Friday, 23 December 2016

Year-end Newsletter 2016

From Koozma J Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova

Dear Friends,

Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis, GoComics, Dec. 25, 2016.

The year 2016 has passed by quickly. Both Kristina and I are well and keep busy on our respective activities.

This summer Kristina spent a month in her homeland Bulgaria visiting friends and relatives whom she misses a lot. Her brother Dmitar, long retired, continues to live in Burgas, while son Orlin resides in Bozensi and Sofia while working as composer musician. Kristina’s daughter Milena lives and works as a music teacher in Ottawa.

With the International Languages Program (IL Elementary Program), Ottawa Catholic School Board Continuing and Community Education Department, Kristina continues her Saturday morning work as Site Administrator looking after 240 students. In July she did the same with a full month of work in the Summer School.

On June 3rd, Koozma’s brother John died at the age of 88 in Saskatoon and Koozma joined John’s children in the city celebrating John’s life as ‘a Canadian pioneering hero’. We all miss him dearly ‘a memorable brother, a friend, a father to Lorne, Kerry and Wendy — an example of a hard working man to all of us, our children and our grandchildren’.

As in many previous years, Koozma was busy as a peace activist, peace journalist, and photographer. He appeared as Peace Elder with Bill Bhaneja on Rogers TV in May. He supported the protest against CANSEC with its annual international arms trade show in Ottawa in the same month. His biggest challenge was the Ottawa Peace Festival 2016 where his illustrated Tarasoff Briefs highlighted the 11-day event celebrating peace and environment activities in Canada’s capital city.

Koozma has continued to host the Spirit-Wrestlers Website and Blog with webmaster Andrei Conovaloff in Arizona, focusing on Doukhobors and relevant issues. We often simultaneously co-edit my drafts using Google Hangouts (similar to Skype), and share news and ideas. Our ongoing projects involve false material about Doukhobors in print and on the Internet.

Koozma is behind schedule on his first eBook: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Their Friends, with 35 contributors. Sorry, I get interrupted, often carried away, with important current peace stories.

Koozma’s son Lev continues to teach physics at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, commuting from Guelph, Ontario. Dr. Tarasov manages glacial research with local and international collaborators. His wife Dorothee Bienzle manages a laboratory studying retroviruses, at the University of Guelph. Son Jaspar studies at Queen's University in Kingston in a dual BSc in Kinesiology and physics; he will have an overseas semester in Auckland, New Zealand this spring (fall in New Zealand); and he was the 2016 Frosh Week coordinator for his college. Daughter Katya will finish high school and will spend February to May travelling around the world before returning for soccer season.

Koozma’s daughter Tamara continues to work for Parks Canada. Her recent trip to the Western Arctic was a highlight for the year. Her husband John continues to work for Heritage Canada. Their son Nicholas began his first year of studies in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, while daughter Elena goes to Filamen Wright School in Gatineau, Quebec. Both children are top students in school and are active in sports.

Keeping healthy and fit has been a preoccupation for all of us. Koozma’s children and families have been active in outdoor sports such as canoeing, hiking, and skiing. Koozma does his morning and evening exercises and takes outdoor walks on a regular basis. To keep their balance and remain in shape, Koozma and Kristina have joined an aerobic dance class for seniors.

As the year comes to a close, we wish our dear friends around the world the best of good health, creativity, joy, love and happiness in 2017.

Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, 882 Walkley Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 6R5, Canada. Emails:,

Previous year-end reports 
     2015  2014 — 2013 — 2012 — 2011 — 2010 — 2009


  1. Hello Koozma
    Thank you for sharing the Ottawa peace festival 2016.This was indeed a very commendable effort toward trying to establishing peace.However I notice a most
    important element in this effort is lacking.That being the commandment of Jesus
    Christ to resist not evil.Martin Luther King jr and Mahatma Gandhi believed followed and taught resist not evil they paid the price of death for this belief as did Jesus Christ.Therefore regardless of ones denomination resist not evil is basic
    to any attempt to establish peace.The three that I referred to left us with the knowledge of what kind of effort is required.Quoting you a Non killing Society also requires no less of a commitment.
    Kindest Peaceful Regards.
    Bill Kanigan

  2. Dear Koozma

    Thank you for the remarkable work that you do in the name of peace.

    Happy New Year


    Budd L Hall, PhD
    UNESCO Chair in community based research and social responsibility in higher education
    School of Public Administration
    University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

  3. Sharon Tennison, California28 December 2016 at 21:15

    Thanks for continuing your important work!
    We just need a thousand more like you ….
    But who knows, this may be the year when the nations take a different turn.
    Warm wishes and a Happy New Year to you!

