Location: programs / Nation Builders / 1998
Nation Builders

Awards Recipients for 1998

Dmytro Cipywnyk, C.M., M.D., D.C.L.
Adeline Elizabeth (Syrnyk) Dudar
Stephanie (Chelak) Fielding
Ann (Napastuk) Harbuz
Rt. Rev. Mitrat Wolodymyr Iwaszko
Archpresbyter Rev. Dr. Frank Kernisky
Professor Watson Kirkconnell
Ola (Stratychuk) Kowal


Stephen Kuzma
Mary (Kordiak) Maduke
Roma (Ryhorchuk) Nowakowski
Alexander E. Palenchuk
Michael Stephen Pohorecky
Ann (Kostiuk) Romanowich
The Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka
Leon Wowk

Awards Luncheon

The UCC-SPC held its fourth annual awards luncheon November 15, 1998 at the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon. An audience of over 225 family, friends and the general public attended to honour the achievements of our province’s pioneers, founders and community activists.

UCC-SPC Board Member Yars Lozowchuk acted as Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon. After the meal, the Chair of the UCC-SPC’s Recognition Committee, Mary Cherneskey, and committee member Vera Labach read short biographies of each of the sixteen recipients and asked them or their family members to come forward to accept the awards from UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky.

1998 Nation Builders Awards recipients with Recognition Committee members
1998 Nation Builders Awards recipients with Recognition Committee members. Standing (L-R): UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky, Recognition Committee Chair Mary Cherneskey, Peter Bilawich for mother Ann Harbuz, Dr. Dmytro Cipywnyk, Dr. Ivan Kernisky for father Archpresbyter Rev. Dr. Frank Kernisky, Jurij Fedyk for uncle Rt. Rev. Mitrat Wolodymyr Iwaszko, Bill Palenchuk for father Alexander Palenchuk, Stephen Kuzma, and Recognition Committee members Vera Labach and Alex Balych.
Seated (L-R): Irene Pohorecky-Gawron for father Mykhailo Pohorecky, Marie Kishchuk for mother Mary Maduke, Roma Nowakowski, Adeline Dudar, Ola Kowal, Stephanie Fielding, Elsie Michayluk for aunt Ann Romanowich, Stefanie Wowk for husband Leon Wowk.

Photo Album

D. Cipywnyk with UCC-SPC President
Dmytro Cipywnyk receives award from UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky.
O. Kowal with UCC-SPC President
Eugene Krenosky presents Ola Kowal with award.
S. Kuzma with UCC-SPC President
Stephen Kuzma receives award from Eugene Krenosky.
R. Nowakowski with UCC-SPC President
Roma Nowakowski with UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky.


Dmytro Cipywnyk, C.M., M.D., D.C.L.
Born in Brooksby, SK

Dr. Cipywnyk is a prominent community leader, medical doctor, educator, promoter of multiculturalism, and staunch supporter of numerous educational and charitable causes. His unbiased approach to dealing with issues, willingness to listen to others, and sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of society have earned him genuine respect in both professional and community organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.

After completing his early education in Brooksby and high school in Winnipeg, Dmytro Cipywnyk received his Bachelor of Arts (1955) from the University of Saskatchewan, Master of Sciences (1957) from McGill University, Doctor of Medicine (1964) from the University of Saskatchewan, and Residence in Psychiatry as Fellow in Social and Community Psychiatry (1971), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx State. His professional career included: Clinical Psychologist and Research Psychologist positions; Associate Medical Staff; Assistant Professor and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry; Medical Director, Saskatchewan Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. He has published articles and presented papers on topics related to Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Suicide. Throughout his career, Dr. Cipywnyk headed and/or served on various associations and committees, among them: Saskatchewan Chapter, College of General Practice of Canada; Saskatchewan Psychiatric Association; Canadian Addictions Foundation; Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences. His medical expertise earned him an appointment to the Advisory Committee, Partners in Health Program (Ukraine and Russia), Canadian Society for International Health, and the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on a Canadian Strategy for Community Safety and Crime Prevention, Federal Department of Justice.

Noteworthy is Dr. Cipywnyk’s commitment and professional approach to the betterment of the Ukrainian community. He served as president of the Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Saskatoon, president of the Saskatchewan Council and the National Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, director of the New Community Savings and Credit Union, and director of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. Well versed in multicultural issues, he devoted a decade to the Canadian Ethnocultural Council as board member and president. His community service also included the Saskatoon Symphony Society, University of Saskatchewan Senate and the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. In recognition of his dedication and significant contributions to society, Dr. Cipywnyk was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (1992), received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada (1992), Ukrainian Canadian Congress Centennial Bronze Medal for Community Service (1992), Shevchenko Medal (1995), Honorary Doctorate in Canon Law from St. Andrew’s College, Special Recognition from President Leonid Kuchma for contribution to the development of Independent Ukraine (1997), and the International Association of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Golden Trident Prize (1997).

Currently, Dr. Cipywnyk is President of the Ukrainian World Congress (1993-present), the highest position in the organized Ukrainian community, and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations (1997-present).

Adeline Elizabeth (Syrnyk) Dudar
July 23, 1924 (Ethelbert, MB)

Adeline Dudar has demonstrated over more than 50 years a deep love for her Ukrainian and religious roots and an unending energy in transmitting her knowledge about her culture and church. She has undertaken her role of a community activist as a teacher, organizer, leader, historian and initiator. Her greatest gift has been her ability to recognize a community need and to devote herself entirely in responding to those needs.

A graduate of the Teacher’s College in Winnipeg, Adeline spent her hours after school teaching rural children religion and culture even donating the use of her home’s basement, for this. In Saskatoon, Adeline undertook Ukrainian language teaching duties for six years at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.

