MY REMARKS ON PETER REZANSOFF

HOW I KNEW PETER REZANSOFF

(Deceased May 16, 2021)

My remarks today will highlight how Peter and I enjoyed associating with each other as we contributed to Society and achieved our mutual social needs.

Today is a sad day and we are paying our respects to this man which we all loved and respected but the smile will not leave my face as I now recall how we enjoyed living together.

His biography and achievements have been presented by his family and others.

Because I spent 17 years in formal education, his determination in that regard was under extreme personal challenges starting with out-of-classroom studies until his mid twenties to qualify for a grade 10 level. He then undertook classes at Douglas College and BCIT to achieve his total education while framing houses and other projects in the evenings to support his family. I found my education difficult, in my experience,  but what Peter was able to do is monumental. He did this to qualify for Architectural Technology with distinction at BCIT and was professionally called upon many times by that institution after graduation. 

And so I will start with a demonstration of his sense of humour when we disembarked at Dominican Republic during our Caribbean Cruise. We took a bus tour to Santiago and our guide instructed us to walk 7 blocks through a shopping area and eventually boarding the bus on the on other end. This enterprising shoeshine boy started following me to permit him to shine my running shoes. I said “get real”  and shooed him away. Then I saw Peter and Elsie having a wine in this Tavern and Peter was waving me in. I went in but so did the Shoeshiner. Peter immediately paid him to only shine one of my running shoes , while I protested. Yes, one shoe was perfectly clean while the other not so. I would not consent to pay for the other shoe. The problem became acute when we finally boarded the bus and Marilyn saw what had happened and immediately started a fuss to the enjoyment of Peter. I looked out the bus window and would swear that young lad was chasing the bus all the way back to our resort.

Peter prided himself in the choice of vehicles and offered to drive us to an ICBA Convention in Penticton on his BMW, choosing the Okanagan Connector for our route. Marilyn and Elsie were having a very absorbing conversation in the back seat while Peter and I continued in our mission of resolving Doukhobour issues. Half way along, Peter calmly advised me that his gas tank was empty but he had a plan: he would only start the motor on any rise in the Highway and coast the rest of the way into Peachland. As usual, Peter was able to navigate that BMW into the correct entrance to Peachland that had a Gas Station at the lake front. He casually stepped out and filled his tank while our trusting wives had no idea how close they were to walking.

While we were all still on the Lower Mainland, we initiated the idea to construct a Retreat Center on the property owned by the Doukhobour Cultural Association (DCA) so that the children we saw in the downtown core of Vancouver could experience Nature in all its beauty, together with children from all parts of British Columbia. This became the eventual organization of the Doukhobour Heritage Retreat Society #1999 (DHRS #1999). Peter Fominoff was at that dinner with Rezansoffs and Verigins when the two Peters committed themselves to assist in any way possible to achieve this objective. Peter Rezansoff  designed the Retreat Center and Peter Fominoff conducted all the legal work.

 Funding as well as donations was a necessity and Peter Rezansoff was able to:

  1. Obtain donations of two (2) truckloads of cement. In his negotiations with Concrete Suppliers to supply concrete for his high rise buildings, some 50,000 cubic meters or more of concrete would be required. The Suppliers were very competitive and would consider any edge. Peter calmly suggested that a truckload of cement to his favourite charity might “tip the scale.” And so it happened.
  2. The same took place with the Drywall, Ceramic Tile, Insulation and other materials which were heavily subsidized by Peter himself
  3. All the while not admitting that he had orchestrated all…………………….

And so we worked harmoniously together for the benefit of the Retreat and Society in general.

One Saturday, Peter called us in Tswwaassen and suggested we go out to the Hard Rock Cafe for a night out. Yes, we could sleep over after. The Verigins drove down on their Ford pickup but the intent was to dress up for the occasion and take the BMW and parking the pickup. So we prepared ourselves for a wonderful evening and went for a tour of Vancouver prior to the dinner. Suddenly Peter pulled over to the curb and we realized that there was a flashing red light behind him. Peter struts out in his Blazer to accost the Police Officer and demand why he was being stopped. He comes back to advise us that his car insurance had lapsed over 3 months ago and the car could not be moved until insurance was in place. Well we ended up going to the Hard Rock Cafe the old fashioned Doukhobour manner with women in the back and men in the front of a ford pickup.

Peter and I were able to set up a Carpenter Apprenticeship opportunity at Whatshan Lake Retreat using J. Lloyd Crowe High School in Trail with ICBA in Surrey to indenture 25 young men over two years that led many into Gold Seal Carpenter Trade. Peter at ITC came to interview candidates to work at ITC. Peter was treated to one of the Apprentices from Trail, coming to work on a skateboard until Peter was able to train him to be streetwise. Three months later he elbowed Peter at an ITC Roof Top celebration, identifying himself as one now being able to hang doors for ITC. Yes Peter smiled.

On our visit to San Francisco we toured on a special Limousine at night with Peter and Elsie wine toasting all Americans while standing and waving from an open roof.

Marilyn and I had a minor accident just west of Keremeos that caused a section of the rear window in our pickup to fall out. Peter insisted that he accompany me back to the Kootenays for the repair and to visit  Slocan Park from Vancouver in this “open air” pickup. We talked about so many things to keep warm that winter night.

One evening after an ICBA Meeting, many members gathered in Marilyn’s and my room for a social. A member known to me but had yet to meet Peter, introduced himself and advised that he was ‘Elmer’s friend’. Peter immediately made him feel at ease and answered “any friend of Elmer’s is also a friend of mine.” That made me smile.

