Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Russian Family's take on Canada at the Turn of the Century

If you haven't, please read the introduction first

“ The worst thing that happened to the Ivanov family in this time period was the dismiss of Povel and Palton due to WWI. Povel and Palton were sibling of Filat. As the family recalled, Mr. Ivanov had told their sons “It is your responsibility to save your kids and country”. He also said, “Russians are on the battlefield, so you must go and join them” Therefore, Filat, the olderest son, left with no choice. Filat's wife, Anya, had a two year old son, Maczim. Anya and Mrs. Ivanov didn't like the fact that Filat was going for the war leaving the family behind. Mr. Ivanov decided not to go for the war because of his old age. He was then 55 years old at the time. However, he was glad to see his sons leaving home for the Western Front. The day they left was a significant moment in everyone's life. As soon as they left home, the Ivanov family had changed. Mr Ivanov retired from his job. Therefore, his wife had to find a job. Many vacancies were there due to the missing men in the war. She was given a job in the same place where her husband used to work; in the railway ballast labor camp. Filat's two sisters, Sabina and Selena, decided to help their mother. Nevertheless, Mr. Ivanov didn't allow them to do so. However, after Filat had arrived home they told him that they got plenty of time after school, and spent that time helping Mrs. Ivanov. Anya, came to live with Filat's parents. She couldn't help Mrs. Ivanov and Filat's sisters in the factory because she had to take care of Maczim. However, she did help Mrs Ivanov at home and she also looked after Mr. Ivanov. There was a letter written by Filat to the Ivanov family while he was serving at Vimy Ridge in March in 1917. On those days, everybody felt confident about the Allies’ victory because of the great battle. However, as a newly immigrated family, the Ivanovs' always worried about thier kids. On top of that, when Filat had arrived at home, he was informed that Platon, who was thirty years old then, killed during a battle in Passchendele in 1917. This is another dreadful moment that the Ivaonovs still share. Mr. Ivanov did not feel as bad as Mrs. Ivanov. Mr. Ivanov said Platon served bravely for Canada.”

This is just the first part of the discussion that I had with the Ivaov Family. More to come later.

- David

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