Anne Yanchyshyn

Anne Yanchyshyn

St. Vital community correspondent

Anne Yanchyshyn is a community correspondent for St. Vital.

Recent articles of Anne Yanchyshyn

More centenarians at Dakota House

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More centenarians at Dakota House

Anne Yanchyshyn 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Meet Louise Garbutt, an inspiring centenarian now in her ninth year at Dakota House.

She was born Louise Studham at Dugald, Man., on Feb. 6, 1922. After high school she worked at Eaton’s in the old building as a switchboard operator. One event seared into her memory bank is that of the Sept. 1, 1947, train accident at Dugald, labelled by Wikipedia as “the Minaki train crash.” (Interesting read.)

In 1942, Louise married a man in the air force, Arthur Garbutt. They lived in Brandon, followed by Winnipeg, where they raised two children. Their daughter, Sharon, became a junior high teacher in St. James, and their son, George, worked at Great-West Life. Both are now retired. Husband Arthur died in 2000.

When I asked what has been most important to her in her lifetime, Louise simply said “family”. She is proud to reveal that all four of her grandchildren are university grads, as celebrated in beautiful photos in her living room. I loved the amazing, enlarged portrait of birthday-girl Louise alone as well as with the many guests at her 100th birthday celebrations at her church. Her son-in-law, David McInnis, was the skillful photographer.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Dakota House resident Louise Garbutt turned 100 on Feb. 6.

My thoughts on Ukraine

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My thoughts on Ukraine

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

Since Feb. 24, as I’ve watched the daily news about Ukraine unfolding, I’ve cringed, teared up, and thanked the heavens for having been born in Canada. How excruciating it is to see Russia’s unprovoked, barbaric invasiona and destruction of that country.

I am a proud first-generation Polish/Ukrainian Canadian. Ukraine is my parents’ country of birth. Mother emigrated as a five-year-old with her Ukrainian parents in 1905 and Father, Polish/Ukrainian by birth, arrived in Canada at age 20 around 1910.

My cousin Lorraine and I visited this land of our ancestors in 2001, the 10th anniversary of Ukraine gaining freedom from the yoke of the USSR.

Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

A Ukrainian flagflies amongst other flags at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a march in support of Ukraine on May 15.

Meet our friend, Robert Boni

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Meet our friend, Robert Boni

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Let me introduce another tenant at Dakota House, Robert Boni. His legs don’t co-operate or match his smile and affable nature as he joins other guests at the dinner table. I found myself sitting beside him once and was amazed at his social graces – conversing, cracking jokes, having fun, and making other guests feel comfortable.

I have also been impressed watching him assist in running our movies. He has even written instructions on how to fix things during breakdowns.

“He is so kind and helpful, especially to one visually impaired viewer, Mary Jane Smith. He has a good heart,” noted fellow tenant Irene Young.

Robert also runs our Wii bowling program and participates in our weekly art classes. Friend Bernice (Bunny) Vanderelst emphasizes that “his handicap doesn’t stop him from doing things.”

Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Robert Boni, a well-liked member of the Dakota House community.

A snowy Ukrainian Christmas adventure

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A snowy Ukrainian Christmas adventure

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

In January, my jolly housekeeping friend Lucy begged me to write an article about myself for a change. Nothing too serious, please. So persuasive is her personality that I scurried off to obey…

My fridge was bursting at the seams with treats from several friends as I awaited my son’s precious visit from Toronto on Jan. 7, Ukrainian Christmas Day.

There was kutia, usually served first — the wheat, poppyseed and honey dish, with optional chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries — from Winnipeg friend Lorri, a “kindred spirit.” Unlike the cold porridge that it is sometimes mistakenly called, it can become addictive, all because it is so good! Kutia is now being served as a popular dessert all year round in Ukraine.

I also received tart shells and lemony filling, shortbread, red velvet cake and Nanaimo bars from Larry, a former student in the 1970s, and his wife Georgina (they are now grandparents); and, from staunch friend Sheila, two dozen perogies, plus, true to our heritage, a dozen pyrishky — tiny perogies made of yeasty dough stuffed with seasoned sauerkraut, to be slathered in garlicky butter and oven-crisped. In my earlier life this is what I’d often seen at bridal showers and birthday parties.

