Awards Recipients for 2000
Anne Hnatiuk (Leskiw)
Bernard Leo Korchinski
Anna Papish (Gingera)
Dr. Walter Podiluk, C.M., LL.D. (Hon.)
His Excellency Bishop Andrew Roborecki,
The sixth annual event of the UCC-SPC, where outstanding Ukrainian
community activists are honoured with a Nation Builders Award, was
held on Sunday, November 5, 2000. Some 170 family members and guests
joined 12 honourees at dinner and an award program in the Adam Ballroom
of the Delta Bessborough Hotel in downtown Saskatoon. The Executive
Director of the UCC-SPC served as the Master of Ceremonies. Award
recipients were introduced by Mary Cherneskey, Chair of the Recognitions
Committee, and received their Award Plaques from the UCC-SPC President,
Eugene Krenosky of Regina.
Mrs. Cherneskey noted that the Award recipients were Nation Builders
in three capacities: carrying on work initiated by early activists,
expanding the work through new happenings in the community and introducing
entirely new visionary concepts. Two volunteer workers and two professional
educators working in administration and Ukrainian language development
fall into the first category of recipients who combined their specific
interests with organizational development.
Seven individuals were perceived as making contributions through
innovative and energetic projects that broadened the scope of our
community activities. A vibrant church community was developed by
a caring Bishop, buildings were erected by an entrepreneur and church
devotee who persevered in their dreams of life provisions for seniors
and awareness of the community need for a church built on a solid
foundation, and two artists expanded their Ukrainian backgrounds
into a broader community receiving international accolades for the
creativity and inventiveness. A visionary administrator-leader showed
a broad Saskatchewan community how to deal with old problems by
creating innovative solutions, such as a Community Village, a historic
culture-preservation centre and new fund-raising approaches.
The following details provide an overview of the work of the twelve
Nation Builders Award recipients.
A surprise addition to the program was the introduction of a new
book on one of the first honourees, Dr. C.H. Andrusyshen, professor,
author, linguist and department head who put the teaching of things
Ukrainian on the map of education. Written by his niece, June Dutka,
retired university librarian from Winnipeg, the book, The Grace
of Passing: Constantine H. Andrusyshen: The Odyssey of a Slavist,
was available for purchase as part of a Canadian book launch program.
Mrs. Cherneskey remarked in her forward to the commemorative booklet
that this long-awaited book was “A personal record of the Ukrainian
contribution to the development of our community [and] is a memorable
transition from one millennium to the next.” As to the Award recipients
she proclaimed that, “All of Saskatchewan can be proud of their
accomplishments as Nation Builders.”
(A sincere thank-you to the Recognitions Committee Chair. After
six productive years as Chair of the UCC-SPC’s Nation Builders Recognitions
Committee, Mary Cherneskey is stepping down to pursue personal goals
and interests—among them, spending lots of time with her growing
granddaughters. Having served since the inaugural presentation,
Mrs. Cherneskey has selflessly and tirelessly devoted much energy
to help produce a first-class event that pays tribute to first-class
citizens of our community—Canada’s and Saskatchewan’s Nation Builders.
The UCC-SPC board was fortunate to have had such a dedicated volunteer
and it was the staff’s privilege to have worked with Mary Cherneskey
on this important project. Expressing sincere gratitude for all
her work, UCC-SPC wishes her all the best in her future endeavours.—Ed.)
Standing: Alex Balych (Recognitions
Committee member), UCC-SPC Executive Director Ostap Skrypnyk, W.
Podiluk, Lillian Kobrynsky (for S. Kobrynsky), Mary Cherneskey (chair
Recognitions Committee), C. Devrome, A. Chomyn, L. Pavlychenko,
UCC-SPC President Wugene Krenosky, Vera Labach (Recognitions Committee
member). Sitting: Nell Worobetz (for P. Worobetz), A. apish, B.
Korchinksi, His Excellency Bishop Basil Filevich (for Bishop A.
Roborecki), A. Hnatiuk. Missing M. Kereluke, A. Suknaski, and Recognitions
Committee members Tony Harras and Pearl Balych.
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 Mary Cherneskey and Ostap Skrypnyk
Born in St. Julien, SK
A dedicated community leader, entrepreneur and family man,
Alex Chomyn was born in the St. Julien district of Saskatchewan
into the family of Mykhailo and Anastasia (Stefaniuk) Chomyn,
being the youngest in a family of ten. Here he completed his
schooling at Poltawa School and high school in Wakaw and Rosthern.
He holds a Certificate in Business Management from the College
of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan.
