Dawson City, Yukon Friday, March 21, 1997

GETTING READY...The Nuggets headed to Ottawa just about every way possible. Most of the modes of transportation are shown in this departure photo by Michael Gates.

Feature Stories

Dawson Takes on Capital Airs
No Place I'd Rather Be
Nuggets Trip Log from Dawson to Whitehorse
Dawson makes hockey game possible for sick kids
Rhyme of the Hockey Men
Dawson Students to Leave for Quebec this Week
The water stand-off concludes
In Memory of "Archie"
Bonspiel Reports

Dawson Takes on Capital Airs

by Dan Davidson

It may be too late to stop Edmonton from trying to take over Klondike themes as part of its annual summer tourism drive, but the City of Dawson has moved to make a few other phrases a bit less available to others seeking to hop on the Goldrush bandwagon.

Dawson has sought for and obtained copyright to four symbolic phrases that either are, or might be, associated with the Klondike, and has circulated a letter asking other organizations to refrain from using them without express permission from the city.

These phrases are:

Two of the phrases obviously refer to Dawson's traditional niche within the framework of the Yukon's tourism industry, while the other two make reference to the recently concluded Trek Over the Top weekends as well as to a totally different tourism concept that Mayor Glen Everitt has in mind.

"In my honest opinion we are the winter events capital of the Yukon," Everitt said in an interview. "My winter tourism philosophy is actually workshop and convention style...not three or four day visits. I'm talking about an entirely different market that we're just starting to look at."

Everitt admits that it's quite satisfying to see the words "Capital of the Yukon" in any phrase describing Dawson. "It's eye-catching," he said.

A letter introducing the copyright action was presented to the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce at its regular meeting on March 13.

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No Place I'd Rather Be

by Don Reddick
Official scribe to the Nuggets' Stanley Cup Challenge

There are moments in this life that capture your imagination --trawlers chugging into Victoria at sunset, the quiet, haunting stillness of Lake Louise --and the assembled townsfolk of Dawson City cascading their approval upon the native sons setting out once again to challenge the Ottawas.

Roaring out of Front Street amid the wild cheers of Dawson's populace, we filed on our snow machines down onto the Yukon River and east up the Klondike, then south on Bonanza Creek past the legendary landmarks of the original gold rush, toward the wilderness.

And what a wilderness this is! When we were giants running with our bags overflowing with mountains, this is where we tripped and fell, spilling them across the earth, the larger ones settling between Vancouver and Whitehorse, the smaller ones skittering further all the way to the Arctic Circle, and it is in this mess of mountains we enter now.

Chugging, skidding, gunning our machines, we charge up the mountain trails, hanging on for dear liufe as we traverse glaciers and slide into switchbacks; up, up we climb, emerging onto a wondrous crest trail, the jagged teeth of the Ogilvie Mountains sneering to the north, unending rows of the smaller, rounded ones stretching as far as the eye can see in every other direction.

With sixteen snow machines pulling sleds loaded with gear and supplies accompanied by five dog teams, we are a veritable expedition, and soon stretch out as far as ten miles apart along the trail. It quickly becomes apparent that this will not be a Sunday afternoon whirl on the lake; accidents occur, machines slide off the trail landing sideways in the deep snow, five, six men pull and push, and on we go.

The beauty of this land is multi-layered. Overwhelming all is the cold blanketing all with its haunting stillness, the slide of a dogsled runner heard far and wide through the vacant, deadened air. The silence is a staggering presence, a natural resource invaluable and unexplorable, yet available for free here in the Yukon to anyone willing to step outside. The mountain scenery is stunning; the forests here sparse and often burned out, affording views of neighbouring snowy peaks and the winding, ice-encrusted river valleys below. But more beautiful than all are my fellow travellers.

The focus of hockey is usually the National Hockey League, and particularly the Stanley Cup. But to say that all hockey revolves around the Stanley Cup is like saying all politics revolve around being the Prime Minister. For every kid off the ponds of Canada who plays on a Stanley Cup winning team, there are thousands upon thousands who will never even come close. And herein lies the true essence of hockey.

