From the Publisher September/October 2018


(To view our September/October 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Sometimes, when stars align, things can come together and it all just feels right.

As I was touring the still-under-construction location for the new Niagara Christian Gleaners facility in Smithville that certainly was the feeling I got – warm and fuzzy to be sure.

What a fantastic program!

Congratulations to all involved on the whole endeavour and to the Twp. of West Lincoln for fostering the idea of locating in the community. With the tasks they have at hand, as they do their best to feed the world’s hungry, it certainly makes sense for them to be located in the heart of Ontario’s agriculture centre.

The grand opening for the Springcreek Road plant is set for Saturday, Sept. 29. They still have a great deal of work to do to be ready for that, but all is running on schedule. Best of luck to all involved.

From one organization which is trying to do something good, we turn to an individual (and her husband) who has been working away for decades caring for area (and beyond) wildlife – Carol Ricciuto.

Many will recognize her name. I have done stories with Carol going back into the 90s.

A tireless crusader for all things breathing, she has developed a come-and-go-as-you-please type of operation for the birds she repairs. They stay in a flight cage until they can get off the ground and after that they go into a pen allowing them to venture out and return if they choose. That encourages longer flight allowing them to build stamina before they take off for good.

There are many people doing truly unique things and Carol certainly is one who fits that bill. Our community needs these folks who end up making Niagara West greater than the sum of its parts.

Those who live here in our little “club” in West Niagara know it is a great place. We have it all right here and if it is not right under our collective noses, we certainly have access to it close by.

Lake Ontario is yet another example of that. In this week’s edition, good reader, you can check out some of the ins and outs if you want to get out on that lake and try a fishing charter.

A unique service right in town and you may never have thought about it. And that is why we are here – to find these gems, polish them up and deliver them to your door.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher July/August 2018


(To view our July/August 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Fergie Jenkins has been an acquaintance of mine for nearly 50 years.

No, we’re not best buddies. He likely doesn’t remember the first time I met him, rather, I am sure he wouldn’t.

I was about eight years old and Fergie was on a book signing tour. He was making a stop at a book store in London and stopping by was on my mom’s to-do list.

Two things my mom loves: books and anything Canadian.

So to have Canada’s all-star pitcher then of the Chicago Cubs in town and signing his new book, it was a match made in heaven. It didn’t hurt that I loved playing ball, too.

It was at that fateful meeting when Fergie related a story to my mom which I would regret for several summers. My mom asked him what he did in his hometown Chatham to build strength and condition.

Fergie told a story about his dad unloading cord after cord of firewood in front of him – well, the raw material for it anyways – and Fergie job was to chop it up with axe. Back, shoulders, legs, they’ll all get in great shape fast.

So summer after summer six, eight cords of wood got dumped in our laneway. My job, chop it up, organize it and fill our two-car garage with it….did I say my mom also loved sitting by the fire in our den. Oh ya, that and a cup of tea…forget about it.

In more recent years, I have interviewed Fergie many times.

Often over breakfast at Grimsby Sub Shop or over a burger at Teddy’s. Whenever he is in town he would often show up at community events just to participate in the goings on of his home away from home.

For this edition of ClubWest I had the occasion to chat with Fergie again as he took a break at his 25th charity golf tournament.

He is now 75 years old…a lot more miles on his odometer than when I met him as a child.

Yet, his passion and drive is the same, just his focus has changed.

Before he was worried about shutting down Major League offences, now is worried about generating funds to help community groups of all shapes and sizes.

He estimated the Foundation has generated more than $5 million since it was formally launched in 1999 and Fergie himself show no signs of slowing down…and more power to him.

Thanks for your years of dedication to our community, Fergie!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher May/June 2018


(To view our May/June 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Interesting contrast in this month’s edition of ClubWest.

We have a profile of Grimsby Museum’s Death & Dying exhibit – on now until the end of June – something to which we can all relate and something from which none of us returns, unless you want to get into a whole reincarnation discussions, but we’ll park that and save it for another day.

Then we have the rebirth of passenger/commuter rail which will and is reshaping Grimsby (and eventually Beamsville) in ways it seems unlikely most residents cannot contemplate as yet.

It isn’t shocking there was a rail line to connect rural residents to an urban centre 100 years, but it is surprising to many to read that it was an electric system.

That had to be incredibly cutting edge in the early part of the 20th century.

It was interesting to find that the driving desire of the rail line’s construction was to ensure the system went right down Main Street to ensure passengers had access to Grimsby’s downtown shops. The opposite plan is underway with the GO train plans to create its hub at the Casablanca/QEW quadrant with – as town council calls it – a new main street being built along Winston Road.

The HG&B line is just one of the remarkable historical ditties which make this area so unique, so special.

How many out there in reader land know what the “honeymoon huts” were?

I know there will be a few and, no, if you work at the museum or volunteer at the archives you don’t count for the purposes of this unscientific survey. For anyone who emails me ( with the correct answer – and I want an approximate physical location included, as opposed to simply what the huts were – I’ll have a nice little prize for you. I will do a draw from all correct answers.

These are the kinds of stories which cried out to be told in a publication like ClubWest Magazine when I launched the publication five years ago.

This area is so rich in history, characters and talent we’ll never run out of story subjects. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is more of a chore to narrow the field when trying to plan copy for each edition. That noted, some of these historical anecdotes are the most difficult to unearth, so we welcome the offering of ideas which can prove like a flashlight illuminating a previously dark trail. Show me the way, I’ll do the rest!

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft