Hamil­ton’s Ukraini­ans asked to ‘weave’ their sto­ries into a com­mu­nity ta­pes­try

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CARMELA FRAGOMENI

Hamil­ton’s Ukrainian Cana­dian Congress branch wants lo­cal res­i­dents with Ukrainian ties to “weave” their fam­ily story into a vis­ual and writ­ten “ta­pes­try” for a Canada 150 project.

The branch has al­ready heard from 10 fam­i­lies of Ukrainian Cana­di­ans liv­ing in the Hamil­ton area about their roots and her­itage and wants to hear from more.

“We want to doc­u­ment where they came from, why they chose Hamil­ton and how they lived their lives here,” says Mary Ho­la­dyk, chair of the branch’s A Ukrainian Cana­dian Ta­pes­try project.

Many Ukraini­ans came to Canada to find free­dom from op­pres­sion and war in their home­land, Ho­la­dyk said.

“I was hop­ing to have sev­eral rollup ban­ners with Ukrainian settlement sto­ries.”

The sto­ries in­clude that of John Murmy­lyk who, it’s said, had to change his eth­nic last name to Mor­ley in 1935 when he started work­ing at the Stelco sales depart­ment.

“Eth­nic names were not ac­cept­able in man­age­rial po­si­tions at that time,” the story reads.

Born of Ukrainian immigrant par­ents, Murmy­lyk had con­sid­ered the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend Cathe­dral High School “one of the great­est gifts he could have ever re­ceived.”

In 1949, with a wife and four chil­dren, Murmy­lyk at­tended Os­goode Hall Law School in Toronto and was called to the bar in 1953.

Ho­la­dyk hopes to dis­play the ban­ners of the ta­pes­try in Oc­to­ber at McMaster Univer­sity, Mo­hawk Col­lege, city li­brary branches, shop­ping malls and any other venues that will ac­cept it.

She wants at least 50 sto­ries to weave into the project, which is meant to cel­e­brate Canada’s 150th birth­day and 125 years of Ukrainian settlement in the coun­try.

Ho­la­dyk also hopes to have ex­hibits or a dance group or Easter egg paint­ing demon­stra­tions ac­com­pany the ta­pes­try.

The dead­line for sub­mis­sions is Sept. 20. For more in­for­ma­tion, see uc­cha­mil­ton.ca/ukrainian-cana­dian-ta­pes­try.

The project re­ceived funding from the City of Hamil­ton and fed­eral gov­ern­ment.


One story tells of how John Murmy­lyk, sec­ond from right, had to change his last name to Mor­ley. He later grad­u­ated from Os­goode Hall.

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