Editor lands a big one

NNSL (Sep 03/97) - Former US president George Bush has become a newspaper columnist in Arctic Canada.

This week a Bush column on fishing appears in the Deh Cho Drum, a 1,200 circulation paper in Fort Simpson, which serves a handful of isolated aboriginal communities.

Deh Cho Drum editor Arthur Milnes, knowing Bush had been fishing in the North, decided to go for the big one and asked him to write about arctic char fishing on the Tree River.

Milnes fired a letter off to Bush's Texas office, along with a baseball cap for the president's press secretary, and fully expected to receive a polite reject in a few month's time.

Last week, Milnes, arrived back in his one-person office to find that a guest column had been submitted to the Deh Cho Drum from Kennebunkport, Maine, the summer home of the former United States president.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the fax machine," Milnes, 31, said. "Then, I nearly fell off my chair when I phoned the number on the fax to thank the president for taking the time and they put me right through to him."

"Like most freelancers, the president was worried about how his column would be received -- especially among Northern fisherman. He said he didn't want them to think he was trying to sound like an expert or anything. I assured him that he didn't sound that way -- anything but -- and that I thought the people of the North would be as thrilled as I was that he had been so moved by our area of Canada that he had taken the time to write for such a small publication."

President Bush's column will run in the Deh Cho Drum, a weekly paper published by Northern News Services of Yellowknife, tomorrow.

The column and photos will be available on the NNSL web-site.