The day got off to a slow start and an even slower finish, but when all was said and done the Cree Nation of Mistissini was able to hold its head high as they set a record for the number of participants in their Chibougamau golf tournament.
A healthy 264 people flocked to the Club de Golf Chibougamau July 28 for a charity tournament to raise money for youth sports. The food was great, the people were joyous and the golfing was, well, adequate.
After the 100-plus prizes were handed out there was a big sigh of relief as the 16-hour day came to a close shortly after 11 pm.
“It was a good day, the weather was nice and I was with good company,” said Grand Chief Ted Moses, who was joined in his foursome by Michel Letourneau, the PQ MNA for the Ungava region. “I’m impressed by the response. Our relationship (with Chibougamau) has really mushroomed and it’s very, very positive.”
The day before the tournament there was an important first. People from Chibougamau went to Mistissini to participate in a longest drive contest. “It was nice to see the people of Chibougamau in our hotels and restaurants and town,” said Moses. “Usually it’s the other way around.”
In the battle of the Chiefs, as it was billed, Deputy Grand Chief Paul Gull walked away with the longest drive. Maybe it’s a sign of things to come in this month’s election as he runs for Grand Chief?
“I appreciate the initiative communities have taken in developing skills of our young people to assist in sports or cultural events,” Moses continued. “It also brings people together. It’s a great way to further develop friendship and better relations and harmony with each other.”
Mistissini Chief John Longchap agreed. “I was very happy with the turnout, we broke the record for most players in a tournament, and it was very well organized,” he said.
In all, more than $10,000 was raised for the youth athletic fund.
“It strengthens relations with our business partners, and our friends within the non-native populations of Chibougamau and Val d’Or,” said Longchap. “We’d like to maintain and build on that. It does a lot for our community and our members and I hope a lot will continue to come from these events.”
Event Organizer Anthony Macleod, who was ready to hit the sack when the Nation caught up with him, was elated.
“It was awesome. We shattered last year’s record. I didn’t expect the chiefs to be here and it was a nice surprise,” he said.
“The idea for this tournament was to raise funds so that elite athletes could have access to a pool of funds because a lot of the youth right now have limited resources to go to a higher level like athletic camps or Junior B or A. That’s what this money will be used for.”