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I always mark this space, my final editorial of any given year, to flap a flipper toward a few folks across the region who are more than worthy of the recognition.

We have folks who put in a lot of extra time and effort on top of their regular working hours to help improve the quality of life for our youth across the region.

And, we always hold a special place in our printing press for the fine folks in the Kivalliq region who feel it important to highlight the accomplishments of people in their community to the Kivalliq News, take photos, do interviews or line them up between those in the story and yours truly.

These folks are more important to me than ever right now, as I’ve lost a good number of great contacts who were very, very active in their communities during the past few years.

It seems like I’ve been thanking Arviat teacher and drama club director Gord Billard for his efforts at John Arnalukjuak High School (JAHS) for ages upon ages.

Billard isn’t far behind me in terms of the number of years he’s served his community, and his efforts to bring theatre to Arviat play lovers, and to help ensure the efforts of students at JAHS are well-documented among the pages of the Kivalliq News, are nothing short of phenomenal.

Thank you, so much, Mr. Billard. Your effort and determination will never be forgotten in this corner. 

Ditto the husband and wife teaching tandem of Glen Brocklebank and Ana Leishman at Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet.

The two are involved in numerous activities within their school and community, including Brocklebank’s baby, the qayaq program at Victor Sammurtok School.

Thanks for everything throughout the school year, you two. I’ve been able to highlight the accomplishments of many smiling student faces in Chesterfield Inlet for years and years, thanks mainly to your effort and determination.

I don’t know where I would have been on so many difficult occasions were it not for Rankin shutterbug Noel Kaludjak’s love for the camera and willingness to help out a friend in a tight spot.

I doubt there’s too many left in Rankin who haven’t been caught in Kaludjak’s lens at one time or another.

Thanks for being there for me so often, Noel. The Kivalliq News has always been a more complete publication when it contains your submitted photos.

I have never shied away from voicing my opinion when it comes to how highly I value recreation co-ordinator David Clark’s contributions to Rankin Inlet.

Simply stated, he is one of the best you could ever hope to have in that position.

That’s why it was extra-special to me when Clark unveiled the ref’s room at the sparkling new Rankin Inlet arena bearing my name in honour of the time I put in planning, administering and overseeing the official’s program in Rankin. I also took to the ice to call a game every now and then.

The majority of people appreciate a little public recognition for their efforts, especially when it involves an activity they’re passionate about.

It’s difficult for me to put into words how noteworthy public recognition becomes when it originates from someone as respected in the community as Clark, and as highly regarded at his job.

Thank you, so much, David Clark. Your kind words about my contributions to the official’s program will never be forgotten.

To every reader of Kivalliq News across the region, have yourself a merry little Christmas and a happy new year.

Peace and prosperity to one and all.

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Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News

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