Home Town or Home Community:
Ukrainians in the Parklands
Canada, in 1896 launched an aggressive campaign to recruit farmers from Eastern Europe to settle and develop Canada’s Northwest. As early as 1897, Ukrainian settlements began fanning out between the railway lines from Saltcoats to Ituna in the south and Kamsack to Watson in the north.
Ukraine, endowed with a moderate climate, rich fertile soil, and an abundance of natural resources was a seduction to its neighbours. As the second largest country in Europe, for centuries Ukraine defended its borders against foreign aggressors, but early in the 19th century it fell victim to the multinational empires of Russia and of Austro-Hungary. The rule under these regimes was severely oppressive. They denied the Ukrainian people their cultural identity. Language was suppressed, schools were closed, and the church was compromised. Successive fractioning of family holdings reduced livelihoods to a mere existence. For them there was no freedom, no justice and no future. Their only hope was to escape the despotic rule. It was not, therefore, the offer of free land in the wilderness that lured the Ukrainian immigrant to Western Canada. They were in search of freedom, justice, dignity, security and peace.
There was a mass exodus of Ukrainian people from the provinces of Galicia and Bukovyna in Western Ukraine. No sooner had they established themselves in their thatch-roof homes, the Ukrainian immigrants directed themselves towards establishing school districts, rural municipalities and organizing parishes. Onion-shaped church domes became landmarks on the landscapes of the Parklands. The school, the home, the church nurtured the future stewards of their culture. To profile their ethnic identity, they built National Homes where they organized for political activism.
By 1912, the Ukrainian immigrants cleared lands, tilled the soil, and produced bountiful crops. Ukraine, their beloved motherland, was the breadbasket of Europe. The Prairies, their adopted homeland became the breadbasket of the world, for the Ukrainian communities in the Parklands, Yorkton became their “beach-head’ for religious, education, and social institutions. In the inter-war years, a second wave of immigrants from Ukraine settled along railway lines branching out of Yorkton. In the post World War 11 era, most Ukahian immigrants were displaced persons liberated by the Allies from the forced labour camps of Nazi Germany. For a time they settled in the urban centres of the Parklands but eventually gravitated to the cities in Eastern Canada.
Many Ukrainians became ethically obscure. Firstly, there was the identity problem. Canada did not adopt Ukrainian as an ethic designation until 1921. Also, there were no secular priests amongst them and this made them vulnerable targets of proselytization. The ever presence of mixed-marriages and the subtleties of assimilation embraced them into an emerging culture of a pluralistic society.
To preserve the soul of worship and the traditions of the Ukrainian church, the “new” calendar was adopted and the use of English became acceptable. To raise the awareness of roots, parishes organized Youth clubs, Summer Camps, and supported ethnic dance festivals. The Orange Revolution of 2005 in Ukraine stirred many a dormant heart in the diaspora. For many an ethnic dream, materialized into a reality.
Many sons and daughters of Ukrainian ancestry served in Canada’s armed forces. Some were decorated for valour. Many bore the scars of battle. Many perished. Their ultimate sacrifice is to be forever cherished. Ukrainians from the Yorkton area have risen to high levels of prominence. Their contributions to the church, politics, military, and the public service are heralded afar. Many more are recognized as professionals in medicine, education, justice, sports, and the field of entertainment.
Ukrainians characterize themselves as being worshippers of God and His creation; they have an unquenchable thirst for enlightenment; they are creative and imaginative in expressing their love of mankind through dance, music and the arts.
Most of all, they proudly display their patriotic loyalties for the democratic sovereignty of their ancestral and their adopted homelands.
It can be said that Ukrainians are the salt of the Parklands that appetizes the taste of Saskatchewan culture.
UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS (UCC)
YORKTON, SASKATCHEWAN BRANCH
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) Yorkton, Saskatchewan Branch is affiliated with the National Ukrainian Canadian Congress headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba which acts as the coordinating body for the Ukrainian community in Canada. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress acts as the official spokesperson for the Ukrainian community by advocating on issues affecting Ukrainian Canadians before the provincial and federal governments.
The Yorkton UCC branch held its first organizational meeting on January 21, 1991 with 23 members present. The members are representatives of the component organizations of the Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Yorkton. Monthly meetings were held until 1997 but changed to bi-monthly meetings from 1997 to the present.
The following is a resume of notable events in which the Yorkton branch of UCC has participated, organized or contributed to:
- Ukraine, having proclaimed its Independence in 1991, funds were forwarded to help establish the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa
- Sponsored and/or hosted several performing artist groups from Ukraine and Canada
- In recognition of 100 years of the Ukrainian Pioneer Settlement in Canada, the establishment of the Ukrainian Pioneer Park in the city of Yorkton was undertaken
- Staged the Ukrainian Harvest Festival “Obzhynky”
- Commemorate the tragic Famine/Genocide of 1932-33
- Presentations to the media and public schools on the suffering following the nuclear explosion at Chemobyl. In 1996 the city proclaimed April 16, 1996 as “Day of Chemobyl”
- Summarized a bilingual report sent to Provincial UCC to have the report sealed in a Time Capsule, to be opened in 2025
- Annually stage a concert in honor of the proclaimed Ukrainian Genius and Poet, Taras Shevchenko
- Financially assisted to have a Ukrainian program “Charming Bandura” on local cable television
- Purchased 5 volumes of the Ukrainian Encyclopedia and presented these to the Yorkton Public Library
- Delegation from Ukraine interested in how land titles are handled were hosted by Yorkton’s mayor and the Yorkton branch
- Saskatchewan UCC Provincial Council and Yorkton branch have hosted the Nation Builders Awards Luncheon to honor chosen individuals of Ukrainian heritage who have impacted the lives of many through their contributions to the arts, humanity, leadership roles, education etc.
- Financial and spiritual support for recent Ukraine election monitoring
Over the years, all individuals who have accepted positions on the executive of the Yorkton UCC branch have worked diligently, always being conscious of the success and benefit of our organization within the Ukrainian community.
The following phone numbers are the contacts for the Yorkton UCC branch:
(306) 783-4991 (306) 783-7323 (306) 782-2687
KOHTPEC YKPAIHUIB KAHAflH
UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS
The UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS, Yorkton Branch is affiliated with the National UCC Headquarters in Winnipeg, Man. which acts as the coordinating body for the Ukrainian community in Canada. It is made up of over 25 nationally based and volunteer driven Ukrainian Canadian organizations, united by the goal of preserving and developing our shared Ukrainian culture in Canada. UCC Branches are active in many areas of this country.
The Yorkton UCC Branch held its first Organizational meeting on January 21, 1992, with 23 members present. The following executive members were chosen:
President – Mr. Michael Baran
1st Vice President Mrs. Catherine Woloschuk
2nd Vice President Mr. George Skwarchuk
Recording Secretary Pauline Semenuik
Treasurer Mr. Harry Kardynal
Board of Control Dobr. Mary Hnatiw; Mr. Lome Sakundiak; Mr. Eugene Hnatiuk
Program Committee Rev. Fr. Leonard Ratushniak, Rev. Fr. Peter Hnatiw, Eugene Hnatiuk, Mike Baran, Sonia Pawliw, Dobr. Mary Hnatiw, Xennia Dusyk, Olesia Pitts, Valerie Ratushniak.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress acts as the official spokesperson for the Ukrainian community by advocating on issues affecting Ukrainian Canadians before the provincial and federal governments.
The Yorkton UCC members are guided by the following goals:
— to protect, enhance and promote the unique cultural identity of Ukrainians throughout Canada
— to maintain, develop and enhance the Ukrainian culture and language as integral parts of Canada’s multicultural society
— to encourage the full participation of Ukrainian Canadians in all facets of Canadian life
— to actively advance better communication, understanding and mutual respect between ethno cultural communities
Initially, we had the following component organizations represented:
- Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada, Yorkton Branch
- Ukrainian Orthodox Men’s Association – TYC Yorkton Branch
- Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, Olena Pchilka Branch
- Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Branch One and Branch Two. Since 2002 they are amalgamated to St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic /Women’s League
- Ukrainian Business & Professional Men’s Association (NOT ACTIVE NOW)
- League of Ukrainian Canadians (not active since 2002)
Both, the National and Provincial UCC Executives publish an educational and informative Newsletter which provides our members with a wealth of knowledge on current issues.
For the first few years, we held monthly meetings (till 1997); later we changed to bi-monthly meetings and executive or program Committee discussions.
Our first year was filled with concerns of fund raising and educating the general public with the ideals and activities of the UCC. We operate on the goodwill offerings of our Component Organizations and the generous donations of individuals.
Resume of Notable Events from 1992 to the end of 2004
- Ukraine having proclaimed its Independence in 1991, there became an immediate need of establishing Ukraine’s Embassy in Canada. Answering the National UCC Appeal, our UCC Branch contributed $2870.00 for the building fund of Ukraine’s Embassy in Ottawa, in the fall of 1992.
- Sponsored several Performing Artist Groups from Ukraine; two in 1992, one in 1993, 1997. In 1998 hosted two literary authors from Ukraine together with Canadian authors who wrote about Ukrainians. Another group came in 2000. We provided meals and night lodging for all of the above.
