Mary Zedek


Mary Zedek


A biography of ULFTA Women's Branch member Mary Zedek.




Reproduction may be restricted. Contact AUUC.


Vancouver, BC



Birth Date


Biographical Text

Mary Zedek, nee Yavorski, was born in a Polish-ruled region of Ukraine at the time of her birth in 1908. She lived there with her two sisters, brother, and parents, Life was hard for the family and became even more difficult after her dad died in WW!. Mary did not attend school as there were no teachers, so instead she worked in the fields.

In 1924, Mary's aunt who lived in Canada sponsored Mary and her sister, Anna, and they settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Work was very hard to find because Mary spoke no English. In 1928, Mary met her husband Kost Zedek and moved to Vancouver. The Depression hit, and people were laid off as there were no jobs, so Mary and her husband had to go on Relief for six years. In 1937 Kost got work in a wood mill for 25 cents an hour, and life became easier for the family.

Mary joined the Women's Branch of the ULFTA in 1934, where she was elected to the executive and then to the council. She worked on various committees - she helped in the kitchen, joined the drama group and appeared in many plays, joined the choir, and took part in demonstrations to fight for a better life. All of her children were involved in the activities at the Ukrainian Hall, as Mary and Kost felt that this would make them better Canadians.


“Mary Zedek,” Association of United Ukrainian Canadians - Vancouver, accessed April 18, 2021,