Awards Recipients for 1995
Dr. Constantine Henry Andrusyshen
Dr. George Ernest Dragan
Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran
Brother Methodius Koziak
Dr. Thomas Karp Pavlychenko
Dr. Stephania Potoski
Julian Stechishin, Q.C.
Savella Stechishin, C.M.
Dr. Stephen Worobetz, O.C., M.C.
On May 6, the UCC-SPC hosted its first annual Community Appreciation
Celebration Banquet at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon.
The guests of honour were ten individuals, who, through their long
and dedicated service, had shown themselves to be vigorous supporters
of and energetic volunteers within Saskatchewan’s Ukrainian community.
The honourees were identified by a special advisory recognition
committee, established by the UCC-SPC in 1991. Members of the committee,
which made the selections for 1995, were Mary Cherneskey (Chair),
Vera Labach, Dr. Tony Harras and the late Judge Andrew Kindred.
The banquet began at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails. Guests enjoyed their
meal of Chicken Kyiv, while being treated to music performed by
talented Kyiv pianist Volodymyr Fitzko.
Following the meal, the evening’s host, UCC-SPC Executive Director
Ostap Skrypnyk, called upon Mrs. Cherneskey to introduce each of
the evening’s honourees, who were presented with awards by UCC-SPC
President Adrian Boyko.
After all was said and done, a meaningful and valuable tradition
had begun. Ten people, who had dedicated a large part of themselves
to the good of Saskatchewan’s Ukrainian community, were given—however
humbly—the recognition they deserved. For this we are forever grateful.
1995 Nation Builders Awards recipients and committee
members. Standing (L-R): Vera Labach (Committee member), Bill Dragan
for father Dr. George Dragan, June Dutka for uncle Dr. Constantine
Andrusyshen, David Hnatyshyn for mother Helen Hnatyshyn, Nina Pavlychenko
for grandfather Dr. Thomas Pavlychenko, Dr. Myron Stechishin for
father Julian Stechishin, Mary Cherneskey (Committee Chair).
Seated (L-R): Adrian Boyko (UCC-SPC President), Dr. Stephen Worobetz,
Savella Stechishin, Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran.
Compiled by Mary Cherneskey & Vera Labach
Constantine Henry Andrusyshen
As a teacher, translator, lexicographer, linguist and author
of numerous publications, Professor Andrusyshen had a great
impact on broadening Canadian awareness of Ukrainian culture.
He believed translation to be significant in the development
of knowledge, which explains the great body of work he himself
translated. He collaborated with AcadianUniversity Professor
Watson Kirkconnell to publish an English translation of the
complete poetic works of Taras Shevchenko and an anthology
of selected works of 102 Ukrainian poets. Professor Andrusyshen
was head of the Department of Slavic Studies at the University
of Saskatchewan from 1945 to 1975. He is internationally known
for his classic Ukrainian-English Dictionary.
In recognition of his many significant scholarly contributions,
Dr. Andrusyshen was awarded many medals; he became the first
person of Ukrainian background to be named a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Canada in 1964 and became the first Simpson
Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Saskatchewan
George Ernest Dragan
A 1926 McGill University medical graduate, Dr. Dragan was
the first doctor of Ukrainian origin in Canada. He served
Saskatoon and area as a physician and surgeon for more than
36 years, playing a leadership role in various medical associations,
particularly the St. John Ambulance Association, which inducted
him into its Order. At age 36, Dr. Dragan became the first
Ukrainian to be elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature, where
he represented the Kelvington constituency as a member of
the Liberal party. A popular speaker, he was invited to visit
many provincial centres. He used these opportunities to collect
extensive historical documentation on the Ukrainian presence
in Saskatchewan. Dr. Dragan constantly exhorted the Ukrainian
population to preserve its cultural background within the
Canadian context and to "aim high" in its endeavours,
for by "being great" they made Canada great.
As a teacher, community activist and human rights leader,
Helen Hnatyshyn played a significant role in the development
of women's movements at local, national and international
levels through organizations such as the Ukrainian Women's
Association of Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian Women's Committee,
which she helped establish, and the Council of Women. Her
participation extended to community agencies like the United
Appeal, National Girl Guides, the Red Cross and the Saskatchewan
Human Rights Commission.
Mrs. Hnatyshyn had a major influence on the Status of Women
movement in Canada and abroad, travelling the breadth of the
country with the Advisory Council and internationally serving
in various capacities with the International Council of Women.