Adeline shared her gift of a beautiful soprano voice with both her church and community. From her time as a student to her senior days she has taken the beauty and joy of Ukrainian carols to Ukrainian homes in the Christmas tradition. For more than 20 years, Adeline has led, almost non-stop, the congregational singing at the various liturgical services at Sts. Peter & Paul church. She has prepared singing groups for the ladies’ league and the seniors’ club with special appearances at the annual parish carol festivals and commemorative community events.

Adeline Dudar’s skills as leader and organizer came to the fore in her work with the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (UCWLC) and the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Committee (UCWC) of the UCC. She has held executive and chairmanship positions at all three levels of the UCWLC and has served as president of branch, eparchial and national executives two, five and three years respectively. Head of the Publishing Committee since 1980, she oversaw the publication of Blessed Endeavour, a history of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Catholic women’s activities. She was awarded an Honourary Life Membership in the UCWLC in grateful recognition of her outstanding service.

Adeline has been a representative to UCWC for over 16 years serving in various capacities including two two-year terms as president. She has had a long-term involvement with events such as Malanka, the annual Ukrainian Heroines program, and Folkfest Kyiv Pavilion where she was ambassador in 1988. Her most significant contribution has been as the head and eight-year continuing member of the Ukrainian Radio Program Committee with the mandate to broadcast a weekly one-hour Ukrainian-language radio program on Saskatoon’s public radio station. The difficult responsibility of retaining a suitable radio host and ensuring the preparation of a weekly program has continued to be a challenge since 1987 and, at times, Adeline has even had to assume the host duties herself. Her enduring commitment to this program has never faltered and has involved fund-raising for the station in addition to programming.

Adeline Dudar has also demonstrated a keen sense of the role of history in community life and has ensured that Ukrainians are recorded as having made significant contributions through nomination submissions for awards. She has written for the Nasha Doroha Journal and Eparchial News. Her account of the work of the Saskatoon UCWC from 1970 to 1995 will appear in the forthcoming publication of the National UCWC.

Whatever endeavour Adeline Dudar undertook she always provided an unflinching commitment to her task. The scope and depth to her work mark her as worthy of deserved recognition.

Stephanie (Chelak) Fielding
January 5, 1932 (Regina, SK)

An enthusiastic community activist and leader, dedicated volunteer, compassionate nurse and care giver, knowledgeable and willing resource person, Stephanie Fielding has devoted unlimited time and energy for the advancement of cultural and community organizations locally and provincially. She graduated with an RN from the Health Science Centre in Winnipeg, received a post graduate diploma in teaching and administration from the University of Saskatchewan, and worked as a head nurse and clinical instructor at Regina General Hospital and co-ordinated a home care program for Umbrella Services in Swift Current. As a professional care giver, Stephanie Fielding’s greatest satisfaction was realized during the past five years when, with her husband’s blessing, she cared for her mother Paraska Chelak in their home.

Stephanie and her husband Gerald lived in Shaunavon and Wynyard prior to settling in Swift Current in 1965 where she quickly immersed herself in various community organizations. She worked untiringly to assist ethnocultural groups in their development within the Canadian context and provide orientation, support and advice to new immigrants in their adaptation to Canadian life. She has been involved as an active member and assumed executive positions in Beta Sigma Phi, Kinettes, Southeast Recreation Association, Swift Current Multicultural Council, Doris Sitter School of Dance, Folkarama, Prairie Pioneer Lodge, co-ordinated major activities for Swift Current Heritage celebrations and actively participated in the musical, sporting, and volunteer of the community.

Provincially, she served on the Saskatchewan Multicultural Advisory Council whose role included advising government on multicultural issues, and managing projects and bursary programs. During her tenure as president of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (1980-1985), and with the help of committed council members the focus of the council was transformed from primarily folk arts to a multifaceted council that addressed broader multicultural issues. She represented SMAC on the executive of the Saskatchewan Council of Cultural Organizations (1994-1995). As director of the Canadian Folk Arts Council, she was instrumental in bringing "Focus 84" to Saskatoon, a workshop for development of folk and traditional arts activity across Canada.

Stephanie Fielding takes great pride in her Ukrainian heritage and welcomes every opportunity to share her knowledge of Ukrainian arts and culture with others. She planted the seed for founding the Ukrainian Council of Swift Current and soon after organized and co-ordinated the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Swift Current. The dancers performed at local functions, festivals, and Telemiracle. Her active involvement in Ukrainian dancing was recognized by The National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin when she was invited to judge dancing competitions. She involved her three children in Ukrainian dancing, choreography, costuming, and proudly relates their numerous achievements. Her special interests include cooking, sewing, embroidery, quilting, decorating, entertaining, and painting, which earned her "Honourable Mention" in a juried exhibition in Swift Current for "Roots," a painting of her father’s house in Ukraine.

Ann (Napastuk) Harbuz
July 25, 1908 (Winnipeg, MB) – April 29, 1989 (North Battleford, SK)

As an imaginative, self-made artist who expressed her experiences visually, it is estimated that in her relatively short art career (1967-1989), Ann Harbuz painted over a thousand works. In her works, Ann Harbuz captured a wide range of the social history of Ukrainian immigrant life, especially the role of women, portrayed life experiences and the blending of cultures—traditional Ukrainian with western Canadian rural.

