From Our Files – Week of February 15, 2021
50 Years Ago — Feb. 18, 1971
Federal contract — Fraser Paper of Madawaska has received a $129,201 federal contract to produce 235,600 reams of duplicating paper for government use. Congressman William Hathaway released details on the contract last week saying he had been informed by the General Services Administration in Washington.
Father L’Heureux leaves Wallagrass — Father Conrad L’Heureux, pastor at Wallagrass and Soldier Pond since June 1967, has been transferred to St. Joseph’s Parish in Ellsworth and will assume duties there on Feb. 15, 1971. Prior to coming to Wallagrass, Father L’Heureux served as assistant pastor at St. Martin of Tours Parish in East Millinocket.
25 Years Ago — Feb. 14, 1996
Madawaska mill merged, new company formed — Say goodbye to Fraser, say hello to — well, it doesn’t have a name yet but it has revenues of approximately $1.2 billion a year and is one of the largest producers of specialized paper products in North America. The new company is the result of a merger Thursday of three companies: Fraser Paper Limited of Stamford, Connecticut.; Cross Pointe Paper Corporation of St. Paul, Minnesota.; and Thorold Specialty Papers of Thorold, Ontario, Canada. All three companies are owned by Noranda Forest Inc. The individual companies will retain their brand identities and product lines. Madawaska Mill Manager Bert Martin said the merger is a good thing for the local economy because it will allow the new company to compete more strongly against other paper producing companies. “When you’re a billion-dollar company, it makes a difference,” he said.
Gerber Products employees laid off — Fifty-eight employees were laid off for an indefinite period of time Thursday, Feb. 8, 1996 at Gerber Products in Fort Kent. The layoff represents more than a quarter of the plant’s workforce of 210. Since 1985 Gerber Products Co. has been a part of life for residents in the Valley. Prior to 1985 the plant was known as Princess Kent, a major employer in the Valley since the 1960s. According to Plant Manager Peter Pinette, “This layoff is strictly production related.”
10 Years Ago — Feb. 16, 2011
International Light Parade — The International Light Parade drew approximately 18,000 people,” said Dana Saucier, vice president of support services, at the end of the World Cup Biathlon at the Maine Winter Sport Center’s 10th Mountain. “At the venue, Saturday was the biggest day. We had about 5,000. Thursday and Friday brought the school children, about 2,000 visitors, and there were 3,000-4,000 on Sunday.” Athletes and their families from 27 countries seemed to be in a perpetually good mood all over the town.