Interview with Helen Fedorkiw (née Leskiv) 1.2
Interview with Helen Fedorkiw (née Leskiv) 1.2
1918-1934: Spedden (AB); 1934-1939: Edmonton (AB); 1939-1955: Lac la Biche area (AB); Glendon (AB); Vilna (AB); post 1955: Edmonton (AB)
Oral History Item Type Metadata
OHMS Object Text
5.4 Interview with Helen Fedorkiw (née Leskiv) 1.2 2004-091-1786 29:41 U1 Local Cultures Religion Easter singing church choirs Fedorkiw, Helen Lesiv, Mariya mp3 2004-091-1786.mp3 0 http://126.96.36.199:8080/lcp/2004/2004-091-1786.mp3 Other audio English 0 Father's work He had an office in Vilna, he worked as a secretary treasurer, so he had to do a lot of documentation. Someday the rest of the family visited him and he asked kids to seal the envelopes. People came to him with different problems. He started approximately in the 1930s, before WWII. Then the way of administration has been changed, so he left the job and went to the farm. He bought a general store in Spedden, and mother and he operated it for a long time. In 1950 Helen's mother died, and dad bought a hotel in Gibbons together with his brother. And he died 2 years after the mother's death. 205 Mother's work and the house When she came to Canada, she work in a restaurant in Edmonton, then married and moved to a farm. She worked mostly in the house and the garden, not in the field. The family's house was made of logs and had 2 rooms: a bedroom, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen. Later on one big room and 2 bedrooms were added. In the log house, the walls were painted with the lime (vapno), but the new part was painted with the paint. The new part was built in 1938-39, or so. Helen's grandfather made all the furniture, it was very good and for now it must be antique. [Description of the furniture is different rooms]. Helen's mother was especially proud to have a bureau with a big round mirror in the bedroom. The furniture for the new house was mostly bought and for the old house was made by grandfather. Decorations? - Calendars! They came with beautiful pictures, and some had a little envelope on the bottom to put small things like a pencil there. Women and girls used to make flowers from a coloured paper of different design and put them on the walls. But the family did not have icons in the house to decorate them. Another crafts - Helen's mother crocheted a large border to the purchased big table cloth, Helen still has it and put it on the table for holidays. 687 Religion Helen's family was always religious but grandma did not believe in priests, she had some bad experiences in the old country. But when Helen grew up, there were no priests or churches around, except for the " ; Indian reserve" ; , believe it or not. Helen's older sister was baptized by a priest on this reserve, and Helen was not baptized until she was 21 for some reason. She had to get baptized to get married. Then the people built a small building, they called it Chytal'nya, and Helen's grandad was a diak in this chytal'nya and conducted services there. But before that every Sunday Helen's grandad would sit and read out loud from the Bible and other very old Orthodox books he brought from the old country, and the family would be sitting around him and listening. But in the old country they were Greek Catholics. When they came here (and the Catholic church was built first), Helen's grandma went to the service and the priest did not mention " ; all Orthodox Christians" ; (as they were always mentioned in the old country). So, grandma was so offended and stopped attending the church and recommenced only when an Orthodox church was built, Helen was a teenager at that time. The Catholic church was built in 1926-7, and the Orthodox one followed maybe 3-4 years later. So, in the 1930s there were two churches in the community. But before the 1926, they had only chytal'nya and attended it on Sundays. When church was built, the priest came but he did services for the entire Smoky Lake area, so he came to their church once or twice a month. When Helen went to study in Edmonton, she went to church every Sunday. 1073 Easter Helen's family celebrated Easter in the Ukrainian way. All things were prepared long in advance on the farm, including home-made sausages - oh, this was delicious, nothing never tastes like that now. Nobody was allowed to eat it on Saturday before blessing the Paska! But there were all these smells around and the kids were running around and asking for a bit but mother would not allow... the family got the basket ready and took it to church. They had a lot of Easter foods, like ham and kovbasa and holubtsi, there were always holubtsi. And hard-boiled eggs, including Easter eggs but nobody in my family made Easter eggs, they were brought by the neighbours. 1201 Birthdays and other holidays The family did not celebrate birthdays. Now people make such a big deal of it, Helen says, but they did not. They did not celebrate Canada day on the farm either but celebrated Thanksgiving when children were teenagers. Helen can't recall any special meal for it because " ; They were too Ukrainian" ; ... Halloween Helen recalls how the boys would upset the outside toilet. New Years - when Helen was a teenager, a New Year celebration was on January 14th, it was a holiday, neighbours would come and declared some verses... Parish feast day - yes, there was a service and the family had a dinner. Going to the cemetery - yes, on Provody. Helen's family also celebrated St. Peter and St.John, something was in a church, but if not - just did not work on this day. Jordan - yes, the family celebrated, blessed the water in church if priest would come this day. People brought the blessed water home and grandad sprinkled everywhere, including the barn. Also he cut crosses from the paper and put them on the top of the doors. 1635 Singing Helen's grandmother sang songs and tried to teach kids all the time. Now Helen belongs to the church senior choir and knows all the songs because she learned them from her grandmother. Grandma sang all the time, without any occasion. Helen prefers ordinary songs more. But when she sings now, she start coughing. Helen's grandma song in Ukrainians, for example " ; Oy u poli 3 krynychen'ky" ; , [2 more titles] 1918-1934: Spedden (AB) ; 1934-1939: Edmonton (AB) ; 1939-1955: Lac la Biche area (AB) ; Glendon (AB) ; Vilna (AB) ; post 1955: Edmonton (AB) No transcript. audio 0 https://localcultures.ukrfolk.ca/ohms/render.php?cachefile=
“Interview with Helen Fedorkiw (née Leskiv) 1.2,” Local Cultures, accessed December 3, 2022, https://localcultures.ukrfolk.ca/items/show/574.