Town honours employees, ‘Citizens of the Year’

The Town of Fort Frances recognized its retirees and employees who have reached 25 years of service, as well as “Citizens of the Year” Jean and Lin Boileau, at its annual appreciation dinner Friday night at La Place Rendez-Vous.
“I had fun,” Jean Boileau said when talking about the dinner on Monday. “It’s been a wonderful experience being ‘Citizens of the Year.’”
Boileau gave a speech at the dinner recounting her and her husband’s past and present volunteer work in the community, whether it was organizing events for “Friends of the Library” or fundraising for the Kiwanis Club.
Lin Boileau also gave a short speech, crediting Jean for being the real “spearhead” of the pair while he is just someone following her direction.
But Jean wasn’t so modest about her husband. “We’ve always been a wonderful support. We’ve worked together all along,” she remarked. “I’ve often called myself his secretary.”
With appearances at both the town dinner and the Santa Claus parade held Nov. 23, as well as continued volunteer work around the community, the Boileaus have gotten a lot of congratulatory remarks of late.
But Jean noted the recognition—while pleasant—by no means signals an end as active members of the community.
“We won’t slow down until we have to. I dread the day when I can’t get out there. But even then, we’ll have some wonderful memories,” noted Jean.
Aside from the couple’s good-natured remarks during their time on stage, the humorous moments didn’t end there as they received a surprise gift that’s come to play a part in their lives over the past five years or so—a travel bar
Jean explained the case—which she talked Guy Donaldson, co-owner of Robin’s Donuts and Robin’s Express here, into purchasing from them at a garage sale—has been an object of mirth, being exchanged back and forth between the Boileaus and Donaldson and his wife, Kelly Spicer, at special occasions since then.
While it was first given back to Lin with a plaque requesting the travel bar be returned to him if it was found along the roadside or at the town dump, it has since been exchanged about eight times, said Jean, whether it was to Donaldson and Spicer at their daughter Mira’s baby shower 15 months ago filled with diapers or sent special delivery to the Bolieaus while they were on holiday in England.
“I’m a little scared of when it might show up again,” Donaldson joked Monday.
The couple also received a “Citizen of the Year” plaque, and their photo will hang at the Civic Centre along with previous years’ honourees.
Bill Gushulak, the 2000 “Citizen of the Year” and a member of the selection committee, introduced the Boileaus with a list of accolades, many of which previously were reported in the Nov. 20 edition of the Times.
Also Friday night, five town retirees were recognized, including Gordon Flatt, Gary Thibault, James Walton, Betty Ann West, and Lorne Whalen.
The five employees who attained 25 years of service with the town included Julie Crichton, Wayne Jewell, Linda Kitowski, Margaret Sedgwick, and Bob Tkachuk.
There were no citizens who served the maximum of nine consecutive years allowed on the same committee to recognize this year.
Emcee Mayor Glenn Witherspoon also named off previous employees who have reached 25 years of service to the town as well as past retirees.
He also recognized councillors, management staff, members of the various town boards and committees, deceased employees in the past year (Melvin Humphrey, Alfred Knotts, and Francis Malcolm), and spouses of deceased employees.