When my construction company was successful in tendering on two major projects, Peter would call and congratulate. He would also suggest that his crews were expert at concrete construction and needed work. What was interesting that Peter’s staff would do an estimate and that would result in their comparable takeoff being within $2,000 of mine. So sharing projects on the Lower Mainland was routine for Peter and I.

Peter enjoyed teaching  Elmer how to make wine from the abundant Blackberries in Tsswwassen despite Elsie’s warnings that he should change his dress clothes in the advent of an accident. Peter was sure that he would be very professionally careful and spillage was out of the question. Elsie was correct in each instance.

Peter and I would get into “deep” conversation on “Spirit Travel”. I was treated to his personal experience in that regard. He is likely enjoying that now as I speak.

Peter shared his personal need to forgive someone who had performed a very serious “wrong” to him. He explained that it took a great deal of courage for Peter to go and forgive that person. In so doing he purged himself so that he would eradicate blame and hate from his own mind. This assisted in making him “whole” again. He suggested that I do the same in my one incident that bothers me to this day. Peter I will keep my promise to you and I will forgive that person.

I heard about Pete’s “Picking Fruit in the Okanagan” trips when he would hitch a ride to the Okanagan from Crescent Valley as a very young teenager. One year he earned enough money to return with a car.

Vergins and Rezansoffs travelled around the Lower Mainland  researching Seniors Homes. This benefited us when we developed them as a society

Peter was very influential in the construction of one of those seniors projects, White Birch Manor on the corner of Scott Road and 80th Avenue. The result was a gathering place for the Lower Mainland Doukhobour group in its activities. I believe that Peter and his family are still involved to this day.

As with the Seniors Homes, we also researched Retreats which assisted greatly in the designs for the Whatshan Lake Retreat. One time in Washington State, Peter decided to take us to a favorite restaurant frequently by his former employer. We were not sure that we had found the correct place but Peter convinced the Owner it was. We got treated to a bottle of wine while we waited but Marilyn was not drinking and Peter was driving so Elsie and I were tasked to do the job. Then the staff forgot about us waiting in this separate room and were very apologetic. Yes, Elsie and Elmer had to drink the second bottle of wine as well. Peter nicknamed us “The Wineos”.

Just about every year except the recent Covid years, we toured the Okanagan Wineries with Popoffs, Verigins, Podmaroffs and Rezansoffs and would be honored to stay at The Cove, a condo owned by ITC who had constructed that development. Great social occasions.

Napa Valley Wineries were also toured North of San Francisco by Popoffs, Verigins and Rezansoffs. You might say we became professional international wine-tasters.

During our early friendship, Peter asked to tour my project at Expo ’86 with the 29 International Pavilions. I in turn requested to tour one of his highrises. It is natural for an Engineer to steal a line of sight down the 26 stories of sundecks. I found perfect alignment. The formwork in the parking garages was absolutely intricately finished. I realized what a perfectionist Peter was and the reason for his preferential selection as General Contractor by so many Owners.

At the top end of Granville Street some Homeless people moved in to an abandoned building. There were no operating washrooms and no heat. The situation was grim and so Peter decided to help out. He installed essential services and heated a portion of the building. He essentially made the building livable. He brought food and provided a way for these people to feed themselves. The City went in and evicted the people and shut the place down without any discussion with Peter. Obviously this was very disappointing for Peter.

On an another occasion, he looked out of his condo to the Turnaround on Howe Street below his sundeck and noticed a man and woman, preparing to spend the night on the benches located there. Peter told Elsie that he would go down and talk to them as he did not feel right that these people had to suffer so.  After discussion, he was informed that they were a mother and son from the Maritimes and that they lived in the Street. They were convinced that “God would provide”. He offered them hotel accommodation up the street and meals, He discovered the young man had a drywall trade and told him to come down next morning to his office and he would find him a job. They promised to consider this but by the time he reached Elsie back at his Condo, the people just disappeared and he never saw them again.

Peter was a giving person and some of these incidents where his help was refused made him feel bad.

I have provided many examples of Peter in the way I knew him.

Peter and I would call each other every three weeks or so, and spent at least an hour reviewing our mutual philosophies. I will miss those phone calls but if I should get another call, I will stay connected for whatever time it may take.

Peter, you have been a great friend and my memory will stay true.

You have attended at the top board rooms in your life but you were always not far from your roots. Welcome home!

Thank you!

Elmer Verigin

Delivered at Krestova, B.C.,, Gravesite 2:00 P.M., Saturday, May 22, 2021

Completed blog entries May 28, 2021

Thank you Lorraine for your Dad’s photograph

TRIBUTE TO JOE PODOVINIKOFF

(Deceased April 27, 2021)

“This is my brother Joe,” as Natalie Voykin proudly introduced  Joe Podovinikoff to me at a Doukhobor Cultural (DCA) Meeting back about 1972 or so.

And so it followed that I was able to establish a lifelong friendship with Joe as we lived, worked and enjoyed life together in the Kootenays of British Columbia.

Joe, was a Journeyman Boiler-Maker, specializing in welding and fabrication. When he decided to stop moving around as his trade demanded, he settled down in Slocan Park and established a Welding Shop, offering a much needed service to all the Loggers in the area when he would answer a breakdown call by driving his specially equipped truck to the remote areas where the broken down machine was located. His expertise became well known and Joe became familiar with every logging road in the Kootenays.

