Wanda Prychitko

Wanda Prychitko

St. James-Assiniboia community correspondent

Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

Recent articles of Wanda Prychitko

The basics of Block Parenting

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The basics of Block Parenting

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

Are Block Parents still around?

The simple answer is yes, the Block Parents program is alive and well. My husband and I have been Block Parents for 29 years.

Who are Block Parents and what do they do?

The Block Parent program is Canada’s largest volunteer-run child safety organization, with thousands of volunteers from coast to coast making communities safer for everyone.

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

Photo by Wanda Prychitko

The Block Parent Program of Winnipeg recently held its 2022 annual general meeting and presented several long-serving volunteers with certificates from the Winnipeg Police Service.

Celebrating 100 years of song

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Celebrating 100 years of song

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

It was a ‘moderate’ -20 C on Dec. 11, 1922, when the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir held its inaugural concert, marking the beginning of what has become a 100-year institution.

In the 1970s, my mother joined the Phil, which she thoroughly enjoyed for 20 years. One of her treasured highlights was performing at Carnegie Hall in the Big Apple.

When the Phil put out a call for 1,000 voices to sing Handel’s Messiah at the Winnipeg Arena with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1980, I jumped at the chance to sing with my mom – and the other 998 choristers, of course.

Fresh out of high school, I enjoyed singing with the Phil for the next 10 years, and enjoyed even more the special bonding time with my mom during rehearsals, concerts, performance trips all over Manitoba, and a trip to Vancouver where we accidently happened upon Wreck Beach. Let’s just say the other beachgoers were wearing little more than smiles.

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

The Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir will perform its 100th anniversary concert on Dec. 11, 2022, a century to the day after its first performance.

oTENTik-ing we will go!

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oTENTik-ing we will go!

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

My daughters and I have started a tradition of ladies-only camping trips during the summer. To be fair to hardcore campers, I suppose sleeping in an oTENTik would be considered glamping.

An oTENTik (yes, that’s how Parks Canada stylizes the name) is set on a base, with vinyl flaps securely attached to a wooden frame. It includes mattresses, a wood stove, table and chairs, fire pit, picnic table, and a solar-powered USB to charge small devices. As someone who survived the brutal rainstorm near Dauphin on August long weekend, I can tell you — that structure is solid.

My earliest memory of camping as a child was in our family’s canvas tent, gobbling down crackers with jam and Squeeze-a-Snack cheese while waiting for dinner over the campfire or Coleman stove. Some not-so-fun memories would be sleeping all night on a rock or waking up in a rain puddle. Which is why I prefer glamping.

Riding Mountain National Park’s oTENTiks are only available from May to October. They book online quickly in April, but cancellations will appear, so be sure to check.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

An oTENTik at Moon Lake in Riding Mountain National Park.

Back to normal?

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Back to normal?

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Who remembers what normal used to look like?

I hope normal includes our new-found habits of hand-washing and distancing from people when you are sick — some would say those were old-school habits.

I hope our new normal reminds us to respect peoples’ feelings and differences, not only during a pandemic, but every day.

I hope people continue to support local retailers and venues. We all enjoy shopping online, but please remember the sad feeling you get when you see a local business close down.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Winnipeg Folk Fest is among the annual Manitoban festivals to return this summer.

A pot-pourri of spring observations

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A pot-pourri of spring observations

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

I write this with inflated confidence that we have seen the last snowflake for a few months, and can now enjoy the tender green shoots of spring.

I am sure that the streets have been swept of a winter’s worth of dirt and sand, and that most of the potholes have been filled with something – anything, really, but preferably sand, gravel, or asphalt, whatever is handy.

This year’s pothole season was more ridiculous than most, due to the weather which couldn’t quite make up its mind. As horrible as the roads are, I must applaud the pothole-filling crews for their efforts. For, as quickly as a hole was filled, two more appeared. Thus is the way of the pothole.

I have to say that every pothole complaint I made to 311@winnipeg.ca was addressed and filled within a few days. No matter the size of the hole — don’t assume someone else has already reported it.

Wednesday, May. 18, 2022

The rebirth of spring

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The rebirth of spring

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

As we emerge from snowy cocoons, our thoughts turn to longer, blue-sky days, creative gardening plans and walking on dry, solid ground once again.

