Monday, 25 October 2021

Jim D. Kolesnikoff (1936–2021)

Jim D. Kolesnikoff, a stalwart of the Doukhobor Movement, died in Hamilton, Ontario on June 29, 2021, remarkably on the exact date of the Doukhobor Arms Burning in Russia 126 years ago. 

Three important historical occasions brought Jim and myself together.

  1. 1957 — December. At the all-Doukhobor youth conference: ‘Building bridges of understanding’. Jim was one of the hosts. The Saskatoon Doukhobor Students’ Group initiated meetings with Community Doukhobor students in British Columbia to jointly discuss ‘Where do we go from here?’ Jim is seated on the right end in this group photo. (See: ‘Young Adult Tour of Western Canada’, The Inquirer, December 1957, pages 8-12.)

  2. 1982 — June 25-28. During the International Intergroup Symposium that brought together over 1,000 Doukhobors, Mennonites, Quakers, and American Spiritual Christians from Russia, to Castlegar, BC. Jim served as Secretary of the Convening Committee of four (Jim Kolesnikoff, John J. Verigin Sr., Jim E. Popoff, and me Koozma J. Tarasoff as Coordinator) and signed a letter to the United Nations.

  3. 1999 — October 22-24. At the Doukhobor Centenary in Canada conference held at Ottawa University, Jim presented: ‘Understanding violent behaviour: the “Sons of Freedom” case’, published in Doukhobor Centenary in Canada (edited by Andrew Donskov, John Woodsworth and Chad Gaffield), 2000, pages 114-128.

These events brought Canadian Doukhobors together to focus on examining our identity in the new world today.

  • ‘Who are we?’
  • ‘What contribution can we make to world society?’ 

That’s how I knew Jim.

Jim was born in Watson, Saskatchewan. His family moved to British Columbia where he graduated from high school in 1954. For several years he worked for the Sunshine Valley Co-op and the Grand Forks Credit Union and was an active member of the USCC Union of Youth in a program of singing, the Russian language evening school program and Iskra.  

In the 1960s, Jim attended Moscow State University where he received his MA in Russian language and literature, returned to Canada, and in 1978 obtained his PhD in Slavic Linguistics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

A big event in Jim’s life was meeting Nina, a Polish student on scholarship in Moscow. They married in 1968 and moved to Canada the same year. They lived in Edmonton, Alberta where Nina completed her PhD studies in the Department of Comparative Literature. The couple moved to Hamiliton, Ontario where Nina became a professor of Slavic Studies at McMaster University. Jim commuted to Toronto where he worked with a company (dissolved in 2002) importing precious and semi-precious metals, and jewelry from Russia to Canada.

In 2002 I published a short biography of Jim and his wife: ‘Slavic Scholars Broaden International Boundaries’, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002), pages 232-233. (PDF, 1.3 Mb)

Jim was interviewed by Gregory James Cran for his doctoral thesis: 'A Narrative Inquiry into the Discourse of Conflict among the Doukhobors and Between the Doukhobors and Government', University of Victoria, 2003, pages 105, 128, and 200. (PDF, 5 Mb). The thesis was modified into a book published in 2011 titled: Negotiating Buck Naked: Doukhobors, Public Policy, and Conflict Resolution, where Jim is quoted on page 81. (See my book review.)

Published Obituaries for James (Jim) Kolesnikoff

  • Iskra, No. 2166, September 2021, pages 35-38. Bilingual Russian and English.
  • Grand Forks Gazette, (photo) June 12, 2021. Photo 
  • Today in BC, Black Press Media (Surrey, B.C.) June 12, 2021

Joan Kazakoff Parker (1934–2021)

 Joan Parker (née Kazakoff) of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, died June 10, 2021 of stage 4 lung cancer. 

She phoned me a few days earlier saying that she was alive and in good humour. 

Joan was born in the Kamsack area of Saskatchewan to Doukhobor parents.

Her son Jeff was looking after her in the home where he was raised and where her husband George, a professional engineer, died May 5, 2018

Surviving are two children Jeff and Wendy, and Wendy’s son Aaron who is а professional chef in London, England.

Her father George Kazakoff miraculously survived the as-yet-unsolved train explosion near Farron, British Columbia in October 1924 which took the lives of Peter V. Verigin and eight others. 

Joan lived in central California where she attended college. She learned of a cousin, Allan Zolnekoff (1953–), adopted by a Dukh-i-zhiznik family near Los Angeles.

In 1984 she toured the Soviet Union with a group that included my mother Anastasia. 

Joan was an interesting personality that I have known for many years by email. Though we never met, I interviewed her and published five stories (below). 

Joan did watercolour and acrylic painting, she made jewelry, and became interested in the culinary arts. At the age of 76, Joan Parker published Joan’s Favourites, a cookbook of 350 recipes from around the world including a section from her Russian Doukhobor heritage. The book is liberally embellished with 28 colourful wisdom proverbs I liked so much that I gathered them into a list posted in 2011.

