Location: programs / Nation Builders / 2006
Nation Builders and Community Recognition Awards

Recipients for 2006

Nation Builders

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk
Anne Mary Buchko
Sister Theodosia (Theresa Papirnik)
Brigadier General Joseph R. Romanow

Community Recognition Honourees

Anita Drebot
Evelyn Hull
Cecilia Kachkowski
Sophia Nahachewsky
John Panio
Taisa Trischuk

UCC-SPC hosts 12th annual Nation Builders and Community Recognition Awards luncheon
November 5, 2006 at the Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon

The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan receiving a traditional Ukrainian welcome with bread and salt
November 16, 2006 -- Guests from across Saskatchewan and Canada, among them His Honour the Honourable Dr. Gordon Barnhart, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and Her Honour Mrs. Naomi Barnhart, attended a sold-out awards luncheon in Saskatoon on November 5th to pay tribute to ten very special people.

Recognition events, now known as the Nation Builders & Community Recognition Awards luncheon, have been held in various centres around Saskatchewan every year since 1995 under the auspices of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Saskatchewan Provincial Council (UCC-SPC) to celebrate the contributions of individuals with ties to the province.

This year, four individuals were recognized as Nation Builders for providing outstanding service without reward or gain and having made a lasting impact regionally, nationally and/or internationally:

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk (Canora-Saskatoon): international authority in veterinary virology and immunology, distinguished researcher, mentor, university professor

Anne Mary Buchko (d) (Goodeve-Ituna): educator, church & community leader, champion of the Ukrainian community, volunteer, mentor, coach, organizer, artisan

Sr. Theodosia (Theresa Papirnik) (Edmonton-Saskatoon): spiritual advisor, leader, humanitarian, visionary, administrator, writer, advocate, volunteer, champion of human rights

Brigadier General Joseph Romanow (Saskatoon-Ottawa): leader, decorated serviceman, author, lecturer, role model, humanitarian, community volunteer and activist.

Community Recognition awards were presented to six individuals for meritorious contributions in the following areas:

Cultural preservation & development

Anita Drebot (Sudbury-Regina): tireless volunteer, teacher, organizer, respected community resource in areas of Ukrainian culture, language and traditions

Cecilia Kachkowski (Melfort-Saskatoon): educator, generous volunteer, respected community resource in areas of Ukrainian language and folk-arts, church activist, master gardener


Evelyn Darlene Hull (Willowbrook): church and community activist, teacher, volunteer, leader, role model, active in preserving and developing Ukrainian culture through dance


John Panio (Montmartre): church and community activist, takes on leadership roles, language teacher, dedicated volunteer, musician, promoter of Ukrainian language, culture and traditions

Youth Achievement

Sophia Nahachewsky (Prince Albert): role model, humanitarian, overseas volunteer, altar server, Sunday school teacher, recognized Air Cadet, Ukrainian dancer, musician, high academic achievement

Taisa Trischuk (Yorkton): accomplished dancer and instructor, high academic achievement, school and community leader, organizer, humanitarian, volunteer, musician, youth activist

Minister Pat Atkinson.
“The Ukrainian community has made astounding contributions to Canada since the first immigrants arrived over a century ago,” said Lieutenant Governor Barnhart in his greetings to the 250 assembled.

“The positive impact of Ukrainian Canadians has been especially significant in Saskatchewan, where we have been served by Lieutenant Governors (The Honourable Dr Stephen Worobetz and The Honourable Dr. Sylvia Fedoruk), a Premier (The Honourable Roy Romanow) and a Chief Justice (The Honourable Edward Bayda) who are of Ukrainian heritage.”

Formal greetings were also brought from the City of Saskatoon by His Worship Mayor Don Atchison, from the Province by Honourable Pat Atkinson, MLA for Saskatoon Nutana and Minister for Immigration, Advanced Education and the Public Service Commission, and UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky, who presided over the event.