Real hockey is fathers driving sons in the pre-dawn cold to novice and Atom games, or road hockey in the short, dim-light late afternoons. Real hockey is pee-wees and bantams and intercollegiate matches, and old-timers teams drinking beer in taverns late on a Wednesday night. Real hockey is a a bunch of guys in Dawson City, that far-off community of eighteen hundred souls lost in the great expanse of the Yukon Territoey, deciding to challenge for a rematch of a long lost loss, four thousand miles away in Ottawa.

They've sold neckties, had bar nights, held costume parties to raise money. They've had casino nights and salmon barbecues and dances; the women of the town, the unsung heroes, Margo Anderson and Kathy Donnelly, and in Whitehorse Wendy Burns and Iris Johnson, expanding their effort without even a glimpse of the glory.

The players are taking a month off without pay. They've been required to kick in a couple of thousand dollars of their own money to secure a place on the team. And they've accomplished the hardest thing of all, convincing their wives and girlfriends of the utter necessity to do this thing. And these are the guys surrounding me now, lost in a million square miles of utter wilderness.

I rise this morning at our camp on the banks of the Stewart River. It is forty degrees below zero. I observe twenty hockey players chopping wood, melting snow in great blackened coffee pots, frying bacon, refilling gas tanks, repacking sleds, feeding dogs, taking down tents. My right ear is numb, my face cold-burned. I can't close my right hand, and my entire body is terribly sore from the days of jolting and swaying on my snow machine. We face sixty-five mountain miles before reaching our camp at Pelly Farm.

And there is no place on earth I'd rather be.

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Nuggets Trip Log from Dawson to Whitehorse

Day 1-

After their first day on the trail, the exhausted 1997 Dawson City Nuggets, camped in the shadow of Haystack Mountain approximately 40 miles (60 kilometres) from Dawson City, Yukon.

Their first day of travel was with out incident, racing over glaciers and dodging caribou.

After the dog teams were fed and bedded down until morning, the team ate historically correct trail standard for supper; Moose Chili and Rum, for their first night on the trail.

Day 2-

After their second day on the trail, the Nuggets made camp by Scrogie Creek. Their second day of travel was without incident, the men are in high spirits and the dog teams and keeping up well.

Word has reached the Ottawa Sun correspondent, Earl McRae, who is accompanying the team from Dawson to Ottawa, that Laurie Boschman, a member of the Ottawa senators alumni, says the Nuggets "...will get beat worse than the team back in 1905 did!"

The Nuggets conducted interviews on the trail with CBC morning radio programs in Toronto and Ottawa.

Day 4-

After four days, the Nuggets spent their first night in-doors as guests of Selkirk First Nations in Pelly Crossing, Yukon.

Their third and fourth day of travel was hampered by temperatures dipping to -40 degrees. Tuesday, the team traveled 65 miles and Wednesday an additional 35 miles were surpassed before reaching Pelly Crossing. The First Nations community greeted the team warmly and a crowd of 100 cheered on the Nuggets as a game of road hockey was played against local youth...The final score: Nuggets: 6, Pelly Crossing: 11

The 6 dog teams are keeping up well, the men are in high spirits, despite having a few cases of frostbite and are expected to reach Minto Landing approximately 40 miles south of Pelly Crossing by 5pm pacific.

Day 6-

After six days on the trail, the Nuggets are spending their second night in-doors as guests of the community of Carmacks, Yukon.

Their fifth and sixth days of travel were hampered by rough trails and mechanical difficulties. On day 5, broken river ice and stumps, hidden by snow, caused flipped sleds and snow mobiles, resulting in a few men becoming pinned in minor accidents. That evening, the Nuggets camped on the banks of the Yukon River. Temperatures dipped to -38 C.

The trail from Yukon Crossing to Carmacks was in good condition despite several treacherous overflows. The team covered 35 miles and arrived in Carmacks before night fall. The community greeted the team warmly and a crowd of 100 cheered on the Nuggets as a game of hockey was played against local youth...The final score: Nuggets: 8, Carmacks: 14

The 6 dog teams are keeping up well, the men are in high spirits and are looking forward to arriving in Whitehorse. The last 130 mile leg of the expedition is the roughest. The team must average 65 miles a day, to arrive in Whitehorse on schedule.

