Monthly Archives: June 2022

Read It, Don’t Dump It!

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

My favourite publication from Niagara Region arrived in the mail Monday.

It was the Spring/Summer edition of greenscene, an eye-pleasing compilation of stories, photos, graphics and tips about being/becoming environmentally conscious citizens. I’ve praised it in the past, probably will again too.

Take it from this chronic recidivist, this is a must-read freebee. It helps keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to “green” issues, sorting (I still email my friends at the region asking questions like where does this go, where does that go, etc etc. and they are quick to reply), hazardous waste disposal and more.

Also authoritative is my wife, who knows the rules, regulations and advice by heart, it seems. But it’s so much easier to consult something like Place these items in the Grey Box (see page 5) because it doesn’t include a stern: “You should know this by now!” rebuke from the household waste cop.

I like most of the edition’s content but have one recommendation. It’s about the half-page Moving Transit Forward graphic. “Gas prices got you down?” it asks, “Try Transit for your next trip”. I’d say this should have been moved up front in the eight-page publication. It deserves higher priority and higher profile than being stuck on page 8. Public transit needs and deserves all the promotion it can get!

Make sure you read your greenscene and when you’re done, tuck it away somewhere for future reference, as needed. Don’t just toss it in the grey box when your collection day comes around. What a waste that would be.

Heritage Lives In Pictures: The Building With The Arches On Niagara Street

Business Area Was Dubbed ‘The West Main Village’ By Well Known Wellander

By Terry Hughes

No, we’re not talking about McDonalds but instead a building next door to Bogner’s Photography once known as the Hilder Bldg. The late Joe Krar called this row of buildings and those structures on West Main Street  THE WEST MAIN VILLAGE.  These buildings reflect the style of businesses that were once part of the historic west side of the city over a century ago. 

Close examination of our picture from yesteryear this month shows a portion of dirt road which was eventually covered with brick sometime around 1912. This part of the building shows the first arch, housing a grocery store and a soda fountain. 

What was common for grocery stores was placing some of their fruits and vegetables on a sloping table for potential shoppers to see. The size of this type of shop was relatively small and noted as neighbourhood ventures that were found across the town. They would cater to the customers of that area.but it was very competitive. 

The operation of a soda shop was very specialized because you were limited to selling ice cream in various forms and soda drinks. Coke was just getting started and Pepsi was yet to be marketed. Eventually this type of business would be found in drug stores. 

One other feature of shops of the day was the use of awnings. Not only did they offer shoppers some relief from the weather but were used as a method of advertising. If the weather was too punishing they would simply use a hand crank device and raise them until better conditions prevailed. 

A wide variety of businesses would be found here over the years. I can remember going into this part of the building called Isherwoods where the owner sold model kits of airplanes, ships, etc. It also housed a bike shop. The upstairs apartments served both the shop owner as well as a temporary place to live for some folk. For viewing, some of other businesses are shown on pages 106 and 107 in the CELEBRATING 150 YEARS, the Welland 150th anniversary book. 

Next Heritage Lives in Pictures:  Getting Ready To Bridge The Great Dain.

(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.)

Gadabout Gardener

Odds and ends. Too hot to work outside, so here I am at the ‘drawing board’. / Photos by Joe Barkovich

(Gadabout Gardener is a recurring feature on the blog, with a focus on randomly selected or recommended garden spaces in the city. Do any sights or sites come to mind as photo suggestions? Contact Gadabout Gardener at:

International Honor For Rev. Steph McClellan

A former Pelham-area woman was elected a CANA (Caribbean and North America) representative of the executive group for the World Day of Prayer International Committee.

Rev. Steph McClellan (Canada) was elected with Rev. Ruth V.E. Philips (Barbados) on Friday, June 17.

McClellan is currently board president for the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. A post on its Facebook page said the organization is “blessed and honored” to have McClellan assume the international position in the near future.

187 representatives from 103 countries were participating via Zoom in the opening service for the World Day of Prayer International Committee three-day meeting which was hosted by Scotland. The meetings were held June 16-18.

McClellan is a United Church minister. In e-mail correspondence she writes that all 19 years of her ordained ministry have been served in Newfoundland. She has served in Gander, St. Anthony and Lewisport and her current pastoral charge is in Bloomfield-Musgravetown. She is the daughter of long-time local residents Jerrie and Bob McClellan. 

By Rev. Steph McClellan

Rev. McClellan

I was born in Welland and lived there until my parents moved to St. Catharines before I turned one. I attended Merritton High School until I completed grade ten and then moved out to Ridgeville to board with a friend of the family as I completed grades 11, 12 and achieved my Ontario Academic Credits.

From there I headed to the University of Guelph for my BA (emphasis on Special Populations), Regent College on the UBC campus for my Diploma of Christian Studies. I completed my Master of Divinity at Vancouver School of Theology.

After graduation and ordination, I moved from Vancouver to Gander and I have served all of my ordained ministry on the Rock. 

