Stratton to teach us about old high school

Congratulations to Charlie Morken and Russel Pollard for acting more wide awake than most of us when it comes to bargain-hunting.
Charlie and Russel represent Stratton Equipment and now have their eyes on our old high school.
This is a pair of our country cousins who continue to astound everyone around them. Russel for his machinery savvy as a pulpwood truck and tractor operator and Charlie as an elk farmer. Both very lucrative fields of endeavour for those who know what they’re doing.
You would have to visit Stratton to see for yourself how well these lads look after everything they touch. Their modern shop close to the highway holds everything required in their line and a sales record that probable stands unchallenged.
Their headquarters is also the Winnipeg bus stop.
Then see that elk farm where Charlie has spared no expense on his buildings and corrals and has his majestic herd producing the horns that once ground up sell like gold dust! This is a medicinal product very beloved by Asians.
So, between them, they can appreciate the values and opportunities awaiting in the huge high school, and probably better than anyone else in this whole area considering the delay by the rest of us to hand in bids on the very attractive property.
But then who else can deal knowledgeably in such other topics as scarification and forest regeneration which has become something of a Pollard specialty—and means much to the province whenever a cut-over section of forest land needs to start growing fresh trees?
Both Russel and elder brother Alton Pollard can step in and look after that—and in fact more or less introduced the practice to this entire district.
The Pollard name should be well known to the foresters of B.C. also since Alton led an expedition or our district truckers out there several years ago, having first purchased a fleet of wood-hauling trucks there on a visit. Then he sent home for his brother and others with experience to come out and take charge.
I believe by now it’s generally recognized around Stratton that Russel and Charlie can be called “the boys with the Midas touch” as their financial successes continue to mount, and Alton probably led the way for much of that. Now the fate of the high school could well be in their hands.
For too long have our other taxpayers looked away from our red brick mountain that stands in such an important downtown location but with hardly any solution raised until now.
Everyone will want to know how Stratton Equipment can make our old school come alive in a different role—or else disappear as a growing eyesore.
If benefits befall the district and community as a result of a Stratton resurrection of that property, there could be cheering in the streets.
This could be the greatest happening of this new century—but don’t let’s start renaming any parts of that property either Morken-ville or the Pollard block until we see how Charley and Russel make out on their project.
Can they go ahead and make the rest of us look foolish on this deal, or are the present times ready for that just yet?
One thing for sure, if the school and its site actually get sold, there are bound to be changes made—and none too soon!
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Several of our winter-time exports are freshly returned from Florida, and full of laughter. You can’t tell whether they are all so happy to be back among us, or happy about all the money they have been saving for months on their grocery bills. Among them we have welcomed Nick Andrusco, Bruce Holmlund and Harold Armstrong and this greeting also extends to their wives who must have been missing their snow shovels back home.
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Drivers going past Manitou reserve, west of Emo, are saying the natives put up signs along the highway there opposed to making war with Iraq. This seems to be partially where border Americans may have gained the impression that Canadians were not supporting that war at all.
Some animosity was expressed on that score but the American memories should recall U.S. reluctance and delays concerning their own involvement in the two old world wars.
It’s believed that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour pushed the U.S. into the last war against Germany, a Japanese ally. Incidentally, lest anyone obtained the idea that our natives are a timid lot, incapable of going to war. Evidence from the last two Great Wars is that they were among our most valiant soldiers and returned well decorated with medals.
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Count the late Stan Hawley among the most missed of our recent deceased. Stan loved the outdoors, especially Rainy Lake and hockey and everything else that keeps us all in this environment and the people he met will always appreciate the smiling impression he left behind. McDonald’s coffee shop knows his cheerful ways very well.
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Among our first war souvenirs put “Mademoiselle from Armetiers,” “Who hasn’t been kissed in twenty years,” “Hinky, dinky, parlez-vous.” And the old songsters would never forgive me for leaving out “Mocking Bird Hill” or “The Blue-tailed Fly.”
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Did you realize that fort Frances is so little known among people who run minor hockey in Canada, despite our many triumphs in this sport, that one of the visiting junior teams decided to take no chances on availability of medical assistance here that they brought along their own doctor and dentist, just in case? Apparently nobody thought to phone ahead and inquire into medical care here. Our fans got their money’s worth anyway and our team will do better next year.
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Mildred Oulette wants whoever has heard of the song “The Tree in the Meadow” to get in touch. The old songs are really receiving a dusting off here lately.
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During his visit for our centennial, Larry Richardson made the point that the sixties changed this town more than any other era. Such events as the opening of the highway to the Lakehead and the Causeway, sale of the Mando mills to Boise, premier Robarts’ tax shuffles and the change in assessment rules, as well as the death of our old industrial leader, J.A. Mathieu, were items seen by Richardson as influential for local development.
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Despite all the criticism on various aspects of the condominium and area, it becomes obvious to anyone driving along the river there that Front Street must continue to be developed if the entire neighbourhood is not to be allowed to disintegrate. That frontage, expensive as it will be, must be smoothed out to match its surroundings.

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