All Hart


(To view our January/February 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Niagara’s first policewoman, Dorothy Hart of Grimsby was honoured with a room dedication at the new police headquarters

By Mike Williscraft

Timing is everything.

And in 1964 Dorothy Hart had that going for her when she walked into the Grimsby Police Department and applied for a job after seeing a notice in The Grimsby Independent.

“There was another person, Ray Wagner, who was also there for an interview. He asked me if I thought I would get the job. I said, ‘There are four other girls ahead of me. No way’,” recalled Hart, while seated at her kitchen table, filled to overflowing with career memories of her life as Niagara’s first female police officer.

“The next day I got a call and the man said, ‘Officer, can you come down here and try on your uniform?”

That was September 1964. Her first chief was Alec Earle, “my favourite”, she noted. As for Mr. Wagner, he went on to have a distinguished 35-year career of his own with the police force.

From that moment, Hart was a dedicated member of the force and focused her efforts on every bit of training she could access.

She realized she did not have the background some of the other officers had and she wanted to make up ground.

Grimsby was a very different community then. There were no traffic lights and pedestrians could walk across the QEW like it was any other road. Her initial duties were as a crossing guard and community service officer.

In 1968, she was transferred to regional police from Grimsby, a move she really did not want but she was told they needed a police woman and they wanted her. It was not until 1973 that three more women were hired by the department, so Hart had to cover a lot of ground when a female needed to be searched, for example, she said.

“I had taken every course they’d send me to, so I was prepared,” recalled Hart.

One of her first calls when working the beat in downtown St. Catharines was at the Welland Hotel – now a student residence at the corner of Ontario and King Streets in St. Catharines.


For the complete article, click here for Club West Online.



(To view our May/June 2016 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By David Erman

There are two dates Lindsay Williamson has circled on her calendar.

Williamson, a 2004 Grimsby Secondary School grad, is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Musical Ride tour.

Lindsay’s niece and nephew (Alaina and Paxton Kot of Smithville) got a behind-the-scenes education at a sunset ceremony in Ottawa last summer. They met her assigned horse, Lenny, the oldest horse on Musical Ride tour last year at 22 years of age.
Lindsay’s niece and nephew (Alaina and Paxton Kot of Smithville) got a behind-the-scenes education at a sunset ceremony in Ottawa last summer. They met her assigned horse, Lenny, the oldest horse on Musical Ride tour last year at 22 years of age.

The first is in May when she will be performing in a special five-day celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. The second is when the Musical Ride will be performing near her hometown at the West Niagara Agricultural Fairgrounds on Aug. 18.

She said she’s excited to perform in front of a large crowd of family and friends, noting it will be the highlight of her summer. She said she’s looking forward to showing people she knows the passion of the Ride, and being able to share it with them in her hometown.

“They’ve all heard about (the Ride), but a lot of them haven’t been able to see it firsthand.”

The red-coated Mountie riding a black horse has become one of the most internationally recognizable symbols of Canada.

When they were created in 1874, the RCMP’s predecessors, the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), were fashioned after the British military. As a result, part of their training included British cavalry drill. New members of the NWMP were regularly drilled in the art of cavalry maneuvers. First shown in public in 1887, these cavalry drills would evolve to become the modern RCMP Musical Ride.

The ride consists of the execution of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill choreographed to music.

While she has an athletic background, Williamson did not grow up around horses. In fact, Williamson did not have any equestrian experience prior to trying out for the Musical Ride.

Williamson was born in Grimsby, the youngest of three girls. She lived in Smithville as a youngster, as she and her sisters attended College Street Public School. The family moved to Grimsby the summer before she began Grade 9.

She was named the Grimsby Junior Citizen of the Year in 2004.

After graduating from GSS, she attended the University of Toronto where she was on the varsity track and field team and graduated in 2008 with a degree with a double major in criminology and health studies.

Williamson is currently continuing her studies with two courses remaining to obtain a masters degree with a focus on Work, Organization and Leadership through Athabasca University.

See the full article in our online edition.

Top photo:
Cst. Lindsay Williamson and Wizard are ready to impress as part of the RCMP’s Musical Ride at West Niagara Fair Grounds this August.

Right where they BEE long


(To view our March/April 2016 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Charlie Bee Honey: Ontarios’s largest apiary

By David Erman

Farming is not an easy job. With so many variables, such as weather and prices, it can be a fluctuating and fickle business.

Mike Parker
Mike Parker

Mike and April Parker, owners of Beamsville’s Charlie-Bee Honey, Parker Bee Apiaries Ltd. know all about the challenges of running an agricultural operation.

Located south of Beamsville, near the Mountain Road and Fly Road intersection, Charlie Bee Honey is a success story, as they’re likely Ontario’s largest honey producer, as well as the province’s largest bee keeping operation, but like a lot of lot of agricultural operations have found out, it hasn’t been an easy and smooth ride.

Despite all the challenges, April Parker said she is proud of their business and their role in agriculture.

Without their bees there would be a lot less good things to eat.

Along with honey production, the business also rents out hives.

See the full article in our online edition.

Top photo:
Gail Schellenberg pours the latest fresh honey at Charlie Bee’s Mountain Road facility. Williscraft – Photo