Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 1.9

Dublin Core


Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 1.9


Ukrainian Orthodox Church
ethnic groups







Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kozakov, Serhiy


Margel, Joan

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 1.9 2004-091-0729 30:01 U2 Local Cultures schools illiteracy accents religion Ukrainian Orthodox Church ethnic groups marriage Margel, Joan Kozakov, Serhiy mp3 2004-091-0729.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 School Concerts and Community Churches 1. Did you participate in the school Christmas concerts? What did you do? When did you rehearse? What were the props made of? 2. Tell me about churches in the community. 3. Observations about the church and marriages. They talk about Joan's participation in school Christmas concerts. She says that because she was a good singer, she was often a lead in the concerts and plays. They used crepe paper and wire costumes for the performances. She says that the school plays were not religious, but her church also had plays which were religious. She also mentions that Christmas was not Christ-centred when she was growing up, it was the holy night. Joan talks about how she didn't learn about the stories of Christianity until school, and didn't go to church because the nearest churches with a priest were 7 miles away. She says her world only consisted of 5 square miles. She tells a story about how she was supposed to be baptized as a child, and tells another story about her parents getting stuck away from home after going to a wedding. The creek and river caused a lot of problems when it rained, and Joan tells a number of stories involving weddings and the river. People would go into Spirit River to the United Church to get married, or the church minister would come out to where they were. Then Joan talks about how people would get married in her community. 53.550, -113.469 12 Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 55.783, -118.836 12 Locality: Spirit River, Alberta, Canada Joan Margel for the Alberta Women's Memory Project Joan Margel fonds 597 Languages, Ukrainian Accents, Cultural Groups, and Illiteracy 1. Did you speak English when you started school? 2. Was there a punishment for speaking a language other than English at school? 3. Observations on the Ukrainian accent of people from Rycroft area? 4. What cultural groups were there in your community? 5. Comments about the level of illiteracy among Ukrainians. When Joan started school, she already spoke English, as did most of the other children. She says that they weren't threatened, but they all wanted to learn it. Her father still had a Ukrainian accent, as did people from some of the Ukrainian communities. They talk about being able to tell when someone speaks Ukrainian as a first or second language. Joan talks specifically about Bill Uhryn and his accent. They then talk about how Ukrainian and Hungarian women talk. She talks about traveling in '93 and '95 and mentions that it reminded her of her Babka. Joan says that the ethnic background of her community was mainly Ukrainian and Lithuanian around Yellow Creek. There were also some Germans. The English were in Blueberry Mountain. She mentions that many of the people that came over from Ukraine were illiterate and couldn't sign their names. Joan says that she would sign their names on cheques. She also notes that both the men and women were illiterate. Then she talks about the British war veterans and bachelors that lived in the other direction, along with Indigenous people. She talks about an Indigenous hunter for the Hudson Bay company, who was respected by the Ukrainians. 55.933, -119.153 12 Locality: Blueberry Mountain, Alberta, Canada 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 1200 Cultural Groups and Interethnic Marriages in the Community 1. What were your relationships with people of other cultural groups in the community? 2. Comments about interethnic marriages and British bachelors in the community. Joan talks about the discrimination against Ukrainians by Anglo-Saxons when she was teaching in '52. She says that the Brits did not understand farming like the Ukrainians. She talks about why the British moved out to Canadian farming land and describes their circumstances. Joan says that most of the British men did not marry, but some married Indigenous women, and one of them married her aunt in Rycroft. He was an alcoholic, but stopped drinking when he got married. Joan talks about her aunt's marriage, and the Ukrainian view on interethnic marriage. She says that her uncle Jack was a dream man, and was shot in his chest and saved by his bible, but it wrecked his lung. Joan continues to talk about Jack, and says that he died of pneumonia after 11 years of marriage. Joan says that there were British bachelors who married Ukrainian and Indigenous women, and says that the Indigenous women were excellent mothers. They continue to talk about interethnic marriage, and Joan talks about the expectations surrounding who people married. She says that it was important for Bukovinians to be with Bukovinians, for men to be good providers, and for women to be good girls. She says that Babas knew genealogy, and did not want cousins to marry or have children together. Joan mentions that she does know some cousins who married and did not have children. She also talks about dating an Indigenous boy, and her mother's emotional response to this. 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 55.933, -119.153 12 Locality: Blueberry Mountain, Alberta, Canada No transcript. audio 0



“Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 1.9,” Local Cultures, accessed September 23, 2023,