Author Archives: fromareportersnotebook

About fromareportersnotebook

Former reporter and city editor at The Tribune, Welland, On. Active in various community groups and initiatives, married with two grown children, interested in roses specifically and gardening in general. A collection of previously-written columns was published in book form in the fall of 2013 and is available by contacting the writer at: fromareportersnotebook@gmail.com. It sells for $20.

Dorothy’s Portrait Lands At Her Airport

By Wayne Campbell

Dorothy Rungeling now looks out on the airfield bearing her name.
A painting by Pelham artist Martha Southwell, finally, found its place in the administration building of the Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport last Saturday, June 22.
Southwell painted the portrait of Rungeling and gave it to the pioneering female pilot in 2014. The pair intended it for a memorial, possibly at the Pelham Public Library.
The portrait stood behind a 104-year-old Rungeling when the airport commission announced a renaming of the Niagara Central Airport. It added “Dorothy Rungeling” in 2015 making it the first Canadian airport named for a woman.
In the 1950s, Rungeling helped to save the “Welland Airport” by promoting its commercial as well as its recreational value. She drew attention to it through her air racing role, her flying school and her promotional writing on aviation.
During the Second World War, the airport was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of its pilot and aircrew program: British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
After the war, the airport’s future fell into doubt. That’s when Rungeling stepped in.
Today, it is run by an airport commission connected to the municipalities of Pelham, Welland, Wainfleet and Port Colborne. For a long-time, it was called the “Welland-Port Colborne Airport.”
Rungeling died at age 106 in 2018. Her portrait was returned to Southwell for safekeeping.
On Saturday, it became part of an airport event celebrating Rungeling’s life-long role in female aviation.
The 43rd Air Race Classic, an airport-hopping race by small planes from the southern United States, ended at Dorothy’s airport. Rungeling flew in similar races in the 1950s. Saturday’s event included the unveiling of a plaque marking the event and her contributions.
Also dedicated Saturday was a large Ninety-Nines compass painted on the airfield to mark a helicopter landing spot. Rungeling was the first Canadian woman to fly a helicopter solo at a Fort Erie helicopter plant.
The Pelham resident was life-long a member of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots. It was formed by Amelia Earhart in 1929 when she sent out invitations to women pilots to join – ninety-nine replied. It is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
In her portrait, Martha Southwell shows Dorothy Rungeling with her aviation medals and the Order of Canada, which she received in 2002 for her achievements in aviation and community service.
Southwell, who has a special interest in aviation art, said she is delighted with Dorothy’s portrait’s position as she overlooks her airport.

(Wayne Campbell is a retired journalist living in Welland who worked on newspapers in southern Ontario and British Columbia.)

HERITAGE LIVES: The Out-of-Doors Was Our Playground

No shortage of  outdoor play spots for yesteryear’s kids in Crowland, Welland.  (Supplied photo)

By Terrry Hughes

When recalling the novel, ”To Kill A Mocking Bird”, one cannot help but see how children of that time amused themselves. True, the time frame was the Depression but kids have always found ways to occupy their time before the advent of television. Like Jeb and Scout, the out-of-doors was the playground and one’s imagination created tree houses and swings on local trees that were used in imaginative ways.
For kids in Crowland, the bush offered opportunities both summer and winter where we could spend the whole day inventing adventures. For some of us it was going to the “broken-down-jail”, an abandoned barn.
Welland kids had the dykes and Merritt Island along the canal for places to explore, ride their bikes or sled down some snow covered slopes.
One activity that we all had was fishing. Lyon’s Creek had some good spots for fishing, along with shooting bullfrogs with BB guns to take home for some tasty frogs legs.
Our photo shows two people probably between 10 and 12 years of age, one of them fishing off a dock and boathouse structure in the Welland River. Like it is today, the river looked calm and muddy due poor land management up river by the farming community.
It also served as our sewage disposal system where all of our waste was dumped.
But no one seemed to be aware of this calamity and it was a great place to hook on a channel catfish.
The location in the photo could have been up river from the canal’s two aqueducts judging by the high banks at the end of Dennistoun Street in the 1920’s.
It would seem that the girl’s interest was probably in the boy, but his focus was trying to catch some fish.

(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.)

Next Column: Dating Old Photographs.

Something New: Music In The Piazza!

WELLAND – Join in at Welland Civic Square for free lunchtime concerts! Enjoy free concerts this summer on Fridays, between 11:30am and 1:30pm. Here’s the schedule:
Friday, June 28: Music Depot 50s Revival (19-Piece Band)
Friday, July 5: Repeatles (Beatles)
Friday, July 12: Be Cuz (Acoustic Folk Duo)
Friday, July 19: Jessica Wilson (Original & Cover)
Friday, July 26: O’Phelans Irish Band (Irish)
Friday, August 9: Rob Repovs (Popular Acoustic)
Friday, August 23: British Invasion Band (Beatles, Rolling Stones etc)

(Source: City of Welland website)

