The passing of Walter Hughboy is something that we must never forget. Never before has one man done so much for his community. The church in which we pray, the modern houses we live in, the roads we travel on, the businesses and jobs we enjoy today, the free electricity and heating to our homes and more, is a lifetime of work that Walter Hughboy did for us.
Walter cared so much for Wemindji and his people. He was a true Chief. He had the wisdom, the knowledge and a profound desire to make a better life for everyone. God blessed Walter with a gift and a mission. His gift was the tremendous leadership and management abilities that allowed him to build a community for his people of what it is today. His mission was to undertake the job as our Chief and to lead us to prosperity, comfort and happiness. Walter did this unrelentingly for his entire life. Why? Because Walter had a love for his fellow brothers and sisters like no other person and we need to thank him for putting his own personal life aside for us.
Think back to when many of us were out on the land enjoying ourselves at goose break for example, or perhaps simply out at bush camp or having a nice cool picnic out on the islands during a hot summer day. Where was Walter all this time? Walter rarely had the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures that we all took for granted. Walter was working seven days a week so that we could go out on those days and enjoy life. That is what kind of a man he was. But let us not forget exactly that; he was in fact simply a kind man who, although many of us often ignored, had feelings just like all of us. Feelings that were often hurt yet he carried onward, feelings that he sometimes questioned if he could carry on, but did.
In these last few months Walter prayed often. He knew that a change was coming and that perhaps God had something for him. Throughout his illness Walter never gave up hope that he would someday return to be Chief of Wemindji once more and was looking forward to his recovery so that he could be here once again with us.
Ladies, gentlemen, respected Elders, children and all who have known Walter Hughboy; we must never forget what this man has done for us. We must also let it be known to generations yet to be born what this man has done for them. Out of respect and thanks for everything that Walter gave us and for so little that he asked in return, we need to honor him through not only a permanent memorial structure but by choosing a building and a street to bear his name. People and relatives should collect pictures, information and historical details that could be used to write a book about him so that generations to come may read about this incredible human being.
In closing, we know now that Walter has truly earned a special place in the Kingdom of God. Although he may be gone from this world, he shall live on in our hearts and in our minds forever. His lifetime of achievements we shall cherish each and every day as he looks down upon us. May he live on in our prayers and in our thoughts for the rest of our lives.
Walter, we love you and thank you for all that you have done and all that you have given us. We shall miss your presence amongst us dearly. We know that you are now in the hands of God and shall be in peace with Him forever. God bless you Walter; Good Bye.