Just mention the name Uncle Bob at Victor Sammurtok School (VSS) in Chesterfield Inlet and you’re sure to be met with a sea of smiling faces, and maybe even have your picture taken with genuine kangaroo fur or be greeted by a little robot.
Australian (Uncle) Bob Carveth has been a benefactor to the Chester school for a number of years, sending students all sorts of items to help them along their way, from cameras to flashlights.
When Uncle Bob recently decided it was time to brighten another day for the Chester students, he wanted to try something a little different this time around.
So, when vice-principal Ana Leishman heard what Carveth had in mind for the $500 he was giving to the school, she was all-in for helping VSS’s favourite uncle achieve his goal.
Leishman said it’s really quite something how much Carveth has done for the students in Chester over the years.
She said he’s sent presents to graduates, kids who did really well at the science fair, and the overall student population in general.
“Uncle Bob has sent the kids great cameras to use, kangaroo fur all the way from Australia and a host of other things, said Leishman.
“He’s just been awesome to the kids at our school.
“He once sent this little robot that the kids had to program and stuff, and he’s always sending us these little gadgets that the kids have a blast with.”
Leishman said Carveth has been in contact with VSS since Allan Pitcher was principal, beginning around 2009.
She said Pitcher and Carveth got along really well and would spend hours on the phone chatting about how cool of a school VSS is, and how cool the students are who attend there.
“When Allan left, Uncle Bob hooked-up with Glen (teacher Brocklebank) because Glen is also keen to do anything that’s going to improve the school for the kids, or have activities that are a little different from what they usually have.
“He’s just a really nice guy who’s interested in everything that’s happening up here. He gets the Kivalliq News and keeps himself constantly in tune with what’s going on here.”
Leishman said Carveth told her he’d like the school to do an Uncle Bob’s Breakfast featuring fruit and other items, so she told him they’d see what they could do in Chester.
She said they kind of lucked out in that there was some really good fruit in town just when Carveth asked.
“We put together a fun fruit salad and egg muffins done like we used to do for the breakfast program.
“You need a lot of hands to get involved to do it steadily for a breakfast program but, for a special occasion, you get people who want to volunteer and make it work.
“Just seeing their faces – I mean the kids thought it was awesome for us to be delivering breakfast to every class.”
Leishman and her student-and-staff volunteers cut most of the fruit up for the salad the day before Uncle Bob’s Breakfast, then cooked the eggs and put them in the fridge to be heated up the following morning.
She said Brocklebank made a big rolling cart with an old-fashioned display and table, lined the food across it, and took it to each class where the teachers handed breakfast out to the students.
“All the kids were screaming thank you, and as Glen was moving down the hall he’d hear kids yelling that they sure wouldn’t mind some more of that.”