Awards Recipients for 1998
Dmytro Cipywnyk, C.M., M.D.,
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
Mary (Kordiak) Maduke
Roma (Ryhorchuk) Nowakowski
Alexander E. Palenchuk
Michael Stephen Pohorecky
Ann (Kostiuk) Romanowich
The Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka
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
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. 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.
Dmytro Cipywnyk receives award from UCC-SPC President
Eugene Krenosky presents Ola Kowal with award.
Stephen Kuzma receives award from Eugene Krenosky.
Roma Nowakowski with UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky.
Compiled by Mary Cherneskey & Vera Labach
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).
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
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
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.
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
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.
July 25, 1908 (Winnipeg, MB) April 29, 1989 (North
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 culturestraditional
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
16 May 1895 (Port Hope, ON) 26 February 1977 (Wolfville,
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,
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."
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
May 6, 1903 (St. Julien, SK) May 7, 1998 (Hafford,
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
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.
Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka
19 March 1933 (Broderick, SK) 24 November 1997 (Ottawa,
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
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
Mr. Justice Sopinka was married to Marie Wilson and had a
daughter Melanie and son Randall.
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
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
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.