Friends, colleagues honor Dr. Ewanchuk

by Julie Quinn

WINNIPEG - Close friends and associates gathered on Saturday, March 14, at the Round Table Restaurant for a surprise dinner honoring Dr. Michael Ewanchuk, well-known Canadian educator and writer on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Seated at the head table were Dr. Borislaw N. Bilash, master of ceremonies, Dorothy Bilash and Steven Klym, a very close associate and friend of the honoree from the P. Mohyla Bursa days in the 1930s. The Rev. John Melnyk said grace; seated next to him was another close friend, the Rev. Deacon Michael Woroby. Also present was Ann Smigel, a member of Dr. Ewanchuk's advisory research committee.

After the cake was cut, the guests gave special greetings. Among them were Prof. Michael Tarnawecky and Prof. Jaroslav Rozumnyj from the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Science (UVAN), and Royden Lee, who had trained during the second world war in the Royal Canadian Air Force under 1st Lt. Ewanchuk and reminisced about the experience, adding some humorous touches.

Dr. Peter Kondra, also a friend from the 1930s, and Rose Kondra brought personal greetings. Others followed, lauding the honoree as a superintendent of schools who had always been fair and encouraging.

Dr. Ewanchuk was also praised for his work in education, in particular, after being appointed by the premier of Manitoba as chairman of a Ukrainian studies curriculum committee, for being instrumental in working with the committee to arrange for the teaching of the Ukrainian language in public schools and in having Ukrainian language credits accepted by universities.

Dr. Ewanchuk has written nine books dealing with subjects of Ukrainian heritage, particularly the settlement of Ukrainians in Canada. It was stressed that his thorough research has provided reference materials now utilized by post-graduate students at the university level.

Requested to speak, Dr. Ewanchuk thanked his friends and colleagues for the honor and recognition. He expressed his gratitude to the Rev. Melnyk for the prayer for the repose of his parents, his brothers, John, Peter and Alexander, and for his dear wife, Muriel, who departed last year. Dr. Ewanchuk said that he had the best parents one could be fortunate to have, and the best wife, who had been a teacher on his staff and the first editor of his writings.

Life had not been easy, the author said, but his parents saw to it that he received a high school education, walking to the two high schools from their farm in Gimlet. It was a struggle to do university graduate and post-graduate work - studies he began at the University in Detroit while working on the midnight shift at the Ford Motor.

In conclusion, Dr. Ewanchuk said he had enjoyed his work as superintendent (inspector) of schools and that he is proud to have so many wonderful friends, a good Canadian multicultural grouping.

Dr. Ewanchuk became a member of the Ukrainian National Association's Markian Shashkevich Branch 94 while studying in Detroit.

Receives prestigious Novartis award, grant

ST. LEONARD, Quebec - Tamara Grodzicky, MD, CSPQ, FRCPC, has received the prestigious Novartis award, and an $80,000 grant to conduct research at Cornell University Medical Center in New York. Dr. Grodzicky was the only person in Canada in 1997 to receive such a distinction.

A plaque representing the award by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Medical Council of Canada and Novartis Research Fellowship was presented in January 1998.

Dr. Grodzicky received her medical degree from the Université de Montréal. Subsequently she specialized in internal medicine and in rheumatology. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Her research at Cornell University will be about the role of apoptosis in auto-immune diseases.

After completing her research project, Dr. Grodzicky will return to Montreal Notre Dame University Hospital.

California UNA'ers to wed in June

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Mr. and Mrs. Myron Dudynsky of North Hollywood, Calif., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Natalie Marie Dudynsky, to Zenon Volodar Keske, the son of Walter and Lubomyra Keske of Woodland Hills, Calif. Ms. Dudynsky is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dmytro Dudynsky and John Wakiriak of Minneapolis. Mr. Keske's great, great uncle was the Rev. Peter Poniatyszyn. The wedding will take place June 27 at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

Ms. Dudynsky and Mr. Keske met at a Plast-SUM-A New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball in Los Angeles three years ago. They are active in the Obnova Youth Group of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, as well as in the Ukrainian community. Both are members of the Ukrainian Dance Company of Los Angeles.

Mr. Keske received his B.A. degree in history from California State University at Northridge and will be attending law school in the fall. The bride-to-be, who is pursuing a career as a paralegal, is the assistant to the vice-president of television business affairs at International Creative Management Agency in Beverly Hills.

The families are UNA members. Ms. Dudynsky's father is secretary and Mr. Keske's mother is president of John Hodiak Branch 257.

Ohio couple meets during Ukraine trip

PARMA, Ohio - Diane McClaning grew up thinking she was part Russian. She didn't find out that she was actually half Ukrainian until 1993, after her young cousin in Rivne discovered some old letters that had been written by her great-grandmother to her great-great uncle, who had emigrated to the United States in 1912. After receiving a letter, she wrote a response to the foreign address as a matter of curiosity, and was surprised by a reply from Anne Marchuk, who was in fact her aunt.

Ms. McClaning, now very much interested in her heritage, also then began to write to her cousin, Nataliya. As their relationships with family in Ukraine grew, Ms. McClaning's family decided to take a two-week cruise up the Dnipro River in August 1996. The trip would originate in Odesa, and end in Kyiv, where they would meet their "new" family.

Bill Lawriw knew his heritage fully well. His father was born in Beloha, outside of Ivano-Frankivsk. His father married and moved to England, and then brought his young family to the United States in 1957. Mr. Lawriw was raised in a strong Ukrainian community in Parma, Ohio. Given his strong sense of family, he decided to travel with his father to Ukraine for the month of August, 1996. His second week in the country brought him to Odesa, where, as fate would have it, two lives would change.

As Bill was waiting for entrance into the Archeological Museum in Odesa, his attention was caught by a conversation that not only was spoken in English, but referred to a local landmark in Cleveland. Ms. McClaning and her family were awaiting entry into the same museum. He approached Ms. McClaning only to discover that not only would they be sharing passage on the M.S. Glushkov for the next week, but that in the Cleveland area they lived only 16 miles apart.

Over the course of the next week, their paths crossed often. They met each evening to share their day's adventures, to explore their life histories and values, and were even able to take a few day trips together. The two families traveling together also became close friends. However, after one week together, Diane's group continued up the river, while Bill's group traveled by land. The two found themselves parted for the next 10 days.

Upon his return to the United States, Bill telephoned Diane, and during his first day back in the U.S., they were reunited. Their friendship grew into love. Their families grew closer, and on August 29 they will begin their lives as one.

Diane Lee (Palko) McClaning and William Lawriw have announced their engagement to marry. An August 29, wedding has been planned at St. Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Parma, followed by a reception at St. Vladimir's grand hall. After honeymooning in England, the couple will reside in Medina, Ohio.

Mr. Lawriw is a member of UNA Branch 240.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 26, 1998, No. 17, Vol. LXVI

| Home Page | About The Ukrainian Weekly | Subscribe | Advertising | Meet the Staff |