GNWT honours long-serving employees in Fort Smith

Click on the slideshow above to view captions.Photos: Dali Carmichael.

People entering the workforce in modern times might not believe they can stay with the same employer throughout the duration of their careers, but employees recognized at the GNWT long service awards ceremony prove it can be done.

Employees of the territorial government gathered at the Roaring Rapids hall in Fort Smith on May 13 to honour their fellow workers who have dedicated increments of five years of service to the NWT.

“By my count, we have about 116 employees in total being honoured tonight, with about 14,035 hours of service between them,” said master of ceremonies Patty Hartlen.

Some employees have navigated their way through different departments under the GNWT umbrella, while others, like 30-year veteran Joe Mura, maintained their careers working in a particular sector.

Mura came to the North in 1982 from Montreal, Que. He started out with a six-month contract at the Trail Cross youth treatment facility.

“I’ve always been into computers but work is scarce in Fort Smith,” Mura said. “I went in and got hired as a childcare worker and, from there, I used it as a stepping stone to get into technology.”

Mura met his wife, Gail Steed, soon after and decided to stay put in the southern NWT community. In 1985 he got his first government job with Public Works as a maintenance management officer and he’s been with the department ever since.

“I never expected to work for somebody for 30 years. It’s always a surprise,” he said.

Mura worked his way through the ranks, becoming a network administrator before taking on his current role at the Technology Service Centre as a regional IT support analyst.

A friendly face, Mura said he was satisfied as looked back over his 30-year career.

“I enjoy what I do,” Mura said with a laugh. “People are always happy to see me because I go fix their computers.”

The tri-lingual worker, whose first and second languages are Italian and French, isn’t just a tech expert. He and his wife are always busy as operators of the community’s greenhouse, a 6,000 sq-foot seasonal operation on the outskirts of town.

“It’s been a lot of fun working for the GNWT,” he said. “But spare time? That’s a good one.”

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