"Old Timers" come together at armory

By DeeAnna Haney | Aug 21, 2014
Wayne Carson shows off one of the mill's former emblems, which was once displayed at the mill.

Hundreds of "Old Timers" gathered at the Canton armory for a good meal and good company at the 80th annual Old Timers Reunion, which brings together employees and retirees of the Champion Fibre Company, Blue Ridge Packaging and Evergreen Packaging.

To be considered an "old timer," current employees and retirees must have at least 25 years of work under their belt.

Reuben Robertson, who was president of Champion Fibre Company, started the Old Timers Club 77 years ago in the mid 1930s for the workers to fellowship and enjoy a good meal.

The oldest of the Old Timers, Henry Towe, still attends the reunion every year. At 95 years old, he still remembers his starting pay of 43 cents at the mill. He retired at 55. His brother, James Towe, who is 92, also comes to the event with his brother every year.

A tradition which has been going on for all these years is the “Ringing Of The Old Bell,” which was used while the mill was under construction more than 105 years ago.

Robertson also began a club called Snug Harbor in 1953 which consisted of the old timers. The oldest Snug Harbor member, who rang this year's bell, was 92-year-old Ray Whitted.


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