News

Port Dalhousie celebrates summer

By Allan Benner, The Standard

“Nothing’s better than a barbecue,” said Mike Scott.

It’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

“We’re just trying to help the community — trying to make everybody happy in Port Dalhousie,” said Scott, who teamed up with Kelly George to organize the community’s second annual reunion, Saturday on Henley Island.

It has been a trying and soggy spring for the hamlet, which missed out on the annual Lions Carnival due to flooding at Lakeside Park. And Port Dalhousie Lions past-president Marcel Landry said the July 1 fireworks wouldn’t have happened either if the St. Catharines rowing club hadn’t allowed them to use Henley Island to launch the display.

“This is what you do. You work hand-in-hand,” Landry said. “If it hadn’t have been the 150th anniversary, we might have said OK, fine. But we didn’t want it to go by, and they were good enough to let us use their property to fire off the fireworks.”

Saturday, it looked as though it’d be a wonderful summer after all and “get Port back to what it was,” Scott said.

“Port Dalhousie has a lot of history in St. Catharines,” Scott said. “We want to keep this going.”

Scott said the inaugural Port Dalhousie Reunion last summer was an “outstanding” event, too, that brought 650 people together despite temperatures that exceeded 40C that day.

In comparison, he said the weather during this year’s event was a little more comfortable for the hundreds that attended.

“This is a hoot this party, it really is,” Landry added. “Most people know each other here. If you grew up in a community like this, you’re going to know everybody.”

While giving the community an opportunity to get together, Scott said the event also raised thousands of dollars in funding to be divvied up among local charities, including Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold, the Port Dalhousie Lions and St. Catharines Scouts.

“It’s nice have them out on a sunny day to raise some money for good charities,” Scott said. “It’s nice to see so many people still care about their community. That’s the biggest thing.”

ABenner@postmedia.com