At a young age, Ann moved with her family from Winnipeg to the Whitkow area. The many hardships she experienced during the pioneer days contributed to a lasting impression on her photographic mind, giving genuine appreciation and happiness of individual accomplishments as reflected in many of her paintings. Although her artistic talents were evident from childhood when she was seen painting roses instead of doing her school work or shaping clay pots by the creek while the cows wandered home on their own, Ann Harbuz’s art career emerged much later. In 1967, while living in Ponoka, AB with her husband Mike Harbuz, she was inspired to paint by an artist-neighbour. After observing him at work and viewing his paintings, she attempted to produce her own works, and soon embarked on a career balanced with household tasks. A decade later, upon returning to North Battleford, Ann Harbuz took some art classes, joined the local Art Club, and began displaying her works publicly. It was here that Saskatoon artist Louise Walters saw and liked her art, and soon after an exhibition of Ann Harbuz’s art was held at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. Her works have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in galleries across Canada, are found in numerous private, museum, and corporate collections, and are part of the Canadian Museum of Civilization collection. She enjoyed conducting children’s art classes and sharing her art experiences through lectures, in television interviews, and in her home studio over cup of coffee.

Ann Harbuz’s works were influenced by her immediate surroundings, her Ukrainian heritage and her identity. They portray a variety of themes, including various events, portraits, animals, birds, scenery, trees and flowers. She used water colours, oils, acrylics, pencil, pen, and coffee on paper, canvas, wood, glass, plastic, driftwood, oilcloth, and non-traditional surfaces such as cream cans, fungus, tree stumps, stone, walnut shells, dust pans, and phonograph records. One of her special works was a commission to portray "Prairie Living," a mural for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Returned after the games, it was put together as the original Grain Bin along with other artist’s works and displayed in the Western Development Museum in North Battleford. Two additional mural projects followed, one for a Radium Hot Springs Motel and another for the Ukrainian Senior’s Centre in North Battleford.

A proud mother of three children and an optimist, Ann Harbuz left a permanent visual legacy for her family, friends, and the art community. She was a survivor with a strong determination to succeed under the most adverse conditions for whom painting was an outlet for her memories, emotions and dreams, and described by acquaintances as "one of a kind" who made her mark in the art community.

Rt. Rev. Mitrat Wolodymyr Iwaszko
May 23, 1908 (Sudova Vyshnja, Ukraine) – June 22, 1995 (Saskatoon, SK)

Father Iwaszko was not only a spiritual person, a priest, but also a community activist and an inspired organizer who had dedicated his life to the education and personal development of young people. He had an intuitive understanding of youth. He guided them gently with understated observations and left them to their own decisions.

His high school studies at Javoriw and Peremyshl lead to theological courses in 1930 and ordination as a priest in 1934. Following a brief assignment at the Peremyshl Cathedral he was posted to Sambir in 1932. He served as chaplain and catechist at the high school, arranged youth activities around festive holidays, supervised Plast and cared for orphans and the needy, even sharing his own personal resources with them. He conveyed his love for sports through instruction for the young people and organized outings beyond the city. All this time, Father carried out religious duties in the surrounding area around Sambir.

By 1944, Communist army occupation pressures prompted the local bishop to advise the young priest to move on to Germany, as he was "too valuable a person to be killed." Through the efforts of Canadian Bishop Basil Ladyka, Father Iwaszko came to Winnipeg, Canada in 1948 from the German workcamps, then on to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and a final posting to St. George’s Cathedral in Saskatoon, in 1953, where he remained to retirement in 1990. He then transferred to St. Joseph’s Home.

Father served as Eparchial Consultor for 40 years and attained two distinctions: kryloshanyn (canon) in 1975 and mitrat in 1991. He was involved with the construction of a new church in Prince Albert, St. Volodymyr church in Ukrainian Park, and four Saskatoon buildings including St. George’s Youth Centre. Father Iwaszko held positions on editorial boards involved with church and community publications such as The Almanac of the Eparchy of Saskatoon, the 10th Anniversary of Plast in Saskatoon and historical anniversary accounts. He established a parish archives collection and initiated publication of weekly Sunday church bulletins.

As in Ukraine, then at the work camps in Germany, so too in Canada, Father Iwaszko involved himself with the young people overseeing groups of Ukrainian Catholic Youth (UCY), Children of Mary and the Altar Boys. His greatest contribution was to Plast which he organized across Canada and locally. Ukrainian scouting members around the world associate Father Iwaszko with their organization. Devoted to sports Father demonstrated the benefits to an individual from participation in sports. Father Iwaszko’s inspiring impact on young people is reflected in the presence in our church and communities of promising leaders.

As of July 26, 1998 there now exists in Sambir, Ukraine, a memorial plaque to Father Iwaszko in remembrance of his days there as a young priest and a museum collection of artifacts, including a special newspaper edition, outlining the efforts of an unforgettable individual who taught youth and adult love of homeland, language and traditions.

Father’s nephew, Jurij Fedyk, notes that it is the mark of an exceptional individual and of an exceptional life lived, that one’s influence can still be felt after one’s death. He marvels that two communities, separated by continents, oceans, histories and cultures, determined independently of one another that Father Iwaszko’s efforts were worthy of celebration.

Archpresbyter Rev. Dr. Frank Kernisky
April 2, 1909 (Chornokuntsi, Kopychyntsi, Western Ukraine) – December 25, 1988 (Winnipeg, MB)

An influential leader, energetic and visionary activist, Rev. Dr. Kernisky made a significant impact on the development of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. He immigrated to Canada with his parents and two older brothers in 1912 to the Buchanan district, and two years later settled in the Prince Albert area where he completed his secondary education. He studied theology in Edmonton and Winnipeg and was ordained a priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Saskatoon in 1938 by his Eminence Metropolitan John Theodorovich. In 1984, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree from St. Andrew’s College, University of Manitoba. Rev. Dr. Kernisky’s exemplary commitment and dedication to the church earned him many honorary certificates, diplomas, Metropolitan’s awards and all the ranks to which a priest may be entitled, including Archpresbyter in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (1985).

