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- b. 1921
Peter Kule (then Petro Kuleba) was born in Stratyn in what was the Poland but is now in the Rohatyn district of Ivano-Frankivsk province of Ukraine. He came to Canada with his mother and two brothers on December 28, 1938 through Halifax. At that time, his father already settled in Two Hills, Alberta. Peter completed elementary and intermediate school in Stratyn, and secondary school in Rohatyn. In January 1939 he started in grade 1 in a school in Two Hills, as he didn't know any English, and six months later he finished the school year in grade eight. In 1940, Peter moved to Edmonton, and was trained as an accountant. The training lasted five years, and while studying, he worked as a bus boy at the Hotel MacDonald.
Peter met Doris Radesh in 1943. Doris was born near Boian, Alberta in a family of Ukrainian immigrants Usten and Mary (nee Lupul) Radesh. She was one of ten children. Doris finished nine grades at the school in Boian, and later became an elementary school teacher after teacher training at the University of Alberta. Doris and Peter were married in 1944. Doris worked in rural schools, and then at the Beverly school in Edmonton until her retirement in 1974. Peter opened his office in Edmonton i 1945. In 1950, a Ukrainian friend John Peach joined him and the firm was renamed Kule and Peach. Peach retired in 1977, and Peter was joined by his cousin's son Ken Pasnak. In 1950, Peter started investing in real estate, specifically in hotel business; the investments were successful.
The Kules attended St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and were active in various community organizations: Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada (Peter), Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (Doris), Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Club, and many others. Both Peter and Doris received numerous awards for their work, for example, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Peter a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1993, and he conferred upon Doris the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.
Peter and Doris supported numerous Ukrainian heritage and religious organizations: Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Ukrainian Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre at Grant MacEwan, Kule Institute of Advanced Studies, and many other.
Doris passed away in Edmonton on March 15, 2020.
Nick was born in the village of Shepenets in Bukovyna, on February 5, 1907 where he learned to play the dulcimer (cymbaly) at the age of 8. His uncle, a professional bandmaster, taught Nick the fundamentals of the instrument and he joined his uncle playing weddings and parties around the countryside. By the age of 12 years Nick Mischi was considered a professional by many musicians in Ukraine. In 1928 Nick left his homeland and immigrated to Canada. Having left his dulcimer with his uncle, Nick purchased another in Winnipeg in 1930. Nick Mischi played with a variety of orchestras in and around Winnipeg before moving west to Edmonton in the 1930's. His early career was limited because he moved across western Canada. Each place he lived, Nick picked up his dulcimer and joined a local band. Over the 77 years of his playing career, 63 he contributed in Edmonton and Central Alberta. Some of the musicians Nick played with in and around Edmonton are: Bill Boychuk (Easy Aces), Joe Trachyk (The Marango's), Peter Kassian (Sons of the Ukrainian Pioneers), Ron Lakustra's Orchestra.
As early as the 1930's Nick played on a variety of radio stations. In the 1950's Nick Mischi entertained radio audiences in the Edmonton area on radio shows, which were started by Henry Smichure on C.F.R.N. and C.H.F.A. radios. These programs were live at sponsors premises as well as live shows at the radio studios. When C.F.C.W. radio started their "Ukrainian Hour" program some 33 years ago, Nick was asked to preform many times.
Judging dulcimer competitions for many years, in places like Lakeview Pavilion, Red Barn, Vegreville Pysanka Festival and Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, in which he competed as well, Nick won many first place trophies and earned a reputation as one of Alberta's finest dulcimer (cymbaly) players.
Throughout the years during his playing career Nick cut many records with different orchestra's. His favourite was "Dulcimer in Concert" which was recorded with a nine piece Chamber Orchestra from the University of Alberta. Some of these records were sold across Canada.
Nick Mischi retired from playing with orchestras in 1986 but was still active teaching young people, some from as far away as Calgary, Alberta, to play the dulcimer and to carry on the tradition of ethnic Ukrainian music in Western Canada.
On August 30, 1992 Nick Mischi was one of many competitors at the Ukrainian Music festival held at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. First place performance in the master category by the 85 year young Nick Mischi on his dulcimer (cymbaly), an overwhelmed audience of over 400 people gave Nick a standing ovation. The Festival was hosted by Johnny Bohonos of C.F.C.W.'s radio "Ukrainian Hour".
