Toma-Vasile-and-RavetaVasile Toma came to Canada in 1899 with his parents Toder and Sanda Toma, his three married sisters, one married brother and one single brother. One time late in the fall he was returning home from work near Calgary and because the fare to Edmonton was eleven dollars, he decided to walk all the way and save all that money. It was cold and the white snow covered the ground wherever he looked. He had a grey woollen blanket in a bag and some bread. Day after day he followed the railroad tracks northward. At night he would roll himself in the blanket and try sleeping. When he was hungry he ate some of the frozen bread and to quench his thirst there was plenty of snow. A week or so later he arrived in Strath- cona, south side of Edmonton. He was so cold and stiff that he could barely talk. All this to save a few dollars, but at what a sacrifice! According to his wife Raveta, Vasile complained all his life about not being well and blamed it on that journey on foot in sub zero weather from Calgary to Edmonton.
Vasile filed on homestead S.E. 16, 56, 14, W.4th, the same quarter on which the Boian Marea school was built. In 1903 he married Raveta Yurko who had also come from Boian, Bukovina. They lived one year with Vasile’s parents till their own house was finished. Raveta remembers that there were very many garter snakes near the house especially by the barn when they built one. It was in this first house that the first few children were born. In 1920 they bought another quarter of land about a mile south and it is here that they raised a family of eleven children, eight lovely daughters and three stalwart sons.
Both Vasile and Raveta always took an active part
in the Boian community affairs – the church and the school. Vasile was a church elder for many years and Raveta was a founding member of the Romanian Ladies’ Auxiliary of Boian.
oldest son Metro married Katie Hutzca and they had five children – Willis, Ruth, Gerald, Ernie and Audrey. They farmed in the Hairy Hill area and took an active part in the Romanian community.
Anne married Nick Cozocari and they farmed north of the North Saskatchewan River at Gold Creek. They raised a large family too.
Mary married Elie Soprovich and had two sons and two daughters, Johnny, Willis, Rose and Jeanette.
They farmed at Hairy Hill for many years and then retired to Edmonton. Willis is farming the home place and Johnny is in construction in Edmonton.
George married Helen Eliuk and they had three children, Phyllis, Wayne and Gerald. George and Helen lived on the original homestead and were successful farmers. They, too, were very active in the community. Helen passed away in 1972.
Sandra married Mike P. Hauca. They lived in Hairy Hill where Mike was in the garage business. In the forties they moved to Edmonton. They have two daughters, Jean and June and one son Ernie.
Dora married Mike (Metro) Svekla and they moved to East Coulee where Mike worked in the mines for many years. After retirement they moved to Edmonton. Mike passed away in 1979. They had three children: Nicky, George and Margaret.
Katie married Mike Greckol and they too farmed in the Hairy Hill area for many years before moving to Edmonton. They have a son, Nick, who has an M.Ed. degree and is principal of a school in Calgary.
Their daughter Sonia has her Ph.D. in psychology and is living in Toronto.
Con served overseas during W.W. II and on returning married Ellen. They live in the Edmonton area. They have three daughters and a son.
Kay (Katherine) graduated as a hair dresser. She married Bill Stadnyk and had two children. They live in Edmonton.
Lillian married Stanley Kuper of Ranfurly. They farm there and raised a family of eleven children.
The youngest member, Rose, married Mac Rosi- chuk. They had three children and reside in Kelowna, B.C.
Vasile and Raveta raised eleven children. There are now fifty-one grandchildren and eighty-eight great grandchildren.
Vasile passed away in 1947 at the age of 72. His wife Raveta outlived him by many years and died in 1982 at the age of 97. Both are resting in peace in St. Mary’s cemetery at Boian.

Birth and marriage records from church books. Boian, Bukovina

Vasile birth record. Jan.11, 1874.
Father – Toader, son of Andrei who was son of Toader Toma. Mother –  Alexandra Cojocaru

Raveta birth record. October 14, 1885.
Father – Mihai, son of Toader Iurco. Mother – Maria Harasim.

Passenger ship lists

Hamburg. May 24, 1899. Vessel - Bulgaria
Halifax. June 5, 1899


Census - 1901
Census - 1916
  1. Kayla Kereliuk-Landry

    Hello, correct me if I’m wrong but I think there is an error here. I believe Metro Toma married Katie Hutzcal not Katie Semeniuk as I am the great granddaughter of Katie Toma/Radesh (nee Hutzcal). My grandma is Ruth Kassian (nee Toma). I think this error was made becaus there is a Ion and Dominica Hutzcal and an Ion and Dominica Semeniuk who both has daughters named Katie.

    If we could correct this to say “oldest son Metro married Katie Hutzcal” that would be great!

  2. Florin Dyrda


  3. Ward Toma

    the original post was correct as that is the name on her birth certificate.

  4. Fran Travers


    Regarding the children of Sandra and Mike P Hauca:
    My mother Sandra was stepmother to Mikes’s daughter Jean and son Alexander (Sandy)
    My parents had two children together Ernie (who resides in Edmonton) and Frances (who resides in New Zealand)
    Sandra passed away in 2000 age 88 and Mike in 1981 age 84
    Kind regards
    Fran Travers

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