The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) held its long service awards on Oct. 10 at Hay River’s Royal Canadian Legion branch, to honor employees who have served long periods of uninterrupted service with the government. In total, 62 employees were recognized for their dedication, totaling 770 years of combined service.
Framed certificates and commemorative pins were awarded to those who had reached at least five years of service. The accomplishments moved up in five-year increments, all the way to Bertha Calvin of Hay River, the event’s longest serving recipient at 35 years.
Calvin finally retired last month after occupying dozens of roles for the GNWT’s Department of Justice, and her exhaustive professional background took her all over the South Slave region.
She began her career in 1977 as a corrections officer at the Territorial Women’s Correctional Centre in Fort Smith. In 1979, she became a correctional supervisor, and in 1986 she was transferred to Hay River when the centre closed its doors. She was promoted to correctional supervisor in 1988 and became a classification officer in 2002, two years after receiving a exemplary service medal for her dedication to the field.
In 2010, she was part of the South Slave integrated case management team that received a premier’s award for excellence, handed out to “employees who show excellence, innovation and dedication in their work.”
Calvin was thankful for the recognition and said the event served as a reminder of how her field had evolved over the years.
“I’ve seen so many changes,” she said.
“We were glorified babysitters at one point. Now I’m happy to be retired.”
The South Slave Divisional Education Council had 16 of its teachers and support personnel receive awards. Assistant superintendent Brent Kaulback crunched some numbers and had some interesting statistics to share in regard to the recipients.
“Together the group represents 150 years of service, or 27,750 days of instruction and over 3,300 students that these teachers and support personnel influenced,” he said.
The longest-serving teacher recognized for his work was Gerard Carroll, from Diamond Jenness Secondary School.
School principal Heather Pedjase described Carroll as a tireless worker, who constantly strives to keep up with the latest classroom technology.
“Gerrard just came back from an in-service, and he’s still out there learning new things and bringing them back to the classroom,” she said.
The GNWT was recently named one of Canada’s top 100 employers, an annual ranking that recognizes employers who provide exceptional workplaces for their employees.