In 1935 a dance troupe in Kayville called Arcaşul (The Archer) was keeping Romanian music, dance and dress alive. People had to make their own fun in the early days of prairie life. Joining into community activities and contributing to enriching the lives of others was just good fun. I imagine these young people entertained at many celebrations around the region!
This was one of two dance troupes. You can read about the other one in Arcaşul Romanian Dance Troupe II (1935).
In my journey tracing family history I have been interested to note if families kept old traditions or if they anglicized over the generations. My family passed down an appreciation for Romanian culture and some favourite traditional recipes but we did not continue with the spoken language or the orthodox religion. Different families had different values and it is interesting to see the evolution.
If these dancers are your parents, grandparents or great grandparents I hope you celebrate their preservation of the Romanian culture whether your modern family continues with them or not.
Most of the people this photo are not in my tree however if you want to contribute a little information about them I would gratefully include it on this webpage! Also, I don't have a very good version of this photo, do you have a better one? Can you scan me a better copy if you have it?
People in the Photo
1. Gheorghe Rotariu
2. Emil Onieu
4. Ion Dennis
5. Nicolae Dennis
6. Rose Rachel Hayko nee Banda was born in Canada and was about fifteen years old in this photo. She also danced in the other troupe Arcaşul Romanian Dance Troupe II (1935). Her father Vasile was killed in a farming accident when she was seven (Read more in So There We Were, Standing On The Side of the Road). When she was nine her mother remarried and when she was ten her step father died of pneumonia. Her young half-sister is Victoria "Vickie" (#16). She would marry Andrew in four more years when she was nineteen years old. They would farm together and be married for fifty-two years, raising two daughters. Rose passed away at the age of ninety-five and rests in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan with her husband.
7. Dorothy Ursu nee Krasuin was about twenty-two years old in this photo. She would marry Joseph Ursu and lived to the age of eighty-one. She is buried in the St. Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church Cemetery beside the church in Kayville with her husband.
8. Unknown woman
10. Victor Oglan, fiddle player
11. Maria Rieger nee Roşca
12. Anna Vasilash nee Roşca
13. Gheorghe Majeran, Troupe Director for this group as well as Arcaşul Romanian Dance Troupe II (1935). George was born in Comanesti, Romania in about 1904 and immigrated to Canada in 1930. Somehow he found his way to Kayville for a while because we have this photo! He would have been single and about thirty-one years old in this photo. He must have been very knowledgable in the art of traditional dance and performance. He wouldn't marry Katie Hauca from Boian, Alberta until 1942 after which they moved to Sudbury, Ontario (which had a small Romanian community) to work in the nickel mines for International Nickel Co.. George and Katie would raise ten children together. In 1950 George was back in Kayville and he purchased "The Ursu Hotel" on the northwest corner of the main intersection in Kayville. A mere six months after buying it his hotel burnt down after a fire erupted in the building next door. He had it rebuilt out of brick the next year and named it "The Georgian Hotel". You can read more about these events in Kayville Timeline. George Majeran died in 1965 at the age of 61 and rests in the Saint Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Cemetery in Kayville.
14. Helen Brailean nee Nencescu
15. Stella Ciuca nee Dennis
16. Victoria "Vickie" Papp nee Cracuin was around five years old in this photo. Her half-sister in the photo is Rose (#6). Victoria "Vickie" was born never knowing her father for he died before she was born in a tragic farming accident (Read more in So There We Were, Standing On The Side of the Road). She grew up in the Banda household with eight half-brothers and half-sisters and was the only sibling with the last name of Cracuin. When she was twenty-one she married Ernest "Ernie" Papp and together they raised three children together. They were married for fifty-four years until the death of her husband. Victoria lived to the age of eighty-eight and passed away in 2018.