- The Yorkton UCC members worked diligently in procuring and beginning the development of a site to be known as the Ukrainian Pioneer Park, in recognition of the One Hundred Year Ukrainian Pioneer Settlement in Canada. Mr. George Skwarchuk was chairman of this Committee with all the executive members sharing their tireless efforts in planting perennials, flowers, trees, etc. to beautify the grounds. Gateway Signage and an historical cairn were erected at the location of the corner of First Avenue and Henderson Street, designating the Park. The Official Opening of the Park was held on August 21, 1994, with Provincial and Local dignitaries participating. The Reverend Fathers from both Ukrainian Parishes served the Moleben and Memorial Prayer Service at the beginning of the Celebrations. This was followed by a program of song, dance and a pot-luck supper. Sonja Pawliw, member of the Ukrainian Pioneer Park Committee, made an excellent photo album of all our UCC events.
- On October 16, 1993, we staged the Ukrainian Harvest Festival “Obzhynky”, the guidance of Mr. Eugene Hnatiuk. Considerable amount of preparation was required for the presentation and was met with favorable results.
- Being cognizant of Ukraine’s tragic Famine/Genocide of 1932-33, which was deliberately inflicted on Ukrainian people by the Soviet Regime, our UCC members organized the observance of the 60th Anniversary of this solemn historic Great Famine, on October 26, 1993. All faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Parishes participated in the Memorial – Panachyda to commemorate the over seven million victims who suffered horrific starvation.
6.With the help of our clergy and the executive UCC members, we had the Yorkton Mayor, His Worship Ben Weber, Proclaim April 26, 1996 “Day of Chornobyl”. This was to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the Nuclear Explosion, which made millions of Ukrainians suffer at that time and continues to cause health problems in the aftermath. Our members held a fund drive to raise money to send in aid of the “The Children of Chornobyl” Fund. In addition we had executive member, Brenda Perepeliuk make educational presentations on this subject, to Yorkton’s newspapers, Radio, Television Stations and Public Schools.
- In 2000, we prepared a summarized bi-lingual activity report of the Yorkton UCC Branch and sent it to the Provincial UCC in Saskatoon for having it sealed in a TIME CAPSULE which will be opened in the year 2025!
- Every year (except one), we held a concert in Honor of our acclaimed Ukrainian Genius and Poet, Taras Shevchenko. In the earlier years we had students from Ukrainian Schools taking part, as well as the Dance Ensembles. Choir members from both parishes sang a selection of T. Shevchenko’s compositions and the main ADDRESS essays were spoken in Ukrainian and English.
- Annually, we contribute donations to the Provincial and National Headquarters. In 1995, we gave $2200.00 to North Eastern Cable TV in Yorkton for programming “Charming Bandura” which was a Ukrainian Production, directed by Deacon Jeffery Stephaniuk and Brenda Perepeliuk. Since 2002 we contributed financial assistance to the Ukrainian Dance Festival, held in Yorkton. Energetic performers, competitors, come from all over Saskatchewan and even outside the province. Purchased a five volume Ukrainian Encyclopedia and presented it to the Yorkton Public Library, in March of 2002. This was to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence.
On October 14, 2001, besides the Annual Observance of Ukraine’s Independence held in the Park, we invited the well-known “Lastiwka” Ukrainian Orthodox Choir and Orchestra and the talented “Yevshan” Ukrainian Folk Ballet Ensemble, all from Saskatoon to have additional celebrations for the 10th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence. UCC-SPC President, Mr. Eugene Krenosky, was our guest speaker for this occasion. Our UCC Branch members hosted all the performers with a luncheon.
- On June 6th, 2002, we hosted a delegation from Ukraine, who were specifically interested in how land titles are handled in Canada. Our Executive members in co-operation with Yorkton City Mayor, Phil Devos and council members organized a special welcome for them.
- In February of 2003, we hosted the Prairie Grassroots Vision International – volunteers who have visited Ukraine and are currently helping the farmers in Ukraine with the agricultural industry.
- On November 2, 2003, we hosted the Nation Builders Awards Banquet at St. Mary’s Cultural Centre. Our members worked many long hours in preparation for this prestigious event and all proceedings met with compliments from visitors out of town. The Provincial UCC-SPC Executive decided that Yorkton UCC should host the Nation Builders Awards Banquet in 2004, after they experienced our hospitality!
- In accordance with the Resolution put forth by the UCG Headquarters to designate the fourth Saturday in November of every year throughout Canada as a day of Remembrance of the more than seven million Ukrainians who fell victim to the Great Famine/Genocide in 1932-33 the Yorkton Ukrainian Catholic Parish held a Memorial – Panachyda Service, on November 22, 2003 with many faithful in attendance.
- On November 23/03, we hosted the performers of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival Choir of Dauphin, Manitoba, who staged a concert at the Anne Portnuff Theatre of Yorkton’s Regional High School.
The year of 2004 was the year of 2004 was rather a trying one. President, Harry Kardynal was having health problems and most of the work fell on first-vice, Merle Maximiuk and the other members to fulfill necessary duties.
A literary afternoon Program was organized to Honor the Ukrainian Poet Taras Shevchenko and was well attended.
Merle Maximiuk represented our UCC Branch at the Provincial UCC Annual General Meeting and was appointed as secretary of the UCC-SPC Board. She has been requested to serve on the Selections Committee for the Nation Builders Honoree Project. Acting as the Yorkton UCC Program Coordinator, she organized the Observance of the Thirteenth Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence, held on August 22, 2004. We were honored to have Karen Pidskalny, from the Sask. Ukrainian Historical Society, as our guest speaker.
Our UCC Branch has been successful in sending delegates to the Tri-Annual Conference of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress every time it was held and this year, our first-vice. Merle Maximiuk attended the UCC Congress in Winnipeg on October 1 to 3, 2004.
St. Mary’s Cultural Centre, once again was the site of the 10th Annual Nation Builders Awards, held in Yorkton on November 7/04. Members of the Yorkton UCC worked together with the Provincial UCC in presenting an informational and educational occasion while paying special tribute to the worthy Honourees.
November 19, 2004, the World-Renowned Kyiv Chamber Choir presented a concert at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Yorkton UCC Branch members helped in hosting the performers and all who attended with a wine and cheese reception. Our members also provided some vocalists with night lodging and breakfast.
Over the years, all individuals who have accepted positions on the Yorkton UCC Branch executive, have worked diligently, always being conscious of the success and benefit of our Organization within the Ukrainian Community.
Since the year 2000, the members of the Executive were as follows:
Past President Mr. George Skwarchuk (passed away Dec. 20, 2002)
President Mr. Harry Kardynal
First Vice President Merle Maximiuk
Recording Secretary Pauline Semenuik
Treasurer Catherine Woloschuk
Board of Control Lorne Sakundiak, Tomko Baran, Eugene Hnatiuk, on Nov. 26/02, Peter Gulka was chosen to replace Mr. E. Hnatiuk
Mr. Eugene Hnatiuk served as Program Committee Chairperson from 1992 till 2003.
St. Mary’s Parish
(Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help)
Immigrants from Ukraine began settling in the Yorkton area in 1902. Because there were no secular priests of their own amongst them, the early settlers were targets for the psuedo preachers, self-ordained ministers, and self-proclaimed heads of churches in some distant land. Zayats, a Jewish imposter, even dared to celebrate a Christian service. Those weak of faith, grew cynical and left the church.
Recognizing the deplorable religious situation in the Ukrainian settlements, Archbishop Langevin of the French diocese of St. Boniface assigned Father Deleare to work among the Slavs. Very early in their contact with the immigrants from Ukraine, it became evident to Father Deleare and his confreres that their work would be more fruitful if they adopted the Eastern Rite and gained a working knowledge of the language.
In 1906, Ukrainian Rite Redemptorlsts were inaugerated at Yorkton. At St. Gerard’s, a Roman Rite parish, Father Deteare and his confreres furnished a chapel according to the traditions of the Ukrainian Rite. A Ukrainian Catholic parish was organized in 1910. This chapel served as a parish centre for the Ukrainian Catholic community at Yorkton until the construction of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1913. The Mother of Perpetual Help Monastery was constructed in 1914 and adjoined to St. Mary’s parish church. Together, the Yorkton Redemptorist Church and Monastery became the spiritual and cultural center of Ukrainian Catholics in Saskatchewan.
St. Mary’s, a massive structure, is constructed of steel, concrete, and brick. The white bricks were manufactured from the sandy clay found near the site of the church. The architectural style of the structure is that of a domed Byzantine basillica. The dome dominates over the wings of the vaulted roof shaped as a cruciform (shape of the cross). The eastern wing was extended in 1954.
Near the church structure is an intricately designed cross commemorating Ukraine’s entry into Christendom in 988 A.D. A replica of “Our Lady of Lourdes’ grotto adjoins the church site.
Beginning in 1916, St. Mary’s became a pilgrimage site. Each year thousands attended Vidpust on the first Sunday of July, Yorkton ranks as one of the major parishes in the Eparchy of Saskatoon. St. Mary’s and the Yorkton pastoral district have been blessed with numerous vocations to minister to the needs of the faithful.
However, demographics, economics and social changes are taking a toll on the parishes.
St. Mary’s involves its children and youth in many spiritual and cultural activities. It sponsors them to St. Michael’s Church Camp at Madge Lake. It has a Ukrainian Language School and an ethnic dance group. The seniors gather in the church basement for fellowship and social comfort.
