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Rankin Legion biz of the year at Nunavut Trade Show

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 169 Rankin Inlet took home the Business of the Year award at the annual Nunavut Trade Show and Conference in Iqaluit this past week.

Branch 169 treasurer Darrin Nichol said the Legion learned it had won the award just a few days before the event was held.

Loren Kaludjak, from left, Kelly Kaludjak, Darrin Nichol, Mark Wyatt and Keenan Eetuk accept the Business of the Year award on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 169 Rankin Inlet during the Nunavut Trade Show and Conference in Iqaluit on Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Sherry Morey.

He said the award came as a surprise – albeit a well-deserved one – and the recognition is deeply appreciated.

“A lot of people on the Legion board have worked really hard, so it was gratifying,” said Nichol.

“I attribute a good part of the success to a really committed executive board at the Legion, as well as the leadership of chairperson Pelagie Sharp.

“In regards to the executive committee, it’s been an overall 100-per-cent team effort from top to bottom, with everyone doing their best in different roles, and we also have an amazing group of volunteers.

“So, it’s been many, many people who’ve been involved with the success of this.”

Branch 169’s executive board consists of: Sharp; first vice-president Mark Wyatt; second vice-president Kelly Kaludjak; third vice-president Hamish Tatty; sergeant at arms Ron Graham; treasurer Darrin Nichol; secretary Ashley Julien; membership chair Taina Kubluitok; and members at large Keenan Eetuk and Titaaq Komaksuitiksak.

Nichol said a consistent level of service to its members and guests, being open four nights a week, and trying to be as active as it can within the community and region have all played a big role in earning the award.

He said everyone has stayed focused in keeping things up-and-running smoothly and being a positive force in the community.

Kelly Kaludjak, left, and Loren Kaludjak are all smiles while displaying the Business of the Year award presented to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 169 Rankin Inlet during the Nunavut Trade Show and Conference in Iqaluit on Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Mark Wyatt.

“I think a lot of people realize the legion puts a lot of money back into the community.

“During our speech Wednesday night (Sept. 18) we talked about what the legions are all about – that a veteran, is a veteran, is a veteran, regardless of whether you fought in a certain conflict or spent most of your time domestically here at home.

“We talked about the RCMP, Canadian Rangers, bylaw officers and the unsung heroes of our communities in the fire departments and how we engage with these groups and try to be there to support them.

“While in Iqaluit we met with Veterans Affairs Canada and we met about the Rangers on how we can more actively ensure they’re aware of the programming available to them, with is quite extensive through Veterans Affairs Canada.”

Nichol said he sees no reason why the legion can’t keep-up this level of success in the years to come.

He said Branch 169 fills an important role in the community and the current executive would like to see it grow even bigger and keep moving forward.

“I can’t thank our volunteer base enough who work at the Legion and help us out,” he said.

“We draw on them and the work and commitment they put in, so a lot of our success stems from their support, for sure.”