Numbers at town dinner reflected spirit: mayor

At least 150 invited guests were on hand for the town’s annual appreciation dinner Friday night at La Place Rendez-Vous, including 1998 “Citizen of the Year” Walter Horban.
Horban, a retired high school teacher, officially was presented with his award at the dinner. He noted in a brief acceptance speech his love for volunteerism and the community in which he and his family have lived for more than two decades.
“All in all, I’d rather be in Fort Frances than anywhere else,” he smiled. “The community people make it a wonderful place to be and all are willing to help each other.”
That sense of community support is what Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said was behind the good turnout for the dinner, held each year to honour retirees, long-service employees, and volunteers who sit on 26 town advisory committees.
“I think the turnout [reflected] a better town spirit,” he noted yesterday.
“More people are buying into the idea of coming out and sharing their volunteer and work experience, and this [event] gives them the opportunity to do so,” he added.
There were two retirees this year–Dave Craven (Public Works) and Garth Lockman (Fire Department). Craven leaves after 43 years with the town while Lockman has 30 years under his bel.
Juliana Sprovieri (Fort Frances Library) and Gary Thibault (Memorial Arena) were presented with certificates for 25 years of employment with the town.
Local firefighters Paul Clarke and Lyle Fleming also were honoured Friday night with Fire Services Exemplary Service Medals, given in recognition of their 25 years of loyal and meritorious service to public security in Canada.
The medals were presented on behalf of the Governor General of Canada.