In 1993 Nick Mischi appeared as one of the guest artists in two concerts at the Annual Vegreville Pysanka Festival 1993, and was applauded loudly by the audience. The same year Nick also took part at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village during Ukrainian Day, entertaining audiences.
Nick Mischi was a talented dulcimer musician. He played by ear, keeping alive the unwritten music for dulcimer. Nick passed away in 2006.
"Stephania Paush, born in the village of Toporiwtsi, Bukovyna, came to Canada in 1913 with her parents, Simeon and Claudia Popowich and younger brother Joseph. The family settles on a farm near Smoky Lake, where two more children were born- Emily and Victor.
From their earliest years, the Popowich children were immersed in Ukrainian culture, especially literature. Though money was scarce, somehow there was always enough for books, and the Popowich home became the setting for literary readings and discussions.
With the other children in the area, Stephania attended the Mission School, Kolokreeka, until Grade 8, and then continued on to Grade 11 in Smoky Lake. A keen student, she worked for her room and board in Edmonton for a year in order to complete Grade 12 at Alberta College. Returning to Smoky Lake, Stephania worked in the Post Office until 1930, when she married Peter Paush, a gifted teacher- conductor who had emigrated from Ukraine two years earlier.
Peter Anthony Paush, the eldest of eight children of Anton and Evdokia Paush, spent his childhood and completed his public schooling in the village of Oblaznytsia, Halychyna. Possessing a fine tenor voice, he was sent to Lviv for four years to study conducting and diakivstvo (the art of lay-singing in the Orthodox liturgy). After his return to Oblaznytsia in 1922, he conducted choirs, directed plays, and served as official diak (lay-singer or cantor) in the church. But those were years of political unrest and, threatened by imprisonment for his association with the Ukrainian underground movement against Polish rule, Peter fled the country.
He arrived in Canada in April, 1028, and worked as a farmhand near Holden, Alberta for a year. In 1929 he was hired by the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Smoky Lake as "diak", choir leader, and Ukrainian School teacher. In addition, Peter Paush organized a theatrical group, which staged dramas, comedies, and even the operetta, Natalka Poltavka. The drama group and the choir performed in the neighbouring communities of Radway, Redwater, Egremont, Kahwin, and Bellis, where people were also hungry for cultural enrichment in their own language. The children of the Ukrainian School prepared programs throughout the year, especially for Christmas and Mother's Day.
After their marriage in 1930, Peter and Stephania Paush worked together towards promoting the development of Ukrainian religious and cultural activities in Smoky Lake. Stephania was a founding member of the Olha Kobylanska Branch of the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, and the two of them helped to organize active local branches of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada and the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Organization (SUMK).
Late in 1934 Peter was approached by the executive of the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish of St. John in Edmonton to take over the same duties he was performing in Smoky Lake, an offer he readily accepted. This was in the middle of the Depression, and conditions were such that Stephania and their two small children, Lydia and Boris, could not join Peter until a year later. Together again, the young couple turned their energies and talents to benefit the Ukrainian community in Edmonton, continuing in the style of commitment they had developed in Smoky Lake.
In addition to his many duties at St. John's, Peter Paush established Edmonton's first Ukrainian radio programs, over station CFRN. From 1938 to 1941, 117 half-hour programs were presented for the benefit of the M. Hrushewsky Institute. With few recordings available, Peter arranged all of the music for the choir and orchestra, conducted, and sang in each of these live broadcasts. In 1945, recognizing the need for a continuing choir to perform the rich legacy of Ukrainian choral works, he organized the M. Lysenko Male Chorus. The group was immensely popular, performed frequently, won festival awards and then disbanded in 1948, when the creation of other choirs assured the continuation of good choral singing.
Over the years, Peter Paush directed over twenty Ukrainian stage productions in Edmonton: comedies, dramas, the children's opera, Koza Dereza, and in 1973, the opera Zaporozhets za Dunaiem.
Throughout the winter of 1964, Peter travelled to Vegreville and Smoky Lake to conduct classes in "diakivstvo" to the young Orthodox theology students. Congregations across Canada continue to benefit from Peter Paush's inspiring teaching.
