Obituary of Alice BILECKI

ALICE BILECKI Alice Alexandra Bilecki died on December 25, 2008 at Maples Personal Care Home in the 95th year of her life. Alice was born October 27, 1914 in Lachine, Quebec, the third daughter born to Wlas and Paraska Tahill (three subsequent daughters did not survive infancy). Alice went to school and completed the eighth grade before family finances made it necessary for her to get training as a stenographer and go to work. In the evenings, Alice attended a Ukrainian language school held by the Ukrainian Labour Farmer Temple Association (now the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians - AUUC). Subsequently she also learned to play the mandolin at the Association. As she grew older Alice began to participate in various Association cultural activities in Lachine and in Montreal such as orchestras, choirs and drama groups, and she also started to play an active role in the progressive labour class activities of the Association. It was in the course of these activities that she met the love of her life, Anthony Bilecki, a love that never faded even after Tony's death in 1993. Their courtship was interrupted in 1936 when Tony was invited by the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association to attend a course at Parkdale just north of Winnipeg. Following the course he was hired to join the editorial staff of the daily Ukrainian language newspaper published by the Association in Winnipeg. Alice moved to Winnipeg shortly after and they married in early 1937. A son, William was born in August, 1939. They continued to live in Winnipeg until July, 1940 when Tony, along with many of his colleagues, was interned by the Canadian government who considered him a threat to national security. No charges were laid nor was a trial held, but Tony was interned for more than two years. Just before the arrest, Alice returned to Quebec with her ten month old son and became very active in the organization which was established to fight for the release of the internees. After Tony's release he joined the army. A daughter, Elizabeth was born in June, 1944. Alice became involved in the renewed activities of the Association in Quebec, as did Tony after his discharge from the army. In 1947 Tony was offered employment with the AUUC in Winnipeg and he and Alice with their children moved to Winnipeg. Alice became involved in organizational and cultural activities of the AUUC in Winnipeg. She also took an active role in the Workers Benevolent Association, a sister organization of the AUUC. Alice was active in the movement for peace and participated in many demonstrations and marches. In her later years and for a long time, Alice was an executive member of the seniors group at the Winnipeg Ukrainian Labour Temple. She was also a strong supporter of the Canadian Society for Ukrainian Labour Research, participated in its functions was a speaker at symposia sponsored by the society. Alice was predeceased by Tony, their daughter Betsy, her parents Wlas and Paraska and her sisters Mary and Lil. She is survived by her son Bill (Joan), her grandchildren Gordon (Mary Grace), Gail, and Diane (Jason) and two great grandchildren Jillian and Alexander. In accordance with Alice's wishes there will be no service or memorial meeting held. Remembrances may be made to the Ukrainian Labour Temple Foundation, 595 Pritchard Ave, Winnipeg R2W 2K4. Cropo Funeral Chapel 586-8044
A Memorial Tree was planted for Alice
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cropo Funeral Home
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