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people to Canada; the promised land. Times were harsh in the Ukraine in the late nineteenth century. Scarcity of firewood, for example, made it necessary for families to forage for branches and dead trees, many miles from home then to carry their finds home on their backs. They were not permitted to cut down trees. This wood was then used to bake bread in a peach clay oven. Often this left no wood with which to heat their homes. Metro's parents rebuilt their oven with which to heat their homes. Metro's parents rebuilt their oven in the centre of their home so that they could both bake their bread and provide heat for the house. The oven was large enough that the top of it was used as a base for their bed and the entire family slept on it.
Bread was baked once every three days. Meat was a rare luxury. They were fortunate that they owned a cow and lived on about two acres of land which provided enough vegetables to last them until spring. In the fall, the older children would help their parents to reap the grain. The eleventh sheaf was all they were allowed to keep. This land was owned by one of the big land owners who took the rest of the grain in payment. After the harvest was completed, the family would go back onto the field and pick up all the heads of grain that had been left behind. There were few schools so Metro and his brothers and sister did not have an opportunity to gain an education. Times were difficult.
In 1900, many people migrated to Canada from their village. They wrote back to say that there were great opportunities for young people. In 1905, Metro married Waselenka Dolinsky. A year later he applied for a passport and came to Canada. He left Waselenka behind in hopes of establishing himself then planned to send for her. Metro landed in Montreal where he was told by immigration officials that men were needed in Winnipeg to work on the Railway. He took this job in Winnipeg but after a short while was transferred to Moosomin, Saskatchewan. His foreman gave him permission to send for his wife. He bought a ticket and sent it back to the Ukraine. In the meanwhile, Mary had been born and was six months old when she and her mother arrived in Canada. In 1909, Steve was born in Moosomin and in the same year Metro and his family were transferred to Minnedosa. The C.P.R. gave him a boxcar to live in as there were very few homes. In 1911, Ann was born. In 1913, Mike and in 1915, Fred was born. In 1916, Metro decided to buy some farm land. He had heard of a piece of land up for sale in the Scandinavia area and on seeing it decided to purchase it. There was a big house on the land, a small barn and about ten acres of land had been broken. From his savings, Metro also was able to buy a team of horses which cost him $500.00, harnesses, wagon, a drill, binder, plow and harrow. However, this left him with very little so he went back to work on the railroad at Minnedosa to earn more money. So it was then that Waselenka and the children had to hay and cut the grain. They still needed sleighs, a buggie, and a cow. For about eight years, Metro continued to work on the railway in order to get his farm operational. The last two children were Pauline, born in 1917, and the youngest, John, born in 1919. When Steve and Mike were old enough to help, they hauled wood to Erickson and
Minnedosa. They would cut the wood in the bush, haul it out and saw it into four-foot lengths and the third day haul it to town. For three days of work they earned $2.00.
There were four Ukrainian families that sent children to the Scandinavia school, the other children were Swedish and English. Steve learned to speak Swedish better than his own language. He spent a lot of time with Hemmingsons who lived across the road and August Buckland who lived close by. He also worked for Gus Lundman by Otter Lake so he had many opportunities to learn and speak Swedish. In 1928, Pauline and John joined their brothers Steve and Fred at school. It was a three mile walk one way. The teachers were Miss Wilmot, Miss Jury from Minnedosa and Bertha Danielson from Bowsman - Swan River district. Her greatest ambition was to have one of her students become a doctor. She did not get her wish to our knowledge.
It was a one mile walk to the grocery store which was owned by Kopeken. It was the only store in the area until the post office was erected. It was operated by Mr. Waterton for many years. The mail was picked up in Clanwilliam on Wednesday and Friday evenings by Arthur Johnson who took a team in the winter and a truck in the milder seasons. The kids looked forward to going for the ride to get the mail.
During the school year the teacher would make parties for the children on special occasions and a Christmas concert was held in the Scandinavia hall. As the school was small, most of the parents would try to attend the concerts. They would observe their children's per formances then after a lunch was served and a dance followed. It was a community event. In the fall, another community event was the Fowl Supper. Pumpkin pies with fresh whipped cream were generously served.
The Scandinavia school was the finest school in the district. It was built up on a hill and was surrounded by spruce trees. In the winter the children would slide down the hill on their sleighs on to the road and into a ditch. An eye had to be kept for on coming wagons pulling loads of wood. Mr. Robinson from Clanwilliam frequented this road. He hauled jackpine wood and got the nickname "Jackpine" Robinson.
In summer the children would play paper chase across the road from the school. Also we built treehouses as George Woloshen enjoyed doing this. A good time was had all year in activities around the school.
As the children of the family got older they got jobs to help the family. Mike worked for Mr. Christopherson for $5.00 a month. Ann got a job in Erickson for Mr. Doner. After Pauline left school she worked in a little store owned by Mr. Gusdal, two doors from Mr. Doner's store. She later worked for Mr. Doner for a few years too. During part of the time that Fred went to school, he lived with and worked for John Larson. He helped with chores before and after school. When he left, Mr. Larson gave him a cow for his services. He then worked for Arnie Hillstrand at his home and at the sawmill across from John Purvis' house and Andrew Speechly's place. After that he worked for Matt Olson at the fox ranch until 1939.
Winters were severe and dad hauled wood to Min nedosa. It stormed so badly that often mother and the