Daily Archives: May 29, 2012

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, near Gardenton, MB

Reid Dickie

A plaque at St. Michael’s succinctly tells its story:

Constructed in 1899, this church is a fine early example of Ukrainian ecclesiastical architecture in Canada. Its distinctive massing, plan and bulbous cupolas reflect the Byzantine-influenced architectural heritage of the homeland of the settlers in the region. The traditional free-standing bell tower was built in 1906 and, like the church, is distinguished by the high quality of its wooden craftsmanship. Built by the first generation of Ukrainians to arrive in Canada, St. Michael’s served as an affirmation of their cultural identity and remains today as Canada’s oldest existing Ukrainian church.

The first permanent Ukrainian Orthodox church erected in Canada sits quietly next to PR 209 about 3 kms west of Gardenton in southern Manitoba. Since its consecration on October 14, 1899, the little church has served the local Ukrainian community. In 1922 the parish joined the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada; previously it has been served by a Russian Orthodox mission.

Constructed by immigrants who came to the Gardenton area after 1896 from northern Bukovyna, now western Ukraine, St. Michael’s is a fine example of Bukovynian pioneer architecture inside and out. Measuring 22 feet by 48 feet, the church walls were constructed of horizontal logs, lumbered during the winter of 1898-1899. Wooden shingles covered the low pitched roof which became badly warped from exposure to heavy winter snows and was completely replaced in 1915 with a central dome 33 feet high from floor to ceiling and small cupolas at either end. A hundred feet from the church stands the square frame belltower.

The graves of many early Ukrainian pioneers crowd around the back of the church; the earliest grave is from 1898. The distinctive white Orthodox crosses were made in cement moulds.

According to John Panchuk, attorney and Ukrainian community leader from the Gardenton area, “Inside the historic church one may see unique religious artifacts, such as wooden crosses, candelabras and altar decorations built by local craftsmen and a collection of rare lithographs from Kiev, Odessa, St. Petersburg and Moscow.”

Watch my 2:39 video of St. Michael’s.

Make it a day trip! Other nearby sites of interest include Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church located in Rosa on Hwy #59, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church east of Stuartburn on PR 201 and a hike through one of the tall grass prairie reserves just east of Tolstoi on PR 209. Watch for poison ivy. Be sure to check your body for wood ticks. Ticks are having a banner year!

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Filed under Churches, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

A Day In The Hood Has Left The Building

For a couple of years, a blog called A Day in the Hood reported honestly without embellishment on daily life in Winnipeg’s North End. The blog is no more. This post poignantly explains why and, by doing so, exposes further Winnipeg’s pathetic, embarrassing and dysfunctional city council who have virtually abandoned the North End to gangs, crime and poverty. Now that the bloggers have escaped the North End, follow them on the road.

 

That’s right, we left. My husband and I no longer live in the North End of Winnipeg. We don’t live anywhere in Winnipeg, for that matter. We moved into an RV, a home on wheels. So, why didn’t we just get another house in the City? That’s easy to answer. We can’t afford to live anywhere else. And I can’t live in the North End anymore. But we can afford to purchase an older, used motorhome. And that is what we did. I am not sure where we are going to ‘live’ now. I guess we will travel for a while and see what happens. (Follow our new adventures – Freedom at 51). I would like to apologize to anyone who feels I have let them down with my leaving. But, one has to do what is best for oneself. I can no longer deal with the issues facing me on my street in the North End. It is not just the garbage in my back lane, or the illegal dumpers who think they can leave all their unwanted crap in my neighbourhood. It is not just the sirens, not just the helicopter, not just the constant fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars on my street. It is not just the graffiti now appearing in my lane. It is not just the partying that goes on all night long, and the yelling that we hear on the street. It is not just the drug houses on the street and the youth we see in neighbouring yards where they don’t belong, uttering their threats as they look at us. It is not even just because someone broke into my house in the middle of the night when I was sleeping. It’s the whole package. And I am sorry, but I just can’t do it anymore. We have left the North End for happier times. If you want to know the turning point, the day we made the decision to leave, it was the day I wrote the blog post “The Decline And Fall of Civilization”. That was the day I realized this City cares nothing of the North End, and will do nothing to fix its issues. North End, I wish you all the best going forward. And I pray the City will care enough to save you some day in the future. Good day and God bless.

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Filed under Blog Life, Life and Life Only, Winnipeg