Items I published about Joan:  

Monday, 5 July 2021

Artist Bill Perehudoff (1919–2013)

Sketch of Bill Perehudoff
by Russian artist Vladimir Gubanov
Originally posted on 2 March 2013.

William (Bill) Perehudoff was a farmer, designer and artist whom I have known since the 1950s. He died in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on February 26th at the ripe age of 94.

The Saskatoon Doukhobor choir will sing at the funeral at Saskatoon Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 4. Burial at Bogdanovka (Cee-Pee) Cemetery, 6 miles west of Langham.

For me, Bill was a Doukhobor legend. He illustrated several of my books. In 2002, I wrote:

'One prominent artist in a family of five is an honour. But when the wife [Dorothy Knowles] is also a prominent artist and the children [Rebecca, Catherine, and Carol] are equally promising, that is something outstanding. All were born in Saskatchewan where the landscape and the spirit of the Canadian prairies had affect. William (Bill) Perehudoff (1919- ), the head of the family, comes from a Doukhobor background and has been painting for over fifty years. His passion for form and colours have led him to experiment in his farm studio on the North Saskatchewan River. His perseverance and tenacity appear to stem deeply from his Russian roots.' ('A Family of Artists Reveals Its Prarie Roots', Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living (2002), pp.117-119.)

Little is published about Bill's opposition to militarism and war. During World War II, he was one of 92 Doukhobor absolutist conscientious objectors who chose to go to jail for four months in Prince Albert, Saskatchwan. While many of his contemporaries in the 'English' (other Canadians) world were avid patriots, Bill in his true Doukhobor spirit of plakun trava (meaning, flowing against the current) bravely went against the prevailing military propaganda of the day.

In Saskatoon in 1948, Bill was first known for murals he painted in the Intercontinental Packers Limited cafeteria. In 1952, he began a 25 year career as art director at Modern Press, a company owned by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, and publisher of the weekly Western Producer.

I began to know Bill in 1955 when he contributed Mother and Child, the first of his 5 abstract covers for The Inquirer, the first Doukhobor publication in the English language, which I edited. The original was soon purchased by the Saskatchewan Arts Board (page 10). By 1958, we published four articles about Bill's art career.

Pen and ink work by Bill Perehudoff
of the Arms Burning by Russian Doukhobors in 1895

For my first book, Pictorial History of the Doukhobors, published in 1969, Bill laid out the text and did 16 pen and ink drawings of arms burnings and other historic views. I worked closely with Bill as he greatly enhanced this first pictorial book about the Doukhobors. His images filled in a missing visual texture of our Russian Doukhobor heritage. Coming from a Russian Doukhobor background, Bill had a creative feel for his Slavic roots, and admired the Doukhobor movement.

I vividly remember examining the finished book for the first time at the Doukhobor Historical Village Museum in Verigin, Saskatchewan. It was July 6, 1969, the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Canadians of Russian descent. Bill arrived in his station wagon filled full of books and 16 framed pen and ink drawings. We stacked the books for sale on a table at the meeting site. I sat for hours selling and autographing copies, talking and watching people admire the new pictorial volume. I also bought all his drawings, some of which have been on display in my living room for decades.

In 1980, the Doukhobor land and buildings Verigin was renamed the National Doukhobor Heritage Village. For a while my first book become a rare collector's item which sold for up to $700 a copy. Now you can find lower prices online.

Click to ENLARGE
Doukhobor Dress
In 1977 Bill retired from Modern Press, but continued to paint until 2001 when poor health restricted his work.

When I was co-curating the exhibit The Doukhobors: 'Spirit-Wrestlers' at the Canadian Museum of Civlization in 1995-1997, Bill generously donated a large abstract painting of a Doukhobor sash, acrylic on canvas (Tarasoff, 2002: 118) to the Museum. In 1995 he donated a painting ('Doukhobor Dress', right) to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar, BC. To the National Doukhobor Village Museum in Verigin, Saskatchewan, he donated an artistic depiction in colour of the 1895 arms burning which was then used in the Centennial quilt design (ibid.).

In 1994 was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and in 1999 was named a member of the Order of Canada. He also received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

CBC Interview
At the end of the 1990s the CBC videotaped A Conversation with Bill Perehudoff on resistence to abstract art at his rural home and studio overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. This video was aired again by CBC on February 8, 2013. Bill asserts the need to simplify confusion to allow art to last and 'let colour come alive'.

I feel that Bill Perehudoff is not fully recognized as an abstract modern artist, nor is his Doukhobor heritage well known. A Google search for the name Perehudoff finds 100s of pages about Bill's art career, and images of him and his paintings, even a Wikipedia page. After his death, some of his paintings are being sold for more than $80,000.

In sum, Bill Perehudoff's legacy will carry on not just as a creative artist who experimented with the abstract form as a way to discover something new so as to attract public attention, but also his deep roots in the prairie soil, and in the Russian Tolstoyan Doukhobor tradition of the Spirit Within, including its important nonkilling universal ethic.

