Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Michael “Big John” Kozoriz (1917-2006)

Educator, community activist.

Born on 23 March 1917, the son of Michael Kozoriz (c1893-1964) and Ksenia Diachun (c1899-1980), he attended school in East Kildonan and attained BSc (1942) and BEd (1958) degrees from the University of Manitoba. Two years into pre-medical education, he transferred to education, and embarked upon a teaching career that spanned over four decades. He began at Rossdale School (c1937), after which he taught at Polson School (1938-1939) and was Principal of Belmont School (1940-1941) prior to joining the staff of the Winnipeg School Board, working at David Livingstone School (?-?), General Wolfe School (?-?), Machray School (?-?), Lord Nelson School (1944-1945), Earl Grey School (1947-1955), David Thompson Junior High School (1955-1958), and Elmwood High School (1958-1969), the latter where he was also Principal of Evening School (1958-1965). He served as Chairman of the Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau (1961-1963) and Chairman for Biology Examinations (1965-1972) for the Manitoba Department of Education, and was actively involved with several Ukrainian Catholic organizations, serving in the Executive and as President from the 1940s to 1960s. He also ran as a Liberal candidate in the 1949, 1953, 1959, 1962, 1966, and 1969 provincial general elections. On 8 August 1942, he married Nell Wach (1915-2006) and had two daughters and two sons. He died at Winnipeg on 23 May 2006 and was buried in the All Saints Cemetery.


Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Young Ukrainians rally at Rossdale,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 July 1937, page 21.

“Ukrainian Catholic youth hold rally,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 October 1944, page 3.

“Ukrainian Catholics meet,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 February 1947, page 5.

“Ukrainian group elects Kozoriz,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 June 1951, page 3.

“Ukrainian Catholic Council re-elects John Kozoriz,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 1953, page 10.

“Will ask Kozoriz to resign,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 May 1962, page 9.

“Head-hunt charged by Zuken,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 May 1962, page 7.

“John Kozoriz Liberal choice in Elmwood,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 November 1962, page 7.

Obituary [Michael Kozoriz], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 1964, page 26.

“Ukrainians re-elect Nowosad,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 November 1965, page 20.

Obituary [Ksenia Kozoriz], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1980, page 42.

Obituary [Nell Kozoriz], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 2006, page 32.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 2006, page 43.

“They will not be forgotten” by Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 January 2007, page B1.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 3 September 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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