Many high school graduates from the parish opt for post secondary education and training. Some choose to make Sheptytsky Institute in Saskatoon as their home for a while but on completion of their studies they follow opportunities that beckon them elsewhere and they return only as visitors to St. Mary’s.
The parish is administered by the stewardship of the Pastor and Parish Council. In spiritual matters regarding dogma and doctrine, guidance and direction from the Pontif in Rome spreads through the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate in Kyiv, its cardinals, metropolitans, bishops, through the pastors and clergy to the laity.
The Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Church is in communion with the Universal (Catholic) Church of Rome founded by Peter, the apostle, a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind.
The ladies of St. Mary’s was originally a sisterhood until 1946, Branch I was formed as a league. Then with the help of Fr. Bala in 1952 Branch II was organized. Meetings were conducted in English because of the younger members, while Branch I had their meetings in Ukrainian.
Branch II held meetings twice a month at first and they were in homes of the members. Once the membership grew the meetings were held at the hall once a month.
The organization is Eparchial, National and International. Its four aims are spirituality, culture, citizenship and social justice. Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada work alongside the church in spiritual involvement and education. Culturally they started the Kalyna Ukrainian dance group and held embroidery classes, Easter egg writing and festive bread demonstrations. In citizenship they help in the community with meals and wheels, senior mobility and community festivities. In social justice they donate to the shoe box project and other projects such as the Ukrainian Orphanages, soup kitchens and seniors. Also the Tsunami relief, fire victims and children summer camps. Through the year they hold teas and bazaars and bake sales, garage sales as fund raisers to help with church renovations, Musee Ukraina in Saskatoon, student bursaries and priests in seminaries.
The members look after the church laundry, had three separate cook books printed over the fifty some years. In 1958 our member Dr. Stephanie Patoski was the national president. In 1993 & 1994 Sonja Pawliw, also our member was Eparchial President. The organization has a beautiful display of Ukrainian costumes on mannequins at the Cultural Centre and an Easter egg display donated & painted by Vicky Buzinski.
In 2003 the Branch I group dissolved and amalgamated with Branch II and it became the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada of St. Mary’s Yorkton. At present we have 129 members; we hold meetings the first Tuesday of the month.
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Youth Organization
The St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Youth organization started in 1945. On December 2, 1945, Father Stephen Bachtalowsky called the first meeting of the UCY in Yorkton. Very few youth attended that first meeting, but great things must often start small.
A week later, on December 9, 1945, the UCY put on their first concert at 2:00 p.m. Many youth attended and the UCY gained many new members.
On November 6, 1947, Father John Syrota re-organized the UCY. Forty-three members were enrolled. Olga Winnitowy was president of the UCY, Mary Pawliuk took the position of vice president, Wally Nemetz held the place of secretary, Olga Byblow took the role of treasurer, and Ann Prokopyshen held the position of controller.
The Ukrainian Catholic Youth organization was born to organize the youth and to keep them active in the parish.
The UCY was a very active organization since their revival in 1947. They toured Saskatchewan and Manitoba, presenting choir and Ukrainian dance concerts. Mr. Andy Novak, President of the UCY in 1952, said that the UCY organization was the greatest contributor financially to the parish in his day. The UCY also held Communion breakfasts and hosted retreats.
The UCY remained very active within the parish during the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and even into the 1980’s. Provincially and within the eparchy, they took part in many activities like UCY banquets. For example, in June of 1973, Yorkton youth heard the Honorable Dr. Stephen Worobetz M.C.M.D., Lieutenant Governor, speak at a provincial UCY function.
These youth always worked hard. They took pride in their parish and in their Ukrainian heritage.
“We have a purpose. It is to keep the locals together and speak in their name.
“You also have a purpose and your purpose is to hold regular meetings at least once a month with a spiritual Director present.
“Encourage new members at all times.
“Ensure equal distribution or activities planned by your executive.
“And guard and develop the growth or the unit at all times.”
-Unknown UCY member, addressing other UCY members.
History of Yorkton Kalyna Dance School
In 1975 St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League Branch II formed a dance troupe to what is known today as Yorkton Kalyna Dance School. This group of ladies from the UCWL had children that wanted to carry on the tradition of Ukrainian dance. By 2000 the dance school hit its highest enrollment ever with a record high of 115 students.
The dance club is now celebrating 30 years of Ukrainian Dance. For the past 30 years we at Kalyna Dance School have provided students from five years of age to adult with instruction in Ukrainian dance and culture. The students are taught dances from 5 different regions of Ukraine that include Poltavski, Transcarpathian, Bukovenia, Hutzul and Volyn. The dancers are taught new dances every year to keep interest and variety in the program. The dance year begins in early September and ends in May.
After many hours of hard work the dancers are entered into competitions to show what they have learned throughout the year. The students have traveled to competitions in Brandon, Russell, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, St. Albert and Yorkton’s own Kalyna competition. The dancers do very well at the competitions. They have fun and bring home metals and trophies for their accomplishments. Our dancers also perform for special events such as weddings, anniversaries, meetings and parish activities. The club also holds an annual Family Valentines Social every February. This event is the first performance of the year for the students to show their talent. After the performance a delicious meal is served followed by more dance fun for everyone.
In 2000 after a lot of research; it was suggested by two of Kalyna’s parents, Adam and Jean Fetsch that we should host our own competition. After several meetings it was decided in May of 2000 that Kalyna Dance School would organize the first ever Ukrainian dance competition to be held in May of2001. After a lot of organizing and hard work, our first competition was a huge success. It is now a yearly event and a major fundraising project for our club. This competition has received a lot of positive support from the city because of the tremendous numbers of people it brings to our city. The Yorkton Kalyna Dance Festival/Competition is held on the first weekend of May at the Anne Portnuff Theatre. Clubs from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and North Dakota have attended the competition within the last several years. In 2004 Kalyna Dance School received the Community Merit Award at the Celebrate Success Awards banquet. Being nominated for an award such as this is a great honor to the organizers and the volunteers of the club.
With the income we receive from the competition it helps us pay for our instructors, entry fees for the students to attend competitions and the purchase of new costumes for our dancers. Currently Kalyna Dance School has an enrollment of 53 students. Although enrollment has dropped in the last couple of years, the club is still going strong to preserve the culture of Ukrainian dance in our city.
Our instructors are Oleksandra Byelyayev, he has been with us for five years and Melonie Ochitwa who has been with us for two years. Oleksandra instructs our older kids that range in ages from 10 years to 18 years old and Melonie instructs our 5 to 9 year olds. Our students receive top-notch instruction and once they graduate from the club they have a feeling of satisfaction and know that they were taught from the best. Kalyna has had several students that have gone on to dance with professional dance troupes in Edmonton and Saskatoon. Kalyna Dance School provides its graduating students with a scholarship at the end of the year as an appreciation for the many years of dedication and time they invested into the club.
At Kalyna Dance School we are very proud of our dancers and parent volunteers for the many hours they put into the club to make the club what it is today.
Short History of the Golden Agers Drop-In Centre
On March 9, 1977, a group of seniors met at St. Mary’s Rectory to form a Seniors Club. The first executive was as follow:
Chaplain Father Paul Maluga, Parish Pastor
President Metro Sakundiak
Vice President John Nowroski
Secretary Anne Glute
Treasurer Mary Kohan
A five member Board of Directors was elected. A motion was passed to call the center “Golden Agers Drop In Centre”. Membership Fees were set at $2.00 per member for the year. The next step was to find a location; Father Maluga, Parish Pastor suggested utilizing the downstairs of St. Mary’s church.
The Knights of Columbus Father Delaere council were approached to see if they would be interested in spearheading the project of demolishing and renovating the downstairs for the center. Council elected Grand Knight Lorne Sakundiak to chair the project with Harry Rohatensky as vice and co-foreman of the project. Work began immediately with many hours volunteered work supplied by the members of the Knights of Columbus council #5182 and the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood.
On May 12, 1977, a meeting was called with Mr. Joe Zakresi, Regional Manager of the New Horizons Program and Miss Norma Wallace held representative from Regina in attendance, to set up a program and apply for a grant that was available to seniors. A $7,000.00 budget was set up and other ideas and suggestions were passed on to the members.
Drawings and lay out plans were completed and sent into the department along with an application for a grant to cover the cost of the furnishings.
The renovation project was completed by August of 1977, and was funded by: Knights of Columbus Father Delaere council, the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League Branch I and Branch II, St. Volodymyr Branch of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, and St. Mary’s Parish.
An August meeting was held at the new Drop in Center to discuss the purchasing of furnishings and recreation supplies and a lease agreement was signed with Father Maluga.
On October 5th an official opening was held with the following guests attending, Mayor John Wytrykush, Joe Zakreski, from New Horizons and Bernie McGall, Randal Nelson, MLA and representatives from other clubs.
October meeting was held to set up the constitution and by-laws for the center.
As the months went by, arts and crafts programs were set up. Recreational Equipment installed, and the membership increased to 155 paid up members by August 1978. The members enjoyed bingos, shuffleboard and pool. They also sewed a quilt for the centennial project, lunches potluck meals were served. Many Anniversary’s and Birthdays were celebrated at the center.
The center has been opened all the time and is still operating although the membership has declined dramatically. This year, 2005, we have only 30 members. Many have passed on and some are unable to come or are in nursing homes.
