Zvarych, Petro

Image - Petro Zvarych (Peter Svarich) with his family.

Zvarych, Petro [Зварич, Петро; Zvaryč] (Svarich, Peter), b 24 March 1877 in Tulova, Sniatyn county, Galicia, d 30 June 1966 in Vegreville, Alberta. Community leader. He completed study at a gymnasium, emigrated to Canada with his family in 1900, and settled in the Vegreville area after working at a variety of odd jobs for several years. Educated, fluent in several languages, prosperous, ambitious, and a member of the Presbyterian-backed Independent Greek church, Zvarych became a key Ukrainian political organizer for Alberta’s ruling Liberal party. He was also a prominent Ukrainian community figure in the province, and in 1909 he was one of the founders of the National Co-operative Company (Ruska Narodna Torhovlia), which developed into a chain of stores in the Ukrainian districts of east central Alberta. In 1913 Zvarych and other major community leaders had a falling out with the Liberal party over Ukrainian bilingual educational issues. Zvarych later became a prominent figure in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League. As well, he was a strong supporter of the Mohyla Ukrainian Institute and a frequent contributor to Ukraïns’kyi holos. The first part of his memoirs was published in 1976 as Spomyny, 1877–1904 (Reminiscences, 1877–1904). An English version, translated by William Kostash, appeared in 1999. The second volume of Zvarych’s memoirs, which was shorter and less detailed than the earlier volume, appeared (2006) only in English translation.

[This article was updated in 2014.]




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