In Appreciation of the Life of 
Peter T. Oglow (1913-2004)

Our friend Peter who was well known, respected, and admired amongst the Doukhobors and the wider society has passed away. He served as a model to all of us by his hard work, his tireless community efforts, his honesty, his creativity, his bridge-building initiatives at home and abroad, and his devotion to his wife and family. He was indeed a great Doukhobor Pioneer.

Peter showed foresight in the 1950s when he purchased seized community property and later turned it over to the USCC organization at cost. This rare act revealed his integrity as a man of honour.

The art of friendship and the power of gift-giving was something that Peter knew well. He carved all kinds of fancy wooden spoons and gifted hundreds of them on behalf of the Doukhobors to local, national and world leaders. At the First Global Conference on Tourism in Vancouver, he got up on stage without any formalities, then proceeded to invite select guests to come up and receive their gifts of ladles. And when the Canadian Museum of Civilization mounted its Spirit Wrestlers Exhibit in 1996, Peter gifted twelve ladles to the Director, the designers and other members of the team who made this unique exhibition so successful.

In June 1982, at the end of the International Doukhobor Intergroup Symposium, as chairman Peter diffused a potentially disruptive situation at the outdoor Peace Day gathering. When a zealot woman stripped, he gave a beautiful rose to her and invited this woman to participate in the sobranie meeting. She did. She dressed, joined in the singing, while all the time holding the red rose in front of her. It was a memorable moment!

Peter Oglow played a significant role in the creation of the Doukhobor Historical Village Museum in Castlegar. His unorthodox approach won him the building permit which allowed the construction to go ahead, while his friendly leadership manner encouraged both Doukhobors and non-Doukhobors to work together on the Museum Board. Here he knew the secret of joint ventures in making the Museum a facility 'of the people'.

As a crusader for world peace, Peter's central wish was for humanity. He urged mankind to make an all out effort to stop wars so that wars will not destroy humanity. By supporting the creation of a non-killing society, he was at the forefront of the central Doukhobor belief.

In looking back at our meetings with Peter, my wife Kristina and I were always impressed by his positive energy, by his bright outlook on life, and by his many achievements. Our memory of his unique personality will remain in our hearts forever.

In appreciation to you our dear friend! May you live in peace.

Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova,
Ottawa, Ontario, February 3, 2004.

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