I was born in North Battleford, SK., to Mike and Anelia (Kowalsky) Nychyk, and grew up in the small community of Whitkow. My father immigrated to Canada in 1927 as a young boy of nineteen, leaving all of his family back in Horodenka, Ukraine. My mother’s parents, Nykola and Marianna Kowalsky, immigrated from the Sokal region in 1911, and my mother was born in Canada. My parents raised four children, of which I was the eldest.
My parents were very much involved in the Ukrainian Orthodox community, and instilled in us a love and respect for our Church, and our Ukrainian language and culture. Being a member of CYMK gave me an opportunity to begin learning organizational work, andan appreciation of drama, choir singing, and public speaking. These attributes were further developed during my three year stay at the Petro Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon.
These were some of the most memorable years of my life. I was on the Debating team,served as secretary of Kameniari, and was a member of Mohylianky. I very much enjoyed participating in concerts and drama productions, which were a part of Institute life.
It was at Mohyla Institute that I met my husband, Peter Yuzik. We were married in 1955, and raised a family of five children. We feel truly blessed, as our family has grown to include six grandchildren who are our pride and joy. Besides raising my family, and being involved in their various activities, I taught elementary school for 23 years, and retired in 1992. Since I thoroughly enjoyed working with children and youth, I also taught Sunday School, Ukrainian School, and was an advisor to both local and Provincial CYMK.
We have been members of the Church since 1956, first at All Saint’s Church in Alvena, then at Holy Trinity Church in Cudworth, and now at All Saint’s Church in Saskatoon. I have served on the Executives of both the Wakaw District Parish Council, and the Holy Trinity Church in Cudworth. My love of music, especially Church music, led me to sing in Church choir, and also to learn cantoring, which I still continue to do.
I have been a member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada for 34 years, serving in various positions on the executive of the Kniahynia Olha Branch in Cudworth. I now am a member of the Hanka Romanchych Branch in Saskatoon. I served two years as Vice-President, and six years as President on the Provincial UWAC Executive. I also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada for a total of ten years, serving part of those years as secretary to the Board.
During my term as UWAC Provincial President, I was also the President of the Provincial Executive of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada. I was on the USRL 2005 Convention Arrangements Committee, Saskatoon, serving as Registration Chair, and Committee Services Chair.
One of the rewards of my involvements has been meeting so many fine people, many of whom have become good friends. I can truly say that my career, as well as my participation in organizational work, have enriched me by providing opportunities for positive relationships, learning experiences, and working with people who have goals that are similar to mine.
By sharing some of my past history, it is my hope that you will see me as someone who has gone through many similar, or the same, life experiences as have many of you. In the next two years I hope to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as will be possible, and I am looking forward to making many more good friends. As I have stated before, it is my belief that if we work together as one, maintaining stewardship of our Association, with faith in the Lord, He will bless us and our efforts, so that we will have a legacy to pass on to those who will succeed us.
May God Bless each one of us, and help us along the way.