Presented by Sioux Lookout Historical Society
Ann was born May 3, 1912 in the town of Tsapiwtsi, Province of Zalischyky, Ukraine. She and her brother Sam were born in the Ukraine. Their father, John Yarduk, was born there in 1879 and their mother Helen Olena Petrushchak in 1884. As the way of life was not easy, jobs were scare and the pay was poor, John decided to come to Canada in 1914, looking for better conditions in which to raise his family. He first worked at North Pines in the mine until he got a job on the CNR, Section Crew, at Hudson. A move to Sioux Lookout followed as he continued to work for the CNR.
In 1923, John’s family was able to come to Sioux Lookout to join him. After the long journey, they were invited for their first meal at the home of John Husak and family and were given a very warm welcome. Anne remembered the generous portions served, especially fluffy mashed potatoes and sausages! Anne would have been 11 years old and would certainly remember her life in the Ukraine compared to the new life here. The next day Mr. and Mrs. John Anderson came to visit and welcome them with a 50 pound sack of cabbages and a sack of potatoes – a very generous gift.
Ann attended school and shared a seat with Doris French who was very kind to her. She found it hard as she did not speak English. Ann’s education continued at Sacred Heart School.
Ann’s sister, Mary was born at home and delivered by Dr. Bell. After Mary grew up she moved to the United States where she married and remained.
When Ann was a teenager, she moved to Winnipeg and there she met Mike Choma and they were married on February 13th, 1927. They moved back to Sioux Lookout and cut and sold cordwood for $1.25 per cord.
When Ann’s father passed away in 1932 she and Mike moved to a rental home owned by Tony Maskerine. It was located where the wartime houses were later built.
A son Dan was born in 1933. He graduated from grade 12 in Sioux Lookout and then worked as an engineer for the CNR, and moved to Winnipeg. Dan married Alice and they had a daughter, Sylvia and a son, Glen.
Ann worked for a few years as cook for Mr. Carlbom at his sawmill and then at the Creosote Plant. Later she worked for the CNR extra gang and the Department of Highways. In 1951, when our new General Hospital opened she was employed as Supervisor of the Dietary Department and held that position until retirement 25 years later.
Ann was an avid gardener and won many awards for her efforts. She was a member of the Ladies’ Hospital Auxillary and the Horticultural Society. The growing season was never long enough to suit her. For twelve consecutive seasons she won the shield for the highest aggregate points.
Anne enjoyed many happy years in Sioux Lookout and was valued as a citizen by the community.