This reunion is long overdue!

Mine Centre is not even a ghost town anymore since its well-remembered businesses at the railroad have disappeared. Two stores, a hotel, and Ma Beardmore’s dining room are now gone—leaving an empty street.
While the highway and electric lights have done little to revive the old community near our popular old school leading to the mines, there may be some hope yet for reviving that wonderful spirit!
Some of my old schoolmates believe we should get together again soon to celebrate our memories of Fanny McKenzie, our great pre-war teacher, and events long ago: the dances and ball games, the coming together at the Pridau and Bliss stores and post office, and meeting visitors who would arrive by passenger train.
I talked it over with with Alex Sockolotuk, Clora McEvoy (Dumeney), and John Law, who now all live in Fort Frances (and have for many years), and their responses were favourable.
So then, badly needing a drive one bright afternoon, I made it 40 miles east to Mine Centre again, for only the second time in many years, hoping to meet well-known Joe Bliss around his home at Bad Vermilion Lake.
This is close to the spot where my dad found us a one-room log cabin so long ago when he went to work in Angelo Paccito’s gold mine three miles east.
We claimed squatters’ rights and needed no rent money. Later, he built his own cabin with Jimmy Rathwell’s help a mile closer to the stores.
Altogether, our Mine Centre stay took only two years before we returned to Fort Frances to build our final home on Portage Avenue.
Our first Mine Centre home site is now occupied by the Harold Dennis gas station and store—just up the road from the lake and on the highway.
But the entire community has been obliterated from that spot north to the first old town, I’m sad to say, and that’s the main reason I am suggesting a reunion before we forget about all the great life there.
The people who replaced all of us probably have never heard of the old Mine Centre names nor all our activities. So we need to come together to find others from our own era before it’s too late. Already from my school days there, I can probably count at least a dozen deaths of other students, or probably half of those we knew.
So this is for those still with us—and willing to pitch in with their recollections. Let’s fix a date for a get-together over a meal, perhaps a barbecue!
Planning will necessitate naming a program chairman and also the date. I would expect someone living at Mine Centre to contact us and I certainly would serve on the committee.
Only if you agree it should be done, pass the idea around and just maybe we can kick Mine Centre awake again—and be glad we did! Our old home should not be completely forgotten and never heard about again.
That happened, you know, with the first Mine Centre, or Bell City, around the Foley Mine on Shoal Lake.
And just maybe a third Mine Centre can emerge eventually and show us all where that elusive pot of gold is located. So let’s go!
• • •
A woman, noticing several town workmen dining in the A & W, stopped to pass me a joke she had read about two workmen busy with shovels. One would dig holes while his partner filled them in.
Questioned, one worker explained this was supposed to be a three-man job, except one man could not come to work that day to put trees in the holes.
• • •
Jolly John Makarchuk brought in his wife from Kirkland Lake, Ont. to renew acquaintances—laughing as always.
• • •
I should phone Ernie Skog, who welcomed us to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, which was so hard hit recently by Hurricane Frances! Ernie sold cameras in his store there when we met him about 10 years ago.
He and his wife became a great host for my wife and I, showing us around, and I think I glimpsed the hotel we stayed at when television reports showed the storm scenes and devastation there.
We exchanged Christmas cards and I trust the Skogs are still around. They moved to Freeport after selling a chain of stores around Philadelphia.
• • •
Retired town policeman Tom Yuill, hired by former chief Louis Camirand for his giant size, will be observing his 80th birthday with his son out in Kamloops, B.C.
Tom was even larger than Jim Miller, the cop who once boxed professionally. But after surgery and three months in hospital, he was down to 139 pounds.
• • •
You look along Scott Street and wonder how much longer it can last, being assaulted by competition right and left while all the stores owners there get older.
Jeweller Dave Brockie became 90 the other day although his son, Ted, Brockie carries on the family business. And on the side of the Gagné drug store that its owner, Walter, left years ago, there has appeared the sign “Celebrating 75 years!”
Several other departees saw similar long service. Scott today has become an adventure in nostalgia!
• • •
Another note on the Grand Bahama: Its beaches were white sand, which could give you a fast sunburn!
• • • 
A new kind of motor oil is getting a good reputation for great uphill performance. Which reminds me, it’s time for a fall tune-up on my old truck!

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