A group of people were quick to show the helping spirit of their community when three members of the Hapanak family ran into machine trouble while out fishing on the land near Rankin Inlet on May 2.
Jacqueline Taipana-Hapanak said she, her husband, George, and six-year-old daughter, Latieshia, wanted to escape the confines of their home and go fishing for a day, so they headed out to the Big Meliadine River.
She said they got out there fine and spent some time fishing behind the mining camp.
“We were good there, had a nice time, and then started heading back,” said Jacqueline.
“We stopped when we saw some friends ice fishing and decided to join them.
“About an hour later, we weren’t catching anything so my husband was going to get our machine started but it wouldn’t start.
“He took the carburetors out and tried to clean them and changed the spark plugs, but no luck.”
Jacqueline said at that point Imo Kilabuk and Jason Tologanak arrived and tried to help her husband start their machine but it still wouldn’t fire up.
She said a little later Titaaq Komaksiutiksak and his family were heading home and also stopped to offer assistance.
“While they were trying to start the machine I just started ice fishing again because I thought I wouldn’t worry about everything that was going on while I was fishing.
“Donna Adams offered for my daughter and I to go on her sled back to town, so she was waiting for us, but I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to leave my husband there.
“Then Jason (Tologanak) told us he could bring our sleds back because he had an extra machine, and Titaaq (Komaksiutiksak) told his boys, who has an extra sled with them, to load our machine on the sleds and bring it back to Rankin for us.
“I started crying out of happiness and then got really cold because that’s what happens when you cry out there.”
Jacqueline said everyone then started back to town except for the Komaksiutiksak family, who wanted to fish a little longer.
She said everyone got home safe and her family was so happy and grateful for all the help they received.
“Rankin rocks and it still makes me cry tears of happiness to be helped like that because we had our six-year-old daughter with us and I was really, really worried.
“We didn’t even have to ask for help. They immediately knew we had to get home, so they did all that for us.
“Rankin people become family when someone needs help and we felt the love from all the help they provided.
“I have been crying on and off because I am so grateful to those people who helped us. May God bless you all.”