Day 7-

The Nuggets are only miles away from Whitehorse and will be arriving in true Yukon fashion, by dog sled, snow shoe and bicycle, in front of The Gold Rush Inn, on Sunday, March 9th at 11:00 am sharp!!

The Nuggets would like to invite all the local media for a press conference in the town hall room at the Gold Rush. Following the press conference the Nuggets will be signing posters at Mac's Fireweed Books.

From there, the Pre-Cup Tune Up road hockey game between the Nuggets and the Whitehorse Oldtimers at the Old Motorway's in front of the Yukon Anniversaries Commission Offices.

In addition to Special Olympian Hockey players, Audrey McLaughlin, Audrey McLaughlin, Trevor Harding, Dave Keenan and Piers McDonald will be playing with the Nuggets in an attempt to garnish the Nuggets first road win on their way to Ottawa.

In attendance and on sale, will be Chris Caldwell to sign the Nuggets - Challenge of the Century posters.

Day 8-

After eight days in the Yukon wilderness, the Nuggets arrived in Whitehorse, 500 hundred kilometers south from their starting point, Dawson City. The team traveled by dogsled, snow shoe, bicycle and snow mobile to reach the conclusion of the first leg of their expedition across North America.

The last two days on the trail handed the Nuggets some of the toughest terrain in North America. Numerous accidents and mechanical problems heeded their pace but the Nuggets arrived in Whitehorse on schedule. Following a press conference, the Nuggets were received warmly by the city of Whitehorse at a road hockey game entitled the "Pre-Cup Tune Up!" featuring the Nuggets, the Whitehorse All-stars, Special Olympic Athletes, Audrey McLaughlin, Piers McDonald, Eric Fairclough. The final score: Nuggets 8, Whitehorse 7

The Nuggets leave Whitehorse this morning for Skagway, Alaska to board an Alaska Marine Highway Ferry bound for Bellingham, Washington. The Nuggets are expected to arrive in Bellingham on Friday, March 14 barring rough sea. On this trip so far, the Nuggets have appeared on CBC Midday, CBC Newsworld, CBC National Sports Desk, CBC Information Radio, the Canadian Press, Bloomberg Wire Services.

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Dawson makes hockey game possible for sick kids

by Dan Davidson

A large group of children and their families from a couple of hospitals in the Ottawa area will be able to attend the Dawson Nuggets/Ottawa Senators game thanks to a gesture from the City of Dawson, the Klondike Visitors Association and Viceroy Minerals.

In return for its $10,000 sponsorship, Dawson was given 100 tickets to the game, which it really couldn't use. Mayor Glen Everitt thought the same might be true of the KVA and Viceroy, and so asked if he could find a use for their tickets too.

When they agreed he contacted the Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario and donated 180 tickets to them. The Royal Ottawa Hospital for the mentally and physically handicapped received the rest of the tickets.

Says Everitt: "The press phoned from Ottawa when they heard about it and asked me to do a story with them. I declined. I told them that was what was so unique about living up north - that people can do things just of the sake of doing them. You don't need publicity for doing it. They took that and made a story out of it."

Since then city offices has been receiving fax after fax thanking them for donating the tickets and, especially, for doing something that the city of Ottawa and the Senators hockey team has never done there.

"So when we go down there, they're already looking at Dawson as being the place where the nice people live. This is what one kid said in a fax."

As far as Everitt is concerned, things like this make Dawson a winner even before the game is played.

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Rhyme of the Hockey Men

by Jack Fraser

The Dawson team was of high esteem
and drew folks from their telly,
but were short of steam
when they played the team
of the banks of the River Pelly.

For it's really tough
with bikes and stuff
to climb the Hunker Summit.
They were seen to frown
as sleighs broke down
and the temperatures did plummet.

But they're tough as grit
nor gave a ... bit
as they zoomed through Indian River;
with fires lit
these men so fit
soon settled down to shiver.

Their P.R. chore
they can't ignore
and Carmacks place is happy.
If off to war
to erase that scare
they had better make it snappy.