  4. Hello Koozma,

    I would like to wish you a happy new year and best wishes for 2017. I continue to enjoy your blog. I sent in a sample of my saliva to to check my DNA roots and the results showed that I am 80% similar to people from the area of Russia/Georgia. So the DNA from the Doukobor side must have been stronger than dad´s side (Austria).

    Also, I just finished playing 'durrak' with a friend from Canada and his friend from Kasakhstan. The fellow from Kasakhstan had the same rules for the card game so our ancestors must have played the game in Georgia and brought it over with them. It was enjoyable to play the game after many years.

    Anyway, Koozma, hope all is well with you. And, again, happy new year.

    1. Thank you for your most interesting comments on ancestry. Yes, many Doukhobor people in Western Canada know the card game of 'Durak' (meaning 'fool'). I used to play it years back, but now do not remember it. My Russian Doukhobor mother who died in the late 1980s was born in Azerbaidzhan and came to Canada from Rostov-on-the-Don in 1926; she used to play the game with her friends. Also my grandmother who was born in Kars, Turkey (Russian territory for a while) came to Canada in 1899 and played the game; she and Grandpa actually taught me the game when I stayed with them a couple of years while going to public school in Grades 1 and 2.

  5. Bill & Liz Pepin, Grand Forks, BC31 December 2016 at 15:21

    Hello Koozma,

    Thank you very much for your New Years Wishes to us. Also, wishing you & your wife Kristina a Very Healthy & Happy New Year!! May it turn out to be a Really Good One for you & may the whole World would get to be a better & a peaceful place!!

    Koozma, your life's work & dedication to our Doukhobor cause of truth & none killing is an inspiration to us!!

  6. Irina A. Anosova, St. Petersburg, Russia31 December 2016 at 15:37

    Дорогие Кузьма Иванович и Кристина!
    Спасибо за всегдашнее доброе письмо перед Новым годом, я ждала его. Приятно было узнать о ваших успехах, что у вас все хорошо.
    В свою очередь тепло поздравляю Вас и всю семью с Новым 2017 годом и русским Рождеством. Желаю радости бытия, вдохновения, творчества, крепкого здоровья и благополучия.
    С глубоким уважением и теплыми чувствами, из России с любовью

  7. Translation of Irina A. Anosova's comment:

    Dear Koozma Ivanovich and Kristina!
    Thank you for your kind annual letter before the New Year, I was waiting for it. It was nice to learn about your successes that you are all well.
    In turn, I warmly congratulate you and the entire family a Happy New 2017 Year and Russian Christmas. I wish you the joy of life, inspiration, creativity, good health and prosperity.
    With deep respect and warm feelings, from Russia with love

  8. Murray Lumley, Toronto, Ontario1 January 2017 at 12:02

    Hello Koozma:
    Thank you for your year end message which I just read. A Happy and better New Year to you and your family. Linda and I spent time with our kids and grandkids at our son’s home in Westboro, Ottawa from Dec. 27-29. There are four kids plus spouses plus 12 grandchildren (ages 6 to 22; three are step-grandchildren), plus one large white Great Pyrenees dog at the Ottawa home.
    I enjoyed the part where you and Kristina make a point of keeping fit. That is a struggle as I get older (soon 76) but I enjoy the challenge of walking, skating and cross country skiing when I get the chance, plus swimming lengths now and then and exercising with dumbbell weights about once per week. I enjoy your messages.
    I’m still on the board of Conscience Canada.

  9. Bill Bhaneja, Ottawa, Ontario2 January 2017 at 21:54

    Thank you dear Koozma and Kristina, a lovely record of the year gone by. It has been an honour and joy to be working together on our peace projects, this year culminating into 10 years of Annual Ottawa Peace Festival. The Go comic strip in your letter nicely sums up the year gone by, and anticipatory wishes for 2017. Warmest Aloha, Bill

  10. Koozma - Wishing you all the very best for 2017 for yourself and your whole family. Keep up the great work and I will look forward to connecting again sometime soon!

  11. Svetlana Inikova, Moscow area of Russia4 January 2017 at 14:48

    Дорогой Кузьма!
    Поздравляю тебя с наступившим Новым 2017 годом и приближающимся Рождеством! Желаю тебе здоровья, бодрости духа, творческих успехов и реализации самых смелых мечтаний и планов! Мои поздравления и самые наилучшие пожелания Кристине и всей твоей большой семье.
    Дружески целую и обнимаю тебя,

    1. [Translation]: Dear Koozma!
      I congratulate you with Christmas greetings and approaching New Year 2017. I wish you health, courage, creative success and the realization of the most daring dreams and plans! Congratulations and best wishes to Kristina and all your big family.
      Friendly kisses and hugs,

  12. Koozma - Wishing you all the very best for 2017 for yourself and your whole family. Keep up the great work and I will look forward to connecting again sometime soon!


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