From the Publisher May/June 2017


(To view our May/June 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Magazines, unlike their industry sisters, newspapers, can often have themes which harmonize pages from cover to cover.

This edition of ClubWest does not follow that scheme in the slightest. In fact, it is probably about as diverse as could be conjured from the topics in Niagara West.

What can be said about the Coutts that has not already been said. Simply lovely people who have as dedicated a passion forhistory and their Nelles Manor as they possess for the Town of Grimsby itself. Absolutely deserving of their Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce honour. Good on the Chamber for recognizing them as well as Junior Citizen Neha Gulati.

While the Coutts feature drips of history and interesting story lines, Diala Canelo is at the opposite end of the feature spectrum – working mom travelling the world as a flight attendant, who happens to a highly trained foodie.

She has managed to combine those two areas of interest to become a bit of an internet sensation who is about to parlay years of groundwork into a cookbook.

For an interesting twist on top of all that, the author of that piece, Isabella Gilmore, just happens to be Diala’s daughter.

Isabella will be working with me for the next few months and will continue with her post-GSS studies at Sheridan College’s journalism program this fall. She offers an excellent first piece and her mom should be very proud.

Down the middle of these two polar opposites, you have the Dunns who, after nearly three decades on Grimsby’s Main Street plying their trade in the jewellery business have opted to retire. In speaking with Rob and Pat last month it is clear they still have the passion, but the timing was right, and good for them.

It was interesting to hear them relate the transitions in their industry which have emerged over their careers: supply chain dwindling, technology, sales habits and more.

Their comment about consumers having less interest in quality in favour of lower prices is a universal cry of most craftsmen who are finding the going significantly more difficult. If the 90s were considered the start of a disposable society, today that atmosphere has exponentially grown.

Toss in a little fishing expertise from Brent Bochek – along with a little culinary spice from chef Jan-Willem Stulp and we have another successful recipe for and excellent read covering all things homegrown right here in Niagara West. Enjoy!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher March/April 2017


(To view our March/April 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

This edition is dominated by two very different champions.

While they both have performed right at the top of two very different sports, they both have similarities.

Key among those championship traits is heart.

You can’t coach that into a person and you cannot train it into a race horse.

Tonya Verbeek, a self-described technician of wrestling, showed time and time again during her illustrious career that her undying will to win helped her overcome some excellent quality competition. The result of which placed her on podium after podium around the world.

For Modern Legend, a harness racing millionaire owned by Grimsby’s Dave Drew who has trained out of Vineland all his career, he has managed to remain competitive at the highest levels of harness racing thanks in large part to the patience displayed by Mr. Drew, his owner, breeder, trainer and swimming coach.

In 30-plus years as a journalist, countless stories have been “penned” by this scribe. When it comes to winners, heart may be the only truly common characteristic on any consistent basis.

There are athletes in all disciplines who have unbelievable talent, gifts for which many would die.

Granted, they may do quite well, but intestinal fortitude always puts them over the top. If you follow any sport it is quite likely you can think of several examples.

The whole point of this ClubWest Magazine is to tell the story’s of great things being done right on our own backyard and of things being done by people who are from this area. Tonya’s exploits are known around the globe due to her efforts in competitions all around the world and Modern Legend put Niagara on the map for a North American audience thanks to his racing prowess in Canada and the U.S.

Both are ambassadors in their own way. Both are entering different phases of their careers.

Tonya is now on her way as a Canadian wrestling coach, and good on her! When you work as long and hard as she did, it is great to see someone like that get a break and be able to continue on in a path she clearly relishes.

Modern Legend, now nine years old, is on the back-end of his racing career, but due to Dave’s stewardship he is still in great shape, so he may have a bullet or two left in that racing gun. One thing is certain, both are wished the absolute best in their future endeavours!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher January/February 2017


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

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

This edition’s two lead features are about two very different people who got to do something that they loved for a long period of time.

One could not get much more polar opposite than professional hockey player and police officer, but that is what we have in Ryan Christie and Dorothy Hart.

One thing their endeavours did have in common was super high highs and devastating lows – life, in a nutshell.

For Ryan, it was one sucker elbow which changed his life. He went from a young, aggressive kid trying to make it to the bigs, to a scared player with no confidence on the ice.

Dorothy had many highs on her job as a community service officer for much of her career, but she also worked uniform patrol in St. Catharines.

Her greatest satisfaction may have been the fresh young faces which would come up to her at a school presentations and say they were inspired by her to go into law enforcement. The low, without doubt, was the murder of her teenage son – Grimsby’s first murder.

Between those highs and lows they both met a wide cast of characters and both will tell you they appreciated every minute of it. Both are also examples of hard work and tenacity.

Ryan invested years to get a shot at the NHL. Skating drills, strengthening programs, positioning – all the key points any player can work on to improve. To do that for more than 10 years at the pro level in a host of cities and countries…now that takes heart.

Dorothy, who found herself hired with Grimsby’s police department, whose basic work record at that point was housewife, knew she had an opportunity and did everything to capitalize on it. As she noted, she would attend any training program to which the department, both Grimsby and later Niagara, would send her. She put in her time and when she was called upon for street duty, she was ready.

Both of these people are great examples of work ethic, a quality not as commonly found as it once was. In this day and age of immediate gratification, a precious few people are willing to pay their dues to get their shot. This has been a big reason we now have such a disposable society, it would seem.

When people don’t appreciate what they have, it is easy to discard it and move on. That is something Ryan and Dorothy never did and their successful career paths can be an example to all.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft