Sts Peter and Paul Parish, Bonnyville
In 1939 a group of immigrants from the village of Zagorowo in the Cholsk district of the USSR arrived in Canada and settled on farms in the Bonnyville district, 170 miles north – east of Edmonton. The leader of this group was Yakim Luciuk and his wife Palagia. Others in this group were the families of Michael Koziol, Samuel Nichyporuk, Luka Woloshuk and Michael Babkiewich. Very soon the organization of a church parish was discussed. Reverend Wasil Woytowich of Frenchier, Alberta, was invited to conduct a religious service. He served an Easter Liturgy at the home of Michael Koziol where he blessed their Easter Paska. It was a very memorable and joyous occasion, and the people, who attended, resolved to build a church. The initial group was now joined by the Yewchuk brothers — Andrew, Sava and Roman — and the family of Peter Solowaniuk.
A parish was formed the purpose of building a church. A small frame building was purchased for $40.00, and set down on a foundation on the farm of Michael Babkiewich who donated a half – acre of land for the church which was ten miles north of Bonnyville. The first church committee was elected at
a meeting held in 1942. Andrew Yewchuk was elected chairman (starosta), Michael Babkiewich as treasurer, and Samuel Nichyporuk as secretary. Michael Koziol was elected to be the builder of the church and the rest of the members volunteered their labour for the project. The church was dedicated to honour the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul.
In 1952 the members decided to move the church from the farm location to the town of Bonnyville. Sava and Roman Yewchuk, and Vladimir Zuk were elected to a committee to locate the new site. They located the land between 51 and 52 Streets which is the location of the church today. The church was moved to the present site in 1952 and it was consecrated by Very Rev. John Kowalchuk with the approval and blessing of Bishop Theophil. The parish was joined by new members: John Zuk, who was a cantor, Vladimir Zuk, Anna Pelepchuk, Sam Krawiec, Stephen Krawiec and John Shewchuk.
In 1953, a meeting of the parishioners decided to buy land for a cemetery. A committee of Philip Kushnir, Vladimir Zuk and Yakim Krawiec negotiated the purchase of one acre of land from the United Church congregation in Bonnyville. In 1954, a committee of parishioners headed by Philip Kushnir and Vladimir Zuk built the altar sanctuary as an addition to the church. The cupola on the church was built in 1959.
Andrew Yewchuk served as chairman of the parish from 1954 to 1964. The annual meeting of 1964 elected John Solowaniuk as chairman, John Himich as treasure, and Luka Woloschuk as secretary. In 1967 the parish suffered a great loss in the death of John Zuk who had served the parish faithfully as their cantor. In 1971, John Demediuk was elected to serve as chairman. Michael Koziol was elected treasure in 1972.
In 1974 major renovations were made to the church. The roof was newly shingled and the floor was covered with carpeting. The Iconostasis was renovated with six new icons painted by Very Rev. John Borcha. John Demediuk and Nikolai Kolody gave extensive help in the renovation work.