Awards Recipients for 2004
Olga (Karpinka) Andruschak
Dr. Frederick Theodore Cenaiko
John Edward Chyzowski
Bernard Allan Federko
Benjamin Michael Stephen Hladun
Rt. Hon. Ramon J. Hnatyshyn,
PC, CC, CMM, CD, QC
Dr. Edward Klopoushak
Morris Orest Korpan
Iryna (Danylak) Lazurko
Molly (Bassaraba) Lenhardt
UCC-SPC hosts 10th annual Nation Builders Awards luncheon
November 7, 2004 at St. Mary's Cultural Centre,
What started out a decade ago as a neat idea has turned into a
tradition. Sunday, November 7, 2004 marked the tenth time that the
Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Saskatchewan Provincial Council (UCC-SPC)
has held its annual recognition event, the Nation Builders Award
This year, ten individuals from the province were formally acknowledged
for outstanding achievement and for service to their community.
Over two hundred family members, friends, guests and community representatives
gathered at Saint Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Cultural Centre in Yorkton
to pay tribute to the following:
- Olga Andruschak (d) (Hafford), a community
organizer who spent much of her life as a teacher and leader in
women’s and youth organizations plus the Ukrainian Arts Program
of the UCC-SPC.
- Dr. Fred Cenaiko (Wakaw), a long-time physician
from Wakaw who has supported the community generously, financially
and professionally plus working with charitable organizations
- John Chyzowski (d) (Saskatoon), an educator
by profession and community worker who over the years helped numerous
parishes and projects like the St. Volodymyr Villa succeed.
- Bernie Federko (Foam Lake/St. Louis, USA),
the NHL star from Foam Lake who brought fame and glory to the
St Louis Blues.
- Ben Hladun (Prince Albert), an artist and architect
whose art creations and architectural works are widely known,
but especially in Saskatchewan.
- Rt. Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (d) (Saskatoon/Ottawa),
Canada’s 24th Governor General and supporter of the arts and volunteerism
and recognized internationally for his contribution to justice
- Dr. Ed Klopoushak (Regina), University of Regina
Professor Emeritus, acknowledged supporter of numerous Ukrainian
institutions and charitable organizations and a tireless community
- Morris Korpan (Saskatoon), an ardent supporter
of a wide range of Ukrainian community and church organizations
as well as provider of aid to Ukrainians in Ukraine.
- Iryna Lazurko (Canora), a teacher of Ukrainian
language and culture and an organizer of cultural events plus
a tireless supporter of community and church organizations.
- Molly Lenhardt (d) (Melville), the acclaimed
artist who expressed a deep passion for her Ukrainian heritage
and compassion for Ukrainian pioneer women through her paintings.
Recipients in 2004. Standing: Morris Korpan, Nick Federko
(for son Bernie), Dr. Fred Cenaiko, Wayne Lenhardt (for mother Molly).
Seated: Dr. Ed Klopoushak, Vera Chyzowski (for husband John), Stella
Whelan (for sister Olga Andruschak), Iryna Lazurko, Ben Hladun.
attending were Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk and Councillor Janet
Hill, who brought greetings from the City of Yorkton.
Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk (left) is passing the Rt. Hon.
Ramon Hnatyshyn's award on to wife, Gerda; UCC-SPC Past President
Adrian Boyko (right) accepted the award on behalf of the former
Governor General of Canada
The dining hall was tastefully decorated and guests were greeted
at the door by Harry and Evelyn Kardynal, the host and hostess for
the event, while in the lobby a tsymbalist and violinist played
a medley of traditional favourites.
The Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon was Ed Kucey and official
greetings were brought by UCC-SPC President Eugene Krenosky. Citing
the contributions of the honourees were Harry Kardynal, Merle Maximiuk
and Paul Ortynsky. Each honouree, or their representative, received
a trophy acknowledging the bestowed recognition and event.
Concluding the formal portion of the program was NBA Recognition
Committee Chair Dr. Tony Harras, who acknowledged the work of the
volunteers in staging the event and the generous support of donors.
Among the attendees were clergy from Holy Transfiguration Ukrainian
Orthodox Church in Yorkton, Rev. Roman Kocur, who led the opening
prayer and the singing of Vichnaya pamiat in memory of those who
gave their lives in all wars; from the Descent of the Holy Spirit
Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor in Regina, Rev. Brent Kuzyk; and, from
St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton, Rev. Methodius
Kushko, CSsR, who led the closing prayer.
