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Year in review: Part 14

Looking back at November 2018.

Inaugural Council meeting

Family, friends and Thorold citizens filled Amici’s Banquet Centre Tuesday night, as the newly-elected city council was officially sworn in during a special ceremony.

Ushered in by Pipe Major Taylor Miller of the Thorold Pipe Band, Town Crier Tony Vandermaas and a Colour Guard by the #128 Thorold Flying Dragons Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron, the eight members of Council were blessed by Bishop John O’Mara and serenaded by the Young at Heart Seniors Choir of Thorold, before being administered the oath of office by city clerk Donna Delvecchio.

Emcee Tim Geddes remarked that “Local politics is our best chance to make a difference in your community. Don’t be afraid” to call them at 1 a.m., he urged the crowd. “They’re here to help you.”

Fred Neale, who’s served as city councillor since 1985, officially recognized the service of retiring Mayor Ted Luciani, Regional councillor Henry D’Angela, and city councillors Sergio Paone, Shawn Wilson, Michael Charron, and Tim Whalen, the latter who’s now a regional councillor.

Neale commended D’Angela—who was absent from the ceremony—for assisting Thorold in acquiring funding for the Port Robinson ferry and for “being involved in many initiatives at the Region” that impacted Thorold in a positive way.

During his term as mayor, Luciani realized “tremendous growth” in the city, led the charge for transforming the Thorold Seniors Centre, and supported Heritage Thorold in procuring the Prince of Wales award for Heritage, said Neale. In addition, Luciani “served on the Region’s public works committee, and was an advocate of Thorold.”

After thanking Thoroldites for their support over the past 18 years and wishing the new council luck, Luciani told them, “It’s not going to be an easy term,” before handing the keys to the city to new Mayor Terry Ugulini.

Neale said that Paone “played a major part in stopping” the closure of Thorold Secondary School, as well as applying his knowledge as a science professor at Brock University to halt a biosolids plant from “setting up in Thorold.”

Paone thanked “the people of Thorold, who gave me the opportunity to serve for eight years, and staff.”

“I wish the new council all the best, and I really do think we have a very good council,” he added. “I look forward to volunteering on some committees with you.”

Neale recalled how he “watched Shawn Wilson grow up, because he hung around my son,” and said, “Our community is better because he served. This last term has been hard because of your illness.”

Wilson thanked supporters during his past 12 years as a councillor.

“The last few have been a real challenge, but with the support of my wife, Victoria, and council, I have managed to finish the term,” he said.

Charron, who was not present, will always be remembered for spearheading the annual Terry Fox Run at Thorold Secondary School, and for “the leadership he brought to council,” Neale stated. “We are going to miss Mike. His love of Thorold comes through in all he has done.”

Recalling Whalen’s past involvement with groups like the downtown BIA, the Santa Claus Parade, and the Runway of Recognition, “Council and the community have been blessed” by his years as a councillor, said Neale. “But we won’t miss you too much because at least once a month you’ll be coming to Thorold council to keep us up to date on regional issues.”

“I look forward to working with all of you on the regional level,” said Whalen.

Geddes acknowledged the former Thorold mayors in the audience, including Robin Brock, Mal Woodhouse, Don McMillan, and Tim Kenny. Paul Longo attended on behalf of his father, the late Mayor William Longo.

Terry Ugulini addressed his constituents in his first speech as Mayor of Thorold.


New Cracker Jacks owners deliver new look, new menu

Restaurant geared more toward families

First, a major makeover.

Next, a brand new menu.

Cracker Jacks’ new owners have spent thousands of dollars in renovations since they took over the Keefer Street restaurant in mid-September, said general manager Michael Zappitelli.

Fern Colavecchia and Tony Visca are also the owners of Johnny Rocco’s Italian Grill—both the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls locations—as well as Mick and Angelo’s on Lundy’s Lane, added Zappitelli.

And they started with a clean slate.

“Everything got gutted,” said the manager; “washrooms, kitchen equipment, full new bar fridges and draft lines.”

Their menu changes are expected to appear at the Confederation Heights eatery very soon, he told ThoroldNews.

“We haven’t launched our new menu yet but will do it next week. We will stay true to Cracker Jacks’ but gear it more towards burgers, poutines and wings. We are implementing a lot of new entrees,” such as New York strip steaks, he stated, which customers have been requesting.

