Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Merger unifies pair of Ukrainian fraternal groups

  • Print

A storied fraternal group based in Winnipeg’s North End has merged its business dealings with another organization, but little else is expected to change for its clients.
The Ukrainian Mutual Benefit Association of Saint Nicholas of Canada, a fraternal benefit society started in 1905 for Ukrainian immigrants living in Canada, recently merged with another fraternal group, the not-for-profit Ukrainian Fraternal Society of Canada Life Insurance, founded in 1921.  Ruslan Zeleiuk, a member of the UMBA’s audit committee, said that changing times resulted in the benefit association’s services being used less and less.
The UMBA was formed as a sort of financial co-op and fraternal group to help immigrants arriving in Canada from Ukraine. But as the descendants of those original clients grew up, there was less of a demand for the organization’s services.
"Most of the people who are the sons and daughters of the Ukrainian pioneers, they’ve become full members of Canadian society. They support, but not that much, the organization, along with different ones as well," Zeleiuk said.
"The older generation is passing away. The organization is in a very good financial state and everything, but this was a shrinking, a shrinkage of the membership, because it was a small organization."
According to a statement issued by the UFSC, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty signed an authorization last December which allowed the UMBA to cease its day-to-day operations so long as its holdings were reinsured by the UFSC.
As a result, the UFSC acquired all of the UMBA’s relevant records and has put a system into place to administer its policies for policyholders.
"Fraternal benefit societies have a vital role in their communities. Fraternals provide security to their members with insurance programs, provide member benefits such as scholarships, and help support a diverse array of charitable activities," the UFSC’s statement said.
Zeleiuk called the merger a friendly one. While the insurance businesses of the two entities have now been merged, he said the fraternal order of Saint Nicholas is also still in existence by itself. The UMBA has now moved out of their old offices at the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Arlington Street, which has since gone up for sale. The UFSC’s offices are located at 235 McGregor Street.
"It’s a similar organization, formed (after) ours. It’s a bit different people, because they’re from a different congregation," Zeleiuk said.
"But this was a nice gesture, to unite all Ukrainians… We are so proud we’ve united these two organizations."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Do you think Canada Post should be responsible for clearing snow away from its community mailboxes?

View Results