Vasile Banda, father of eight, was killed in a farm accident during the harvest of September 1927. Based on this photo his burial was well attended. Unfortunately for us the names of the people who posed for this photo are largely unknown to me. Perhaps you recognize some of the faces?
On September 24, 1927 the autumn grain harvest was underway and Vasile Banda was moving a thresher from one field to the other with his steam tractor. He was alone. The other men were elsewhere as Vasile backed the tractor up to the thresher. Somehow he fell into the whirling machinery and belts and had his face and chest crushed. The men returned to find him battered but still alive.
They desperately drove him to the hospital in Regina which likely took more and an hour bouncing over dirt and gravel roads. By the next day he was dead.
Dead of His Injuries
Vasile Banda left his wife of seventeen years, Maria "Mary" a widow and his eight children without a father. You can read more about the incident in the article So There We Were, Standing On The Side of the Road.
Saint Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church?
This photo was taken on the day Vasile was buried, probably around October 1, 1927. From the photo I am not 100% certain but I think that this might be the Saint Mary's Church by Kayville. The reason why I am not certain is because the semicircular window over the doors doesn't match any photo I have of the church. Also there should be a second door on the lower left of the church in the photo that would also help confirm that this is indeed Saint Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church by Kayville but it is either obscured or missing.
The grave of Vasile Banda was moved from the cemetery at St. Mary's Church where he was buried on the day of this photo. He was moved to instead rest beside his wife Maria "Mary" after she died in 1961. He is now buried in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
How Many Do You Recognize?
I have marked fifty-three people in this photo where I can see a whole or portion of a face. There are a couple more heads in the photo but I don't think we will know who those people might be.
We can trust that the people in the photo were Bandas, knew the Banda family or at the very least were members of the Saint Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church parish.
Perhaps this photo is known to your family and you have more information to share? Please send me your comments and use the numbers I have labelled each person with in order to aid their identification.
If you need to see a larger version of this photo please click here or on the photo above.
List of people in the photo by number:
6. Anna G. Donisan nee Maloce I am guessing...
18. Unknown pallbearer
19. Joseph Purcell was one guess I was given on this guy with the glasses. Do you think so?
20. Unknown man. He is standing over the shoulder of the widow and seems to have his hand on the casket. Is this a sign of a close relationship?
22. Unknown priest
25. Prestul Dionisie Nechifor. He was born in 1856 and would have been about seventy-one in this photo. He served the parish at Flintoft, Saskatchewan beginning in 1911 until 1928. In 1915 he helped consecrate Saint Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church in Kayville. Perhaps he is in the photo Early Saint Mary's Church Group. He also served in Wood Mountain and in Saint Nicolas (Regina). He eventually returned to Romania in his final years.
26. Vasile Banda was only thirty-six when he died.
27. Maria "Mary" Banda nee Comshoi was widowed for the first time at the age of thirty-seven on the death of Vasile Banda (#12)
28. Unknown woman. Given that she is standing beside the widow at the head of the casket and is wearing a similar hat I am assuming she is special to Vasile Banda (#26) or Maria "Mary" Banda nee Comshoi (#27). Sister? Sister-in-law? Cousin?
29. Unknown boy. Like woman #28 this boy has a special role and is either being held by #28 or is standing beside her. Vasile Banda's (#26) oldest son, Toma "Tom", was thirteen years old when his father died. This boy looks younger than that to me. What do you think? The next son it might be would be Vasile "Wesley" who would have been four. Maybe...
30. Father Teofil Maxim. Born in Arborea, Raudauti on August 1, 1894. He was about thirty-three years old in this photo. He led the Kayville Parish from 1925 to 1935. He also served the Flintoft, Elm Springs and Saint Nicolas (Regina) parishes from 1932 to 1937. In 1937 he later relocated to Timmins, Ontario and was parish priest at St. Mary's Church there until he retired in the 1962. He retired to Regina, Saskatchewan and passed away at the age of eighty-six in 1980 and rests in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery.
34. Gheorghi "George" Donisan I believe...
41. Unknown pallbearer
45. Maria "Mary" Cojocar nee Banda I believe...