Awards Recipients for 2001
Morris T. Cherneskey, Q.C.
Angeline (Mialkowsky) Chrusch
Dr. Alexander Danylchuk
Eileen Grace (Shewchuk) Klopoushak
Sonia (Kotzko) Sagasz
Jean (Charko) Sternig
On Sunday, November 4th, the UCC-SPC held its seventh annual Nation
Builders Awards (NBA) banquet at the Hotel Saskatchewan, Radisson
Plaza in Regina. The banquet was held in the hotel’s elegant Regency
Ballroom. The soft blue and white décor of the ballroom was kept
in mind by the Regina NBA subcommittee of Angie Huculak and Janet
Lysyk when they selected the colours for the program materials,
decorations for the tables and the table arrangements.
Guests arriving at the ballroom were greeted by host and hostess
Alex and Pearl Balych, who wore traditional Ukrainian attire. The
guests were also greeted by live entertainment by keyboard player
and vocalist Andrij Pityn, recently from Ukraine. The resulting
décor for the afternoon blended gracefully with the mood of the
guests and with the NBA program and banquet. The more than two hundred
that attended the banquet thoroughly enjoyed the festivities and
the tributes that were bestowed upon the honorees.
The seventh annual NBA banquet had a number of firsts. Notably,
this was the first time that the function was held outside of Saskatoon
and where there was a major effort made to solicit financial support
for the function from organizations and businesses. Aside from helping
materially to making the NBA program self-sustaining, the solicitation
also helped create a greater awareness of the NBA project and its
benefits to the Ukrainian Canadian community in Saskatchewan.
The NBA Selection Committee of Alex and Pearl Balych, Paul Ortynsky
and Tony Harras (Chair) recommended ten recipients for 2001. The
UCC-SPC subsequently approved these. They were Morris Cherneskey,
Angeline Chrusch, Dr. Alex Danylchuk, Eileen Klopoushak, Roman Kroitor,
Walter Mysak, Hanka Romanchych, Sonia Sagasz, Murray Senkus, and
Jean Sternig. Brief biographic sketches of each are given below.
The afternoon’s activities were photographed by Dennis Klimochko.
Those interested in seeing the photos (or possibly ordering some
for themselves) should be able to do so in the near future by contacting
either the UCC-SPC office in Saskatoon at 306-652-5850 or Tony Harras
The Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon’s program was Larissa
Lozowchuk who helped ensured the program ran smoothly. The program
consisted mainly of a keynote address by UCC-SPC President Eugene
Krenosky, and presentation of citations by Paul Ortynsky and Tony
Harras. The afternoon’s activities wrapped up with an acknowledgement
of the help received from various individuals and sponsors. As an
extra to the day’s event, the attractively decorated centre piece
kolach at each table was given to the lucky person at the table
with a specially marked program. Those wishing to do so remained
after the completion of the formal program and mingled with friends
and family, took photos and renewed acquaintances.
The UCC-SPC is always interested in receiving comments from members
of the Ukrainian Canadian community, in general, and from the readers
of Visnyk. Please forward any observations you may have on the NBA
project to the UCC-SPC office in Saskatoon.
Photo: Dennis Klimochko
2001 Nation Builders Awards recipients. Standing
(L-R): Dr. Ed Klopoushak for wife Eileen Klopoushak, Cam Sternig
for mother Jean Sternig, Patrusia Rudy for grandfather Dr. Alex
Danylchuk, Dr. Murray Senkus, Roman Kroitor.
Sitting (L-R): Rachel Kowaluk of UWAC Hanka Romanchych Branch for
H. Romanchych, Angeline Chrusch, Mary Cherneskey for husband Morris
Cherneskey, Sonia Sagasz, Bernice Mysak for husband Walter Mysak.
There are currently no pictures for this year of the Nation Builders
Luncheon. If you have any, please contact UCC-SPC at email@example.com
Compiled by Tony Harras, Ostap Skrypnyk & Alex Balych
T. Cherneskey, Q.C.
b. July 15, 1926 (near Goodeve, SK)
d. September 26, 2000 (Saskatoon, SK)
Born on a farm near Goodeve, Morris grew up through the Great
Depression. From this experience and the lessons on life taught
to him by his nation-building pioneer parents, Morris grew
into a proud Ukrainian Canadian.
