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Prime Minister sends his best

Ken Johnston

The official centennial ceremonies were held Saturday afternoon under the big tent.
Centennial Committee Chair Gord Armstrong opened things with spirited remarks. “Happy Birthday Rainy River! It is so great to see so many people with grey hair that used to be brown.”
Several dignitaries made presentations to RR Mayor Glen Armstrong. Newly elected Thunder Bay-Rainy River Member of Parliament, Ken Boshcoff, brought greetings from Prime Minister Paul Martin and Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
The Ontario Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsey brought greetings from Premier Dalton McGinty. “It is nice to be up on the pretty end of Yonge St.,” added Ramsey.
Kenora-Rainy River M.P.P. Howard Hampton also gave congratulatory remarks and commented on how great a parade it was. “I bought $200 worth of candy and ran out 2/3 of the way through.”
Former Fort Frances Mayor Glenn Witherspoon read a letter on behalf of the Minister of Culture highlighting the fact that the Ontario Trillium Foundation gave $25,000 to the RR centennial to help make the event a success.
Municipal representatives from Atikokan, Fort Frances, LaVallee, Emo, Chapple, Morley, Lake of the Woods, Dawson, Baudette, MN, Winkler, MB. and Kenora also made presentations to community.
Local centenarians Clinton Park and Emma Friesting were also recognized. Friesting was not in attendance but the Mayor presented Clinton and his wife with a boxed set of commemorative centennial coins. They received a standing ovation from the crowd of about 1,500 on hand. Clinton asked the mayor to express his gratitude for all the kind years they have lived in Rainy River.
Mayor Armstrong also gave a speech thanking all for coming, all who helped make the event possible, specifically the committee, the coordinators, the town staff both inside and outside.
“Our forefathers truly saw something special here. Courage, strength and enthusiasm have always prevailed here. As we reflect on the past and dream of the future I see great things for the future of this community. There is untapped potential here that is truly great.”
He concluded by encouraging everyone to enjoy their visit and for those who came home to consider coming home for good or at the very least visit more often.
A special birthday gift was then presented to the town by Tony Brennan of Thief River Falls. He gave the community a etched mirror that he made that depicts the 4008 and had the town’s birthday on it.
With that Mayor Armstrong declared the celebration officially open.