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

In January, my jolly housekeeping friend Lucy begged me to write an article about myself for a change. Nothing too serious, please. So persuasive is her personality that I scurried off to obey…

My fridge was bursting at the seams with treats from several friends as I awaited my son’s precious visit from Toronto on Jan. 7, Ukrainian Christmas Day.

There was kutia, usually served first — the wheat, poppyseed and honey dish, with optional chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries — from Winnipeg friend Lorri, a “kindred spirit.” Unlike the cold porridge that it is sometimes mistakenly called, it can become addictive, all because it is so good! Kutia is now being served as a popular dessert all year round in Ukraine.

I also received tart shells and lemony filling, shortbread, red velvet cake and Nanaimo bars from Larry, a former student in the 1970s, and his wife Georgina (they are now grandparents); and, from staunch friend Sheila, two dozen perogies, plus, true to our heritage, a dozen pyrishky — tiny perogies made of yeasty dough stuffed with seasoned sauerkraut, to be slathered in garlicky butter and oven-crisped. In my earlier life this is what I’d often seen at bridal showers and birthday parties.

Dakota House honours centenarians

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Dakota House honours centenarians

Anne Yanchyshyn 6 minute read Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

I’ll begin with a final tribute to our unforgettable centenarian Irene Milne, who passed away peacefully on Dec. 20 at age 102. She served as pianist for the Dakota House Dazzlers choir for 12 happy years and will be remembered by many Manitobans for her phenomenal skills on the piano. May she rest in peace…Our new centenarian, Frank Singer, was honoured at a birthday tea at Dakota House on Dec. 2. The head table included Frank and Margaret, another Dakota resident; and from the Czecho-Slovak Benevolent Association, Mr. and Mrs. Vilemm  Kun and another woman who read out a congratulatory letter from Petr Burianek, consul general of Czechia in Toronto, who eloquently expressed admiration for Frank’s “dedicated work within the expatriate community,” and thanked him for not forgetting his homeland.Later, Mr. Kun gave me a written account explaining why the consul sent congratulations to “such an ordinary honest hard-working person who was not a doctor, artist or politician — (it’s because) Frank has lived his life as a good hard-working person without any trouble with people or the law.” Frank expanded on Mr. Kun’s account of the traumas he experienced in Europe which became an overpowering influence on his life.Soon after his birth on Dec. 2, 1921, and his father’s early death, Frank’s German mother, who had to work to support herself, handed him over to his paternal grandmother.“I loved her as my mom — she was my caring mom,” he said. However, when he was eight, Frank’s remarried mother took the boy back to help look after his three half-siblings. In 1938, Frank was drafted by the Czechoslovakian army when the country was mobilizing against Hitler. After the subsequent German occupation, he was deployed as a drafted German soldier to the Russian front, captured, and spent three years as a prisoner of war.Upon returning to Czechoslovakia in 1946 and learning the upholstery trade, he could not find employment because he’d been a German soldier, so he fled to Austria. Within six years there he met and married an Austrian girl named Charlotte and got a job as a hydro lineman. But life was not easy so they emigrated to Canada.In Winnipeg they improvised as school caretakers and as butler and cook for a car company manager, until Frank became chef on a CN dining car, mainly on the Winnipeg-Banff line, until retirement. Interested in new experiences, Frank skated with his wife until 80 and learned to play the piano in his 90s, a carry-over from singing and playing on his Hawaiian guitar at the Czecho-Slovak Association. Compatriots from the association remember him fondly from picnics where, chef-like, he’d portion a roasted pig.Nowadays, at Dakota House, Frank participates in Wii bowling, where he once scored 298 points out of 300. In cribbage, his partner for two years, Sylvia, remembers him as a “kind person scrupulously fair and honest, with a mind as sharp as a tack.” At present he plays cribbage with Margaret, who doubles as his piano partner. “I’m not afraid of dying,” Frank said. “My wife was cremated and her ashes sent to Austria as she’d requested. But I like Canada. Our son lives here, and I will be buried here.”Congratulations on your 100th, Frank. Stay safe.Anne Yanchyshyn is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email her at acy@mymts.net