“There will be more quality in the food, and it will look more appealing.”

Equipped with a staff of about 25, they’re hoping to make it more of a family establishment, according to Zapitelli, with “all the right systems in place for functionality and organization,” to offer various convenient dining options.

“We want to be more of a restaurant. There are a lot of families in this neighbourhood and we wanted to give Thorold families a place to eat that didn’t have lots of students drinking. We are doing take-outs, catering menus for parties, and Skip the Dishes (delivery) for students, like at all the other locations.”

Despite all the improvements, customers shouldn’t expect to see any major price hikes, said Zapitelli; “Maybe 10 or 20 cents more” per meal. “The menu hasn’t changed in eight years and neither have the prices.”

He hopes to complement the current Saturday night karaoke offering with a mix of live acoustic music. In addition, the Cracker Jacks weekly music trivia contest has become popular each Wednesday night.

“You pick a team name, and guess what song it is and what year it’s from,” he explained, adding that music-lovers from all age groups attend the free competition.

For the winners, “We have lots of prizes from our Molson’s reps.”

Cracker Jacks is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.


Maria Kenny Army still marching

A mountain of food and much merrier Christmas awaits 70 local families who are down on their luck, thanks to the late Maria Kenny.

After her death in 2014, her four children—Tim, John, Rhonda and Mike—picked up the torch and carried on the tradition started years ago by the beloved Thorold school teacher.

In memory of their mother—whose birthday falls within Christmas week—the four Kenny siblings and their families celebrate the occasion by donating enough food to ensure that no Thorold family has to face the bleak prospect of being hungry during the holidays.

As early as October, the Kenny clan scours stores for sales, purchasing and stockpiling non-perishable goods to feed 70 families who have registered for help at Community Care.

Closer to Christmas, the siblings add fresh produce to the bounty.

Hank Andrulis is a friend of the Kenny family and member of St. Vincent de Paul, and has contributed immensely toward this year’s cause, stated Rhonda.

“One hundred per cent of all money donated goes to food,” added John, “and if anybody would like to donate next year, get in touch with a family member.”

After collecting donations from family and friends and completing the shopping, the Kennys load up all their vehicles and haul the food to Holy Rosary Church Hall, where it’s separated and packaged into identical boxes for families.

Albert Ciamarra, a volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Knights of Columbus organizations—both of which have headquarters at Holy Rosary Church Hall, refers to the group as the “Maria Kenny army.”

“Seventy people get a cash voucher from Community Care for a turkey,” said Ciamarra, adding that the Catholic Women’s League will see to it that every family with children receives toys.

This Saturday morning, each registered family will leave the hall with a hefty box containing hearty breakfast foods like instant oatmeal, pancake mix, juice, syrup, jars of peanut butter and jam, as well as pasta, tomato sauce, canned vegetables and beans, stuffing mix, soups, tuna, crackers, paper products and treats—potato chips and cookies.

In addition, they’ll receive a box of Clementine oranges, along with bags of apples, carrots, and potatoes, courtesy of the Kennys.

According to Ciamarra, who volunteers year-round to assist the poverty-stricken at the church hall, for those who don’t come in cars, their loads will be so large, “We might have to give them a ride home.”


Everything you always wanted to know about essential oils

Have you ever wondered, exactly what are essential oils?

What are they used for, and are there health benefits?

Now is your chance to find out.

Port Robinson Proud is hosting a free information session at the Port Robinson Community Centre on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

The educational event will be hosted by Stacey Tallman, a wellness advocate with DōTERRA brand essential oils.

“I have personally been using essential oils for 2.5 years,” she told the Thorold News. “I will be there to teach, what are essential oils? How do they work? How they can help you? I mean, who doesn’t want a better sleep, more energy, arthritis relief … The list goes on. There will be opportunities to sample oils as well.”

The Community Centre is located at 40 Cross Street in Port Robinson.


Find your inner artist at Pho 18

Paint brushes flew in all directions Friday, as diners complemented their meal at Pho 18 Restaurant with some splashes of colour on canvases.

Assisted by artist Jessica Pineda of Paint Nite, Thorold’s Asian Fusion eatery has been hosting the art events monthly for the past few months, and owner Jenny Thai said another one is coming up in January.

“You don’t have to be a professional,” she added.

