Joyous Christmas carols played softly in the background as elders mingled and ate in the festive hall. Generous portions of turkey, ham, potatoes and vegetables were served to the 70 elders as they sat at their tables. It was an opportunity for the RCMP to celebrate the spirit of the holidays with the elders in Iqaluit.
This year Corporal Jamie Savikataaq dedicated “some significant amount of time” into planning and organizing the event with the help of volunteers.
The annual Christmas event took place from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM last Friday. As the elders entered the Legion Cadet hall, they were given tickets for door prizes.
“The prizes were really good,” said elder Lizzie Gordon.
There were a variety of prizes from household goods, personal hygiene items, hunting equipment and fishing supplies.
In addition to the door prizes, Savikataaq purchased a Christmas present for every single elder.
After opening the gifts and eating the Christmas feast, the elders were entertained by playing bingo.
Two elders won fur pelts for bingo prizes.
The jackpot bingo prize was an airline ticket to any of the communities in the Baffin region.
The lucky winner was Lizzie Gordon.
“I was happy to win a plane ticket,” said Gordon, who is currently using the prize to visit her family and relatives in Rankin Inlet.
This Christmas event was a way to “spoil them” and “make them feel special,” said Savikataaq.
It was also an opportunity for the elders “to get together under one roof and just really connect and engage with everybody.”
“It was fun with a really good atmosphere,” said Gordon.
For the Corporal, it was more than just a Christmas event it was a gathering of the wise and knowledgeable.
“Just seeing a group of elders under one roof and just thinking the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that is here is just unreal,” Savikataaq said.
The success of this event would not have been possible without the financial assistance and prizes from numerous local sponsors, explained Savikataaq.
“It’s always great to give back to the community, especially to the elders. (They) provide us with leadership, courage and wisdom.”