My grandparents immigrated from Poland in 1926. I visited Pier 21 in Halifax in 2002 and found the transcripts of the questions they were asked as they arrived. Their given names from their homeland were translated to the names they would be known as in Canada. With the language translation Vladislaw became Walter and Kotoviz became Kotowich. His bride Anelia Malech and her brother were part of the group that left Warsaw that year to start anew. How brave they had to be to leave everything they knew behind to blaze a trail from Poland to a small community named Lac Canard in the midst of the prairie in Alberta. They spend the voyage across the ocean on the Anastasia II then took a train across Canada to the small depot of Two Hills. The last leg of their journey to their homestead was a day long ride in a wagon. They now had to work hard for their new start in Canada. A quarter of land with a beautiful creek in the middle of it was their prize. My grandfather was a carpenter, the group worked together to build a log shack as well as an ice house for their food the first year. They broke the land by hand and planted a crop of wheat.
I am so proud to be a part of their legacy in Canada. They raised 5 children in Canada. Those five went on to raise another 48 and so on. My family are story tellers and we love to hear where our grandparents came from, how they survived, what they did in their evenings. Family is such an important part of my life.
Diane Y – The Crossing