So keen to trot
they tarry not
in the southern Yukon city.
With coin unspent
nor elbows bent -
goodness, what a pity!

With ocean swell
some sick as hell
and green around their faces;
while others tell
how fate befell,
and four deuces beat three aces.

With the every clack
of the railway track
they are further eastward driven.
The head coach swore,
but bravely bore
this increased cost of livin'.

With the C.P.P.
and the G.S.T.
it might be the burg to shun;
but the Dawson crew
like me and you
would go there just for fun.

Through neon lights
and wondrous sights
they swore by all that's holy
to turn the town
quite upside down
to find their back-up goalie.

At last the day
and all will say
how Ottawa's a-flutter.
Throughout the fray
the fans will pray
and knees will turn to butter.

I can't profess
to surely guess
who'll win the fame and glory.
If not the north
who ventured forth
I truly will be sorry.

Ed Note: We can't leave our net readers in suspence. They came, they saw, they conquered the hearts of all - but they didn't win the game. The Senators took it 18 to 0. At least our guys narrowed the gap.

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Dawson Students to Leave for Quebec this Week

On March 23, a group of twenty young Dawsonites from grades 8 to 12 will arrive in Beauceville, Quebec to live for ten days with local families as part of a bilingual exchange program. This was organized by Mark Pengue, their French teacher and Chris Hunter, a parent, in cooperation with the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada (SEVEC).

Somewhat later in the year, on May 30, the youngsters from Quebec will have their chance to travel to Dawson and stay with our local families for five days.

"It will truly be a unique experience for these young participants to live, speak and understand our nation's other official language," said Mark Pengue, the coordinator of the exchange project. "The participants are between the ages of 13 and 18 and have been looking forward to this project after months of preparation."

The exchange is organized with the support of the parents the Department of Education, the school, school council and SEVEC, which provides a portion of the transportation costs for the twenty participants. These subsidies are made possible by grants received from the Open House Canada Program, Training and Employment of Saskatchewan as well as the Department of Education of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories.

SEVEC is an independent, not-for-profit organization which dates back to 1936 and has a history of organizing successful exchange programs. Over 225,000 young Canadians have now participated in SEVEC programs.

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The water stand-off concludes

by Dan Davidson

March 13, 1997

The federal government will be paying its overdue sewer and water bills, according to information received at Dawson's city offices on March 14.

The day before, the Department of Public Works asked the City of Dawson for an extension on its overdue water and sewer charges, but Mayor Glen Everitt wasn't in a conciliatory mood. He turned them down.

The government of Canada had been given until the end of March 18 to pay its sewer and water bills, otherwise, at 10 AM on the 19th, the backhoes would have started to dig for the connections at the first of the federal buildings in town, disconnecting them from the system.

On March 13, Mayor Glen Everitt was still holding firm on the ultimatum he issued to the federal government two weeks ago. The disconnections were to take place on a schedule known only to himself and the city manager.

Presently the case is before the federal Justice Dept. and he was expecting to hear from them on the afternoon of March 17. At that point he will know whether or not the city's right to enforce its bylaw will be challenged.

In the meantime, however, the office has received word that the bills will be paid, and has been told to expect a fax on the morning of March 14 indicating that the cheque has been cut in Vancouver.

"There's two issues here," Everitt said. The first is that the government claims it is being billed unfairly. He doesn't see how this can be when it is paying the same rate as every other government, including the municipality itself: "Territorial, First Nation, everything is billed under the same classification ... and they are paid."

The other issue is that the city is demanding interest and penalties on the overdue bills, which date back to 1995. Generally the federal government does not pay interest on overdue taxes or grants in lieu of taxes, but Everitt says this case does not fall under that category.

"This is not a tax. It is a service," he says firmly. He says he's checked with such companies as Bell Canada and has found that the government of Canada does pay interest if it is late paying its phone bill.

"They're getting a water and sewer bill for services which we provide," Everitt said. He contends that they're not being asked to pay anything anyone else in their category doesn't pay.

"They asked for an extension," Everitt said yesterday, "and I refused one. I justified it to them. I explained to them that there's residents that have been given disconnect notices. I can't go granting an extension to one and not to another."