We will miss you, Bill, but we will remember the beauty that you have given to the world, as well as the wisdom to work towards a world without wars.

Bravo, my dear friend. Bravo!

Update: 21 May 2018 — Since 2013, Bill's works have been shown and sold in 4 solo shows, 10 group shows, and included in 13 gallery shows.
William Perehudoff (1918-2013), Curriculum Vitae, Artsy. Accessed 21 May 2018.

Update: 5 July 2021 — Since this article was posted on 2 March 2013, it has been targeted with excessive comment spamming. For that reason, the original URL was deleted and reposted here, with the 2 original comments. On 21 July more links and 'Doukhobor Dress' were added.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Tribute to Peter Rezansoff (1939–2021)

People’s Builder and Cultural Mover

Peter P. Rezansoff, age 81, Vancouver, British Columbia, died May 16th, 2021. He is survived by his wife Elsie, his three daughters with spouces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many friends across Canada and the world.

Click picture to ENLARGE.

As a biographer of interesting Doukhobors around the world, I have found Peter Resansoff to be one of the most memorable. We first met in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1959 during a farewell visit with zealots, when some of them stopped at our place for the night. Peter told me that he was impressed by the Doukhobor university students who organized the Saskatoon Doukhobor student group, published The Inquirer, yet maintained an active interest in their ancestry.

At that time Peter had only seven grades of schooling which he received in the Hilliers, BC experimental community. However, when he decided to become a builder, he did a crash course in getting his high school certificate before going to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) where within two years he completed the Construction Management Program and became a skilled carpenter. Peter was known for his outstanding memory, for being a perfectionist, for ‘thinking outside the box’, and for being ‘a people person’. At BCIT, he was so liked and so knowledgeable that he taught Saturday classes in carpentry.

He was hired in 1971 as a Superintendent of the first company he pursued, Stanzl Construction. In 1981 he moved to Narod Construction where he was recognized for his business skills and promoted to Vice-President. When the company went bankrupt during Canada’s recession, Peter and a colleague Tony McGill formed their own construction company Intertech Construction Group (later rebranded as Intertech Construction: ITC) and became one of the 50 best managed companies in Canada building high rise residential buildings in Western Canada.

(Left to right) Gordon and Vi Bonderoff, and Peter Rezansoff,
USCC Union of Youth Festival 2013, Brilliant Cultural Centre.

For me as for many others, Peter Rezansoff was larger than life. In spite of his humble beginnings, he was not only successful in business, but he found time to sing, to play the accordion, to nurture his Doukhobor roots, and to support his family. He was truly a bridge-builder for understanding across cultures in his philanthropic work with Whatshan Lake Retreat, the Doukhobor Friends of Tolstoy Bakery Café project at Yasnaya Polyana in Russia, in supporting the Mir Centre for Peace in Selkirk College, the Lower Mainland Doukhobor Benevolent Society, and the USCC Community Doukhobors.

In response to one of the stories about outstanding work by his company, on Feb. 15, 2010 Peter replied in an email:

Thank you Koozma in finding interest in the Vancouver Sun Story and for including this article on your Web Site. I am pleased to have received most positive comments from many friends and associates and you are one of these friends. Just as you, I am proud of my Doukhobor heritage and humble upbringing and am not the least ashamed to share this with everyone I meet. Many in the business community refer to me as ‘The Doukhobor Builder’, ‘one must appreciate his past in order to be able to recognize the future.’

One friend wrote me: ‘I lost a great confident and friend. The world lost a true Doukhobor.’ I fully agree! Peter Rezansoff was an honest exemplary Renaissance man plus, and an outstanding example for others. He will be missed.

More About Peter Rezansoff

Nonkilling Message at Global Colloquium

On June 28th, 2021, I was one of 13 people honored to address a 3-hour online international conference titled: ‘Creating an affirmative nonkilling world’. This was my presentation text, which you can watch me read on this video at time 2:24:00.

My presentation begins at time 02:24:00

Nonkilling Message at Global Colloqium June 28, 2021

Hello dear colleagues around the world in commemorating the birth anniversary of the Late Professor Glenn D. Paige — one of the wisdom people of the world — a prophet of nonkilling.

It is very appropriate that Dr. Paige’s birthday on June 28th has been designated as International Nonkilling Day. This date always reminds me also about the historical event of my Doukhobor ancestors. It was on midnight of June 28, 1895 that 7,000 of my Russian Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobor ancestors burnt their guns in the first mass protest in history against militarism and wars. They reasoned that the spark of God and Love resides in everyone, therefore it is wrong to kill another human being.

Russian writer and philosopher Lev N. Tolstoy pioneered this idea in his book The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894); his message of getting rid of wars inspired the Doukhobors to drop their guns and then get rid of them. When persecution followed, Tolstoy, his intellectual friends and Quakers helped with the migration of one-third of the most persecuted (7,500) to Western Canada in 1899. My grandparents were part of this group.

