Trailblazers of Ukrainian Emigration to Canada: Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypow
by Marshall A. Nay
Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta
The role of Pylypow and Eleniak in Ukrainian Canadian history has become somewhat legendary. Although neither pioneer achieved significant public visibility during his life in either the Old Country or in Canada, they nevertheless contributed in two significant ways to their new homeland: by helping to trigger a massive emigration of Ukrainians from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Canada and by becoming highly successful "transplants" themselves. Each in his own unique way made significant history, and as a result has rightly earned the honours bestowed upon him. It seems fitting that they should have their own full-blown biographies.
Author Marshall Nay has a personal interest in Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypow in that in some remote and indirect sense they were responsible for the emigration to Canada of both sets of his grandparents in 1900. Moreover, he knew some of the descendants of Eleniak and Pylypow personally.
In Trailblazers of Ukrainian Emigration to Canada the author depicts not only the lives of Eleniak and Pylypow in both the Ukraine and Canada, but he also describes the context in which they lived in both countries.
About the Author: Marshall Alexander Nay is a native Albertan. Born in Mundare, he grew up and was educated in Hilliard, Alberta. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in chemistry, and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Alberta and became a professor at the University of Alberta in 1960, where he taught and did research in the Department of Secondary Education and in the Department of Chemistry.
Marshall has always been keenly interested in his ethnic roots. Upon retirement in 1989, he began to study the history of the Ukrainian Canadian community. The stimulus to write the biographies of Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypow came from the celebrations held in 1991 to mark the centennial of the Ukrainian presence in Canada. These two pioneers came to Canada in 1891. The year of their arrival is generally recognized as a "historical marker" for the settling of Ukrainians in western Canada.
Marshall and his wife Elizabeth live in Edmonton. They Have three children.
"Trailblazers of Ukrainian Emigration to Canada:
Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypow"
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