We still have bingos every Thursday; birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated on the last Wednesday of the month. We also hold suppers on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and other special occasions.
The present executive members are:
President: Olga Prybylski
First Vice President: Bill Yakiwchuk
Second Vice President Mary Lazurko
Treasurer: Peter Gulka
Secretary: Mary Tratch
Hostess: Nettie Sakundiak (original hostess from the beginning)
Asst Hostess: Mary Yakichuk
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE U.C.B.C. BRANCH IN YORKTON
The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood branch in the parish of the Mother of Perpetual Help was organized on Feb. 15, 1942, upon the initiative of Very Reverend Fathers Hryhory Shyshkowich, Stephan Bachtalowsky, Brother Methodius, a Christian Brother, and Andrew Kindred. That same day a general meeting took place in the parish hall. Rev. Fr. H. Shyshkowich chaired the meeting. Andrew Kindred acted as secretary. At this meeting, the first executive of the U.C.B.C. was elected: President-Hryhory Baran; Vice-President-Frank Fedorowich; Secretary-Andrew Kindred; Treasurer-John Fedorowich; Auditors-Hryhory Prestai and Kost Esopenko. Only one Charter member of the executive is with us today, Bro. Frank Fedorowich.
After the meeting, the branch contacted the Central Executive of the U.C.B.C. in Winnipeg and obtained the proper identifiable number-#78 that was announced in the U.C.B.C. “Future of the Nation”. Twenty-four members paid their annual membership fee of $1.00 each. The number of the branch is now changed to 302.
The needs of the church, the parish hall and our schools in Yorkton, The Academy of Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph’s College, and the Sheptytsky Institute in Saskatoon, plus the general help to the youth of our parish compelled our new branch of the U.C.B.C. to intensive work. The membership always strive to get funds for all the different responsibilities mentioned above and other objectives so they held various projects to procure the necessary funds.
The branch co-worked with the Central Executive of the U.C.B.C. and always sent delegates to diocesan conferences as well as to the Congresses of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee.
Every year the members were involved with helping out during the Annual Pilgrimage that used to take place on the grounds of the church and at one time lasted for several days. It had been necessary to prepare for this large undertaking because at that time thousands came to the Pilgrimage in Yorkton- to the Mother of Perpetual Help Church. Even now the members of U.C.B.C. provide help every Sunday, on feast days, and during the annual pilgrimage.
The Yorkton Branch of the U.C.B.C. successfully enlarged its membership from 24 in 1942 to 105 in 2000. Besides the Executive, there are now separate committees. These are: Membership, Spiritual, Social, Visitation of the 111, Publicity, Program, Ways and Means, Bingo and Phoning.
Every month branch meetings are held with appropriate programs, and we diligently strive to enlarge our membership. Most importantly, we now have members of the younger generation. We strive to give them important positions on the executive and appoint them as conveners of certain committees.
We have members who have served on the National Executive of the U.C.B.C. and also on the Eparchial Executive, members who have served on the Parish Council, Cultural Center Board of Directors, St. Michael’s Camp, City Council, and on the Catholic School Board, and in various other organizations in the community.
Some of the donations and support that the branch contributes are scholarships for good standings in the Ukrainian Language at Sacred Heart High School and other subjects. Every year and we donate toward the summer camp at Madge Lake.
From time to time we donate to the Central Executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and to the Shevchenko Foundation in Winnipeg. We contribute to many local charity drives in Yorkton, help Ukraine or Ukrainian causes, for example, the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa, Shipment of medicine, a soup kitchen in Ukraine. We help with shipping cost of sending Christmas gifts to the orphanage in Ukraine.
The present Executive of the Yorkton branch is: Spiritual Advisor-Rev. Father
Methodius Kushko C.Ss.R, Past President-John Pacholka, President-Lorne Sakundiak, Vice president-Peter Moroz, Secretary-Robert Wuschenny, Treasurer-Mike Klym, Hospodar-Ed Mclashen, Auditors-Victor Puchala and Carl Pacholka.
Knights of Columbus
History of Fr. Delaere Council #5182
Fr. Delaere Knights of Columbus Council #5182 is an active organization of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Prior to institution of the Council, the Saskatchewan State jurisdiction of the Knights of Columbus consisted of seven districts (currently eleven). District #7 had but one council, that being Yorkton Council #2031 with six sub-councils, for a total membership of 495. The large number of members obviously made for an unwieldy council. Coupled with that was a rather large number of enthusiastic Ukrainian Catholic members joining the Knights of Columbus. With the large Ukrainian population in Yorkton, it seemed only natural to establish a Ukrainian rite council. Thus, on October 8, 1961, Father Delaere Council became the first Ukrainian Catholic Council of the Knights of Columbus in Saskatchewan with 90 charter members. The Council was aptly named after Father Achilles Delaere, a Belgian priest who at the turn of the century had accepted the challenge of ministering to the spiritual needs of the Ukrainian pioneers in the Yorkton area.
The charter executive consisted of: Chaplain Fr. Maurice Dzurman; Grand Knight Walter Panchuk; Deputy Grand Knight Norman Swerhone; Chancellor Alee Sebulsky; Warden John Skilnick; Recorder John Wytrykush; Advocate Stephen Shabbits; Treasurer Joseph J. Ratushniak; Lecturer Harry Kozak; Financial Secretary Paul Raina; Inside Guard Mike Glute; Outside Guard Mervin Hrechka; Trustees Wm. Kozakewich, John Derbowka and Joseph Krochak.
Father Delaere #5182 is a very active council, having hosted numerous State and District events such as curling, bowling. Midterm meetings, State conventions, installations and District meetings. The 1994 State Midterm Meeting in Yorkton particularly stands out in the memories, of both the hosts and delegates as an unusually heavy December snowfall descended upon Saskatchewan the afternoon of the event, causing both delegates and hosts considerable anxiety when some delegates and their families had to postpone their arrival until the following morning. One Knight of Columbus travelling from southern Saskatchewan at that time had the misfortune of running into a deer, thus causing him to miss the entire Midterm Meeting.
The 1986 State Convention was the final convention to be hosted outside the two large centers of Regina and Saskatoon and the second to be hosted by Fr. Delaere Council.
What made the ’86 Convention memorable was not only the large turnout of 800 delegates, but the sudden resignation, four days before the convention, of the St. Mary’s Cultural Centre manager where the event was to be held. With the help of a Brother Knight as Acting Manager and with the cooperation of all Council members, ladies and caterers, the event turned out to be a resounding success!
Father Delaere Council, with a current membership of approximately 120, serves Church, State and Community in the true spirit of Columbianism: Unity, Charity, Fraternity, Patriotism. A right arm of the Church, the Council engaged in numerous projects over the years: air conditioning, building of a ramp for seniors, carpeting of church steps and the Golden Agers Centre. Initial and continuing contributions to St. Mary’s Cultural Centre have been made as well. Support of St. Michael’s Camp, the former St. Joe’s and St. Volodymr’s Colleges and Sacred Heart High School has been ongoing. A special contribution of $100,000 was made to Yorkton Catholic Schools. In addition, the Council has financially supported vocations to the priesthood.
The Council also supports the local and larger community through a variety of charitable work such as Meals on Wheels, Christmas Kettles, scholarships, the Yorkton Regional Health Centre etc. Support of needy families of both members and non-members has been graciously offered. Widows of deceased members are included in all social activities of the Council.
Current Grand Knight is John Pacholka; Deputy grand Knight Lome Brischuk. Other key officers are Larry German, Financial Secretary; Michael Malayney, Treasurer. Co-Chaplains are Rev. Fr. Bryan Bayda and Rev. Fr. Methodius Kushko.
Practicing Catholic gentlemen, age 18 and over, are most welcome to join the Council. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 P.M. at the Council Chambers, Fr. Delaere Room, St. Mary’s Cultural Centre.
Written by Robert Wuschenny
SISTERS SERVANTS OF MARY IMMACULATE IN YORKTON
The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate are an active Ukrainian-Catholic religious community established in Western Ukraine in 1892. They were founded to “educate and ennoble the hearts of the people” that were spiritually, morally and culturally deprived, largely due to hardships caused by foreign domination. A guiding principle adopted by the Sisters was “to serve where the need is greatest”.
Following this principle, four Sisters came to Canada in 1902, to support the
Ukrainian immigrants who needed to worship in their own rite and language in order to preserve their faith, which was very important to them.
The Sisters’ permanent involvement in Saskatchewan began in Yorkton in 1915. At the inspiration of the Redemptorist Fathers, they were asked by Bishop Nicetas Budka to build a school for the education of Ukrainian immigrant children.
The project necessitated much travel in order to collect funds. As a result, the Sisters got acquainted with the people and their needs, and helped them deepen their faith. In 1917, they opened Sacred Heart Institute, then expanded it several times and conducted it through many changes. The present Sacred Heart High School, no longer under the leadership of the Sisters Servants, is a continuation of that legacy.
During the influenza epidemic of 1917-18, two Sisters joined the staff of Queen Victoria Hospital on request, even though many of the children and most of the staff at Sacred Heart were critically ill. They also took in abandoned orphans who were brought in by the missionary priests or the police, and occasionally even left on their doorstep.