After finishing school Alex farmed for several years. In
1935 he married Pauline Kotelko. Alex was employed as assistant
secretary treasurer of the Rural Municipality of Hoodoo #401
from 1936-1939. In 1940, he moved with his family to Saskatoon
and Alex commenced the business part of his life. He began
working for the firm Saskatoon Hardware and within two weeks
was designated assistant manager of major appliances. In 1959,
Alex opened his own business, Alex's Hardware, which remained
a fixture on 20th Street for the next 26 years. In 1981, with
his son Ken, Alex opened Video One Systems, Ltd. He retired
from active business life in 1991.
Having more free time, Alex Chomyn increased his giving to
community life. He was a captain with the United Appeal, a
Director of the 1971 Canada Winter Games and President of
the Wakaw Lake and Cottage Owner's Association. Hospitals,
charities and educational institutes and the Saskatoon Symphony
have experienced his largesse. For his work in the community,
the City of Saskatoon has named a street, Chomyn Crescent,
in his honour.
On the Ukrainian community front, Alex has been a stalwart
leader. Active in his church, he has been President of the
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, chairman of the
Millennium Finance Committee for Saskatchewan as well as chairman
of the Millennium Building Committee. A legacy of the work
of these committees is the St. Volodymyr statue that graces
the grounds of the Cathedral and is enjoyed by all who pass
it on 20th Street in Saskatoon. Alex has been active in the
Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Saskatoon Branch and the Ukrainian
Self-Reliance League of Canada (TYC). He is an honourary life
member of the Saskatoon "Steppe" branch of TYC and
supported the World Congress of Free Ukrainians.
Perhaps Alex Chomyn's greatest legacy is the Ilarion Residence
in Saskatoon. He was the driving force behind its inception
and completion. Alex devoted twenty years as President of
the Ukrainan Orthodox Senior Citizen's Society to bring to
fulfillment a dream of a complex of 118 suites for elderly
Ukrainians. He enriched the Residence by donating many museum-type
articles from his private family collection which are on display
in a special room. At the age of 84, he undertook to provide
another establishment - a quality nursing care home for Ukrainian
Canadians. This work ended recently with the opening of a
special Ukrainian Orthodox section within Sherbrooke Home
This legacy of providing care and assistance to the people
who built Western Canada marks Alex Chomyn as a visionary
and - along with his other contributions to Church, Family
and Nation - shows him to truly be a Nation Builder. He is
a man with generosity of spirit, labour and finances. He can
work cooperatively with people of any background.
Alex and Pauline Chomyn are blessed with three children -
Ken, Evelyn and Milton - as well as seven grandchildren.
Born in Saskatoon, SK
Christine Devrome is the daughter of two outstanding church
and community activists, Anna Maria and Theodore Baran. She
has made her own mark both in her profession and on the total
Saskatoon community. Her education culminated with a Master
of Education in Educational Psychology in 1994 from the University
of Saskatchewan preceded by a B.A. in 1970. Christine's Masters
work focussed on career development in changing organizations.
Her experience with a variety of organizations provided a
In her professional work Christine has had 18 years of experience
as a career development specialist integrating career counselling
into an educational setting. She has accomplished this in
her capacity as Program Head/Educational Counsellor in the
Career Services department at Saskatoon's Kelsey Institute
of SIAST. Her responsibilities include administration, counselling
and public relations. She practices a holistic and developmental
counselling philosophy which views career development as a
Through her employment she was involved with the President's
Institutional Renewal Committee and participated through the
International Education Office with a career services program
project with the Community Colleges Council of Jamaica. She
also chaired the Campus Faculty Council from 1989 - 1993.
As the executive director of the Saskatchewan Council of the
Ukrainian Canadian Committee/Congress she administered coordination
requirements and public relations for 250 Ukrainian organizations
in Saskatchewan. Professional organizational posts were with
the Saskatchewan Guidance and Counselling Association as Associate
Editor and as alternate member on a Psychiatric Review Panel.
Volunteer community service over the past three decades included
some prestigious appointments and innovative community projects.
The first Ukrainian woman to be appointed to the Board of
Governors, University of Saskatchewan, she served six years
with three as Board chairman. In addition to committee work,
including that of the Status of Women she was involved in
a search for President and a Dean of Education, amongst others.
She also participated in the renegotiation of the Exchange
Agreement between the University of Saskatchewan and the University
of Chernivtsi in Ukraine.
Her Ukrainian community involvement included translation
from Ukrainian into English of her mother's historical publication
on the Ukrainian Catholic Churches in Saskatchewan. Educationally
she organized and taught the first sadochok/nursery school
at St. George's Cathedral Parish. She served as President
of the Ukrainian Professional and Business Association, was
on the Vesna Festival Board as well as the Saskatchewan-Ukraine
Advisory Committee. With the UCC she was responsible for the
Ukrainian Arts Program selections, for community development
programs in the three Prairie Provinces and was a provincial
and national liaison.