This took Mrs. Hnatyshyn to various points of the world, and
in 1975, she was elected to the Canadian Commission of UNESCO
representing this body at the International Women's Year Conference
in Mexico City. Mrs. Hnatyshyn's extensive service was recognized
with many honours including an Honourary Doctor of Law degree
from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977, the Governor
General's Persons Award in 1990 and induction into the Saskatchewan
Women's Hall of Fame in 1996. In her memory, the National
Council of Women sponsored a woman from Ukraine to attend
the International Council of Women Triennium in Paris in 1994,
as this had been her project prior to her death.
A teacher, international executive leader of the Ukrainian
Catholic Women's League, renowned journalist and author, Mrs.
Kowcz-Baran amassed credits for her broad writing endeavours
including: three bilingual books on Ukrainian Catholic Churches
in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta ( nearing completion);
Blessed Endeavours, a documented and illustrated history
of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada in Saskatchewan;
plus other Ukrainian-language publications, including a biography
of her father, Father Emilian Kowcz (who died a martyr's death
in the Maydanek Nazi concentration camp in Poland). Mrs. Kowcz-Baran
made many contributions to Ukrainian publications across Canada
and the USA. She was the first editor of the UCWL journal
Mrs. Kowcz-Baran had extensive international experience representing
the World Federation of Ukrainian Women in Rome, Brazil, Venezuela,
Argentina, Paraguay, Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately
she reported on the needs of component populations in Argentina
and Brazil, together with their representatives, to the Year
of the Child Commission of the United Nations. Mrs. Kowcz-Baran
has been recognized by both the broader community as well
as by the Ukrainian community for her unstinting community
endeavours. Of particular note is the establishment of the
Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran Scholarship which uses funds from the
publication of Saskatchewan Churches to assist high
school students who study Ukrainian.
A Ukrainian Catholic educator at St. Joseph's College in
Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Brother Methodius had a major impact
on the development of many young people who ultimately became
influential community leaders. He instilled a pride in the
Ukrainian heritage in all who came under the persuasion of
his famous oratorical skills.
Brother Methodius organized a concerted community lobby which
succeeded in the introduction of Ukrainian curriculum programs
within the Saskatchewan Department of Education. This firmly
established the equal entitlement of Saskatchewan's Ukrainian
population to public government funding.
Following his success in having Ukrainian-language legislation
passed, Brother Methodius became one of the first Saskatchewan
educators to instruct Ukrainian language fundamentals during
his two-year tenure at the Sheptytsky Institute in Saskatoon.
Brother Methodius regarded his students as his family, following
their business and professional career advancements and providing
friendly notice to their attainment of personal milestones.
He had a remarkable ability to remember names to the pleasure
of those he recognized years after their first acquaintance.
Thomas Karp Pavlychenko
A botanical engineer, community leader, poet, architect and
translator, Professor Pavlychenko contributed his multi-talented
creativity to both his profession and his community. Professionally,
there was no parallel to him in his knowledge of plant ecology
and crop production. His creative research in botanics and
its implications for crop production lead to the discovery
of the chemical 2-4-D and to the development of business enterprises
in the very important field of weed control.
Professor Pavlychenko provided impetus to the rise in stature
of Ukrainians in the broader community. Under his influence,
the Ukrainian National Federation was established in Saskatoon.
He organized Ukrainian Canadians into a committee which was
the precursor to the Ukrainian Canadian (Committee) Congress.
Professor Pavlychenko was the first Ukrainian scholar to
attain the status of professor at a Canadian university and
later became department head. It was Professor Pavlychenko
who was the first to teach Ukrainian as a subject at the university
level and was instrumental in the establishment of the Department
of Slavic Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.
In addition to his professional writings, Professor Pavlychenko
provided bilingual translations of various works and contributed
a prolific output of poetry that has yet to be published.
Bestowed with the gift of leadership, Dr. Potoski was educated
at the University of Manitoba where she completed three degrees:
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and a Degree in Medicine
(1946). Dr. Potoski then went to practise medicine with her
husband in Yorkton, where she assumed several high administrative
posts at the Union Hospital. Dr. Potoski was Yorkton's first
female city councillor, and was also elected as a Catholic
School Board trustee. She was a campaign manager in federal
elections. Dr. Potoski served as a member of various medical
and community groups such as the Imperial Order of the Daughters
of the Empire, the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League (serving
two terms as National President), and Canadian representative
to the World Federation of Ukrainian Women.
