John dedicated twenty-five years of his life to elected public service at Queen’s Park. Everyone spoke with tremendous respect for what he accomplished as a parliamentarian and Minister of the Crown in Ontario. However, his active public service continued for decades after he retired from elected office. Together with his late wife Mary, the Yaremko’s envisioned and funded legacy projects in a string of institutions of higher learning in Canada and in his parents' ancestral homeland of Ukraine.
On a personal note, my first recollections of John were when I was a young boy of 6 or 7. I remember well John’s annual visits to my grandmother in the apartment above our bakery. Every Christmas John would arrive with poinsettias and every Easter he would arrive with a bouquet of Easter Lilies for my grandmother.
As well, John will also be fondly remembered by Hungarian Canadians who considered him an honourary member of their community. During the 1956 Hungarian uprising, he immediately travelled to Ottawa to forcefully and successfully make the argument to the federal Minister to put in place special processes to bring the desperate Hungarian refugees from the failed anti-Soviet uprising to Canada.
The tributes to John Yaremko on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from MPPs representing all three political parties more than half a century after his first election attests to John’s impact as a legislator. His good acts will continue to resonate for decades through the many Yaremko educational initiatives.
Вічная пам`ять! (Memory eternal.)
|MPPs Gerry Martiniuk, Donna Cansfield and Cheri DiNovo join members of John Yaremko’s family, community leaders and Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP, on the main steps of the Ontario legislature after the tribute to John Yaremko. (Photo: Myroslava Oleksiuk)|