The NBA program was established by the UCC-SPC to recognize individuals
who have provided outstanding service or exceptional community involvement
in an area that is beyond the performance of the individual’s normal
duties or the exercise of the responsibilities of a profession to
which that individual belongs, and/or who have made a lasting impact
on Saskatchewan and/or Canada through their contribution to Canadian
or Ukrainian-Canadian community development, goals and ideals.
Honourees hail from all parts of Saskatchewan and represent a broad
range of volunteer and professional activities including the arts,
community advocacy, community and/or political leadership and sports.
One hundred and fifteen such individuals have now been honoured
since the program’s inception in 1995. Information on honourees
can be viewed at www.ucc.sk.ca/programs/NBA.htm.
The Nation Builders Awards project is made possible by funding
through Saskatchewan Lotteries and the generous donations of many
individuals, organizations and businesses from within the Saskatchewan
Ukrainian Canadian community.
The UCC-SPC is an inclusive, self-sustaining, vibrant organization
that serves the Saskatchewan Ukrainian community to maintain, develop
and share its Ukrainian Canadian identity, culture and aspirations.
Compiled by Tony Harras, Angeline Chrusch,
Paul Ortynsky, Alex Balych
b. February 26, 1921 (Krydor, SK)
d. July 17, 1976 (Saskatoon, SK)
Olga was the eldest of John and Sarah Karpinka’s four children.
Ukrainian was spoken at home and Ukrainian customs and traditions
were an important part of her family life.
Since her father was employed by different grain elevator
companies, the family lived in places like Ituna, Wakaw, Krydor,
Redberry and Whitkow. This allowed the family to participate
in the cultural and social life of those Ukrainian communities.
In addition to schooling, Olga’s formative years were influenced
by a deep respect for and involvement in her cultural heritage.
All contributed to her life’s achievements.
For 27 years Olga and her husband, Fred, lived in Hafford
where he taught school and Olga provided leadership in many
areas. These were in the church community, women’s associations,
Ukrainian youth groups (CYMK), Ukrainian summer youth camps
as director (Wakaw and Crystal Lake), Ukrainian and Sunday
schools, and the Ukrainian Arts Program as the organizer.
In 1942 Olga became a member of the Ukrainian Women’s Association
of Canada (UWAC) Hafford Branch. She held various leadership
positions in UWAC, both locally and provincially. With her
enthusiastic participation, vitality and spirit, Olga contributed
to the Ukrainian Canadian social and public life in general.
The Andruschaks moved to Saskatoon in 1969. There Olga continued
working with UWAC, serving as President from 1971-1976. In
1971 Olga became Executive Director of the Ukrainian Arts
Program, under the auspices of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee.
As director, she coordinated three very successful and widely
popular provincial festivals.
A writer of beautiful pysanky, Olga had a sense of beauty,
aesthetics and creativity. Because of her artistic achievements,
she was asked to judge in pysanky contests at festivals in
Dauphin and Ottawa. The Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibited
one of Olga’s paintings, which now hangs at the Ukrainian
Museum of Canada, Saskatoon.
Motivated by her love and respect for her heritage, she inspired
others to maintain their traditional values to enrich their
community. She believed that to be a good Ukrainian was to
be a worthy Canadian.
Olga married Fred Andruschak in 1941.
Dr. Frederick Theodore Cenaiko
b. March 21, 1926 (Chestohorb, Poland)
When he was three, Fred Cenaiko’s family came to Canada from
Poland to Medicine Hat, Alberta. In 1930 the family moved
again, this time to a farm near Clair, a short distance west
of Wadena, Saskatchewan, where Fred attended elementary school.
During the depression years he left home to attend high school
at Humboldt, Saskatchewan. There he had to work to pay for
his room and board. Upon completing Grade Eleven, he was offered
a teaching job after attending Normal School for just six
weeks. One year later he returned to complete his Grade Twelve
and again taught for another year. He enjoyed teaching but
always knew his first love was medicine.
Upon completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1950 at the
University of Saskatchewan, he was accepted to the College
of Medicine. In 1952, he and his wife, Helen, moved to Edmonton
to complete his medical education. In 1954, Fred became Dr.
Fred Cenaiko. After interning at St. Paul’s Hospital and Quill
Lake Hospital, he came to Wakaw, Saskatchewan in 1955.