After completing his high school at Yorkton’s St. Joseph’s
College, Morris Cherneskey graduated from Law at the University
of Saskatchewan. He articled in the firm of Emmett Hall who
was later a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He went
on to private practice in Saskatoon for over 40 years. For
his service to the law profession, Morris was made a Queen’s
Counsel. Morris served his country as a reserve Naval officer
with HMCS Unicorn, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. Morris
had the honour to sit for two years on the Senate of his alma
Morris served for 25 years as a Saskatoon City Councilor.
He was a leader in the Yellowhead Highway Association. Morris
successfully lobbied to keep Saskatoon serviced by Via Rail.
He was an effective member of the City’s Police Commission
for five years. In his role as Councilor, Morris was instrumental
in having Saskatoon officially twinned with the City of Chernivtsi
He was active in provincial and federal politics as well,
at one time serving as president of the Saskatchewan Progressive
Conservative Party. In the 1975 provincial general election,
Morris ran under the party banner in the riding of Saskatoon
The Ukrainian community of the province benefited greatly
from Morris’ leadership. He played a leading role in the Ukrainian
Catholic Church and its lay organizations as well as in the
Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Morris was the long-serving president
of the UCC branch in Saskatoon. For many years, he sat on
the board of the UCC-SPC. At these fora, Morris was a never-ceasing
advocate for the unity of Ukrainians and for the need to maintain
our heritage. He saw it as his mission to raise the Ukrainian
consciousness of people in the province. By his personal example,
he was able to achieve this to a considerable degree.
Morris wed Mary Bodnarchuk in 1956; the family had three
b. April 4, 1939 (Saskatoon, SK)
Angeline Chrusch is a steadfast feature in the cultural and
religious life of Saskatoon’s Ukrainian community. After attending
rural elementary schools, Angeline attended Sacred Heart Academy
in Yorkton. Here, like many other young women of her generation,
she received a strong grounding in her Ukrainian culture and
Ukrainian Catholic faith.
Early in her adult life, Angeline dedicated herself to her
family, to volunteering in the community and to her parish.
She became a member of the St. George’s Cathedral Branch of
the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada in 1965. From
that time she threw herself into organizational work and took
on leadership roles including treasurer and president.
One of the highlights of her work in the UCWLC was Angeline’s
participation in the Eparchial UCWLC’s history book, Blessed
Endeavour, written by Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran. Angeline
was on the publishing committee and along with Adeline Dudar
proofed and edited the English text of this monumental work.
In a fine example of a family working together for the good
of the community, Angeline’s sons, James and Loran, helped
to input this text.
Angeline was active in the Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Committee,
where she held various leadership positions and helped to
organize the Ukrainian Radio Program on Radio Station CFCR.
Angeline placed special effort in working on the Kyiv Pavilion
of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Saskatoon Branch
for the annual Folkfest celebrations. In 1996 she was honoured
to be the pavilion ambassador for that year.
She has been a volunteer board member of the Musée
Ukraina Museum since 1987. In aid of the museum’s fundraising
efforts, she has organized over 670 bingos and has worked
at over 500 of them personally!
Angeline’s community activities are not limited to Ukrainian
matters. She has been the financial secretary for the Saskatoon
Council of Women and has canvassed for the Heart Fund, Kidney
Foundation, Cancer Society, the Alliance for Life and the
Salvation Army. She has received five certificates of commendation
from the Knights of Columbus and has 25- and 30-year pins
from the UCWLC.
Angeline married John Chrusch in 1958 and together they have
b. September 8, 1910 (Zhoda, MB)
Alexander Danylchuk, physician, community builder, organizer
and leader, graduated from Medicine at the University of Manitoba
in 1940. After doing his internship in Saskatoon, he, together
with Dr. Emil Kusey, established a medical practice in Canora
Canora became the base for Dr. Danylchuk’s community work.
While carrying on a successful practice, he served 25 years
as chair of the Canora School Board and played an important
role in the establishing of a 50-bed hospital in Canora. He
believed in service to the community so he became a charter
member of the Kiwanis Club of Canora. He was an active member
of the Chamber of Commerce there and was named Citizen of
the Year by the Chamber. In 1981, Dr. Danylchuk was honoured
by the College of Physicians and Surgeons with a Senior Life
He headed numerous Ukrainian church and lay organizations
in the Canora area. He helped to organize the Ukrainian Orthodox
church camp Tryzub on Crystal Lake as well as being
president of the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church for
over ten years. Dr. Danylchuk served as president of the local
branch of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada (TYC)
and as its provincial head. He was president of the prestigious
Order of St. Andrew and a supporter of the Ukrainian Professional
and Business Association of Yorkton and District.
