enjoy!

          PRODUCT:                                                     JINGLE:

          CHEVROLET                               THINGS GO BETTER WITH….

           AJAX                                                 GOOD AND PLENTY

           PUFFED WHEAT                              HOW ARE YOU FIXED FOR …..

           CAMPBELL SOUPS                         SEE THE USA IN YOUR…

            PLYMOUTH                                     MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE…

            COCA COLA                                      MM GOOD..MM GOOD….

            GILLETTE BLUE BLADES                  FLOATS THE DIRT RIGHT DOWN ….

            PEPSI COLA                                       SHOT FROM GUNS

            CANDY                                                A LITTLE DAB WILL DO YA

Check back here Friday, June 19 for the answers!

Here are the answers as provided by columnist Hughes:

PRODUCT                                                            JINGLE/SLOGAN

CHEVROLET                                               SEE THE U.S.A. IN YOUR….

AJAX                                                           FLOATS THE DIRT RIGHT DOWN …

PUFFED WHEAT                                         SHOT FROM GUNS

CAMPBELL SOUPS                                      MMM GOOD….MMM GOOD….

PLYMOUTH                                                   (DISTRACTOR)

COCA COLA                                                     THINGS GO BETTER WITH….

GILLETTE BLUE BLADES                                HOW ARE YOU FIXED FOR….

PEPSI COLA                                                    MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE

CANDY                                                              GOOD AND PLENTY

Next Column: Growing Up At The Cross Street Pools

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

Chambers’ Corner Revisited

The Welland-Crowland War Memorial as photographed in 1957,18 years after its official unveiling. (Photo by Evening Tribune photographer Bob Chambers)

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era ……

By Bob Chambers

Here’s my print from June 1957. A picture of the memorial was the first picture that I took for The Tribune after I arrived in the big city of Welland, from the hamlet of Sherkston, a few days before my 18th birthday in 1957.

Why the paper wanted a picture of it in the middle of June is now lost to me, but its majesty, impressed me then ….. and still does. And obviously means something special to the blogger of 2015. But, I do remember that Cec Mitchell, the paper’s chief photographer, showed me how to make a great print from the quite ordinary negative I had shot. The important thing that Cec contributed to this picture was darkening the top corners, which added a lot of drama to the otherwise blank white sky of a hazy day. The photographers of the day used the technique often, calling it burning-in or flashing.

I had forgotten that this memorial to the Great War of 1914-1918 was dedicated just one day after what would become an even more horrific conflict, began. It is, still today, a truly wonderful piece of art.

Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957-1970

Comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer/author. You can comment directly on site.

Editor’s note: Chambers’ Corner appeared on the blog a few years ago as a recurring feature, this submission in 2015. It is presented here unchanged. The series has been rebranded as Chambers’ Corner Revisited and is appearing at the request of readers. It will be on the blog Wednesdays.

Clara Hughes, Six-Time Olympic Medalist And Mental Health Advocate, To Address Niagara College’s Class Of 2020

Clara Hughes will deliver the convocation address to Niagara College’s Class of 2020. – Photo credit: Simon Baker

Niagara College is ready to bring on the pomp, despite the circumstance, for its graduating class of 2020.

From June 15 to June 19, the College will celebrate its 5,000 spring graduates with its first-ever virtual convocation ceremonies. The virtual events will incorporate cherished elements of its traditional ceremonies – such as speeches, student awards and name call-outs – while optimizing technology to create an interactive experience for the graduates, who have been unable to return to campus since mid-March due to COVID-19.

The ceremonies will feature special guest speaker Clara Hughes. The six-time Olympic medalist and mental health advocate will address the College’s 2020 graduates by video message during the ceremonies and will receive an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies from the College.

“Convocation is truly the highlight of our academic year, and our innovative College community has gone above and beyond to ensure it will be one to remember for our Class of 2020 and their families,” said Niagara College president Sean Kennedy. “We are excited to announce Clara Hughes as our spring convocation speaker and honorary diploma recipient.

“Clara’s track record of outstanding accomplishment and dedication, both as an athlete and as a mental health advocate, will surely inspire our new graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives during this extraordinary time.”

“I’m so excited to announce that I’m your commencement speaker this year,” said Clara Hughes in a video message addressing Niagara College’s Class of 2020.

While she currently lives in Canmore, Alberta, Hughes noted that as a young cyclist, she had the great gift of racing in the Niagara region while living in Hamilton.

“What a stimulating and naturally beautiful learning environment,” said Hughes. “With the trailblazing programs offered by Niagara College, I can’t imagine a more perfect place setting for academic excellence and personal growth.”

NC’s Virtual Convocation Ceremonies – to be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily throughout convocation week – will be livestreamed from the College’s Welland Campus, while incorporating speeches and well wishes through video feeds and social media. Graduates will have the opportunity to connect with their classmates and professors in real-time through Zoom chats, which will be held alongside the ceremonies.

Participants and well-wishers are encouraged to use the social media hashtag #NCgrad2020. Likes, comments and reactions will be visible from the livestream ceremonies.

