Previous Guinness Book of World Records holder Francois Latour of Embrun is thrilled that Ken Mack of Saskatchewan will be joining him and his team to hopefully record a new entry August 11, 2019.
Latour explains at a VITEO (Vintage Iron and Traditions of Eastern Ontario) meeting April 15 that he and his committee are preparing antique threshers and tractors to once again earn top place for the greatest number of machines working at one time for 15 minutes. Mack, who hails from Lagenburg, Saskatchewan witnessed Latour’s Guinness win in 2015 at St. Albert Cheese Factory Co-Op. At the time, Mack congratulated the Ontario gang for their success but added that he thought the record just might be broken the following year. He was right. Despite the later loss to Manitobans the following year, Latour’s happy that Mack will be hauling a machine all the way from Saskatchewan just to be part of the new record attempt.
At his family’s home farm near Casselman, Latour tells about 75 people, mostly VITEO members, who braved the wild East winds that this second run at winning the championship is not just about antiques and agriculture, but about raising money for breast cancer as well joining Canada together.
In 2016, 50 of Latour’s group went out to Austin, Manitoba to see 139 pioneer threshing machines break his record of 111. After Latour’s major win that brought hundreds of enthusiasts out to the curd factory grounds, Manitobans declared they would be next to break the record.
“Many didn’t think they could do it because antique threshers aren’t easy to transport and out west, they’re much bigger than the ones we have here in the East,” explains Denis Lauzon of St. Eugene, Latour’s right hand man. “But we watched them do it, and now we’ll try to get the title back.”
Latour hosted VITEO members on the full day event April 15 that started at his childhood dairy farm on Paul Latour road where he stores over 70 antique Massey Harris tractors, some that will be running to set the new record.
He then opened doors of another barn down the road where he stores dozens of threshers lined up inside and outside the barn.
Lunch was appropriately held at St. Albert Cheese Factory Co-Op with a final stop at his storage shed where he had four antique tractors running threshers.
Latour has been passionate about antique farm equipment his whole life. As one of six boys, he grew up on a dairy farm, and like many others, he left the farm to work in construction. “But I never lost my love of farming and equipment. This is my way of staying in it and hopefully giving something back.”
He explains that his beloved wife died of breast cancer the same day he won the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015. He raised $30,000 for cancer research that day and hopes to raise $100,000 in 2019.
“All donations and proceeds from sales of threshed grain will go to breast cancer research. It’s my way of giving back.” Latour plans to have 200 threshers operating. “That will make it much harder for anyone to break the record,” says Latour with a grin.
Francois Latour and VITEO member Garry Howes of Maxville check out the many Massey Harris tractors on display in Latour’s barn April 15 and that will be used in an attempt to make a new world record.
Threshers and tractors that will be used in 2019 to break the world record for the greatest number of antique threshers working at one time for 15 minutes.