Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.1

Dublin Core


Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.1









Oral History Item Type Metadata


Lesiv, Mariya


Hawirko, Paul

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.1 2004-091-1706 28:47 U2 Local Cultures education occupations birthplaces immigration farming Hawirko, Paul Lesiv, Mariya mp3 2004-091-1706.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 Places lived, parents' immigration Paul Henry Hawirko was born on September 30, 1929 in Lavoy, Alberta. He grew up in a district called Reno which is 35 miles south of Peace River, Alberta. Paul's father's family came to Canada in August, 1903. His mother's family came to Canada in 1897. His father's family arrived in Edmonton via train from Halifax before moving onto the Lavoy area. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) used to rent out farmland and the immigrants would work the land and pay CPR a percentage of their earnings. Paul's father purchased his own land the first year he arrived: it was a rocky area and not great for farming, but they managed. Paul's mother's family settled in the Limestone area of Alberta. They weren't there very long as the land wasn't suitable for farming. They moved to the Plain Lake area. Paul has lived in Lavoy, Reno, and Edmonton. 53.55014, -113.46871 12 Interview location: Edmonton, Alberta 323 Schooling, job with Edmonton Journal Paul completed his grade 12 education and took 9 months of a commercial course in order to learn typing, accounting, office procedures, and so forth. John Percy Page (future Lt. Governor of Alberta) was principal at the time, and gave Paul a job due to Paul's good grades. A friend of Page owned the Edmonton Journal and needed someone to work in the circulation department. Paul accepted the job and worked for the Edmonton Journal. Paul has taken extra extension courses at university, but has not taken any university programs. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 432 Father's family, mother's family, immigration to Canada Paul grew up with his parents. He was a teenager when he lived with them in Edmonton. Paul was 21 when his mother passed away at the age of 51. Paul then lived with his father for a number of years after that. His father became an excellent cook out of necessity and a number of male boarders with them also loved the cooking. Paul had (and has) 4 sisters, the oldest of which is 85, and the youngest is 77. Paul's father always considered himself an Austrian even though it was Ukraine. When he grew up in the late 1890s, the area he came from was under the Austrian Empire. Paul has a number of family members on that side that served in the Austrian army before they came to Canada. Thus, Paul's father always considered himself Austrian. Specifically, Paul's father was from the Galician region. Paul's mother was Ukrainian, though she was born in Strathcona, near Edmonton. Paul's maternal grandparents were married in 1895 and then came to Canada in 1897 and they had Paul's mother in 1899. Paul's paternal grandfather married a widow and they had 1 daughter together. He then married another widow with whom he had another daughter. She died, and then he married Paul's grandmother, with whom he had 3 children in the old country, and then 5 more in Canada. Canada was advertising to bring a lot of immigrants to help settle the west and, coming from a country where they couldn't own their own property, this meant a great deal. It was regarded as the land of milk and honey. It was through these advertising efforts that Paul's family came to Canada. Paul's grandfather was a tailor that did leather craft. When the family arrived, he could not continue his trade, so he farmed. It was through a lot of word of mouth that people learned about Canada being a place of freedom, land, owning property, and doing as you pleased, but it wasn't the land of milk and honey as life was still tough. People left Ukraine because they felt there was no future for them there. People worked for a landlord, but they never owned the land they worked on. When they learned they could become their own bosses, they decided to leave. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 1072 Homestead, old country, entertaining and singing The homestead program allowed people to claim ownership of a parcel of land so long as they cleared the land and turned it into workable land, capable of planting crops. They had a certain amount of land they had to clear. When the family moved to Reno they received 2 quarters of land under the program. It cost $10 to buy a quarter section of land under the condition that the land be farmed and that the family live on the land. These were the conditions for owning a homestead. $10 was a fair amount of money in those days, but considering where they came from, it was worth it. Paul didn't know his grandparents. On father's side, both grandparents died before Paul was born. On his mother's side, his grandfather died when Paul was 6 (they couldn't afford to go to the funeral), and Paul briefly knew his grandmother, though she died when Paul was a teenager. Paul doesn't recall her discussing history from Ukraine. Paul's father told Paul a lot of stories about the old country. One thing that sticks in Paul's mind is the constant wars they had in Europe. Parents wanted to get the family out of there, because of the warring. There wasn't widespread abuse of civilians in those wars, but that changed. This is because lands tended to change hands with relative frequency. Paul's father recalled that there used to be cannon fire over the village and his parents told them to take shelter in the barn. Paul doesn't remember too many stories about living conditions, but he does know that life was very sparse. Paul's father never regretted moving to Canada, though he did miss the old traditions from the old country. He missed the music from the old country. When families got together, they would very often wind up singing. Whenever they were entertaining, after supper, there would be singing. They sang at home. People went as families to visit. Sometimes liquor would help encourage people to sing. Paul sang, but not often in Ukrainian. Paul can't sing anymore, but he still pops into the local Legion to hear people playing music and singing. Paul's family was one of the newer families to settle in the Reno area. Paul's father really helped to develop the Reno area. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta No transcript. audio 0



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