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His wife and daughters were not able to come to Canada to join him as war broke out in Europe and he did not know how they were as they were not able to communicate. Tekla and the girls had to endure many hardships for several years as different armies were in their area. When the battle was very intense they were moved out of the village to another part of the country, where they lived in barracks, then came back to their home to find everything in ruins. It was not until July, 1921, that Tekla and the girls arrived in Canada.
By this time Billy had a farm for them to come to, the S.W. 2-17-1SW quarter. It was just east of the Crocus station. Later they moved to S.W. 15-17-1SW and lived there until 1931. Their third daughter, Stella, was born there on January 9, 1925.
In 1930, they bought the S.E. 5-17-1SW from Roy Shellborn. Before they could move a house was built out of 4 x 4's. They farmed there until 1943 when they had a sale and rented the farm out. A house was bought in town but they liked to go to the farm, where they had a large garden. Billy passed away on August 12, 1949, at the age of 70 and was buried in Rackham cemetery. Tekla resided in Erickson until 1959, when she moved out to the farm of her daughter and son-in-law, Stella and Ernest Hill. She had her own house in the yard. She passed away on February 24, 1967, and was buried in St. Jude's Cemetery, Erickson.
Mary, was the eldest daughter of Wasyl and Tekla Oleniuk. She was born in Zywarciw, Ukraine, on May 1, 1907, and came to Canada with her mother and sister in July, 1921. Besides helping her parents on the farm she worked at the Wilson Greenlaw home for four years. In June, 1926, she married Mike Byskal of Rackham, where they resided on a farm. (refer to Mike Byskal),
Annie, was the second daughter of Wasyl and Tekla Oleniuk, born in Zywarciw, Ukraine, on August 29, 1909, and came to Canada in July, 1921. She attended school at Lakelet for a while, and then worked at the Greenlaw home doing housework. In October, 1930, she married Thomas Soltys and they resided in Erickson. (refer to Thomas Soltys).
Stella, born on January 9, 1925, at the farm S.W. 15- 17 -ISW in the Westmount district. I remember how ·cold it was while we lived there as there was no shelter. As our house was close to the railroad I was very frightened of the trains that went by. It wasn't until I had a train ride to see my uncle at Oakburn that my fears disappeared.
We moved to our farm on S.E. 5-17-ISW in 1931. These were the "dirty thirties" and life was a struggle at times. We had cattle, chickens, turkeys and pigs and farmed with horses. Several horses died due to sleeping sickness and sometimes my Dad had only three horses to hitch up to the binder in order to cut the crop. The cattle had to be watered at the far corner of the farm at a lake. After digging many wells we finally got good water in the yard and were happy to pump by hand.
Mother had to help with the farm work, be it stooking, haying, picking roots or milking cows. We separated the cream and she would churn it into butter and make pound prints and take these to Doner's Store in exchange for groceries. Later on, the cream truck would pick up the cream, which was kept cool by hanging the can in the
well. In winter mother did a lot of spinning and carding of wool. She never had a spinning wheel, but used a shaped stick which she twirled in her hand.
I attended school at Westmount, and as we spoke Ukrainian at home I could not speak very many words of English when I started school. Miss Bessie Bradshaw was my first teacher.
Field Days at Clanwilliam and Erickson in the thirties was something to look forward to. Here I would enter in the races, high jump and broad jump in order to get some spending money, as they paid 15 cents for coming first. I would try extra hard to make some money for ice-cream and candy.
Christmas concerts held at the school were a big event as all children took part in the program. A new dress was a must for the concert and money had to be scraped up somehow and an order put in to Eaton's catalogue.
We were of Greek Catholic faith but with no church close by we did not get to church often. Sometimes service was held at a neighbour's home. We tried to get to Mountain Road church when they held their annual picnic on July 12th.
Crocus Post Office, where we got our mail, was two and a half miles from our home. Mr. Weiman was the Postmaster and I would go for the mail once a week, either on horseback or walk.
Going to Clear Lake for the first time was a memorable day. My dad and I rode in the back of Mr. Greenlaw's truck and it happened to be the opening of the Park in 1933. Another exciting day I remember was going to Brandon for the first time. This was to see the King and Queen in 1939.
With all the hardships of the thirties behind, I quit school and went to work. My first job was doing housework for $10. a month at the Wilson Greenlaw home. I was there for several years at different times. When ever needed, I would help out at the Frank Johnston home. Working at these two homes enabled me to learn the art of baking and cooking, which brought me many first prizes at country fairs several years later. I also did a bit of paper-hanging and papered in many homes in the area in my spare time.
Doner's Lodge was my place of employment for three summers, and winters found me working at the Dominion Cafe in Erickson. In 1944, I went to Winnipeg and worked at McDonald's Aircraft as a mechanic. Going to British Columbia in 1946, I worked at the Royal City Cafe in New Westminster. Upon returning to Manitoba I worked at the I. T. Grill for almost three years, then going to Winnipeg in 1949 and working at Perth's Dry Cleaners for 45 cents an hour until I was married to Ernest Hill in June, 1949, and once again came to live on a farm. (refer to Ernest Hill).
The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's far less competition.