Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Calgary and the First Ukrainian Canadian Member of Parliament

Did you know that the first Canadian Member of Parliament of Ukrainian Descent attended the University of Calgary?  Did you know he also attended Normal School here - essentially teachers' college.  And did you know his name?

Perhaps it would be interesting to consider how many Canadians have served in municipal, provincial and federal politics as servants of the people over this past - say just over a hundred years?  Well, I haven't compiled the list yet.  But, I do know that Calgary's education system can be very proud for contributing to the formation of Mr. Michael Luchkovich.

Michael Luchkovich's father emigrated to find work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, and that is where Luchkovich spent the first years of his life.  The family moved to Winnipeg, but after high school graduation, Luchkovich headed west to the University of Calgary where he received his political science degree, and then later attended Calgary Normal School in order to become an Alberta Certified teacher.

He was a teacher, author and obviously a social activist - and with his fabulous education launched a ten year career in Canadian federal politics.  True to many prairie Canadians, he ran as a United Farmers of Alberta candidate and in 1926 was elected to the Canadian House of Commons representing the Vegreville constituency.  He was the first person of Ukrainian descent to be elected to the Federal Parliament - and the University of Calgary was an important stepping stone in his professional formation.  Thanks, Calgary!
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