NBA recipients
With Their Honours the Honourable Dr. Gordon Barnhart and Mrs. Naomi Barnhart (seated) at the 2006 Nation Builders and Community Recognition Awards Luncheon. UCC-SPC Executive Director Danylo Puderak, J. Panio, Sister Theodosia, Fred Buchko (for wife Mary Anne), UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky, Chair Recognitions Committee Dr. Tony Harras, C. Kachkowski, A. Drebot, E. Hull, S. Nahachewsky, T. Trischuk. Below are Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk and Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Romanow who had early flight departures.

Lorne A. Babiuk
b. January 25 , 1946 (Canora, SK)

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk is the son of Paul and Mary (Mayden) Babiuk. He grew up on a mixed farm, where his parents planted grain and raised cattle, sheep and turkeys. As a child, the Saskatchewan farm boy attended a one-room school at Swan Bluff, thirty miles from Sturgis. The school provided learning opportunities for twenty-eight to thirty students in Grade one through eight.

On completing his primary and secondary education, Dr. Babiuk considered a career in medicine; however, concern over how to finance seven years of university forced him to consider other alternatives. His first degree was earned in agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1967. That was followed by a Master of Science degree in 1969 also from the U of S. He received a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in the study of virology. Thereafter followed a stint in eastern Canada where he did post-graduate training. He returned to Saskatchewan in 1973 with the intention of spending a few years here before heading back to British Columbia. From that time to the present he has been associated with the University of Saskatchewan, first as an assistant professor and since 1979 as a full professor.

In 1980 he became the co-ordinator of the Respiratory Disease Program at the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) in Saskatoon. In 1993, he became the Director of VIDO, the position he holds to the present. He has earned world-wide recognition for his research in veterinary microbiology.

His research has been published in over 300 scientific publications. The University of Saskatchewan recognized his scholarship with an earned Doctor of Sciences in 1987. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the: National Merit Award (Ottawa Life Science: 1998); Fellow (Royal Society of Canada: 1999); Member European Academy of Sciences (2002); and, Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2003). In 2005 he was named an Officer of The Order of Canada.

Dr. Babiuk has made tremendous contributions to the field of vaccinology, nationally and internationally. He is a key member of an international team developing a vaccine against SARS and developing immune parameters that are critical for protection of animals with bovine herpes virus. He is recognized as a consummate team builder, research collaborator, and master negotiator.

He is married to Betty Lou (Wagar) and they have two children: daughter Kimberly and son Shawn.

Anne Mary Buchko
b. December 23, 1940 (Goodeve, SK)
d. January 16, 2006 (Saskatoon, SK)

Anne came from humble beginnings, being born and raised on the farm near Goodeve, Saskatchewan. Her parents, Nick and Sophie (Olynyk) Pillipow provided a good foundation of Christian devotion that was to play an important role in her future. Great importance was placed on formal education and Anne worked diligently to attain her Teacher’s Certificate and two degrees (B.Ed. and B.A.) from the University of Saskatchewan.

The majority of Anne’s teaching career was in Ituna, Saskatchewan with English, Ukrainian and Arts being the subjects she instructed. She piloted and implemented various types of programs to Division III and IV in the subjects she taught. Her teaching career spanned a period of close to thirty-five years. The students benefited greatly from her guidance in various school projects and her coaching of various school teams.

Outside of the school setting, Anne was also very involved with the local community. She had a profound interest in the Arts and was instrumental in founding the local Arts Council. The many aspects of community involvement found Anne at the helm of the various organizations that make up the vibrancy of one’s community. Many of the local groups she founded or assisted in organizing were centered around the interests of young people, be it in sports, the 4-H or certain aspects of the Arts.

Besides school and the secular community, Anne also shared her talents with the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Her service to the Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada was extensive, both locally, nationally and even internationally. While serving on the national executive of UCWLC, she travelled to Ukraine to distribute medical aid as part of the organization’s Gift of Hope. Locally, the youth were given the opportunity to experience summer church camp at Camp Chaban. Anne was the founding member and director.