In fact, most people who attend the popular paint events—which are designed to help unleash people’s inner artist in restaurants and bars across the globe—have never painted before, according to Pineda.

“Everyone is an artist,” she said. “They just don’t realize it. It’s about expressing ourselves and tapping into that talent. There’s healing in art. For the next two hours, whatever stresses they are experiencing, they will forget about it. They will lose themselves in it.” Rather than an art lesson, “It’s more like a painting party,” she explained.

With the help of humour, music and special lighting, she removes the potential for intimidation by guiding aspiring artists step-by-step in a friendly, casual format, beginning the session by asking participants to repeat the mantra: “I promise to relax and have fun, not to judge my painting or the painting of others. I will not say ‘My painting sucks.’ I promise not to throw my canvas across the room. I will not drink from the dirty paint water.”

Pineda told ThoroldNews, “I’m originally from Toronto and started doing it there. It originated in Boston and has expanded worldwide,” from the U.K. to the U.S. to Argentina.

“I have the license to operate here in the Niagara region. We do it throughout the Niagara region at local restaurants, bars and wineries. Originally, it was for adults only, but we’ve expanded to doing family events for adults with children six years and older.”

In addition to painting on canvas, “We’ve done painting on wine glasses,” said Pineda. Other types of artistic parties include opportunities for participants to create their own terrariums, as well as candles.

Pineda also accesses the healing factor of art to help men who are recovering from addiction at Wayside House in St. Catharines.

“Every two months, I offer them a therapeutic event” free of charge, she explained. “Usually, the guys are not as excited about it as women, but these guys get so excited about it. They feel like it’s a sense of accomplishment when they paint it. They demonstrate to themselves that they can do anything they put their minds to.”

Pho 18 Restaurant is located at the corner of Clairmont and Ormond Street in Thorold.

For more information, visit Pho 18 or Paint Nite Niagara on Facebook, or


Kids Christmas party in Port Robinson

Clutching stuffed animals, kids came clad in their PJs, and watched, wide-eyed, as eight animated volunteer puppeteers from Heartland Forest told the story of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Children joined the puppets and sang along to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other festive tunes at the Port Robinson Community Centre last Thursday night.

A craft station and table filled with ornaments lay waiting. Each child was asked by the board’s volunteer and organizer Marty Wilson to make their own link for a paper chain to decorate the Christmas tree.

Wilson thanked the parents for all their continued support at various events held throughout the year, which helped fund the Easter Egg Hunt and children’s Christmas party, as well as ongoing renovations inside the community centre hall.

While the event was free, a jar was placed to accept donations for Heartland Forest.

“They have written and produced this just for us,” said Wilson, acknowledging nods in the puppets’ story to Port Robinson landmarks and businesses like the ferry, J. C. Auto, Bridge 12 Pub, and the Port Robinson Fire Department.

“All the children of Port Robinson are on my ‘Nice’ list,” said the Santa puppet.

This was followed by the real thing, as Santa Claus made an appearance, and tree-decorating commenced, accompanied by treats.


Sin, sex & the CIA

Wanted: one super-clutzy CIA agent, one tough guy drill sergeant, one fire and brimstone preacher, and one near-nymphomaniac.

Thorold Community Theatre is holding auditions for their Spring 2019 show –Sin, Sex & the CIA— next week, and Director Rob Goslin invites all aspiring actors to come join the fun.

TCT’s recent fall production of Nana’s Naughty Knickers was highly successful, selling out at some performances, and the spring show promises to be equally enjoyable, said Goslin.

According to the long-time TCT member and former president, who’s directing for the third time in this show, the roles are “Open to anyone who wants to come out. Either a long-term veteran or somebody who just wants to get involved is welcome to come and read.”

Auditions take place on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7p.m. at Trinity United Church, 15 Pine Street South in Thorold.

This particular show will be “Very physical and outgoing, with knock-down pratfalls and physical altercations, and up-close and personal comedy,” said Goslin. “It’s a very frank, fast-paced show with lots going on. My philosophy is, once you get the audience laughing, keep hitting them till they’re crying with laughter.”

All roles are currently up for grabs, including three male and four female parts, plus one female pretending to be a male.

Goslin describes the play’s main character, Luke James, as “dense. It’s his first assignment as a CIA agent and a lot of things happen to him. This is somebody who’s going to suffer a lot of abuse.”

