The first Romanian settlers in east – central Alberta were Ichim Yourko, his wife Iftinica, their four year – old daughter Ioana and Elie Ravliuk. They arrived in Alberta in 1898 and spent the first winter in a bordei (covered dug – out) near present day Andrew. It was a miserable lonely time, made more so by the death of the Yurko’s only child. Ichim and Ravliuk wrote home and encouraged others to come.
The first group, consisting of about a dozen families, arrived the following year in March. Two months later the Tomas arrived with a larges group including Metro’s family and disembarked in Strathcona, the end of the railroad. Petrre who had come earlier was there to meet them and began scolding the new arrivals.
Why did you come?” he asked. “There is nothing but bush, water and wilderness here. How do you expect to keep alive?”
Another man told him bluntly, “Keep your mouth shut. Your father-in-law is here, too!”
“What!” exclaimed Petre, “the old bushy – haired one came too”
Two of the women began crying. A few of the more cool – headed men calmed the disturbance and the entire group made its way to the immigration hall.
These pioneers had taken along with them what they could and what they thought they would need. They had transported boxed, bags and trunks. Of course they were all dressed in their native garb and women had blankets, tapestries, bolts of cloth, vegetable was to prove a godsend when planted in the virgin Alberta soil. The men brought sickles, scythes, axes and the few carpenters among them had their complete sets of tools. One of them had even brought a small wooden plough. Few, if any, had money and no one spoke English. But they had courage, most were young and were doggedly determined to succeed in this new environment.
The Foremost persons or group of people migrated to Canada to a place called BOIAN, Alberta from Bucovina of Roumanian lineage and who spoke the Roumanian language and in many instances these persons spoke the dual languages, that is the Roumanian and Ukrainian language.
These persons as cited were of peasant stock very few of them have had a day in school, and practically all were of the Orthodox Faith, that is of the Greek Orthodox Church.