Dr. Cenaiko has been very active in civic affairs, serving
as Mayor for 11 years. In 1990 he was the recipient of the
Saskatchewan Order of Merit for his work and involvement for
the development and growth of the Town of Wakaw. The community
of Wakaw has named a Heritage Park in his honour.
Besides extensive medical and community involvement, Dr.
Cenaiko is a member of the Christian Medical Society. This
group of people take their medical expertise to Honduras each
year to work with less fortunate people.
The Cenaiko family has established the Cenaiko Foundation.
This foundation has made life easier for many in Ukraine by
donating items for basic needs.
Dr. Cenaiko still works at his clinic and the hospital in
Wakaw. This self-made man has served his community for 50
years with unshakable commitment, based on strong personal
integrity and extraordinary professional ethics.
In 1950 Fred married Helen Manchur. They raised four children:
David, Harvey, Lloyd and Ruth.
John Edward Chyzowski
b. January 16, 1932 (Ranger, SK)
d. January 5, 2003 (Saskatoon, SK)
John worked in Saskatchewan’s public education system for
40 years. Dedicated to his Ukrainian community, church, Eparchy
and family, John was a man of great integrity. He believed
in using his talents to better society.
John’s Ukrainian immigrant parents, Peter and Mary, instilled
in him a love of his heritage, the importance of family and
a strong work ethic. He spent his early years in Ranger and
Leoville. In 1952 he attended Grade Twelve at Nutana Collegiate
in Saskatoon, residing at P. Mohyla Institute, where he became
lifelong friends with other Ukrainian students.
John attended Teachers’ College in Saskatoon (1953-54). He
taught in many rural one-room schools and in city high schools;
he held various positions including teacher, vice-principal,
principal and Department Head of Mathematics. While teaching,
John obtained a Bachelor of Education (1962), and a Bachelor
of Arts (1966) from the University of Saskatchewan.
In 1971 he joined the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF)
as Executive Assistant serving teachers in Education and Teacher
Welfare. He was straightforward, principled and an effective
negotiator. Upon retirement from STF, John was instrumental
in establishing the League of Educational Administrators,
Directors and Superintendents (LEADS) and was their Executive
Director for the first 11 years. He was a member of the Saskatchewan
Teachers’ Superannuation Commission and its Chairperson for
15 years. In 1999 the Department of Education recognized his
outstanding service to education. He was granted an honourary
life membership in the STF.
John served as President of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian
Catholic Church’s first Parish Council and as President of
North Battleford All Saints. He served on the Board of St.
Joseph’s Home and was President of the Ukrainian Professional
and Business Club of Saskatoon. John was instrumental in creating
St. Volodymyr Villa—an Eparchial Millennium project. His goal
as Board Chair was ensuring our pioneers would live their
senior years in comfort and dignity. In 1998 he was the Chairperson
of a Forum on Eparchial Renewal.
He married Vera Demchuk in 1955 and they have three children
and two grandchildren.
Bernard Allan Federko
b. May 12, 1956 (Foam Lake, SK)
Born of Ukrainian parentage, Bernie attended Foam Lake School
and E.D. Feehan High School in Saskatoon.
Bernie’s early interests were sports, enjoying and devoting
much time to ice skating. At age 16 he played for the Foam
Lake Flyers’ senior club. His abilities suggested a career
in hockey. For three seasons Bernie played with Saskatoon’s
Junior Blades in the Western Canada Hockey League, leading
them to the finals in 1975-76. NHL scouts noted his record,
awarding him a 1st Team All-Star berth, WCHL MVP honours and
a high-ranked position among eligible draft prospects.
Federko was selected sixth overall by the Edmonton Oilers
in the WHA Draft and seventh overall in the NHL. Progress
with the St. Louis Blues was rapid. Bernie trained at the
Blue’s Central Hockey League farm club in Kansas City. Recording
69 points in 42 games for the Baby Blues earned him an immediate
recall to St. Louis and a permanent NHL job. Bernie was awarded
a berth on the 2nd All-Star team and the Ken McKenzie Trophy
Bernie began the 1977-78 season as a member of the St. Louis
Blues. The ever-patient playmaker rapidly led St. Louis to
noted improvements and a second place finish—a single goal
from winning the Stanley Cup final in 1986. Bernie achieved
new hockey records and became known as "The Magician"
in St. Louis circles.
During his 13 seasons with the Blues, Federko was respected
and loved by the St. Louis fans. Never one to bask in the
limelight, his consistency earned him 1,130 points during
a 14-year NHL career of which one was spent with the Detroit
Red Wings enabling him to reach the 1,000 games played milestone.