We were discussing my short period of time, at Prince Rupert, at one of our visits when the subject of a major snow slide disaster at a Mine near Stewart, B.C. entered our conversation. Joe said “I was there and was part of the gang of surviving Workers who dug relentlessly in the deep snow, searching for survivors. It was brutal and quite stressful. I got out of that job as quickly as I could.”

Joe became a life-long member of the Doukhobor Cultural Association (DCA), which averaged about fifteen (15) families who came together from the three (3) parent Doukhobor organizations at that time. Joe served a term as President and participated in many of the acting Committees. We found that we had members from all the Trades and Careers, so that we could undertake all types of projects that was our interest, so that the Doukhobor philosophy could be expressed with our positive actions and be a benefit to the general public. Joe was always eager to be part of this partial list of DCA endeavours:

  1. Construction of a  Baunya at the Doukhobor Village across from the Castlegar Airport. Joe confirmed his Boiler-Making knowledge by designing a stove that was able to heat the water in a steel jacket around the stove. A new innovation to a Slavic system of bathing that he had already tried at his personal Baunya. This became the basis to create the UBOBU (United Brotherhood of Bathhouse Users) to honor his strong union background. Judges, Lawyers, Police Officers and many Doukhobors bathed together and bonded in the community.
  2. The DCA decided to investigate the possibility of communal living and Pete Oglow offered the land he was reserving at Blahadotniya (Champion Creek) at the request of John Verigin Sr., for Doukhobor use. Joe enthusiastically participated in this Feasibility Study which considered agriculture activity to develop a market garden along with housing for families and seniors. This report was submitted to the Owners, USCC, but the offer to project manage such a project by the DCA was politely rejected.
  3. One of the most enjoyable cultural events was to organize an exchange with our Doukhobor brethren in Saskatchewan. So a large number of DCA members travelled to Saskatoon and Veregin were we sang,  socialized and enjoyed fellowship. Joe was very much part of the spirit of the trip.
  4. Joe was a strong supporter of the Doukhobor Sports Day event organized by the DCA at Campbell Field in South Slocan. He was instrumental in the Greasy Pole, Nail Driving and many other novel events enjoyed by the Doukhobor population as well as members of the public. All monies raised were donated to deserving organizations in the area
  5. At the suggestion of his partner Shirley, the DCA sponsored a child overseas to obtain an education and essential support. Joe was very much a supporter of this.

After the Blahadadotniya project, the DCA kept searching for a major project and in 1981 the Whatshan Lake property became available. Joe was very supportive of Walter and Ann Demoskoff who selectively logged the land to pay for the purchase. He initially, secured a loan at the credit union with most of the other DCA members, to purchase the property. Eventually he supported that the entire project be donated to the Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999. He used his expertise to assist in the construction of the Whatshan Lake Retreat:

  1. To construct the Retreat Buildings
  2. Install the Infrastructure
  3. Construct Baunya with his innovation stove design
  4. Used his Pancake cooking speciality for breakfasts for all the volunteers

Somehow, Joe seemed to have that strength and commitment to assist in the formation of the  USCC Kootenay Men’s Group. He was able to share the enthusiasm and commitment with twenty-six (26) other men and as President developed:

  1. The assembly and publishing of “Vechniya Pomat”, a Doukhobor guide to celebrate weddings, funerals and religious events by publishing words to customary psalms and hymns
  2. The creation and organization for manufacturing wooden coffins by constructing a facility where the men could conduct wood working on the lower floor and women could create crafts on the upper floor. A very successful project!

Joe supported a $50,000 DCA Feasibility Study and Development of Grandview Subdivision and was part of the creation of  Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative. Joe considered living at Grandview but his love for his home place at Slocan Park kept him back. He made sure he visited us many times.

A business proposition to develop a housing project at the South end of Castlegar resulted in his cousin Fred and Joe to invest in Schoffield Creek Joint Ventures. This development was rezoned and financing obtained but the timing was not appropriate to proceed with the project. It was sold to others and now is developed in part as Emerald Green.

When I prepared a feasibility study for the Warfield Credit Union known as Emerald Ridge at Warfield, B.C.  Joe expressed interest and  invested in Emerald Ridge Properties Limited. This project has developed considerably but was curtailed when Warfield Credit Union becameabsorbed by Kootenay Savings Credit union.

Joe and his cousin Fred Padowinikoff  created I & I for Sawmill Maintenance Construction that offered a complete maintenance service to Sawmills in the area. Joe and Fred used their combined expertise to develop a very successful business.

Joe made friends easily and continued that personal attribute throughout his life. Most of us were blessed with his Phone calls at Christmas and other times no matter whether we were in Castlegar or on the Coast. That slow voice on the phone was always a welcome sound.

Everybody can speak for his Community Assistance. When he could recognize his help was required, he immediately made himself available. Most of us have been  blessed  by his actions.

Most of all his allegiance to his extended Family could be recognized as I am sure the family will speak to this in due course.

What was most impressive to me was his ability to handle personal crises. When he lost his newly constructed home to alleged arson, it did not take Joe long to start reconstruction in the ashes and rebuild the home better than it was. It takes a special person to be able to overcome disaster in the manner that Joe did.

He was never a man to complain about his failing health as his involvements  decreased with time.

Joe will be remembered for time eternal!

Elmer Verigin

Posted May 10, 2021 0650 hours

FISHING WITH BUSINESS ASSOCIATES AND FRIENDS

I was searching my photographs, looking for a certain picture and found many that I had forgotten about that are memories of people and a time when we all enjoyed each other. This snapshot is of a group of us going on a fishing trip to the West Coast starting from the Vancouver Harbour. The approximate time was July 1981.

