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 (1935). Do you know how the performances of the two troupes differed? Let me know.
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 today 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. Toma “Thomas” “Tom” Banda was born in the area of Disley, Saskatchewan and would have been about twenty-one when this photo was taken. He is the brother to both Rose Rachel (#9) and Paraschiva "Eva" (#15) in the photo. When Toma "Thomas" "Tom" was about three years old his parents moved the family to a farm north of Kayville. His father Vasile was killed in a farming accident when he was thirteen (Read more in So There We Were, Standing On The Side of the Road). When he was fifteen his mother remarried and it was only a short year later when his stepfather died of pneumonia. He would still have been single in this photo but in one more year he would marry eighteen year-old Maria "Mary" Dobra. They would be married for fifty-nine years and raise five children together. Toma "Thomas" "Tom" died at the age of eighty-two and was laid to rest in Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
2. Costantine “Conn” Morse was born on the family farm just outside Kayville, Saskatchewan and would have been about twenty-five when this photo was taken. He was single at the time but in five years when he was thirty years-old he would marry nineteen year-old Mollie Cojocar. They would be married for thirty-six years and raise four children together until his early death in 1977 at the age of sixty-six. Constantine "Conn" is buried at the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan with his wife.
3. Stefan Rusu was born in Saskatchewan on his parents farm north of Kayville. He would have been about twenty-one when this photo was taken. He would marry Rose "Rosie" Dobra and raise five children. Sadly he was widowed when Rosie died at the age of thirty-six. Stefan "Steve" passed away at the age of sixty-six and is buried in the Regina Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan next to his wife.
4. Artemi “Art” Donison was born in the area of Satu Mare in Romania. When he was fourteen he immigrated with his parents to Canada. His parents homesteaded southwest of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan in the Stonehenge area. Around the year 1922 he married Mary Kozak and they raised five children. Artemi "Art" farmed, worked construction and eventually semi-retired to Regina, Saskatchewan when he was fifty-one and fully retired at the age of seventy-five. In his semi-retirement he worked as a maintenance man for St. George’s Romanian Orthodox Church. He died at the age of eighty-five and is buried in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan with his wife.
5. losif Ştefănuţ
6. Simion Rotar
7. Ilie Riţcu
8. Nicuţă Moscaliuc was a well-known fiddle player in the area. He was also the musician for another group, Kayville and Avonlea Drama Company (1928). Read more about him in Good Evening, Honourable Guests! Was he related to Maria (#12) or Eleonora (#19) in this photo?
9. Rose Rachel Hayko nee Banda was born on the family farm north of Kayvile, Saskatchewan and was about fifteen years old in this photo. She also danced in the other troupe Arcaşul Romanian Dance Troupe (1935). She is the sister of Toma "Thomas" "Tom" (#1) and Paraschiva "Eva" (#15) in this photo. Their father Vasile was killed in a farming accident when she was about 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. 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.
10. Paraschiva Rusu
11. Anica Rusu
12. Maria Moscaliuc. Was Maria related to Nicuţă (#8) or with Eleonora (#19)? If you know please share with me!
13. Gheorghe Majeran, Troupe Director for this group as well as Arcaşul Romanian Dance Troupe (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.
15. Paraschiva “Eva” Stefan nee Banda was born on a farm in the area of Disley, Saskatchewan and would have been about seventeen in this photo. She was a sister to both Toma "Thomas" "Tom" (#1) and Paraschiva "Eva" (#15) in this photo. When she was about a year old her parents moved the family to a farm north of Kayville, Saskatchewan. Her father Vasile was killed in a farming accident when she was nine (Read more in So There We Were, Standing On The Side of the Road). When she was eleven her mother remarried and when she was twelve her stepfather died of pneumonia. She would have been single when this photo was taken but in the following year she would marry twenty-two year old Joseph "Joe" Stefan. They would be married for fifty-three years until Joseph's death at the age of seventy-five in 1989. Paraschiva "Eva" lived as a widow for twenty-two years before dying at the age of ninety-two. She is buried with her husband at Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
16. Ana Avram. I am going out on a limb here and guessing that this Ana is the sister of Maria (#16) sitting next to her. I'll also assume that all of the dancers are older teens or younger adults. I believe therefore that Ana is Anne "Annie" Popescu nee Avram who would have been about eighteen when this photo was taken. I don't know much about Anne "Annie" but I believe that she passed in 1996 at the age of seventy-eight in Manitouwadge, Ontario.
17. Maria Avram. Following my logic with Ana #16 I believe that this is her sister Mary Bogdan nee Avram who would have been around twenty years old in this photo. Mary would have been single at the time of the photo but in the following year married Vasile Bogdan. Together they were married sixty-three years and raised three children. Mary's husband Vasile died when he was eighty-five when Mary was eighty-four. Mary died a year later at the age of eighty-five and is buried with her husband in the Regina Funeral Home and Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
18. Ion Magheran
19. Eleonora Moscaliuc. Was she related to Nicuţă (#8) or Maria (#12) in this photo? If you know, please let me know!