EMBRUN — Embrun’s Francois Latour is all smiles (photo above) after learning that one of his dreams has come true.
His name has been included in the Guinness Book of World Records — the actual book — for recapturing in 2019 the title for most antique threshing machines operating in one place (243). While 56,000 names and events have been recorded by Guinness over the years, only five per cent actually make it into the book.
Latour’s latest entry into the famous tome comes as a result of the Aug. 11, 2019, mass threshing event he organized in St-Albert. Two-hundred and forty-three machines turned out to return the world record to Latour, who had previously held it for a short time after spearheading a similar 2015 gathering that drew 111 threshers to the same community. His new record beats the 239 mark set by a rival Manitoba group in 2016.
Last year’s event also served as a $100,000 breast cancer fundraiser, with Latour even arranging to have his own thresher and an antique tractor painted a prominent pink. His buddy at Embrun Collision handled the painting job for free and threw in a $10,000 donation besides, Latour told NVN in the month’s prior to the record attempt.
Breast cancer has a personal resonance for Latour, as his wife, Suzanne, died from the disease on the very day he achieved that first world record five years ago. “He got the record at noon, and he lost his wife at four o’clock,” recalled Latour’s friend, Roger Lafrance of Crysler, at the 2019 Crysler Farm Show.
“She was in a coma; she waited,” added Latour, describing how his spouse had held on until that day in 2015.