For me, spring brings about another birthday — the last of my 50somethings. I know it’s just a number, but those decade milestones are tough, so I’m going to make the most of my 59th year (my husband would point out that I’ve already begun my 60th year but I’m going to ignore that piece of logic for my mental well-being).

To celebrate spring and the return of once-restricted activities, I volunteered to make perogies at our church. Before you pat me on the back, let me tell you a little about my perogy making experience. About 25 years ago I used a Hunky Bill Perogy Maker, and discovered that if you don’t pinch the dough properly, you end up with a slurry of dough and potato water — not even remotely resembling anything edible.

Flash forward 25 years: I’d like to learn how to make proper perogies and check it off my bucket list. You might assume, by my last name, that I’ve been making perogies all my life. Nope – my family background is actually British and Jamaican, with a smattering of Irish, Scottish and French.

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2022

St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at 202 Harcourt St. will be selling these delicious home-made perogies and more at the Palm Sunday Bake Sale on April 10 from noon to 3 p.m. Half of all proceeds will go to support humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine. Plan to arrive early, as popular items sell quickly.

A special Remembrance Day memory

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A special Remembrance Day memory

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

Most schools organize some type of Remembrance Day ceremony or assembly, and I have noted that students and their family members who are in Scouts, Guides or the military, are often invited to wear their uniforms to participate in this special observance.

While working at Golden Gate Middle School several years ago, the administration had also encouraged family veterans to bring photos and service items of significance to our Remembrance Day assembly.

One student’s grandfather walked into the office to get directions to the gym, and began to relay the history behind the medals he had brought. I don’t know what I expected, but I was surprised when he shared vivid details of his military battles and tragic events of his brothers-in-arms.

As tears began to well up in his eyes, I offered him a seat, thanked him for his bravery, and offered my condolences on the loss of his young comrades.

Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

Supplied photo
A veteran’s story profoundly affected correspondent Wanda Prychitko.

In the pilot’s seat – a water bomber pilot shares

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In the pilot’s seat – a water bomber pilot shares

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021

Last month, you may recall, I wrote about visiting the water bombers as they readied their planes to fight the many forest and bush fires in Manitoba this summer.

During that visit, I had a chance to speak to Lyle Shabaga, a water bomber pilot with the government of Ontario.

I asked Lyle to tell me his story. Here’s what he had to say, in his words:

I’ve been flying for nearly 30 years, and the last 20 have been as a water bomber pilot for the government of Ontario. Prior to that I was a float plane pilot in northwestern Ontario and Saskatchewan, and did a brief stint with a small airline in northern Manitoba.

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021

Tim Smith / The Brandon Sun
One of two Babcock water-bombers contracted by the Province of Manitoba descends onto Pelican Lake to fill up with water while fighting fires in Manitoba last summer.

Getting up close to local water bombers

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Getting up close to local water bombers

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Friday, Sep. 24, 2021

Cycling to work offered a special treat this year. For days I stared with unabashed awe at the water bomber on a nearby tarmac, until I finally mustered the courage to get a closer look.

I contacted the company that operates the fire-suppressing aircraft and was granted a tour. Giddy is not too strong a word to describe my excitement as I walked through the huge hangar and into the presence of these iconic machines.

The familiar red-and-yellow aircraft are now operated by Babcock Canada, and are housed at the main hangar in Winnipeg, as well as at remote bases in Gimli, Thompson and The Pas during the fire season. The planes are equipped to be deployed anywhere within two hours, to support neighbouring provinces and states.

Along with other rescue aircraft, Babcock maintains and operates four CL-415 water bombers, which can scoop and drop a massive 6,140 litres of water per load; three smaller CL-215 water bombers that deliver 5,455 litres; and three 690 Turbo Commanders or Bird Dog planes.

Friday, Sep. 24, 2021

Photo by Wanda Prychitko
A water bombers sits in its hangar at Richardson International Airport.

Lessons learned from travel

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Lessons learned from travel

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 3, 2021

Our family just attended a wedding in British Columbia.

What? You travelled out of the province? We did.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was glorious and we felt safe the entire time.

Everyone in the airport was masked, as was everyone on the plane. Sanitization was evident and distance markers had been strategically placed throughout. People respected the new space. It was an environment of calm.

Friday, Sep. 3, 2021

Our family just attended a wedding in British Columbia.

What? You travelled out of the province? We did.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was glorious and we felt safe the entire time.

