Associations & Clubs

St. Elijah Pioneer Museum

The St. Elijah Pioneer Museum was developed by community members and surviving descendents of Romanian and Ukrainian immigrants from Bucovina (Bukovina) who settled in Manitoba at the turn of the 20th Century and created a community that later became Lennard. This web site describes and promotes the museum’s collection, and the community’s history. It also seeks to provide a gathering place for archival materials documenting and interpreting the role of the Bucovinian pioneers in Canadian history.

The Museum presently has three main attractions. Two restored examples of vernacular peasant architecture in the traditional Carpathian style constructed by the pioneers:

  • the Paulencu House built in 1906 restored in 1992-1999
  • the Romanian Orthodox Pioneer Church completed in 1908 and restored in the early 1980s
  • the Bucovinian Pioneer Cemetery established in 1904, with over 150 original and restored headstones, many in the orthodox iconographic style. In addition, a common memorial and a number of cairns and plaques are located around the site.

The St. Elijah Pioneer Museum began in 1979 as St. Elie (1908) Pioneer Church Museum. The organization was headed by a committee of four – Peter Gaber, Pres.; Andrew Onofreichuk and William Gallant, Directors; and Mary Gabor, Secretary. Their first task was to restore the abandoned wooden church built in 1908. The work was completed in 1983 and the church was declared a Provincial Heritage Site.

Three of the original founders of the museum organization are now deceased and another has moved away. A new administration took over the operation of the museum, consisting of Barry Sawchuk, Pres.; Diane Ungarian, Secretary, plus a number of committee members. In 1992, the new committee assumed the task of restoring the former Ion Paulencu Bucovinian style cottage and the pioneer cemetery. These projects were completed in time for the 100th anniversary of the St. Elijah Parish celebration in 2003.


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