Not only was ever Paush a fine musician, he was an artist in wood as well. He supported his family as a carpenter/contractor, but his greatest satisfaction in that area came from meticulously constructing wooden church items, especially "iconostasy" (alter screens). With his good friend, artist Wadym Dobrolige, Peter devoted the 70th year of his life to creating his masterpiece- the magnificent iconostas that graces St. John's Cathedral in Edmonton.
During all these years, Stephania Paush gave the same dedicated service to their church, and to the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada. When the National Executive of the UWAC moved its headquarters to Edmonton in 1954, Stephania was elected National Corresponding Secretary, a position she held until 1961, when she was elected National President. During that two year term (she held the office again from 1973-1975) she became the first National President to visit every one of the 120 UWAC branches in Canada. The members of even the smallest, most isolated branches were thus encouraged and assured of the interest of the National Executive and other members across Canada. At the time of her death in 1978, Stephania was once again superbly carrying out the duties of National Corresponding Secretary.
A gifted writer, Stephania Paush contributed many articles to Prominence, the Ukrainian women's monthly magazine which she helped to establish in 1960. She wrote hundreds of speeches, published a fine collection of short stories she had written about pioneer life in Canada, based on her years in Smoky Lake, and left among her papers the unfinished manuscript of a novel, Maria.
Stephania Paush was a gentle, modest, gracious woman, with a rare gift for bringing out the best qualities in others. Her life was selflessly devoted to her church and her beloved Women's Association, for which she worked tirelessly all her adult years- writing, travelling, speaking. She had a unique sensitivity which immediately understood another person's feelings and the reality of every situation. With a kind, gentle word, and her special little half smile, she supported, encouraged, and inspired others to give no less than their best.
The same ability to inspire others though personal dedication applied to Peter Paush as well. Few in Canada knew as much about Ukrainian Orthodox Church music; no one else happily sent his arrangements, even hand-written manuscripts, to all who requested them. Perter Paush was the only one in Canada who not only knew the history and design of all Ukrainian Orthodox Church furnishings, but lovingly created them from the finest wood available.
Peter and Stephania Paush personified synergy. Each, alone, would have made significant contributions; but together, supporting and encouraging one another's individual talents, they permanently influenced the development of the Ukrainian community in Canada. Bother were incredibly generous- with what littler material wealth they had, and especially with themselves. Above all else, there was great joy; in their faith, in their culture, in their family and friends, in life itself."
From Stephania (1910-1978) and Peter Paush (1902-1977), in "Our legacy; history of Smoky Lake and district and family histories of men and women who pioneered this area" Smoky Lake and District Cultural and Heritage Society, 1983: 695-697
- Corporate body
- May 28, 1976-
The Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta was created as a result of a panel at the "One Day Conference on Central and East European Studies", organized by the Division of East European and Soviet Studies, held on February 14, 1976. During February and March, several meetings of a steering committee took place. At the meeting on April 10th, the draft constitution was approved, a Board of Directors chosen, and a name decided upon, the Central and East European Studies Society of Alberta or CEESSA. The first meeting of the Board of Directors took place on April 29th. The Society was officially incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta, on May 28, 1976. The first board of directors included: M. Lobay, P. Czartoryski, A. Dudaravicius, B. Biro, C. Suchowersky, W. Kostash, F. Pelech, M. Sulyma, C. Rodkiewicz, E. Zeiter, J. Stribrny, A. Saruk, A. Osis, W. Schepanovich, W. Kuester, Mrs. Panciuk, M. Gulutsan, and T. Priestly. Mary Lobay served as the Society's first president.
The original objectives of the society were to assist academics in the effort to train students in an interdisciplinary field and to aid and support in the work on the histories of ethnic communities from Eastern Europe. The Society was established as a non-profit educational institution.
CEESSA held two conferences in Banff, AB. The "First Banff Conference on Central and East European Studies" was held March 3-6, 1977. During this conference, the Central and East European Studies Association of Canada or CEESAC was established, with Metro Gulutsan as its first president. The "Second Banff Conference on Central and East European Studies" was held March 2-5, 1978, and also contained a CEESAC meeting. The first conference had 122 participants, while the second had 194 participants.