Historic Sites of Manitoba: Melrose Park / Jurkowski Memorial Park (722 Melrose Avenue West, Winnipeg)
Formerly known as Melrose Park, this Winnipeg park was renamed on 17 April 1993 to commemorate the volunteerism and community service of Polish immigrants Joseph Jurkowski (c1892-1962), Kazimira Jurkowski (1898-1977), and their family.
Joseph Jurkowski was born in Poland around 1892, immigrated to Manitoba in 1911 and lived in Transcona. Kazimira Schmidt was born at Rudki, Poland on 27 February 1898 and immigrated to Winnipeg around 1911. They married at Winnipeg on 23 January 1917, settled at Transcona in 1918, and had seven children: Karoline Jurkowski (1917-2003, wife of Stephen Swirhun), Louis Jurkowski (?-2009), Verna Jurkowski (wife of Raymond C. “Ray” McMillan), Edward “Eddie” Jurkowski (c1923-2002), Stanley “Stan” Jurkowski, Cecelia Jurkowski (wife of Joe McMillan), and Louise Jurkowski (wife of Marcel Daeninck).
Joseph worked for the Canadian National Railway until retirement in 1957 and was a member of the Canadian Carman’s Union No. 550. From 1935 to 1941, he also was active with the Polish School at Transcona and an executive member of the Polish Fraternal Society of St. Johns Cantius, the latter of which Kazimira was also a member. She was a member of St. Joseph The Worker Parish and West End Over 65 Club. The couple’s community spirit was passed on to their children. Stan served 27 years on the local Parks and Recreation citizen board and was a Heart and Stroke Foundation canvasser for 15 years. Louis was active in the North Kildonan Home and School Association from the 1950s to 1960s, was a 30-year Cub Pack Leader, two-year trustee of the North Kildonan School District, and a Little League baseball coach.
Joseph died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 2 September 1962. Kazimira lived in Transcona until 1976 when she moved to North Kildonan, residing there until her death at Concordia Hospital on 9 June 1977. Both are buried in Transcona Cemetery.
Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Double wedding in Holy Ghost Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 October 1946, page 9.
“Swirhun - Jurkowski,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 October 1947, page 14.
“Jurkowski - Janoski,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 June 1948, page 13.
Obituary [Joseph Jurkowski], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 1962, page 34.
Obituary [Kazimira Jurkowski], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 June 1977, page 39.
“Park honors family's service,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 1993, page A10.
Obituary [Eddie Jurkowski], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 2002, page C6.
Obituary [Karoline Swirhun], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 March 2003, page B12.
Obituary [Louis Jurkowski], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 2009, page C16.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 31 January 2015
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