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How the Sullivan Park Association started

The Sullivan Park Association was a group of caring and concerned neighbours who used to "send in the clowns"
Photo from the 1958 Sullivan Park Association fishing trip. Bottom portion shows George Langdon, Wally Warner and Babe Purcer. File Photo

The Sullivan Park Association was a group of caring and concerned neighbours—parents of many children who lived and played in the Sullivan Park area—who formed an “Association” to oversee and maintain and clean the wading pool for the enjoyment of all the children who came to use it.

Then one day, they decided that for the safety of all concerned, they should celebrate Victoria Day in a safe, supervised way and hold a communal fireworks night in the ball park. By canvassing the neighbourhood for donations to this worthy cause, it simply grew and grew into a colossal demonstration.

At first, the Association’s meetings were hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Al White, who lived right across the street from the playground. Then, in 1962, they came into possession of the temporary Bank of Montreal building at the Pine Plaza, which they later moved to the southwest corner of Sullivan Park.

Some of the original members were: Jack Brown, Bill Fitzpatrick, Jack Smith, Al White, George Langdon, Babe Purcer, Frank Grecco, Nifty Yakowenko, Giambi Zuliani, Bill Plumb, Jack Farnsworth, John Virag Sr., Deke Penacalli, Jack Lynch, Jake Jacoby, Cliff McCumber, Harry Lawson, Earl Rogers.

In later years, members of the Association donned clown costumes, and went door-to-door in Thorold, handing out bags of candy to children. Many Thoroldites have fond memories of waiting for the clowns to come and bring them treats.