Chief Edward Gilpin said Eastmain “wanted to show its appreciation to people who contributed, through the years, to the development of the community.” It did so by inviting people to Mont-Tremblant for a round of golf and a gala on September 12.
The sombre clouds and rain early in the day couldn’t dampen the mood of the players as they lined up to tee off at Le Diable Golf Course. Eventually the weather cooperated and cleared as the day wore on. After the round of golf, the hosts and guests gathered at the Centre des Congrès for a meal where the honourees received gifts of paintings and tamarack decoys.
The diverse guest list ranged from car dealers to heavy equipment salespeople. Many had forged friendships with the people of Eastmain at the start of their careers. Daniel Ringette, a car dealer from Val-d’Or, said his relationship with Eastmain began when Kenneth Gilpin showed up to buy a truck before other community members also came the same day to purchase their own vehicles. Invitee Violet Pachano, the former chief of Chisasibi, said she “wanted to honour the invitation” that was extended to her.
Another honoured guest was former Grand Chief Ted Moses. With wife Elsa by his side, Moses spoke about how she understood the work he was trying to accomplish during his time in office.
The evening ended with music from David Hart of Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Deputy Chief Johnny Tomatuk summed it up with a story of his arrival from Moose Factory, observing that Eastmain was so small he “could throw a stone across town, and now you can’t really see across town.”
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