St. Nicholas / Immaculate Heart of Mary
100th Year Anniversary Celebrations

 

Saturday October 8 - The Gala Banquet

 
The front entrance to the Victoria Inn on Wellington Avenue.

The second major event in the St. Nicholas/Immaculate Heart of Mary School 100 Year Anniversary Celebration was the “Gala Banquet” held on Saturday, October 8th at the Victoria Inn on Wellington Avenue. The Victoria Inn, which was once called the International Inn, is the same building where the school held its 75th Anniversary celebrations in 1980.

 
The Victoria Inn sign and a poster advertising the school's 75th Anniversary.

This was the most formal and the most glamorous of the three events, with many dignitaries present and over 350 registered to attend. Appropriately, the school’s 100th Anniversary banquet took place in the hotel’s Centennial Ballroom.

 
A view of one of the 2 wings of the Centennial Ballroom.

After registration, guests were escorted to their table by former students of IHMS. Most people arrived shortly after 6:00 p.m. in order to mingle and socialize before dinner. Cocktails were at 6:00 p.m., and dinner was at 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Kwasny and Jay Korban. Mr. and Mrs. Kwasny (absent) worked at the front table.

Before dinner began shortly after 7:00 p.m., the room fell silent as a Knights of Columbus honour guard escorted the banquet’s dignitaries to the table of honour.

The Knights of Columbus escorted the Banquet's special guests to their table.

The dignitaries included:

  1. Sr. Junia Kunanec, SSMI Provincial Superior
  2. Sr. Janice Soluk, SSMI Superior General
  3. Father Athanasius McVay, OSBM, school chaplain
  4. Msgr. Michael Buyachak, pastor of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral
  5. Bishop David Motiuk
  6. Bishop Michael Wiwchar, C.Ss.R. of Saskatoon
  7. Bishop Cornelius John Pasichny, OSBM, Bishop Emeritus of Toronto
  8. Archbishop Emilius Goulet of St. Boniface
  9. His Grace Metropolitan Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R.
Left to right: Bishop Cornelius John Pasichny, OSBM; Msgr. Michael Buyachak; and Archbishop Emilius Goulet.
 
Left to right: Archbishop Emilius Goulet; Bishop Michael Wiwchar C.Ss.R.; and Bishop David Motiuk.
 
Left to right: Bishop David Motiuk; Sr Janice Soluk, Superior General of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate; and Sr. Junia Kunanec, SSMI Provincial Superior.
 

Opening prayer, and prayer for Pope Benedict XVI was given by His Grace, Most Reverend, Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R.

After dinner was served (click here to view the menu), Mr. Mager, who was the evening’s master of ceremonies, welcomed everyone and introduced the banquet’s special guests (click here to view the program for the banquet).

Mr. Mager, Co-Chair of the Anniversary Committee, was Master of Ceremonies.

A presentation was made to the oldest alumni present - Mrs Olga Dutka (maiden name, Andrusyshen) who last attended St. Nicholas School in 1928.

Mr. Mager presents a gift to Mrs. Olga Dutka, an alumni from 1928.

Mr. Mager then introduced Sr. Janice Soluk, SSMI Superior General. After speaking for several minutes about the importance and significance of the school’s 100th Year Anniversary, Sr. Janice Soluk presented a framed photo of Pope Benedict XVI to Sister Junia Kunanec, Provincial Superior, and Mr. Rod Picklyk, principal of IHMS.

Sr. Janice Soluk speaking at the podium and displaying her gift to the school.

The framed photo, which will hang at IHMS, imparts the Holy Father’s blessing to the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, and the staff and students of the school on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of its foundation in Winnipeg.

Left to right: Sr. Janice Soluk, Sr. Junia Kunanec, and Mr. Picklyk.

Next, the school’s chaplain, Father Athanasius McVay, OSBM gave greetings on behalf of the Basilian Fathers. This had symbolic significance because the Basilian Fathers have been an important factor in the growth and development of the school from the very beginning, and continue to do so today. Most Reverend Bishop David Motiuk also gave a beautiful speech on behalf of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg.

Left: Father Athanasius McVay, OSBM. Right: Bishop David Motiuk.

Next, Mr. Mager introduced a mother/daughter pair who were former students of IHMS - Carol Hryniuk-Adamov (who graduated in 1968), and her daughter Katya Adamov (who graduated in 1999). They restated the significance of the occasion and the role played by the Sisters, but they also provided many interesting and amusing anecdotes on school life at IHMS. Katya was the third generation of her family to attend the school since Mrs. Hryniuk-Adamov mentioned that her mother attended St. Nicholas School in the 1930’s.

Katya Adamov (left) with her mother Carol Hryniuk-Adamov.

Finally Mr. Mager introduced The Anniversary Co-Chairs - Sr. Anne Pidskalny, SSMI, and Mr. Rod Picklyk, the principal of IHMS. Although he didn’t state it, Mr. Mager was also a Co-Chair.

The St. Nicholas/Immaculate Heart of Mary School 100th Anniversary Committee Co-Chairs (l-r): Mr. M. Mager, Mr. R. Picklyk, and Sr. Anne Pidskanly.

Mr. Picklyk then introduced the rest of the Anniversary Committee as they lined up in front of the bandstand to very appreciative applause.

Group photo of the entire 100th Anniversary Committee. Click here to enlarge.

Back row (l-r): Mr. D. Lysack, Mrs. N. Radawetz, Mrs. M. Lysack, Mrs. H. Klimenko, Mrs. G. Kwasny, Deacon Victor Humniski, Mrs. D. Semchyshyn, Mrs. M. Marcinkow, Mrs. V. Tycholis, Mrs/ J. Lewandowsky, Mr. I. Banias.

Front row (l-r): Mrs. S. Naurocki, Mrs. I. Lukie, Mr. R. Picklyk, Sr. Anne Pidskalny, Mr. M. Mager, Mrs. Gail Gel, and Mr. B. Galarnyk.

After the speeches, people began to mingle as the band (Shoom) provided live entertainment.

Shoom provided live entertainment after the meal

Many of the displays that were at the school the previous evening were set up for people to view either again, or for the first time.

Some of the displays set up in the Centennial Ballroom

In addition, Mrs. Klimenko continued to sell 100th Anniversary souvenirs until almost 11:00 p.m.

Left: The Centennial Fund basket. Right: Mrs. Klimenko with her son Martin

One of the more interesting items at the banquet was an stunningly beautiful ice sculpture with the IHMS logo on top, and the St. Nicholas School logo on the bottom. It was illuminated from behind with a blue floodlight, and proved to be an wonderful conversation piece. Fortunately, it melted slowly enough to maintain its shape for almost the entire evening.

Mrs. Naurocki and her husband Roy pose beside the ice sculpture.

As the evening wore on, people continued to enjoy themselves. When the lights dimmed and the live entertainment began, some guests started dancing, while others continued to socialize. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves immensely, and the banquet proved to be a memorable affair and a fitting tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the school.

Many guests danced to the live entertainment.