Except for St. Michael’s, the Sisters have worked in all the Catholic schools of Yorkton, including St. Joseph’s College and University Division and St. Joseph’s Junior High. They have been principals at St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart. They also taught piano and theory organized and conducted choirs and orchestras and produced musicals.
During their fundraising travels, the Sisters were constantly being told that there was a need for an orphanage in Ituna, so in 1920 they established St. Ann’s Children’s Home and rebuilt it in 1938. In time, different methods of child-care were promoted and the Sisters closed St. Ann’s.
In earlier days, much of the Sisters’ teaching of religion and Ukrainian took place outside the regular school setting, on Saturdays, during summer catechism in Yorkton as well as in small towns and rural areas and in summer camps. Many a summer found them attending summer school in order to become better educators. And wherever they were, care of churches, comfort to the sick and dying and other forms of parish work were important activities. A more recent form of outreach has consisted of assisting in the direction of care at St. Paul’s Lutheran Home in Melville.
At one time, Yorkton was home to more than twenty Sisters Servants. Changing times and needs and declining numbers have brought to a close most of their former activities. But the few Sisters who remain are appreciative of the treasure of faith and progress that has enriched this community, knowing that they have contributed to it as well. As always, they are committed to deepening and perpetuating it in the context of the present, with continued hope for the future.
At this time, they are facing up to the challenge of maintaining the former Sacred Heart school building, while waiting for a planned project to be put in motion that will give it new life as a Seniors’ assisted-living complex. They are grateful for a blessed history that goes back to pioneer days and includes many friends, helpers and co-workers of different faiths and nationalities.
Written by: Sister Suzanne Kokuruds
SACRED HEART HIGH SCHOOL IN YORKTON
The history of Sacred Heart is long and varied. At its official opening on January 11, 1917, it was a co-educational residential and day elementary school named Sacred Heart Institute. By 1918, it included 22 orphans whose parents had died of influenza. In 1927, the school accepted boarders who attended the Yorkton Collegiate Institute and by 1932, it had its own first high school class.
In 1945, the elementary students were transferred and Sacred Heart Academy, now an all girls5 school, welcomed boarders and day students for Grades 9 to 12. Many of the students came from the three Prairie Provinces, Ontario and British Columbia. When St. Joseph’s College closed in 1973, Sacred Heart again became co-educational, operating for a short time as Sacred Heart-St. Joseph’s and later as Sacred Heart High School. Two years later the residential aspect was phased out. Today the school instructs Grades 9 to 12, including students with special needs, and offers specialized programs to some elementary school students.
Until recently, the story of Sacred Heart was synonymous with that of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. To them was entrusted the task of building, maintaining and operating the school. They determined the program and set the standards always mindful of their mandate to provide a faith-based Catholic education to students of Ukrainian descent and others who requested their services. They took personal ownership of the project and donated countless hours of service.
After 1966, when grant money became available, lay teachers were hired. In 1979, the Yorkton Catholic School Board assumed responsibility for the Division IV program and in 1991, hired the first lay Principal. The Sisters taught at Sacred Heart until June 1997, and continue to love the school and its 430 students.
The facilities have undergone several transformations. The original building still stands, as do the 1958 and 1968 additions. Their future lies in the hands of the Sisters who built them, while the school has moved to a new high-tech building in a new location. Whereas the earlier construction projects were privately funded, the most recent one has received government funding. To honor the past and provide continuity items of historical and symbolic importance from Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s have been incorporated into the new school.
The school’s mandate – to educate students in the faith and form them into good citizens – continues to be fulfilled, as it has been from the beginning. Successful alumni provide proof of the effectiveness of the academic program. Extracurricular activities develop talent, enrich the public and achieve provincial recognition. New technology, ever more sophisticated, provides new opportunities to meet the challenges of the times.
It was the early Redemptorist Fathers, particularly Fathers Delaere and Decamps who articulated the need for the school and helped it along in its early days. Their successors have unfailingly served it ever since. Blessed Bishop Nicetas Budka authorized the project and set it in motion. The Sisters Servants created a valued legacy and passed it on to the laity, who capably carries on the work. With such an inspiring history to call upon, Sacred Heart is well placed to continue its important mission far into the future.
Written by: Sister Suzanne Kokuruds
The Life & Times of a Noble Institution
- JOSEPH’S COLLEGE STORY
A Brief Historical Sketch – by John A. Pacholka (1945-1947)
St. Joseph’s College may have had a brief place in history, but in the hearts and minds of boys it served like no other Ukrainian Catholic Institution in Canada. As a result of the labour of love by Brothers of the Christian Schools, an institution of great importance, unique in character and unequalled in its particular field existed in Yorkton for 53 years.
The idea of a residential school for higher learning was conceived long before St. Joseph’s College was a reality. Ukrainian immigrants coming to the Yorkton area starting in the 1890’s brought with them their religion, culture, language and dreams of opportunities in the new land. With no churches, schools or priests the early beginnings posed an overwhelming challenge. Difficult circumstances did not deter the Ukrainian pioneers. Their determination earned them their livelihood and built their future. To practice their religion they built churches. For their children’s’ future they built schools. A place for higher learning was a vision.
In Yorkton, St. Mary’s Church was built in 1914, and Sacred Heart Academy, a residential school for girls followed in 1916. For the sons of the Ukrainian settlers there was an obvious need for an institution of higher learning and a place to foster vocations. In 1919, Rt. Rev. Nicetas Budka, Ukrainian Bishop of Canada met that need and established a residential education institution in Yorkton. St. Joseph’s College became a reality, and what was to become a “jewel on the prairie” for thousands of boys.
Not having an Ukrainian religious order of teachers, Bishop Budka assigned a Roman Catholic, English speaking Brothers of the Christian Schools from eastern Canada to come west to administer the College and teach an approved school curriculum in a religious environment.
Construction of the College started in the summer of 1919 with Bishop N. Budka laying the cornerstone on_ September 7th on property adjacent and provided by St. Mary’s Church. Construction was completed in the fall of 1920. The Christian Brothers named Brother Asbert (M. Sheely) as the first Director of the College. Classes for pupils in Grades one to eleven began for the first time on October 11, 1920. Six pupils enrolled in the first year. Stephen Wasyliw was the first pupil to register. Grade twelve was added to the College program in 1929. In 1932 the College became an Institution for grades nine to twelve only, offering a complete high school program enhanced with regular classes in Religion and Ukrainian.
As in the case of all pioneer endeavors there were many difficulties and hardships for the College to overcome. Racial discriminations and prejudices caused most of the obstacles. Unexpectedly, the Ukrainian Catholics blinded by prejudice and misinformation refused to patronize St. Joseph’s College because the College was considered by them as a Latinizing and Anglicizing institution.
Antagonism towards the Brothers reached fanatic proportions. During the first decade of operation, the College was on the verge of closure on several occasions; not only due to its low enrollment but also because of its large debt.
The Brothers overcame all the adversities they encountered and the College survived. So determined, optimistic, devoted and self-sacrificing were the Brothers that they would not let the real purpose for St. Joseph’s College go on unachieved. To dispel any suspicions of what they were all about an extensive public relations program was undertaken including the taking of their message to homes and parishes in Western Canada. In a relatively short time, the Brothers won the love, respect and confidence of the Ukrainian people.
The pioneering decade of struggles was followed by a decade of the Great Depression – the “Hungry Thirties”. Those were trying years for most people, but they were particularly hard years for the College. The burden for the Brothers was not only lessened, but inspired them when seeing the zeal, scholarship and desire for high school education in their students. The College and its students may have been “money” poor, but were rich in spirit.
It was that spirit during the depression years that provided the spark for many glory years to follow. The vision that the founders had for the institution and the College’s prime purpose were not only being accomplished, but were obviously in full bloom. During no other period in the institution’s history did St. Joseph’s College enjoy so many academic successes and athletic championships as in the years 1930 – 1939. The staff and students were reaping the fruits of their hard labour during a difficult time.
From 1929 to 1953 the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate faithfully served the College, and contributed much to the growth of the College by taking charge of the kitchen and dining rooms. Their services will always be remembered by the students and staff. The Sisters can proudly and rightfully share in the glory that belongs to the College during that time.
The early 1940’s and 50’s were an extension of the earlier golden years characterized by an expansion of new programs, increased enrolments and crowded conditions. Due to the increased popularity of the College, the Brothers were pressed to accommodate the influx of students. A new wing was added in 1949. As the College grew and flourished, the Brothers found it necessary to engage lay personnel. Lay teachers, clerical, kitchen and maintenance staff complemented the services provided by the Brothers.
The early 1960’s saw the College facilities taxed beyond capacity. In addition, the existing facilities needed upgrading to meet new program needs. In 1962 the Brothers launched the biggest building program in the history of the College. Extensive modernizing renovations of the building, and major additions on the west and south sides were completed in the fall of 1964. With the additional facilities, the College added an university undergraduate program and offered university courses from 1964 to 1972. In 1972, the operation of the university program was taken over by Parkland Community College. This move was one of the signs to signal the imminent end of a dynamic and noble institution.
Several other factors and circumstances surfaced in the early seventy’s to indicate to the Brothers that their mission was done, and the College had served its purpose. The need for a residential school dropped drastically with the advent of school busses making high school education more accessible in rural areas. Compounded with the loss of the university program were increased costs, and low enrolments. All contributed to the realization that the end had come. The Brothers reluctantly closed the College on June 30, 1973.
