Articles by Nigel Gordijk

Articles written for clients and local publications

An Ontario Heritage Trust plaque in New Dundee’s Recreation Park celebrates the life of local archaeologist William J. Wintemberg. It doesn’t mention the largest Indigenous longhouse in North America, which he discovered nearby in 1902.

Digging Deep To Unearth Wilmot’s Forgotten Indigenous History

North America’s biggest Indigenous longhouse was discovered in New Dundee in 1902 and excavated in the 1980s, but since then, it’s been largely overlooked


Before There Was Wilmot

Between the Lakes Treaty signed 230 years ago this week


Zion United’s new minister, Rev. Maggie Dieter said, “My Cree values and Christian values resonate. They align when we talk about our values of kindness and truth, and a loving neighbour, compassion.” (Photo: Nigel Gordijk)

Reconciliation Is A Personal Journey For New Hamburg Minister

For several generations, Rev. Maggie Dieter’s heritage has been a blend of Cree spirituality and Christianity.


Blythe, Meghan and Paul Mackie said that Islay the Sheltie is good for the family’s mental and physical health. “We’re all pretty much on the same page with the positive aspects of having an active pet in the house during these awkward times."

Tail Wags And Bum Wiggles Are Good For Your Mental Health

Four-legged, furry family members help to focus on the positive, say Wilmot pet owners.


Current owner Allan Fisher holds up a photo of the business his father founded in 1961.

Fisher’s Esso Celebrates 60 Years Of Serving St. Agatha

Brian and Allan Fisher’s popular full-service garage is the hub of the community in rural Wilmot.


Local Indigenous Elder, Nina De Shane, brought her grandchildren to the Baden, grassroots memorial for children who died in the residential school system. After an intimate ceremony of mourning, the three sang a traditional lullaby

“They Went To School, But Never Came Home”

Local Indigenous people lead the way in paying tribute to the 215 child victims of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.


Kelly Welch (Muskwa Migizi Kwe) accepted community donations on behalf of Crow Shield Lodge. “I’m Anishinaabe Ojibway, with British and Irish ancestry as well. That mixed ancestry, to me, is reconciliation. Just existing is part of that reconciliation.”

Crow Shield Lodge Receives Community Donations On National Day Of Truth And Reconciliation

$1,610 will help local Indigenous lodge to continue its healing and educational work, says Kelly Welch


Wellesley and Wilmot women, Marj Haid, Karen Bertram and Kate Laing-Kwok, candidly discuss their concerns of safety, both here and when travelling outside of the townships. (Photos submitted)

Run, Or Yell For Help? Local Women Discuss Their Fear Of Being Attacked By Men

“I’ll cross the street to avoid walking next to someone if it’s dark and I’m on my own. I’ve also walked with 911 predialed on my phone,” said Baden’s Kate Laing Kwok


Kitchener-Conestoga MP Tim Louis has been touring the region’s townships and staying connected following his re-election. “Today I’m here in Wilmot, making the rounds and getting out. That feedback is essential,” he said. (Photo credit: Nigel Gordijk)

Re-Elected MP Tim Louis Stays Connected And Prepares For His Return To Ottawa

Affordable housing, the environment, and reconciliation were the main topics during the election campaign, along with COVID supports and public safety


Crow Shield Lodge founder Clarence Cachagee, left, with guest speaker Bob Nally, a Canadian who immigrated from Ireland 50 years ago. The lodge is a place where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can learn what it means to be Indigenous, said Cachagee.

Crow Shield Lodge Given The Go Ahead

Township of Wilmot and Region of Waterloo approve secondary use by-law for Indigenous centre on Pfenning’s Organic Farm.


Rebecca Giroux, child specialist at Interfaith Counselling Centre, spoke to the Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette about challenges that students are currently facing. (Photo credit: Nigel Gordijk)

“Do Not Give Up Hope,” ICC Child Counselling Specialist Tells Clients

COVID and a loss of control are affecting the mental health of students of all ages, said Interfaith Counselling Centre’s Rebecca Giroux


In a scene from the documentary “Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts”, Marlena Anderson, of Nlaka’pamux First Nation, said she is the first generation of her family that didn’t attend residential school. “I carry my parents’ hurt.”