During his fifty years in the priesthood, Rev. Dr. Kernisky served in numerous rural and urban parishes across Canada, including Rama, Canora, Yorkton and Wakaw districts, and Saskatoon’s Holy Trinity Cathedral in Saskatchewan. In the early days, he experienced the typical hardships of a priest traveling to rural communities in the district throughout the year. Under his dynamic leadership and direction five new churches were built, four in Saskatchewan centres – Wimmer, Wakaw, Alvena, St. Julien. Rev. Dr. Kernisky was an initiator and founder of Green Grove Camp on Wakaw Lake, the first CYMK (Ukrainian Orthodox Youth Association) recreational centre in Canada. He strongly believed that in addition to learning young people required a place of recreation to develop healthy bodies and souls. His dedication and contribution to youth development was recognized with the CYMK Award (1956) and the Green Grove plaque (1988). He strongly believed that religious education was one of the most important components of parish life and was an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of Sunday Schools in most of the parishes he served.

As Head of the Consistory of the UOCC (1966-1970), he initiated fund-raising for a new Consistory building. Rev. Dr. Kernisky served for over 20 years on the Consistory Board on three separate terms, was an active member and staunch supporter of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada, Order of St. Andrew, St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg, Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Mohyla Institute, St. John’s Institute, and St. Vladimir’s Institute. He was director of St. Andrew’s College Summer School and a Shareholder in the weekly newspaper Ukrainian Voice.

Rev. Dr. Kernisky was a devoted priest, a loving and caring husband and proud father. His goals and aspirations in life were shared by his wife Dobr. Mary who worked tirelessly together with him to bring them to reality. Strong supporters of education for youth, Rev. Dr. and Dobr. Kernisky established a scholarship with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada to be granted to graduates of the four year Bachelor of Theology program.

Professor Watson Kirkconnell
16 May 1895 (Port Hope, ON) – 26 February 1977 (Wolfville, NS)

Professor Kirkconnell led a varied and full life. He was a scholar, professor of Latin and English, army officer, university president, linguist, published author of prose and poetry, translator, historian and multiculturalist. He is credited with publishing 170 books and over 600 articles. Even before the term came into use, his commitment to multiculturalism was well articulated. Professor Kirkconnell had an abiding interest in Ukrainian Canadians and their culture as well as a concern for the freedom of the enslaved nations of Eastern Europe. This made him a champion of causes near to the hearts of the Ukrainian Canadian community and its loyal friend.

Kirkconnell was educated at Queen’s University from which he graduated with a Master of Arts in Classics in 1916 and Oxford University with a degree in economics in 1922. He served in the Canadian Army during the First World War and attained the rank of Captain. In light of his future good work for the Ukrainian community in Canada and his interest in Ukrainian matters, it is ironic that for a part of his service, he was stationed at the internment camp for Ukrainians at Kapuskasing, Ontario.

He taught English and Classics at the University of Manitoba from 1922 to 1940. During that time he became interested in the varied languages and literature of the people who lived in Winnipeg. His anthology, Canadian Overtones, published in 1935, was the first compilation of writings by so-called "new Canadians" to appear in English translation. After teaching at McMaster University in Hamilton, he accepted the post of President at Acadia University in 1948. He retired from the University in 1968.

During the Second World War, he worked with the federal government in organizing the Department of National War Services and served on the advisory committee of the department’s Nationalities Branch. As such, he played an important role in the creation of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee. His work, Our Ukrainian Loyalists, published in 1943, emphasized the dedication of the UCC and Ukrainian Canadians to the war effort. In the same vein, he published his important work, Seven Pillars of Freedom, in 1944.

Along with Dr. C.H. Andrusyshen, Kirkconnell produced two volumes of Ukrainian poetry in translation: The Ukrainian Poets, 1189-1962 in 1963 and the Poetical Works of Taras Shevchenko in 1964. Professor Kirkconnell’s memoirs, A Slice of Canada, were published in 1967.

Professor Kirkconnell was awarded over 30 awards including the Taras Shevchenko Medal in 1962 and the Great Shevchenko Plaque in 1964. He was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Icelandic Falcon (1963) and a Knight Officer of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1936). Kirkconnell was the receipt of 12 honorary doctorates, including one from the Ukrainian Free University in Munich. Professor Kirkconnell was an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was married twice with his first wife, Isabel (with whom he had twin sons, James and Thomas), dying in 1925. He later married Hope and was father to three daughters – Helen, Janet and Susan.

Kirkconnell took the task of nation building seriously. At a conference dedicated to multiculturalism in 1970, he stated, "My ideal for 2200 A.D. is not a cultural mosaic, where the ethnic traditions have each been preserved for its own sake, but a cultural tapestry where the gifts of all, in their myriad variety, have been woven into a single national identity."

Ola (Stratychuk) Kowal
December 15, 1912 (Canora, SK)

Ola Stratychuk Kowal was placed by fate and fortune in positions where she was privileged to play pivotal roles in the development of Ukrainian community organizational life in Saskatchewan. The depression forced her to change her medical-focused studies to that of education thereby placing her in a position to respond to evolving community needs in cultural and church development.

Ola Stratychuk was the second Ukrainian woman to graduate from the University of Saskatchewan when she received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1931. Post-graduate university teacher training propelled her into a teaching career of some 30 years. Described as an excellent teacher, Ola (Stratychuk) Kowal used her knowledge and resources in support of Ukrainian language and culture in addition to her school teaching.

While guiding others in their development in these areas, she also received her own personal rewards as when she was presented with a trophy for placing first in language prowess at the Saskatoon 1935 Convention of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood . She set out for posterity the work of women’s organizations in the Canora area with her English translations for the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (UCWLC) history book, Blessed Endeavour.

