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Memorable Manitobans: Taras Dmytro Ferley (1882-1947)

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Taras Dmytro Ferley
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Educator, publisher and real estate broker, municipal official, MLA (1916-1920).

Born in Ukraine on 14 October 1882, son of Theodore and Marie Ferley, he was educated at Kolomea Gymnasium and Lemberg University and came to Canada in 1903, staying briefly at Winnipeg before settling at San Francisco, California. In 1906, he and his family returned to Canada and settled here permanently.

On 22 July 1903, he married Natalia Anna Rurak (1884-1971, daughter of Mary and Michael Rurak of Ukraine) and they had nine children: Nadia Ferley (c1904-c1907), Jaroslav “Jerry” Ferley (1907-1995), Eugenia “Jennie” Ferley (1909-2004, wife of Walter Koohtow), Boris Ferley (1916-2006), Zenon Ferley (1918-2011), Lesia “Alice” Ferley (c1921-1972, wife of Samuel Newton), Nestor Ferley (1923-2005), Theodore “Teddy” Ferley (1928-2010), and Irene Ferley (1931-2001, wife of Robert Guy Smethurst).

From 1907 to 1910, he was a teacher at the Ruthenian Training school at Brandon. Later moving to Winnipeg, he was a Director of the Ukrainian Publishing Company of Canada. He was a candidate for a seat on the Winnipeg City Council (1913) and a Labour candidate for Gimli in the 1914 provincial general election. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1915 general election, becoming the first Ukrainian MLA in Manitoba, and served a single term, being defeated by Gudmundur Fjeldsted in the 1920 general election. He was a member of the Winnipeg City Council from 1932 to 1933, replacing Robert Durward.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 32 Bannerman Avenue, on 27 July 1947 and was buried in the All Saints Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ferley School No. 1812 (RM of Mossey River)


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1917.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Winnipeg’s aldermen and school trustees for 1932 announced,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 December 1931, page 1.

“T. D. Ferley, civic leader, dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 July 1947, page 9.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 July 1947, page 20.

Obituary [Alice Newton], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 September 1972, page 37.

Obituary [Jerry Ferley], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 June 1995, page 47.

Obituary [Irene Smethurst], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 December 2001.

Obituary [Boris Ferley], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 December 2006.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Oliver Bernuetz and David Smethurst for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 February 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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