Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.2

Dublin Core


Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.2


food relief







Oral History Item Type Metadata


Lesiv, Mariya


Hawirko, Paul

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Paul Hawirko 1.2 2004-091-1707 27:17 U2 Local Cultures occupations voting foodways singing food relief Hawirko, Paul Lesiv, Mariya mp3 2004-091-1707.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 Paul's father, district, dances, singing Paul's school was established in 1930. As there was no school in Paul's community at the time, his father recruited a teacher for a school. His father also took on the role of organizing the community in the construction of roads as there were no roads in the community at the time. The district engineer for the provincial government was in Peace River and Paul's father worked with him to develop the roads. During the &quot ; Hungry 30s&quot ; , when families were really suffering, the government established a relief fund where the government would donate to people with the expectation that the people would pay the government back. Parents could not meet all the clothing or food needs for their children, which is why the government stepped in. For the families, the father would be expected to work off the debt. Paul's father was overseer of the relief program in his district. He kept track of all the hours each head of the family spent on the various projects: cutting brush for roads, ploughing, and digging ditches for the roads. Paul's father was the one to spearhead the development in the area in which they lived. There were other Eastern European immigrants that settled in Paul's area. Very few could speak English, so Paul's father took it upon himself to help those people. Paul's father came to Canada when he was 13 and could not speak a word of English. By the time he was 21, he joined the Northwest Mounted Police before buying his way out of the police force so he could marry Paul's mother. He hired a tutor to teach him English as he was determined to learn and do something with his life. Paul's father had many jobs over the course of his life: a jack-of-all-trades. People made their own entertainment in those days as there weren't movies or other things. Once the school was completed, it was used for dances on the weekends. They had some people from nearby communities come by to play music at these dances. Everyone in the family would get together and go to these dances. They also had box socials. Paul explains the concept and process of a box social. Paul remembers his father sitting with some people that liked to sing for lunch and soon after there were 15 to 20 people all singing Ukrainian songs at the dance. The majority of people in the area were Ukrainian. Originally, the songs were all in Ukrainian, but later the Ukrainian songs were also sung in English. There was a musical group called Mickey and Bunny out of Winnipeg that would sing the Ukrainian songs in English. The tune was the same, but the words were anglicized. 53.55014, -113.46871 12 Interview location: Edmonton, Alberta 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 642 Voting, earning money Paul's parents were happy in Canada. His father believed strongly in the democratic system and never missed voting in all his years ; he felt voting was an important part of being Canadian. He was quite bothered by people not voting because he had the experience of coming from a non-democratic country. Paul's family lived comfortably during the 30s, relative to a lot of other families in their district. The farm was mixed (various crops, animals, etc.) and the family managed to sell produce, grains, and eggs. In the winter, they would trap animals and sell the furs. Paul's father would organize tie camps: neighbours would be brought together with their horses and sleighs and they would cut down trees for railroad ties, which would be sold to the railway. Kids would get 1 and a half cents for peeling the bark off of a tie. Paul remembers he and his friend would stay after school at one of the railroad sidings, just peeling the ties. Paul also earned money with a trap line: he would bait a trap and harvest the animal's skin which would be sold. Weasel pelts were about 25 cents and rabbit pelts were about 10 cents. Paul also sold juice mix for a company. Through all these jobs, Paul managed to save up enough money to purchase a bicycle at 12 years of age. Paul still has the receipt and still has the bicycle. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta 1069 Foods grown and purchased, farming Paul's family always kept the seeds from the previous year to re-seed the following year. Under the house, Paul's family had a dugout made of logs and dirt. The only things that were purchased were sugar, salt, flour (occasionally as they could produce their own). They could produce their own meat, eggs, milk, vegetables, and other things because of their mixed farm. Paul's mother always had a pot of soup on the stove and they would have soup at least twice a day. They would kill wild deer, moose, pheasants, partridges, and that sort of thing for additional food. The food wasn't wasted: the animals were killed due to necessity, not for sport. Paul says that wheat durum wheat grew best, though that was what was in demand. There was a grain elevator in Reno where the agent would purchase the grain from the farmer. There was usually only one farmer that had a threshing machine. So farmers would arrange their harvest so that the threshers would come and harvest the grain all at the same time. The farmers would help each other with the harvest so they could use the thresher. Once the harvest was finished, someone would bring out a keg of beer and they would drink beer until it was time to move onto the next field. People seldom grew anything besides wheat. Most of the oats that were grown went towards animal feed. Paul's father was away after 1941 to help with a pipeline project. Many people went out in the winter to help with this project in the North West Territories. The US Army helped with the project as it was during the war: oil was needed for the war effort. 56.00011, -117.00262 12 Locality: Reno, Alberta No transcript. audio 0



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