Federko retired on Mach 16, 1991 and his number "24"
sweater was raised to the rafters of the St. Louis Arena.
He remains in St. Louis working with the Blues as Colour Commentator
on television broadcasts. In 2002 Federko was inducted into
the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Bernie married in 1978 to Bernadette Stadnyk. They have three
Benjamin Michael Stephen Hladun
b. November 5, 1948 (Preeceville, SK)
Ben completed high school in 1966 at the Kamsack Collegiate
Institute. He attended the Faculty of Architecture at the
University of Manitoba and received his Bachelor of Environmental
Studies in Architecture in 1969 and a Master of Architecture
in 1973. In the same year he also received his Diploma in
Commercial Art by correspondence from the Art Instruction
Schools, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
During his university years, Ben travelled the world. During
a ten-month period he visited 34 countries in Europe, Africa
and Asia seeking out and studying the architectural wonders
of the globe.
During his professional career he worked with a number of
firms as well as establishing his own company of Hladun Maunu
Architects in 1980.
Formal recognition of Ben’s architectural accomplishments
include: for the Ens Toyota building in Saskatoon, the Varco-Pruden
Hall of Fame Design Award (1984); for the James L. Alexander
School in Saskatoon, publication in the Steel Design Magazine
(Dofasco Inc. – 1985); for the Prince Albert Satellite Receiving
Station, the Premier’s (Saskatchewan) Award of Excellence
(1996); for St. Michael’s Community School in Prince Albert,
the Saskatchewan Masonry Design Awards (1996); and, for the
Prince Albert Credit Union, the Saskatchewan Masonry Design
Awards – 2000 Architectural Award of Excellence.
An accomplished artist Ben’s favourite mediums are Egg Tempera
and Quill Pen with India Ink. Over the years he has received
numerous awards and acknowledgements at art festivals, travelling
exhibitions, art schools and art salons in Saskatchewan and
Ben has worked extensively in the Ukrainian community, from
1973 to 1989 as a member of Saskatoon’s Ukrainian Self-Reliance
Association (TYC) and from 1989 to the present with Prince
Albert TYC. From 1986 to 1996 he was a volunteer and Board
member of Green Grove Camp at Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan. While
on the Board he designed four eight-capacity children dormitories
(reflective of Hutsul cottages). He was Vesna Festival’s Assistant
Artistic Director and Board member of the Ukrainian Orthodox
congregation in Prince Albert and is a member of the Veselka
Ukrainian Heritage Club in Prince Albert.
Ben married Joni Taylor and they have a daughter, Celine.
The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, P.C., C.C., C.M.M., C.D., Q.C.
b. March 16, 1934 (Saskatoon, SK)
d. December 18, 2002 (Ottawa, ON)
Twenty-fourth Governor General and Commander in Chief of
Canada (1990 to 1995), Mr. Hnatyshyn served in the House of
Commons from 1974 to 1988 and was sworn to the Privy Council
in 1979. During his career he served as Minister of State
for Science and Technology, Minister of Energy, Mines and
Resources, Government House Leader, President of the Privy
Council, Minister for Regulatory Affairs, and Minister of
Justice and Attorney General. In 1984 he was Opposition House
Leader for a period of six months.
An honourary life member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan
and the Law Society of Upper Canada, Mr. Hnatyshyn was appointed
Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) in Saskatchewan in 1973 and Q.C. in
Canada in 1988.
The Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law is presented annually
by the Canadian Bar Association to recognize outstanding contribution
to the law and legal scholarship in Canada.
Mr. Hnatyshyn held numerous honourary degrees (LL.D.) from
many universities both in Canada and around the world including
the State University of Chernivtsi (Ukraine) and Doctor of
Philosophy at Yonsei University (Korea).
As Senior Partner with Gowlings Ottawa, Mr. Hnatyshyn had
a high profile career in both the public and private sectors.
Mr. Hnatyshyn received awards for his public and private
sector endeavours, including the St. Volodymyr Medal Award
– World Congress of Ukrainians. Mr. Hnatyshyn played a leadership
role in a number of charities, including the United Way Campaign,
United Community Funds, the Saskatoon Gallery and Conservatory
Corporation, and the YMCA.
To the vice-regal position, Mr. Hnatyshyn brought warmth,
openness and his contagious sense of humour. During his term
he established the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.
Ray Hnatyshyn’s encouragement and celebration of Canadian
excellence is possibly his greatest legacy.