Participants

  • Back Row L to R
  • Lawrence Verigin (VIL)
  • ElmereVerigin (VIL)
  • Fred Ratushny (VIL)
  • Russel Verigin (VIL)
  • John Khadekin (VIL)
  • Driver of Bus
  • Front Row L to R
  • Joe Podovinikoff (Friend)
  • Gordon Laarz (VIL)
  • CIBC Banker from Nelson
  • Alex Voykin (VBCL)
  • Jack Voykin VBCL)

The listed Verigin Industries Limited (VIL) are all Directors that have been together since 1967 and felt that it was time to do some recreation together after doing business together and so the idea of a fishing trip was decided upon. Voykin Bros Contracting Ltd (VBCL) had partnered with VIL on several successful subdivision development projects and so they asked if they could come along. The CIBC Bank Manager enjoyed working with the group while interim financing the Subdivision Projects. Joe and his cousin had contracted to install the water piping in the subdivisions and considered himself as part of the gang. The Bus Driver owned a bus line in Trail, B.C., and he was chosen to drive us to Vancouver and back. We collectively could not accept him having to book a room in Vancouver and he enthusiastically agreed to come on board the large fishing vessel we had engaged.

Blog is under construction as of 1725 hours Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Memories of William Cheveldave

Another soul has returned to Heaven recently. Bill had impressed me so that I am compelled to say a few words about him to remind me why…..

William (Bill) Cheveldave

The Cheveldave’s were the family that my brother Russel got to know well when he married Tillie, his life long partner. Bill was Tillie’s relative and they seemed to make that relationship close as Bill and Lola would keep themselves in close company on many occasions. I soon learned why and so it was that Marilyn and I became part of this association.

Bill was a Machinist with Cominco Ltd and soon became very respected in that he was part of a recruiting group that Cominco sent everywhere to accept the 600 or more Tradesmen that they needed for their new Zinc Plant Construction at Trail, B.C. He was part of their excellent Apprenticeship Program as well. Construction stories were always of interest to me and so there was never enough time to “quench” our mutual interest. Yes, we drank wine, too.

I was always interested in whether he was related to the Cheveldayoffs that I knew in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. He said that the “blood line ran out” but that he had met a Cheveldayoff from there and that they had exchanged visits that were much appreciated by both families.

Bill was always great at social functions because he participated and was part of the fun. Yes, he bragged about his wine making skills and was always ready to share and taste his vintage with friends.

What I enjoyed most was his sincere honesty with no attempt to distort his many talents and capabilities. I recall that he brought out his trusted Machinist’s Level to set the slate surface on the Pool Table that I obtained from Silver City Billiards in Trail. “Right on!” That was the only acceptable trade comment. Yes, we also had wine.

When Marilyn and I returned from the Coast in 1993, Bill joined my brother Russel for many hours of renovation work on our residence in Genelle, B.C.

Bill and Lola travelled and enjoyed many times on their motorhome. I felt that I had been with them because on their return, Bill would go into detail on their experiences along with people they had met. It was much more economical way to travel for Marilyn and I. A real “perk” was to share the wine as the stories unfolded.

All the research on Green City (the lost Silver Mine) by Salmo, B.C., could not have been complete without the daring challenge that Bill undertook to drive up that “goat trail” that was the only access to that “Campground”

If I remember correctly, Lola thought she had “lost” Bill somewhere in the bush and Violet was pointing to the direction she last him going. Oh, the pain, of it all! It was amazing how much suffering we endured to have a good time.

We will miss you, Bill, but I am sure that God has already found a spot for you with your friends. Say hello to all of them and have a wine with brother Russel for me.

Posted January 01, 2021 by EWV

ELMER AND MARILYN VERIGIN 50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, MAZATLAN, MEXICO DECEMBER 23, 2011.

This Blogger’s technological handicaps have delayed entering a video of the Doukhobour Wedding that our children and grandchildren blessed us with on December 23, 2011 at Mazatlan, Mexico. They all became part of a family project that even had them singing “Precious Moments” and “You Know God” in Russian which most of them previously did not speak Russian.

When Marilyn and I got married on December 23, 1961, we went in front of a Judge in Saskatoon to legalize our marriage. The Judge correctly informed us before the ceremony, that Doukhobour Marriages were legal before the law on their own merits. We had many other events that would take place that day and so organizing a Doukhobour Wedding Ceremony was not on the agenda. So we requested that he proceed as earlier arranged.

When our family asked us what sort of present we would like for our 50th wedding anniversary, we responded with “we would like a Doukhobour Ceremony” with all our immediate family present. Since we never did go on a honeymoon, we also decided we would take our entire family with us to Mazatlan.

So here is the ceremony:

Just so those who recall the wedding and can compare, here is the bride and groom 50 years previous to this:

Wedding at Marigold Restaurant, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, December 23, 1961.

In background, Elmer’s sister Mary and her husband, John Khadekin.

Updated by EWV December 31, 2020 with actual video for a public file. The best of the season to all of you!

THE CREATION OF SAM MCGEE AS RECITED BY ELMER VERIGIN

Marilyn and I were on a 2012 Summer visit through Northern British Columbia, Alaska and the Yukon with my daughter Lori and her husband Rick Woodhouse.