Ola’s greatest impact was on organizational life in Saskatchewan. Published records of the 30’s and 40’s include the name of O. Stratychuk/O. Kowal as she moved around the province in teaching posts, for she made time to do her share in a church or community organization. She was inspired to this work by a former Canora pastor, Father S. Semczuk, who was editing the first Ukrainian Catholic newspaper in Canada, The Future of the Nation, in Winnipeg. He had succeeded in organizing the Catholic women into their own national organization centred in Winnipeg and was encouraging other women to form local branches in their parishes. Ola Kowal was particularly imbued with this ideal and travelled the province speaking to this topic as well as on other Ukrainian matters. She addressed groups as diverse as a teacher’s convention in Yorkton and a women’s convention in Hafford.

Attendance at conferences was a further source of inspiration for Ola who once declared that the 1948 Winnipeg Congress of all UCWLC branches in Canada had been the greatest inspiration for her. Most impressive were resolutions passed to sponsor 400 children from Europe who had been orphaned by the Second World War; to help the needy in displaced persons camps, and to assist those coming to Canada to start a new life. By initiating these projects for the women, Father Semczuk was expanding their horizons beyond their home base.

Ola Kowal was exhilarated by these new insights and challenges and when she was elected the first president of the Canora UCWLC on December 8, 1946, she lead the membership in a program of support for the church and the UCWLC, raising funds for charity, church building, camps, and cultural displays. Membership grew and her executive skills were available for a long tenure with UCWLC.

A modern woman already in her time, combining career, marriage and community activism, Ola Kowal provided impetus to projects that firmly established viable organizational life in Saskatchewan for Ukrainian women’s groups.

Stephen Kuzma
May 23, 1916 (Welyki Birky, Ternopil, Ukraine)

Stephen Kuzma has shown himself to be a man gifted with assorted talents and a generous nature. He has used his skills and resources in developing new organizations and trying his hand at new endeavours. Whatever the undertaking, he spared himself neither physically, nor materially.

When Stephen Kuzma was obliged to leave Ukraine for work camps in Germany he soon had the Ukrainian young people organized into a choir and theatre group which diverted their thoughts from their disruptive situation. Arriving in Winnipeg in 1948, with wife and young son, he joined the Ridna Shkola of Markian Shashkewich on his first day in town and involved himself with drama and choir at the Prosvita where he created quite a stir as an actor. When he relocated the family to Cudworth, Saskatchewan in 1953, he again joined the choir and even found time to study cantoring after long hours spent at his hotel job. The move to Saskatoon in 1956 would be their last and again there was involvement with choir and drama. The association with the cathedral choir has lasted for more than 40 years. He also organized several male chorus groups.

Stephen Kuzma was instrumental in the creation of new organizations such as the League for Freedom for Ukraine, the Folkfest Kyiv Pavilion Committee and the Ukrainian Social Services Association, which he lead for 12 years. Thousands of parcels have moved into South American countries as well as Poland and Ukraine through this group. He also initiated radio and television programming of Ukrainian music.

As president of the Saskatoon branch of the UCC he stressed the importance of maintaining a full commitment to paid-up membership dues and succeeded in liquidating a $6,000 outstanding debt to the National UCC for membership fees assessment. He encouraged financial support of National UCC projects, encyclopedia publication, Shevchenko Foundation and the Ukrainian Free University.

He supported the Ukrainian press by personally subscribing and donating to some 12 journals and newspapers. Personal donations of thousands of dollars have been made to assorted causes such as the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa, the building of churches in Ukraine, support of indigent families in Ukraine, Ukrainian Park buildings, and the preparation of Theodore Baran’s iconostas for St. George’s Cathedral. As the head of the committee responsible for the installation of the icon screen he succeeded in completing the project debt-free.

Stephen Kuzma has held various positions on the executives of the local branch and provincial council of the UCC. He has completed his undertakings such as Obzhynky, Malanka, Folkfest, Famine Manifestation, financial commitments for scholarships and grants and support of the Shevchenko Foundation, in a tireless and selfless fashion, often assisted by his family members.

Mr. Kuzma has been recognized for his outstanding community work with the highest award of the Shevchenko Medal from the Shevchenko Foundation and eight certificates from national and international organizations. His 18-year service with the New Community Credit Union also earned him a certificate of appreciation. In his personal and community work, Stephen Kuzma has demonstrated a work ethic and commitment worthy of all the honours that have come his way and which serve as a model for activism.

Mary (Kordiak) Maduke
March 17, 1897 (Surokhiv, Yaroslav, Western Ukraine) – September 9, 1981 Saskatoon, SK

An educator, researcher, knowledgeable resource person, mentor and role model, Mary Maduke served the Ukrainian and Canadian communities continuously for 66 years. She was an initiator, active participant and supporter who had an unerring ability to teach and nurture younger women in their personal and community growth.

Mary Maduke immigrated with her parents to Lockport, MB in 1902. She completed public and high school to Grade XI in a French convent at St. Norbert, MB, 2nd class Normal School in Winnipeg, Grade 12 by correspondence and 1st class Teacher’s Diploma in Saskatchewan and studied Ukrainian and French at the University of Saskatchewan. She valued, maintained and utilized her trilingual skills throughout her adult life. As a young teacher, her professional career took her to rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan where she also taught Ukrainian language and participated actively in Ukrainian organizational life. After her marriage to John Maduke, she skillfully combined family obligations of wife and mother with her teaching career while her husband studied at the University of Saskatchewan.

Mary Maduke was a key figure in the development of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada and Ukrainian Museum of Canada. She was a founding member of UWAC (1926) and served in several positions on the national executive. Provincially, she was the inaugural UWAC president (1934) and assumed other executive positions. Her involvement in the Ol’ha Kobylians’ka Branch included president, corresponding secretary, treasurer, educational convenor, Red Cross convenor during World War II, and branch representative to the local Council of Women. She was also a founding member of the UMC (1936) and was actively involved in the initiation of the four branch museums in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. She represented the UMC at provincial and national conferences and meetings, and diligently reached out beyond the Museum confines to establish liaison, through correspondence and personal contact, with other galleries and professional associations.

