Memorable Manitobans: Jaroslaw “Slaw” Rebchuk (1907-1996)
Born at Winnipeg on 10 February 1907, youngest of seven children of Ukrainian immigrant parents Karol Rebczuk and Anne Romanski, he attended Argyle School and St. John’s High School, graduating from the latter in 1924. He was first elected to Winnipeg City Council in 1950, and served until 1978. He was known as the “Mayor of the North End.” An independent, he was Deputy Mayor from 1966 to 1969. He served on 68 committees during his years on council and was famed for his “Rebchukisms,” such as “You’ve buttered your bread -- now lie in it” or “A verbal agreement is not worth the paper it’s written on.” He was a candidate in the 1958 and 1969 provincial general elections but was defeated each time. He led the Winnipeg's plans for the Manitoba Centenary in 1970.
In the early 1940s, he married Olga Gospodyn (1918-1982) in Winnipeg. The couple had three children: C. Brian Rebchuk (1942-1964), Noelle Rebchuk De Wolfe (1944-2000), and Christopher Rebchuk. He was a life-long member at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church. In recognition of his community service, he was given a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and was granted a knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II (1981). The Slaw Rebchuk Bridge (Salter Street Bridge) was named for him in 1984.
He died at Winnipeg on 15 January 1996 and was buried in the Holy Family Cemetery.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“The Argyle name honors early Governor-General” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1949.
Obituary [C. Brian Rebchuk], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 May 1964.
Obituary [Olga Gospodyn Rebchuk], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 April 1982.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 January 1996.
“Colorful Winnipeg politician Slaw Rebchuk” by Christopher Guly, The Ukrainian Weekly, 21 January 1996, No. 3, Vol. LXIV, page 4.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituary [Noelle Rebchuk De Wolfe], Winnipeg Free Press, 11 February 2000.
We thank Nathan Kramer and Darryl Resch for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and June Dutka.
Page revised: 14 June 2022