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Memorable Manitobans: Taras Dempster Ferley (1882-1947)

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Taras Dempster Ferley
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Educator, publisher and real estate broker, municipal official, MLA (1916-1920).

Born in Ukraine on 14 October 1882, son of Theodore and Marie Ferley, he was educated at Kolomea Gymnasium and Lemberg University and came to Canada in 1903. On 22 July 1903, he married Natalia Anna Rurak (1884-1971, daughter of Michael Rurak of Ukraine) and they had two children: Jaroslan Ferley and Eugenie Ferley.

From 1907 to 1910, he was a teacher at the Ruthenian Training school at Brandon. Later moving to Winnipeg, he was a Director of the Ukrainian Publishing Company of Canada. He was a candidate for an aldermanic seat in the Winnipeg City Council in 1913, and a Labour candidate for Gimli in 1914 and 1915. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature at the 1915 general election, becoming the first Ukrainian MLA in Manitoba, and served a single term, being defeated by Gudmundur Fjeldsted in the 1920 general election. He was a member of the Winnipeg City Council from 1932 to 1933, replacing Robert Durward.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 32 Bannerman Avenue, on 27 July 1947 and was buried in the All Saints Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ferley School No. 1812 (RM of Mossey River)


The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1917.

“Winnipeg’s aldermen and school trustees for 1932 announced,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 December 1931, page 1.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 July 1947, page 20.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Oliver Bernuetz for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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