The abuse takes the form of getting caught in his own booby traps, electrocuting himself, setting himself on fire, getting a bucket stuck on his head, and locking himself in his own handcuffs.

“Daniel Warren is the quintessential ex-marine drill sergeant type of guy, who can put you on the floor with two fingers.”

Warren has a dry wit, and little patience for Luke James or the C.I.A., which he calls the “Complete Idiots Academy.”

To complicate matters, he finds himself the target of (Secretary of state) Margaret Johnson’s overactive libido. “She primarily runs on hormones,” explained Goslin.

He describes Millicent as “sexually repressed, but like the schoolmarm in the old westerns, who may not be as dowdy as we thought.”

The Reverend Samuel Abernathy is a hell and damnation evangelist, who finds sin around every corner, and according to Goslin, “He’s full of fire and brimstone; completely shallow. It’s all show.”

Heather Ann Faraday is “confident and capable,” the sexy, mysterious next-door neighbor to the cabin where all the chaos ensues.

A smaller, challenging role is required to be filled for Ranger Don, who appears in the second act.

“It’s not a huge part. It’s a woman masquerading as a man in the play. She needs to pull off being a male park ranger in disguise.”

“We still encourage people who don’t get parts to come and be involved” behind the scenes, said Goslin, whether helping with scenery or other aspects of production.

“Our top priority at TCT is to have fun, because we are all volunteers.”

Written by Michael & Susan Parker, the play’s scheduled performance dates are March 29, 30 and 31, and April 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13, 2019.

For more information, visit www.thoroldcommunitytheatre or call 905-682-8779.


Burning away the fear


In honour of the winter solstice, a small group of women inscribed their darkest fears and demons on a piece of paper before shredding and tossing it into a consecrated burning bowl Thursday evening.


The ancient ritual of burning away fear and stress—held at the Yoga Centre of Niagara on Dec. 20—was designed to prepare participants for the upcoming winter, cleansing negative emotions to clear a path for more positive ones to enter.

According to yoga instructor Cheryl Gordon, “We all have all kinds of demons who haunt us. There are times when we all say, ‘That’s it; I’ve had enough’.”

Gordon said the burning ritual provided “the opportunity to let go of whatever gives us fear and keeps us in bondage, that which is holding us back from our true potential,” and led a chant, “If it doesn’t serve us, burn it all away.”

Following the burning ritual, she said, “A space was created to infuse their bodies and breath with positive energy. Out of the ashes of the old burned energy, new energy has arisen.”

“In yoga philosophy, we believe that every person has a spiritual path, called ‘dharma’.”

To realize our full potential, we need to summon our courage and follow that path, she said, rather than “weakly shrink away from it.”

She also explored the spiritual roots of sun salutations while leading the group through various yoga poses, ending with a pose known as “hibernation,” to invoke relaxation.

“We are looking to create more contemplative rest; to go deep into the earth and rest and hibernate.”

The evening’s exercises were intended to assist participants in feeling lighter; physically, mentally and emotionally rejuvenated and energized for the holidays and winter season.

Additional self-care sessions will be held at the Front Street yoga centre within the next month, including a Knotty to Nice event on Saturday, Dec 29, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., featuring 90 minutes of self-massage and soothing live harp music, free with either a cash donation for people in need, or a donation of personal care items. Participants are asked to pre-register.

A Soul Vision Board Workshop will take place on Sunday, Dec. 30, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and will help participants set their unique personal Intention and vision for 2019, as well as a clearing session, for saying goodbye to 2018.

Gordon will lead six sessions of Yoga Sculpt on Thursdays from Jan. 10, to Feb. 14, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. at a cost of $110.


More information is available at


Holiday free skating

Pack on a few pounds during the holidays?

You can lose them with a few laps around the renovated Frank Doherty Arena.

Five free family skate sessions are offered this week at the Thorold Community Arena, located at 70 Front Street North:

  • Thursday, Dec. 7 from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., sponsored by Tim Horton’s
  • Friday, Dec. 28 from 10:30 to noon, sponsored by the City of Thorold
  • Saturday, Dec. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m., sponsored by Tim Horton’s
  • Monday, Dec. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., sponsored by Tim Horton’s
  • Thursday, Jan. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, sponsored by the City of Thorold.