Mr. Hnatyshyn paid homage to his Ukrainian heritage in his
decision to include in his official Governor General’s coat
of arms the elements of the Ukrainian Tryzub and the bull
symbolic of Bukovyna, Ukraine. In 1992, Mr. Hnatyshyn visited
Ukraine, where he was welcomed as a returning hero.
Ramon John Hnatyshyn was the son of John and Helen Hnatyshyn.
He married Karen Gerda Nygaard Andreasen in 1960. They have
two sons: John and Carl.
Dr. Edward Klopoushak
b. February 21, 1929 (Hafford, SK)
Edward Klopoushak attended primary and secondary school in
Hafford; post-secondary training began at Teachers College,
Saskatoon. He received his B.A. and B.Ed. degrees (with Great
Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan. He received
several scholarships, assistantships and sabbatical leaves
and achieved an M.Ed. (U of S) and a Ph.D. (University of
His professional career spanned 47 years—in rural schools,
Saskatoon High Schools, Instructor in Regina Teachers College
and as Assistant Dean and Associate Dean at the University
of Regina. He retired in 1992 as full Professor and was named
Professor Emeritus. During his professorship, Edward served
on University Council committees, on Department of Education
curriculum development and teacher training committees. He
counselled and advised undergraduates on their university
programs. In Masters programs in Education, he served as supervising
professor, facilitator and administrator of theses defences.
In the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, Edward served
on the Board of Directors of St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg
(five years) and as a Member of the UOCC Consistory Board
for ten years. He was a member of the Central Diocesan Council
and Secretary for many terms. Locally, Edward has been Church
President, Treasurer and Secretary, a Church Elder for 22
years and recently a Cantor. He serves on the Auditorium Management
Committee and as Director of Selo Seniors Complex Board where
he was President, Vice President and now Treasurer. As member
of Regina’s Society of Prosvita, Edward wrote several articles,
briefly chronicled their history and made a presentation at
their 70th Anniversary celebrations.
Edward spent many years on the Executive of the Ukrainian
Canadian Congress – Regina Branch, including one term as President.
Edward is a generous financial benefactor of Ukrainian institutions,
including the Descent of the Holy Spirit Sobor in Regina,
the UO Church of Canada, St. Andrew’s College, and the SUS
and Shevchenko Foundations.
Edward and his late wife, Eileen, were supporters of Globe
Theatre, MacKenzie Art Gallery and charitable organizations:
Hospitals of Regina Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation,
Diabetes Association, Lung Association and Alzheimer’s Society.
Edward married Eileen Shewchuk in 1950. They had two children:
Lori and Gary.
Morris Orest Korpan
b. March 16, 1927 (Laniwci/Aberdeen, SK)
After high school Morris obtained employment with the federal
Customs & Excise Department. In 1953 he was a Customs
Officer in Saskatoon. In 1957 he was transferred to Vancouver
as a Special Exciseman Officer. In 1961 Morris moved to Edmonton
as Excise Act Administrator inspecting breweries and bonded
factories. In 1963 he was transferred to Ottawa as a research
officer for the Excise Duty Branch, returning to Vancouver
in 1967 as District Surveyor for Excise Duty and promoted
to Regional Director in 1968. Subsequently named Regional
Chief of Collections and Duty for B.C. and Yukon, he remained
in this capacity until retirement in 1981.
Proud of his Ukrainian heritage Morris was actively involved
in the Ukrainian parishes and organizations where he lived:
Vancouver – St. Mary’s; Edmonton – St. Josaphat’s Cathedral;
Ottawa – St. John the Baptist; New Westminster – Holy Eucharist
Parish. After 38 years he returned to Saskatoon and was instrumental
in establishing Saints Peter & Paul Parish.
For 28 years he was actively involved at the Holy Eucharist
Parish being President and Treasurer. From 1989 to 1994 Morris
was Administrative Assistant for the Eparchy of New Westminster
during which time the Pastoral Council was implemented, a
clergy and staff pension plan was established and a uniform
cleric compensation package was developed.
Morris was unceasingly involved in several organizations
taking a leading role: the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood
of Canada, being awarded as Sir Knight of St. Volodymyr; Ukrainian
Canadian Congress; Knights of Columbus – Sheptytsky Council
4938; Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage;
Musée Ukraina Museum Inc.; Canadian Ethnocultural Council
– Ottawa; Council of Aging; and, fundraiser for the Endowment
Fund at Lester Pearson College.
