The Kotush Family
as told by Son Pete
It is not known how he managed to get to a Ukrainian settlement near Smokey Lake, Alber- ta, but he had worked in various logging and mining camps and worked at Nordegg for awhile. In 1924 he came to Kimberley and worked for a short time, then returned to Smokey Lake where he married Beatrice Moskalyk, the daughter of another Ukranian who lived in that area. Her father worked on the building of the C.N.R. through Alberta to Prince Rupert, B.C.
Bill and Beatrice returned to Kimberley in February of 1925 and stayed with Harry and Nellie Hryniuka, another couple from the Smokey Lake area, and Bill went to work in the Mine. The next spring they pitched a tent in Morrison Subdivision where Bill had obtained' property and began building a house.
Four children were born in Kimberley, Peter (Pete), Helen, Katherine (Kay), and Bill Jr. All received their schooling here including Beatrice's sister, Helen. They were two of ten girls and three boys in the Moskalyk family. Helen married Nick Seredick, a miner for the Company and they had five children, Raymond, Sylvia, Ronny, Gloria and Jimmy. Raymond was a game warden in Clearwater, but has recently moved to California. Sylvia had a leg amputated but it did not prevent her from becoming an ar- dent skier. She and her husband were killed in a car accident coming home for Christmas in 1961. Ronny and Jimmy are both teachers in Port Alberni. Gloria still lives in Kimberley, has been married and divorced and has one daughter, Darcy Blocksidge. Helen and Nick Seredick still reside in Kimberley.
Bill Kotush continued to work as a miner and he and Mike Harris ventured into a chicken business as well. They ordered five hundred chickens and soon they were supplying eggs to Crowe's Grocery and the Mark Creek Store. Mike Harris was not with the venture long and Bill carried on for a number of years, earning himself the nickname "Chicken Bill".
They also had a cow or two and sold some milk as well as eggs. At that time Morrison Sub. had plenty of lush grass for cows to be pastured there.
Bill died at work underground in May 1942 when Pete was barely fourteen. This was during the war years so Beatrice got a job at the Concentrator. Pete delivered papers after school and worked at Johnny Woods dairy farm in his summer holidays. He got a job as frontend man for Selkirk Motors owned by Frank Shaw. By 1947he began working for the Company, first on the back fill operations, then underground as a chute loader before becoming a miner. He went on staff in 1963and was timber boss and he is now a shift boss.
In 1947 his mother, Beatrice, married John Currie who worked at the Concentrator. They moved to North Vancouver where she still resides, but is a widow again.
Pete married Blanche Stephenson, born in Corbin. Her father was a coal miner there and her mother was a sister to Ernie Turner and Torgy Torgeson. Blanche worked in the Kimberley Hospital as a tray girl before her marriage in 1947. They had four children, two are now deceased, Mona died in infancy and Richard died at eighteen. Wayne and Lori remain. Wayne works underground on transportation and married Darlene McConnell. Lori worked in the Overwaitea as a cashier for a year and is now working in a super market in Surrey.
Helen Kotush worked at the Chapman Camp cookhouse and was also a stenographer in the mine office prior to her marriage to Glen Little, who was working here at the time. They are now in Bellvue, Ilinois.
Katherine married Nick Kostiuk and for awhile lived on part of the old property in Morrison SUb. They just recently moved out to the Cherry Creek area. They have three children, Pat, Nick Jr. and Wendy. Pat is a lab technician working in the J. F. Haszard Medical Clinic. She married Neil McClure of Wycliffe, the grandson of an old time rancher, Norman McClure. Nick Jr. is a miner for the Company and married Shirley Gallinger. Wendy is in Faro, Yukon, driving a one hundred and twenty ton truck for the Anvil Mine. Her picture appeared in a 1978 National Geographic Magazine.
Bill Kotush Jr. moved to North Vancouver following graduation and is now married with two children.
Pete has many recollections of growing up in Kimberley. He lives on Ritchie Townsite that overlooks the main section of the City.