North Bank Russo-Greek Orthodox Cemetery

Photo added by Dave Walker

North Bank Russo-Greek Orthodox Cemetery

Also known as Holy Transfiguration Russo-Greek Orthodox Cemetery

Location
Warspite, Cold Lake Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Memorials 127 added (95% photographed)

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Lt-04-058-18-W4
Lobstick Settlement
Smoky Lake County

Holy Transfiguration Church
The first church within the Lobstick Settlement was Anglican. It was named "St. Columba of Iona and St. Kentigern, North Bank", and was created on November 21, 1908 by Bishop Cyprian of Calgary. Sts. Columba and Kentigern lived in the sixth century, and were responsible for bringing Christianity to western Scotland. Their choice as patron saints for this church probably reflects the origins of the parishioners, who, with names such as Howse, Sinclair, Anderson, Whitford and Favell, could trace their ancestry, through HBC servants, back to the British Isles – often to Scotland. The parish consisted of those portions of Township 58, Ranges 17 and 18, west of the 4th Meridian, lying north of the North Saskatchewan River. The Anglican Church had title to the northernmost 24 acres or so of River Lot 5, and just less than 15 acres at the north-east corner of River Lot 4. A church and manse, or priest's residence, were built.

Over time, the original Métis landholders at North Bank were replaced by more recent arrivals. The bulk of the Anglican property passed to William Kulka, then owner of River Lots 4 and 5, in 1940. Only a two-acre plot was retained by the Church of England – probably because it was a cemetery. Grave markers of Métis settlers and other Anglicans dating as early as 1902 and as late as 1944 can still be seen. Names like Bodnar, Wakaruk, Kulka, Charuk, Sadoway and Feniak came to the fore in the Lobstick Settlement and area. With the change in demography came a change in denomination. A new church – the Russo Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration - was erected on the two-acre parcel on RL 4 in 1952. Father John Wasil oversaw the construction, and stayed on as parish priest for twenty years, until his death. That he was much loved is evidenced by the bronze plaque erected in his memory in the churchyard.

In 1977, ownership of the plot on which the Holy Transfiguration church stands finally passed from the Church of England to the Russo Greek Orthodox Church of Canada Cemetery Company of Warspite, for a consideration of $1. By this time, rural populations had already been in decline for some time, and eventually the Holy Transfiguration parish was merged with five others in the area. The simple, gable-roofed building is identified as a church by the presence of an Orthodox cross over the front door and on each end of the roof. A fieldstone-clad belltower stands to the west of the church, and the cemetery plot occupies much of the rest of the property. Although it is infrequently used, the site is well cared-for. (Alberta Culture/Heritage Community Foundation)

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GPS Coordinates: 54.02451, -112.63274

  • Added: 20 Feb 2011
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2389840