Fort tops at Senior Games


For all the friendliness between participants in the air, Fort Frances’ legion of super seniors didn’t act in a very hospitable manner with medals hanging in the balance.
The local contingent reigned supreme as hosts of the District 1A Senior Games last week, winning 15 of the 21 medals over the three-day event.
Of the 89 participants, 53 hailed from Fort Frances while Dryden (17), Kenora (15), and Stratton (four) lagged well behind in the strength-in-numbers department.
Fort Frances picked up five gold medals out of the seven events, including victories at both venues for the Games—the Sister Kennedy Centre, where most of the action took place, and Plaza Lanes, site of the five-pin bowling competition.
“Happy Gang” from Fort Frances were tops on the lanes—winning gold in the pins-over-average format.
The “Mamas & Papas” from Kenora captured silver while “Stemmers” from here claimed the bronze medal.
“Crazy Ladies” from Fort Frances actually had the best P.O.A. team score by more than 120 pins at the end of the three games played by each team.
But one regular member of the team had to be replaced due to illness on the day of the event—leaving not enough time for the replacement player to officially register ahead of time for the competition.
As such, “Crazy Ladies” were disqualified from gold-medal consideration.
Fort Frances also ruled in the shuffleboard category, garnering first place in two separate disciplines.
Sylvia Beadle and Mary Beth Tkachuk racked up the most points in their four games to take home gold in floor shuffleboard.
That despite Beadle’s blunt observation of “We blew that one” after the duo lost their last game.
Grace Hutchison and Eleanor Allan (Dryden) wound up with silver while the Fort pairing of Mildred Bedard and Donna McKelvie earned bronze.
In table shuffleboard, Sister Kennedy Centre director and Games’ organizer Nick Wihnan had the winner’s touch, along with partner Jerry Martin, to win gold in what was a local sweep of the podium.
Mildred Bedard and partner, Al Bedard, finished with the silver while Tkachuk and Betty Robinson collected the bronze.
In billiards, it was another Fort sweep, with Gerald Mosher (gold), Dave Jorgenson (silver), and Roger Wickstrom (bronze) taking the medals.
The only place where the outside teams were able to break the Fort’s monopoly on first place was at the card tables.
That didn’t include the Bridge event, though, as local teams again owned the top three spots.
Hilda Hoffman and Marj McTaggart bested the field to collect gold, Audrey Thomson and Laurel Halvorsen earned silver, and Bev Angus and Lois Tabak took the bronze.
Gladys Jolicouer and Cynthia Cave of Stratton triumphed in the Cribbage event, with the Fort teams of Ken Dick and Jim Fowler, along with José Balcewich and Renee Dumeney, landing in second and third place, respectively.
Dryden’s only gold medal came courtesy of the team of Hutchison and Wendy Sendall, who captured gold in the Euchre competition.
That led to a Dryden sweep of the Euchre medals, with Duncan Begg and Nancy Curtins grabbing silver and Sharon McGregor and Wilda Nystrom settling for bronze.
The over-65 demographic far outnumbered their younger counterparts at the Games, with 75 competitors coming from that age bracket as opposed to 14 in the 55-65 category.
Gold medalists qualified for the Ontario Senior Games coming up Aug. 19-21 in Windsor.
It was not known at press time how many local competitors had agreed to make the trip to the provincial event.