Wilmot Ecumenical Working Group Leads A Community Discussion About The Indigenous/Settler Relationship

Feb. 18 documentary presentation about the Doctrine of Discovery explored the shared history of Indigenous Peoples and Canadians


Petersburg’s Stephanie Goertz is growing the Bring Back Nature movement. “We need to actually bring our community together, work collectively, and bring more voices to the table,” she said. (Photo credit: Nigel Gordijk)

Bring Back Nature Organizer Wants To Plant Ideas That Will Grow Into A Movement

Wilmot’s Stephanie Goertz said local residents can learn how to create wildlife habitats, protect local drinking water, and help to heal the land


Women in tech at W-O. From left: Deanna Wheeler, Jodi Jackson and Andrea Brodhagen. (Photo by former W-O student teacher Julia Maier)

Breaking Stereotypes And Building The Future

Three women role models at Waterloo-Oxford DSS broke into industries dominated by men, and now they’re helping the next generation to follow their own paths


WRDSB’s director of education, jeewan chanicka: “If you’re here in Waterloo Region, you belong here, and you belong here in the fullness of whoever you are.” (Photo credit: WRDSB)

WRDSB’s Director Wants To Shake Up Education For A More Connected And Equitable Future

jeewan chanicka says it’s time to change education so all students can be better prepared for a rapidly evolving world


Kelly Welch, at right, with Aryawna Isaac and Ashley Hynd, during an Indigenous workshop about ceremonial tobacco, known as Semah. (Photo credit: Nigel Gordijk)

Cultural Education Workshop In Baden Teaches The Importance Of Indigenous Ceremonial Tobacco

Anishinaabe instructor Kelly Welch shared her knowledge of Semah, which is used in ceremonies, prayers and rituals


Indigenous Elder Nina de Shane. (Photo credit: Nigel Gordijk)

Indigenous Elder provides traditional knowledge, counselling and healing in Wilmot

Haudenosaunee Nina De Shane has a full schedule with Wilmot Family Resource Centre as she keeps Indigenous traditions alive


At left is the author’s father, Sylvion Gordijk, in his RAF uniform during national service, which was optional in the former British colony of Guyana. Also shown are Sylvion’s mother and seven brothers.

The shame of slavery left unasked questions about my family’s history

Ending a silence that lasted for generations, Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette reporter Nigel Gordijk says it’s time to start telling his ancestors’ story


Darrell Fox with his brother Terry during the Marathon of Hope. The historic run ended on September 1, 1980 after cancer returned to Terry’s body.

Terry Fox’s Family Embraces Its Indigenous Ancestry

On the 41st anniversary of the end of the Marathon of Hope, Darrell Fox talks about his family’s Métis heritage, which is acknowledged in this year’s Terry Fox Run t-shirt design, and reflects on his brother’s legacy.


Interfaith Counselling Centre’s Interim Executive Director Matthew Isert Bender is temporarily working from home, rather than the agency’s New Hamburg-based offices. “It’s almost like starting a new job.” Photo Hanneke Isert Bender

Feel connected and maintain mental health, with technology, spirituality and routine

Interfaith Counselling Centre’s Interim Executive Director Matthew Isert Bender is temporarily working from home, rather than the agency’s New Hamburg-based offices. “It’s almost like starting a new job.”


Stephanie Goertz models one of the masks she made, using fabric donated by TCP - Photo Stephanie Goertz

Community groups connect and collaborate to produce face masks

While the coronavirus COVID-19 continues to shut down physical spaces in communities, Wilmot residents are still looking for ways to help out.


3D Prototype Design’s president Tim Deutschmann's invention, the Clip 19 face shield, has captured the attention of local MP, Tim Louis.

New Hamburg 3D print firm aims to join the government’s COVID-19 fight

3D Prototype Design’s invention, the Clip 19 face shield, has captured the attention of local MP, Tim Louis.


Wilmot Stronger Together logo, designed by Nigel Gordijk

Wilmot Stronger Together website launches to support local businesses and non-profits

A group of Wilmot volunteers has launched a new website that provides information about local businesses and organizations who are still able to serve the public under the recently declared state of emergency in Ontario.


Sara Casselman, Angie Hallman, Jenn Pfenning, Cheryl Gordijk

Donated phones help to empower and heal human trafficking survivors

Wilmot councillor Angie Hallman collected over 20 donated devices for the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region’s Anti-Human Trafficking program. On March 13, Hallman and fellow councillors Jenn Pfenning and Cheryl Gordijk handed them over to SASCWR’s Executive Director Sara Casselman (at left). The phones will be used by at-risk youth and women.


