The Mudges were always famous for friendship

Long ago they traded their dreams of great wealth for enduring friendships.
So, about a week ago, the Mine Centre-ites gathered again among the lakes and gold-bearing rocks their ancestors knew to celebrate attachment to a great pioneering name in the recreation industry.
The Mudge name fits well into our current chronology of Atlantis lore, too, lying west of the Height of Land which gives us geographic and historic significance.
While gold mining on the banks of the Bad Vermilion and Shoal lakes has faded away, the Mudges picked sports fishing to replace the old lure of gold. Now, their clan from right across the continent has just completed a 160-member reunion here that lasted three very full days.
One granddaughter, Marilyn Mudge, went over their hectic schedule, starting with a Friday dinner at the local Canadian Legion, going on to a Pither’s Point Park picnic on Saturday, then out to Mine Centre School for a pig roast–all before hitting Bad Vermilion beach for water sports behind Rose Bell’s former home, where a Calgary Stampede breakfast was served Sunday.
Mine Centre days are held almost every summer, but the Mudge reunion was a popular addition. It took a while Friday for this far-flung family to become re-acquainted, assisted by photos in the old Mudge cookbook.
As things settled down, a splendid number of long-distance travellers were identified among the visiting relatives. Among them: Susan Adams from P.E.I., Gary Baldwin and family from Vancouver, Gracie Gushulak from Comox, B.C., Georgette Fisher and daughter from Calgary, and Cora Schorsch (Thompson) from Chicago.
Practically everyone was either a cousin or married to one, and these were all third-generation Mudges. The original Mudge family contained twin sons, Ted of Fort Frances and George, who moved to Shebandowan, and three daughters, Grace, the mother of Marilyn, Florence Struve, and Mary Baldwin.
Accordianist Kenneth Cone (of the goldmining Cones) performed for the dance at the school. Other notable movers and shakers included Howard Struve, Nelen Heller, Billy Johnson, and David and Robert McMillan.
Marilyn took over the research chores, too, and noted that George Mudge Sr. started his popular resort in the ’20s with log cabins on Bad Vermilion lake where it corners the Rainy. Earlier, he had owned the Vermilion hotel, which preceded the last Mine Centre hotel beside the railroad.
The Mudge resort weathered the Depression while others went under–but it’s doubtful as to whether any tougher time was known than before all the visitors got their cars off the Foley road on the Sunday after the big storm!
A contractor had to be called in to replace a culvert but the gathering stayed good-natured because this allowed extra time for fishing and kayaking.
No doubt a hypnotist and the “Survivor” games performed at the school assisted in everyone’s escape eventually, but the muscle power was undoubtedly assisted by that Stampede breakfast of beef from Alberta!
• • •
We’ll miss our most cheerful citizen now that Keith Sutherland has taken his big grin down east among his children at Midland, Ont. Everyone hopes they will brighten life for his wife, Laura, in her illness.
Keith was one of our popular bakers and door-to-door deliveryman for many years and Laura was a popular member of the Belluz family who rank among our business pioneers.
Her father, Victor, operated one of several butcher shops in town then and owned the building where Keith first baked.
Keith also left his new showplace home of brick by the river.
• • •
Almost everyone jumps in to correct my saying “Lost Island” and claims proper identification should be “Last Island.” But Michael Pierce, the retired postman whose late father, George, shared ownership of the close-in Rainy lake location with the late Jack Keenahan, says his family always made it “Lost.”
Someone else put a strange oar in the water by saying the island in question was definitely “Last” as it was the bottom end of the Dawson Trail.
Anybody here ever hear of any Dawson Trail being nearby?
• • •
Many years ago, during the ’50, our leading citizens met regularly and patiently with their opposites of International Falls to set up a civil defence strategy against disasters, especially bad storms.
We established sirens across town and tested them until we got the right sites and sounds, and the Falls people did likewise. Neither town decided to create bomb shelters although that was going on elsewhere.
But we knew that the best plan would be to depend on radio announcements after the sirens went off.
Now our whole system seems to have collapsed. In the last storms, we didn’t have promptness on either sirens nor announcements, and it appears out old meetings were just as waste of time!
• • •
Sybil Mowe of Flinders Park has managed to grow a sunflower bearing 32 blossoms–and has pictures to prove it!

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