 At the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum in Hawaii in 2007, I was honoured to add Tolstoy as one of the pioneers of Nonkilling to that of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and other world leaders and humanists. (Proceedings, page 207) Tolstoy absolutely condemned all wars and looked forward to a new vision of humanity. This vision in modern times came forth from Dr. Glenn D. Paige with the Nonkilling paradigm and hope for a new world order. 

Historically, Tolstoy and the Doukhobors both used the word ‘nonviolence’, but their real meaning, I discovered, was nonkilling. I am honoured that Glenn Paige gifted this insight to me which I have since adopted because nonkilling encompasses the broader notions of love including compassion, universal humanity, and world citizenship.

As a peace activist in many organizations such as the Canadian Peace Initiative and the World Beyond War Inc, I have often used the word ‘Nonkilling’ to describe what I consider to be one of the urgent needs of the day to save us from the scourge of war, terrorism and abuse  and preserve our civilization. Routinely, I end my emails with the words: ‘In search of truth and a nonkilling society.’ Let’s hope the new generation will embrace these important values that Glenn Paige pioneered for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and the society of human beings.

With the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at 100 seconds to midnight, we must urgently work together to stop the slaughter of humanity. Nonkilling is the hope and the way to the future.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Doukhobor Arms Burning is Relevant Today

126 years ago tomorrow, June 28, 2021, one-third of the Doukbohors in the Russian Caucasus joined in a daring protest of burning guns — all their killing weapons.

The significance of the Burning of Arms event for the Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors is enormous then and now.  Why?

This concrete act catapulted the Russian group into the international arena. Civilization was presented with a nonkilling alternative strategy of living instead of the use of violence from the gun, the bomb and other weapons of mass destruction.

'Arms Burning by Russian Doukhobors in 1895
by William Perehudoff, 1969. Click picture to enlarge.

This first ever event took place June 28-29 (Old Calendar, New Calendar July 12-13), 1895 in three places of Transcaucasia in southern Russia, with 7,000 people involved. It was inspired by Russian writer and philosopher Lev N. Tolstoy by way of Doukhobor leader Peter V. Verigin. 

Today the precarious international relations with world nations demands the same serious attention that Doukhobors applied to guns 126 years ago.  No more killing! No more wars! It's time for the leaders of the world to make war illegal as a crime. 


Friday, 23 April 2021

Bill Kalmakoff Awarded by Governor General

Update 18 October 2021

'Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to 19 individuals on behalf of Her Excellency the Governor General at a ceremony at Government House in Regina on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm.'

'Bill Kalmakoff, Saskatoon 

'For more than two decades, Bill Kalmakoff [91] has served as a community representative at province-wide culture meetings of the Saskatoon Doukhobor Society [sic] and the Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan. He has promoted public awareness of and fostered a greater appreciation for the contributions of Canadian Doukhobors.'

Original photos left and right.

The Lt. Gov. staff posted a galley of 61 photos, 3 showing Bill (2 cropped above). Bill's daughter Sandy also took photos and posted 3 on her Facebook page.

Original post:
Click on photo to enlarge.

Bill has served as Elder for the Doukhobor Society of Saskatoon (DSS), in 2018-19, and 2014-15.

In 2012, Bill was interviewed for Doukhobor bread making — 60 volunteers bake and sell the 5,000 loaves produced at Saskatoon Exhibition. Interviewed: named: Bill Kalmakoff, John Tarasoff, Peter Holoboff, and Doreen Konkin. ('Doukhobor tradition carries on one loaf at a time', The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon SK, August 12, 2012) 

In 2000, Bill was one of 'Eight volunteers to be honoured by Provincial Medal, Government of Saskatchewan.' 'Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor, Lynda Haverstock, today announced the names of eight citizens who will receive the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal for 1999. The recipients include William Kalmakoff of Saskatoon, a well-known educator and promoter of multiculturalism, has given his time and energy to:
  • Saskatoon Doukhobor Society,
  • Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan,
  • Saskatchewan Intercultural Society,
  • Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages,
  • Multi Faith Saskatoon,
  • Saskatoon Doukhobor Society Newsletter,
  • Saskatoon Doukhobor Choral group and the barbershop singing group Chimo Chordsmen,
  • Doukhobor pavilions at the Saskatoon Exhibition and Folkfest,
  • University of Saskatchewan College of Education Leadership Unit, where after retirement as a consultant he wrote an Education Act for Indian Band Schools.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Review: Our Backs Warmed by the Sun

Book: Vera Maloff. Our Backs Warmed by the Sun: Memories of a Doukhobor Life (Halfmoon Bay, BC: Caitlin Press, 2020), 263 pp. ISBN 9781773860398.

Peter N. Maloff, 1939; and book cover.

The main hero, Peter Nikolaevich Maloff (1900-1971), was a Canadian Independent Doukhobor, a free thinker, an enthralling emotional speaker, a devout vegetarian, and one who was deeply concerned with humanity’s problems of exploitation, militarism and wars. He shared the Doukhobor historic mission of stopping wars and working to create a good society.