Business leaders celebrate the season

In the spirit of the season, Thorold business leaders met at Bezo’s Restaurant Thursday night, to reflect on 2018 and share success strategies for 2019.

Sue Morin of Venture Niagara invited business owners to take advantage of their business loan program, and to contact her with suggestions for improving Thorold’s business community as a whole.

“We saved the Port Robinson ferry,” she said, citing additional “Changes for the positive” which included landscaping and trimming overgrown trees surrounding the tourism centre at Lock 7.

“Now we can see the Canal.”

The event was co-hosted by Venture Niagara and the Niagara Centre Board of Trade (NCBOTAC).

“Tonight is our fourth annual tourism Christmas social to recognize how important our partners are to business and to encourage fellowship for years to come” said Morin; “not just for tonight. We’re a team. We’re a family, so let’s work together.”

One of her challenges, she added, is “How do we send people from the Lock 7 Information Centre into (downtown) Thorold? You are part of the solution, so we will look into that in 2019. We want to work with you and we will concentrate on heritage tourism. I look forward to working with the new Council.”

Speaking on behalf of NCBOTAC, John D’Amico stated, “We are now part of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. In 2019, we hope to have even more functions.”

City councillor Fred Neale said that the newly elected council will spearhead significant streetscaping downtown over the next two-year period.

“There’s going to be big changes. The streets are going to be dug up and there’s going to be new things happening, so be part of it” Neale urged business owners. “We need partnerships for growing Thorold.”


Sixties and seventies songs winter Blah-Buster

What better winter blah-buster could you ask for than being transported back in time to the 60s and 70s, when bell-bottoms were ridiculously wide and music was like, wild and groovy?

Set amidst a carnival backdrop, The Show Must Go On returns to Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre, starting this Friday. This popular high-energy rock musical features nostalgic favourites from such beloved bands as the Temptations, Led Zeppelin, and the super-smooth Smokey Robinson.

Writer/director Lee Siegel, who also designed the sets, chose a carnival theme to mirror that action-packed flower power era.

“The 60s and 70s were a tumultuous time,” said Siegel, “filled with ups and downs, scares, laughs, and packed with nostalgia. When you think of a carnival, it too is filled with ups, downs, scares, laughs and nostalgia. The setting just fit.”

While depicting a darkish love story set during war time, The Show Must Go On is jam-packed with nearly 70 songs that defined those unforgettable decades, when race riots were rampant and peace-loving hippies marched against the controversial Vietnam War.

Some—such as War—were obvious songs of protest, while others—like the Beatles’ tender ballad, If I Fell in Love With You, Marvin Gaye’s sultry Let’s Get It On, and the Turtles’ classic Happy Together—were simple, heartfelt love songs, which have withstood the test of time.

From brilliant lyrical tunes penned by Simon and Garfunkel to the hallucinatory Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix, there’s something for every type of music fan at this show.

Ann-Marie Zammit, who plays the sexy ringleader and winds up in a shocking love triangle, has a “rock voice” that’s powerful enough to do justice to both blues and rock anthems, sung by legends Janis Joplin and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane.

The show’s choreography runs the gamut from go-go dancing to tricky dances with mirrors, along with trademark clever Oh Canada Eh? musical mash-ups.

As always, you can count on the comfort food family-style feast in the warm and welcoming log cabin, located at 8585 Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls.

The Show Must Go On runs from Dec. 28 through Jan. 26, 2019.

Call 1-800-467-2071 for tickets or order online at


Thorold native releases debut novel

Root for the underdog in Sunrise at Dusk

Suspenseful and riveting, Sunrise at Dusk is Thorold native Alain Fournier’s debut novel. The retired aerospace worker skilfully wove a story that keeps readers rooting for 17-year old Jesse Decruz. Set in the notorious government projects of Toronto’s Regent Park during the mid-1980s, Jesse rises from victim to hero, subjected to an abusive alcoholic father and surrounded by rampant crime, violence, and drugs in his school and neighbourhood.

An original hero in this inspirational story, Jesse becomes the single ray of light in a gaping abyss of hopelessness and despair. Bolstered by the unconditional love of his mother, his loyal friends, and a unique gift he possesses, Jesse commits to changing the world around him for the better, by forging an unlikely alliance with an ambitious school principal and his own abusive father. Sunrise at Dusk is a gripping good-versus-evil portrayal of how the sun can still rise even as darkness falls.

