Mary A. Wawrykow fonds
Call Number: Mss 189, Pc 193 (A.03-117)

Title: Mary A. Wawrykow fonds.

Dates: 1926-1977.

Extent: 0.12 m of textual records. -- 55 photographs.

Biographical sketch: Mary A. Wawrykow, a prominent judge and community leader in Winnipeg, was the first woman of Ukrainian origin to practice law in Canada, and only the second woman in Manitoba to do so. She was born in Wakaw, Saskatchewan in 1911. Her parents, Mykyta and Anna Zakus, had emigrated from Ukraine and settled on the Canadian prairies. Wawrykow graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law in 1934. In her student years, she was 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 to 1940, she was employed in the Attorney General's Department.  In 1942, the couple moved to Winnipeg.  Wawrykow became a prominent figure in Winnipeg’s law community. In 1955, she became 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, Wawrykow was appointed as 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, the Ukrainian Benevolent Association of St. Nicholas Mutual, the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Winnipeg, and St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish. In 1971, she received the 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 its 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 University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections in 2003.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of biographies of and tributes to Mary Wawrykow, as well as material on her appointments, correspondence from John Diefenbaker, Duff Roblin, and Edward Schreyer, and a photograph collection.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: Further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 189, PC 193 (A.03-117).

 

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