The building was sold to the Yorkton Public and Catholic School Boards and served as a junior high and elementary school until 1999. The building stood vacant until a sad Sunday in June 2004. On a serene day of rest, and during the annual St. Mary’s Church Mission across the street; the demolition of the building began. The wrecking ball thunderously sounded the death knell of a not only a majestic building, but also a once sacred place of learning. What took over half a century of hard work and toil to build was erased from the map in a short time. Nothing is left of a once proud landmark as it nostalgically slipped into history. Nothing, but fond memories have left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those who had the privilege to be a part of its short, but remarkable and beautiful history.
During the 53 years, the College was staffed by highly qualified and trained personnel. Over that period 92 Brothers of the Christian Schools taught at the College. They were assisted by eight Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate teachers, and 13 lay teachers. The College was fortunate to have four priests and 14 brothers serve as resident Chaplains who helped shape the students future endeavors. The kitchen and dining hall was served by 17 Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. In addition 26 laypersons had served in clerical, caretaking, domestic, and maintenance positions. It was as a result of all their collective expertise and team work and driven by purpose and dedication that the staffs throughout the years not only consistently brought considerable class and distinction to the College, but got the job done to meet the needs of their students.
Daily worship and faith building was part of daily student life. During the 53 years over nineteen thousand Liturgies and numerous other services were conducted by over 100 different priests and filled a very important dimension in the College education and student spiritual growth.
In search of an education for a brighter future, boys from many parts of Canada and predominantly from the rural areas of Manitoba and Saskatchewan came to the College. During its short period, a total of 3.691 students attended the institution. They remained in the college for an average of three years. Before the major building expansion in 1963-64, the average annual enrolment was 240 students. Following the addition, peak enrollment of 391 students was attained in 1965. The university program reached it record enrolment in 1966 when 242 undergraduates registered. The College also accommodated 40-50 high school day students each year. In the College every student was important. The staff ascertained that each student was guided to their full potential. The students came as boys and left as inspired young men; better prepared and more confident to face the future.
Although the Brothers of the Christian Schools took considerable pride in the growth and material progress of the College, they never forgot their real purpose of their life’s commitment. To the Brothers the “whole pupil”, with the pupil’s spiritual, intellectual, social and physical potentialities was of prime importance. All four were emphasized and none neglected.
By means of religious instruction, reflections, religious services, prayers, sacraments, sound corrective discipline, and in a Catholic atmosphere, the students developed spiritually and morally. By means of an enriched and enhanced high school program including languages, all sciences, and mathematics, choir, orchestra, literary society, public speaking, campus cavalcade, yearbook, cadets, and career guidance, the students developed intellectually and socially. By means of organized sports and an excellent mandatory army cadet program, the students developed physically. The purpose of the sports and cadet training was also considered to serve as training in self- discipline and character formation. All students were expected to participate. As a result of the College grogram the students’ identity with their roots, religion, culture and future endeavours was very effectively reinforced and strengthened.
As a residential facility, St. Joseph’s College had filled an extraordinary need at an extraordinary time when the need was the greatest in the educational development and preparation of thousands of high school age boys. The need diminished, the College became history; to exist only as a memory. It lives on in the lives of those students the Brothers guided and help forge those principles and values that the institution embodied.
Much of the tradition and the spirit of the College will continue to live on in the new ultra-modern Sacred Heart High School built a short block from the original College site. The school was built on a foundation of nearly a century of Catholic education tradition in Yorkton. The traditions and the spirit of the College were warmly welcomed and enthusiastically encompassed by and blended into the new school. The new school opened in 2003, exactly 30 years after the College closed.
To memorialize the College and its place in history the two original cornerstones from the College have been incorporated into the foundation at the front of the high school. The large cross that was mounted on the dome above the College Chapel has been placed on a brick pedestal in a place of honor in front of the high school. College artifacts, sports memorabilia, icons and alumni historical accounts are preserved in the high school. To perpetuate the spirit and memory of St. Joseph’s College, the alumni has provided an academic scholarship in perpetuity to students at Sacred Heart High School who have an ancestor that attended the College. The Alumni had published a 256-page historical account of St. Joseph’s College in pictures and print in 2000 to record and preserve the College’s colorful past. A serene and quiet area on the high school grounds adjacent to the school is reserved for a cairn and reading area. The tradition continues, and the spirit of “St. Joe’s” lives on.
The College has left an outstanding legacy. The good it accomplished is intangible and difficult to measure, particularly the effect it had, and the mark it left on the students and those whose lives they touched. The College had provided the boys a sterling blue print to live by and to guide their lives. Undoubtedly that enhanced education helped contribute to the growth and progress of their home communities, province, country and their church. The contributions and accomplishments of over three and a half thousand of the College’s graduates in the professions, technologies, trades business, agriculture and vocations throughout the world, many in distinguished careers testify to the enriched and sound Catholic education they received. Those achievements also serve as a tribute to the educators and builders of men, the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The country cannot help but be a better place because of St. Joseph’s College.
Saskatchewan Centennial Reflection – April 2005
HISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF HOLY TRANSFIGURATION
The Ukrainian Orthodox community in Yorkton has been in existence for eighty years. It began with a few worshippers in a small home, gradually building up to several hundred at present, enjoying a modern church to worship in an Auditorium, to meet the needs of the members of the community. Both are located on Bradbrooke Drive.
By 1920 a rooming house was purchased on Belts Avenue in Yorkton and appropriated a few of the rooms for Ukrainian Cultural Studies and functions, and a room in which, the members of the Ukrainian Orthodox faith came to worship God. Reverend S. Hrebeniuk performed the first church service here. That same year a handful of members purchased a small building and situated it on First Avenue, but the building was destroyed by fire soon after.
In 1921, the same group of members purchased a lot of land on 78 First Avenue and with lumber dismantled from an old building; they built a home for the Ukrainian Orthodox religious and cultural needs. It was named the Ukrainian Reading Society. This small group now called themselves the congregation of Holy Transfiguration of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church. The first service was officiated by Reverend S. Hrebeniuk. It was here that in 1924 a historical 4th Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Sobor was held to select its first Bishop of Canada and to incorporate the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada by the Federal Government.
With the growth of membership and worship needs, a new and separate church building was sought. In 1926 several lots were -purchased at the comer of Wellington Avenue and Duncan Street for a future church site. A fire damaged grain elevator was purchased, torn down and its lumber was used for a new church building. All work was done by volunteer labor. The church building was constructed according; to the Ukrainian Orthodox Architecture in the form of a cross with a large church dome, bearing triple crosses. Shortly after World War 2, a church manse was erected with volunteer labor and lumber from the airport hanger. The story of the Ukrainian Orthodox congregation could be grouped into several distinct eras. The 1920’s was a renaissance of the early achievements of religious and national life. The 1930’s brought about the impressions of bleak and difficult times. But the church kept up the morale, enthusiasm, Christian love and pride. The 1940’s enticed the new generation into the urban area, seeking new ideas, thirst for knowledge and a desire for religion and culture. The 1950’s were boom years of great structure and building of community religious cultural impressions. In the 1960’s and 1970’s computer age began with questioning and inquisitiveness. The 1980’s the space age and the new era. The 1990’s is back to realism and the positive approach co religion and culture. Our Ukrainian Orthodox Church took a Christian steadfastness in each of these progressive eras.
By 1952 the Ukrainian Reading Society Hall became outdated and inadequate and thus was disposed of to make room for new needs and demands. The congregation laid new plans for a new hall. A large loan was taken out for the purpose pf a new hall. The construction on the new hall commenced at once and saw its completion and official opening in June 1953. This hall was named “Cornation Hall” in honor of the crowning of Queen Elizabeth 2nd. It was the summer that the Iconastas was built in the old church, with magnificent carvings and Icons. Dobr. M. Diachina revived the church choir for singing the Divine Liturgy.
The 1950’s saw the need for a larger and more spacious church to accommodate its worshippers. In 1959 a recommendation was made to the congregation for the construction of a new church. In 1962 a site was selected on the corner of Bradbrooke Drive and Independent Street. In March 1963 the congregation approved construction of a new church. In November, 1963 the site was consecrated, the sod turned and excavation began. The dimensions of the new church are 100′ x 46′ accommodating 400 persons in the nave, choir loft and front entrance. The construction continued through the winter and the following summer until its completion on October 2$, 1964 when the consecration and official opening of the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church took place, officiated by Metropolitan Ilarion and Very Rev. Father Waoychuk. Additional property was then purchased adjacent to the church for a church manse and parking lot. In 1970 the parking lot was prepared and black-topped. It was at this time that the church lower level was completed and equipped with classrooms and a stage.
During the year of 1966-67, a manse was added, next to the new church and three years later the lower level was also completed.
In 1973, a site was chosen on Bradbrooke Drive and Lakeview road for a new auditorium. The construction and sod turning took place in 1976. The old Coronation Hall was sold. The new hall was named the Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium and was officially consecrated and opened in 1977 by Metropolitan Andrew and Very Reverend Father Stefan Zuzak.
The Auditorium is 120′ x 100′ and has a large kitchen and beautiful dance floor. It was truly one of a kind when it was built. It has been honoured to serve the Western Premiers’ Conference and a multitude of other well-known conferences and functions. Some gatherings were as large as 1100. The congregation took out a very large loan, but with hard work and ardent devotion, the loan was paid out and the mortgage paid in full October.
