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His father, Nicholas, passed away at the age of 37 years, in 1915, when dad was only five years old. Grandmother remarried on Febrnary 2, 1917, to Peter Skakivitch. Dad had three stepsisters and two stepbroth ers. They moved to Clanwilliam in 1922 for one year and dad attended Clanwilliam School. When he was thirteen years old, the family moved back to the Ozema District and he attended Frazer School. After finishing school, dad worked for Peter Prosken at seeding time, and then worked for Neelin McDonald of Basswood for ten months in 1924. He was only fourteen years old at the time and they treated him as one of their own children. They told him he could eat whenever he was hungry, as he was growing and needed to eat often. During the summer, his salary was $25.00 a month and in the winter, $8.00. He looked after thirty head of cattle. On Sundays he would go home to be with his parents and family. He either walked or used McDonald's shetland pony or bike to go back to work. The shetland would always try to buck him off, as her colt was left at home.
In 1926, he worked for Jack Potts, a bachelor, west of Cameron School, for harvest, stooking and cooking meals. In 1927-28, he helped at home. In 1929 he worked for Jim Milne of Newdale. That year, he bought a Model T for $150.00. He moved with his parents to Birtle in 1930 and worked for farmers around that area. In 1932, the family moved once again to the village of Rackham. To make a living, dad, his stepfather, and his brothers cut cordwood. When the 'Turkey Trail', #45 Highway, was being built, dad worked as a cook for three months and then cut scrnb and did other things, preparing for the road. He walked thirteen miles to work every day, getting up at 3:00 a.m. to be at work for 8:00 a.m. In 1936, he worked on the farm for Walter Andreychuk and in 1938-39 did farm work for Frank Chastko.
October 15, 1939, dad married (mom) Jessie Goletz, daughter of Peter and Annie (Bachewich) Goletz from Onanole, MB. They were married at the Sandy Lake Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church. Officiating priest was Father Gregory. Reception was at his parent's place. Dancing took place at his brother-in-Iaw's house (Jack and Teenie Gregorash). Alex Moroz and Nick Starznk supplied the music. They lived for two weeks with dad's parents. For the winter, they moved to brother-in-law Gregorash's house. In the spring of 1940 my parents worked on the farm for Jim Zohara, 1 112miles east of Rackham.
They were blessed with only one daughter, Sylvia Ann, born July 26, 1940 at the Zohara farm NE 17-18-19, with Dr. Rutledge attending. They moved to mom's parents (Goletz's) for the winter.
In 1941, Lachlan McInnes of Erickson was looking for help. When they met, he asked who wanted a job and Dad accepted. He then told his wife, "I'll hire Mike, as he looks so good in my eyes". In the fall of 1941, my parents
bought a small house from Frank Andreychuk for $150.00 and moved the house to the village of Rackham. Dad worked for farmers around Rackham. In 1944, he worked at Minnedosa at the Railway yard for one summer. Then he worked for the Tushulak family off and on. Harry Morris, Paul Zariwny and dad built an addition to the Frazer School.
In 1947, he started working as a carpenter's helper, building the Erickson Bank with George Bergman. In 1948, he helped Art Nylen build Harry Paulen's house at Erickson. From then until 1954 he worked alone on different carpen try jobs. During that time he also worked with Harry Morris at Clear Lake, and at Ernie Gusdal's, building cabins. In 1952, while shoveling gravel for the Highway's Department, his back started giving him problems and he was rnshed to the Minnedosa Hospital. After that, he could not work for a year. He also went for treatments to St. Joseph's Hospital in Winnipeg, MB. In 1955 he started working with Angus Madill of Erickson, at Clear Lake and Erickson, for 15 years. While working with Angus, he also built an addition to the Erickson Hospital.
Three lots were bought from Mrs. Tony Philipation, and a new home was built in the fall of 1959 at Rackham, MB. Starting in 1960, dad worked for Ernie Gusdal of Clear Lake, (Johnson's Cabins). Due to poor health, dad retired in 1975. Mom also worked during this time, clean ing at the Johnson's Cabins for the Gusdals and retired in the fall of 1988.
Mom and dad were members of the St. John's Ukrainian Catholic Church at Rackham and served on the church committee. Dad looked after the Rackham Cemetery for five years. To raise money to build the church at Rackham, Ukrainian concerts were led by Mr. Stan Bilyk (former Rackham teacher). People went caroling for many years during the Christmas Season. Most of the times, they walked to the farms, as no one had a car. In 1966, dad was very honoured to win a one-week trip to New York by answering a skill-testing quiz from the Coca-Cola contest sponsored from Dauphin, MB.
I, Sylvia Ann, Mike and Jessie's daughter, married Edward James Pastershank, son of Frank and Teenie (Kristalovich) Pastershank o fElphinstone , MB, on October 7, 1961. We were married at the Rackham St. John's Ukrainian Catholic Church. Officiating priest was Father Valdamir Luchkiw. Our reception was held at the Sandy Lake Community Hall. We were blessed with two children. Kevin Michael was born May 22, 1964 at the Shoal Lake Hospital. Presently, Kevin is living and working at Airdrie, AB. Michele Ann was born to us on March 9,1967, at the Minnedosa Hospital. She married Patrick Ewanyshyn, son of Peter and Jessie, of Oak bum, MB, on June 13,1987, at Sandy Lake, MB. They farm near Oakbum, MB. They have two sons. Bradley James was born on March 4, 1992. Robert Michael was born on March 21, 1994.