Christine's involvement with the formation and structure
of the Saskatchewan Council of Cultural Organizations put
her in a position of assessment of grant applications for
the Cultural Division of the Trust. In various executive positions
she was involved with the operation and initiatives of the
Christine Devrome was provided with numerous community-significant
opportunities to serve cultural and regional sources at a
highly influential level. She performed as a Nation Builder
at an admirable level to the satisfaction of a broad community.
Anne Hnatiuk (Leskiw)
Born in Saskatoon, SK
Anne Hnatiuk has transmitted her cultural and professional
background into a broad community network through her skills,
energy and caring love of people, particularly the young.
A member of a family of activists, who were founders of church
and cultural activities in Saskatoon, she commenced her own
activities in this vein when yet in her teens.
Anne assumed executive positions in the youth branch of the
Ukrainian National Home organization and held posts in the
adult groups, such as the Ukrainian Women's Organization and
representative to groups such as the Folk Arts Council, the
Ukrainian Canadian Committee, and the Council of Women. She
became involved with innovative projects such as the CFCR
FM radio community program for ethnic groups.
Professionally, Anne was given many opportunities to make
an impact with her highly-honed secretarial skills. Fluently
bilingual in English and Ukrainian, she was utilized by organizational,
hospital, educational and City Hall groups to undertake challenging
It was as a representative to Saskatoon's Folkfest, from
its very inception, that Anne Hnatiuk derived greatest satisfaction
and pleasure. She was imbued with the philosophy that by sharing
your traditions you not only learn much about other cultures
but also about your own roots. Her organizational abilities
propelled her from one responsibility to another progressing
from assistant ambassador of the Kyiv Pavilion to Ambassador
and, on the twentieth anniversary of Folkfest in 1999, she
was selected to be the Honourary Ambassador, the greatest
honour available for this event.
Before achieving that exalted nomination, Anne had taken
her turn at serving as Manager of the Kyiv Pavilion and being
a board member for a total of eight years. During her terms
on the board, she held various director posts including Director
of Youth Ambassador and Tour Guide programs. In the planning
of the Tenth Anniversary events, Anne was responsible for
compiling a list of some 8,000 volunteers from all participating
pavilions and overseeing printing, invitations and other celebration
Despite all her involvements with Folkfest, Anne was prepared
to provide additional volunteer assistance in times of work
pressures with passports and special needs. A consummate volunteer,
Anne also worked in the city community as an overseer and
Anne has used her artistic talents as chair, member, accompanist,
teacher and program director for the Ukrainian Arts Festival.
She was instrumental in organizing a float of Ukrainian children
for celebrations of Saskatoon's 100th birthday, which won
the Best Ethnic Float award. She provided parental support
for the Yevshan Ensemble where her children performed.
Anne Hnatiuk is a strong proponent of total family involvement
in activities. She is proud of her sons and their families
for their Folkfest activities. She recollects how she participated
in a Ukrainian dance performance before the King and Queen
during their 1939 visit to Saskatoon and then in 1967 how
her sons performed with Yevshan for Queen Elizabeth II and
Prince Phillip at Montreal's Expo.
Anne Hnatiuk's diverse contributions to her community at
large, mixed with a sense of humour have left a memorable
mark as a Nation Builder. In 1992 on the occasion of Canada's
125th birthday, she received the Queen's Medal for the broad
scope to her service to the community.
Born Sheho farm, SK
Metro Kereluke was prepared for his life's focus on church
and community by the diverse background to his education and
employment. Born on a farm southwest of Sheho, his high school
studies lead to attendance at the Saskatoon Teachers College
graduating in 1936. Six years of rural teaching posts in the
Insinger area followed, and marriage, in 1941, to Dora Dumanski,
a local girl. There was a break for war duty then university
studies in Saskatoon where five-year courses were crammed
into four, and three degrees were obtained from a B.A. and
B.Ed. to a Masters in Education in 1949.
During his war service in Yorkshire, England in 1944 Metro
was a member of the Ukrainian War Veterans Association located
in London, England. He subsequently retained membership in
the Regina branch of the Royal Canadian Legion for some 25
Although Metro's university studies were primarily in education,
he elected to forego teaching for a stint with government
where he stayed until 1961. During this time he honed his
administrative skills proceeding from the Provincial Social
Welfare Department, to the Public Service Commission and Saskatchewan
Government Insurance. In 1961 he accepted a position with
the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool where he stayed until his December
31, 1981 retirement.
Life in Regina from 1949 involved many activities with the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church including choir work and instruction
of Saturday morning Ukrainian language classes as well as
Sunday School classes. Metro's outstanding contribution was
to erect a new church in Regina. Under his leadership as Building
Committee Chairman from 1955 he guided the work through construction
to payment completion by 1966. A long-time member of the Board
of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, he was
on the Presidium for 10 years. There he chaired three Sobor
preparations and a history of the church. His public service
background facilitated his work in designing and implementing
a pension plan for clergy and a disability plan for clergy
and employees. His commendable work earned him recognition
awards from three Metropolitans.
