OBITUARY: Bernard Korchinski,100, community leader, provincial legislator

REGINA, Saskatchewan - Bernard Leo Korchinski, a well-known Ukrainian community leader who was a founding member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and a former member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, died on October 13. He was 100.

Born on December 25, 1905, in Beaver Hills, Saskatchewan, he was the fifth of 13 children of Lev and Pauline (Hryciw), who had emigrated to Canada in June of that year.

A graduate of St. Joseph's College in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Mr. Korchinski was a teacher for 39 years in various communities in the province, including Ituna, Holdfast, Hafford, Rama, Speers and Regina.

He was also a Liberal member of the provincial legislature for two terms (1948-1952, 1956-1960); served as the provincial director of the Emergency Measures Organization; and was a judge of the Saskatchewan Citizenship Court.

During World War II, Mr. Korchinski served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Among the Ukrainian organizations in which he was active was the Ukrainian National Association. Mr. Korchinski attended all UNA conventions between 1970 and 1994, and served on the Credentials Committee in 1978 and 1982. He was a member of UNA Branch 421 and was the longtime branch secretary.

Mr. Korchinski was also a member of the Knights of Columbus; a founding member of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Youth; and a longtime scoutmaster.

In addition, he wrote articles for the Ukrainski Visti newspaper in Edmonton, specializing in topics of interest to youth, and authored the book "Pioneer Bishop" about the first Ukrainian Catholic bishop in Canada, Nykyta Budka.

He was named to the Order of the Knights of St. Volodymyr in recognition of his service to the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada.

Mr. Korchinski was the first president of the Saskatchewan Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and was on the UCC's national executive, serving as secretary. The UCC awarded him the prestigious Shevchenko Medal.

The UCC's Saskatchewan Provincial Council presented him its Nation Builders Award in November 2000.

In 2005 he received the Centennial Medal from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. It is noteworthy that he was born in that same year that Saskatchewan became a province of Canada.

Mr. Korchinski was predeceased by his wife, Slawka (née Marak), his parents, seven brothers, and four sisters. Surviving are: his brother Bonace; four children, Bernadine, Leslie and Barry Korchinski, and Linda Weimer; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren; and as many nieces and nephews.

The funeral liturgy was offered on October 19 at St. Athanasius Church in Regina. Interment was at Riverside Memorial Park, also in Regina.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, November 26, 2006, No. 48, Vol. LXXIV

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