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I was born here 60 years ago

by Alan Phillips,

My parents moved here in 1953. I was born here at the old General. My mother was an R.N. at the General. We have our problems, same as are throughout society. The Kristen French tragedy changed us forever. For some reason we get solutions for Toronto imposed on us ? I question what some people consider "growth". Not everything that is new is good. Sometimes change is good but, not always in every case. It was nice growing up here in the 1960's and the 1970's. We need to protect our farmland and agricultural industry more. We need to be ourselves as a city and not keep thinking we need to be like Toronto. Again, our problems are the same as the rest of society. We have a higher than average seniors population per capita. This is neglected. Housing and poverty are serious problems. Safety and security, also. I liked the ice rink the city made for us every winter at Guy Road Park in the 1960's. I liked the pear trees that lined Geneva Street North of Scott Street in the '60's. I like our Grape and Wine Festival. It was very safe here in the '60's. I like that the current city is council is trying to find out what is the, "Will of the People" by having more and better engagement with it's citizens, to better serve us. We should work hard to communicate with them, to serve each other. Being encouraged to take part in the decision making process is an attempt to achieve actual democracy. This is good ! We are very open to different cultures and I like that about us. Maybe the rest of Canada is too. Tobogganing at suicide hill was fantastic. I always enjoyed walking with my Dad from Glenholme Drive down Geneva Street to the Lancer for a milkshake and holding his hand and asking him how the sun stayed up in the sky and things a small boy in 1963 would ask his Dad when he didn't have to share him with his brothers or even Mom. It was the "time" but, also the city, St.Catharines. My parents are both buried here as well as my wife. Our children were born here and even 3 of our grandchildren were born here. Oh yes, also parades on Linwell road at the start of baseball and the incredible hockey coaches we had back in the '60's. A special thanks to all the Dad's who shovelled off the rink between games at the old Ridley barn. And freezing during early morning hockey practices at the old open air Haig Bowl rink. Watching the California Cuties play ball at the diamonds at Lancaster Park. Golfing behind the Fairview Mall was a hoot in the '60's. And riding our bicycles from the end of Geneva Street to the canal was fun, too. We had super good neighbours and doing fireworks with the neighbours was always good. Everyone went to Church and everyone helped each other. I think we still do that. I sometimes wish we were more supportive of our politicians and our police. Last Summer we had incredible music concerts at Montebello Park which our grandchildren and I enjoyed immensely. And our Masons club here in the city is one of the oldest lodges in all of Canada ! I hope the people that follow us have a good city, too. I guess that's up to us. I would like to. I think the word that best describes describes St.Catharines is, " RESILIENT ". 

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