Kereluke's Ukrainian community activities occurred at all
three levels. Locally, he held the post of president with
the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Prosvita Society and
sat on the Board of the Ukrainian Citizens Residence - Selo
Gardens. A member of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance Association
from its inception in Regina, he served as secretary and for
many years prepared and published a monthly bulletin. Provincial
President of the Association for four years he was also National
President, visiting many local branches from Vancouver to
Ottawa. Ukrainian community recognition of his contributions
came from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress with a 1983 award
of the Shevchenko Medal.
His interests reached out into the broader community and
included, amongst other things, Board membership with the
Sask Centre of the Arts and the Regina Chamber of Commerce,
two terms each, and the Employment Insurance Board of Referees
and the Review Committee of the Workers Compensation Board.
Metro Kereluke made varied choices in the pattern of his
life but forever remained steadfast in his love for church
and community serving each well with long-lasting contributions.
A mark of a Nation Builder.
November 1, 1921 (Aberdeen District, SK) - January 23,
1996 (Canora, SK)
Steven Kobrynsky left a legacy in language instruction and
culture-focused community activism through his work as a professional
educator and a visionary community worker. The son of Dmytro
and Francis (Kaminsky) of the Aberdeen area, he obtained degrees
in Arts and Education from the University of Saskatchewan.
A stint at Normal School prepared him for a teaching career
in four rural school districts ending up in 1953 in Canora
and taking him up the ranks from teacher to principal, before
his career ended in 1982.
Already involved in church and drama activities in Canora
in the 1950's, a great educational opportunity presented itself
in 1958 with an invitation to teach Ukrainian language as
part of the high school curriculum. Here he initiated an audio-visual
instructional approach. He expanded the teaching of the Ukrainian
language to adults at several Community Colleges. Steven also
succeeded in having Ukrainian language instruction included
in the curriculum in Canora from grades three to twelve.
In 1957, Steven Kobrynsky became associated with the professional
arm of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) and by
1966 an affiliate group was formed for Teachers of Ukrainian
with Steven Kobrynsky as the first provincial chairman, serving
for four years. A member of the Saskatchewan Curriculum Committee
and later its chairman, he saw the Ukrainian language instruction
methods developed by the committee adopted by the Department
of Education of the three Prairie provinces. He was involved
with STF policy determinations on second language instruction.
Steven had come from teacher to initiator to policy maker.
His knowledge extended even further into the community with
his tenure on the Provincial Executive for Heritage Languages.
As Chairman of the Canora branch of the Ukrainian Canadian
Congress from 1977 to 1990, he organized Ukrainian events
and supported the Canora Welcome Statue project featuring
a Ukrainian girl. He arranged for the government to erect
an historical cairn in the area honouring Ukrainian pioneer
Steven's photographic skills were utilized for two major
projects involving cultural traditions and folk costumes.
Accompanying script and tape were utilized by the Audio Visual
Section of the Department of Education and the costume section
of the Ukrainian Catholic eparchial museum in Saskatoon.
In the Canora community he arranged many events such as Homecomings
and tourist attractions. He instructed the Air Cadet Squadron
and presided over the area Ukrainian Professional and Business
A highly religious man, Steven and his wife Lillian and two
daughters were members in good standing of their Church, singing
in the choir and involved with organizations. Steven was Saskatchewan
President of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth and held executive
posts at all levels of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood.
Steven and Lillian were generous supporters of various institutions,
but particularly the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute
in Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa from which they received
a recognition plaque award. In 1976, Pope Paul VI honoured
Steven Kobrynsky with a medal for his work. A worthy Nation
Bernard Leo Korchinski
Born in Beaver Hills, SK
Bernard Korchinski was born on Christmas Day 1905 at Beaver
Hills, near present-day Ituna, Saskatchewan. His parents Lev
and Paulina (Hryciw) had emigrated to Canada in June of that
year. Bernard was the first of their children to be born in
Canada. Altogether there were thirteen siblings in the family.
After completing his education at St. Joseph's College in
Yorkton, Bernard attended the Normal School for Teachers there.
Later he went on to the University of Saskatchewan. His first
job as a teacher was at the Olga Elementary School in Ituna
District. He went on to teach for over 35 years at schools
in Holdfast, Hafford, Rama, Speers and Regina. From 1926 to
1928, he worked as a field organizer for the Saskatchewan
Cooperative Wheat Producers.