The Ukrainian community benefited greatly from Morris’ participation.
He assisted the Canadian Social Services, Vancouver Branch
in the delivery of a shipment of medicine and medical equipment
to Ukraine. In 1997 six members of the Korpan family participated
in UCC Saskatchewan Council’s video "Eldercare Challenges
Choices and Change". Morris also assists seniors in completing
income tax returns, applications for federal supplements and
Health Drug Plan.
Morris married Anna Syroishka in 1951. They have two daughters
and four grandchildren.
Iryna (Danylak) Lazurko
b. August 29, 1921 (Sudova Vyshnia, Lviv oblast, Ukraine)
All of her life Iryna Lazurko was keenly aware of the necessity
of promoting Ukrainian language, customs and culture. To this
day she exhibits great zeal in pursuit of this goal.
For more than 50 years she was involved in such activities
as teaching Ukrainian school and organizing countless Mother’s
Day concerts. She was involved in plays and drama productions,
both with young people as well as adults. She prepared children
for Konkurs – Ukrainian Arts Program competitions, offering
extra training sessions in her home. Needless to say, her
students always achieved high standing in such competitions.
Concerts in honour of Taras Shevchenko were high on her list
She was always involved with the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s
League of Canada, Canora Branch, having served on the Branch
Her involvement with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Canora
Branch, including serving on the UCC Executive, provided another
avenue to showcase things Ukrainian. She took part in organizing
the Centenary celebrations commemorating Ukrainian settlement
in Canada. She was instrumental in organizing Ukrainian Independence
Day celebrations. Together with her husband, Klym, sister
and brother-in-law, Halyna and Stefan Popowych, they donated
a building to the Canora UCC Branch to house the museum artifacts.
She is very involved in fundraising efforts to meet the museum
expenses as well as promoting the museum.
She keeps abreast of the political, economic and cultural
situation in Ukraine and is very much concerned with the well-being
of that nation. Whenever artistic touring groups from Ukraine
would come to Canora, she would always welcome them, providing
billets and gifts to help them out.
Iryna Lazurko is a person with an inexhaustible store of
energy, enthusiasm and love for her homeland. She spares no
effort to promote what being Ukrainian is all about in this
land of Canada. She has added a very important piece to the
cultural mosaic. Canada and Saskatchewan are richer for it.
Iryna married Klym Lazurko in 1946, two years prior to immigrating
to Canada in 1948. They raised four children: Yurij, Oksana,
Markian, and Andrij.
Molly (Bassaraba) Lenhardt
b. December 25, 1914 (Western Ukraine)
d. March 7, 1995 (Melville, SK)
Molly Lenhardt was the daughter of Paraska and Wasyl’ Bassaraba.
Her parents, appreciating the importance of education, encouraged
Molly to pursue training in the visual arts. After obtaining
her Grade 10, she enrolled at Sacred Heart Academy in Yorkton
to complete her high school; however, illness prevented her
from achieving that goal. She subsequently enrolled in the
Business College in Yorkton in 1930.
Molly and her husband Joseph purchased the Fairway Confectionery
in Melville in 1950. This was a joint occupation for the couple.
The time required to operate a business and raise a family
left Molly with little time to devote to painting. Once the
children left home, she dedicated more time to her artwork
and began displaying her art in the confectionery and had
her works accepted by the Watrous Art Salon in 1973.
The Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina exhibited some of her paintings
in 1990. Articles written on the display "Molly Lenhardt
Retrospective" commented that her works are crudely simple
yet starkly beautiful. Reflecting Molly’s pride in her Ukrainian
heritage, most of the pioneers depicted are women, emphasizing
the role they played in settling the west. Her portraits of
older women poignantly capture the pain and hardship they
endured in their struggle to establish themselves and raise
families in a strange and often hostile land.
Molly Lenhardt’s art is exhibited in prominent art galleries
across Canada, in the homes of noted art collectors and locally
in Melville. Molly Lenhardt’s family is now in the process
of establishing an art gallery of her works in the confectionery
that the Lenhardts once owned.
Molly addressed the broader issue of Ukrainian nationalism
in her portraits of Taras Shevchenko, reflecting his status
as a cultural saint to all Ukrainians.
It is perhaps because of Ukraine’s tragic history that Molly
Lenhardt’s love for Canada and its multicultural character
was so intense.
In 1940 Molly married Joseph Lenhardt. They had two children:
a daughter, Joyce, and a son, Wayne.