It's a strike!
Coming soon: new friendship centre, with bowling lanes

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (Mar 19/97) - A bowling alley is just one of many exciting new facilities to be housed at Rankin Inlet's new Friendship Centre come 1998.

The $1.5-million project will replace the old and too small Sappujjijit Centre.

"Space is rather cramped now," said B.J. Gallagher.

Gallagher was recently hired as the friendship's executive director.

The new centre will be two stories and will also contain office space, a community kitchen and of course the friendship centre, which offers 24-hour counselling services to the public.

The bowling alley will give young people and adults another form of recreation, said Gallagher.

And the community kitchen will allow adults and teens to come in and learn how to cook better and pick up a few healthy diet tips.

Gallagher said they also hope to run a meals-on- wheels program to feed hungry families.

Funding to build the facility is coming from money already saved up by Sappujjijit, future fundraising drives, and a mortgage which they plan to pay back though rented office space and monies recovered from the bowling alley.

Supplies for the centre will likely be brought up this fall on the barge, with construction to begin in the spring of 1998.

The facility will be centrally located at the current friendship centre lot after it is sold, moved or knocked down.

The Sappujjijit centre has been in operation since 1975. Two full-time councillors work there.

They offer counselling to victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and for people in mourning and any other type of counselling except alcohol addiction or abuse.

That counselling is handled at the Aqsaaraq Addictions Project.

When the centre is up and running, the friendship centre is hoping to hire on a couple more counsellors.