From 1958 until 1969, Dr. Danylchuk was president of the
Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon. It was during his tenure that
the new Institute building was constructed on Temperance Street.
Dr. Danylchuk married Paula Shewchuk in 1942. The family
had four children.
Grace (Shewchuk) Klopoushak
b. March 27, 1930 (Wakaw, SK)
d. April 3, 2000 (Regina, SK)
Eileen Klopoushak resided at the Mohyla Institute while completing
her high school and beginning her 29-year teaching career.
Eileen taught in schools in rural Saskatchewan to schools
in Edmonton and Regina. She was an excellent teacher gaining
the respect of students, parents and supervisors. She was
one of the first In-School tutors for the Regina School Board
and later was named their Primary Consultant. The Board also
engaged her to develop and teach the initial Grades 1-8 Ukrainian
language program which continues today. For her outstanding
teaching service for over 18 years she received from the Regina
Board a special award. Upon retirement she joined the Superannuated
Teachers of Saskatchewan and served on their Awards Committee.
Eileen was an active member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association
of Canada (UWAC) for 45 years. She served as vice-president
and president at the local level and two terms as president
of the provincial council. Her other contributions included
editing a bulletin, organizing workshops and conventions,
speaking at numerous functions, and helping with other branch
projects in various capacities.
Eileen represented the UWAC at the Ukrainian Canadian Congress
(UCC) Regina Branch for a number of years as well as
on the Mosaic Committee. She was the deputy-ambassador and
ambassador of the Kyiv Pavilion as well as co-chair of the
boutique. She was also a member of the Regina UCC Centennial
Throughout her life Eileen was an ardent supporter of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Regina. She was a long-standing
member of the choir, served as treasurer, a member of the
Hospital Visitation Committee, a member of the Sisterhood,
and delegate to two Church Sobors.
In the larger Canadian community Eileen was a strong supporter
of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the Globe Theatre, and the Canadian
Federation of University Women. Eileen and her husband Edward
raised two children: Gary and Lori.
b. 1926 (Yorkton, SK)
Roman Kroitor, co-founder, past senior vice-president and
former director of IMAX was born in Yorkton. He received his
M.A. in philosophy and psychology from the University of Manitoba.
He began his career with the National Film Board (NFB) of
Canada and is one of Canada’s leading filmmakers, with numerous
awards and honours for his work.
Over his career Roman produced numerous films. One of his
first films, Paul Tomkowicz, focused on a Canadian
railway worker. The film is frequently studied in Canadian
and U.S. film studios. It was featured as the opening work
on the NFB at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Another acclaimed
earlier work of Kroitor’s is City of Gold, a chronicle
of the Yukon Gold Rush.
The film, Universe, which Roman produced with his
friend Colin Low, was another first. The film, the depiction,
with pictorial realism, of the geography of space was used
by NASA in the early days of the U.S. space program for astronaut
training. The film also had a strong influence on Stanley
Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Later in 1982 he co-produced
Hail Columbia!, the first large-format film about space
and the shuttle program.
Kroitor’s multi-image film Labyrinth was a hit at
Montreal’s Expo ’67. This film and Polar Life led Kroitor,
Ferguson and Kerr to form Multiscreen Corporation, which later
became IMAX Ltd. Together with engineer William Shaw they
designed the IMAX® motion picture system. Roman produced
the first IMAX film, Tiger Child for Expo ’70 in Osaka.
He followed this with other IMAX productions.
Koitor’s work continues to reflect an innovative mind. In
a number of recent productions the concept of 3D dominates.
In 1997 IMAX unveiled a new proprietary technology, invented
and developed by Roman that enables three dimension stereoscopic
animated films to be released in IMAX 3D theatres.
Roman Kroitor is currently an independent writer, director
b. February 18, 1913 (Wynyard, SK)
d. March 4, 1997 (Canora, SK)
Walter Mysak’s dedication to the Ukrainian and Canadian community
at large started during his youth. While completing his high
school at Nutana Collegiate, Walter stayed at the Mohyla Institute,
which he subsequently supported throughout his life. He was
an instructor of farm economics, a director of the United
Farmers of Canada, and a member of the forerunner to the Hudson
Bay Route Association. Upon graduating from the University
of Saskatchewan with a degree in Agriculture (with distinction),
Walter moved to the Buchanan-Canora district where in three
decades he served in the two communities as Councilor, Overseer,
and Mayor. He was also president of the Saskatchewan Urban
Municipalities Association. Amidst all of the above, Walter
also found time to serve as Senator of both of the province’s
Walter helped organize the Canora Union Hospital District
and was its chairman nine years. He was always optimistic
and an activist. He spearheaded the conversion of the old
Canora Union Hospital into the Gateway Lodge seniors’ home.