Everyone in the airport was masked, as was everyone on the plane. Sanitization was evident and distance markers had been strategically placed throughout. People respected the new space. It was an environment of calm.

Vaccination equals celebration but – be careful

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Vaccination equals celebration but – be careful

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021

History has literally repeated itself, though we ignored it multiple times. Early in 2020, public health officials reminded us of the devastating effects of the Spanish flu 100 years ago, but some of us were convinced that we needed to relax a little. We all know what happened next.  

Hopefully our post-pandemic lifestyle will include such new habits as regular and thorough handwashing, distancing when possible and staying home when sick. These common-sense practices somehow went out of style, but must return if we are to care responsibly for our most vulnerable.

Thanks to the vaccinated majority, there’s finally a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. With restrictions gradually lifting, we can begin to comprehend what “normal” will look like again.  

Businesses are opening up. Social and religious gatherings can be held indoors. Families can once again participate in sports and activities and find some relief from the heat at community splash pads and pools.  

Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Just because you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 doesn’t mean you should drop your guard - or avoid answering screening questions.

It’s a small world after all

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It’s a small world after all

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Friday, Jun. 11, 2021

Today I heard a radio personality use alternative ‘p-words’ when referring to the pandemic. Things are scary enough these days without always hearing that word. So, when I refer to this ‘picnic’, ‘party’ or ‘pickle’, you will know what I mean.

The entire planet is experiencing variations of this pickle and engaging on social media big time. You may have heard the saying that there are six degrees of separation between people all over the world but when it comes to Winnipeg and Manitoba, it’s more like one or zero degrees.  

My story begins with the birth of our eldest daughter, and the thoughtful gift of a homemade, quilted baby blanket. She loved the pastel animal design and cuddled for years with her favourite covering. It was a cherished gift and I thought that was that.

Flash forward almost 30 years, and my husband was chatting with the gentleman who, along with his late wife, had gifted the blanket. Amid their conversation about family, my husband mentioned that my father had emigrated from Kingston, Jamaica 65 years earlier, before going to school in Toronto and eventually marrying and raising a family in Winnipeg.

Friday, Jun. 11, 2021

Supplied photo
“A” Company of the Winnipeg Grenadiers in Kingston, Jamaica, on Christmas Day in 1940.

Lead with your heart and you won’t go wrong

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Lead with your heart and you won’t go wrong

Wanda Prychitko 5 minute read Monday, May. 10, 2021

The past year has shown that we can grow.  We’ve seen families bear down with the teachers to undertake the task of schooling their children at home - learning as much technology as is necessary to keep their kids engaged.  We’ve seen people reinvent their lives by becoming entrepreneurs or taking on brand new employment, some doing a complete 180 just to put food on the table.  We’ve seen people share their art in public places, even making a scavenger hunt of it.  I want to offer a bouquet to Paul Leullier for his miniature reindeer carvings in Sturgeon Park. I’ve only found a few, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed people sharing their finds on Facebook.We’ve seen people adapt their events, church services, weddings, and sadly funerals, in an effort to keep everyone safe. My heart goes out to people who just want to share their special memories with friends and family.  Bless you for thinking of others.Unfortunately, we have also seen behaviour from people who may be suffering the severe stresses of the pandemic. People who see no end. People challenged with keeping a roof over their heads and just scraping by.  People who just can’t take another restriction.We’ve seen our health care providers and support staff stretched to their limits, and still we ask them for more blood, sweat and tears. The tears they shed as another avoidable case of COVID-19 lies intubated in their care.  I do believe we can do better.Some things have blossomed throughout the pandemic: drive-throughs and curb-side pickups, social media, DIY videos, recipes, and the escapades of a pack of wild turkeys, strolling all over our little piece of heaven.I am far from perfect, but I try to live by two basic rules:  1. Treat others the way you would like to be treated;  2. Don’t be a bystander - if you see someone being wronged, step up, even if that means standing physically beside them. Do I need to mention that this goes for absolutely everyone - no matter their skin colour, race, socioeconomic situation, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.We are so much stronger together than alone. And even though restrictions are necessary, we can still use the old-fashioned telephone or take a stroll slightly apart. Take care all.  Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

The past year has shown that we can grow.  

