The collection consists of 31 issues of the monthly humorous magazine Beztaktnist self-published by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, edited mainly by David Marples; an obituary to Havrylo Ciusovych Harmatenko; and an interview with Andrij Hornjatkevyc about these publications recorded by Kateryna Kod at the time of donation.
Beztaktnist was self-published monthly magazine by CUIS for several years. It started when the CIUS was located in Athabasca Hall and the office of the PhD candidate David Marples who is now the Professor at the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta was behind the wall from the office of the CUIS director Manoly Lupul. When David Marples would hear some slips of the tongue or jokes from the office, he would later publish them and circulate calling it Beztaktnist. This publication served the role of a buffoon, like in older days buffoons were able to tell not only jokes but the truth or voice their opinions to the kings without being punished for that, Beztaktnist was that buffoon in CIUS. Different topics were published without censorship about CUIS life, everybody included their stories but the main editor was David Marples.
Havrylo story: there was a copier in Athabasca building that was used by all the departments located in the building. Each department had a small page counter that was inserted in the copier in order to count the pages so at the end of the month to pay for copying. The amount of the copies done by each department should coincide with the amount that would be on the inner page counter in the copier itself. It came up that the CIUS page counter was named Havrylo and it was discovered that if Havrylo is
not inserted into the copier completely it will not count pages. So many copies were done, including the periodical Beztaktnist free of charge. Later it was discovered that the amount of the copies on the inner and external counters did not coincide, so the new program was installed on the copier and Havrylo came out of use, “became unemployed”. When it was known some people together with Andrij Hornjatkevyc wrote an obituary for Havrylo Ciusovych Harmatenko (the copier was Canon) and asked to announce it on the radio. Roman Brytan announced it on the radio and even chose a song by Seniors Choir that sang “Oi iz-za hory kam’ianoi”. The original text of the obituary is added to this collection.
With time Marples was leaving CIUS and going to Munich to work at Radio Svoboda and he asked for the copies of this periodical from Andrij Hornjatkevych, who was not willing to share. Another joke that CIUS had was the theory that there should as many Free Universities as there are not free Universities in Ukraine, the Free University in Munich was not enough. The Decree was pronounced to establish Free Universities parallel to those that were in Ukraine. There was also a diploma sample and some people were awarded various doctoral degrees. At the farewell party for Marples that was in the house of Bohdan Krawchenko the collection of Beztaktnist, bound in yellow binder (yellow colour symbolizing yellow journalism), was awarded to Marples to the loud applause by Krawchenko dressed in his Oxford gown.