I’ll begin with a final tribute to our unforgettable centenarian Irene Milne, who passed away peacefully on Dec. 20 at age 102. She served as pianist for the Dakota House Dazzlers choir for 12 happy years and will be remembered by many Manitobans for her phenomenal skills on the piano. May she rest in peace…

Our new centenarian, Frank Singer, was honoured at a birthday tea at Dakota House on Dec. 2. The head table included Frank and Margaret, another Dakota resident; and from the Czecho-Slovak Benevolent Association, Mr. and Mrs. Vilemm  Kun and another woman who read out a congratulatory letter from Petr Burianek, consul general of Czechia in Toronto, who eloquently expressed admiration for Frank’s “dedicated work within the expatriate community,” and thanked him for not forgetting his homeland.

Later, Mr. Kun gave me a written account explaining why the consul sent congratulations to “such an ordinary honest hard-working person who was not a doctor, artist or politician — (it’s because) Frank has lived his life as a good hard-working person without any trouble with people or the law.” 

Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Frank Singer turned 100 on Dec. 2 at Dakota House.

Pickleball – the ‘new kid on the block’

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Pickleball – the ‘new kid on the block’

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

Last summer a member of our Dakota Community Centre, Kevin Brown, suggested I write a column in The Lance about a popular game called pickleball.

“It’s universal,” he said, “and Snowbirds play it down south.”

Pickleball is reputed to be the fastest-growing sport in North America. Take a bow, pickleball – you’re the “new kid on the block.” The Internet offers a great explanation about its origin and name but no, there is no pickle in Pickleball!

Briefly: three golfers in the northwestern United States devised this hybrid sport using simple materials on hand just to have some relaxing fun with family and friends. It is based on elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. The court is medium-sized and the game can be played by young and old and those between. A large paddle or bat and a plastic ball the size of a tennis ball — with larger holes for indoors and smaller holes for outdoors to counteract winds —completes the equipment list.

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

Dreamstime.com
A pickleball paddle and ball, pictured on an outdoor court.

They don’t know how to quit

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They don’t know how to quit

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Count that day lost whose low descending sun

Views from thy hand no worthy action done.

                                                                                                                              — Baltazar Gracian The handicrafters at Christ the King Church in St. Vital must have taken Baltazar Gracian to heart. Co-ordinator Brian Dawson has for years passed on their knitted or crocheted lap blankets to our seniors at Dakota House, to CancerCare, and to anyone else needing the feel of warmth and care in their hour of need. I have thankfully been blessed with one to keep my injured knee cozy during theevening news.

It reminds me of one seniors poetry-writing class. To motivate us, our instructor brought in a beloved memento of his late grandma — a faded, hand-knitted shawl he called a babushka. In the Jewish tradition it might have been called a prayer shawl, spelling comfort and loving arms and security back in his childhood days. I believe that today’s lap blankets serve a similar purpose.

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Jean Brydges and Ramy Remedios show off some of the lap blankets they’ve created, the Christ the King beige and green blanket sits at the centre.

Qaumajuq dazzles and inspires

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Qaumajuq dazzles and inspires

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

Qaumajuq means “It is bright. It is lit,” in Inuktitut. Pronounced “kah-mah’-yerk”, it is the name of the new Inuit Art Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

As you proceed north of the Legislative Building down Memorial Boulevard your attention is drawn to the white undulating extension to our Winnipeg Art Gallery’s south end — conjuring up expansive snow sculptures of the Arctic. How fitting that Qaumajuq opened the year we observed on a statutory National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, dedicated to Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

We have watched this centre being born step by step. Where once there was a low protective wall next to the sidewalk, our eyes can now gaze at the plaza in front of the new building with its beds of greenery and the warning not to trample on their space — they have just been planted. A fine metaphor for the state of our new appreciation of and respect for Indigenous culture.

One striking feature of this gallery is that the walls separating the outside from the treasures inside are made of glass. It indicates a kind of trust — that citizens can now look beyond the surface to see inside the culture and customs of the Inuit and admire them for what they are when left to flourish.