Sláinte! Mike Kennedy with a pint of “the dark stuff”, Guinness, which is one of the popular drinks that will be served over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Heritage and family are cause for celebration at Kennedy’s in St. Agatha

Sláinte! Mike Kennedy with a pint of “the dark stuff”, Guinness, one of the popular drinks that will be served over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.


Kitchener-Conestoga MP Tim Louis, who organized the roundtable discussion, with Wilmot councillor/farm owner Jenn Pfenning, and Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.

Minister’s roundtable in Wilmot discusses women’s role in rural economic development

Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, led a roundtable discussion with 20 female community representatives.


Kathleen Barsoum, waste management coordinator for the region, said that "you can divert about 80 per cent of your home waste into recycling."

What exactly happens when your blue box is picked up off the curb in Waterloo Region?

The pickup is just the start of a long journey for recyclables.


Volunteers for the annual Poor Boys Luncheon in 2019, organized by the Wilmot Family Resource Centre.

Are we doing enough? Getting to the bottom of volunteer, donation shortage in Wilmot

New Hamburg resident Nigel Gordijk spoke to organizations, politicians regarding fundraising, volunteers in Wilmot


CHYM Tree of Hope Radiothon raises money and awareness for Family & Children’s Services Foundation

Family & Children’s Services Foundation’s 27th annual CHYM Tree of Hope Radiothon, held Thursday, December 5 at The Family Centre in Kitchener, was a resounding success. The campaign, including Radiothon, has, to date, raised $232,634 this year.


Doug and Sandra Ranton, Cavell Johnson, and Chris Jaroszko at the SAWW Mental Health Awareness Breakfast

Mental Health Awareness breakfast in Wilmot helps remove stigma

Goal was to help fight the stigma surrounding mental health by telling stories of hope and healing


TCP President Aaron Fewkes with Wilmot Terry Fox Run co-organizer Nigel Gordijk. The donation total shown on the presentation cheque doesn’t include $267 that Calendar Girls audience members left on the set as they left the final performance. Photo: TCP

TCP production donates proceeds to Wilmot Terry Fox Run

Some winners gave back the prize money, doubling the donation at the shows


Wilmot councillors Cheryl Gordijk, Jennifer Pfenning, and Angie Hallman were amongst the models at a charity fashion show in Petersburg on Sunday Oct. 27.

Meadow Acres hosts charity fashion show in Petersburg

Big Brothers Big Sisters fashions a positive image at Meadow Acres


Interfaith Counselling Centre's Amy Krug is bringing her passion and expertise to the newly-created position of Cancer Care Counsellor.

New cancer care counsellor appointed by Interfaith Counselling Centre

Interfaith Counselling Centre's Amy Krug is bringing her passion and expertise to the newly-created position of Cancer Care Counsellor


This year, Nigel Gordijk had 'Be A Legend' shaved into his head for the annual Wilmot Terry Fox Run. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

How Wilmot's Terry Fox Run keeps breaking its own fundraising records

In-studio interview with Craig Norris for The Morning Edition on CBC-KW.


Avery Raquel

Concert For Terry returns to St George’s Anglican Church on July 27

Stacked lineup for fundraising event at St. George's Anglican Church


Laura Mae Lindo

Wilmot Terry Fox Run concerts go on the road across the township and beyond

“This will allow the public to feel closer to the music"


Marathon of Hope poster, autographed by Terry Fox and presented to Trevor Beck during Fox's visit to New Dundee on July 20, 1980. - Carolyn Hill/Photo

'I hope I don't fall and break my good leg'

Remembering Terry Fox's visit to New Dundee


The 2019 Living Well Festival celebrates health and wellness in Wilmot, and kicks off Thursday April 25 at Angie's with a free Coffee House.

2019 Living Well Festival celebrates health and wellness in Wilmot

Begins Thursday, April 25, at Angie's in St. Agatha


Celebrating teachers

It only takes one teacher to change a life. A personal story.


Profile of Josslin Insurance

Josslin Insurance article for Exchange Magazine


A warm welcome and exquisite cuisine awaits at The Royal York

The Fairmont Royal York wears its heritage well, but it's the people who make a stay here feel like you're right at home