Chambers’ Corner: Images From The Past

GUEST POST by Bob Chambers (via Joe Barkovich)

I was disappointed.

My visit on Aug 24, to the Welland Library to ferret out the file of the Tribune’s coverage of the Niagara College sod turning, in 1967, turned out to be anti-climactic.

My memory of that Tribune coverage, was of a big spread, across most of a page, with at least two pictures. After all, Niagara College was a certified, “big deal”. It was a real coup for Welland. For, just a couple years before, St Catharines, the big city down the canal, had become home to a university, and now, little Welland was building a college. I remember going out to the college site that day to take pictures of the ceremony for  the Tribune, it was a hot, dusty spot, bustling with construction work.

Certainly it was long past the actual first sod being turned (ceremonial sod turnings are common) but this one turned out to be somewhat unusual. There, behind the official microphones, was a large billboard trumpeting, “Niagara Colleage of Applied Arts and Technology’s Temporary Building”. Yes that word was spelled “Colleage” …. just a relatively harmless typo, but not for the key sign on the grounds of an institution of higher learning, on a very special day

So, now, in 2015, we decided that my picture of this event would be a fitting way to kick off back-to-school coverage on the blog, I was looking forward to seeing my paper’s 48-year- old coverage of the biggest education event to ever hit Welland. An accurate way of describing my look at the Tribune’s page five of June 8th 1967, the other day, would be “pffftt” or maybe “piffle”.

There it was, all of 1/6th of a page, with one picture, tucked in beside a story of a new sewer line. The picture’s caption did call attention to the sign, stating it, “did not spell the word ‘college’ quite correctly”. Not quite correctly, you say! Talk about being politically correct …. they got it WRONG.

Though the story, written by a Tribune reporter, David Michener, didn’t mention the faux pas, it certainly praised the college board and mentioned how the board praised each other at the preceding luncheon at the Welland Club …. not without reason …. as the school had come from concept, to building going up, in just over six months. Oh, and incidentally, that “temporary” building turned out to have a measure of longevity, serving the Welland campus more than 40 years! It was demolished during the summer of 2011.

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of Joe Barkovich's Joe's 'fromareportersnotebook - reflections on life in my hometown' BLOG where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, presents some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!

To comment please go to the original article as posted here on Joe's BLOG

A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.