In recognition of dedication on behalf of Ukrainian cultural heritage preservation and development, Mary Maduke received honorary life memberships from the Saskatoon Council of Women (1968), the Saskatchewan Provincial Council of Women (1967), the National Council of Women (1972), the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (1970) in recognition of her exceptional services in the field of museums, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (1977) on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the UWAC and the UWAC Hanka Romanchych Branch, Saskatoon. She received the awards of merit from the American Association for State and Local History for work in establishing and developing the Ukrainian Museum of Canada and the Canadian Museums Association (1981) for leadership shown in the growth of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada and the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada Excellence Award (1995). Mary Maduke’s unstinting commitment during the early years helped to establish a firm foundation for succeeding generations based on the principles of citizenship, participation and fostering of Ukrainian culture and community growth.

Roma (Ryhorchuk) Nowakowski
September 2, 1934 (Alticane, SK)

Roma Nowakowski has gained an international reputation as an accomplished artist, patient instructor, tireless community worker and generous donor. She has reached out with her gifts and talents to people and communities well beyond Saskatchewan thereby making her home province known around the world.

Roma was blessed with the gifts of an artist and has acknowledged that she always dreamed about being an artist. Her initial inspiration came yet in the sixth grade, but it was 1965 before she was made aware of how art could be incorporated into her life when she attended an Arts Festival, joined the local Art Club and changed her life’s focus.

In between raising three sons, helping her husband with farm and business duties and enjoying broad community involvement, she proceeded along a course of learning about art and growing in her artistic talent. Her learning took place at week-end workshops, off-campus university classes and art classes at Emma Lake. She extended herself into the community by teaching art in Saskatchewan centres and in schools in Ukraine.

Roma’s art work, both in painting and photography, has been viewed in group and solo exhibits. Individual pieces are proudly owned by collectors across Canada, and in other countries. Friends and family have been gifted with her cards of beautiful flowers. Assorted writers have described her work as being of great strength in colour and form... reflecting a wide range of emotions... and moods... with vitality... and clarity.

Roma also utilized her skills and resources in activities with a broad assortment of community organizations including the Battlefords Credit Union where she served as board member and vice president. Her administrative skills were also made available to the artistic sector as president of the North Battleford Art Club and a founding member of the Prince Albert Kyla Art Group.

Considerable time has been spent by Roma in working with the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (UCWLC) locally and nationally and her church. She has helped collect money and clothing for the Gift of Hope for Ukraine project of the UCWLC and sewed the Yaroslav Mudrij costume for the Museum Ukraina in Saskatoon.

Many persons and institutions have benefited from Roma’s generosity. Little did she realize that as she proceeded up the business ladder from clerk to business manager that she would some day be able to share those skills, particularly in typing, with people in far-away Ukraine. The donation of an icon to a school placed her art in Ukraine. She shared her mother’s cooking methods with people in Ukraine and left them with a unique Canadian sampling of pumpkin pie. She painted Easter eggs there and brought back their technique of using a straight nib. Her ability with Ukrainian cross stitch embroidery came to the fore in the preparation of vestments for her son, Ken, a priest, who was assigned to serve in Lviv, Ukraine. Following their visits to Ukraine, Roma and her husband, Stan, commenced a regular delivery of school supplies, clothing, household items and vitamins to Father Ken for distribution to the needy in Ukraine.

The blessings of skills and a generous nature have been utilized by Roma Nowakowski to enrich the lives of people in her native country and distant Ukraine. All who enter her orbit receive gifts of beauty and joy together with thankfulness for having known a unique individual.

Alexander E. Palenchuk
March 17, 1910 (Mosariwka, Chernachi, Bukovyna, Ukraine) – November 11, 1993 (Meadow Lake, SK)

An energetic, friendly and hospitable man with a great work ethic and a humanitarian attitude, Alexander Palenchuk was a skilled craftsman whose hours of work were largely determined by the workload. In 1928, he left his home in Ukraine for a better life in Canada. Upon his arrival in Winnipeg, with five dollars in his pocket, he worked at various jobs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario for survival. Destiny took him to Meadow Lake, a remote northern community, where he got work as a foreman and cook for the Canadian Pacific Railway and cut the first trail in the present location of the town’s main street. There he was also introduced to the skill of working with leather by an elderly tradesman for whom he worked evenings for room and board. The railroad stopped in Meadow Lake and that is where Mr. Palenchuk settled, married, and together with his wife Ann raised a family of three children.

In late 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression, he opened his own shoe and leather repair shop in Meadow Lake and so began his lifelong career. He was primarily self-taught, learning the trade as the challenges presented themselves. Initially, he stitched leather and canvas by hand. Twelve years later, he bought his first stitching machine. In the early days, in true pioneer spirit, he often took goods in trade instead of money for his work. His knowledge of several languages was very beneficial in business, for it enabled him to communicate with customers from various ethnic backgrounds and make them feel comfortable. He quickly earned a reputation for quality work at reasonable prices and attracted customers from across western Canada. In 1993, after 63 years in business, Mr. Palenchuk, one of Meadow Lake’s first and longest serving businessmen, retired at the age of 83. His long time service, commitment and contributions to the community earned him well deserved recognition. As a member of the Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, he was congratulated for 60 years of business with an Achievement Award (1990). A street in Meadow Lake bears the Palenchuk name. In appreciation of his years of service to the rodeo, he was honoured with a plaque by the Racing and Sports Association.