The author Vera Maloff (left) of Shoreacres, British Columbia, Canada, is Peter’s granddaughter. After retiring from a career in teaching, Vera began to record family stories passed down from generation to generation. Through Peter’s self-published book, interviews with her mother Elizabeth (daughter of Peter), historic photos, and news clippings, Vera recreates some of the life of her grandfather Peter whom she adores.

Peter Maloff was born in Saskatchewan to parents who witnessed the 1895 Arms Burning event in Tsarist Russia, which marked the Doukhobor community for life as a group that proclaimed to the world that humanity needs to get rid of militarism and wars once and for all.

In 1913, young Peter moved with his parents to establish the communal koloniya svobody (sovereign, or freedom colony) near Peoria, Oregon,* USA for three years. (Kolony svobody,* The Doukhboor Gazetteer). There he entered high school and developed a keen interest in working towards a war-less world where equality reigns, behaviour would be nonviolent, and caring for neighbours would be the Golden Rule that was taught by Jesus Christ and other religious figures in history.

The commune dissolved in 3 years and the Maloff family went to San Francisco, California, for 9 months where they mingled with Molokane and other sectarians from Russia. Peter learned journalism and Russian grammar by assisting Russian publisher Anton P. Cherbak (Щербаков), and meeting many educated Orthodox Russian immigrants in the city.

About 1918 Maloff returned to Canada and settled among like-minded pacifist relatives in the Thrums area of British Columbia along the Kootenay River north of Castlegar. The community was independent in thinking with a few zealot Freedomite families living nearby that did not easily fit into the orthodoxy of the Community Doukhobors, who were known up to 1938 as the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (C.C.U.B.).

The book title describes their field work in the hot sun tending to their vegetables and fruit trees. They sold their produce at markets in Nelson and Trail. They also had a horse or two, a cow, a goat and chickens. Most were vegetarians.

The book title describes their field work in the hot sun tending to their vegetables and fruit trees. They sold their produce at markets in Nelson and Trail. They also had a horse or two, a cow, a goat and chickens. Most were vegetarians.

In the early 1930s, Peter became very sympathetic to the zealot cause of striving for equality, in being against private property and some objection to public education. However, when the zealots began to burn and bomb homes and public property and used nudity as a way to gain public attention, Peter opposed this terrorism. However, he was arrested for joining a march in sympathy to the cause, and was jailed for three years in Oakalla prison. His own home was threatened with arson and some of his books were burnt.

The biggest impact on Peter’s life as well as on the livelihood of the Doukhobor community was during World War II when Peter spoke out against militarism and wars. He refused to register for the Draft and was arrested, jailed, tortured, and threatened to be sent to a mental asylum and exiled in Canada in the early 1940s to an isolated two-room primitive isolated cottage near Blewett, about 23 km northeast of Thrums. His health was broken and it took several years to regain his strength.

In 1948, Peter published a collection of Russian articles some he wrote, many he collected that he thought would be of interest to Doukhobors. The 600+ page book, often cited in literature about Doukhobors, was never published in English, except for three articles listed below, bottom.

Author Vera wrote about this neglected eyesore in Canadian history through the voice of Peter’s daughter Elizabeth (Vera's mother) who was given the task of periodically visiting her father in exile bringing him essential food for his survival. The book reads well. Vera acknowledges the professional help of editor Anne DeGrace, who generously and skillfully prepared the manuscript for the final publishing form. Teamwork worked!

The book provides a good view of life among a close community group of pacifists with perspectives on values for survival, a passion for truth and justice, peace activism, conscientious objections, upbringing in the family, marriage traditions, land ownership, market gardening, visits to Dr. Bernard Jensen’s ranch in Escondido, California, and more. Vera’s mother Elizabeth (or Leeza) is a centenarian who with probing by Vera reveals the many facets of life of a struggling family showing what it means to be an active Doukhobor in the 20th century and beyond.

I was annoyed by the folksy English spelling of several Russian words, two of which were repeated by book reviewer Ron Verzuh. In my opinion these Russian words should have been properly transliterated according to the Library of Congress, or Oxford University Press standards — borshch (soup : not borsh, or borscht), pirogi (pierogi, filled tarts, turnovers, knish : not peerahee), and lekharka (female healer : not lyeekarka). (See more examples in: New Doukhobor Song Book, with CDs, May 28, 2013.)

Overall, this is a good read on the Doukhobors illustrated by excellent historic images, with special attention to Peter N. Maloff, the brave soul who has suffered for the cause of humanity. His truth was welcomed, but long overlooked by the general public. His granddaughter Vera has done a good turn by giving a voice to a nonkilling hero. Bolshoe spasibo, Vera. Many thanks!

If Peter Maloff was alive today, he would no doubt extend his anti-militarism call to include climate change, universal health care and drug programs for all, as well as urging all of us to make war a crime against humanity. Bolshoe spasibo (A big thank you), Peter! You were a visionary.

