Volunteer honoured
Hamilton receives commendation

Daniel MacIsaac
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Feb 14/00) - The Turning Point Society made a difference over the Christmas season and one man was singled out for his efforts in making the season bright and safe.

The society held a special awards dinner Feb. 5 during which members reflected on their success and honoured Ken Hamilton.

Turning Point Executive director Dennis Inglangasuk said a record number of meals, more than 500, were served during the society's Safe House 1999 and that more Inuvik residents than ever made use of the program that offered an alcohol-free alternative during the holidays.

He added many volunteers helped out during Safe House but he had special thanks for Ken Hamilton, who did most of the cooking, and clowning, every day.

"You were always there joking and dancing," said Inglangasuk. "My staff and I really appreciated that, and I would say the whole town appreciated that -- you gave the staff a little boost every time you came by."

Society member Roseanne Snow said Hamilton was on site punctually each morning by six to begin breakfast. She presented Hamilton with a framed certificate of merit as an outstanding volunteer to the Inuvik Alcohol Committee.

Hamilton was modest in his acceptance speech.

"I served a lot of meals, and there were no complaints," he said.

At age 67, and a former drinker and smoker as well as Delta House staffer, Hamilton said he understands the difficulties of addiction and the importance of volunteer work.

He also said he likes to keep busy and pledged to come back and help out at this year's Safe House. With regard to his culinary skills, Hamilton was equally humble.

"My mother showed me a little when I was young," he said, "but then I learned the hard way -- as a short-order cook."