Mr. Palenchuk took pride in his Ukrainian heritage, and in the late 1940s, supported the building of the Ukrainian National Hall which served to maintain and develop Ukrainian culture in the Meadow Lake district. He was one of the founding members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, contributed to the organization, and was actively involved in the actual construction of the church building, held executive positions, and served as cantor. Gifted with a rich baritone voice, he was also called on by the United Church to sing at funerals.

A man with many interests and talents, Alex Palenchuk enjoyed dancing, was a champion checker player, and took pleasure in spending time at his cabin at Kimball Lake. "Alex’s place," as his shop was fondly known, is remembered by many as a unique gathering place with a long bench in the entrance that allowed local residents to meet, socialize, reminisce about the early days, discuss politics, current events and the latest local news.

Michael Stephen Pohorecky
December 21, 1899 (Hadynkivtsi, Western Ukraine) – July 26, 1964 (Winnipeg, MB)

Michael Pohorecky was born to a life of challenges and adventure in Halychyna, Ukraine, which impressed upon him the full meaning of freedom and the desirability of its attainment. He early realized the potential for community development in the freedom of expression afforded even ethnic groupings in Canada. He capitalized on this social climate to originate various structures for the Ukrainian population, primarily in Saskatoon and Winnipeg. As with many other activists, Pohorecky found the people and circumstances in Saskatoon to be exceptionally receptive to original ideas.

Pohorecky’s strengths began to emerge in his life as a rifleman from 1915 to 1921 in the Ukrainian Sich. He studied philosophy and law at Lviv’s underground university which was staffed by Ukrainian professors ousted by the Polish-run universities which had denied him entry. This was followed by medicine at the Ukrainian Free University. His printed articles protesting the dispossession of Ukrainian peasant lands earned him jail time for violating censorship laws and finally a death penalty, from which he fled to London and then to Canada.

Arriving in Canada in 1927 as a political refugee, he worked on a Manitoba farm as a landed immigrant while his wife and new-born son, Zenon, remained in Ukraine. The family was reunited in 1928, at Edmonton, where Michael was editing Zahidni Visty with V. Kaye-Kysilewsky. Treasuring the freedom and free speech denied to him in his foreign-occupied homeland, but enjoyed in Canada even by the ethnic press, he established The New Pathway newspaper in 1930. Its location was moved to Saskatoon in 1932 and to Winnipeg in 1941. Except for a brief interlude, he continued as the long-time editor, to his death in 1964.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s Pohorecky was instrumental in originating national bodies in Saskatoon of the following organizations: Ukrainian Veterans Association, Ukrainian National Federation, the Ukrainian National Youth Federation and the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (now Congress) (UCC) which later moved to Winnipeg. He was on the presidium of the UCC for many years. Pohorecky worked with Saskatoon’s Striletska Hromada (Veterans) in establishing the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) in 1933 for the purpose of uniting Ukrainians in Canada who were engaged in religious rivalries and focusing them instead on combating bolshevism in Ukraine and bigotry in Canada. He served as UNF president in 1936. He assisted Wasyl Topolnycky in establishing Canada’s first Ukrainian credit unions: New Community in Saskatoon and Carpathia in Winnipeg. He was also a founding member of local branches of the newly-emerging national organizations.

Acutely aware of the role of education in the solidarity of a community, Pohorecky was involved with the establishment of the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre in Winnipeg and cultural summer school courses for Ukrainian youth. In Saskatoon, his five children participated in a broad spectrum of programs at the new UNF hall. Following in his father’s footsteps, Pohorecky’s son, Zenon, represented the Ukrainian National Youth Federation at the founding congress of UCC in Winnipeg.

Life as it was lived by Michael Pohorecky continues to be an inspiration to many, making them feel a pride at being a Canadian of Ukrainian heritage.

Ann (Kostiuk) Romanowich
May 6, 1903 (St. Julien, SK) – May 7, 1998 (Hafford, SK)

An energetic organizer and leader, business woman, dedicated volunteer and promoter of Ukrainian arts and culture, Ann Romanowich was highly respected for her dedicated service to the community. Upon receiving the distinction of Prince Albert’s Club Woman of the Year in 1971, Ann Romanowich was aptly described by a local reporter as "a woman, who over the years has given of her time and talents to the many clubs to which she belongs, and a person who does not think of what she has done in terms of glory, but that of helping her colleagues, the community, and her family."

Ann Romanowich received her education in the St. Julien district. From an early age, she actively participated in church life, drama, choirs, and building the Ukrainian community. Following her marriage to Wasyl Romanowich, the young couple ran a general store in Rosthern, and in 1938 moved to Prince Albert where they operated a general and yard goods store until 1965. Upon arrival, she joined the Ukrainian movement, was a founding member of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and worked with her husband and others to establish Green Grove Youth Camp at Wakaw Lake. She enjoyed reading and was a long time subscriber and staunch supporter of the Ukrainian press, especially Ukrainian Voice, Visnyk, and Promin.

Her accomplishments and commitment to organizational work in both the Ukrainian and general community earned her numerous awards. The Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada, an organization in which she held executive and committee positions at the local and provincial levels, honoured her with 25, 50 and 60-year hramoty for her dedicated service. She was recognized for extensive community work, as follows: Red Cross long service award; Saskatchewan Hospital Auxiliaries Association 25-year membership award; gratitude for contribution to the betterment of patient care, Victoria Union Hospital 75th Anniversary (1899-1974); 50-year membership recognition, Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire Provincial Chapter; Life Membership, Prince Albert Historical Society and Horticultural Society (1975); Honorary Life Membership for outstanding service in organizing and presenting Ukrainian displays and entries, Prince Albert Exhibition Association; UCC-SPC in recognition and gratitude for her contribution in development of the province; Premier’s Certificate of Participation in Celebrate Saskatchewan (1905-1980 Jubilee).