A staunch supporter of his church, Bernard has devoted much
of his effort to its cause. He was one of the founding members
in 1932 with Fr. Stephan Semchuk of the Ukrainian Catholic
Brotherhood of Canada. In 1992, the National Congress of UCBC
named him to the order of the Knights of St. Volodymyr in
recognition of his services.
Early on in his career, Bernard saw the importance of organizing
young people. He became a Scoutmaster and was credited with
starting a number of troops throughout the province. He was
also an organizer with the Ukrainian Catholic Youth (UCY)
- a section of the Ukrainian Catholic Council of Canada devoted
to work with young people - and in 1937 became one of the
UCY's co-founders. For a decade, he wrote articles to the
Ukrainski Visti newspaper in Edmonton on topics of interest
During the Second World War, Bernard served in the Royal
Canadian Air Force.
In the 1930s, Bernard Korchinski actively became involved
in the political life of the province. He worked closely with
MLAs George Dragan and Orest Zerebeko, assisting in their
campaigns. For two terms (1948-52 and 1956-60), Bernard Korchinski
was Liberal MLA for the Redberry Constituency. Afterward,
leaving elected office, he served as Provincial Director of
the Emergency Measures Organization (1965-67) and as a Citizenship
Court Judge for the Province of Saskatchewan.
Keenly feeling the need for Ukrainians in Canada to show
a common front before Canadian society, Bernard Korchinski
has been a dedicated supporter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress
from its inception. He has served as the First President of
the Provincial Council and was on the National Executive as
Secretary. UCC has awarded Bernard its prestigious Shevchenko
Medal in acknowledgement of his fine record of community service.
Apart from many contributions to the Ukrainian press in Canada,
Bernard is responsible for the very important historical work,
Pioneer Bishop, about the 15 years that the first Ukrainian
Catholic Bishop in Canada, Nykyta Budka, spent in Canada.
Bernard Korchinski saw that public life and service - whether
it be as a teacher and school principal, volunteer with youth
or politician and civil servant - are vital to the development
of an equitable society and for the advancement of the Ukrainian
people in the province. His example of Nation Building is
one that all can learn from and admire.
Bernard Korchinski married Slawka Marak in 1938. The marriage
was blessed with four children - Bernadine, Linda, Leslie
Anna Papish (Gingera)
Born in Brooksby District, SK
Anna Papish has left a memorable mark on the community in
Saskatchewan through her role as a supportive volunteer who
approached her tasks with energy, love of the people she worked
with and the work in culture that she undertook. Her greatest
love was working with the young people. The eldest of 10 children
born to Michael and Yadwiga Gingera of the Brooksby District,
she had many opportunities to make herself useful and to observe
the development of young children. This knowledge she carried
into her work and her adult life as a mother of two girls
and a boy. An activist, she undertook a wide assortment of
assignments tackling their challenges with humour and joyous
dedication. A positive outlook, bubbly spirit and firm faith
have overcome a frail physical condition.
It was when Anna and her husband Peter moved their household
to Saskatoon in 1954 that she commenced her community and
organizational work with seriousness, concentrating on the
Ukrainian Women's councils, the Ukrainian Youth groups and,
in the broad community, Folkfest and other needy projects.
She was a representative to the Saskatoon Sanatorium Board
from 1955 to its closing; to the Multicultural Council in
Saskatoon; Treasurer to Saskatchewan Seniors Association;
representative to CNIB; committee member for the Saskatoon
Community Radio Society; a representative to the Board of
Directors for the Ilarion Residence Building Committee; and
for five years a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services
Organization. Involved with the Folkfest Kyiv Pavilion for
many years she was elected to the Folkfest Board of Directors
in 1998 and then re-elected for another two-year term to 2001.
A member of the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada since
1951, she also served on the Ukrainian Canadian Women's Council.
She was called to perform cultural teaching tasks at different
schools demonstrating the making of pysanky, kolachi and Easter
breads. She also did demonstrations for Ukrainian Museum classes
and at the Mohyla Institute during the Ukrainian Cultural
and Language Immersion Summer School.
Anna Papish was a senior advisor to the Saskatoon Ukrainian
Youth since 1963. She also served as treasurer on the Canadian
Ukrainian Youth of Canada Council. Her philosophy was to involve
herself entirely with the groups. She would attend all their
performances and clap enthusiastically for their dancing,
reciting or singing. She served as president of the Parent
Committee of the Rushnychok Dance Group and of the Ukrainian
School for seven years. Her support of and influence on the
young people was acknowledged in 1995 when the local CYMK
group took on the name the Anna Papish Branch in recognition
of her many years of support, guidance and leadership.
Anna has received honourary certificates of Recognition from
the National Ukrainian Canadian Women's Council, the Government
of Saskatchewan 75th Anniversary Committee, the Ukrainian
Museum of Canada and the Canadian Ukrainian Youth of Canada.
The Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada presented her
with a certificate for 25 years of service to the organization
and a life membership.