The preservation and development of the Ukrainian culture in her community was continuously evolving as she offered cultural workshops and founded the Ituna and District Cultural Museum.

Anne married Fred Buchko in 1961. They have two sons – Fred and Greg – and five grandchildren.

Sister Theodosia (Theresa Papirnik)
b. March 13, 1947 (Edmonton, AB)

Sister Theodosia is the daughter of Fred and Pearl (Shehinski) Papirnik. She received her elementary and high school education in Edmonton. At a very early age, Sister Theodosia became involved in church life at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton. She was a member and ultimately president of all age-specific church-sponsored youth organizations including "Children of Mary," "Junior and Senior Ukrainian Catholic Youth" and "Ukrainian Catholic Young Adults." She taught religion, Ukrainian traditions and customs, and served as a counsellor at the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchial Summer Children’s Camps in Edmonton.

Sister Theodosia entered the Ukrainian Sisters of St. Joseph of Saskatoon in October 1983. She professed her first vows in June 1985 and was immediately appointed Provincial Secretary of the Community as well as Administrator of St. Joseph’s Home in Saskatoon.

Sister Theodosia was involved in the organization and development of the Chornobyl Relief Effort and subsequently the Gift of Hope which campaigned for and shipped millions of dollars worth of medical and personal supplies into the hospitals of post-communist Ukraine. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Musée Ukraina Museum in Saskatoon and serves on the board of St. Volodymyr Eparchial Children’s Camp. She is a member of the Catholic Health Association of Canada and in that role has been a strong advocate for the rights of the elderly and the disabled. She is a stakeholder member of the Bilingual Future Planning Committee for Bishop Filevich Ukrainian Bilingual School (Saskatoon).

Sister Theodosia has completed three books titled: Canada 100 Brazil, With God (Z Bohom) and Homework. She is the editor of St. Joseph’s Journal, a bilingual quarterly.

Through Sister Theodosia, the community has learned about the poor conditions in Orphanage #1, in Lviv, Ukraine and this has translated into the mobilization of many people to support the bringing of basic necessities to the children. She is known for her "tell it like it is" style and her ability to challenge people to examine their faith and their actions so as to strive to become living examples of Christ.

Brigadier General Joseph R. Romanow
b. May 3, 1921 (Saskatoon, SK)

Brigadier General Joseph Romanow was born and educated in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1940, he was an active member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and in youth groups where he held several executive positions.

At nineteen after training as a pilot, he was assigned to anti-submarine operations on Canada’s Atlantic coast. He subsequently served in the United Kingdom and two years flying operations in the India, Burma and China war theatres. In 1945, he extended his service for a year to fly transport aircraft throughout Europe and to concurrently work with the Canadian Ukrainian Relief Bureau in London.

In 1946, Joseph Romanow entered the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He rejoined the RCAF as an Aeronautical Engineering Officer and after duty in Ottawa, he completed a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955 at the Cranfield Institute of Technology, England.

Brigadier General Romanow served in various capacities, including the Commanding Officer of the RCAF Material Test laboratory; serving on the Avro Arrow aircraft project team; the senior Canadian representative at the U.S. Bomarc Missile Program; and the officer responsible for the final installation phase and operation of Canada’s first nuclear missile site plus the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces Transport Command. He was posted to the National Defense College where he attained the rank of Brigadier General in 1971. Other assignments included Senior Canadian Air Officer and NATO Assistant Chief of Staff at the Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters in West Germany.

Brigadier General Romanow was an exemplary national and international negotiator in the reconfiguration of the NATO peace and war headquarters and the command structure of NATO Air Force elements. In 1974, he was awarded the Commander in the Order of Military Merit and the Canadian Forces Decoration. In 1976, he retired from his position as the Director General of Organization and Manpower at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa and became President of the 128-member Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of Canada.

Brigadier General Romanow has published numerous articles in technical and industry journals. He has also spoken on multiculturalism across Canada.

Joseph Romanow is a member of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic parish and the Ukrainian Professional and Business Association in Ottawa.