He said they've already had since 1995 to settle the matter and nothing has happened. Anyone else, he said, would have lost their water connections long ago.

"Then they said that if they paid it they would pay without prejudice and try to get it back in three months." He told them that this would give them three more months of water and that penalties and interest would be added onto that. So they asked this morning for the treasurer to send them the total bill with penalties and interest.

Today, they have indicated that they will pay it, "without prejudice", as they had indicated. While this doesn't mean the case is over, it does solve the immediate problem.

"The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Association of Yukon Communities are watching this very closely," Everitt said, "waiting to see if we succeed. I'm confident that we're going to."

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In Memory of "Archie"

Original biography by Angie Joseph-Rear
Additional material by Dan Davidson


Archie Roberts. Photo submitted by his family.

On November 20, 1926, Arthur "Archie" Roberts was born to Dave Roberts and Magdalene (Wood). he was the second eldest of twelve siblings. Born and raised in the Moosehide/Dawson area, he experienced much of the traditional cultural lifestyle of his people.

As a young child, he danced among his people, thus the old people gave him the name "Ch'ezhan Tsul", meaning "baby Eagle", because he had the movement of an eagle when he danced.

During his childhood and teen years, Archie was known to be very mischievous. A real trickster to young and old, he especially teased Ntso Ga gramma Ellen Wood. One Christmas he looked in his stocking and saw ashes and onion. With promises of behaving and being a good boy, he later received his real gift.

Archie attended school at Moosehide, late moving to town with his aunt and uncle to attend the public school. Still a teaser, during one New Years Eve celebration, he recalled getting dynamite from a miner and setting it off, scaring his grampa, Jonathan Wood, who asked, "What the Hell is going on?"

Archie always laughed about this because grampa was a minister.

Archie was just one of the few living elders who experienced the old ways. He had the opportunity to capture the songs and dances of our people. he recalled getting his first job at the age of fourteen, unloading and loading barges at the steamboat dock.

Archie joined the P.C.M. Rangers (home defence) during the Second World War. He always carried his involvement with great pride. He was also very proud of the new local Rangers, and was a member of both the local Legion and the Yukon Order Of Pioneers.

While Archie was one of many who surrendered his legal native identity in order to serve his country, Debbie Nagano, cultural coordinator for the Dawson First Nation says he never seemed to be bitter about it.

Until this year he always laid our wreath at Remembrance Day. This year his granddaughters did it."

During his time, Archie worked in many capacities. He trapped with his father, fished, worked at slashing and surveying, was employed by B.Y.N.-White Pass, Proctor Construction, Parks Canada and at many other odd jobs.

Archie played hockey for the 'Cheechakos" as a goalie. In 1956 he received the "Rookie of the Year" award. He also played the fiddle.

With is love, care and concern for the well-being of his people, Archie continued his involvement with his First Nation organization. Early years saw him as a band council member. He was very inspirational to his people, offering and sharing his wisdom, knowledge and teachings.

He was helpful in many ways. He volunteered at the Youth Camp at Moosehide where you'd find him telling stories, playing games, always sin the kitchen, either cooking, washing pots or mopping. His help was endless.

Archie received the "Elder of the Year" award in 1987 and another later on.

In 1993, the Tr'ondek Hwech'in were planning to revive their gathering at Moosehide. Archie was quick to offer his guidance. With his inspiration and support, our first gathering was successful. Being a fluent Han speaker, he taught us with laughter and patience.

When the gatherings started, the Han people were mostly concerned to get together and talk about Land Claims and economic matters. Debbie Nagano says Archie was one of the strongest to say that the gatherings had to be more.

He always said that you have to learn your language, your songs and your dance. You have to proud of who you are before you go out for Land Claims, economic development and all that.

"So we decided to go with the gathering. Then all of a sudden he said to me, 'Well, it's time to start singing our songs.' We stood behind him and we said we didn't know how. He said to just move. He said to say what you had to say and sing what you have to sing. He was the one that led us. We were more embarrassed than anything else, but him, he was just proud.