Anna Papish was imbued with the philosophy that a community's
strength lay in the support provided to its members. She contributed
to this strength at meetings, in hall kitchens, in front of
a stage of performers responding to her enthusiastic applause.
Love Builds a Nation.
Born in Saskatoon, SK
Lusia Pavlychenko, the eldest daughter of outstanding Saskatoon
activists Dr. Tymofij and Anastasia Pavlychenko, inherited
the creativity, beauty and vision of her parents which propelled
her to direct the development of dance so that its direction
in Saskatchewan was changed forever. All of this came to be
when her course of study after graduation from City Park High
School in Saskatoon was altered from the field of medicine
to the world of the Arts, particularly that of dance and specifically
in ballet. She was influenced in this by people like Gwenyth
Lloyd, co-founder of Canada's first ballet company. Lusia
took intensive training with outstanding teachers around the
world, from Toronto, Banff to England, Paris, New York, Chicago
and Los Angeles.
The foundation for this activity was established in her youthful
activities of choir participation at the Ukrainian National
Federation Hall in Saskatoon under the direction of Mr. Bubniuk.
Lyle Gustin was one of her piano teachers. For two years she
was the pianist at her high school. Then commenced a series
of activities of "firsts."
In 1954, Lusia founded the Saskatoon School of Ballet and
Dance which continues under her daughter, Nina, and her husband
and was instrumental in establishing a dance teachers' association.
She pioneered the concept of dance festivals and competitions
for the purpose of exposing dance students to an audience.
She persuaded Dr. Gathercole, Director of Education, to agree
to give dance study the same status as music studies by permitting
students of the Royal Academy of Dance to take their dance
exams during school hours without penalty. She early revealed
a visionary leadership.
In 1959, the dance group Yevshan was co-founded by Lusia
and Nadia Pavlychenko with Lusia remaining as sole Artistic
Director from 1961-67 before leaving to form the Pavlychenko
Folklorique Ensemble. During this period she transformed Ukrainian
dancing from merely doing a variety of dance steps to dancing
around a story or theme. She focused on correctness of the
costumes designing beautiful renditions of costumes from different
parts of Ukraine. In both groups she revealed her flair for
beautiful, breath-taking staging. She was privileged to be
presented to the Queen when Yevshan performed before the Royals
on July 1, 1967 in Ottawa.
Lusia exalted in taking her dance groups into the community
because it meant dealing with challenges and initiating creative
changes. Performances were made with the symphony under several
orchestra directors as well as with noted local orchestra
leader John Kolynchuk. Lusia described the emotions when working
with these groups: "... the experience of working with
live music and training the musicians and conductor to hear
the music as a dancer hears and feels [it] was truly an enlightening
and ongoing experience for all involved."
Lusia was invited to work with dance groups across the country
at significant local and national events. Her accolades come
from coast to coast and two soul-stirring tours of Ukraine
earning her a place in the Kyiv Choreographic Hall of Fame
Lusia continues her involvement with dance in the direction
of expansion and improvement believing that, "without
change there is little growth." Her greatest pleasure
comes from the professional successes of her former students.
These, together with her accolades, attest to a life committed
to the creation of pleasurable Nation Building through dance.
Dr. Walter Podiluk, C.M.,
Born in Blaine Lake, SK
Walter Podiluk's philosophy of life was based on his deep
confidence in the role that the Ukrainian community could
play in shaping the character of Saskatchewan and Canada.
Born in the Blaine Lake area of Saskatchewan he developed
strong work habits and characteristics of high achievement
and unwavering perseverance under the influence of family
and community. His progress through Teachers College and the
University of Saskatchewan armed him with Bachelor degrees
in Education and Arts which took him to rural teaching and
principalship positions and finally to St. Mary's School in
Saskatoon. From there the road went only up.
As a professional public servant Walter was provided with
opportunities to utilize his innate administrative abilities
in admirable service to the people of Saskatchewan. He proceeded
from teacher-principal to Director of Education, Saskatoon
Catholic Board of Education (1967-1982), to Deputy Minister,
Social Services (1982-1984), to Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan
Health (1984-1988), to Deputy Chair, Saskatchewan Commission
on Health Care (1988-1991) to President and CEO, St. Paul's
Hospital, Saskatoon (1991-1995), in a progression where each
post seemed to prepare him for the next step.
He approached his undertakings with a passion for the job,
a compassionate understanding of those who came under his
direction, involving them in planning for attaining goals.
He has been described as a joyous teacher and a dynamic and
dedicated visionary. As one with a vision he was successful
in turning an obstacle into an opportunity, in persevering
in a search for a different solution and its attainment and
in inspiring others to join him in undertakings.