Parishioner, Lensman Has 70th Anniversary In His Sights

By Cec Mitchell

WELLAND – In 1946 Rev. Canon A.H. Davis of Holy Trinity Anglican Church felt time was right to expand the church’s presence in Welland and they began classes at the Little Green Schoolhouse on Thorold Road. Rev. Pat Patterson, assistant curate at Holy Trinity was in charge.
The first church service was held on Dec. 12, 1948 and drew 86 people.
Members of the new congregation decided to form a new church and sent a motion to the bishop to recognize the group as St. David’s Anglican Church. This name was chosen to reflect the Welsh background of a number of the parishioners.
The new parish received permission from Bishop Broughall on June 1, 1949. On June 24 of that year sod was turned for the new church. When the basement was completed services began in what was called “The Basement Church.” On April 27, 1952 the cornerstone for the church proper was laid.
The parish continues to grow and in 1964 an addition was added to the west end including meeting rooms and offices.
To make the church more accessible in 1990 the Ben Martin Memorial access was added including a new entrance from the parking lot and addition of an elevator. At the same time upgrades were made to the building.
A number of events have or are planned to mark the anniversary. In March, Bishop Susan Bell visited the church for service and a luncheon following. In June a sold out trivia night was held and an anniversary banquet is planned for Oct. 26, 2019.
During the seventy years we have had seven clergy and six deacons serve the parish. The present rector is Rev. Terry Holub and Rev. Richard Middleton deacon.
The parish continues to play an active role in the community.

(Cec Mitchell is a long-time member of St. David’s, 369 Thorold Road, and a former church warden. He is well known in Welland and area as a photographer at The Tribune, now retired)

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.

June
25
Special Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole ≫
5:25 PM Tuesday Jun. 25 2019 –
A trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial that belongs to the municipality or local board and has monetary value or potential monetary value.
– Tax Incentive Grant.

Under the Business Corporations Act – Welland Hydro-Electric Holding Corporation.
– Welland Hydro-Electric Holdings Corporation Annual General Meeting – Election and Confirmation of Directors, and Directors Remuneration.

Council Chambers

25
General Committee Meeting in Open Session ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Jun. 25 2019 –
Council Chambers

(Source: City of Welland website)

Canada’s First Cannabis Grads Make History At Niagara College Spring Convocation

These proud NC graduates have become the first in Canada to earn a postsecondary credential Commercial Cannabis Production on June 20. (Niagara College photos)

Cue the pomp and circumstance: Canada just gained its first cannabis graduates.
On June 20, the first cohort of 23 students from the NC’s trailblazing Commercial Cannabis Production graduate certificate program were among 600 graduates to cross the stage on day four of NC’s 2019 Spring Convocation ceremonies. The first of its kind in Canada, the program was launched in the fall of 2018 to meet a significant demand for qualified, professional workers in Canada’s pioneering cannabis industry.
“This is a historic moment for our College and for postsecondary education in our country. We are proud to celebrate the first graduates in Canada to earn a postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “This is a testament to how our pre-emptive College responds to industry needs and trends, and these highly skilled graduates will help to drive the growth of this important industry sector.”
“It feels amazing to be in the first ever graduating class,” said new Commercial Cannabis Production graduate Rob Clements, who will be working as a grow lead at London-based licensed producer Indiva. “I get to go out into the workforce with a credential that only 23 people have.”

Carolyne Watts, plant manager, General Motors St. Catharines, receives an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies from NC president Dan Patterson at a morning convocation ceremony on June 20

The cannabis graduates were among 300 new graduates from NC’s School of Environment and Horticultural Studies, as well as the School of Technology Studies, celebrated at the morning ceremony. Guest speaker Carolyne Watts, plant manager of General Motors in St. Catharines and a member of the Niagara College Board of Governors, was presented with an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies and delivered the convocation address.
Watts told the new grads that it was an exciting time to begin their careers, with much opportunity for growth and innovation.
“You are truly fortunate to be entering the workforce at a time when technology can help you break traditional moulds and carve out entirely new futures,” she said. “You have the opportunity to invent and develop things that haven’t even been dreamt of yet. So, use the creative innovation skills you’ve learned here to expand and improve your job, your business, your community and the world.”
Watts encouraged graduates to challenge themselves and to move beyond their comfort zones, which was the driving motivation through her own career in the manufacturing and automotive industry as she took on roles not traditionally held by women.
“Never stop challenging yourself to achieve your version of your life goal,” she told the Class of 2019.

CBC News Ontario Provincial Affairs reporter Mike Crawley addressed new graduates from NC’s School of Media Studies and School of Trades at an afternoon ceremony on June 20.

At the afternoon ceremony, Mike Crawley, Ontario provincial affairs reporter for CBC News, received an Honorary Diploma in Journalism, and addressed more than 300 new graduates from the School of Media Studies and School of Trades. Crawley spoke of how he has adapted to dramatic shifts in technology as well as increasing demands on reporters during his 30-year career as a journalist, and emphasized the importance of embracing change in today’s modern workplace.
“Whether you are graduating today with a diploma in computer programming or carpentry, game development or graphic design, or even journalism or broadcasting, technology will change your field; be ready for it,” he said. “Except in one particular way, and that is having pride in the fundamentals of a job well done. That is the one thing that will not change in your career.”
Crawley also acknowledged the diversity of the graduating class of 2019, noting that Thursday’s ceremony included graduates from 16 countries, and that students from more than 90 countries will graduate over the course of the week.
“That’s nearly half the world represented at this one college,” he said. “That brings a profound richness of backgrounds and cultures to the educational experience here. And that enriches the learning that you will take away from Niagara College. Wherever you go to work.”
More than 5,100 students from more than 90 countries will graduate from NC this spring, making the College’s Class of 2019 its largest to date.
Spring Convocation Ceremonies will conclude on June 21 with another historic milestone for the College as it celebrates Canada’s first graduates in Artisan Distilling at the morning ceremony, among 489 graduates from the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport. Guest speaker Kelly L. Brown, senior vice-president, Legal and Corporate Affairs for Arterra Wines Canada, will receive an Honorary Graduate Certificate in Wine Business Management at the ceremony.

(Source: Niagara College news release)