MSS 189, PC 193 (A.03-117)
Title: Mary A. Wawrykow
Extent: 12 cm of textual records, 55 photographs
Biographical Sketch: Mary A. Wawrykow, the prominent
judge and community leader of Winnipeg, was the first woman of Ukrainian
origin to practice law in Canada, and only the second Manitoba woman.
She was born in Wakaw, Saskatchewan in 1911. Her parents Mykyta
and Anna Zakus had emigrated from Ukraine and settled on the Canadian
prairies. Mary graduated from the University of Manitoba law faculty
in 1934. In her student years she was a president of the Ukrainian
Students Club Prometheus. She married Daniel G. Wawrykow and started
practicing law in Gimli, Manitoba in 1940. Prior to that, from 1936-1940,
she was employed in the Attorney General's Dept. In 1942 couple
moved to Winnipeg. Mary became a prominent figure in Winnipeg’s
law community. In 1955 she became a president of the Women Lawyers
Association of Manitoba and was named “Women of the Year”
by the Winnipeg Tribune. In 1959 she ran for the Progressive Conservative
Party of Manitoba in the provincial constituency of Inkster. She
was left to support three children, Marianne, Donna, and Dennis,
when her husband passed away in 1960. She was a dedicated professional
who in 1965 was appointed Queen’s Counsel. For her achievements
she received the Community Service Award of the City of Winnipeg.
The Roblin government appointed her a part-time judge of the Winnipeg
juvenile and family court in 1968 and in 1975 Mary was appointed
a judge responsible for the Provincial Judges’ Court of Winnipeg
(North). She was very active in many Ukrainian Canadian organizations:
the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League; Ukrainian Benevolent
Association of St. Nicholas Mutual; Business and Professional Women’s
Club of Winnipeg; and St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish.
In 1971 she received Taras Shevchenko Medal during the 10th Congress
of Ukrainian Canadians in Winnipeg. Mary Wawrykow received many
honors and tributes during her lifetime. In 1976 the Council of
Christians and Jews recognized her work in human relations by giving
her “Human relations and brotherhood award”. Mary A.
Wawrykow passed away on April 15, 1977.
Custodial History: The fonds was donated by Marianne
Wawrykow, Dennis Wawrykow and Donna Spanu to the Archives and Special
Collections, University of Manitoba in 2003.
Accruals: Further accruals are expected