The broad scope to his organizational posts demonstrates
these characteristics. Walter Podiluk has held executive posts
with the Ukrainian Catholic Council of Canada, Saskatoon Council
of Christians and Jews, and the Centre for Agricultural Medicine
Founding Chairs. He also was a Member of the Canadian Delegation
to Poland on Health Care. Currently, he serves as President
of the Canadian Club of Saskatoon, President of the Sheptytsky
Society of Saskatchewan, Co-Chair Ukrainian Prairie Heritage
Centre, University of Saskatchewan, and Honourary Chair, Saskatoon
Community Service Village. Walter has also found time to write
five publications including Future Directions for Health Care
in Saskatchewan (co-author), 1990, Tomorrow's Schools for
Tomorrow's Children, 1991 and Vision for Canada (co-author),
Walter Podiluk's contributions to his province and country
have been recognized by many awards including one from Pope
Paul VI (1976), Distinguished Service Award, Canadian Association
of School Administrators (1981), Community Leadership Century
Saskatoon Award (1982), Honourary Doctor of Laws Degree, University
of Saskatchewan (1987), The Gold Honour Award - Association
of Canadian Clubs (1999) and Canada's highest honour, Member
of the Order of Canada (1996).
Walter and his wife Sonia have a family of six children with
Walter Podiluk has stated that he believes "... many
of our societal values, priorities and visions have been shaped
by the 'Ukrainian Presence.'" His list of accomplishments
and achievements attest to the element of truth to his belief
in his Nation Building efforts.
His Excellency Bishop Andrew
December 12, 1910 (Velyki Mosty, Ukraine) - October 23,
1982 (Toronto, ON)
The first bishop for the Ukrainian Catholics in Saskatchewan
came to Canada from Ukraine in 1913 with his parents Anastasia
(Lukach) and Jacob Roborecki. After studies in Winnipeg and
Toronto he was ordained a Ukrainian Catholic priest in 1934,
in Winnipeg and commenced pastoral work in Dauphin, Roblin
and district. He was pastor of St Josaphat parish in Toronto
for 14 years.
On May 27, 1948 he was consecrated as bishop in Toronto by
Archbishop Basil Ladyka who, as Bishop had ordained him as
a priest July 18, 1934. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop
Ladyka of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Winnipeg, he then
became Exarch of the Saskatoon Exarchate in 1951 following
an historic division of the Ukrainian Catholic diocese of
central Canada into two separate dioceses of Winnipeg and
Saskatoon. A further historic step in 1956 raised the Winnipeg
exarchate to a metropolitan see and created eparchies of the
other Ukrainian Catholic exarchates. It was then that Andrew
Roborecki became officially Bishop of Saskatoon and the first
of that rank in Saskatchewan.
While it was given to him to play a role in this historic
evolvement of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada it was
his talent of dynamic administration and his vision for a
vibrant church that marked him as a leader and history maker
in his own right. Three deanships in Saskatoon, Regina and
Canora united 28 pastoral districts. Church-specific groups
supported church life through choirs, altar boys, Sodality
of Mary and such. The formation of organizations for the women,
men and youth proceeded in the new eparchy. In 1951 the first
convention was held coordinating these organizations into
the Ukrainian Catholic Central Council. Other organizations
were developed for specific purposes such as the "Obnova"
university students club, the Association of Ukrainian Catholic
Teachers which played an important role in the work of the
Saskatchewan Teachers of Education, the Metropolitan Sheptytsky
Society and the Senior Citizen's Club, amongst others.
Even as a novice priest Andrew Roborecki revealed a great
interest in constructing or renewing edifices, initiating
such activity with six church buildings yet in his first pastoral
posting. New parishes were established, churches constructed,
as well as rectories, parish halls and a bishop's residence,
and parks developed. A new Sheptytsky Institute appeared adjacent
to the university campus and existing institutions were modernized.
St. Joseph's Home for the Elderly anticipated a government
focus on care of seniors. Levels for language and catechism
classes appeared in parishes and Separate Schools in Yorkton
and Saskatoon. Publications recorded this progress. By 1955
a Museum of Ukrainian Culture was being organized and an archive
collection commenced in 1976. Bishop Andrew ensured spiritual
care by attracting the Redemptorist Fathers and Sister Servants
of Mary Immaculate and Brothers of Christian Schools to work
in the eparchy. The Sisters of St. Joseph were invited from
Poland to minister to the sick and elderly. Priests were ordained
and a Foundation established to ensure the training of future
At his death on October 23, 1982, Bishop Andrew as a Nation
Builder had left a solid foundation and a brilliant impression
of the church and its people, placed in his care and trust.
Born near Wood Mountain, SK
One of the most acclaimed Canadian poets of the second half
of the 20th century, Andrew Suknaski was born on a small farm
near Wood Mountain. He was educated at the Kootenay School
of Art, the University of Victoria, Montreal Museum of Fine
Arts School of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University.