Dr. Potoski received many forms of recognition for the broad
scope of her community and professional work. This included
prestigious appointments to the Board of the CBC and to the
Multicultural Council of Canada, a medal from Pope Paul VI,
listings in many international directories of distinguished
leaders, and culminated with a nomination as Woman of the
Year in 1991 by the American Biographical Institute.
Educator, administrator, community activist, lawyer, university
sessional lecturer, writer and scholar, Julian Stechishin
left legacies of documented histories (Mohyla Institute
Jubilee Book, History of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada),
and an internationally known and used Ukrainian-English grammar.
Another legacy was that of a vibrant and organized Ukrainian
community through an energetic and personable use of his dynamic
speaking and organizational skills. Travelling the province
on behalf of the Mohyla Institute, Mr. Stechishin encouraged
Ukrainians to organize their communities for social, cultural
and educational purposes, and to build churches in order to
provide stability. He also stressed the importance of a rich
education for youth to ensure a strong future in Canada.
In urban areas, Mr. Stechishin arranged for speakers and
organizational meetings under the umbrella of the Ukrainian
Canadian Committee so as to provide a cohesiveness for the
multi-organizational Ukrainian community. A private trip to
Ukraine produced archival organizational material and books
for Saskatchewan libraries.
It was for these endeavours that Mr. Stechishin came to be
variously recognized by the Ukrainian community, and by his
profession through an appointment as Queen's Counsel in 1957.
As the first Ukrainian woman to graduate from the University
of Saskatchewan, Savella Stechishin embarked on the path of
the modern woman by combining home and family obligations
with a career in university extension work (in nutrition and
homemaking skills) and as a university sessional lecturer
teaching courses in Ukrainian language.
Her consequent exposure to the needs of the Ukrainian population
led to the initiation of the Ukrainian women's movement and
the establishment of a museum for the preservation of Ukrainian
heritage treasures. Mrs. Stechishin's strong writing and research
skills were applied to a 25-year tenure as a journalist for
the Winnipeg-based newspaper Ukrainskyi holos. In her
articles, she always stressed pride in and appreciation of
the treasures of our Ukrainian heritage. Mrs. Stechishin is
particularly well-known for two books: one on embroidery and
the other, the internationally renowned Traditional Ukrainian
Cookery, currently in its 18th printing.
In recognition of her work, Mrs. Stechishin has received
numerous distinctions. Among them: she received the Taras
Shevchenko Medal (1962); was awarded an honourary doctorate
from St. Andrew's College in Winnipeg, Manitoba (1976); has
had the Kelowna Branch of the Ukrainian Women's Association
named after her; and, was made a Member of the Order of Canada
The Saskatchewan community has recognized Mrs. Stechishin
as an outstanding Saskatoon Woman (1975), "a distinguished
prairie woman" in Foremothers, a book on the history
of women in Saskatchewan (1975), the Century Saskatoon Medal
(1982), and, as a woman who contributed to Saskatchewan's
growth, was included in Building Saskatchewan, a photo-history
Stephen Worobetz, O.C., M.C.
A physician and surgeon who saw war service in Italy and
England, a community activist and philanthropist, Dr. Worobetz
has demonstrated a concern for the well-being of his fellow
man, pride in his Ukrainian heritage and a deep love for Canada
by attesting to a life of professional and public service.
His involvement includes: executive member of local, provincial
and national levels of various medical and military organizations;
long-term College of Medicine clinical lecturer and senior
associate, a founder and Board Chairman of St. Joseph's Nursing
Home in Saskatoon; president of the Ukrainian Catholic Council
of Saskatchewan; Saskatoon Catholic School Board trustee;
Honourary Lieutenant Colonel of the North Saskatchewan Regiment;
and, founder and charter president of the revived Canadian
Club of Saskatoon.
Distinction came to Dr. Worobetz in many ways: advancement
as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
of Canada in 1973; award of the Military Cross while serving
as a medical officer in Italy; appointment as Saskatchewan’s
13th Lieutenant Governor, 1970-76 (the first Ukrainian to
be so honoured); Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the
University of Saskatchewan in 1984; and appointment as an
Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993.
A philanthropist, Dr. Worobetz has established the Stephen
and Micheline Worobetz Foundation for use with various community