Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Michael “Mike” Swistun (1901-1980)

Strongman.

Born near Olha on 14 November 1901, son of Wasyl “Bill” Swystun and Barbara Lucyk, he was billed as “The Strongest Man in the World” when he toured with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus during the summer of 1923. On returning home to Manitoba, he farmed, raised a family, and was a church builder and musician. He died at Rossburn on 16 July 1980 and was buried in the Seech Parish Cemetery.

See also:

The Strongest Man in the World by Norm Fear
Manitoba History, Number 3, 1982

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Swistun Buddas (RM of Harrison Park)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Municipality of Harrison Park)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church (Solsgirth, Municipality of Prairie View)

“The Strongest Man in the World” by Halya Kuchmij and Allan A. Kroeker, Kino Films Ltd. & National Film Board of Canada, 1980.

Sources:

Birth registration [Michael Swystun], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 July 1980, page 51.

“Raising the strongest man in the world” by Fred McGuinness, Brandon Sun, 27 July 2006, page 2.

The Manitoba Prairie Churches Project & The Manitoba Prairie Icons Project, 2003-2008, Final Report by Ed Ledohowski, October 2008, page 39.

Ukrainian history passed down,” The Western Producer, 7 August 2015.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 April 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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