He has worked at a variety of jobs from farmhand to night
watchman to managing a portable one-man publishing venture
that specialized in limited edition mail-outs.
Suknaski's narrative style was the dominant influence on
the Canadian Prairie poetry in the 1970s and 1980s. His published
works include The Ghosts Call you Poor (1978), East
of Myloona (1979), In the Name of Narid (1981),
The Land They Gave Away (1982) Silk Trail (1985).
His works are included in the anthologies Canadian Literature
in the 70s and The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in
In 1979, Suknaski won the Canadian Authors Association Poetry
Award for The Ghosts You Call Poor. He has been the
subject of a great amount of critical attention, including
articles by Jars Balan, "Voices from the Canadian Steppes:
Ukrainian Elements in Andrew Suknaski's Poetry." Studia
Ucrainica (1988), Dawn Morgan's, "Andrew Suknaski's
'Wood mountain time' and the chronotope of multiculturalism."
Mosaic (1996) and Tatiana Nazarenko's "Ukrainian-Canadian
visual poetry: traditions and innovations." Canadian
Ethnic Studies (1996).
In 1978, the National Film Board of Canada made a documentary
film on Andrew Suknaski entitled Wood Mountain Poems.
In it, Suknaski talks about his part of the world, about its
multicultural background, its Indian heritage, and the customs
and stories of its different ethnic groups. In June of 2000,
the BRAVO! channel aired a 30-minute interview with Suknaski.
Suknaski has stated in an interview with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
that, "My central concern is documenting the West, where
people come from, who they are in terms of myth and spiritual
belief." In his poetry, Suknaski is caught up in the
past, in the loneliness of the vast plains, and in making
that experience live on to become a part of the present as
By bringing his interpretation of the Ukrainian Canadian
experience to a larger public through the ancient Ukrainian
medium of poetry, Andrew Suknaski has shown himself to be
a true Nation Builder.
March 27, 1910 (Krydor, SK) - January 7, 1997 (Saskatoon,
Peter Justin Worobetz found himself in place to affect the
pattern of Ukrainian language development in Saskatchewan
and the recognition of the role of the Ukrainian element,
in the development of the province. The first of three children
born to Justin and Maria (Borycki) Worobetz of Krydor, SK,
Peter progressed through the educational system of the day
graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1939 with
a B.A. and a B.Ed. in 1941. Teacher certification was obtained
in 1930 from the Saskatoon Normal School.
Peter Worobetz's career started as a teacher/principal from
1930 to 1940 in rural Saskatchewan and lead to an appointment
with the Administrative Branch of the Department of Education
in the capacity of Superintendent of Schools primarily in
the Rosthern area.
Peter's war service was with the Canadian Army from 1942-1945
serving in Canada, Britain and Europe and retiring with the
rank of Captain. His war service was recognized with four
medals. Peter married Nell Kuzyk of Innisfree, AB. There are
three children and six grandchildren.
Peter was recognized early for his leadership abilities being
elected president when yet in Normal School. He was on the
scene when professional teaching organizations were being
developed, serving on the first Council of the Teachers' Federation
and STF Councillor for his inspectorates. He assumed many
professional responsibilities as a civil servant, serving
a term as president of the Saskatchewan School Superintendents'
It was through the Ukrainian Curriculum Committee which served
the Minister of Education in an advisory capacity from 1954-1968
that he would be able to make a great contribution to language
development. An original member of this Committee it was during
his tenure as Chairman that the Saskatchewan Government Ukrainian
Correspondence Courses were developed from 1963-1965. In 1968
he developed a program for Division Three Ukrainian in concert
with Brother Methodius the first Committee Chairman. Peter
Worobetz was very proud of his Ukrainian culture and language
and endeavoured to provide a well-established program for
students to learn this language as their Canadian citizenship
entitlement. In 1980 Worobetz was awarded the Shevchenko Medal
for his success in this area.
Peter Worobetz also had a highly active community life being
called upon to chair prestigious meetings and national conventions.
He was national president of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth
and the Ukrainian Catholic Council, held executive posts with
all levels of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, was a member
of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood and the Saskatoon Ukrainian
and Professional Businessmen's Club and the New Community
Credit Union Board.
Peter was selected to make a presentation to the first National
Conference of Canadian Slavs in Banff, Alberta June 1965.
In 1992 on the occasion of the 100th year of Ukrainian settlement
of Canada Peter Worobetz was one of the 100 Ukrainian Canadians
to receive the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) Centennial
Award for their community work.
Peter Worobetz strongly believed that knowledge of one's
roots contributed to the development of a strong country and
that language and culture studies were the right of every
individual. He dedicated his Nation Building to that end for
the Ukrainian community.