Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.2

Dublin Core


Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.2









Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kozakov, Serhiy


Margel, Joan

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.2 2004-091-0731 28:59 U2 Local Cultures diseases religion baptism marriage weddings death funerals Margel, Joan Kozakov, Serhiy mp3 2004-091-0731.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 Religion, Baptism, and Funerals 1. Was your family religious? 2. Observations about the importance of baptism. 3. Do you remember funerals in your family/in your community? 4. Do you recall any funeral without a priest? 5. Comments about how graves would be dug in winter time. They talk about church and religion. Joan says that her family was not religious &quot ; in a church sense,&quot ; but that her mother became more religious later on in life. She says that Blueberry Creek (Blueberry Mountain) did have a church, but there were few priests in the area. Baptism was important to ensure that family members all went to heaven, but it was a problem because of the lack of priests. Joan talks about funerals and death in the community, and says she doesn't remember any priests or ministers being there. She talks about funerals and cemetery practices. Men dug the graves, and before that vigils with the deceased are held at home. She says that people always brought food to the vigils. Joan talks about her mother's death in 1982. She explains how vigils work, and then talks about what people did at the cemetery. They said a Ukrainian prayer or the Lord's Prayer. She talks about her father's funeral, and says that John Didow made his coffin with white satin inside. Her father was buried during a cold snap, and Joan describes how they managed to dig through the frozen ground using fire and pickaxes to bury him. She tells a story about climbing into her father's coffin as a child. 53.550, -113.469 12 Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 55.933, -119.153 12 Locality: Blueberry Mountain, Alberta, Canada Joan Margel for the Alberta Women's Memory Project Joan Margel fonds 407 Weddings and Wedding Preparation 1. At which church would the Ukrainian in your community get married? Comments about United Church. 2. Describe weddings in your family/community. 3. What were preparations for the wedding? Where was cooking done? 4. Was there a wedding bread? Wedding cake? 5. Who were invited to the wedding? 6. Where was a wedding dress bought? Joan says that the Catholic Church wouldn't marry Ukrainians unless they converted, which upset them. Her mother and stepfather, Jack Sandul, were married in a manse by the Anglican Church minister in Spirit River. Joan says that the United Church was good to them, and that the church served various ethnic communities. She remembers going to a lot of weddings, and says that her parents were often the matko (mother) and batko (father). They talk about wedding preparations. Joan says that weddings were planned in the fall when there was a lot of food, and that they were a lot of work but didn't cost a lot of money. Her mother was often the head cook, and she says her cousin in Kulivtsi is their head cook as well. Her aunt was also a head cook for weddings in and around Rycroft. She says that they didn't always make pedaheh (pierogis) because they were a nuisance, but they made holubtsi (cabbage rolls). The day before a wedding the women got together and made holubtsi. Joan says that she didn't know why her mother always went until she went to one herself and heard the jokes the women made. She talks about Mrs. Warnick, and the jokes that she made. She says that houses were small, and weddings only had about 50-75 guests, which was the whole community. They would borrow granaries to serve as the cookhouse and the dance hall. She talks about everyone's involvement during wedding preparations, and says that everyone also brought cakes. The guests at Ukrainian weddings were usually also Ukrainian. She talks about interviewing an English woman who had lived nearby and loved attending Ukrainian weddings. Joan says that the wedding gowns were usually bought from catalogues. 55.783, -118.836 12 Locality: Spirit River, Alberta, Canada 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 914 Death, Disease, and Funerals 1. Observations about pneumonia, cancer, and other diseases among Ukrainians in the community. 2. Observations about one funeral where the deceased young single woman was dressed in a wedding dress. 3. Comments about the resentment of United Church to have an open coffin at Ukrainian funeral sermons. 4. Observations about the slashing of clothes of the deceased before the burial so that grave sites would not be disturbed by grave thieves. Joan mentions her Aunt Lucille who died of rheumatic fever. She says that pneumonia and rheumatic fever were the two biggest killers in the community. She says that there was no cancer in the community, and links it to eating sauerkraut. She also says that her Ukrainian son in law has cancer, but he is the first one linked to the family. Joan does that the family can have heart issues and sometimes diabetes, but never cancer. She returns to the topic of her Aunt Lucille, who died at 16, and says that she was buried in a wedding dress because she wasn't married. She tells the story of the wedding dress, and the reasoning behind burying young women in wedding dresses. The interviewer then shares some of his own funeral stories. Joan talks about the United Church's resentment of funerals with open coffins, which was the Ukrainian way. When her mother passed, her coffin was closed at the funeral, although family could see her beforehand. Joan talks a bit about Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Lebanese funeral practices. She says that in her village in Ukraine, they had to slash the deceased's clothes before burial because of grave robbers. 1368 Wedding Decorations, Music, and Gifts 1. Tell me about the making of wreaths. 2. Were there musicians? What type of instruments were played? 3. Was there a wedding bread? Wedding cake? 4. What kinds of gifts were there? Joan talks about the night before the wedding. She says that is when they prepared the vinoks (wreaths) for the bride, and the corsage and hat for the groom. She says that is what her Babka's ferns were grown for. Joan says that she was often a bridesmaid, and because of that she spent a lot of time making crepe paper flowers. She talks about the orchestra for the wedding, and the joyous environment. She says that people brought iced cakes with sprinkles to the wedding. Joan recounts a story about a wedding she attended for one of the Kozenkos, where one of the uncles came in with a heifer. She says that her mother used to always bring her best chicken. If her family could afford it they would order dishes from the Eaton's catalogue as wedding gifts, but usually they gave something that was their own like a chicken. This was to help the newlyweds start their own farm. She says that later they would give the couple something small and nicely wrapped up in paper. She says they really liked to give and receive towels. When Joan was married in Rycroft in 1956 before moving to Windsor, the only things she had to buy were a knife and a cast iron frying pan because they had received so many wedding gifts. She tells a story about shipping some of her belongings to her mother in law in Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution. They talk about how there were no wedding gift registries when she was younger. 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 42.300, -83.017 12 Locality: Windsor, Ontario, Canada No transcript. audio 0



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