Volume #2

Hearst (Ontario)

Fall 1996

Mary Lasan Marzan

My father John Lasan was born in Mokra Luka Slovakia , and came to Canada in 1928. He went to Winnipeg and worked on the farms harvesting wheat for a year. Then he travelled to Montreal and got a job on the railway.

My father married Kristina Garec in Mokra Luka . Kristina Garec was born in Pohorella. I was born in Mokra Luka. In 1930 my mother and I left Slovakia to join my father in Montreal. My dad was laid of work while we were on the ship.

The Big Depression was on and there were no jobs for the men. Mom found work at a textile factory. We had enough money to buy food.

We shared a flat with my Aunt Anne and Joe Ziga. Uncle Joe heard of work in Northern Ontario. The Government gave homesteads to new immigrants. We all packed up and left for Hearst Ontario. The Land was nine miles away from there. It was all, bush just a walking path. We all got our land and the men worked hard clearing the forest and built log cabins to live in . It was hard work and mom and dad worked side by side. They finally cleared enough for a big garden and grass fields for animals.

They cut wood all summer, (logs) and mom peeled the bark off each log. Then in winter, they were hauled of f by teamsters to Stavert.

In a couple of years , we built a better house which is now somewhere in the Hearst area.

The school was finally built too. Our first teacher was Miss Stella Drajanoff. She was a great teacher and was a good friend to all the town people.

My mom used to sew for all her friends, by hand at first. Then she finally ordered a sewing machine from Montreal. She was the only one to have one. It was a hard life and was very cold in winter. I walked a mile to school, and was pretty frozen when I got there. All the students warmed up around the big wooden stove before classes began.

We had community dances in the school. The chairs and tables were cleared to one side and a few men played instruments and they were the orchestra: 2 violins and an accordion. The families had fun dancing and the children were brought along as there were no baby-sitters ! The kids joined their parents and the rest of the crowd in the dance. What a fun time!

My sister, Ann, was born on Nov. 27, 1938 in St. Paul’s Hospital in Hearst. She was delivered by Dr. Margaret Arkinstall. She was 2 months premature, and she was kept warm with hot water bottles as there was no incubator in the hospital. Ann did very well and came home with mom in 2 weeks time.

In summer, mom took Ann to the bush as she worked along with dad. The mosquitoes were awful and bit us terribly. At night , we built a fire in front of the door to drive them away.

The church was built too. All the Children had their first communion and later confirmation. The priest conducted mass about once a month; we all enjoyed mass and communion.

Friends of Bradlo - Newsletter Copyright by Rudy Bies 1997
All contents for www.slovak.com 1997, Ondro Mihal.
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Last update on March 29, 1997.