an Iqaluit community builder The late Tom Webster fetching soapstone with Iola Ikkiidluak of Kimmirut.
on Thursday April 20. (PHOTO COURTESY OF KENN HARPER) Tom Webster appearing on a TV show hosted by Nunavut's famous cook, Rebecca Veevee, produced for the Inuit Broadcasting Corp. (PHOTO COURTESY OF KENN HARPER) The North has lost a well known business pioneer with the passing of Tom Webster in Ottawa on March 31, after a battle with multiple myeloma, an illness that struck him suddenly in mid 2016. To his loving wife Helen, he was always Thomas. To most business associates and friends, he was simply Tom. To the Inuit, he was Tommy or Thomasie. He had a long and varied career in the Baffin region. Tom was born Sept. 21, 1943 in Pocklington, Yorkshire, England. After training as a teacher at Oxford, he came to Canada in 1966 to take a teaching position in Saskatchewan. The Arctic beckoned after two years in the prairies and he moved to Clyde River. Teaching in an isolated community in those days often entailed far more than classroom work, so Tom was also settlement administrator and nurse. His coach outlet locations e3 medical training consisted of a two hour course at Frobisher Bay General Hospital, at the end of which he was presented with a Dispenser Manual, a binder providing instructions in administering basic medical treatment. Tom was fortunate that Clyde River had competent midwives, yet he was sometimes called upon to assist in delivering babies; he also provided basic dental services, which consisted of pulling teeth. His marriage to a first wife ended in Clyde River, and he moved to Frobisher Bay known as Iqaluit a year. There he met Helen, who had come from England as a teacher in 1969; they were married in 1973 by local Justice of the Peace Dick Abernathy may be remembered by Iqaluit old timers coach outlet atlanta vipers as the government area service officer. Years later, Dick bumped into Helen in Yellowknife and asked if she was still married. When the answer was a happy Dick was pleased, offering the comment that almost every marriage he had officiated at had ended in divorce. Tom became involved in fine arts immediately after arriving in Clyde River. There, he helped local artists form the Igutaq Group, which marketed carvings and produced beautiful prints for southern markets. With his move to Frobisher Bay he joined the Department of Economic Development, working in arts and crafts development. Among other things, he provided support to a local knitwear shop which manufactured high end sweaters, assisted in procuring carving stone for local Inuit artists, and collected carvings for an eventual museum. Deploring the idea that every government supported project needed its own building felt it only created unnecessary overhead organized a successful community parka making project for the women of the village, who worked at home. Rebecca Veevee remembers that her grandmother made a garment for John Diefenbaker and later for Jean Chr Years later, Chr told her that he still had her grandmother parka. Helen was always Tom partner in these endeavours, whether official or not. Theirs was a strong and symbiotic relationship. She left teaching after two years at Nakasuk School and joined the Department of Economic Development, tasked with helping some of the co operatives in the region get out of debt. A local co op, the Frobisher Bay Producer Co operative, had a gallery in an extension, now gone, at the airport terminal white building that now serves as First Air cargo building. Helen is particularly proud of her success in nurturing that operation until it was completely debt free. Tom and Helen Webster believed strongly that Iqaluit needed a local museum. In the 1970s, the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, Stuart Hodgson, unilaterally closed Iqaluit liquor store in response to entreaties from local Inuit. The museum found its first home in the former liquor store wholesale liquor warehouse remained at the back of the building. For some time, Tom and Helen had been putting away carvings for the government. The Websters hope was was that these would form the nucleus of an eventual museum collection. But, at about the same time, the Prince of Wales Heritage Centre was being planned for Yellowknife territories were one in those days Yellowknife wanted all the carvings that the government had diligently saved in Frobisher Bay. Helen organized a public meeting to protest this idea, and Hodgson once again exercised coach outlet sale x 6% his unilateral power when he proclaimed, east is the east and the west is the west. The carvings found their new home in what became the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum. The museum soon outgrew its quarters, and the Hudson Bay Co., (forerunner to today Northmart) offered a surplus building painted in the Bay distinctive red and white, from their old post on the beach in Apex. Baffin Building Systems moved it over the ice to its present home. Helen ran an elder program at the museum; it was so successful that the Royal Canadian Legion eventually paid for a separate building, today elders centre. The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum Society recognized Tom contributions to the community artistic life in a letter they sent him only two months before his death. They said, helped articulate the vision to develop a collection of art and artifacts to share with the coach outlet handbags hsn contemporary public, but also with an eye for those who would come along in the future. letter outlined some of the initiatives Tom had taken, and added, combination of initiatives gave artists outlets for their work and income to support their families.
And of course your gallery and art appraisal work were very influential in growing the work as well. Eventually he left and formed his own business. Planning for his eventual departure from the government, Tom knew that he would have to provide his own housing, for government employees in those days lived in government housing; there was almost no private housing in the community.
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