Visit the College’s Virtual Convocation site to view the schedule or to access the livestream ceremonies:  niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/.

(Source: Niagara College news release)

10 Pentecost ‘Take-Aways’ That Will Have You Think And Pray

Fr. Mulligan delivers his homily for Pentecost Sunday, May 31, St. Kevin Church. /Screen shot Joe Barkovich

By Rev. Jim Mulligan, CSC

This is the first COVID-19 Pentecost Sunday ever! This Pentecost Eucharist is so different: no joyful welcoming of people in the Foyer before and after Mass / no sprinkling with baptismal water professing our baptismal faith / no wonderful music with the full participation of the Assembly / no frequent references in song to sending forth the Spirit to renew the face of the earth / no procession at Communion to receive the Body and the Blood of the Lord Jesus / and the Alleluias we will sing or say will be ‘sad broken, alleluias’ lacking the energy and joy of past Pentecosts. So this Pentecost Eucharist is different.

But at the same time this COVID-19 Pentecost Eucharist is still very much the same as last year’s Pentecost Eucharist and Pentecosts before. We are at the table of God’s Word and of the Eucharist / we have the intention of every parishioner in our hearts and on the altar / our parishioners have the memory of Eucharist that were so essential to their living /we have the power of the Word of God / we can all identify with that crowd in the Upper Room immersed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and feeling the need to go out and talk about their experience of Jesus / and as community and as persons in the Gospel we encounter Jesus breathing on us the Holy Spirit, giving us his peace and sending us out as the Father sent Jesus.
So as a Pentecost community of the baptized this COVID-19 Sunday, what can we take away with us as we are sent to continue Jesus’ mission? How do we acknowledge the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit in these uncertain times? I have 10 take-aways!

  • The COVID Virus has made it clear that as smart as we are we really are not in control; we can do so many human things that are incredible, but we cannot control nature. We are called to recognize our fundamental dependence on The Lord of History and the Lord of all Creation. God has a lesson in all of this and what we are going through. Come Holy Spirit teach us wisdom. Amen.
  • The COVID Virus makes us radically alter our normal ways of doing things. Looking back 9 weeks we see how much we actually took for granted. And we also see how so often the hand of the Lord was present in our lives “in those normal times” and we failed to notice. Come Holy Spirit make us more aware of your presence and activity in our lives now, even in social distancing and quarantines. Amen.
  • This new COVID era is filled with so much uncertainty, so many decisions to make. And all evidence points to weeks and months and maybe years to come in which we live uncertainty and insecurity. The long haul ahead will be challenging. Come Holy Spirit gift us with holy patience and help us to discern wisely as we make our way into the future. Amen.
  • As a Parish, for the better part of two years now St. Kevin’s has had to live with the Sunday morning presence of William O’Sullivan protesting clergy sex abuse that he experienced here between 1979-82. Horns honk saluting “Sully” for 4-5 hours every Sunday morning. The hurt and pain he has endured is real. We have prayed for him and we continue to pray for him. But there is hurt and pain as well on the part of the Body of Christ that is our St. Kevin’s Community. More than a few of the horn blowing motorists must identify the Catholic Church as filled with evil child-sexual abusers; so many of them must damn who we are as Catholics; so many of them fail to see the goodness and grace here amongst our people and our action on behalf of the Gospel. And so we pray: Come O Blessed Spirit of Understanding enlighten and strengthen Bishop Bergie with the courage and imagination to meet with William O’Sullivan to break the log jam of hardened positions and to work out a new Gospel way forward. Amen.
  • A couple of days ago Pope Francis announced a full Church year dedicated to reflection and action on the Encyclical Laudato Si — Care for Our common Home. In Laudato Si and at other times Pope Francis teaches us how connected we all are, how the earth and what we do with our planet have repercussions for our physical, psychological, social and communitarian life. Laudato Si invites us to see the fragility of our science, technology and intelligence and encourages us to wonder at the beauty of our creation and our interconnectedness. We are experiencing that interconnectedness now with COVID-19. Our earth needs healing; our common home needs renewing. Lord send for your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Amen.
  • In these COVID-19 days the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom, reveals to us what our failures are as a society. Our failures! We have not cared well enough for our seniors, our elders. There have been too many cuts in our spending on health care. The most vulnerable in our communities have been neglected. Too many of our parents and grandparents have died alone with nothing but ‘a sad and broken alleluia’. The alleluia that they may have eternal life … the brokenness in the suffering the deceased and their loved ones have had to endure. O Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of your people with your transforming grace. Change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh to be guided by your always-present movement in our lives. Amen.
  • In these COVID-19 days the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom, reveals to us what is best about ourselves. We have witnessed extraordinary generosity and care for our common good on the part of healthcare workers, first responders and those, day in and day out who provide our essential services. This is humanity at its very best when our fellow citizens often risk their own health and welfare to protect us. O Holy Spirit of Consolation we thank you for the many ways you touch minds and hearts leading persons to deepen and activate their love and care for others. Amen.
  • Nine weeks of social distancing and quarantine can teach us a lot about ourselves. And the teacher is the Holy Spirit. For some of us the solitude is too much. It causes anxiety. It drives one to distraction. For others among us the quiet is graced time — time to dig deeper into one’s inner life and to find time for more qualitative prayer. For those driven to distraction the Holy Spirit is challenging, inviting them to get in touch with their innermost selves. For those who have enjoyed the peace and silence the Spirit of Counsel has been a gift helping each person to know more and more the will of the Father in their lives.
  • And there is hope. This is the 9th take-away. In the Ephesians Reading last Sunday, Saint Paul prays for the community: that they may have a spirit of wisdom and revelation … so that with the eyes of their heart enlightened they may come to know the hope to which they are called. To have that hope is a massive takeaway for this COVID – Pentecost Sunday. We need that daily prayer that the eyes of our heart may always look to and yearn for that hope the Lord Jesus calls us to. Hope gives us the confidence that Jesus did not leave us orphans; hope allows us to experience now the great joy in being able to serve the Lord Jesus as disciples who have been sent; hope gives us the energy and confirms our intention to always move forward into the future, as Church, as the community of believers sent to continue Jesus’ work. Come Holy Spirit giver of all good gifts pour down the grace of hope upon each of us and on your church, the hope that helps us discern more clearly where the Lord Jesus is calling us. Amen.
  • The 10th take-away and perhaps for us in these COVID Days the most important take-away is the Gospel scene for this Pentecost Sunday Mass. Here is the trick — place yourself in the gospel picture. You are with the disciples in the upper room. Feel the group. There is a certain fear and uncertainty. Then suddenly Jesus is there with you: Peace be with you, Jesus says! Now there is movement and excitement in that upper room. You can feel it. There are smiles and exclamations of joy. Jesus then speaks directly to us: As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And then powerfully and dramatically Jesus breathes on us – Receive the Holy Spirit. This is the Word for us — the take-away for us this COVID-19 Pentecost Sunday — Receive the Holy Spirit. We feel Jesus breathing upon us … breathing that gives us strength and confidence. Each of us has been breathed upon receiving the Holy Spirit … the Holy Spirit and her multiple gifts. We are well resourced to make our way through this virus and into the future. In our prayer and meditation we go back to this gospel scene and we let Jesus breathe on us over and over … breathing into our hearts and souls the gift of the Holy Spirit. And we pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and all shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth. Amen.