Joseph Romanow married the late Josephine Sawchuk. They have four children: Mary, John, Gregory and Paula.

Anita Mary (Marunchak) Drebot
b. September 1938 (Sudbury, ON)

Cultural Preservation & Development

Anita Mary (Marunchak) Drebot grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, where during the 1950s she taught Ukrainian dance, language arts, and a range of other Ukrainian cultural activities. During this time she also assisted many Ukrainian immigrants to learn the English language. Between 1956 and 1968, Anita dedicated her work as a youth organizer with the Ukrainian National Youth Federation in Eastern and Western Canada.

Over the years, Anita has volunteered countless hours to provide leadership and to share her vast knowledge of the Ukrainian language arts and culture in activities such as scripting and directing Ukrainian Christmas radio programs, serving as a resource person for public schools and libraries, choir and dance director, talent judge, and organizing workshops for the University of Regina Ukrainian Students’ Club. Those searching ways and means to improve their knowledge of the Ukrainian language, arts, culture and history have found Anita to be an excellent dzherelo (source) to meet their ongoing needs. One of her many former students eloquently summed up her passion when he said, "As I got to know Mrs. Drebot, I came to realize that her whole life revolves around teaching and passing on her knowledge of her culture."

While raising a family of four children, Anita completed her Bachelor of Arts degree (majoring in Slavic Studies) with Distinction in 1976 from the University of Regina. She was employed by the U of R as a sessional lecturer in Ukrainian studies from 1974 to 1983. Anita continues to teach adult Ukrainian language night session classes as well as traditional Ukrainian embroidery in Regina, and she has instructed a growing enrollment of beginner students at the Adult Ukrainian Language Immersion Camp held at Crystal Lake, Saskatchewan over the past five years.

For over fifty years Anita has earned a well-respected reputation as a teacher and advocate for Ukrainian language, culture, traditions and history. She has given unselfishly to the Ukrainian community in Canada and of Regina in particular.

Anita married the late Michael Drebot in 1965. They were blessed with four children: Zenon, Olena, Lesia and Taras. She now has five grandchildren.

Cecilia Kachkowski
b. February 28, 1942 (Melfort, SK)

Cultural Preservation & Development

Cecilia was born on a farm near Melfort to parents Joe and Pauline (Walcer) Gorchynski. She is the middle child of a family of five. She graduated from Kinistino High School and received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.

For the past twenty-five years, Cecilia taught in Saskatoon in the Ukrainian Bilingual Program with the Catholic school board before retiring in June 2006. She has been involved as a Ukrainian curriculum writer and has been a member of the Saskatchewan Teachers of Ukrainian since its inception, holding various executive positions.

Cecilia celebrates her Ukrainian heritage. She has always been active in the Ukrainian community and strives to promote, enhance and preserve the language, culture and the arts. She has served as a director, language teacher and folk arts instructor for the Mohyla Institute Ukrainian Summer School Immersion program, where youth are able to attain accredited recognition for Ukrainian language courses. Other involvement on a community level includes board memberships in the Vesna Festival, Karpaty Folkfest Pavilion, Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Saskatoon Branch, and Friends of the Shevchenko Foundation.

In the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish of All Saints, Cecilia has served on various committees and executive positions including President. She has been a certified member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada since 1968 and the founding member of the Hanka Romanchych Branch in Saskatoon in 1973. From 1991 to 1995 she was the managing director of the committee that wrote and directed the publishing of Our Faith (a children’s Sunday School workbook - Levels I-III) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. She also managed and directed the publishing of My Icon Book for the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada.

Next to teaching, Cecilia’s passion is gardening. She is a Certified Master Gardener. Busloads of tourists and gardeners have been entertained in the Kachkowski home and garden. Unselfishness and enthusiasm, mixed in with a good dose of gardening expertise has allowed Cecilia to make a lasting impact on not only her personal community but the larger more diverse communities that surround us.

