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Time to relax, enjoy the land

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012

After almost five decades on the job, elder John Pameolik of Coral Harbour decided it was time to get while the gettin' was still good and announced his retirement this past month.

Pameolik, 65, said he had worked at the same place for a long time and felt it was time for a break.

The former airport maintainer began his career in 1965, and said he wanted to retire while he can still move around and enjoy his free time.

"I did a little bit of everything at my job," said Pameolik.

"I cleared the airport runways, maintained the building, and did a little bit of electrical and plumbing work.

"I first started working, here and there, for the Department of National Defence.

"When I began at the airport, it was under the federal government, then it was transferred to the NWT government, Arctic Airports, the hamlet and Nunavut Airports."

Pameolik has four daughters in Rankin Inlet and four sons in Coral Harbour.

He said his family's grown quite a bit over the years.

"I can't count the grandkids we have anymore.

"I'll have more time for family now, but I'm looking forward to being able to relax one of these days.

"I look forward to going out hunting, fishing and touring the land."

Pameolik said things weren't always easy for him because he didn't make it to high school as a youth.

He said he'd like to see youth place greater importance on getting their Grade 12 diploma because they need it in today's workplace.

"I only went as far as Grade 5 or 6, or somewhere there, during my school days.

"So it was really hard for me, at times, when I was at the airport.

"It's a lot different now, and you need education for most of the jobs out there.

"I'd like to see the kids try a little harder to get a good education because some of them don't really want to go to school, but they have to."

Pameolik said although he always did his best at work, he looked at his job as a way to earn a living and something you kept going to until you were tired of it.

He said he doesn't have any big plans for retirement and, for the most part, is looking forward to taking it one day at a time.

"I can't say what I'm going to do in the future until I hit it.

"I might get up one day and find myself really bored, but that's why I picked this time of year to retire.

"If I retired in the winter, I'd probably find it really boring to start.

"But, right now, the spring is coming and I'm looking forward to going out and enjoying the days, so I don't think I'll feel like going back to work any time soon."

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