Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Monday, 15 August 2016

Bohunks: Skaro, Alberta

I went on a recent excursion deep into Alberta's Koobasaw Country - where Bohunks can still be seen in their natural habitat. "Bohunks" is a slang racial slur for the rural Ukranian immigrants that settled the Alberta frontier back in the late 1800's. I'm on thin ice here because I'm going on what I heard from a very UNRELIABLE source - my friend and mentor, Baloney Bob! Baloney Bob taught me how to shoot - really shoot - and hunting with him produced some of my most cherished memories that I have today. We used to hunt around here and a little further east a hundred light years ago. Baloney Bob was a third generation Bohunk but you wouldn't be able to tell - he's as Albertan as much as any of us. His relatives and family out this way though... still have a lot of the Old Country left in them. It's a good thing too, believe it or not.

According to Bob (so take it with a couple grains of salt), ethnic Ukranians revere the memory of their ancestors and even have a national/religious holiday to celebrate them and remember them - called Probodan - I may be misspelling that too. During this holiday the Ukes pack up the family, go to church and clean house. Once they've done that and been preached at, they go clean up the grave sites of their departed loved ones. A formal dinner with plenty of booze finishes off the day. People think the fwench are the culinary masters of the world and I am here to tell you that is utter hooey - the Ukranians can wipe the culinary matt with them and no bones about it! Ukranian food is the best there is.

"In 1897 Panko and Anna Yurko left Yaroslav, Ukraine to settle here, at Skaro. In 1910 the family of Dmytro joined them. All were the sons of Iwan and Anna Ohywko. On August 2, 1997, we, their descendents, commemorated our centennial in Canada. This rock symbolizes the great burdens they endured for our benefit. Forever honoured in our thoughts and prayers."
There's more but it's written in Cryllic and I can't read it.

There's at least three generations - possibly four buried here. I stayed out of the graveyard out of respect.

There's two churches here, this was the smaller one...

This is obviously hallowed ground so I had to tread very carefully and lightly. I stayed a respectful distance away from the buildings and especially the graveyards. The grounds are immaculate - the lawns are manicured and cut with all the care the pros put into the greens on the golf course.

This is the other church, almost right beside the one above.
The grave yard and community hall sits between them.

The only parking lot I could see was the one for the community hall. The worshippers must have to walk from there to the church. The buildings are in superlative condition too.

There's only a drive way in front of the big church.
I suspect it's there for maintenance vehicles and
for especially elderly worshippers that might have to struggle
with the walk over from the community hall.

Luxurious facilities are thoughtfully provided for the passerby.
This one was filled with dead leaves and detritus and I used it...
but recommend extreme caution. The floor's
rotting out and ya might end up in the basement
if you're not careful.

If I'm not mistaken BW might have hit this spot too - if so you will find far better pics at his site.

1 comment:

  1. No, I have not been here and I shall have to visit. This is an excellent post. I did not know about the tradition but Ukrainian Churches are extremely well looked after just from the ones I have seen. Other groups could and should take lessons. I always admire the fact that these people packed up and moved here not knowing what to expect and carving out a place for themselves. Impressive.