Memorable Manitobans: Iwan Negrych (1851-1934)
Educator, cleric, community activist.
Born in Ukraine on 12 April 1851, he came to Canada in 1897 with his cousin Wasyl Negrych and settled on a homestead in the Venlaw district. He became the first teacher at Trembowla School, though he does not appear to have remained long in this post. By 1898, he was enrolled at the Presbyterian-sponsored Manitoba College in Winnipeg, where he took theological studies, while also improving his English. He is believed to be the first Ukrainian student of a university in Canada.
He became influential in public affairs in Winnipeg, working for Ukrainian language rights and socialist causes. He also served as the first editor of the first Ukrainian-Canadian newspaper, the Kanadiysky Farmer, which began publication in 1903.
Negrych was shortly ordained by the renegade Greek Independent Church headed by Bishop Serafym, a hastily organized church with lax standards for qualification of priests and for other terms of membership. Later discredited, it was nevertheless instrumental in the movement to achieve a national Ukrainian identity, and part of an exciting chapter in Ukrainian-Canadian history.
He died at Gilbert Plains on 28 December 1934 and was buried in the Negrych Cemetery.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Wasyl Negrych Pioneer Homestead,” Agenda Paper 1996–058 by Joan Mattie, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, November 1996.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 August 2021