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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vancouver's Ukrainian community loses pioneer

Province reporter Susan Lazaruk wrote a very touching article about the passing of Michael Saranchuk, a WWII veteran and pioneer of Vancouver's Ukrainian community.

Michael Saranchuk, a longtime Eaton's employee dating back to its Gastown warehouse era and a pioneer of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Vancouver, died on Sept. 16, a week shy of his 93rd birthday, after a brief illness.

Saranchuk, who as a teacher in his native Alberta taught the late Ramon Hnatyshyn, a former Canadian governor-general and MP from the 1970s and 1980s, also worked for the country's "secret service" during wartime, keeping the details of those specific duties a secret to the day he died.

He was born on Sept. 24, 1915, in Edmonton, three years after his parents Dmytro and Anna came from Western Ukraine in the so-called "first wave" of four waves of Ukrainian immigration over the century.

He was schooled in the dance, language and song of the old country, and lived as Ukrainian a life you could outside of Ukraine with the Ukrainian diaspora that now numbers 1.2 million in Canada. ...

Full article here.

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