We’ve seen families bear down with the teachers to undertake the task of schooling their children at home — learning as much technology as is necessary to keep their kids engaged.  We’ve seen people reinvent their lives by becoming entrepreneurs or taking on brand new employment, some doing a complete 180 just to put food on the table.  We’ve seen people share their art in public places, even making a scavenger hunt of it.  I want to offer a bouquet to Paul Leullier for his miniature reindeer carvings in Sturgeon Park. I’ve only found a few, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed people sharing their finds on Facebook.

We’ve seen people adapt their events, church services, weddings, and sadly funerals, in an effort to keep everyone safe. My heart goes out to people who just want to share their special memories with friends and family.  Bless you for thinking of others.Unfortunately, we have also seen behaviour from people who may be suffering the severe stresses of the pandemic. People who see no end. People challenged with keeping a roof over their heads and just scraping by.  People who just can’t take another restriction.

Monday, May. 10, 2021

File photo by Justin Luschinski
One of Paul Leullier's reindeer art pieces in Sturgeon Creek Park.

All for the love of Lego: Part 2

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All for the love of Lego: Part 2

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2021

As enamoured as readers may have been with last month’s Lego story, you may have wondered why it ended without my usual ‘feel good finale.’

Here’s the simple explanation. Sometimes I get a little wordy and extend beyond the size of the print space allowed. That’s a no-no in the newspaper biz, which is why you were left dangling sans ending.  I would like to take a moment to complete this community hero story.

As you may recall, I interviewed Scott Templeton, member of a local group of Lego enthusiasts called the Manitoba Lego Users Group or MBLUG. Scott reported that their members continue to thrive despite the restrictions on group activities.

“We participated in some virtual shows such as Ai-Kon and Lego Brick Fair. We have been meeting regularly over Zoom and doing building challenges. Otherwise, we all communicate regularly on Discord, sharing builds, links, sales, and other Lego topics.”

Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2021

Supplied photo
Scott Templeton sits surrounded by his Lego city. You can see more of Scott’s creations by visiting @mblug or @legosbyscott

Channel your inner child with Lego

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Channel your inner child with Lego

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2021

What is your earliest memory of Lego? 

When I was a kid we had some basic red bricks, but I went on to appreciate the evolution of these colourful building blocks as an assistant builder during my son’s Star Wars Lego phase.

The history of Lego began in 1932 when Danish toy maker Ole Kirk Christiansen, named his toy company by combining the Danish words LEg GOdt which means play well. His grandson still runs the company today. Coincidently, Lego in Latin means “I put together.”

Canadians have been enjoying Lego since 1962, and today’s themes, colours and shapes offer an outlet of unlimited imagination to young and old alike. One such group of enthusiasts is the Manitoba Lego Users Group of MBLUG.

Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2021

Supplied photo
Scott Templeton is a member of the Manitoba Lego Users Group.

In times like these, you gotta have faith

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In times like these, you gotta have faith

Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Though we seem to be surrounded by inconvenience, struggles and even tragedy, we must not lose sight of the positive relationships we have established, the good deeds we observe daily, and the beauty apparent all around us.  

Mother Nature has certainly done her part. Our mild weather has set the stage for biking, hiking, skiing, skating, snowshoeing and more.  Almost everyone is wearing a mask, because almost everyone has a grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling or child they want to protect.

However, not everyone is able to get out and about. Many are feeling the walls close in, and the most they can do is walk around the backyard or chill out on the balcony.  

Isolation atop of restrictions is stressful, and goes against our sense of community and belonging.

Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Though we seem to be surrounded by inconvenience, struggles and even tragedy, we must not lose sight of the positive relationships we have established, the good deeds we observe daily, and the beauty apparent all around us.  

Mother Nature has certainly done her part. Our mild weather has set the stage for biking, hiking, skiing, skating, snowshoeing and more.  Almost everyone is wearing a mask, because almost everyone has a grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling or child they want to protect.

However, not everyone is able to get out and about. Many are feeling the walls close in, and the most they can do is walk around the backyard or chill out on the balcony.  

Isolation atop of restrictions is stressful, and goes against our sense of community and belonging.

Answering the call for blood donations

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Answering the call for blood donations

Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

Canadian Blood Services is putting the call out for blood donors, new and old.  

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for blood donations is always there.

Donating blood products requires little effort, doesn’t cost anything and means improved life for someone else. I don’t know if I will ever be able to replace the litres received by my family during surgeries and hospital stays over the years, but I’m certainly going to try.