As a child, I mostly attended church and CGIT (Canadian Girls In Training)  at Elm Street United until I was a teenager and the family had a car so that we could go to my dad’s childhood church where he first met my mom as she sang in the choir. I would say the church that grew me up in faith was that one, our family church, Pelham Centre United.

We (World Day of Prayer International Committee) do most of our work on-line and due to Covid, we were not able to travel to Scotland for the International gathering this year, but there will likely be some travel involved in my five-year term. There are seven regions in the work of World Day of Prayer, I am now a regional representative for Caribbean and North America Region. There is also Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Middle East.

As for Women’s InterChurch Council, presidency itself is a two-year term and mine will be finished this coming October, but there is one year as President Elect and another as Past President.

Our mission at WICC is to restore hope to women and children who have been touched by injustice. 

We address injustices such as food insecurity, human trafficking, abuse and violence against women and children, racism, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Aboriginal  reconciliation to name a few. The help is for across the country and around the world.

We are the Canadian home of World Day of Prayer and we prepare the materials that the writing country sends for use in the Canadian context. With the offerings that are given at each service, we cover the cost of the service resources and fund our grant program that offers small grants (maximum $5,000) to empower grassroots organizations in Canada and around the world that are working toward justice. 

One of the projects that first inspired me to work with WICC was a water project at a school in Africa. 

The girls were allowed to attend school, but only after they had completed the chores like hauling water from a water hole about 12 kms away. Many times when they got there, the water was dirty or even dried up. With our small grant, the school was able to put a water system in the school grounds and safe, clean water was available to all students. Girls were now able to attend classes all day.

The term for the World Day of Prayer International Committee is five years renewable once.  World Day of Prayer is celebrated on the first Friday of March each year.  

Gadabout Gardener

In praise of Selfridges, a yellow hybrid tea. Nothing more to be said./Photos by Joe Barkovich.

(Gadabout Gardener is a recurring feature on the blog, with a focus on randomly selected or recommended garden spaces in the city. Do any sights or sites come to mind as photo suggestions? Contact Gadabout Gardener at:

Amazing Race Canada Host To Address Class Of 2022

Niagara College Spring Convocation to be held in-person and livestreamed June 20-24

Jon Montgomery: The grad speaker will receive an Honorary diploma in Fitness and Health in recognition of his excellence in Canadian adventure sport, and for his dedication to inspiring others to achieve their dreams./Supplied photo

Gold-medal Olympian and host of The Amazing Race Canada Jon Montgomery will address more than 3,600 graduating students from Niagara College’s Class of 2022.

The adventure sport athlete and TV host will be the guest speaker for the College’s upcoming Spring Convocation Ceremonies June 20-24. He will deliver his speech via video at all eight ceremonies before graduates and guests who are attending in-person at the Welland Campus or viewing their ceremony virtually.

“Hello and congratulations to the Niagara College graduating Class of 2022. I’m thrilled to announce that this spring I’ll be addressing the Class of 2022 via video message as part of your convocation ceremonies,” said Montgomery in a message to the graduating students. “Join in the celebrations June 20 to June 24 as we honour your hard work and accomplishments.”

Montgomery will receive an Honorary diploma in Fitness and Health in recognition of his excellence in Canadian adventure sport, and for his dedication to inspiring others to achieve their dreams.

The Class of 2022 – who have all had to adjust to evolving measures and at least some remote delivery during the pandemic, including some students who completed their programs entirely remotely – will be the first to have an opportunity to attend convocation in-person since 2019, after two years of all-virtual convocation ceremonies at the College.

The traditional in-person ceremonies however, will return with a modern makeover. For the first time, the College will incorporate numerous new video and social media elements from its highly successful virtual ceremonies into its in-person events, bridging its graduates and guests in the spirit of celebration across the globe.

“Convocation is the highlight of the academic year and we are thrilled to welcome our Class of 2022 and their supporters to celebrate this special milestone with the return of in-person ceremonies. Spring Convocation will surely be an event to remember for our graduates, whether they cross the stage on campus or join our virtual livestream,” said NC President Sean Kennedy.

“By tapping into the technology and innovation that has kept us connected over the last two years, we’re looking forward to welcoming our inspirational guest speaker Jon Montgomery via video, and we’re making it possible for every graduate and all of their loved ones to participate in convocation no matter where they are – in Niagara, across Canada or around the world.”

Graduates who opt to watch via the virtual livestream will have the opportunity to connect to the in-person ceremony by using the hashtag #NCGrad2022 in their social media posts. Public social media posts using the dedicated convocation hashtag will appear on screen during the in-person ceremony and will be incorporated into the livestream for those celebrating virtually to view.

For full details regarding Spring 2022 Convocation, or to view the ceremony schedule and livestreamed events, visit

Spring Convocation will surely be an event to remember for our graduates, whether they cross the stage on campus or join our virtual livestream.” : NC President Sean Kennedy.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

Attribution: Niagara College media release