Since we were in Dawson City YT, it was imperative that we visit the cabin where Robert Service resided during his time in Dawson. Rick videoed me as I recited his poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. We also visited Lac LaBarge, the apparent site for the cremation.

MVI_4923.MOV

Just as I completed my poetic presentation, another tourist family was standing by listening.

Thank you Rick for videoing this and sending it to me

Posted the video 1445 hours, Sunday, December 13, 2020

Marilyn’s Opaerative Procedure with Rhinositus (Nasal Polyps)

At 0905 hours, Tuesday, December 01, 2020, I drove Marilyn to the Trail Hospital where her long-awaited elective surgery was to take place with Dr. Cook.

There was a great deal of anxiety on the part of the patient with all the various descriptions and after effects of such surgery that she had heard from her friends and people who have had that surgery.

The condition is usually the result of Asthma and related conditions and surgery will relieve the condition by removing the blockages caused by the Polyps but is not a cure. The condition was seriously affecting her hearing, speech and continual nose draining which was not acceptable. So Marilyn agreed to the procedure and the wait was about 18 months. She sacrificed here previous appointment in March of 2019 as my Cystectomy operation was more serious at that time and we could not be both compromised, healthwise, at the same time.

So she opted to let me go first for act which I really appreciate.

With the Covid situation, I was not permitted to wait in the hospital and at 1400 hours, I was called to bring her home.

Marilyn was still oozing blood that was being eased by gauze in her nostrils but otherwise was quite positive as I drove her home.

Our daughter Lori prepared some Varenekee which she enjoyed for dinner yesterday (I was allowed to have the potato filled variety as she prefers the cottage cheese). Thank you Lori.

This morning, she is much better and the oozing has reduced substantially. She is now preparing to start the nasal rinse procedure which she will need to do twice a day. This part of the recovery was what Marilyn dreaded the most but unfortunately there is no other way to keep her nasal area healthy.

I need to thank Dr. Cook and the Medical staff at the Trail Hospital as her visit with you was very enjoyable. She appreciated all the TLC to which she was the recipient.

Thank God for TC Douglas that brought us universal healthcare as I am not sure how we would survive without it.

We look forward to a healthy Marilyn in the years to come.

Posted by EWV 0910 hours Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Epilogue of Elmer’s Health Challenges

Dr Robinson continues to monitor my 2019 Cystectomy and recent CT Scans confirmed that there were “issues” in my right Kidney but that I am still Cancer free. Well that is really good news but he still wanted to have a look at my kidney.

At 1135 hours, Thursday, November 19, 2020, I was invited to the Trail Hospital where an X-Ray equipped cameral probe was inserted through my stoma. I find it amazing at the Technology that exists as I watched the probe meander through all the pulsating tissues until we came to the urinary tract entry to the kidney.

Lo and behold, scar tissue had built up that was compromising empting urine from the kidney. He was able to penetrate that area and went into the kidney itself and attempted to insert a bypass tube through that growing constriction.

He kept trying but his equipment was not able to provide a visual capability to inspect the interior of the kidney so that the tube could not be accurately placed.

He finally decided to stop the procedure as his equipment could not be further adjusted to complete the process.

We did visit the portal of my left kidney and I was treated to a “normal” healing process and I was assured that there was nothing otherwise amiss with my right kidney but that the compromised functioning needed to be corrected.

He immediately explained that a Radiologist in the Kelowna Regional Hospital was better equipped to deal with this challenge as the Specialist could enter the kidney from my back and push the tube through from the kidney side.

The decision was to refer me to Kelowna and their more elaborate equipment.

What was interesting is that, Dr. Robinson kept thanking me for my patience along with the two Nurses who eagerly awaited any instruction that the Doctor may request.

I felt no pain nor discomfort even though I did not receive a local antiseptic nor any pain-killers.

I thank God for our hospitals and their expert and caring staff.

Stand by for further updates…………

Elmer Verigin November 20, 2020

I did get a call from the Kelowna Hospital yesterday….

My Nephrostomy Procedure will take place on December 03, 2020 at 1215.

My daughter Lori and my son-in-law Rick Woodhouse have offered to drive me there.

It is a day procedure but the Hospital requires that I stay overnight in Kelowna.

Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2020 0630 hours

Update November26, 2020 1550 hours

There was a conflict of my understanding of the Kelowna Procedure and what I noted on Google so we called Dr Robinson at 1250 hours today to clarify.

Plan A:

A specialized X-Ray will determine the exact spot in my Right Kidney to enter from my backside. A conduit, intended to drain the kidney past the scar tissue joining my urinary canal to the kidney will be penetrated and that is the first objective.

Whether the conduit is successfully installed or otherwise, a drainage tube will drain the kidney into another bag on my thigh. This bag and the external tubing will be removed in two weeks by Dr Robinson and the procedure is termed a success

If the conduit cannot be installed then the access to the kidney will be in place for Dr Robinson to try an alternate process to drain the kidney as a Plan B

If Plan A and B cannot be achieved to drain the kidney internally the Dr. Robinson wans to discuss Plan C which would involve surgery.

At this point my kidneys are functioning normally and so all attention is to be placed on finding a method to drain the right kidney

Here is a prayer to success in Plans A or B!

UPDATED 1000 HOURS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2021

Just to confirm that Plan A worked just fine. I wore a supplemental bag for four days until I needed to visit Interior Health Services (Nurses at the Castlegar Hospital) to remove the bag and cap the drain protruding from my kidney. The drain was plugged and coiled with a bandage over.

