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Inuit art story brings back memories

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 06:00 am

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Thank you for the article about Inuit art. It took me back to the shores of Hudson Bay, where I had worked as a meteorologist at the Ft. Churchill air and rocket base; often going into the Churchill town-site and to the Eskimo Museum, as it was then called. I had noted numerous unlabelled fossils and returned with my paleontology text.

As thanks, the curator offered me a carving, which I gratefully accepted. It depicts an Inuit hunter helping another with his parka hood; demonstrating the “Good Samaritan.” Two separate figures are in the one piece. Side note: the Igloo Theatre in Churchill was showing a double feature the day I arrived: “War of the Worlds” and “Jailhouse Rock” … the 200 Inuit just relocated from near Eskimo Point to housing in Churchill must have experienced real culture shock!

Ten years later, I was again in Churchill, this time to test-fly a hovercraft, which we planned to use for pollution studies from the ice on Lake Erie. The same curator (Brother Brebeuf) was there. He recognized me as the one who bought that carving and said he had sometimes wished he still had it … It by then was a fixture in our home, so will remain here.

The test flight was a total failure, as the pilot refused to fly over the first tidal pressure-ridge without knowing what was on the other side; and I could not blame him. I walked over to the ice field and found large areas of open water. The tides in Lake Erie are very small, so we managed to obtain another hovercraft to test there.

Bob Lane, St. Albert


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