Today the community, former employees and Allan Pietz (former owner of Sunnyside Dairy) gathered to celebrate a piece of Welland's history, and hand over Sunnyside Milk Wagon #24 to the Welland Museum for restoration and preservation.
What an honour it was for me to contribute in such a small way to the preservation of a little piece of Welland's history in the Sunnyside Milk Wagon #24. Today a fantastic group of contributors, former employees and their families, the community and Allan Pietz, the former owner of Sunnyside Dairy gathered at Seaway Mall for the official hand-over of the milk wagon to the Welland Museum for restoration and preservation. It was also a thank you to the community for coming together to make it possible.
It all started when I believe Councillor John Chiocchio posted a photo of a Sunnyside Milk Wagon that was on display at the Milton museum with a comment something like ''why doesn't Welland have a Sunnyside Dairy Milk Wagon at our museum?" That was the beginning of the search to bring one to Welland. Brad Ulch picked up on this and started posting - help us find a Sunnyside Dairy Milk Wagon..
Shortly thereafter, if I recall the story, Ken LeBlanc contacted Brad Ulch to let him know where one was and off they went to make a deal to purchase it. It was in the barn of Mary and Bill Podolyak. Brad negotiated the price and then set out to raise the money to buy it. It didn't take long. The community came together quickly to purchase the milk wagon. As you can see by the plaque below - there were many contributors.
Throughout the event we heard from Penny Morningstar, Curator of the Welland Museum, Greg D'Amico Chairman of the Welland Museum and several employees and family members of the former Dairy. Of course Allan Pietz also spoke, thanking everyone for attending and coming together to bring the milk wagon home.
He told the audience how the dairy was named -- interesting story... His mother called Allan 'Sunny' - thus the name...
The Welland Museum plans on the restored milk wagon being a focal point of the museum once restored. Penny and Greg said it will take some time to come to fruition as the museum will need modifications to be able to house the vehicle, in the meantime, the unit is being stored thanks to help of Mike Belcastro and Seaway Mall. The stories from the former employees and family members were interesting as well. See photos below.
Once the official ceremonies were finished, guests were invited to have cake and snacks and some also went to Mr. Mike's for lunch to finish off the day's excitement.
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Oddly enough, I have known Allan Pietz for years - about 35 to be exact. In the early days of my career in marketing, (before I started my own business a few years later), I worked for an agency in St. Catharines called Free Vision Communications, owned by Ed Telenko. Ed worked with Allan on most of his political campaigns, which in turn meant, I worked on the literature and posters for Allan's campaigns. This was introduction to politics so many years ago. When I contributed to the milk wagon purchase fund, I also brought Brad Ulch some of the material I worked on so many years ago.. It is always nice to have a trip down memory lane.