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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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St. Judes Ladies of the Altar.
Mrs. Rose Usick, and secretary - Jenny Rushton. At that time the group consisted of twenty members.
The group named themselves the St. Judes Ladies of the Altar. During this time, Father Joseph Bederz served us as our priest. The group became very active. They helped out in supporting different projects in regards to the priest's residence, making donations towards the hospital, March of Dimes, patients in the hospital and the newborn babies. They also helped in teaching children catechism, hired Sisters and lay people, saw to mass offerings for deceased parishioners, and buying wedding, Christmas and farewell gifts. Their ways of raising funds were through fowl suppers, catering to wedding banquets, spring and fall bazaar bake sales, and raffles of various kinds. The latest means to help was by holding a flower show and a large supper which turned out to be a great success.
It was years of hard work. There were no waterworks in town. We had no regular place to hold these functions so we always had to look for a place such as the old skating rink, the little legion hall, etc. Then, these places were not equipped with enough tables, chairs or dishes so everything had to be hauled in. The farm ladies used to get the truck from their husbands, which was sometimes difficult because the truck would be needed on the farm. Then we had to go to the Erickson Creamery for water. Jim Lasek was employed there at the time and not only was good enough to let us borrow the cream cans but would fill them up with water and load them on the truck for us.
As time went by, the little church was too small to accommodate the expanding parish and visiting tourists from the summer resort. So by putting a little pressure on ourselves, our parish priest, Father F. Bagski, and the Archbishop, it was decided that it was time to build a new
church and a building fund was opened.
The ladies then thought that they should look for more new ideas to raise money. In 1966, the group decided to make perogies and sell them at Oshust's Solo Store. This turned out to be a very successful project. In a few years we had a nice amount put into our building fund.
When the new church was built with a nice big auditorium, it made everyone happy because we now had a place of our own to hold functions. Next was to finish it and the ladies with good co-operation, soon purchased tables, chairs, stoves and dishes for the seating capacity of two hundred.
Our hard work paid off as we also helped pay the debt on the new church. Let us hope that we still can and will be able to keep our courage and continue our good work.
SACRED HEART OF JESUS CHURCH
With the influx of families of Ukrainian descent into the district, all felt the dire need of a Ukrainian Catholic church for their spiritual needs. In summers a few ser vices were conducted at the farmyard of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Soltys with Fr. M. Grygorychuk officiating. Later services were held in the old Legion hut and then in St. Jude's Roman Catholic church.
The organizational meeting was called by Fr. N. Siry on December 18, 1949 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Soltys and the first executive elected were; Tom Soltys President, Mamie Slobodian Secretary, Mike Rebenchuk Secretary-Treasurer, Metro Slobodian Cashier. The name chosen for the contemplated new church was Sacred Heart of Jesus. First members (charter) paying fees for 1950 were Mike Slobodian, Tekla Oleniuk, Wes Kopeechuk, Peter Slobodian, Mike Byskal, Mark Soltys, Peter Warwaruk, Mike Melnyk, Mike Rebenchuk, Tom Soltys, Ervin Kopeechuk, Metro Slobodian, Magda Oleniuk and Mary Iwanyshyn,
On January 3, 1951, lot 15, plan 665 was purchased from Wyman Miller for $150.00. Mr. R.J. McKenzie, lawyer, fees and registering title was $6.06. In 1952 a canvas locally and in the Rackham, Ozerna and Mountain Road districts netted some lumber and money for starting the building of a new church. Sod turning was on May 17, 1953 by local M.L.A. H. Rungay. Bulldozing for the basement on June 27th by Clifford Lundman for $100.00 and building started in July by John Johnson contractor of Minnedosa for the sum of $3,555.00. Wiring was done by Irvin Johnson for $171.00.
Money for building materials etc., were greatly needed and ladies pitched in helping men at bingo's, carnivals, putting on barn dances, serving lunches at dances at Ernie Ullberg's hall and later Don Erickson's hall, and catering to various occasions.
First mass was held at midnight on Ukrainian Christmas Eve January 6, 1954. The church was heated by wood in a converted oil barrel stove. Stucco was applied to the church exterior by Alex Moroz in May, 1954 for $300.00 and cornerstone sealed by Bishop M. Hrmaniuk on June 10, 1956.