Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Wasyl Swystun (1893-1964)


Born in Sorotske, Western Ukraine in 1893, he attended colleges in L’vov and Rumania. He emigrated to Canada in 1913 and attended the University of Ssaskatchewan, graduating with a BA with honors in economics and philsophy. He taught in Saskatchewan before becoming a high-school principal in Ethelbert (1922-1923). In 1925 he came to Winnipeg to found the Ukrainian Institute of Peter Mohyla, of which he was principal until 1931. From 1928 to 1932 he attended the University of Manitoba Law School, and he practiced law for the remainder of his life. After 1946 he became an expert in Soviet law. He wrote Ukraine: the sorest spot of Europe (1931). He and wife Olga Swystun (1901-1969) had four children: Darcia Swystun (wife of Gregory J. Ratuski), Vsevolod John Swystun (1921-1966), Nestor Wasyl Swystun (1925-1993), and Wasyl Michael “Bill” Swystun (1935-2004). Swystun was active in the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church and in various Ukrainian national organizations. He founded the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League and was pro-Communist in his later years. He died at Winnipeg on 25 December 1964 and was buried in the Glen Eden Memorial Gardens.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1964, page 29.

Obituary [V. John Swystun], Winnipeg Free Press, 29 March 1966, page 30.

Obituary [Olga Swystun], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 June 1969, page 30.

Obituary [Nestor Wasyl Swystun], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 August 1993, page 53.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituary [Wasyl Michael Swystun], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 2004.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 June 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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