I’m a traditionalist. Always have been, probably always will be.

This isn’t to suggest I abhor change, preferring instead to wallow in the status quo. Rather, I just shy away from change for change’s sake–especially when it comes to things or institutions that have been around for a long time.
Which is why I’m shuddering at what will happen when the Rainy River District School Board, at its regular monthly meeting next Tuesday night, deals with a resolution to accept a new name for the high school nearing completion at Westfort here.
Hopefully, the resolution will only recommend renaming Westfort High School, the name now on the building there, to Fort Frances High School.
After all, have trustees forgotten the furor town council faced some years ago when it agreed to change the name of Sister Kennedy Centre to Pleasant Pastimes Place (or something along that line)?
All with Sister Betty Kennedy alive and well?!
Have they forgotten the backlash to bidding farewell to the name Memorial Arena when the town was first talking about razing it to make room for two brand new indoor ice surfaces here?
Let’s hope not.
To be fair, the move from First Street East out to Westfort does present an opportunity for a name change–all the more given the opposition and controversy that has plagued the “multi-use” facility right from the start.
And there’s no question part of that was rooted in the bad feelings some in the district feel towards Fort Frances. As such, and since it is a district school, one could argue the name should reflect that.
Some suggestions, but why they should be abandoned:
•Rainy River District High School
Too boring. Besides, while that is the name of the local public school board, we wouldn’t want people to confuse us with Rainy River High School.
•La Verendrye High School
Has potential. Trouble is, people down east have enough difficulty spelling Fort Frances let alone La Verendrye. Besides, La Verendrye is too long to fit on a jersey or jacket, and the La Verendrye Muskies just doesn’t cut it.
•Lac La Pluie High School
Has a nice ring to it, especially considering muskellunge swim in Lac La Pluie (Rainy Lake) as opposed to Fort Frances. But spelling–not to mention pronunciation–could be a problem.
•Riviere de la Pluie
See above, except that spelling, pronunciation, and length are even more troublesome.
•FAMBEND
Standing for Fort Frances, Alberton, Mine Centre, Barwick, Emo, Nestor Falls, and Devlin. Doesn’t go with Muskies, and you can’t abbreviate an acronym.
•Little Amik High School.
Beaver Brae in Kenora may be named after a furry little rodent but that doesn’t mean we should follow suit. Besides, what really is an amik anyway?
•Mike Harris High School
Ha, ha, ha.
No, it clear there’s only one name for Fort Frances High School and that’s Fort Frances High School. It can be shortened to Fort High or FFHS, and it goes great with Muskies.
Besides, if it was good enough for 80 years, it’s certainly good enough for the next 80.
Surely our trustees will agree!

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