Most left for economic reasons. Some were political refugees. Ivan came because he couldn’t stand being humiliated anymore.
He was a peasant, working on an estate near Kamianets-Podilskyi, in Podillia, part of the fertile black-earth (chornozem) region of Russian-occupied Ukraine. The year was 1912. One morning, listening to the estate’s mistress telling him what his daily chores were, he noticed she was sitting on a chamber pot, doing her business as she rattled off her orders. He couldn’t take that. So, at age 22, along with his friend, Sam Mehalosky, he escaped. The lads went through Romania to Germany, from where they took passage on a Hamburg-America Line steamship, the SS Pallanza, heading for this Dominion. Both settled in Kingston and found work in the Davis Tannery. Eventually, Ivan bought a farm off Sydenham Road.