Fun fact: Maloff Spring*, Thrums, B.C. was named after Peter N. Malloff who first filed for a permit to use the water in 1956.

* 3 links to the Doukhobor Genealogy Website, by Jonathan Kalmakoff.


Tuesday, 20 April 2021

YouTube misspelled "Doukhobor" 68 times

The word Doukhobor was misspelled 35 ways and 68 times in the YouTube closed captions for the USCC Union of Youth video: Peace and Sustainability: How Doukhobor history, culture, and community connects to the Sustainable Development Goals, (22 minutes, March 5, 2021).

NOTE (June 13, 2021) This video was recently taken offline, and is not now listed on the USSC Union of Youth video channel.    

22 other captioned words were also misspelled, and 2 historical mistakes were stated, totaling 92 errors.

For example, in this screenshot from minute 1:30 of the video, Doukhobor is misspelled twice in one sentence.

Correct caption: "I personally identify
as a Doukhobor, and to my knowledge, I'm
a fifth generation Doukhobor Canadian."

Closed captioning “fails” are misspellings of spoken words created by automatic voice-to-text software. These are different errors than the more than 50 ways Doukhobor was misspelled in print by people.

A total of 23 words were misspelled in the online Closed Captioning, and the time-stamped Transcript. The most obvious was how Doukhobor was misspelled 68 times, 35 different ways, never correctly. This means that disabled people probably will not understand the CC text, and anyone searching the closed caption text for the word Doukhobor will not find it.

22 other words also failed to caption correctly. Many are amusing, some phonetically spelled like Dukhoborese. 

To project a serious public image, the captions must be corrected. See links at bottom.

2 Factual Errors Appeared

These corrections were posted in the video Comments, without the links below to the references, because YouTube forbids outside links.

Count 35 different spellings of Doukhobor 68 times in YouTube “Closed Captions”.

Multiple Times (count 49)      Once Each (count 19)
 7  dukabor(s)
 6  duke aboard(s)
 4  dukabours
 4  dukeboard(s)
 4  dukeboro(s)
 3  duke of war(s)
 3  dukeboys
 2  dukabur
 2  duke abroad
 2  duca boys
 2  duke boys
duca boards
duca boars
duke bars
duke boards
duke boars
duke boris
duke of
duke of our

In the 22 minute narration, words were slightly slurred differently, especially Doukhobor. Most of the captions recognized the d, u, k, b, o, r, and s, but scrambled other letters and inserted spaces. As the clarity of voice varied, 6 repeated words (*) were captioned correctly and incorrectly.

22 Other Words
    Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin)
    Uteshenaya (Ootischenia)   
  a lake
  call illegal
  kovid 19
* 6 words spelled correct and incorrect, depending on voice clarity.

The only solution is to edit your own YouTube video captions.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

'Guns to butter' for a Better Future

There are many ideas towards a plan for world peace and development. See 'More' below.

I summarized two proposals posted in March 2021 which I believe are fresh, feasible and authentic regarding converting 'guns to butter' for a better future.

1.  Close all USA military bases

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QI), has been brave enough to tell the world that some 800 US military bases around the world appear to have little or no usefulness in keeping the country safe and prosperous.

In a one-hour webinar 'Taps for America's Empire of Bases?', QI president Andrew Bacevich moderated David Vine, Christine Ahn, and John Glaser.

These 3 experts agreed:
  • There are NO exaggerated threats to the USA from the Middle East and elsewhere.
  • The greatest threat to peace is the military-industrial complex.
  • All bases abroad should be closed and the troops sent home. Open Letter to President Biden, March 4, 2021.
  • Funding for peace diplomacy and domestic infrastructure (health care, transportation, education, clean water, housing, etc.) should be greatly increased.
The Quincy Institute is a new US 'think tank' founded in December 2019. It is 'the most truthful and daring of the dozens of these entities that exist in the Washington DC area', according to Sharon Tennison, Founder and Director of Center for Citizen Initiatives, in a March 11th letter to its members.

2.  Putin's 'open system'

Matthew Ehret, Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow and editor-in-chief of the Canadian Patriot Review explains global 'win-win cooperation' for the future in 'Putin's Vision for an Anti-Fascist/ Open System Future and You' (The Canadian Patriot, March 10, 2021).

Ehret reports that President Putin speaks about an 'open system' of international behaviour that would avoid wars and instead would focus on cooperative efforts of multi world nations for joint security and development, such as the following:
  • Space diplomacy among Russia, USA, and China. Increase working together to explore space.
  • Asteroid defense. Implement a proposal by the Chief of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, nick named the 'Strategic Defense of Earth'. by aiming US President Reagan's 'Star Wars' Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) away from targets on earth to aim for incoming meteors and asteroids.
  • Arctic and Far East Development. By further expanding the 'Silk Road' on rails as proposed 150 years ago, but from South America, north across the Bering Strait, to Europe. Ships are now crossing the thawed Arctic Circle. Development of new cities, mining, transport corridors and energy benefits all nations connected.
  • 'Guns to butter' in an 'open system' world. If all nations cooperate to divert military spending to social needs, poverty can end and global warming stopped.
Ehret concludes: 'If Russia, America, China and other nations of the UN Security Council and BRICS were to apply their best minds to solving these problems rather than fall into a new arms race, then not only would either country benefit immensely, but so too would humanity more broadly.' Agreed! Let's hope it becomes a reality.