We sang this song about the Raven but we didn't know it at the time. We didn't get it on tape and we're sorry about that to this day. He was one of the holders of that song. It was a song to greet the people. he was the one that sang it and it opened up a lot of peoples' eyes.

It was like, if Archie can do it, we can. There was 20 of us behind him at that time. Now, when we opened our third Moosehide Gathering there was over 350 members singing."

His love for children was always evident. Often you would see him at the Daycare and many a Moosehide event.

For his generous contributions, Archie will always be fondly acknowledged and remembered. We will miss his humorous side and the twinkle in his eye. We will never forget the Great Guy he was. He will be always be remembered and loved by his family, his two "chipmunks" (Carmen and Crystal) and many friends.

Archie died in the hospital in Whitehorse after an extended illness on February 14, 1997. His funeral drew a large crowd to Saint Paul's Anglican Church on February 21. The service was in a mixture of languages - English, Han and Tukudh - with singing and prayers in all three languages. Special guests assisting Rev. Don Sax and Deacon Lee Sax included Myrna Butterworth, John Ritter (from the Yukon Native Language Centre), and Edith Josie. Anglican Bishop Terry Buckle provided the sermon and Jack Fraser delivered a moving eulogy.

The Dawson Rangers were Archie's pallbearers and his ushers were Ronald Johnson, Tom Yalloway, Chuck Margeson and Jim Reilly.

Many of those who attended the service have indicated that it was one of the nicest and most moving cross-cultural events that they have ever attended here.

Predeceased by: father - Dave, mother - Magdalene, sisters - Sarah DeWolfe and Mary Beth Bergman, brother - Freddie.

Survived by: Edward, Doris, Herbie, Martha (Brian), Marion and Dot, many nephews and nieces, many relatives and friends.

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Bonspiel Reports

1997 Commercial Bonspiel Report

Thanks to many curlers the Dawson City Curling Club hosted a very successful 1997 Commercial Bonspiel. Fifteen teams braved temperatures in the minus 45? C range to compete for cash prizes.

The big winner was the MacKenzie Petroleum rink, skipped by Earl MacKenzie, supported by Wayne Braga, Travis and Wendy Galenzonski. Earl defeated the Saint Paul's Church team of Don Sax, John Reid, Trudy Lindgren and Sharon Benjamin.

In the "B" event, Peter Menzies skipped the City of Dawson rink to victory over Ian Fraser's Fraser Venture's rink.

In the "C" event it was the Peter Gould rink defeating the Downtown Hotel rink skipped by Dick Van Nostrand.

Art Christiansen skipped his family rink to victory over the Frontier Freightlines' rink skipped by Bonnie Barber.

Curlers feasted on a delicious spaghetti supper on Saturday evening thanks to Bea Felker and her helpers.

As per normal, it seems, such bonspiels as the Commercial would not be nearly as successful without curlers like Paula Pawlovich and Bonnie Barber coming through at the last minute. Thank you Paula and Bonnie and to those who were recruited at the last minute.

Also a big thank you to Dick Van Nostrand and his Downtown Hotel for donating their prize money to the curling club.

98th International Bonspiel Report

February 20-22 was the time for the Dawson Curling Club to host the 98th Annual International Bonspiel with curlers from Whitehorse, Pelly Crossing and Dawson participating. Outside temperatures in the -10? range set the stage for near perfect bonspiel conditions.

Thanks to Earl MacKenzie and his crew, curlers were treated to excellent ice. A big thank you is owed to Bea Felker who organized just about everything. Without such efforts, the bonspiel would not have been a success.

For the third successive year Duff Felker and rink had first choice of the prize table as winners of the "A" event over the Linda Christiansen rink. Curling with Duff were Sandy George, Monica Kulych and Kandice Braga.

Other event winners: "B" Event - Bob Atkinson, winner, with James Koyanagi, runner-up; "C" event - Don Barker, winner, with Teddy Charlie runner-up; "D" event - Art Christiansen, winner, with Earl MacKenzie, runner-up.

The Curling Club executive wishes to thank all the volunteers., participants and supporters for their contribution towards the success of the 98th International Bonspiel.

Curlers, watch for the March special events and remember there is curling every Monday and Thursday.

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