The next step is to wait for Dr Robinson to call to complete the Cystoscopy which will may the right kidney function as it was entirely blocked off with scar tissue around my urinary tract.

The Nurses faithfully changed the bandage every seven days.

I was called by the Trail Hospital to come for a procedure at 1155 hours, Thursday, December 21, 2021. the procedure takes place in the Operating Room with no anesthetic. The Doctor enters through the Stoma and adjusts the “wire” placed by the Radiologist in Kelowna and removes the protruding drain.

This all took less than a 1/2 hour.

I will need to go back in three (3) months to have it inspected. This will be a continual procedure except with the interval increased to none (9) months. The objective is to have the kidney function properly as there is no problem with the kidney at this time.

I am feeling just fine and no reprecussions with the Cystoscopy.

Posted 1015 hours, Friday, January 22, 2021 by EWV

MY UNEXPECTED BUT MEMORABLE FRIENDSHIP WITH POLLY CHERNOFF

In 1898-99, a largest single migration of 7,400 Doukhobors were welcomed to Canada from religious persecution in Russia. They were settled in the Northwest Territories (later became the Province of Saskatchewan). All were united and guided by their Leader Peter V. Verigin.

The Doukhobors had strong religious convictions which can be researched by reading many articles in Doukhobor Genealogy complied by Jonathan Kalmakoff and posted on Google. There are many other Authors that have written about this group of migrants. This article will focus on an incident that took place in the early 1970s in British Columbia.

First, some background that will explain how Polly Chernoff and I met and events that contributed to that meeting.

After initial settlement in Canada, the Federal Government in 1907, called on these newcomers to register on individual farms of 160 acres. This requirement was a distinct change from the original agreement with the Doukhobors who understood that they could communally farm the Crown Grant of approximately 743,000 acres as agreed prior to migration.

This then became the beginning of separation of the original group into three parties:

  • A large group of about 4,000 agreed to move from Saskatchewan to British Columbia to lands not subject to the Homestead Act. This migration started in 1908 and was essentially complete in 1912. These were referred to as communal Doukhobors and coordinated all their holdings and activities under the Christian Community Of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) and was formally registered in 1917
  • Many agreed to register according to the Homestead Act requirements and remained in Saskatchewan. This group was identified as Independents. Some Communal Doukhobors continued to operate remaining holdings in Saskatchewan and lived communally under CCUB.
  • A third group lived amongst both groups and cultured a strong understanding that materialism and ownership of any nature was contrary to Doukhobor principles as they understood them.

There was always a desire by many adherents to the Doukhobor beliefs for a united organization, either formal or informal. To this end a 1937 convention was held in Veregin, Saskatchewan at the Head Offices of CCUB and a Society of Named Doukhobors was the result. Although the convention was well represented by all Doukhobor factions, the operation of this Society was never totally accepted by the rank and file of Doukhobors in Canada. The CCUB was the largest formal and many independent Regional Societies of Independent Doukhobors were also in operation.

The third group became known by the name of Sons of Freedom and other names were given, depending on the understandings of each faction.

Doukhobor Youth, at various times, would gather in an attempt to organize a Canadian Youth Organization. With the demise of the CCUB in 1937-39, the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (USCC) was constituted and a Union of Youth was organized to meet the needs of the USCC Youth. Although the UoY invited unaffiliated Doukhobor Youth to join, this was not that well received.

So the search for an “all inclusive Doukhobor Youth” organization continued with attempts in 1948 and the mid 1950s with no success.

In mid 1950s a group of Youth In Saskatoon had come to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to attend higher education and along with others, organized the Saskatoon Doukhobor Youth (SDY). This was a “melting pot” for the Saskatchewan Youth and functioned well for many years.

In the mid 1960s a similar situation took place in Vancouver, B.C., and the Union of Young Doukhobors (UYD) was constituted. This also operated well for many years.

in 1969, at a Convention of Society of Doukhobors In Canada (CDS), (an offshoot of Named Doukhobors), had a discussion item , “Where are all the Youth”? This was enthusiastically debated. Representatives of all the Doukhobor factions were partly, in attendance.

Marilyn and I had been invited to attend and at 29 years of age, I was still considered Youth in relationship to all the aging people there. Marilyn and I met at a SDY meeting and we had been in contact with the UYD so we had an empathy for their interests. We also belonged to a Doukhobor Discussion Group in Castlegar which gathered to discuss Doukhobor philosophy and had organized seminars in the community. I was asked to travel Western Canada and enquire of all Doukhobor Organizations with Youth, as to their interest to attend a Convention at Tarrys Hall in Tarrys, B.C., to explore a Canadian Doukhobor Youth Organization. I agreed on the basis that the USCC send a representative of the Union of Youth with me.

And so it came into being that I met Jim Laktin who was selected from the Union of Youth.

We travelled that January 1971 to Calgary, Saskatoon and Veregin to meet with Youth in all these locations. We informed them of the intent and invited them to attend this forthcoming convention at Tarrys Hall. We also met with the UYD and various locals of the Union of Youth in the Kootenays.

So this is how the Youth Convention was convened at Tarrys Hall in April of 1971.

The Castlegar Discussion Group was very instrumental and helpful in the organizing of this event. I knew that there would be meeting challenges and thus invited Norman Reibin from Saskatoon who had established himself as a Motivational Speaker and was thus very capable to control a convention. Norman had been a member of the SDY and had attended organizational attempts to assemble a Canadian Youth organization in the mid 1950’s by travelling with a Saskatchewan Youth Group to visit the Union of Youth in the Kootenays. This experience should be a benefit at this time.

