On Friday March 8, 2002, our community received the heartbreaking news of Elder Charlie Brien’s passing Charlie was a prominent figure in our community. His presence never went unnoticed. As one of the first businessmen, he broke the trail and laid the foundation to economic development for our community. When he started, the theory of business subsidies was not common yet he still became successful and his restaurant still operates comfortably today. The story goes that in Charlie’s early business days, he pulled his supplies on a toboggan going around the community to sell them. His success in business makes him a pioneer in the business development for our community.
As a big fan of sports events and especially hockey, Charlie never hesitated to share his time to assist the youth in their sport. He further showed support to all athletes through countless financial contributions. Being a competitor himself in physical strength competitions, he was known to portage over 1000 pounds at local and outside meets.
Charlie’s passing marks the loss of another Elder who gave time to support local and regional sports events.
As a community member, he served as councilor during the Late Chief Isaac Shecapio’s tenure. At local public assemblies, Charlie recognized the importance of attending meetings and for one to state their opinion on issues. In our efforts to pave our highway, and as a businessman who understood this need, he was very visible at different demonstrations for the 167 North. Out of simple coincidence, the day of his passing was also the day of the announcement for the paving of 167 North.
Charlie’s loyalty to the people went beyond his physical ability. He made a commitment to become a Lay-reader for the Anglican Church. A decision to serve the church as a Lay-reader is a choice very few people can make in their lifetimes. I believe this was Charlie’s most gratifying decision.
Charlie had many ways of contributing to the general welfare of our community. The memories left behind will serve as a fond inspiration for our community. We will miss him dearly.
These memories are dedicated to Janie (Neeposh) Brien and family. God Bless You.