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

Supplied photo by Lindsay Reid
Qaumajuq, the new Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, is a facility of which all Winnipeggers should be proud.

It’s better to laugh about aging

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It’s better to laugh about aging

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

As I turn 94, I often look back at events of the past and find renewed energy in recalling the fun and friendships enjoyed during those halcyon years.

Here is one adventure from 14 years ago about three of us “youngsters” — me and the late Barbara Barnard and Virginia Andrew. We sat at dinner together, at times we took in mass together at Dakota House, and we drove together to the arts programs such as Winnipeg Symphony concerts.

My friends also accompanied me on shopping sprees. I should think they, too, are laughing from their perch at St. Peter’s side at this episode at Shoppers Drug Mart:

Picture this: a young, 40-ish assistant pharmacist facing three senior women aged 80, 81, and 83, all trying to figure out what they want.

Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

As I turn 94, I often look back at events of the past and find renewed energy in recalling the fun and friendships enjoyed during those halcyon years.

Here is one adventure from 14 years ago about three of us “youngsters” — me and the late Barbara Barnard and Virginia Andrew. We sat at dinner together, at times we took in mass together at Dakota House, and we drove together to the arts programs such as Winnipeg Symphony concerts.

My friends also accompanied me on shopping sprees. I should think they, too, are laughing from their perch at St. Peter’s side at this episode at Shoppers Drug Mart:

Picture this: a young, 40-ish assistant pharmacist facing three senior women aged 80, 81, and 83, all trying to figure out what they want.

A seasonal pot-pourri

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A seasonal pot-pourri

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

The seasons come and go — in nature as in our lives.

After not being in close contact with fellow tenants at our assisted living quarters for well over a year because of COVID-19 restrictions, we now look anxiously around us to see if we can spot the friends we’d made through our years of mutual fellowship.

Have they survived? Have they moved on to a nursing home? Or have they passed on, as we’re all destined to do eventually?

We feel blessed to meet new people outside our building, now that summer is here. They are trying to fit in and be accepted as we ourselves once had to do.

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Messages from the schoolchildren of today are written in the orange hearts on the lawn at École Jeanne-Sauve

Looking forward to seeing The Leaf

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Looking forward to seeing The Leaf

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg with its Conservatory has always been a place of refuge for me - and for thousands of other people.

I remember a walk a group of us seniors once went on to see the Leo Mol Gardens -  we ended up at the conservatory to rest our weary legs in the cool comfort of the lush greenery.

And I recall going there with my friend Lila to say goodbye to the place, for we had been notified that the conservatory was to be razed and replaced by Diversity Gardens - a one-of-a-kind colossal structure like none other in North America.

It wasn’t long before our conservatory disappeared. Always wanting to stay on top of things, I went to the internet for information. What was shown there was beyond belief. A variety of gardens would form what they called The Leaf. There would be sky-high trees, tropical, with a transparent roof above that would withstand our frigid/torrid Manitoba seasons. There were other features, all too futuristic to have credibility at the time. In fact, some people looked at me quizzically when I tried to describe what we were being told to expect in the future.

Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Diversity Gardens in Assiniboine Park, as it appeared while under construction in the fall of 2019.

A royalist’s rant

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A royalist’s rant

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

Where do I fit in?

A monarchist is one who believes in the institution of the monarchy, regardless of who sits on the throne, whereas a royalist is one who shows and feels deference for a particular monarch.

Call me a royalist. Queen Elizabeth has been my idol from the time I became aware of the young princess.

When I was around age 10 we used a history book in Grade 5 or 6 called Pages from Canada’s Story. Does anyone remember that book? I looked for and found its picture on the Internet – the very book that had a picture of the Royal Family that I gloated over in my younger years.

Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are pictured on their wedding day in a booklet that was given to correspondent Anne Yanchyshyn by a student in 1947.

Here’s my pandemic project – a new book

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Here’s my pandemic project – a new book

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Thursday, May. 20, 2021

There’s nothing but positives all around me:

As I write,  the sun is shining warmly to indicate our long-awaited spring season is here, and the mid-April snow that was so annoying has yielded much-needed moisture for nature so that we and our farmers can be happy. And...