Cecilia is married to Albert and they have two children: Marusia and Taras.

Evelyn Darlene Hull
b. July 17, 1954 (Yorkton, SK)


Evelyn Hull is the daughter of Olga and the late Frank Prybylski, one of seven children raised on the family farm in the Willowbrook district. She attended a rural elementary school and completed her high school education in Yorkton. Evelyn attained her Bachelor of Laboratory Science in 1975 from the University of Regina and continues to work as a Laboratory Technologist at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre.

Seeing the desire of the local community’s children to learn the art of Ukrainian dance and ultimately about Ukrainian heritage prompted Evelyn Hull to co-found the Willowbrook and District Veselka Dance Club in 1984. One hundred ten children from fifty-two families have been part of Evelyn’s dream. While the number may seem small, it is important to note that the combined populations of the communities of Willowbrook and Jedburgh, from which the dancers come, is about seventy-five people. Evelyn continues to be a strong leader of the Club and has served on a number of executive positions.

To enhance the cultural aspect of the art education program in the local elementary school, Evelyn has taught the students of Grades 5 and 6 about the history of the pysanka, the meanings behind the symbols and customs of this tradition. She has also taught the students the actual technique of writing pysanky.

At a time when playschools were not a common part of the rural communities, Evelyn recognized the value of a child’s socialization process by interacting with other children and was one of the founding members of the Willowbrook Playschool. This playschool is still active at the present time.

Her involvement in the St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church of Beaverdale has been varied but predominantly in the formation and teaching of the Little Angels class for the younger children of the parish. Currently Evelyn serves as secretary of the Parish Council and actively fundraises for the church’s renovations.

In addition to the above activities, Evelyn has provided leadership and volunteerism in sports organizations, cadets and band to which her children belong.

Evelyn married David in 1979. They reside in Willowbrook and have four children – Desiree, Jackie, Jonathan, Derek – and a grandson, Austin.

John Panio
b. February 21, 1941 (Ituna, SK)


John Panio is the son of John and Jean (Bulych) Panio. He grew up in Ituna and attended St. Vlad’s College (Minor Seminary) and received his Grade 12 from Ituna High School. He graduated from Teacher’s College in 1963 and was a teacher until his retirement in 1995. A lifetime learner, he took classes during summer break and received his Bachelor of Education in 1976. As a young man he established the "Panio Brothers Band" which featured Ukrainian music. They played at numerous concerts and dances and produced four record albums.

Mr. Panio has volunteered in a broad range of activity areas. He was the president of Saskatchewan Teachers of Ukrainian for a period of four years, and the Saskatchewan Parents for Ukrainian Education president for six years. He was president of Regina’s Ukrainian Credit Union for a three-year term. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan for four years.

Mr. Panio has been committed to promoting and enhancing Ukrainian culture and language for most of his life. He lobbied for Ukrainian language classes in schools and taught Ukrainian for over thirty years. He taught Ukrainian dance and was a singer in the Regina Community Choir.

John Panio has been very involved in his church. He was the cantor for the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church from 1965 to 1975. He also directed the choir at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church of Montmartre from 1965 to 2005.

He has been involved with the Canadian Coalition of Cottage Owners, Canadian Hunter Education, and the Canadian Country Music Association. He is a Time Management Master Trainer and served on the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Council. He served as Royal Canadian Legion Secretary for many years.

The list of awards and honours received by Mr. Panio includes a Certificate of Merit from the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, an Honorary Membership from the Canadian Legion, Volunteer Recognition Award from Saskatchewan Culture and Recreation, Saskatchewan Education Music Educators Award, and, locally, the Montmartre Recreation Award.

In 1966 he married Angeline. They have one son, Shawn, and two daughters: Delilah and Venus. They have also been blessed with three grandchildren: Aaron, Brandon and Christine.