This means that we all need to look inward and have the moral courage to make this happen. Peace starts with us. Yes, 'Guns to butter' for a better future!


Peace Quest, Rideau Institute, World Federalists. Webinar: 'Peace Prospects in the Biden Era (Thursday, April 1, 2021, 6:30 PM ET). — Free webinar on Zoom. Featuring Douglas Roche.

Canadian Foreign Policy Institute and World Beyond War Canada. Free webinar on Zoom: 'Why Canada Should Leave NATO'. Saturday, April 3, 2021, 3 PM ET. — Free webinar on Zoom.

New Hampshire Peace Action. 'Peace & Justice Conversations:Is Russia truly our enemy? Should we risk nuclear war?' April 12, 2021, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm ET. — Free webinar on Zoom.

Escobar, Pepe. Welcome to shocked & awed 21st century geopolitics. In Information Clearing House, March 23, 2021.

Fry, Stephen. The Terrifying $1.2 Trillion Plan That Could Kill 90% of Humanity, March 16, 2021. YouTube, 11.16 minutes.

O’Connor, Taylor. 10 Global Peacebuilding Networks. In Transcend Media Service, March 15, 2021. [We can add to this list many others, such as: Center for Global Nonkilling, World Beyond War, Project Ploughshares, Center for Citizen Initiatives, Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade, Voice of Women for Peace, and PeaceQuest. For alternative news sources see Honest World News.]

Zuesse, Eric. Why It’s Especially Necessary to End NATO Now. In Modern Diplomacy, March 15, 2021.

Benjamin, Medea and Nicolas J.S. Davies. Biden’s Foreign Policy — Ten Problems, One Solution. In The Progressive, March 13, 2021.

Healy, Hazel. 10 Steps to World Peace. In New Internationalist, September 18, 2018.

Glaser, John. 'Withdrawing from Overseas Bases: Why a Forward ‐ Deployed Military Posture Is Unnecessary, Outdated, and Dangerous'. Cato Institute, Policy Analysis No. 816, July 18, 2017.

United Nations. Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Adopted September 25, 2015. Preamble: This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom….The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda….'

World Beyond A global movement to end all wars.

Center for Global Nonkilling. Promoting change toward the measurable goal of a killing-free world.


Sahiounie,  Steven.  US-NATO provocation in Ukraine to stop Russian pipeline.  The Duran, April 7, 2021.

Paul, Ron. Why Is the Biden Administration Pushing Ukraine to Attack Russia? OpEdNews Op Eds, April 5, 2021. 

Lavelle, Peter, CrossTalk, RT, April 2021. The End of Ukraine? YouTube, 25 minutes. — Lavelle hosts three panelists: Mary Dejevsky,  Independent columnist, London; Earl Rasmussen, Executive Vice-President, The Eurasia Centre, Washington, DC; and Gabriel Gavin, journalist, policy consultant, Moscow, Russia.

Baldwin, Natylie. The Situation in the Donbass, In Natylie's Place: Understanding Russia, April 3, 2021. — The situation in the Ukraine is extremely dangerous. Heavily armed Ukrainian soldiers with USA weapons are threatening the Russian Republic, as Russian soldiers stand by ready to respond if attacked.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Remembering William Kanigan. (1931–2021)

William W. (‘Bill’) Kanigan of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan died January 15, 2021. His compassionate heart touched many lives, including mine. Bill was a generous friend who encouraged and financially helped me with my research during the Doukhobor Centennial in 1995.

In 1989 we published an article about him in Spirit-Wrestlers’ Voices. In 2001 he helped Jon Kalmakoff document the Kylemore Doukhobor Colony for Saskatchewan History. In 2017 we published and replied to an essay he composed with his son Kim about two streams of Doukhobors.

Bill is best known as ‘a responsible entrepreneur from the heart’ who for 27 years co-owned and operated the successful Buy Rite Furniture business in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He attributed his success to the importance of promoting and practicing co-operation, being gentle, solving problems with thoughtfulness and kindness.

The photo above shows the former Buy-Rite Furniture building (originally the Cockshutt Plow Co. warehouse) at 132 Idylwyld Drive, Midtown Saskatoon. The far end of the building was being demolished. May 17, 1988. Historical Collections, Saskatoon Public Library.

Photo below shows the Kanigan's furniture and appliance store at 220 20th Street West, Saskatoon. August 26, 1965. Local History Collections, Saskatoon Public Library

In 1962, Rnold H. Smith and partners purchased Kanigan Home Furnishings, which Smith operated until 1967. He eventually partnered with Bill Kanigan to establish Buy-Rite Furniture, and was joined by his brother Cecil Kanigan, who died in 2018. Over the years the store grew to a chain of eight province-wide stores. The Buy-Rite Furniture Factory was 2 kilometers north of the showroom at 901 1st Ave N, Saskatoon for railroad access. Smith retired from Buy-Rite in 1985, and died in 2008.

