Passing of Prominent Doukhobors
By Koozma J. Tarasoff, May 22,
recent passing of prominent
Doukhobors gives us pause to give
thanks to those pioneers who have made a difference and who will be
missed. In the past three years here are several pioneers who deserve
to be recognized:
|William E. (Bill)
Kootnekoff (1922-2004). Bill was a prominent singer
whose voice and wisdom will be missed in Western Canada. He organized
the USCC Male Choir in 1945 and was one of the main initiators of the
Annual Union of Youth Festivals in the Kootenays of British Columbia in
1948. On May 19-20, 2007, the Festival commemorated its 60th
Anniversary. For a biography of Bill, see my book Spirit
Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living, 2002: 82-83.
Sketch is by artist Volodia Gubanov, July 15, 1995.
(1927-2004). Mary served as secretary for the Doukhobor Society
of Verigin in Saskatchewan and devoted many years to the choir and
organization of both the society and the National Doukhobor Heritage
Village. During the Doukhobor Centennial celebrations, she coordinated
the creation of a Centennial Quilt (right) with contributions of
around the world. See my book Spirit Wrestlers:
Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living, 2002: 66-67; Iskra, October 29, 2004: 72; Dove, October 2004: 18.
Andrevna) Ozeroff (1918-2005). During my Western
Canada research expedition in 1990, Julia shared her extensive
knowledge about Doukhobor traditions and folklore. She was an example
of what hospitality means. See my book Spirit
Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living, 2002:
326-327. See also Iskra, March
15, 2006: 41-42; April 2, 2007: 53, ‘The Journey of a Mother’, a
Kalesnikoff (1929-2006). For over 50years, Peter has managed
the Kalesnikoff Lumber Company in Thrums, BC. For its cleanliness, the
company has set a high standard for all to follow. Always generous to
help community causes, Peter was a friend to all and a fine example to
everyone. He has helped the construction of the Brilliant Community
Centre and the Whatshan Retreat Centre. See my book Spirit
Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living. 2002:
112-113; Iskra, April
19, 2006: 46-47.
Samorodin (1918-2007). As poet and self-taught translator,
Tim leaves a legacy of Doukhobor hymns and songs that future
English-speaking generations can not only understand, but can also
easily sing to in the traditional melodies. See my book Spirit
Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living, 2002: 97 and Iskra, April 2, 2007: 51-52,
and May 4, 2007: 53.
Novokshonoff (1928-2007). John was very proud of his Russian
heritage and was deeply committed to the preservation of the Russian
language amongst Canadian Doukhobors. He was gifted with a strong
melodious singing voice and regularly participated in choirs since the
early 1940s. As an eloquent pubic speaker he was known for his humor.
See obituary in Grand Forks Gazette.
April 25, 2007: 19.
Verigin (1933-2007). A carpenter by trade, Russell was
a devoted member of the USCC organization and gave much of his time to
help promote the Doukhobor culture. He belonged to several choirs and
conducted several more. See Iskra.
May 4, 2007: 50-51.