Delegates to this Convention advised of their presence from:

  1. Union of Youth
  2. UYD
  3. SDY
  4. Castlegar Discussion Group

There was a registration desk set up at the Hall entry and all registrants were required to sign in and provide contact information so that convention minutes and future meetings could be coordinated as may be required.

An inverted U-shape of tables and chairs were set up at the foot of the Hall Stage for the Delegates with an Administration table at the bottom of the U for the Moderator, Convention Organizers and Minute Takers.

Chairs were set up for all those who wished to participate by listening to the proceedings. These were seated around the assembled delegates.

At the appointed Convention start at 0930 hours, all were asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer as a blessing to a positive Convention result.

At the close of the Prayer, with all being asked to be seated, when it was noticed that two women were still standing and disrobing. This was not totally unusual as some Doukhobor Meetings had been disrupted by members of the Sons of Freedom Sect who had disrobed and the meeting would hurriedly find blankets to cover the disrobed people and rudely escort them out of the meeting place.

Norman looked at me to receive my suggestion as to how to proceed and so I suggested that he ask the two ladies what their purpose was at this time. This is how the next portion of the convention took place:

Moderator: “Who are you and what is your purpose here?”

Women: “We wish to address the gathering”

Moderator: “Are you registered Delegates?”

Women: “No, we do not believe in registration requirements at a Doukhobor meeting”

Moderator: “As per the convention rules provided to the Delegates, only Registrants are permitted to speak. If you wish to speak, then you must register and provide the information on the form from the Registration Desk”

Women: “We do not wish to do that but we would like to address the meeting”

Moderator: “I will discuss this with the Registered Delegates to determine if they wish to permit a change to the registration requirements. In the interim you will wait until I can obtain their decision”

And so the Moderator, Norman Reibin opened the floor to the delegates to consider the request not on the Convention agenda. The Delegates were mostly young University students who were very capable debaters and had a clear understanding of parliamentary procedures. They understood quickly that this might be a special opportunity to discuss actions such this one taking place to achieve a positive process in dealing with this in the future.

So after about 45 minutes of debate, while the disrobed women stood patiently, it was unanimously agreed as follows:

“That the women can address the convention on condition that they immediately dress and sit down or register at the desk and come to the delegate table”

Moderator: “I am pleased to advise you of the Delegates decision and read out the decision”

Women: “We wish to Bless all those in attendance and pray for positive Doukhobor action going forward.”

They subsequently dressed and sat down. The Convention proceeded as per the agenda without further disruption.

A photograph of Polly Chernoff, one of the two women who wished to address the Doukhobor Youth Convention in April 1971.

I had never met her before this Convention but had witnessed times when her disrobing actions caused the event attendance to clothe her unceremoniously and remove her from the building                                               .

A reliable source, familiar with Freedomites, explained “It (disrobing) was used as a form of protest or statement that they are free of possessions including their own clothing. When nude they are equal in the eyes of God. It was a by product of deeper concern and issue – which is materialism.”

I had never met her before this Convention but had witnessed times when her disrobing actions caused the event attendance to clothe her unceremoniously and remove her from the building                                               .

A reliable source, familiar with Freedomites, explained “It (disrobing) was used as a form of protest or statement that they are free of possessions including their own clothing. When nude they are equal in the eyes of God. It was a by product of deeper concern and issue – which is materialism.”

During a break in the Convention, I had an opportunity to meet and talk to the two women who had joined others in the audience. She then expressed that this was the first time that her action was handled in this very positive fashion. I told her that I did not agree with her method of expressing herself but that she had a right to do so and that she did so peacefully. I thanked her for that.

Since that occasion, I received correspondence from Polly where she encouraged the Doukhobor Youth to carry on and achieve their goals. Excerpts as follows:

“…It was nice to hear that the Castlegar Doukhobor Youth are still active & searching, aren’t we all?….

“….May God guide you in all your activities….”

“….May God bless you in your work, it is a pleasure to know young people like you….”

It is my opinion that there was an arterial purpose to the two women in their attendance at the Convention. Their subsequent action was to challenge the Youth to determine how serious they were in their Unification quest.

I believe that Polly and her associate were pleased with their “test”.

Polly is now here in spirit but Marilyn and I enjoy a wonderful and sincere friendship with her daughter and husband that will last for the rest our years.

We mortals are never totally sure of the reasons why separate events take place in our lives until we look back and analyze somewhat and therein are the answers.

After the Conventions there were several attempts to form a Canadian Doukhobor Youth Organization with and a subsequent Convention, DYNEC (Doukhobor Youth National Executive Council) ws constituted, but there just never seemed to be a “Melting Pot” as everyone continued with their individual aspirations and the need for a National organization just did not materialize.

The Castlegar Youth Discussion Group continued and the Doukhobor Cultural Association (DCA) was the result as the original youth matured. Those that were attracted to the DCA made up the fifteen (15) or so families and originated from:

  • 1/3 USCC
  • 1/3 Independents and
  • 1/3 Freedomite

They learned to listen carefully to each other to understand what was being said. They also socially interacted and enjoyed the companionship. The desire to serve the public was a natural result as they became convinced that doing something for the public good is a much better tenet than ” all for me and less for them” philosophy.

