A marker was flown in to Umiujaq July 12 and has been temporarily propped up on Eddy Weetaltuk's gravesite while awaiting a more permanent installation.
The long journey to commemorate Eddy Weetaltuk's military service is finally drawing to its close.
Weetaltuk died at his home in Nunavik in 2005 at the age of 73 and was buried in the cemetery of his home community in Umiujaq on the Hudson coast. It wasn't until 2018 that Alan Patterson, himself a Veteran of the CAF and a retired Umiujaq police officer, wrote to the Prime Minister's Office to request a military grave marker for Eddy Weetaltuk. This request was eventually forwarded to the Last Post Fund in the autumn of 2018. Research began and the wheels were put in motion to provide a military marker for Eddy Weetaltuk in commemoration of his 15 years of military service, notably as a mortar operator in the Korean War.
Earlier this month, a military marker was delivered to Umiujaq where it was planted on Eddy Weetaltuk's grave by Charlie Tooktoo, a local priest. In a dramatic turn of events, the installers that were sent to do the job were not able to land the plane due to poor weather conditions and were forced to return to Montreal; however a new crew is scheduled to arrive within the coming weeks to complete the installation on a concrete base, ensuring the marker stays firmly upright.
Last Post Fund is proud to have been able to accompany this community in their quest for proper commemoration honouring Eddy Weetaltuk's military service.
Eddy Weetaltuk's autobiography is a compelling portrayal of his experience as an Inuit, as a soldier and as an adventurer. Originally written in 1974, it was revised with the assistance of Thibault Martin and published in 2005 under the title From the Tundra to the Trenches and is available from the University of Manitoba Press as well as on amazon.ca.