Tom (Tonasko) Kokotailo was born in Toporoutz in the province of Bucovina in Austria-Hungary in 1888. He followed his three older brothers to Canada, leaving his homeland in 1912. His journey across the Atlantic Ocean on a White Star liner, the Carpathia, was highlighted by the fact that the sinking of the Titanic took place then. The Carpathia was able to save about seven hundred passengers.
He met a brother, Sandy, in Kapuskasing, Ontario while the train was taking on water and coal, but decided to continue west where he contacted his other brother John. He worked in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton as a labourer on the construction of sewage and water systems and roads, as did so many other immigrants anxious to supplement their limited funds. His agricultural life in Bukovina inspired him to take up farming in Western Canada. His brother John had settled on a farm in Shalka and welcomed Tom’s help to clear the land. While in the Shalka district he met and married Veronca Moscaluk and they settled on a farm in Boian in 1915 and lived on it until they retired and moved to Edmonton in 1957.
Tom Kokotailo had received little formal education in his homeland. He was self-taught and learned to read and write Romanian and English in addition to his native Ukrainian. He was well-read, having read some classic books including most of Shakespeare’s plays. He was keenly interested in the education of his family, making many sacrifices in order to help them through school. He took an active part in the community, in the church, in the school and in local government. He served as a school board member and chairman of the Boian Marea school district until it was incorporated into the Two Hills School Division. He was instrumental in the building of the stone school house with local help in 1937 after the previous one burned down. This stone building now remains a monument in the district. He was very active in the cooperative movement, serving as an elected representative for Alberta Wheat Pool members in his area for over 20 years. He was a councillor for the Municipal District of Eagle and was reeve when it was incorporated into the County of Two Hills. He was a sheriff’s bailiff from 1927 to 1935. His legacy in the district which extends as far as Vegreville is still very visible. He built many of the roads and maintained them. He helped keep telephone service in the district when he and seven others formed the Eagle Hill Mutual Company and acquired lines being discontinued by the Alberta Government Telephones. He was dedicated to improving farming and the quality of stock and grain in the municipal district of Eagle.
Veronca Moscaluk came to Canada with her parents, Metro and Sanda Moscaluk in 1899. They settled in the district which they called Boian. The hardships they endured were considerable and they almost certainly would have gone back except that it was impossible. These hardships continued after she married at the age of 16. She continued the Romanian art of embroidery, making traditional costumes, many of which are still being used especially on church holidays and events. Some of her grandchildren have inherited her artistic qualities and will no doubt carry on the tradition. Her marriage resulted in six sons and two daughters. She was the main driving force in trying to have her children obtain the education she was denied. In her later years she was able to look back with satisfaction at the fruits of her labours. Re-collections of her early life in Boian have appeared in a number of publications.
Fred (Toder) left for Ontario in the thirties where he became a welder and established the Courtland Welding company. Married to Mary Aurite, they have a daughter and two grandchildren.
Sanda worked during the war in a small arms plant. She married Jack Caruk, a welder. They had two children and two grandchildren. They reside in Edmonton.
George attended the U. of A. where he graduated with an Honours Degree in mathematics. After working in Eastern Canada he returned to the U. of A. where he obtained a degree in Education, then switched to Physics. After earning his Master’s Degree he joined the Mobil Oil’s research laboratory in Pauls- boro, New Jersey. At Mobil he achieved the second highest research position in the company. He is also professor of Physics at Drevel University in Philadelphia. He has over 100 publications and twelve patents.
While at Mobil he earned a doctorate in solid state physics at Temple University in 1955. He was an exchange scientist in Romania in 1975. George is married to Cecilia Wacowich and they have two children.
Steve attended the Edmonton Normal School once he finished high school. He taught at several schools including Boian Marea, and then went into the lumbering business. He was married to Elsie Petriuk and they have three children and six grandchildren.
John also became a teacher then changed to engineering. He worked his way up to chief electrical inspector, in charge of the provincial electrical and elevator safety program. He lives with his wife Connie (nee Horgan) in Regina. They have five children and three grandchildren.
Andy (Metro) left Alberta for Vancouver where he worked in various occupations. Married to Ann Turner, they have one child and three grandchildren.
Doris married A1 Mitchell of Vancouver. They have four children and three grandchildren.
Bill stayed on the farm. He continued the family.
tradition of community service. He married Pearl Sto- rochuk and they have six children and eight grandchildren.
Tom Kokotailo passed away in 1962 at the age of seventy-four. His wife died in 1974 at the age of seventy-seven. Both are buried at Boian.
Tanasie Kokotailo birth record.
Tanasie (Aftanasie – orthodox name) was born on March 1, 1888. Father – Georgi Kokotailo. Mother – Domnika, daughter of Mihail Skipinski.
Georgie Kokotailo and Domnika Skipinski marriage record. Oct. 29, 1872.
Georgie, son of Iwan Kokotailo married Domnika, daughter of Miahail Skipinski and Elena Hnelechuk. Georgie was 24 and Domnika 21 years old.
Georgie Kokotailo birth record.
George was bon Jan 1, 1848. Father – Iwan Kokotailo. Mother – Eudochia.
Iwan Kokotailo and Eudokia Kushneriuk marriage record. Nov.9, 1847.
Iwan, son of Mihail Kokotailo married Eudokia, daughter of Georgie Kushneriuk. Iwan was 23 and Eudokia 21 years old.