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BARKOVICH: Heavy hearts at reunion

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A pall hangs over the upcoming Welland Boys Reunion.

It’s the first reunion since the passing in June of Michael (Mikey) Blazetich, a founder of the neighbourhood reunion movement, aged 94.

Engraved in many memories is the image of firefighters standing in salute outside King Street firehall as the former firefighter and deputy chief’s funeral procession drove by, a show of honour and of class.

The number of oldtimers, guys like Mr. Blazetich, is in decline but ranks are solid because descendants supporting the annual get together. This year’s is Monday, Oct. 2.

Descendants get involved out of respect for parents or grandparents and their desire to see traditions preserved as long as they can be.

Mr. Blazetich was a pioneer, starting up the Crowland Old Boys group many years ago.

“We’re missing Mikey already at the meetings,” reunion committee member Nick Petrachenko was saying in King Street’s Blue Star Restaurant one afternoon last week.

Minutes later, in strode John Jackson whose roots reach back decades to the King Street neighbourhood.

Jackson, 71, lived on Sixth Street and then Fifth Street in the 1950s and early 1960s. His family’s move was from Sixth to Fifth.

I asked if it represented a move up or down and he said, “A move up.” ​Their new abode was an apartment on the second floor.

Dino Sabucco, next to arrive for java and jawing, remembered that Regent Street, in a part of town where........

© St. Catharines Standard