PLACE TO SHOW OUR STUFF
about every major city in North America has a
museum and an art gallery in which the cultural
arts of civilizations past and present are
Where does one go to see the Slovak
contributions to North American life? Where do
you take your children to show them what Slovaks
have done in Canada and the United States?
When my mother died we children fell heir to
piles of formal photographs of Slovak wedding
parties taken in the 30s and the 40s.There are
probably descendants of people in those pictures
who have never seen these photos. We have
photographs taken at picnics and of casts of
plays that were put on under the church. Today
they are terrific memories of our community's
past, as well as a great remembrance to the
families of those who are in those photographs.
But who will ever see them?
We have tremendous artists like the Kovaliks
(father and son), Marta Brestovanka, Andy
Lukacko, etc. Wouldn't it be great to have a
place where their works with others could be on
permanent display to show Canadians and Americans
what our artists are achieving here?
Think of the trophies and medals our athletes
have won. What a great exhibit it would be for
them and photographs of their moments of success
for us and for others to see.
Our dance groups have evolved into
professionalism, and many of their performances
are on photograph and on film. One exhibit could
show these together with the costumes they wore,
and costumes which our parents brought with them
to North America when they immigrated here.
When the new Sts. Cyrils & Methodius
church was being dedicated, I could not help but
think of the many hours my mother spent
embroidering vestments for use by the then Father
Shuba at the dedication of the original church
and at Mass. Where are those priceless vestments
now? Can they be traced? They would be valuable
articles to show what work our people did and
what kind of vestments were used in services in
those beginning days of our parishes.
Think of the success our people have been in
music, art and drama (Dobias, Schramek). The
success in medicine (the Doctors Sirek), Steve
Roman in the uranium mining industry, our
computer wizards (Sirocky, Slama, Lukac), our
Slovak politicians who made it to the Canadian
Parliament (Tony Roman, Paul Szabo), the Ontario
Legislature (George Ben, Peter Kormos) and the
many others of whom I am not aware but who should
be honoured with space at the Exposition of
Slovak Life in Canada.
At a time when we are closing down our halls
and churches and losing contact with each other,
we need to consider ways of keeping the community
together, perhaps in ways you had not considered
before possible. We may not be able to meet
regularly because of space, time and distance,
but we must preserve the community as a community
in Canada including by being proud of what was
here before so that we can continue contributing
both to the North American lifestyle that is
developing here, and also to the reputation of
the country of our heritage by our presence here.
Every community has its remembrances and
evidence of the past. But what good does it do
the community to have it packed away in a closet
where no one can see it?
Let our churches and our fraternals take the
lead in making museums a project they can jointly
The time has come to do these things.