Sophia Maria Nahachewsky
b. June 20, 1990 (Yorkton, SK)

Youth Achievement

Sophia Maria Nahachewsky is the daughter of Father Ivan Nahachewsky and Debbie (Pisio) Nahachewsky. In 1990, her parents were working at St. Volodymyr’s College in Roblin, Manitoba. Since that time she has resided along with her parents first briefly in Ottawa, Ontario, then Kamsack, Saskatchewan, and most recently Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Sophia received her elementary school education in Kamsack. At a very early age it became clear that Sophia would be active in her community. She participated in band, "Sparks," Brownies, Guides, Student Representative Council, Air Cadets and was a school library volunteer. In her church community she participated in Catechism (first as a student and then as an instructor) and was also an altar server.

When Sophia was in Grade 7, she and her parents moved to Prince Albert. Since that time she has been attending Rivier Academy. She presently is involved with Amnesty Youth, Rivier Select Band and Jazz Choir. She has been part of the Rivier Strings Program for the last three years and has participated in the Student Leadership Council – all the time maintaining a 95 per cent average in school.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church is central in Sophia’s life. She is an active member in her parish. She is involved in youth ministry, is a senior altar server, writes icons and teaches catechism. At an eparchial level Sophia is a member of the Youth Council.

Sophia continues to be involved in Air Cadets and has been at the top of her level for the past four years. She received the Marc Garneau Leadership Award at Cadet Summer Training Centre in 2005. She is in her fifth year of Cadets and is a full-time instructor. Through her involvement in Cadets, Sophia has participated in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and has just completed the requirements for the Silver Level.

In the summer of 2006, Sophia travelled to Ukraine for six weeks where she lived with the Sisters of St. Joseph and volunteered at an orphanage in Lviv. Sophia had dreamed of doing this and had worked hard to see this dream realized. In that regard, she took a Ukrainian correspondence course, worked a part-time job and fund-raised over $3000. Through this trip Sophia has gained great life experience and has been inspired to travel. In particular, in 2008, she would like to travel to Australia for World Youth Day.

Taisa Camille Trischuk
b. July 1, 1987 (Yorkton, SK)

Youth Achievement

Saskatchewan has been and continues to be recognized for its attention to the diversity of cultures. A mosaic of ethnic customs and traditions creates a vibrant and fascinating community for youth to become involved in.

Being given this opportunity and with the support of her family, Taisa has incorporated the love of dance into her ethnic and cultural awareness and development. Ukrainian, primarily, and also other forms of dance have offered Taisa an extensive opportunity for travel, thus broadening her knowledge of the world around her.

Being highly organized and able to manage her time accordingly has helped Taisa to excel academically. Her outstanding academic achievement indicates her keen interest in learning. While maintaining a very high academic standing, she has performed at various venues locally, nationally and internationally. Her performances include – but are not limited to – dance, music, and theatre.

A graduate of the Yorkton Regional High School in 2005, Taisa was awarded academic and proficiency awards from Saskatchewan Learning, Leadership awards and was named as a Greystone Scholar from the University of Saskatchewan.

Taisa has been a leader in many of her academic and artistic endeavours. Her participation in national and provincial leadership conferences and the implementation of what she learned from such opportunities are evident in her school and community.

Summers were spent not only as a dancer but as a camper at Ukrainian Orthodox Church and teen leadership camps, giving her the opportunity to later become a camp counsellor. Involvement in athletics included soccer, squash, cross-country and competitive cheerleading team captain.

Her strong commitment to helping others in her community such as the Red Cross, Kids Help Phone Line, Terry Fox Run are just some of the organizations that reflect her tireless efforts in the humanitarian field.

Taisa is presently a second-year student at the University of Saskatchewan, enrolled in the College of Arts and Science. She continues to be awarded scholarships for her academic excellence. She continues to dance with Yevshan Ukrainian Folk Ballet Ensemble and rehearses with Dance Saskatchewan in preparation for the production of Dare to Dance.

Taisa is the third of four children of Dr. Bernie and MaryAnn Trischuk of Yorkton.

Compiled by Tony Harras, Angeline Chrusch, Paul Ortynsky, Alex Balych