The Boss behind the Six Benches job

Allan WilliamsAllan Williams, who writes for Leaside Life and was on the Leaside Memorial Gardens board of management, has been exposed.

He won’t like being singled out that way because, as another former board member, Paul Mercer, says, he’s humble.

Williams, says Mercer, would come up with great ideas, but when they came to fruition and crowds were around getting it all going, he was off attending to something else.

That’s what happens during the Leaside Athlete of the Year inductions. His idea, but he’s behind the scenes during all the speeches.

The case of the six beautiful new hand-crafted wood benches at the arena is another example.

benchIt took Leaside Life three phone calls and an email to find out that Williams came up with the idea that led to the benches. But it wasn’t Williams who admitted it. The email was to him to see if he knew where the idea came from. Mercer, he wrote back, “had something to do with it”. The third call was to Mercer, who finally exposed Williams.

But what’s the big deal with benches?

It’s the idea and the work done by Mercer’s son Adrian and the willingness of Leasiders to get behind the project by offering free service.

It started in 2012 when the wooded area behind the old swimming pool needed to be cut down to make room for the new arena. Williams thought of making use of some of the trees for benches and approached Mercer, the chair of the arena’s expansion committee, who jumped in to help.

An arborist chose the trees, maples and lindens, and contractors turned them into logs, which were then stored at Leaside Landscaping, owned by Simon Stevenson, who provided free transportation for them to be milled near Fenelon Falls.

They were then stored free for drying by Hal Spradling, for 1 ½ years, at All Canadian Self-Storage across the road from the arena.

Then off again, to Mercer Brown Contracting, in Guelph. That’s Mercer, as in Paul Mercer’s son, who used to live on Killdeer Cres. in Leaside.

He and his partner Eric Brown, and Jim Williams, an associate in Brookville, made the benches.

They were delivered the end of January and are getting rave reviews.

Allan Williams, says Paul Mercer, was the “main guy”. But try to get a confession from him.