In July, 1981, the Iconastas project was signed and construction began. Mr. Igor Suhacev was the Iconographer and Mr. Vladimir Barac was the builder carver, both were from Toronto. The membership of the congregation was very generous with donations and no loan had to be taken out. The Iconastas was designed in a “Kozac’s Borocque” style. It is constructed of oak, soft wood overlays that are individually carved and gold leafed It was completed and installed in December of 1982. The Altar table and Oblation table were completed in April 1983 and the Icons in the Alter were completed in May 1983. These were blessed by Metropolitan Wasyly and Reverend Father Peter Hnatiw on Sunday, June 12, 1983.
Other major projects took place in 1988. A concrete ramp was constructed at the church in May and renovations were made to the exterior of the manse. A millenium project was undertaken. A granite monument in commemoration of 1000 years of the Baptism of Ukraine into the Holy Orthodox Faith was erected in the front of the church. On September 4, 1988 His Beatitude Metropolitan Wasyly consecrated the monument – as a continued ray of hope and love to the future Ukrainian Orthodox generations.
In 1989 a new kitchenette was built in the church lower level and furnished with tables and chairs to accommodate smaller functions and meetings.
In 1990-92 the Yorkton congregation took an active part in fund raising for the construction of the new Trident Church Camp at Crystal Lake. The congregation together with the Ukrainian Women’s Association and he Ukrainian Men’s Association (TYG) donated over $50,000 towards the project.
In 1991 the front of the church was remodeled and renewed.
In 1991-92 the members of the congregation took active participation in the centennial celebrations and commemoration of the Ukrainian settlement in Canada 1891-1991. During 1992-94 the members of KYK took part in the development of a park project in the city of Yorkton as a tribute to the Ukrainian Pioneers and named it the ^Ukrainian Pioneer Park”. The official opening took place on August 21, 1994 in the afternoon with a program, dedication and unveiling of the cairn.
Major exterior work was done to the church in 1992 – installation of aluminum cladding, fascia and soffits on all the outside windows of the church and also new eavestroughs. The brown/black and ivory trim improved the outside appearance of the church.
To accommodate the convenience for the elderly and the handicapped, washroom facilities were provided in the vestibule of the church in 1993. The baby room was also relocated and remodeled.
In 1994 major renovations both to the exterior and interior were carried out at the church manse.
1998 was a very busy year. The church roof was re-shingled, flashing installed. The entire interior of the church was repaired and painted, rugs were shampooed, chandeliers and light fixtures washed; installed new halogen bulbs; pews repaired, re-aligned and fastened to the floor. Because of water- problems, the hot air supply above the floor in the church basement was modified. The parking lots of the church and auditorium were crack-filled. Air conditioning was installed in the church, compliments of the generous donation from the Ukrainian Women’s Association. The Auditorium floor was totally refurbished. Three new high efficiency furnaces to the east side of the Auditorium were installed. Feast Day Icon project began in the fall.
In 1999 the interior of the Auditorium was painted; all bulbs replaced with high efficiency electrical bulbs. A central vac system was installed for the church. The Auditorium required new equipment, replacement of some items and a walk-in-freezer was installed. A new Lighted Cairn in front of the church was erected from the generous donation of the Ukrainian Women’s Association.
The Holy Transfiguration Church congregation has taken on many positive and exciting projects to celebrate the 2000th year of Christianity, or the beginning of the 3rd millennium. Various worship services, religious classes, formation of a library kiosk, hosting a Mission District Family Day and many other endeavors helped the membership to grow intellectually as well as spiritually.
As fate would have it, our faithful gradually go on to be with the Lord and membership dwindles, in 2004, the boundaries of the Parish were charged to include Yorkton, Theodore, Sheho and Riverside. The present Parish priest Reverend Father Roman Kocur is entitled to serve in all of the above mentioned communities. Together with Father Roman we Praise the Lord, thanking Him with all our hearts to be able to celebrate Saskatchewan’s Centennial!
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
OLENA PGHILKA BRANCH YORKTON, SASK.
The Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, Yorkton Branch was organized in the fall of 1927, under the assistance and capable direction of members of the “Mohylianky” from Petro Mohyla Institute of Saskatoon. The Yorkton local adopted its Branch name “Olena Pchilka” in respect of a distinguished Ukrainian author.
In the first year, only five members joined the new Organization. The Founder and first President of the Organization was Anastasia Steohishen. She was President for sixteen years.
The U.W.A.C. Yorkton Branch constituted high ideals and objectives; firstly to work for the progressive growth of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church but foremostly to give their children religious and Ukrainian up-bringing. To accomplish this, the Local organized Committees for Sunday and Ukrainian Schools, also an advisory council for our youth organized under the name “Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association” – C.Y.M.K.
Another objective of the Local Branch was to promote education, culture and national consciousness amongst Ukrainian Women, thus encouraging them to participate in concerts, reading educational books, journals and press. Therefore, the Local Branch organized its own Library in 1960. To provide harmony and equality in the Organization, separate committees were formed with designated conveners to carry out the work. One of them was the Elder Sisters, who looked after the beautification of the Church.
The Bazaar Committee convenes the Fall and Spring Teas and Bazaars where traditional baking, pysanky and various handicrafts are displayed for sale.
The Social Committee, with the assistance of cooks, carries out its duties of catering to Membership Teas, Congregational dinners, suppers and receptions during other events.
The Educational and Cultural Committee is actively preparing programs honoring Lesia Ukrainka, Taras Shevchenko, Olena Pchilka, Heroines, Book and Press Month, Mother’s Day, 35th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 65th, 70th, 75th Anniversaries of the U.W.A.C.
For the preservation of our Ukrainian Artifacts and exhibits, facilities for same have been arranged in the new Auditorium. Many of these artifacts have been donated by local members. A Committee for Arts and Crafts has also been continually tending to Multicultural Displays, embroidering linens and souvenirs for kiosks, pysanky, kolchi as well as instructing others.
In 1985, the Local Branch started a Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded to Ukrainian Orthodox students who successfully complete Grade 12 and who will continue their studies in Universities or recognized Colleges. A Scholarship Committee evaluates and examines the Scholarship applications and determines the worthy applicant. The Local has given cash awards to achieving students in Ukrainian School. Financial assistance was given to students enrolled in Ukrainian Courses in Summer School at Petro Hohyla Institute in Saskatoon.
Donations are disbursed to: St. Andrew’s College, Petro Mohyla Institute, Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Trident Orthodox Church Camp, National and Provincial Executives of U.W.A.C., Telemiracle, Canadian Cancer Society, St. Volodymyr Fund, women’s journal “Promin”, Ukrainian Voice and other causes.
Our own statistics show that the greatest amount of work and cash donations have been directed to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Yorkton and to the building of the new Auditorium. Donations were made to the furnishing of one room in the new Yorkton Hospital, to the Health Foundation for equipment.
Besides the above mentioned projects and activities, our members also visit the sick in the hospital, nursing home and Anderson Lodge.
To appropriately mark the 1000 years of Holy Baptism of Ukraine into the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Faith, our Local Branch organized a special Committee to carry out the following Millennium Projects: cross-stitching of the linens for the Tables in the Nave and Sanctuary of the Church and the Priest’s Vestments. As a closing project for the Millennium Celebrations, two Banners with Icons were cross-stitched and sewn for the Church.
In 1991 our Local Branch, together with our Ukrainian Orthodox Congregation and other Ukrainian Churches and Ukrainian Organizations, of Yorkton and District organized a “Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Committee”. The purpose of this committee was to honor the Pioneers and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Settlement in Canada. At this time members of our U.W.A. held Executive positions of said Committees participated in the Centennial Program, contributed to the displays in the Heritage Room, helped stage a Centennial Fashion Show and other activities during the Ukrainian Week held in Yorkton from September 30th to October 6th, 1991.
Our cookbooks have been very popular. They have been published in four-editions: 1956, 1964, 1977, commemorating our 50th Anniversary and 1992 commemorating our 65th Anniversary.
Some of our members have had the opportunity to take different positions on the Provincial Ukrainian Women’s Association Executive. To date, Yorkton has once been the centre of the Saskatchewan U.W.A. Provincial Executive during the years of 1984 and 1985. Also in 1995 and 1996 some members served on the Provincial Executive when it was combined with Canora and Yorkton jointly. The year 2005 finds us in this same situation.
Over the years a wealth of Archival material has been chronologically bound in photo albums where our Branch’s interesting and memorable events are portrayed.
Members who have been known as the Founders of our U.W.A.C. or members who have in various ways made great contributions to our Olena Pchilka UWA Branch, have been granted Honorary Membership status.
Presently our membership consists of 60 members, who work together and are accountable to the Association, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Culture. We bow our heads in respect to the pioneering Founders of our Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, and pray that God will bestow upon ALL the Members of the Association good health and endurance to carry on the burning “Torch” that they lit ?8 years ago.
This is our membership pin the “Smoloskep”, which is a Symbol of Eternal flame of Christian love.
