Katherine Shatulsky reminisces about her childhood in Ukraine and immigration to Canada.


I was born on October 12,1896, in the village of Illintsi, Sniatyn District (today - Ivano-Frankivsk). My parents, Yurko and Anna (Danysh) Semeniuk, had seven children - six boys and one girl.

One of the boys, Ivan, died at an early age, shortly before the death of our mother who passed away in 1904.

My formal education consisted of only one and a half years in school in the neighbouring town of Zabolotiv. During this period, four of my brothers left for Canada. They emigrated, in the main, to avoid being conscripted into the Austrian army. After the passing of my mother, and with only one son left at home, my father, who wasn't in very good health, also decided to go to Canada.

My father, my cousin Fedir Danysh, and I arrived in Canada, in the port city of Quebec, on July 12, 1906, and went directly to Edmonton, arriving there on July 27th. We moved in with three of my brothers who had come to Canada earlier. I was ten years old at the time.

Due to economic hardships at home, I went to work when I was twelve for a family where I looked after a little girl and helped in the kitchen. For this I received five dollars a month plus room and board.

I continued to work for a number of years, looking after children for various families in Edmonton, always living away from home and giving most of my earnings to my father. Still in my teens, I continued to work at various jobs - as a cashier in the Hudson's Bay department store, in a factory where they made overalls and in a biscuit factory.

It was at this time, in 1916, that I began attending the various functions of the Taras Shevchenko Self-Education Society in Edmonton. I joined the Society and participated in a number of activities, including the choir and drama group. It was there that I met Matthew Shatulsky who was the conductor of the Society's choir. I married him on June 3, 1922.

interview by Peter Krawchuk


Amateur cast of the paly "The Slaves"
Cardiff, Alberta, Canada

Provincial Archives of Alberta