I highly recommend donating. During the pandemic only donors with appointments are welcome at the Winnipeg Centre offices at 777 William Ave. (part of the Health Sciences Centre campus) but the online booking process is smooth and I was in and out of my appointment in 40 minutes. During November, when you donate and share your experience on social media, you will be entered into adraw for a $50 gift card.

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

Supplied photo
St. James community correspondent Wanda Prychitko is a regular blood donor.

Celebrating a holy alliance

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Celebrating a holy alliance

By Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

Congratulations to the Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede (99 Turner Ave.) as it celebrates its 50-year partnership of worship in the Silver Heights community.

For those who aren’t aware, St. Stephen’s is a Lutheran congregation, while St. Bede’s is Anglican, and they have successfully shared their place of worship for the past half-century.

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church relocated to Ness Avenue in 1960 (currently home to the Silver Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church). St. Bede’s Anglican Church first opened its doors in 1964 at the corner of Turner Avenue and Mount Royal Road. Little did they know at the time that they would become more than just neighbours.

In 1970, the parish of St. Stephen’s made a difficult decision but one necessary to the survival of its congregation. They left the place they had called home for 10 years with heavy hearts and were welcomed by the neighbouring parish of St. Bede’s with open arms. A mere 500 metres down the road was their new home of worship.

Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

Photo by Wanda Prychitko
Participating celebrants at the commemorative service of the partnership of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Bede were Bishop Jason Zinko (left), of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; the Rev. Canon Murray Still, pastor/incumbent (centre); the Right Rev. Geoff Woodcroft, Bishop of the diocese of Rupert’s Land. Missing is intern minister Andrea Grozli.

Kudos to our pandemic performance

By Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Preview

Kudos to our pandemic performance

By Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

Six months ago the world changed. The entire world. Planet Earth. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that thought. It feels like we’re in some apocalyptic movie. Few catastrophes have enveloped every country as this has, but we should be proud of ourselves.Almost everything was cancelled: work, school, weddings, funerals, graduations, concerts, travel, parties, fundraisers and sports. It slowed us down for awhile, but then people began to re-invent their lives. We started to make lemonade out of those scary COVID-19 lemons all around us.

Virtual fundraising campaigns replaced the door-to-door and large group events. Parking lots were transformed into graduation venues, with the focus on the individual versus the large group. And when we couldn’t have parties anymore, the party came to us. I accidently joined a parade, and even though I didn’t know the young man, I was glad to be part of the group that made his day. I do love a parade.

The term essential worker expanded to include occupations we hadn’t considered before. People showed their appreciation to those whose jobs put them directly in the line of fire. Meals were donated, colourful posters appeared in the windows of homes, shops and hospitals, and we started to hear more of the old-fashioned thank-yous.

It has been pointed out that, although we are all weathering the same storm, we aren’t all in the same boat. Struggles that existed before the pandemic have been amplified, and those who were vulnerable before have even fewer resources. Human social connections are more important than ever. We need to step outside of our comfort zones and reconnect in conversation. We must engage with each other if we want to thrive.

Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

Six months ago the world changed. The entire world. Planet Earth. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that thought. It feels like we’re in some apocalyptic movie. Few catastrophes have enveloped every country as this has, but we should be proud of ourselves.Almost everything was cancelled: work, school, weddings, funerals, graduations, concerts, travel, parties, fundraisers and sports. It slowed us down for awhile, but then people began to re-invent their lives. We started to make lemonade out of those scary COVID-19 lemons all around us.

Virtual fundraising campaigns replaced the door-to-door and large group events. Parking lots were transformed into graduation venues, with the focus on the individual versus the large group. And when we couldn’t have parties anymore, the party came to us. I accidently joined a parade, and even though I didn’t know the young man, I was glad to be part of the group that made his day. I do love a parade.

The term essential worker expanded to include occupations we hadn’t considered before. People showed their appreciation to those whose jobs put them directly in the line of fire. Meals were donated, colourful posters appeared in the windows of homes, shops and hospitals, and we started to hear more of the old-fashioned thank-yous.

It has been pointed out that, although we are all weathering the same storm, we aren’t all in the same boat. Struggles that existed before the pandemic have been amplified, and those who were vulnerable before have even fewer resources. Human social connections are more important than ever. We need to step outside of our comfort zones and reconnect in conversation. We must engage with each other if we want to thrive.