Walter’s contribution to the Ukrainian community is equally
long and extensive. In 1941 he was elected national president
of the Ukrainian Youth Association. In subsequent years he
served as director of the Mohyla Institute board, editor of
the Mohyla Institute newsletter, president of the Canora Ukrainian
Canadian Congress, member of the executive and committees
of the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canora, and
was instrumental having one of the streets in Canora named
Shevchenko Crescent, Governor General Ed Schryer unveil the
"Lesia" Statue, and Ray Hnatyshyn and John Sopinka
attend the 1992 Centennial Celebrations in Canora.
Over the years Walter received numerous awards and acknowledgements
such as the Shevchenko Medal (1989), the Canadian Commemorative
Medal (1992), Canora Citizen of the Year (1988) and the designation
of a Canora street as Mysak Drive.
Walter married Bernice Ortynsky in 1940 and they subsequently
raised three children: Donna, David, and Marlene.
b. February 14, 1907 (Kosiw, near Dauphin, MB)
d. October 18, 1984 (St. Catharines, ON)
Hanka completed her education at the University of Manitoba
and afterwards got a job with the Department of Agriculture
as a community development worker. She was a tireless worker.
In 1933 alone, for example, she spoke at 439 meetings among
what was then called the "foreign born." She encouraged
the setting up of rural women’s circles for the production
of Ukrainian handicrafts to help alleviate poverty in rural
areas. Eventually, these handicrafts were sold all over Canada
as well as at Macy’s in New York City.
Hanka was a charter member and first executive secretary
of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada (UWAC), founded
in Saskatoon in 1926. In 1934, she was the UWAC’s delegate
to the Congress of Ukrainian Women held in Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk)
in western Ukraine.
Afterwards, she had the opportunity to study at various European
universitiessomething made possible by the patronage
of the Prime Minister, R.B. Bennett. In 1936, she was in Switzerland
to participate in a League of Nations panel on the status
of women. In 1947, she attended the International Conference
on Women’s Councils.
During the Second World War, Hanka worked for the federal
Department of Finance promoting the sale of Victory Loans
and setting up Girls’ Hostels. She crisscrossed Canada 27
times during that time.
In 1936, Hanka became a founding member of the Saskatoon-based
Ukrainian Museum of Canada (UMC) of the UWAC. She was a tireless
organizer of the branch museums and collected items for the
museum’s collections. She sat on the Museum Board of Trustees
continuously until 1982.
In 1976, the All Saints Parish (Saskatoon) branch of the
UWAC was inaugurated and chose Hanka Romanchych as its patroness.
In 1977, the American Association for State and Local History
presented her with its Award of Merit for her work in establishing
the UMC. In 1981, the Canadian Museum’s Association honoured
her in a similar manner.
As a Ukrainian professional woman, she was recognized outside
the Ukrainian community for work in the fields of community
development and women’s issues. Wherever Hanka resided, she
was at the forefront of Ukrainian and Canadian affairs as
an active participant and leader.
Following the Second World War, Hanka Romanchych married
Ivan Kowalchuk. While the marriage had no offspring, Hanka
was honoured to be godmother to 75 children.
b. February 4, 1925 (Zyrawa, Ukraine)
Sonia Sagasz has dedicated her life to the Ukrainian community
in Regina, Canada and internationally. Originally from the
village of Zyrawa, near Lviv, she arrived in Regina in 1949
after spending five years in Austria and Germany. In 1950
she married Walter Sagasz and together they raised three daughters
while at the same time continuing their extensive community
Sonia’s commitment to community service has been far-reaching
and tireless. She has served on numerous executives and boards
ranging from the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League at St.
Basil’s, the St. Basil’s Building Committee, the Ukrainian
Co-op, National LUK, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Regina Branch, Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada,
Women’s UCC Regina Branch, and the Ukrainian Centennial Commission
of Saskatchewan. Of the above organizations, Sonia was also
a founding member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League
St. Basil’s Parish, and the Women’s UCC Regina Branch.
Sonia’s leadership and charity extended to the larger Canadian
community. She was a founding member of the Regina Folk Arts
Council and served with the Regina United Way.
