I agree wholeheartedly with those who object to the “rebranding” of the Franco Center, even if the change involves only the addition of the rather inane “Riverfront” tagline.

One statement in the March 14 article on the issue, “France weighs in on name change,” warrants attention. In defending the alteration, the current president of the center was quoted as saying that the change was justified “to make it far easier for people to know that all are welcome.”

This is a puzzling comment.

I am not a Franco-American, although my late wife Joline Landry Beam was.

I have visited the center countless times. At no time did I ever feel out of place or unwelcome there, nor do I understand why any non-Franco would react this way. If anyone does feel “unwelcome,” they have problems that won’t be resolved by a name change.

I am sure my late wife and her parents — Franco-Americans who were born and raised in Lewiston and spoke French before they learned English — would regard the “rebranding” of this monument to Lewiston’s heritage as a diminution of their proud culture and their community.

I hope those in charge of the Franco Center will rescind their decision.

Chris Beam, Lewiston

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.