George got some send-off

As George Armstrong slipped into eternity here last week, it could be imagined, as suggested in this space, that Atlantis truly was being reborn.
Such a celebration as never before seen at this end of the Causeway that George created occurred all week. It was as if it had awaited his passing to break out and notify the world of the loss of our leading builder and benefactor.
The old Greeks who knew Atlantis would have recognized this coincidence as Culturama joined Fun in the Sun for a very memorable week.
And from Ireland came a contingent of George’s family folk in a band full of guitars to accompany all the other entertainers of countries around the world.
Of course, you know by now that jail standoff was not on the Culturama schedule!
And there was never a more brilliant show of skyrockets that climaxed Canada Day. These rivalled the fantastic days of sunshine that sent the temperature possibly to record heights of around 100 F before plummeting to more customary levels 40 degrees lower for the past three days.
So the kids got to swim in the lake again finally as the Causeway carried our more private revellers out of town to camps and good fishing.
But from below the border, the Americans streamed into town to help us put on another of our widely-famous parades. And when you appreciate the presence of their marching bands, you have to applaud. In fact, the applause of our crowds seemed never-ending, both inside our newest arena and everywhere else you turned.
And you might well wonder when the rest of the world will wake up to acknowledge this is the only place to be for Canada Day and, if it appears we have captured the myth of Atlantis, well what else could you expect from us?
In all the hustle and bustle, you would have had to salute the addition of colourfully-garbed Ukrainians from Winnipeg, and might have also thought of Nick Kingerski, whose death preceded that of George’s by only a few days.
Because Nick, as a boy, was a great Ukrainian dancer in the mold of coach Walter Andrusco, and two other Kingerskis went along, too. Nick became a fine town administrator and one of our most dignified gentlemen.
Another local Ukrainian prominent in Culturama was our national anthem singer, Roger Dolyny, from St. George’s Ukrainian Church. Then you should have listened to the teen singer with the Highlanders, Lindsay Hamilton, whose father, Bob, wears the kilts among Bruce Lidkea’s wonderful bagpipers.
Meanwhile, adding credence to our local Atlantis theory, there was George Bartlett toiling quietly at Safeway on behalf of the Salvation Army and the area needy. Filling a shopping cart with food donations, George was in good position to make the statement that local dwellers have to be the most generous in Canada.
He was joining in a familiar tribute to our town since the sensational “Relay for Life” here raised, and don’t ever forget to repeat this figure, $76,000 and go a way over the contributions of any other area community.
Atlantis was supposed to be full of very good people also and your predecessors there also must have lived up to the compliment that one visiting couple said sets Fort Frances apart: “You’ve always got something new to show us every year!”
Jerry and Ione Benshoof from Bloomington were seated at Culturama while enjoying their Hopkins Bay summer home.
Meanwhile, the ancients who never saw this side of the ocean must be aware by now that Atlantis never died after all, it’s only been thousands of years out of sight. But here we are again, thanks to George Armstrong, Nick Kingerski, and appreciatively 9,000 others still fond of this place we love to call home!
And as the Culturama commentator admitted to us “You are the gateway to everywhere!”

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