He attended the local school where he learned to read and write the Romanian language perfectly. Gifted with a strong singing voice he loved singing the old Romanian folk songs, carols and church hymns. He kept up his knowledge of Romanian by continually reading Romanian books, newspapers, and whatever he could lay his hands on. He shared this knowledge with his oldest son Mitru (Dan) by teaching him to read and write Romanian before he started school at Boian Marea. Mitru’s first teacher was Mrs. Nellie Berry, who was surprised that this young lad caught on to reading English so quickly, till she realized later that Mitru was literate in one language already.
At the age of 21, in 1907, Elie decided to emigrate to Canada, a far-away country about which he had heard so much. He had already been called to serve in the Austrian army but he thought he would escape this service. When he arrived in Winnipeg, he got a job and worked for six months, then decided to return home and do his patriotic duty. He returned to Boian, reported to the Austrian officials, and served in the infantry for three years. During this time he became quite fluent in the German language.
On being discharged from the army in 1910, he left for Canada again and this time journeyed as far as Vegreville. Knowing that there was a Romanian settlement at Boian, some twenty-five miles directly north of Vegreville, he set out on foot and walked all the way, and in due time, he arrived there tired and hungry. He was welcomed in the community so he decided to settle there. He homesteaded on S.E.bisection 27, tsp. 56, range 14, W.4th.
Now that he had some land, he needed a companion to establish a home. He had left his girl friend Ioana back home in Boian, Bukovina but he corresponded with her continuously. In 1913 he paid her travel fare and had her come to join him. Ioana was born March 15, 1892 in Boian, daughter of Stefan and Elena Caba. In September, 1913 Ioana arrived at Boian, Alberta.
A month later Elie and Ioana took the vows of holy matrimony. Since there was no priest at the local church Elie made all arrangements to have the marriage ceremony at the Shandro church, with Ion and Maria Cucheran as godparents.
The young couple began farming on their own land, working hard like so many of the pioneers. In due time the children began to arrive. Two boys, Toder and Gheorghe, died as infants. Doris died in 1976 at age of 52. The others married and have homes and families of their own. Dan and Kay live in Edmonton, where they participate in Romanian church activities. Dan has been a cantor there for many years. Nick and Nadia are also in Edmonton. Ann and Tom Weir live in Grovenor Park whereas Mike the youngest son and his wife farm the home place.
Elie and Ioana lived all their lives on their land which they loved so well. Ioana passed away in 1968 at age 76 and three years later Elie died at the age of 85. Both are resting in peace in the Boian cemetery.
Ilie Suprovich birth record.
Ilie was born June 28, 1886. Father – Toader Suprovich. Mother – Maria Nichiforeac. Godfather- Mihai, son of Toader Cuciurean.