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Celebration on the Island

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CORAL HARBOUR - Coral Harbour was alive with jubilant revellers this past week as the community celebrated its 35th anniversary as a hamlet.

Nunavut and special 35th anniversary flags were everywhere as residents came together to play games, dance, feast and take in a special music festival.

The list of dignitaries to attend the celebration was an impressive one, including Senator Willie Adams, Nunavut Liberal MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Sanikiluaq Mayor Eli Kavik, Arviat MLA David Alagalak, Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley, Coral MLA Patterk Netser, former Coral councillor Raymond Ningeocheak and mayor Mike Panika and current Mayor Armand Angootealuk.

Festival performers included the Kataujait Choir, Andy Aliyak, Annie Eetuk and Lizzie Pootoolik, Johnny Ningeongan, Lucien Talirittuq, Mark Naharlulik, Norman Iqqaq, Patches Band, Moses Kalai, David Paliak, Blaine Ell and Paul Iqsaq.

The festival was followed by a fireworks display near the Qaggivak Hall.

Hamlet senior administrative officer Ron Ladd said there were large crowds at every event.

He said community pride was evident throughout the anniversary celebrations.

"The impressive list of people who attended shows just how important Coral Harbour is to the Nunavut government," said Ladd.

"Coral played a very significant role in the creation of Nunavut, with people such as Curley and Ningeocheak being Coral people, and there's a great deal of history here.

"Terror Point and Back Peninsula are named after the captain and first mate of an explorer ship that was lost with 136 people on it.

"They were actually the second people to find the Northwest Passage."

The hamlet purchased five 36" by 72" flags to mark the occasion.

One was donated to the Nunavut government, another was raised at the hamlet office during the celebrations, one hangs in the hamlet office and the final two hang at the arena.

The hamlet purchased 1,000 little 35th anniversary flags and pins to give out to commemorate the occasion.

A number of people in the community who have made significant contributions to Coral during the past 35 years were also presented with special gifts.

Mayor Angootealuk said the Nunavut government has shown a strong commitment to Coral by assisting to upgrade its harbour with a break wall and installing a new floor at the community centre.

"In previous years, the Government of Nunavut has been supportive of our Duke of York Trail which enhances our capability for eco-tourism," said Angootealuk.

"The government also assisted us in our efforts to build the longest bridge in Nunavut to access traditional hunting grounds.

"I would also like to thank all past and present Coral Harbour councillors for their professionalism and continued support in building our healthy community."