The idea for Fournier’s first novel “was born out of every underdog and comeback story I’ve ever read or watched on TV or in movies,” he told the Thorold News. “I’ve always wanted to create my own version of this tale in order to develop a vulnerable character, stack the deck against them, put them through hell, then conclude the story in a way that leaves the reader satisfied.”

“I picked the 1980s because that was a great decade, a place in time I felt strongly connected. I picked Toronto’s Regent Park because I wanted a Canadian setting and it was arguably the most challenged area to live in at that time. I first became intrigued with Regent Park after my daughter Lauren finished her teacher’s training placement term there where she shared her experiences and the challenges children faced growing up in that region.”

“The title of the book is a metaphor, not only for the main character and story, but also the area, Regent Park, which has experienced a revitalization of sorts over the past several years. Tom McDonald and Carmen Derose were my best friends growing up in Thorold and both still live there. I did steal their nicknames ‘Goz’ and ‘Minoo’ for characters in the book but the parallels pretty much end there, although Goz was a tough guy and Minoo was a smooth talker.”

Fournier was raised on Battle Street, and his family was good friends with the Derose family, whose Pine Street home backed onto the Fournier property. Both fathers worked at the Abitibi Paper Mill, and Alain and Carmen became fast friends at age five.

“Carmen’s mother was an outstanding cook. As a typical Italian mother, she felt compelled to feed me every time I entered their home. I was a skinny kid and she likely believed I was not being properly fed at home. I could never leave their house until I agreed to eat something. I was the token ‘mangiacake’ Frenchman in a predominantly Italian town back then.”

Fournier recalled how Carmen’s father “would crush the grapes he grew and bottle his own wine in the garage, then store the bottles in their basement. Needless to say, Carmen and I would spend a lot of time in his basement during the winter months playing hockey and sampling some of his father’s finest from time to time.”

“Growing up in our area of Thorold, it was not Disneyland for sure,” Fournier noted, but he and his friends made their own fun, rummaging through “huge bundles of recycled magazines, comic books, hockey cards” that were dumped at the Domtar recycling plant near our homes. The plant was off limits to the general public, of course, but that didn’t stop us. We would sneak through the outer perimeter fence of the plant and scout out the warehouse filled with these paper bundles, waited till the workers vacated the area for lunch, then quickly made our move, pulling out huge stashes of every conceivable comic book and magazine (Archies, Superman, Sports Illustrated…) we could get our hands on, including entire eight-foot uncut rolls of hockey trading cards, which were like gold back then.”

“We’d swim in the old Welland Canal and used the 30-foot bridge at a place called the ‘Doom’ as a diving board to jump into the water. Completely unsafe by today’s standards, but for us, and many other friends, was quite normal back then, we survived nonetheless.”

“Carmen and I went through school and played soccer together into our late teens. Soccer consumed all our time throughout the summer months while street hockey occupied us in the winter; typical life growing up in Thorold.

After high school, he and I travelled to Bowling Green University in Ohio with the goal of securing a soccer scholarship with the university there. Although we fell short of our goal, it was quite an adventure, as we had to hitchhike from London, Ontario back to Thorold when our transportation plans fell through.”

Derose went to South Carolina on a soccer scholarship with Clemson University, while Fournier completed a business and economics degree and played varsity soccer at Wilfrid Laurier University. Fournier spent summers at his parents’ Thorold home, working at the Fraser Inc. paper mill with his father to earn tuition. Fournier held various management positions with numerous aerospace manufacturers, including Boeing for 20 years, and ended his career as the Director of Supply Management with Air Canada Jazz before retiring in 2017.

He and his wife Marianne settled in Brampton and raised two daughters – Lauren, now 30, and Michelle, age 28—and plan to move back to Niagara next year.

Sunrise at Dusk is available on FriesenPress, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes and Kobo Bookstores, Google Play, and other book websites. It can be purchased in hard cover, paperback, and E-book formats. In January, it will be available in select stores in Toronto and the GTA. Readers can access the book now through his website or directly through his publisher’s page using either link below:


Santa appears at St. Andrews

Children shared their secrets with Santa Claus last Saturday at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

About 80 early risers of all ages filled up on pancakes and sausage, provided for free by the Thorold Lions Club.