My new book, Lance MUSINGS et al & Word Weavers, is ready.

It’s a combination of items: primarily all 100 of my 2013 to 2020 Lance newspaper columns. I did interviews with various people, I wrote about current newsworthy events, and I described my own reaction to past and current experiences. The many pictures, mostly in colour, add another eye-catching dimension. I also made room for reminiscences by a 1990s seniors writers’ group called Word Weavers.

Thursday, May. 20, 2021

Supplied photo
Anne Yanchyshyn with covers for her new book, Lance MUSINGS et al & Word Weavers.

My parents were 20th century heroes

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My parents were 20th century heroes

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

Having my meals delivered daily to my suite during the COVID-19 pandemic takes my mind back to the farm where I was raised.

I suddenly, poignantly, think of my mother and ask myself, “How did she ever manage to raise four children, with no electricity or running water, especially during the Great Depression of the 1930s when we children were small? And what did she feed us?”

We did lose my 18-year-old sister to meningitis in 1937, I remember. At a bit over age nine I  truly did not realize its finality nor the guilt my parents felt. But they stoically carried on, never talking about it, and three of us survived.

Today’s delivered meals smack of pampering, unlike those of my childhood years. We fed off the land - pioneer land ‘bought’ for 10 hard-earned dollars in the rocky, swampy interlake, south of Arborg.

Thursday, Apr. 22, 2021

Supplied photo
Grandson Matt shares his “borscht” with neighbours at a socially-distant back garden soup fest in Brooklyn, New York, in 2021.

“We’ve got you covered, COVID-19”

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“We’ve got you covered, COVID-19”

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021

I sat there, eyes moist, throat a bit tight - one among several well-distanced and masked tenants, with caring organizers milling about.

This was the day we’d been waiting for - Fri., Feb. 26, 2021, the day we’d receive our coronavirus pandemic vaccination at Dakota House Assisted Living quarters.

How small our planet has suddenly become. Good ol’ emotional me - it hit me that this procedure was happening all over the glove  

A moment of truth, a “sudden realization” - an epiphany, if you will. I don’t think I’d ever thought of our planet that way before: a mere ball, with all people our neighbours, no matter where they lived. I don’t think I’d ever felt this close to people around the globe before.

Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021

Courtesy of Government of Manitoba
Jennifer Cochrane, a public health nurse, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Joanna Robb, the first person in line during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite at the Keystone Centre in January.

Craft makers help people the world over

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Craft makers help people the world over

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

One story begets another. My December column about the generosity of fabulous knitter Pat Dodd prompted Linda Sidorow of Sage Creek to alert me about her cousin, Shelby Sturby. Shelby has crocheted over 1,900 Izzy dolls for children afflicted with poverty and hunger in war-torn countries and areas of natural disasters.

Izzy dolls? What are those?

It’s quite a story. Both the idea and pattern for these dolls were created by Carol Isfeld, the mother of Canadian Armed Forces soldier Master Cpl. Mark Isfeld.

During the first UN peacekeeping mission in Croatia, Mark noticed a child’s doll lying on a pile of rubble from a bombed house and thought of the need to reconnect a child with the joy that can come from a doll.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

Supplied photo
Shelby Sturby has crocheted over 1,900 Izzy dolls for distribution to children all over the world.

The things you learn when out for a walk…

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The things you learn when out for a walk…

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

One day last month I looked out the window and it was finally snowing — all two inches of the white stuff. It was so unusual for us in Manitoba to be experiencing snow-less surroundings two weeks into December.

Some days the temperature went up to 7 C. If ever there was cause to think about global warming, this was it. Instead, I chose to savour the weather and went for a walk down the street.

How do you describe the smell of air? Heady stuff — I was feeling fortunate to be here at all, in view of the number of seniors disproportionately becoming victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was a lilt in my step as I moved northward. Up ahead, screaming for my attention, was a rainbow flag on the electronic billboard right smack in front of the local church.

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

One day last month I looked out the window and it was finally snowing — all two inches of the white stuff. It was so unusual for us in Manitoba to be experiencing snow-less surroundings two weeks into December.

