Our Atlantis stature is saluted nationally

Forging over stronger ties with its Atlantis fatherland, Fort Frances last weekend hosted probably more visitors in a week than ever before–and twice again laid claim to being the most fantastic place on earth!
Our Water Wonderland never ceases to amaze and this became obvious again when Canada Post said it all!
By issuing a stamp last week to honour the Canadian Bass Fishing Championship held here annually, our government in its wisdom let it be known there are the moment few contenders for the Fort Frances crown of charismatic leader of the free world.
Although only one of our most recent achievements, the four-day fish derby attracted untold thousands to roar applause for dear old Rainy Lake and its piscatorial pleasures.
Then, also vying for attention here Saturday evening, we had the homecoming of the musical Andruscos who attracted enough old friends to turn the new curling club into a vast dancehall–and oppose any notion that the riverfront was the only show in town.
You could say, perhaps, the amount of dining going on at both locations was a sensational aspect, yet the shouting was by no means secondary.
Realizing that our reborn Atlantis is partially populated by Ukrainians to give us bragging rights at many tables, you can believe there were plateloads of perogies disappearing at the dance after we had witnessed all that appetizing fishing.
There were tons of bass brought back, approximately enough to satisfy an army, but the game here much to my disappointment was actually “catch and release.”
But hey, after a straight month of sweltering heat, the anglers never had it so good weather-wise, going out and returning on quiet every day waters and covering the North Arm for many miles. The weatherman had joined the hundreds of volunteers to help fuss over the details.
Who drive furthest beyond speculation, but it was highly noticeable that the rising price of gasoline was of only minor consideration for these anglers from all points of the compass. They arrived flaunting the largest outboards on the spiffiest watercraft imaginable and amply rewarding our hospitality vendors and tournament management alike for their investment foresight.
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But nothing succeeds better than sports, as we’ve seen right along, and for those thinking ahead to next season, Old Atlantis has been serving up hockey, incredibly, as the Allison school proceeds here oblivious to life on the lakes.
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Nothing but winners in every sphere of sports as Fort Frances athletes keep setting out to prove, in keeping with our glorious ancient traditions. While old Atlantis probably never heard of golf, being more proficient, we understand, with the javelin and discus, Christin Thomson continues to dazzle with her long, very straight drive down the fairway. She was winner among 120 at Lacrosse, Wisconsin a fortnight ago. Of course, she gets daily stamina training at father Bob’s Dairy Queen, and, when they find time, both do well on the links, reaching the more distant courses in Bob’s home-built aircraft.
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The lakes will never seem the same, though, without the stalwarts like the late Jim Gillon who manned the log tows. Jim was among our last active log-rollers, a sport quite a number of locals used to excel at, and their memory is perpetuated by the Hallet sitting silently at the Point, close to the tower museum.
I visited there last week to learn it could stand more promotion and better display to show our visitors what went on here during our Atlantis background…
As a port of call for cross-country enthusiasts too, Fort Frances is holding its own. Almost any day you can chat with someone, going through by bike. The Tour de Canada has cyclists returning east now and I was intrigued by Alain Theberge and Joanne Laniel from Ottawa. While we were roasting here, they were shivering in a Timmins snowstorm on July 1 and meeting more snow at Indian Head, Sask., July 16. Then a hailstorm and wind was trying to lift their showy 800-pound bike east of Regina. These travellers are prominent in the nation’s capital, Alaine being a security services commander and Joanne, a senior registry officer in the Supreme Court. They promised to keep in touch.
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Hank Ossachuk takes objection to the April 11, 1903, date suggested for the Fort Frances centennial observance. He passed me a clipping on our 50th birthday celebration held on April 3, along with his historical facts. Our 1953 population, and remember this is somewhat before we staked our claim as the new Atlantis, was only about 5,000 hardy citizens. I’ll save the clipping, thanks Hank!
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Between its ideas on high hanging flowerpots and tearing up streets as well as misunderstandings on tax collection dates and the proposed condo development by the river, our poor old town is merely proving like some others among us, that the July heat wave has been just too much! Art Hammond, pushing those pots of petunia “waves” by the hundreds, reports he is working on a thousand square feet of such sales. Jim and Blair Lowey are providing plenty of competition with five new greenhouses.
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You’d have had to be there when the Andruscos got everyone on their feet Saturday, but the best part was the hand shaking that went on among old friends convening in their honour. Fellows like old schoolmates, Cliff Huber, Dan Roste and Glen Armstrong, all visitors were doing more talking than dancing but they helped make it a real ball, too.
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And if your ever in need of a jump for your engine, remember a real knight of the road whom I encountered and get in tough with pleasant Wellington Moulton from out around Stratton.
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Rainy Lake lore comes up quickly in the right company with the names French’s Island and Sheldrup’s lighthouse and that’s really close to the Mermaid statue whose story was told by our new reporter…last week.
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Joke of the week at the bass tourney: One fisherman admitted his fish didn’t place very highly–but at least he won the polygraph contest!

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