For those interested, to view the recording of the Pentecost Mass celebration and to listen to the homily, please click on the following link:
https://youtu.be/a1W-EX_gXvk

‘Generosity Has Become A Trend In Niagara Since COVID-19’

Welland welcomes second anonymous grocery donation. /File photo

WELLAND – The community will receive another truckload of groceries from an anonymous donor on Friday, June 12, beginning at 1 p.m. at Welland’s Market Square. This is the second time that Welland has received food support from an anonymous donor. The donation will assist residents with keeping food on the table while Niagara is in a state of emergency.

Volunteers from the City of Welland and Open Arms Mission of Welland will be on-site to help distribute the groceries. Items will be handed out while maintaining physical distancing to ensure safety, and all volunteers will wear personal protective equipment. Organizers are asking that people who have face coverings to wear them when picking up the food. All are welcome to come to Market Square to receive free groceries while quantities last.

Generosity has become a trend in Niagara since COVID-19 and has touched all twelve municipalities. Other anonymous food donations of this quantity have occurred across the region. The food donations come in a time of need, with many families, seniors, and vulnerable people struggling with financial concerns while under Ontario’s state of emergency.

“We’re grateful to accept another generous donation,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “COVID-19 has affected our most vulnerable communities and created hurdles in what we once took for granted before these difficult times.”

WHERE: Welland Market Square, 70 Young Street, Welland

WHEN: 1p.m. to 2p.m. (until quantities last)

WHO: All residents are welcome to the FREE grocery pick-up

For more information on City of Welland’s response to COVID-19, visit welland.ca. For more information on community support and organizations that assist with food security, visit incommunities.ca.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Love Notes

WELLAND  –  Holy Trinity Anglican parish has an applause-worthy outreach in its Feed the Frontline Workers program.

It has been providing pizzas for front-line workers at long-term care homes, retirement homes, paramedic bases and the COVID-19  unit at Niagara Health System’s St. Catharines site.

Rev. Thomas Vaughan, rector at the downtown Welland church, sees it as a good fit for Holy Trinity which he characterizes as “a parish with a huge heart” especially for people in need. Though they are closed now because of the pandemic, Holy Trinity has a food bank, meal program and hygiene pantry. It hosts the annual Christmas Day dinner for people in need.

Especially noteworthy about Feed the Frontline Workers are love notes to recipients of the pizzas. This is to let these front-line workers know how valued and appreciated they are.

The notes carry messages like: We Love You!, Thank You For Your Generosity, and Thank You For Putting Yourself In Harm’s Way,  Vaughan said.

Expressions such as these in times like these cannot be said often enough.