Jeremy Schnurr crossed the border from the North Tonawanda Lions Club, and Bob Starr came from the Tonawanda Lions, both to assist the Thorold Lions club.

“They have a small club,” said Starr, “so we brought a few people up to come and help.”

It was a “blind date for both clubs;” according to Thorold Lion Sharon Major, since none of the members had met before. Hopefully, she said, the inter-club collaboration will continue, since it “leads to sharing ideas and mentoring, and helping to have a positive future together.”

During the month of December, the Lions will collect hats, mittens, scarves and socks for Community Care at St. Andrews Church, at the corner of Clairmont and Ormond Streets.

In another joint community effort, they will get together and cook a dinner at Trinity United Church to distribute at the Pine Street Plaza, to the people who come for aid from the Salvation Army food truck.


Village Church spreads old-fashioned Christmas cheer

Christmas carollers went door-to-door in downtown Thorold Saturday, spreading Christmas cheer from the Village Church.

Church member Joel Galenkamp and his friend Isaac Allison led the mobile group in singing, accompanied by their guitars.

Galenkamp “is part of our worship team and is the team leader,” said Bill van der Klippe, of Village Church.

“Pastor Mark Devos wanted to have a group for men and they hang out and have a Bible study, and thought today we would put together a little appreciation for the businesses in Thorold and show a little Christmas spirit. There are other values in life besides buying fancy cars and clothing,” added van der Klippe. “We have to think of our fellow man.”

The Village Church is located above Front Row Sports, he explained, “and wanted to have a ministry in the downtown.”

In addition to singing carols, parishioners gave each business owner a colourful plant for Christmas, donated by Rob DeBolster, whose family owns Haanemeyer Greenhouses.

Nick Dell’omo, owner of Biscotti Café, kept his Front Street coffee shop open for the carollers and provided free hot chocolate for the musical afternoon.


Remember this?

Keefers’ considerable influence on Canada

Thorold Township and Town, 1786-1932

Published by John H. Thompson

In 1866, the Fenian raids created considerable anxiety in this district. When news of the threatened invasion was brought, many persons living near the border left their farms and took as many possessions as they could, in wagons, to Pelham and the western townships. The raid was a very mild invasion, but the fright produced by it was greatly augmented by the wild rumours that were afloat.

A comparison of the census of 1871 with that of 1881 shows that the population of Thorold township, not including the town of Thorold, had decreased from 2,501 to 2,456 between these dates.

Encouraged by the discovery of natural gas in the southern part of the county, a company was formed at Thorold in 1887 to bore for the same natural product. A well was sunk near the High School to a depth of 3,000 feet, when gas was reached. A considerable volume came up at first, but the quantity was not large enough to be of any profit to the shareholders. Salt and oil also were found nearer the surface.

The later life of the township was comparatively uneventful. Agriculture was improved, and the people profited by the many inventions of the age, but life was not different from that in any other of the older rural districts in Ontario.

The younger generations were worthy successors to the old Loyalist settlers. Thomas C. Keefer was twice named president of the Canadian Society of Engineers, and twice won the Governor’s prize for his essays on railways and canals. It was he who chose the site for the Victoria Bridge at Montreal and drew the plans for the structure, although his name has been omitted from the list of engineers on the tablet at the bridge.

Before the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, he wrote papers urging its construction, showing plans and giving a description of the proposed route. Scarcely less important as an engineer was his brother, Samuel Keefer, who was also president of the Society of Engineers for one term. He superintended the building of the stone locks on the old Welland Canal, while the planning of the Parliament House at Ottawa was also under his supervision. He built the Suspension Bridge at Ottawa, then the first of its kind in Canada, and was one of the engineers who planned the first Suspension Bridge at Niagara Falls, which was completed in 1868; at that time the latter structure was the longest span in the world.

Joseph Hobson, for many years sheriff of Welland county, was also a native of Thorold. Another Thorold citizen, Matthew Royal, achieved no inconsiderable fame as a dramatist in the United States. While Thorold is proud of all these honours gained, yet she glories not so much in a few isolated cases of brilliancy as in the general high average of intellect and character that distinguishes a Canadian township.










Cathy Pelletier

About the Author: Cathy Pelletier

Cathy Pelletier is an award-winning newspaper journalist/editor who writes for
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