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United efforts make Labour Day celebration

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Labour Day will be packed with activities here this year thanks to the Fort Frances and District Labour Council, which has been planning for the Sept. 7 event for almost a month.

The long weekend will kick off with a free pancake breakfast Saturday from 8-10:30 a.m. at Sister Kennedy Centre. A joint effort by the labour council and the Kenora/Rainy River provincial NDP association, it will feature an appearance by NDP leader Howard Hampton.

Festivities will continue with a parade on Labour Day at 11 a.m. Starting at the Heritage Depot (former CN station on Fourth Street West, it will march down Scott Street to Memorial Arena.

The purpose of the parade is to celebrate the unity of labourers everywhere.

Then everyone is invited to a corn roast and barbecue at Memorial Arena at noon. And while there, you can witness the tug-of-war battle between heated rivals CUPE 306 and Local 92.

“Ten years ago, 306 won four years in a row against 92,” labour council president Dale Gustafson said Friday. “They’ve accused us of eating too many doughnuts to bulk up for the next tug-of-war.”

A rally also will be held around 12:25 p.m. at the arena.

Gustafson said Herman Pruys, president of the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Andrew Hallikas, head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, and Sharon Preston, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation (Rainy River local), were all interested in showing their support.

“All of the teachers’ groups in town are coming out for it,” Preston said Monday. “Hopefully, they’ll bring their family and friends.

“I think it’s been a tough year for labour, and I think it’s important for us to get together and pat each other on the back—to show some solidarity,” she added.

The activities then will move to Pither’s Point Park, where a horseshoe tournament will be held. Anyone interested can show up around 1 p.m., when names will be drawn for teams of two.

The first-place team will receive a trophy, and $100 (donated by the Legion) will be divided among the top teams.

If the event is rained out, it will be held Sunday, Sept. 13.

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