Some days the temperature went up to 7 C. If ever there was cause to think about global warming, this was it. Instead, I chose to savour the weather and went for a walk down the street.

How do you describe the smell of air? Heady stuff — I was feeling fortunate to be here at all, in view of the number of seniors disproportionately becoming victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was a lilt in my step as I moved northward. Up ahead, screaming for my attention, was a rainbow flag on the electronic billboard right smack in front of the local church.

Dakota CC — a true gem in our midst

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Dakota CC — a true gem in our midst

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

There’s a relatively new, bustling venue in our block — the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex/Dakota Fieldhouse at the Dakota Community Centre.

Thinking that an article about it would make a great ending for my eight-year series of Lance columns in my next book, Musings, I arranged an interview with Dakota CEO, Michele Augert, to learn more about their services.

(COVID-19, however, has destroyed any plans to launch the book in January.)

I have made peace with myself over the electronic billboard that got me writing to The Lance in the first place. In short, I’ve learned to live with it. May the 40-plus-year-old kangaroo fern I set in my window to block the sight of that billboard flourish for a few more years, as I hope to do.  

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

Photo by Simon Fuller/Canstar Community News files
The fieldhouse at Dakota Community Centre is hub of all kinds of community activity in south St. Vital.

In lieu of a 2020 Christmas letter

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In lieu of a 2020 Christmas letter

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

The deed is done. All but the last one of my Lance columns from 2013 to 2020 are securely tucked into my Musings book, and the Seniors’ Word Weavers vintage stories from the 1980s and ’90s have been prepared and are included in Part 2. It’s a big — over-250-pages — book full of pictures, and should be out in early 2021, depending on what COVID-19 dictates.

(Correction: My book could be ready for the press in the new year, but because of the need to “keep our distances” I shall postpone sales till spring. Look for further details in my Lance column later, as well as in the next Louis Riel Teacher/Support Staff Retirees newsletter, and hopefully in KIT magazine.)

First, a bit of history…

I started putting my book together back in 2019. Winter came and went, and I can honestly say the months just flew by as the characters in my columns kept me totally entertained. Writer Anais Nin says it best:

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

The deed is done. All but the last one of my Lance columns from 2013 to 2020 are securely tucked into my Musings book, and the Seniors’ Word Weavers vintage stories from the 1980s and ’90s have been prepared and are included in Part 2. It’s a big — over-250-pages — book full of pictures, and should be out in early 2021, depending on what COVID-19 dictates.

(Correction: My book could be ready for the press in the new year, but because of the need to “keep our distances” I shall postpone sales till spring. Look for further details in my Lance column later, as well as in the next Louis Riel Teacher/Support Staff Retirees newsletter, and hopefully in KIT magazine.)

First, a bit of history…

I started putting my book together back in 2019. Winter came and went, and I can honestly say the months just flew by as the characters in my columns kept me totally entertained. Writer Anais Nin says it best:

Local knitters are unsung heroes

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Preview

Local knitters are unsung heroes

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

Whether they are the technicians at Winnipeg Clinic or the dinner staff when we come home, essential workers  have been everybody’s heroes during this COVID-19 pandemic because they serve us while risking personal safety.

I can think of yet another kind of self-giving person — the knitters. among us They click away with their needles year after year for the needy, especially for newcomers who can’t speak English and have not yet experienced Manitoba winters. Knitting groups regularly hold sales to help schools and charities such as Siloam Mission and René Deleurme Centre.

Pat Dodd is one such knitter at Riverside Lions Estates in St. Vital, where the ladies knit scarves, socks, mitts, and toques for the needy. The establishment supplies the yarn and looks after the distribution of the knitted items to their selected charities.

During our interview Pat showed me a special toque she’d knitted. The stitches were flawlessly even, the pattern distinct, and the two-colour wool ends neatly worked in. A friend of hers said he’s given his granddaughters Pat’s toques because she makes unique ones with a hole in the back to allow for ponytails.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Pat Dodd, of Riverside Lions Estate in St. Vital, has been making knitted items such as mittens, socks and toques for years.