We’ve all learned a little something…

By Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Preview

We’ve all learned a little something…

By Wanda Prychitko 2 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

Ken Buck, a South Carolina school board trustee, wrote a Facebook post that summed up COVID-19 teaching nicely:

“We gave educators almost no notice. We asked them to completely redesign what school looks like, and in about 24 hours local administrators and teachers ‘Apollo 13’ed’ the problem and fixed it. Kids learning, being fed, needs being met in the midst of a global crisis. No state agency did this, no so-called national experts on curriculum. The local educators fixed it in hours. HOURS.”

There have been many examples of teachers, educational assistants and administrators who have gone that extra mile to stay connected with their students and families.

We enjoyed parades, yard signs, Zoom meetings, musical performances, storybook video reads, SeeSaw, and parking lot graduation ceremonies.

Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

Supplied photo
Dustin Vosper, a phys-ed teacher at Brooklands School, put daily messages on a whiteboard outside his home every day that schools were closed this spring, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boldly going where others fear to tread

By Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Preview

Boldly going where others fear to tread

By Wanda Prychitko 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

People are understandably nervous about entering hospitals right now, but if you’re experiencing health distress, please don’t wait until it’s too late.

Physicians suspect the fear of contracting COVID-19 is keeping people from going anywhere near hospitals. If you are experiencing serious pain or other symptoms, they encourage you to get checked out. A quick call to Healthlinks will determine whether or not an emergency visit is warranted.

Over the last few months, various family members and I have needed to attend emergency departments and be admitted to the Grace, St. Boniface and Victoria hospitals. Given the current health climate, this was troubling and we weren’t sure what to expect.

I can tell you from personal experience that our health-care workers are extremely well-prepared and professional in their COVID-19 protocols. They are encouraging and caring, even while terrified of contracting the virus and taking it home to their families. I offer them all a huge bouquet of thanks for choosing to care for others.

Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

People are understandably nervous about entering hospitals right now, but if you’re experiencing health distress, please don’t wait until it’s too late.

Physicians suspect the fear of contracting COVID-19 is keeping people from going anywhere near hospitals. If you are experiencing serious pain or other symptoms, they encourage you to get checked out. A quick call to Healthlinks will determine whether or not an emergency visit is warranted.

Over the last few months, various family members and I have needed to attend emergency departments and be admitted to the Grace, St. Boniface and Victoria hospitals. Given the current health climate, this was troubling and we weren’t sure what to expect.

I can tell you from personal experience that our health-care workers are extremely well-prepared and professional in their COVID-19 protocols. They are encouraging and caring, even while terrified of contracting the virus and taking it home to their families. I offer them all a huge bouquet of thanks for choosing to care for others.

Actions speak louder than words

By Wanda Prychitko - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

Actions speak louder than words

By Wanda Prychitko - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Monday, Apr. 13, 2020

It warms my heart to see us supporting each other during these days of health scare and social distancing.

It’s easy to think quietly to ourselves that we appreciate our neighbours and the important services they provide but at a time like this our thoughts must become loud voices and actions. People are showing love to our essential service providers in many ways.

Among the sea of volunteers and essential service providers, I want to highlight one individual in St. James who supports those around her with her positive attitude.

Krystal works at Foodfare, and recently celebrated a milestone birthday. You may even have signed the large birthday card, displayed outside the store by her friend, Lisa.

Monday, Apr. 13, 2020

Photo by Wanda Prychitko
The folks at Foodfare honoured one of their own on her birthday as she worked through the coronavirus crisis.

Once a lifesaver, always a lifesaver

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Once a lifesaver, always a lifesaver

Wanda Prychitko 5 minute read Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020

