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No.: PR3403
TITLE: Peter Svarich fonds
CREATOR: Peter Svarich
DATE RANGE: 1894-1967
EXTENT: 1.4 m textual records and other material.
Includes 560 photographs, 30 negatives, 47 drawings and paintings, 69 maps, and 9 blueprints.
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Peter Svarich was born in on March 24, 1877 in Tulova, Sniatyn, Western Ukraine [at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire] and attended the gymnasium in Kolomea before serving one year in the Austrian army. In 1900, Peter Svarich along with his parents, brother and five sisters immigrated to Canada. He helped on the family homestead in the Vegreville area during the first summer in Canada. Then he worked in an Edmonton lumberyard, for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later for the Le Roi mine in Rossland, B.C. He journeyed to the Klondike gold fields where he was lucky enough to find some gold dust. Returning to the Vegreville area, he married Mary Fedorkiw in 1904. They were to have six children: John, Olga, Eugene, Edward, Alice and Alexander Bohdan. From the early years Peter Svarich was active in community affairs. He opened the Kolomea Post Office and Store. In his capacity as municipal secretary-treasurer, he helped organize the Kolomea School district in 1905. After the coming of the Canadian National Railway to Vegreville in 1906, he moved into town. During the summer, he was employed by the government as a weed inspector, game guardian, and interpreter. During the winter, he taught English and steam engineering. In 1910, in cooperation with Paul Rudyk, he organized the National Co-operative Company. Peter Svarich tried his hand in politics, but was unsuccessful in his bid for election as an Independent Liberal candidate in the 1913 provincial election. In 1914, he opened a real estate office and started a lumberyard with P. Melnyk. Following the failure of the National Co-operative Company and the Vegreville Lumber Company, Peter Svarich toured Europe for several months in 1922. Upon his return, he re-opened the lumberyard and real estate office. He also established a funeral parlour. Peter Svarich retired from business in 1934. For the remainder of his life, Peter Svarich continued to pursue his many interests, particularly that of horticulture. He was also active in cultural, community and church work. Along with his wife, he contributed generously to numerous associations such as the St. John’s Institute, the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, and the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League. In an effort to promote Ukrainian culture, the couple established a scholarship for students. In recognition of his many services and donations, Mr. Svarich received many certificates and awards, including life membership in the Vegreville Horticultural Society and the Chamber of Commerce. The high school in Vegreville was named in his honour. In 1963, as the oldest living Ukrainian pioneer in the Vegreville area, he took part in the dedication ceremonies of a memorial to Ukrainian pioneers [in the Elk Island Park]. Predeceased by his wife in 1963, Peter Svarich passed away on June 30, 1966.
CUSTODIAL HISTORY:The records were deposited to the Provincial Archives of Alberta on a permanent loan basis by the St. John’s Institute. The collection was described in 1979 by P.R. Marusiak in the form itemized finding aid. Father F.M. Kryschuk helped to indentify and translate visual and textual material captioned and written in Ukrainian. All the records were physically divided into eight component series: 1) Autobiography, diaries, manuscript articles and correspondence; 2) Certificates and mementos; 3) Financial records; 4) Photographs; 5) Artwork; 6) Printed material; 7) Maps; 8) Blueprints
SCOPE AND CONTENT: This fonds consists of material relating to the activities and interests of Peter Svarich. The papers include autobiography, diaries, articles, correspondence, certificates, mementos, financial records, photographs, artwork, printed material, maps, blueprints and more.
LANGUAGE NOTE: The material is in Ukrainian and English.
GENERAL NOTE: Reproduction of any part of the collection or extensive quotation for purposes is not allowed without written consent of the Board of Directors of the St. John’s Institute
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