Fonds PR3671 - Vera Kunda fonds

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Vera Kunda fonds

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    • 1946-1991 (Creation)

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    0.80 m of textual records. – 9 photographs.

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    Biographical history

    Vera Pawlikowsky was born 12 of August, 1928 in Lviv, Ukraine. Her parents were Irene (nee Makukh) and Julian Pawlykowsky. She received her high school education in Lviv, Vienna, Carlsurg and finished her university degree in Munich. She received her Library degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1971. She was a member of the Ukrainian scouting organization Plast since 1940. She was also very active in the Ukrainian community in Edmonton.

    In 1948, Vera Pawlikowsky married Wasyl Kunda (1913-1997) and together they moved to Canada. They landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia and traveled by train to Winnipeg, Manitoba. After spending a few days in Winnipeg they continued by train to Tees, Alberta arriving there in October 1948. The Kundas first daughter, Irene, was born a short time later. While in Tees, Wasyl Kunda found work as a farm labourer while Vera Kunda worked as domestic help. The family then moved to Winnipeg. In 1951 Wasyl found a research job with Sherritt Gordon in Ottawa, and the family moved to Ottawa. The stayed in Ottawa until 1953, at which time they moved back to Alberta, to Fort Saskatchewan. At this time the Kunda's second daughter, Lydia, was born. Two years later their son Andrey was born. In 1964 the family moved to Edmonton, where they became active in Ukrainian community life.

    Vera Kunda, was a librarian by profession, and a well-known community person and exemplary leader and role model in both her professional and community life. Her achievements and work were multifaceted.

    Vera Kunda completed her Library degree at the University of Alberta and started working for the University Library system in 1971. She came to the University Library with a strong background in pre-Med. and with numerous languages. She worked with almost every department in Science, Engineering, Home Economics and Agriculture, and Forestry. Vera Kunda's first position at the University of Alberta Science Library was that of reference librarian, a position she held until 1984. From 1984-1987 she was the Coordinator of Reference in the Science Library. In 1987 – 1991she held the position of Reference Coordinator and Periodicals Librarian in the Science and Technology Library. In 1986 she was a member of the Library Tenure Committee for one year. She was also a member of the Special Libraries Association as well as other professional library organizations in Canada and the United States. She is acknowledged for her contribution to the bibliography on Geotextiles, published jointly by Home Economics and Civil Engineering. Vera Kunda retired November, 1991.

    In 1964 when the Kunda family moved to Edmonton, Vera and her entire family joined Plast and became very active and well known in the Ukrainian scouting organization Plast. In Plast Vera held many positions from the role of counselor to various board and administrative positions. For her efforts and commitment to Plast and her long term service she received the recognition award of St. George's medal in silver and then in gold.

    Vera Kunda was also involved in the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (UCWLC) and was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the UCWLC museum. She dedicated much of her efforts and time (over 30 years) to the museum, gathering grants to bring the storage and collections processes to a national museum standard. Vera was secretary of the museum board for 17 years. Moreover, thanks to her efforts the museum had strong ties with the Provincial Museum, the Museum Association of Alberta and the University of Alberta. On the basis of the sources available Vera wrote a history of the UCWLC Museum in Edmonton which was published in the Western Canadian Anthology #3 in 1999. As part of the 50th anniversary of the Museum in 2002 the Museum Board of the UCWLC Edmonton branch recognized Vera for her long term service and commitment and work on the Museum.

    In 1982 – 87 Vera Kunda was nominated by Alberta Culture to the Advisory Council at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. She was on the planning committee of the exhibition of Ukrainian weavings “Tkanyna” which was opened at the Ukrainian Village and then was exhibited at the Provincial Museum afterwards and was exhibited for one year. Vera secured materials for the bilingual publications of the illustrated catalogue of the exhibit and she wrote the introductory article to the book. This was the first time that Alberta Culture and the Museum agreed to a bilingual ( Eng. And Ukr.) publication and captions for the exhibit. In 1994 Vera was nominated by the Alberta Government to the Advisory Committee for Academic Publications for the Ukrainian Village. As part of the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine celebrations she prepared and exhibit called “Kyiavan Treasures of Timely Christianity”.

    Vera Kunda was a founding member (from 1979) and long term treasurer of the Alberta Commemorative Society of Ukrainian Culture. She organized many fundraisers for various cultural needs and in assistance of Ukraine. From 1989-1991 she was the president of this organization.

    Vera was also a member of and contributor to the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations. Shevchenko Foundation, Ukrainian Museum in New York, the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, member of the Committee of Ukrainian Folklore at the University of Alberta and a member of the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society. In 1987 Vera received the Alberta Achievement Award from the Alberta Government. In 1998 the Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress awarded Vera Kunda with the Hetman award for her service to her community.

    In 1975 Vera buried her mother to whom she was very close. In 1995 Vera survived a very difficult operation which was diagnosed as cancer, which she fought for 10 years. In 1997 her husband Wasyl, who suffered from Alzheimers for 12 years, passed away.

    Vera Kunda passed away in Edmonton in 2005.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of records created by Vera Kunda in her capacity as a librarian as the Coordinator and Periodicals Librarian in the Science and Technology Library and her various roles in the Ukrainian community organizations such as the Alberta Commemorative Society, the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada and World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations and reflect her activities during her career with University of Alberta and her community activities. There are also some records of Irene Pawlykowsky (Vera’s mother) which Vera kept after her mother’s death in 1975. These records reflect the activities of Irene Pawlykowky in the Ukrainian community.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Andrey Kunda, the son of Vera and Wasyl Kunda, donated these records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in July 29, 2005.


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        Records pertaining to her work are written in English and records pertaining to her community activities and positions in various organizations are written in Ukrainian.

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        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is available.

        Associated materials

        Related records are located in the Alberta Ukrainian Commemorative Society fonds (PR0260), and the Peter and Olga Savaryn Family fonds (Olga Savaryn series, PR0671.0006), held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information in the Biographical Sketch was taken from the eulogy given by Mrs. N. Cyncar.

        General note

        Includes accession PR2010.0645.

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