Ann Romanowich was proud of her Ukrainian heritage and worked untiringly to promote and educate others to recognize the importance of preserving one’s culture and heritage. She utilized her strong leadership and organizational skills in encouraging youth to value the Ukrainian church and traditions and to actively participate in educational and cultural events. As a role model to her two daughters, she inspired them to carry on Ukrainian traditions in their families. In 1983, Ann Romanowich moved to Hafford to be closer to her family and there she continued her organizational and community involvement.

The Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka
19 March 1933 (Broderick, SK) – 24 November 1997 (Ottawa, ON)

Lawyer and Supreme Court of Canada Justice. Because of the poor economic situation in Saskatchewan, early in his life, John Sopinka left with his pioneer family for Ontario. The family settled in Hamilton where John received his education. John graduated from the University of Toronto with a LLB in 1958. For a short period afterwards, he played professional football with the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He went on to be one of the most noted and successful civil litigation lawyers in Canada. Sopinka was involved in many high level cases and Royal commissions. His most famous cases included one where he acted on behalf of former Cabinet Minister Sinclair Lewis and another where he helped clear nurse Susan Nelles of murder charges. Known as a legal scholar he published monographs on the law, including Law of Evidence in Canada and Trial of an Action.

From 1985 to 1987, he represented the Ukrainian Canadian Committee before the Royal Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada (the Deschênes Commission). He also acted as lead counsel of the Ukrainian diasporan community before the International Commission of the Great Famine in Ukraine. He made several trips to Ukraine as a member of a group of foreign advisors to the Ukrainian Legal Foundation.

Sopinka was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on 24 May 1988. As a Justice, Sopinka was known as a protector of the rights of individuals before the power of the state. He paid particular attention to the rights of the accused against improper arrest or incomplete disclosure of the evidence brought against them. On the occasion of his sudden death, the Star-Phoenix newspaper in Saskatoon editorialized, "Intuitively, Canadians know they have lost someone special in the death of Supreme Court Justice John Sopinka."

Former Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn described Sopinka as "one of the good guys." His colleagues had high praise for him. "He was the heart of the Supreme Court of Canada," said well-known Toronto lawyer Eddie Greenspan. "He was a man of passion who believed in the rights of the individual."

John Sopinka never forgot that he was a son of the Saskatchewan prairie. When the closing of the Saskatchewan celebrations of the Centennial of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada was held in Canora, he was invited to attend as one of the district’s native sons. He gladly accepted and then had the opportunity to visit his birthplace, the site of the homestead of his parents, Metro and Nancy. This visit to the homestead was deeply moving for John.

Mr. Justice John Sopinka and his parents were nation builders. John said at his investiture to the Supreme Court of Canada, "It says something about this country, that although my mother did not attend a day of school and could not read or write in either English or Ukrainian, her son could achieve this office."

Mr. Justice Sopinka was married to Marie Wilson and had a daughter Melanie and son Randall.

Leon Wowk
February 14, 1914 (Zboriv, Ternopil, Ukraine) – February 6, 1995 (Saskatoon, SK)

Leon Wowk undertook his work within the cultural and church communities that were most important to him, with an impressive strength of character and a quiet, dignified presence. His vision for his people and country was of a future unhindered by shackles to the past. His interactions were kind and diplomatic with consideration for the individual being of prime concern.

Leon came to Toronto, Canada from Western Ukraine in 1930 and ultimately determined to settle in Saskatoon in 1939. He saw wartime service with an anti-aircraft battalion then embarked on a business career, first in a private capacity, then from 1954 to 1979 with Canada Safeway. His organizational priorities were with a lifelong association with the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF) and with the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (now Congress) from its inception in 1940. In 1979 he assumed the position of Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (Congress) retaining that post until retirement in 1991. His meritorious work within the organization was recognized with the establishment by the UCC of a University of Saskatchewan scholarship in his name. Leon was secretary of the Saskatoon Ukrainian National Organization and a devoted friend of the Ukrainian Scouting Organization, Plast.

Leon and Stefania Wowk have been acknowledged by the Sisters of St. Joseph as one of the first persons to extend a warm and hospitable welcome to them, some 30 years ago, when they arrived in Saskatoon to expressly minister to the aged and infirm at the newly-built St. Joseph’s Home, remaining unwavering supporters to this day. Their greatest contribution to the Home has been their inauguration some 15 years ago of a Newsletter for supporters of St. Joseph’s Home with continuous quarterly publication made possible to this time by their single-handed efforts. Described as "silent editors" by the Sisters, Leon and Stefanie Wowk assumed responsibility for the entire production of the Newsletter and its translation into Ukrainian has been through the expertise of Leon Wowk. They were directly involved with the creation of an Auxiliary to provide activities and funds for the Home and the establishment of a working Board of Directors where Mrs. Wowk continues to serve.

Leon believed in the process of succession whereby the younger element of the population was provided involvement opportunities at the highest level of community activity. Dr. Cipywnyk, renowned Ukrainian leader, points out that it was Leon’s wisdom in this incorporation of young people, and his foresight "... that has left a sound legacy for UCC and its community in Saskatchewan. Today the Council has a fine office and a competent staff. The community has the respect of Ukrainians and of other Canadians."

Leon Wowk understood multiculturalism before it became popular. He believed that to be a good Canadian you had to also be a good Ukrainian or whatever were your roots. When the Saskatoon Multicultural Society was created Leon served as the Ukrainian representative to this body. Leon Wowk’s respect for people made an impression on his son, Jerry, as was evident in a book on Multiculturalism he edited with Ted Jason, where the dedication was: "To our parents for their lifelong commitment to the dignity of the family of the human race." This indeed captures the essence of Leon Wowk.

Compiled by Mary Cherneskey & Vera Labach