Manitoba is renowned  for having the greatest per capita percentage of volunteers in Canada. We are ready to help when asked, but sometimes we need to stop and help without waiting for an invitation.  Such is the case when confronted with an emergency situation.Emergencies can happen anywhere, and stopping at the scene of an accident is always scary. Not everyone is comfortable stepping in to help, but there are many among us who have trained to do exactly that.There are thousands of current and former first aiders and lifeguards across our city.  Some have parlayed their lifesaver training into careers as first responders, healthcare professional or child- and seniors-care workers. Even those lifesavers who have chosen an unrelated career path, such as being a community correspondent for The Metro, still retain knowledge of first aid basics. Here are a few simple steps that even the untrained bystander can follow to assist in a crisis:• Scan the area for ongoing dangers —do not add yourself to the number of victims;• Call 911 — never assume it’s already been done;• Even if no injuries are apparent, stay and talk calmly to each victim until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive — people are alone and afraid and can go into shock;• Be observant, give EMS any relevant information, and give your name before departing a scene.Every vehicle should have a first aid kit. You may never need it but lifesavers,just like Scouts, are always prepared. I carry a tool box with the basics: plastic gloves, a mouth-to-mouth barrier, large Band-Aids, slings, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, first aid tape and things I’ve collected over the years.It’s impossible to avoid the topic of liability when suggesting that we initiate assisting a stranger.  The Good Samaritan Protection Act of Manitoba was enacted in 2006 to ensure that, “a person who voluntarily provides emergency assistance to an individual injured in an accident or emergency is not liable in damages for injury to or the death of that individual caused by any act or omission in providing the emergency assistance, unless the person is grossly negligent”. To sum it up, unless you intentionally do damage, you can offer help without fear of liability. As Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

Manitoba is renowned  for having the greatest per capita percentage of volunteers in Canada. We are ready to help when asked, but sometimes we need to stop and help without waiting for an invitation. 

Such is the case when confronted with an emergency situation.Emergencies can happen anywhere, and stopping at the scene of an accident is always scary. Not everyone is comfortable stepping in to help, but there are many among us who have trained to do exactly that.

There are thousands of current and former first aiders and lifeguards across our city.  Some have parlayed their lifesaver training into careers as first responders, healthcare professional or child- and seniors-care workers. Even those lifesavers who have chosen an unrelated career path, such as being a community correspondent for The Metro, still retain knowledge of first aid basics. 

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020

Manitoba is renowned  for having the greatest per capita percentage of volunteers in Canada. We are ready to help when asked, but sometimes we need to stop and help without waiting for an invitation.  Such is the case when confronted with an emergency situation.Emergencies can happen anywhere, and stopping at the scene of an accident is always scary. Not everyone is comfortable stepping in to help, but there are many among us who have trained to do exactly that.There are thousands of current and former first aiders and lifeguards across our city.  Some have parlayed their lifesaver training into careers as first responders, healthcare professional or child- and seniors-care workers. Even those lifesavers who have chosen an unrelated career path, such as being a community correspondent for The Metro, still retain knowledge of first aid basics. Here are a few simple steps that even the untrained bystander can follow to assist in a crisis:• Scan the area for ongoing dangers —do not add yourself to the number of victims;• Call 911 — never assume it’s already been done;• Even if no injuries are apparent, stay and talk calmly to each victim until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive — people are alone and afraid and can go into shock;• Be observant, give EMS any relevant information, and give your name before departing a scene.Every vehicle should have a first aid kit. You may never need it but lifesavers,just like Scouts, are always prepared. I carry a tool box with the basics: plastic gloves, a mouth-to-mouth barrier, large Band-Aids, slings, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, first aid tape and things I’ve collected over the years.It’s impossible to avoid the topic of liability when suggesting that we initiate assisting a stranger.  The Good Samaritan Protection Act of Manitoba was enacted in 2006 to ensure that, “a person who voluntarily provides emergency assistance to an individual injured in an accident or emergency is not liable in damages for injury to or the death of that individual caused by any act or omission in providing the emergency assistance, unless the person is grossly negligent”. To sum it up, unless you intentionally do damage, you can offer help without fear of liability. As Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

Manitoba is renowned  for having the greatest per capita percentage of volunteers in Canada. We are ready to help when asked, but sometimes we need to stop and help without waiting for an invitation. 

Such is the case when confronted with an emergency situation.Emergencies can happen anywhere, and stopping at the scene of an accident is always scary. Not everyone is comfortable stepping in to help, but there are many among us who have trained to do exactly that.

There are thousands of current and former first aiders and lifeguards across our city.  Some have parlayed their lifesaver training into careers as first responders, healthcare professional or child- and seniors-care workers. Even those lifesavers who have chosen an unrelated career path, such as being a community correspondent for The Metro, still retain knowledge of first aid basics. 