Bill was brought up in the Community Doukhobor settlement of Kylemore, Saskatchewan by devout parents William George Kanigan and Mary Kanigan (nee Makortoff) who instilled in him the values of compassion, honesty, usefulness, and a belief in nonviolence.

At home, Bill would frequently hear the importance of the Golden Rule, ‘Do unto others as you would do unto you.’ This keystone ethic he applied both at home and at work. He believed that an organization rarely survived for any length of time unless it was ethical and guided by ethical leaders. Although this formula placed a heavy burden on the individual and extracted a heavy price, Bill said that ‘it can be worth the effort’ as reflected in the success of his business.

In his retirement years, Bill, like his parents, was an accomplished singer in traditional Russian. He was a regular member of the Doukhobor Society of Saskatoon and participated in Sunday meetings and the summer outdoor Doukhobor bread baking project at the annual Saskatoon Exhibition. He recently served as an ‘Elder’ in the Society.

Visiting Russian Doukhobor artist Volodia Gubanov (left) shows
his sketch of Bill Kanigan (right), Saskatoon, SK, July 22, 1995.

In early 2001, Bill contributed his family history and 8 vintage photos of his ancestral Kylemore Doukhobor Colony for an article written by Jonathan Kalmakoff, published in the journal Saskatchewan History.

Family was important to Bill, always supportive and encouraging. In the summer of 2001, he and his younger son Ryan went to Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places in Russia, visiting the country of their ancestors. This was one of their highlights in being together.

With Bill's support, his oldest son Kim established a tool and die-making business in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Bill described his son as ‘an entrepreneur with a conscience’ because his son refused to produce several thousand military badges — an action very consistent with the Doukhobor nonkilling legacy. Later, Kim migrated from Canada to the coast of Queensland, Australia, where he used his mechanical skills to refurbish vintage candy machines and founded Stillwater Sweets (Facebook).

In 2016, Bill and Kim communicated by Skype, and often pondered 'what is a Doukhobor based on historical and current facts'? Their dialog evolved into an essay 'The Two Streams of Doukhobor Faith: Apostolic and Inclusivist', published in the Saskatoon Doukhobor journal, The Dove, in 2016.

Bill Kanigan is survived by his wife Doris, children Karen, Kim (Leslie) and Ryan (Nancy Paris), grandson Robin and step-grandchildren Camrin, Megan and Mia. He leaves his sister Natalie Austin, sister-in-law Bernice Kanigan, nieces and nephews. A memorial is planned for a later date. Bill will be missed by a lot of people far and wide.

He was a friend indeed. We enjoyed publishing his essays.


  1. Three images of Bill, from (left) sketch by visiting Russian Doukhobor artist Volodia Gubanov, July 22, 1995, (center) Koozma J. Tarasoff, published in Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living (2002), page 221; and (right), obituaries online, below.
  2. 'File S-SP-A-25099 - Bill Kanigan' contains 16 Black & White photos of Bill Kanigan created on 12 Feb 1986, The StarPhoenix Collection, City of Saskatoon Archives.
  3. Rnold H. Smith biography in Pederson, Jen. ‘A Seat on Council: The Aldermen, Councillors and Mayors of Saskatoon - 1903-2006’, Edited and Revised by Jeff O’Brien October 15, 2015, The City of Saskatoon Archives, Office of the City Clerk, page 106.
  4. ‘Responsible Entrepreneurship From the Heart’, in Koozma J. Tarasoff. Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002): pages 219-221. — Much taken from Tarasoff, ‘Responsible Entrepreneurship: an attitude of the mind’, Spirit-Wrestlers’ Voices: Honouring Doukhobors on the Centenary of their Migration to Canada in 1899, 1989, pages 111-115.
  5. Obituaries online for William W. Kanigan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (December 24, 1931 - January 15, 2021) — Mourning Glory Funeral ServicesThe Star PhoenixTribute Archive.
  6. Bill Kanigan of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and his son Kim Kanigan, Queensland, Australia, posted a paper in The Dove, April 2017, pages 5-15, 'The Two Streams of Doukhobor Faith'. In response, K.J. Tarasoff and A.J. Conovaloff replied with: ‘Q80: Two Streams of Doukhobors?’, Spirit Wrestlers blog, 12 July 2017. — Are there two Streams of Doukhobors? Apostolic and Inclusivist?
  7. Kalmakoff, Jonathan J. 'The Kylemore Doukhobor Colony', 20 November 2010, published in Saskatchewan History (Spring/Summer 2001, Issue, Vol. 63, No. 1) , pages 9-18, references on pages 45-47. — See article in online journal (PDF); and at the Doukhobor Genealogy Website in PDF and HTML.