Some of the achievements of the group can be modestly listed as:

  1. Organizing Doukhobor Sports Day at Campbell Field in South Slocan, B.C., where all factions could bring families and experience family
  2. Organize Psalm Seminars
  3. Conduct a feasibility study to develop a community on USCC lands located at Campion Creek
  4. Purchase a 204 and a separate 5 acre land parcels at Whatshan Lake near Edgewood, B.C.
    1. Develop buildings that consist of a 100 seat Assembly Building complete with kitchen
    2. Five cabins that can sleep eight (8) people in each
    3. Additional three (3) cabins equipped with kitchens
    4. Seventy-five (75) RV campsites with water and power
    5. An additional hundred (100) RV sites with water only
    6. A Washroom Rest Area for campers with showers, toilets, Kitchen and Patio
    7. A Baunya with Patio and associated recreational Park
    8. A kids Playground
    9. A Ropes Course
    10. No debt and donated all to a separate non-profit charitable society (DHRS #1999) with no debt
  5. Continue directorship on Doukhobor Heritage Retreat Society #1999 (DHRS #1999)
  6. Raise a $150,000 Fund that donated to various non-profit societies like hospitals, etc.
  7. Sponsored and developed Freedom Quest, a Treatment center for Youth Drug and Alcohol with favourable use of the Whatshan property
  8. Develop a 48 unit Seniors Home in Delta, B.C. (White Birch Manor) with Lower Mainland Doukhobor Benevolent Society (LMDBS) and maintain membership on the Board
  9. Develop a 10 unit Seniors Home in Castlegar, B.C., (Rosewood Manor) and pass it over the BC Housing after operating it for 25 continuous years
  10. Funded a feasibility study ($50,000) to develop a three part seniors facility under the Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative that developed 60 acres in Castlegar, B.C. Many of the DCA funded townhouses and still reside at Grandview Housing within the development. Individual housing sites for young families were used as a fund raiser.

The DCA has now disbanded after almost 50 years but the legacy still remains.

I wonder now how much the actions and blessings of Polly Chernoff and her associate in 1971 may have influenced the DCA success?

That answer is for Historians to research but I am pleased with the results.

Written by Elmer Verigin November 11, 2020

References:

  1. Polly Chernoff letter dated November 06, 1971
  2. Undated memo from Polly Chernoff
  3. Advice taken from a friend

DATED POST SITE 29 MAPLE ROAD WHATSHAN LAKE RETREAT

This again was in my note book and written July 31, 2020

I want to record my feelings about my Hearing Handicap as it progresses to the nth stage.

At this time my “hairs” in the Inner Ear have progressively and mostly disappeared with age. One on one discussions, face to face, are still possible provided the discussion is methodical and word enunciation is taking place by whosoever is speaking one at a time.

Group discussions are impossible for me to participate and I quickly lose interest to fall into my own world to just watch what is happening around me. This is usually misinterpreted by others as my lack of interest or perhaps “being stuckup”, sometimes assumed by many. Usually I will retreat from the group and move to a more isolated location where my thoughts will drift to exciting times when my hearing did not impact my social behaviour.

I suppose I could interrupt the conversation with a request to repeat the last statement but that takes away from the flow of the discussion in a social setting. That is undesirable for the group and quite honestly, for myself.

In my discussions with my grand daughter Kayla, she too, is suffering from this hereditary condition which plagues some of the Verigin descendants. This is unfortunate!

I reluctantly gave up my Project Management pursuit as meetings were becoming stressful and as much of a challenge for my clients as well as those in attendance. A Project Manager must be totally aware of his project in all aspects for ultimate success. Misinterpretations cannot be tolerated and not acceptable.

So I find that reading, writing and solitary projects can attract and keep me occupied without making me feel sorry for myself.

At this time in my life. I worked on my Family Tree previously and now I need to compile all into one full complete one.

Slastukin / Verigin and Morozoff from my side and then joining together to Marilyn’s Maloff / Verishine side will be a definite all-encompassing challenge. I expect the finished size to be five (5) by two (2) feet. I chose a background of woven pine needles to achieve a rustic background. The intent is to set it on Colorlox and mount it behind a glassed frame to hang in our entrance hallway.

The interesting part is that it takes all my attention as I find that it is easy to place the needles side by side in an alternating weave. I estimate that there will be about 7,000 individual needles for the full mat.

Following American politics is very interesting for me as Trump’s rise to power so closely duplicates that of Hitler’s rise starting in a Munich Beer Hall in 1933. The propaganda “machine” is no different as lying is routine even then. I secretly pray that the intelligent populace will vote him out of power.

The Alien shows are very interesting as the pictorial evidence of technology and intellect is very compelling that something “out of the world” may have taken place and perhaps we inherited this in some part.

I will keep participating in the affairs at Whatshan Lake Retreat while my health and my conscious mind permits me. I would like to see successful completion of the zoning that will permit the sale of water off site so that the current revenue shortfall of $25,000 from expenses can be illuminated. This is very important as ‘we cannot continue to carry water from the well t the house with a hole in the bottom of the pail”.

I am well advanced in researching a potential logging harvest of marketable timber over 200 mm on the butt. This revenue can be used to improve essential maintenance projects as well as install the water dispensing mechanisms. I am also exploring the feasibility of a commercial RV Park. Based on the rentals this year, it appears that this could be very feasible provided the Society can find the development funds to construct same.

I would really like to see the fronts of all the cabins, the side of the stage and Whispering Pines, all have a painted outdoor scene. This would render the buildings “alive” as the Marketing Study had recommended.

Without any argument, $55,000 needs to be allocated to replacing the aging shake roof on the Retreat Building which is overdue.

Transcribed 1640 hours, September 22, 2020