Young students address clean-water crisis

Wanda Prychitko 5 minute read Preview

Young students address clean-water crisis

Wanda Prychitko 5 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

The students of Voyageur School’s grade 3 and 4 classes celebrated I Love To Read Month recently with guest reader Marty Morantz, MP for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley.  After thanking Mr. Morantz for visiting their class, the young constituents seized the opportunity to discuss the topic they are currently studying — the clean-water crisis.The students have learned that thousands of children in Africa have died because clean water is out of their grasp, and that girls spend hours per day walking and carrying water for their families instead of attending school.  Teacher Alexis Kriewald took her lesson one step further by demonstrating a  simple technology. The class watched in amazement as Mrs. Kriewald drank dirty, muddy water, which had been poured through a personal water filter.This simple experiment led to discussions about other filtration systems, such as our water treatment facilities in Manitoba, and continued with the history of Shoal Lake. Students were once again shocked when they learned that many communities have been under a boil water advisory for decades, and need to have water delivered regularly.Mr. Morantz listened attentively as the students read a letter compiled by their class.“This makes us worried, concerned and upset,” they wrote.  “We do not believe that it is fair that we have clean water while other Canadian children do not.”Finally, the students encouraged Mr. Morantz to sign the pledge on www.bluedot.com, to make health and safety issues protected by federal law. To date, only 106 of 338 MPs have signed. You can check the website to see if your MP has pledged their support.Just before his party won the October 2015 general election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus aid that, “within five years there should be zero First Nation communities with unsafe drinking water… we agree with that, and a Canadian government led by me will address this as a top priority because it’s not right in a country like Canada that this has gone on for far too long.” While the issue of clean water for all is paramount, I am heartened to see a passion for justice and equality in our children.  Their natural sense of fairness needs to be nurtured and encouraged.  From the mouths of babes…  Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

The students of Voyageur School’s grade 3 and 4 classes celebrated I Love To Read Month recently with guest reader Marty Morantz, MP for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley.  

After thanking Mr. Morantz for visiting their class, the young constituents seized the opportunity to discuss the topic they are currently studying — the clean-water crisis.

The students have learned that thousands of children in Africa have died because clean water is out of their grasp, and that girls spend hours per day walking and carrying water for their families instead of attending school.  

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

The students of Voyageur School’s grade 3 and 4 classes celebrated I Love To Read Month recently with guest reader Marty Morantz, MP for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley.  After thanking Mr. Morantz for visiting their class, the young constituents seized the opportunity to discuss the topic they are currently studying — the clean-water crisis.The students have learned that thousands of children in Africa have died because clean water is out of their grasp, and that girls spend hours per day walking and carrying water for their families instead of attending school.  Teacher Alexis Kriewald took her lesson one step further by demonstrating a  simple technology. The class watched in amazement as Mrs. Kriewald drank dirty, muddy water, which had been poured through a personal water filter.This simple experiment led to discussions about other filtration systems, such as our water treatment facilities in Manitoba, and continued with the history of Shoal Lake. Students were once again shocked when they learned that many communities have been under a boil water advisory for decades, and need to have water delivered regularly.Mr. Morantz listened attentively as the students read a letter compiled by their class.“This makes us worried, concerned and upset,” they wrote.  “We do not believe that it is fair that we have clean water while other Canadian children do not.”Finally, the students encouraged Mr. Morantz to sign the pledge on www.bluedot.com, to make health and safety issues protected by federal law. To date, only 106 of 338 MPs have signed. You can check the website to see if your MP has pledged their support.Just before his party won the October 2015 general election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus aid that, “within five years there should be zero First Nation communities with unsafe drinking water… we agree with that, and a Canadian government led by me will address this as a top priority because it’s not right in a country like Canada that this has gone on for far too long.” While the issue of clean water for all is paramount, I am heartened to see a passion for justice and equality in our children.  Their natural sense of fairness needs to be nurtured and encouraged.  From the mouths of babes…  Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

The students of Voyageur School’s grade 3 and 4 classes celebrated I Love To Read Month recently with guest reader Marty Morantz, MP for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley.  

After thanking Mr. Morantz for visiting their class, the young constituents seized the opportunity to discuss the topic they are currently studying — the clean-water crisis.

The students have learned that thousands of children in Africa have died because clean water is out of their grasp, and that girls spend hours per day walking and carrying water for their families instead of attending school.