PRESIDENTS WHO SERVED FOR U.W.A.C. OLENA PCHILKA BRANCH
DOBRODIYKA MARIA KERNITSKY………………………….1944-1946
KATHERINE KURYLUK…………………………………………1949-1950, 1951
ANNE KOWALYK……………………………………………….1961, to 1964 & 1972-1973
ANNE KUCHERAVY………………….. …………………………1975-1977 & 1984-1987
NATALIE HESHKA ………………………………………………1982-1983
DOBR. ORSIA EHRMANTRAUT…………………………………2001-2002
ToBapHcTBo YKpaiimio CaMocTinssHKiB
UKRAINIAN SELF-RELIANCE ASSOCIATION (TYC)
UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX MEN’S ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (UOMAC)
YORKTON BRANCH – YORKTON, SASK.
Executive 2001 – 2002
President G. Skwarchuk
Vice President G. Prokopchuk
Secretary W. Hrynkiw
Treasurer S. Zaharia
Chaplin Father Richard Ehrmantraut
Meetings: Every third Monday of the month in church lower level at 7:00 p.m.
Ukrainian Self-Reliance/Orthodox Men\ Association (TYC) – A Men’s Canadian Organization was formed under the umbrella of CYC in 1937. It is a counterpart of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (CYK), the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYMK) and the Ukrainian Institutes. It is a self-reliant, non-political and fosters among its members the principles of self-reliance, self-help and self-respect.
OUR MISSION: Is to propagate the following TYC aims and objectives:
– To support, assist and contribute to the continued development of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church of Canada and its affiliated institutions.
– To preserve the Ukrainian language and promote, cherish and sustain all facets of the
Ukrainian culture and heritage in Canada.
– To develop the highest qualities of Canadian Citizenship.
– To raise the standards of Canadian Ukrainians in social, economic and political spheres.
– To represent the Ukrainian Canadian Community.
– To provide assistance to the needy, refuges and the poor in co-operation with other Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian organizations in the community.
– To be concerned that our Ukrainian institution and media be viable and substainable.
PARTICIPATION AND SERVICES IN THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY:
– Active in all church religious and community activities. Our priest is an ardent member and Advisor. Our members are devoted church choir members, church executive and Board
Members, Altar and Elder duties, leaders, good church supporters, auditorium supporters
and good workers. TYC provides support to CYMK, youth activities, UCC (KYK) and
many Ukrainian and Charitable Organizations.
– Our members take an active part in National, Provincial and Local Functions such as, Conferences, Conventions, Church Diocese and Historic Functions.
DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS – of $1,000 to $1,500 annually to: Ukrainian Voice; Herald and Trident Press; P. Mohyla Institute and Ukrainian Total Immersion; Crystal Lake Trident Camp; CYC Foundation; Aid to the Chornobyl Children Fund; Ukrainian Sunday and Language School; Dance Ensemble – Troyanda Dancers; Telemlracle; Heart and Stroke Fund; Canadian Cancer Society; Ukrainian Congress (UCC); Church Icons; Ukrainian Encyclopedias; Mentally Disabled. All funds are raised through local projects.
COMMITTEES: – Sports; Grey Cup; Membership; Sick and Visitations; CYMK Advisors; UCC/KYK Representative; Ukrainian Cultural/Heritage and Youth Education.
TYC Membership Invitation and welcome to males 18 years and over of Ukrainian Orthodox
Faith agreeing to the Aims and Objectives of TYC.
Agreeing to the Aims and Objectives of TYC.
Respectfully submitted by – G. B. Skwarchuk, President
Has been inactive since the end of 2002.
UKRAINIAN SELF-RELIANCE ASSOCIATION (TYC)
TROYANDA UKRAINIAN DANCE ENSEMBLE
Submitted by : MaryAnn Trischuk
Troyanda’s early beginnings were under the umbrella of the Ukrainian Women’s Association Olena Pchilka Branch in Yorkton. As part of the Reedna Shkola (Ukrainian School) programming, the youth were exposed and taught Ukrainian Dance as early as 1950. Instruction was provided by the Ukrainian School teacher and students had the opportunity to perform at the different concerts hosted by the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Transfiguration Church. These included Mother’s Day Concerts, Taras Shevchenko Concerts, St Nicholas Concerts, Malanka etc. Instruction was later provided by individuals who were moving into the community, for example teachers etc. These were young adults who had attended University or Technical Schools in Saskatoon, were usually residents of Mohyla Institute and were only too glad to share their dance experiences with the youth of the community.
The concept of creating a Ukrainian Dance troupe in the 1960’s apart from Ukrainian School grew and fulfilled a void in our Orthodox community. Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was registered under the above name in 1981. At this time Troyanda parents developed, sewed and established club costuming which was used for many years.
To sew the Poltavski Vests for the girls, 33 yards of blue velvet was ordered from Mikado Silk in Saskatoon and thus was the beginning of a fabulous costume collection that Troyanda prides itself with today. Boots were ordered and purchased by the men’s club – TYC, at the time ten pairs of men’s (black) and women’s red boots were supplied from a custom boot maker in Hamilton. Also, in the 1980’s Troyanda developed and initiated the “Canadiana Outfit” which consisted of white circle skirts, Ukrainian embroidered (red) blouses, a red poyas and red character shoes for the girls. For the boys, white sharavaru were worn with red embroidered shirts and red boots. This particular costume was showcased on Profile (CKOS talent show) which was hosted by Hugh Vassos. Troyanda was vibrant on the Multi-Cultural Scene taking part in the numerous multicultural festivals, the Yorkton Short Film Festival (productions on 2nd Avenue) and many other events hosted by the city.
Today, Troyanda strives to fulfill its primary goal of being part of the mainstream providing an opportunity for our young students to express themselves through dance and more importantly develop an appreciation for one of our most beautiful Ukrainian traditions.
Troyanda is a self-governing, non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian Orthodox Church dedicated to the preservation and awareness of Ukrainian culture and tradition through the artistic and expressive art form of dance. Parents in the 1960’s took the initiative as volunteers to be involved in all aspects of the organization. This has not changed in over four decades of the club’s successes. Today, we boast a cohesive group of individuals who work tirelessly to ensure the group has quality instruction, incredible costuming and a broader knowledge of Ukrainian regions.
With shared talents and insights we all participate in creating a unique situation in which to nurture our children.
Troyanda is proud of its accomplishments, and continue to be ambassadors of Ukrainian tradition in our community. Public performances have been numerous from the Western Premiers Conference, Dance Saskatchewan Dare to Dance and National Leadership Conferences to the annual “Christmas Cheer” presentations at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home and Senior Lodges. A Spring Showcase is held annually and the dancers attend festivals and competitions yearly. Top honors have been achieved at all competitions this group has attended over the years. They include Tavria(Regina),Cheremosh Edmonton), Yachminka (Russell), Kalyna Cup (Yorkton), Svoboda (North Battleford), Prairie Lily (Saskatoon), Tryzub (Calgary), Barvinok (PrinceAlbert) Zoloto (Winnipeg), Troyanda (Brandon) and the Dauphin National Ukrainian Festival.
In 2005, Saskatchewan is celebrating its centennial and we are proud to be part of these celebrations with a compliment of 50 dancers ranging in age from five to nineteen. We encourage membership in our ensemble to children who have a keen sense of learning where their ancestors came from and by offering them exposure to a number of regional dances. It is with much pride that we can provide instruction from Western Ukraine, Hutzul, Bukovina, Transcarpathia, Volyn and Lemko Regions.
Our children are the Ukrainians of the future, by providing them with training and expertise we are providing them with a wonderful experience of their Ukrainian heritage.
Ukrainian Orthodox Youth – C.Y.M.K. Simon Petlura, Yorkton Branch
Yorkton Branch of CYMK was first organized in the early 1940’s, with the help of Mrs. Anastazia Stechishen, she was the President of the Ukrainian Women’s Association. With her leadership, guidance and encouragement, she organized a young and very enthusiastic group of CYMK members. Together they worked hard towards the growth and upkeep of the church.
Their accomplishments spanned over many years, with their involvement and participation in different functions and programs, such as St. Nicholas, Taras Shevchenko, Mother’s Day, etc. They also learned to write Easter eggs, and different crafts, such as cross stitch, embroidery, make carnations out of crepe paper for Mother’s Day. The boys also served as Alter Boys during the Divine Liturgy.
One very special occasion was when they celebrated the 25th Anniversary of National CYMK, which took place on June 10th, 1956. There was a brief lapse in activities, but before long, under the sponsorship of the Ukrainian Women’s Association, a special day was set. This was a recognition day of all our Ukrainian Orthodox students and was referred to as “Students Day”, which, from then on, was observed annually. On this day a special service is celebrated in their honor, followed by a non banquet served to all in attendance. We were also honored to have as our guest, the provincial CYMK president, Myron Kowalski and together a new executive was elected and CYMK was reorganized and revitalized. All this took place on November 5th, 1961.
They continued to take an active part in the programs in our Church community. One such program was an evening of joyful entertainment. They performed the traditional Ukrainian dances, choir singing, musical items, duets, dialogues and theatrical skits and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. With this program, they traveled and performed in surrounding districts. They also went caroling to help raise funds towards the construction of our new church. They joined and sang wit the local church choir and worked very diligently with the older members to realize everyone’s dream when we would all be able to worship in the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church which was dedicated on October 25, 1964 and is located on Bradbrooke Drive.
We are very proud of our youth and their involvement and accomplishments in our Church community as well as their participation in the activities in their respective schools and community in general.
Prepared and submitted by: