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A glimpse into the past

Yellowknife Tales book launched

Glen Vienneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 05/01) - After months of hard work and lots of community support Yellowknifers have a new history book to share with generations to come.

The book titled Yellowknife Tales is the result of work that began in April 1999 by a committee set-up by the Yellowknife Seniors Society.

A compilation of life stories of those who have lived in Yellowknife, the book was entirely created through volunteer efforts.

"When we knew they had a good story, we were determined to pry it out of them. Some people were reluctant to come forward," said one of the book's contributors Esther Braden.

But once story submissions started pouring in for the project, the momentum excelled beyond what Ronne Heming had expected.

"I didn't think it would be such a massive (undertaking) of a project," said Heming, who is co-owner of Outcrop, the book's publisher.

"We didn't want to leave anybody out, so we kept extending the deadline until we could get it all done."

Contributor Mike Vaydik admitted it was a challenging project but said he enjoyed working with seniors who kept him focused and working hard.

"We all did our part in cajoling, begging, phoning, getting relatives to send pictures, doing whatever we had to do to make that part happen," said Vaydik.

"It was much harder to get stories out of the people who still live here."

"I'm not sure what's behind that. A little phenomenon that we discovered as we went through the process."

Stories also came in all parts of Canada, from as far away as Texas and Australia.

If sales are any indication, the senior's hard work is paying off. During the book launch on Dec. 20 at the Baker Community Centre, contributor Terry Foster sold at least two cases of Yellowknife Tales.

"The stories are great, I love the stories. I don't think any of the photos in here other than one or two have even been published before," said Foster.

For Barb Bromley, committee chairperson, the satisfaction of seeing the project come to life was a relief.

"There's some really interesting stories, some funny stories and some historical stories," said Bromley.

The project was made possible through the financial support of several Yellowknife organizations and businesses and the Government of Canada's Millennium Fund.

All profits from the book will return to the society.

The society is also looking into reprinting Susan Jackson's book Yellowknife: An Illustrated History, the book that inspired Yellowknife Tales.