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Logo for the 9th Anniversary

CULTURE

Masses were said in Latin, but many of the hymns were sung in Slovak and Slovak traditions remembered from the old country were maintained. On Holy Saturday's evening Mass for instance, the children of the parish participated in a procession during which they dropped flower petals as they proceeded the priest carrying a statue of the risen Christ to be placed at the altar. This tradition would be maintained into the 1970s. The women of the parish would also bring in baskets filled with decorated eggs, and loaves of paska (symbolic of the Bread of Life and Risen Lord ) to place at the altar for a blessing. The very best of their embroidered linen covered the contents of the decorated baskets which would  become the centrepiece of the table at home at Easter dinner.  At Christmas, the church would be decorated with real pine boughs and after the traditional 12 course meatless meal, people would flood into the church for Midnight Mass. For Christmas the choir often featured violins in addition to the pipe organ. Hellena Janostak  was the organist in those early days, and Tomas  Kastak  the custodian who also rose early each day to ring the bells- once at 8:30, once at 8:45 and again at 9:00 (last call).

In 1927 when Canada was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee, the local Czecho-Slovak League shared their cultural heritage for the first time with the larger Fort William community. Over two hundred people, many wearing traditional dress, ignored the time and a half they could be making for work on a holiday, and met at the church. From there the followed the two floats, one decorated to demonstrate traditions of Slovak spinning crafts and the other to contain the orchestra and singers, to join the main parade traveling to the Exhibition grounds where they would dance and sing in the jubilee  programme.

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Janosikova Druzina Dancers entertaining during Slovak festivities in the basement of St. Peterís church in March 1973.
Photo by: P. Suffak

Rule

For more details about the upcoming events, contact
Pauline Krupa
at RR14 621 Gorevale Road Thunder Bay P7B 5N1 or
Angela Meady at
ameady@norlink.net

Site Webmaster is Ondro Mihal at omihal@slovak.com.

Document written by Angela Meady (Mikita) © 1998. All rights reserved.
All graphics, design, structure by Ondro Mihal.
All contents ©  1998. All rights reserved.
Last update:
Jan 10, 1998