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when Mr. Hillstrand offered him the .50~ saying that was all he had, the officer told him to keep it but to hide well back in the car, and to jump out at Portage la Prairie. This he did and then walked to Minnedosa. His father homesteaded N.E. quarter 24, the farm John Purvis now owns. The family made their home at the immigrant house until they were able to make arrangements for themselves. The quickest and cheapest home that could be provided was one dug into the side of a bank.
Trips to Minnedosa were always on foot as they owned neither oxen nor horse. Supplies like a scythe, fork, flour and coal oil would be toted in one load on their backs. No wonder he remembers these trips because of being so hungry and tired. He recalled one trip when he milked a cow in a barnyard to get a bit of milk to drink, but this wasn't always possible. He remembers once when he lay down in a gravel pit to rest and then walked several more miles until he came to a farmyard where he crept up on a straw roof and slept until dawn. Trying to make the trip to Minnedosa and back in one day with such a load proved difficult for a man even with the stature and strength Mr. Hillstrand had.
That first summer he worked out earning very small wages. When he had earned enough he purchased a steer for an oxen for $35.00 from the farmer at Gordon's Hill. He remembers Mr. Orton and son were building a stone barn at this farm.
Realizing that he would have to earn more money to establish himself he left home with a Mr. Olson, going south and then into the United States around Pembina, N.D. The first place they procured work the man showed them how to stook and kept them working late until the moon came up. They went in for supper that consisted of tea, bread and butter, high bush cranberries without sugar. They got to bed about midnight and were up again at four and had a very poor breakfast. With Mr. Olson making the decision, they left for Grafton where they got a job paying $2.00 a day. While at home all they could possibly have earned was $18.00 per month. After harvest he would come home to work in the bush. Then again when spring came and no more work was to be had in the bush he would be off again. The second year here, he helped build the C.N.R. coming into Winnipeg. At first he unloaded ties but later laid rail. He was one of the gang who was on the job when rail was laid up to Main Street in Winnipeg. In this manner he was able to save part of his earnings first helping his family to get settled and later taking up S.W. quarter of 19 as homestead for himself.
There is a little incident Mr. Hillstrand likes to tell about when he worked down Morden way. Every Sunday was spent in boiling their clothes to rid them of lice. When finally he got a Negro as a bedmate, he showed him how, by rubbing coal oil in his underwear the lice would leave and move over into the other bunk and so they did. Of course, this cure they kept to themselves, enjoying the misery of the others.
Concluding comment: It is indeed remarkable the memory this gentleman had and therefore the great many tales he had to tell.
Frank Hillstrand moved a house from his homestead to the railroad quarter he bought in the spring of 1899.
A UKRAINIAN WEDDING
by Mamie Slobodian
When the immigrants came from the Ukraine to Canada and settled in what is now Manitoba, they still continued with their traditional customs. One of these customs was the wedding festivity.
In preparing for the wedding the bride invited the guests to the wedding herself, accompanied by her bridesmaid or family member. This was done by horse and buggy, later by car, sometimes earlier even by walking.
The guests came to the bride's home, many bringing bread or some food. The first night was for braiding or weaving the wedding crown, which the bride wore under her veil. The young girls sat around the table and did the crown while the older ones sang traditional songs, telling the young bride that things wouldn't be the same for her now, no sleeping in, no more powdering etc. When finished, the crown was placed by the mother on the Koloch (fancy braided bread) in the centre of the table. All guests were served dinner of different kinds of Ukrainian dishes. Dancing and singing followed until morning.
On the second day, guests were back again at the bride's home. Supper was served with beet soup (borsch) buckwheat and rice holopchi, perohe, roast chicken etc. This was followed by singing and dancing again with traditional presentation.
Next day the couple got ready for church and the groom came to pick up the bride and her attendants. Before they left for church they knelt before the mother and father and asked for their blessing, which they gave and sprinkled the young couple with blessed water. When the ceremony was over they returned to the bride's place for dinner. After this the groom takes the bride and her hopechest to his parent's home and the guests follow. Food was again served and with the help of wine and whiskey, the wedding festivities carried on until morning with dancing and singing. The wedding cake served to guests was called "koroval" which was a braided bread decorated with birds made of bread. Another custom with some was a small spruce, decorated with ribbons, set in the centre of the dinner table.
The custom was three days for celebrating, some carried it a day longer if the bride and groom had their own home and went to it the next day. As most homes were small, a platform was built outside for dancing. No halls were available at that time.
THE KOZAK FAMILY
by John Kozak
This story relating to the Kozak family and events in the community of Scandinavia, Manitoba is based on memories of, and stories told to John Kozak, youngest son of Metro and Waselenka Kozak.
We begin our story in the Ukraine, to appreciate the circumstances which caused the migration of many