Local choirmaster, teacher honoured

On Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005, an appreciative luncheon was held at the Ukrainian Hall following divine liturgy at St. George’s Church.
The luncheon was held to honour Walter Andrusco, 98, for his many years of devoted service to the church as choirmaster and teacher of Ukrainian language and culture.
Andrusco also has the distinction of being the only surviving “founding member” of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Right Rev. Dr. Oleg Krawchenko, who presently serves at St. George’s on an interim basis, and his wife, Maria, were here for this very special occasion, as was Walter’s granddaughter, Mary Ann King, and husband, Joe, from Winnipeg.
Following the delicious lunch of chicken soup, sandwiches, and dessert (the dessert made lovingly by daughter, Leda), Nelson Rogoza paid tribute to Andrusco on behalf of our entire congregation—thanking him for his many, many years as choirmaster and the positive role he has been to so many.
Fr. Krawchenko fondly reminisced about his association with Andrusco when he was resident pastor of St. George’s—his first parish.
Over the years, Fr. Krawchenko and his wife took great pleasure in visiting with the Andruscos whenever they had occasion to return to Fort Frances.
Marcia Zeleny, president of the local congregation, presented Andrusco with a beautiful framed print of St. George’s Church painted by local artist Connie Cuthbertson.
June Kowalchuk composed and read a poem honouring Andrusco’s life and accomplishments. A humorous poem on aging was read by Jackie Grynol.
This remarkable man will be 99 years of age on April 10, 2006—and he informed us that he plans to live to be 100.
He continues to live in his own home, and he demonstrated his mental sharpness by leading those present in a number of Ukrainian songs which he still knew by memory.