Ron Koskie had a dream

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Preview

Ron Koskie had a dream

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020

“We are pleased to announce that a milestone has been reached regarding the LRSD Retired Teachers/Support Staff bursary fund, something that seemed impossible when it was started in 1998 with $55.17.”

— Ron Koskie

I wish I could capture in words the passion, the fire, that flashed from Ron’s eyes as he spoke. When I interviewed him, he announced that it was not a single but a three-fold milestone that teacher and support staff retirees were celebrating:

1) Bursaries have been awarded for 20 years, from 2000 through 2019.

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Ron Koskie has been the driving force behind the LRSD Retired Teachers/Support Staff bursary fund.

Sounds of music at Dakota House

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Preview

Sounds of music at Dakota House

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

Let it not be thought that we at Dakota House are morose, dispirited and without our moments of rapture during this pandemic. Not at all.

For in the hands of our director of programming, Shelley Jeffs, there has been a constant barrage of inspired activities that have put that retro lilt into our world and genuine pleasure in our hearts. The latest has been the introduction of outdoor entertainment. Take a bow, Shelley.

The first of these performances was given by Cal Wookey. He once attended Varennes School and will remain forever young (a kid) in our memories. But a teacher by profession and, unbelievably, a grandfather now, he lives nearby and came here on a trial basis to see whether we, the clientele, would attend outdoor performances. We never disappoint.

The day broke. The sun shone and the skies turned a deep crystalline blue, adorned with irregular cuddly puffs of white which are commonly referred to as clouds. I haven’t enjoyed summer skies this intensely since when I was a little girl and brought my father his lunch as he was cutting hay on our farm. Oh, the sweet smell of freshly mowed hay as I lounged in the shade and imagined sheep and kitten shapes in the clouds overhead.

Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

Photo by Anne Yanchyshyn
Cal Wookey serenades residents of Dakota House at a safe distance.

The saga of perogies

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The saga of perogies

Anne Yanchyshyn 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020

I recently received a Globe and Mail article extolling Winnipeg’s “revered Slavic dumplings”, or perogies.

It’s a topic that is sometimes debated vehemently, especially when, from my limited knowledge, I throw in the origin of the words themselves, pyrohy versus pyrogy/perogy or perogies.

It so happens that all four of those words are plurals. But although the reference is to the same dish, the word pyrohy is Ukrainian, and pyrogy/perogy is (or was) Polish until the English got a hold of it and changed the y to i and added es to make a plural word even more plural. Thus: perogies.

The slight difference between them is that, to change the singular pyrih and pyrog to plurals, Ukrainians end with -hy whereas Poles use -gy. It’s the -y ending that makes both words plural.Now you can see where the word perogies came from. That’s the story of evolution.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020

Supplied photo
Don’t know the difference between perogies, pyrohy or pyrogy? Correspondent Anne Yanchyshyn explains it all for you.

Now, where did I put that missing day?

Anne Yanchyshyn 2 minute read Preview

Now, where did I put that missing day?

Anne Yanchyshyn 2 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

As Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “I don’t get no respect...”

A little while back, I discovered I’d lost a day. At first I worried that I was on my way to “enjoying” Alzheimer’s. But the explanation I got was somewhat reassuring. Now it feels good to be laughing about it.

To explain, here is an email I wrote to family on Mon., April 27:

“Tell me, guys, was it Saturday or Sunday yesterday when you last talked to me? I finished putting together the first rough draft of my coming book yesterday. But in the meantime I ‘lost’ a day! I thought today is Sunday, and then I found the Free Press at my door. We don’t get a newspaper on Sunday. Then it must be Monday!

Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020

As Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “I don’t get no respect...”

A little while back, I discovered I’d lost a day. At first I worried that I was on my way to “enjoying” Alzheimer’s. But the explanation I got was somewhat reassuring. Now it feels good to be laughing about it.

To explain, here is an email I wrote to family on Mon., April 27:

“Tell me, guys, was it Saturday or Sunday yesterday when you last talked to me? I finished putting together the first rough draft of my coming book yesterday. But in the meantime I ‘lost’ a day! I thought today is Sunday, and then I found the Free Press at my door. We don’t get a newspaper on Sunday. Then it must be Monday!