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On the national stage

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Mar 23/05) - Peter Mansbridge was 20 years old and announcing flights in Churchill, Man., in 1968 when the local radio station manager encouraged him to join the airwaves.

Mansbridge quickly discovered his strength was with delivering news, not cargo, and helped develop news services to the North before leaving for Winnipeg in 1971.

His time spent as an airline employee allowed him to visit most Kivalliq communities in the late 1960s, and he returned to Rankin Inlet this past week as one of the best known news personalities in Canada as the anchor for The National.

Rankin SAO John Hodgson said when he heard The National was going to take its show North of 60, he contacted the public broadcast network to say Rankin should be included in its plans.

"Basically, I told them a bit about everything that's been going on here and if they wanted to visit one of the most promising communities in Nunavut, Rankin Inlet is the place to be," said Hodgson.

"They were more impressed with what I had to say about the community than my story ideas, I'm afraid, but, you can't have everything."

The community was well prepared for the visit, providing Mansbridge with numerous cultural displays, including drum dancing, throat singing and Inuit games.

Mansbridge and CBC Igalaaq host Rassi Nashalik of Pangnirtung took the time to visit Maani Ulujuk High during the visit.

After a brief history on how he got his start in journalism - including a mention of working with Nunavut Commissioner Peter Irniq while in Churchill - Mansbridge told the students there are no limits to what they can accomplish in today's world if they are willing to work to achieve their goals.

For future generations

"It is so important to preserve Inuit culture, language and tradition for future generations," said Mansbridge.

"And there are so many role models now for you to look up to.

"Here in Rankin you have Jordin Tootoo, who made the NHL and never forgets his roots; where he comes from.

"This is an incredible part of the country that so many people in southern Canada don't know about.

"If you stay focused on your school work and your goals, there is no limit to what you may someday achieve."