Working with the youth has always been a major part of Sonia’s
life, including being a teacher of Ukrainian at St. Basil’s,
a SUM camp leader in Morden, Manitoba, camp director in Saint
Paul, Minneapolis, and SUM director at Pike Lake.
Over the years, Sonia was able to fit into her busy schedule
attendance at numerous UCWLC, World Congress and UCC Congresses
as well as participate in the Regina Centennial Choir, the
Kyiv Pavilion (including being its ambassador in 1982), and
originate the concept of the Saskatchewan Ukrainian Science
In recognition of her leadership, vision and accomplishments,
Sonia was awarded the Shevchenko Medal in 1995.
b. August 31, 1914 (Hafford, SK)
Murray Senkus attended high school at the Nutana Collegiate
Institute 1927-1931. In 1934 he received his Bachelor of Science
in Chemistry and his Master of Science in 1936 from the University
of Saskatchewan. In 1938 he received a Doctor of Philosophy
from the University of Chicago, in 1966 he received a degree
in Management of Research from the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Senkus’ greatest achievement was while he was working
as a chemist with the Commercial Solvents at Terre Haute,
Indiana, where, assisted by two co-workers, he developed the
process for crystallizing sodium penicillin which extended
its storage life at higher temperatures and thereby saved
many lives during the Second World War. His other assignments
included instructor of chemistry at the University of Chicago,
Director of Research and Development with Daubert Company
in Chicago, Director of Research and Development with J.R.
Reynolds Tobacco and research manager with P.T. Djarum Tobacco
He has visited Ukraine in 1969, 1970, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995,
twice in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and again in 2001. He has
provided financial assistance to families and also the Lviv
National University. Their four children are well informed
in Ukrainian history and culture and are quite literate ethnically.
Dr. Senkus has been a member of the Shevchenko Scientific
Society for the last 55 years and has contributed articles
to the Society. He has been actively involved with Caritas
Ukraine, assisted in the establishment of the Prairie Centre
for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage at the University of Saskatchewan,
member of Toastmasters International for 51 years and has
served as Governor of the Carolinas District International.
He has been a member of the Chemical Society for the last
60 years. Dr. Senkus is the author of 20 scientific articles
and a holder of 57 patents in the U.S. and several foreign
patents. He is a member of the International Research Institute
and has presented papers on research management. He became
a U.S. citizen in 1943.
His field of specialization is: tobacco and synthetic organic
chemistry, insecticides, recovery of fermentation products,
chemotherapeutic agents, chemistry of flavors, and management
of research and development. He is still employed as a special
litigation consultant on technical matters.
Dr. Senkus makes his home at Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
b. February 28, 1918 (Krydor, SK)
d. December 25, 1996 (North Battleford, SK)
Jean took her elementary and high school education at Krydor.
For her post secondary education, she attended the University
of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree in 1937, a High School Teaching Certificate in 1938,
a Bachelor of Education in 1956 and a Post-Graduate Diploma
in Continuing Education in 1972.
Jean’s professional career was teaching high school. She
was principal at Great Deer, Marsden, Krydor and finally in
1956 she moved to be principal of the Battleford Collegiate
Institute where she stayed until 1970. Her next move was to
the Comprehensive High School at North Battleford as Director
of Continuing Education 1970 to 1978. From 1978 to 1984 she
was employed by the Mistikwa Community College (now called
the North West Regional College), first as a Literary Co-ordinator
and for the last three years as principal.
During this period, Jean established the Literacy and ESL
(English as a Second Language) programs, as well as initiating
the extension of the university programs. Jean retired in
Jean’s involvement with multiculturalism began with her appointment
to the Saskatchewan Multicultural Advisory Council for two
two-year terms. During this time, she developed an interest
in the work of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and
eventually organized the Battlefords Multicultural Council
in 1985. Since then, she became fully involved and managed
the Battlefords Multicultural Council until her death. Jean
enjoyed her two-year term as editor of the Saskatchewan Multicultural
The North Battleford Lions Club and the Battleford News-Optimist
selected Jean as the 1987 Battlefords and District Citizen
of the Year.
Jean’s other interests over the years beginning as far back
as high school were in language studies and in Ukrainian cultural
activities, which comprised a large part of her volunteer
work. She participated extensively at the provincial and national
levels with the Ukrainian Catholic Youth, the local and provincial
levels in the Catholic Women’s League and the IODE, as well
as other clubs and organizations.
Jean married Matthew Sternig in 1943 and was widowed in 1970.
They had one son, Cam, who is also a retired school teacher.
Cam and Donna have two children: Laura and Rodney.