Monday, January 23, 2017


     My job as Local Administrator had me doing many different things. It may not have been that time consuming but there was a great variety of things to do.

     I was the government contact for all government business. On the opposite side I contacted the government for all local business. There was lots of ordering and then maintenance for school, shop ,houses and power.

     We had a diesel generator producing power. We had two identical Diesel's. One would run seven days and then be serviced and the second would run for seven days. So Our mechanic would go out for holidays and I would look after the diesels. They had to be checked numerous times a day and then serviced. Guess who got the job? Me!

    One job I really enjoyed was buying soapstone carvings. Several afternoons a week I was open for buying soapstone carvings. The government gave me a monthly $2000.00 to buy carvings. So the learning curve was steep as far as pricing carvings was concerned. Most carvings were in the $10.00 to $20.00 range . There were a few good carvers and their pieces went for much more. I bought one carving for $1200.00. You should have seen the look on her face when I said $1200.00 She could buy 2 skidoos with that money. O emember the Inuit would say something like sikidoos

    Before the ship came in I had to tag and wrap all carvings...big job and not fun. If you wanted to buy the carvings from me the price was doubled.

   I also oversaw soapstone mining. 4 guys would go out in the winter, build an igloo and work for a week. They picked and pried the stone out of the rock. There were big and little pieces and all could be used. The rock was hauled in with sleds and skidoos.

    There were weird problems that came up. The government kept asking about a child and wanted me to identify the child. Families were paid family allowance. The government had been paying for this child but somehow did not identify the child. I would get a letter to check. I would go to the family and ask about this child. They would shake their heads and say they knew nothing about it. After two years they looked at each other and discussed. It was a baby that had been born out on an island and the baby died. Now the government had to get the overpayment back. 

   Any government people who came through stayed at my place. One very interesting person who spent a week with us was Fred Breumer a well known writer on the north. We learned so much from listening to Fred for a week. Another interesting guy was a French dentist who was doing research on teeth. He came every two years. He didn't speak English but we understood his Parisian French almost perfectly. We had difficulty with Quebecois French.

   We had surprise visitors when planes landed because of bad weather. Two twin otters landed one day. They had floats but there was no open water so they landed in the snow which was an amazing thing to watch. We were expecting to witness a crash. They made  an excellent landing and then took off the next day.

    There was something different every day that made things interesting.

     Now the Inuit would tell you something and say "Dima." Dima meant "I'm finished", "I have nothing more to say."

     So with this post I'm finished. It's been fun to reminisce with you.

    I will set up a question post in a couple of days.