Joe and Teenie Musij (Musey) & the Musij Family


Joe and Teenie Musij (Musey) & the Musij Family


A biography detailing the life and contributions of Joe and Teenie Musey to the AUUC and the Vancouver Ukrainian Hall. Includes details of other members of the Musij family and their history.

Joe and Teenie's story (reproduced here) was told by Peter Moysiuk on the occasion of Joe's 80th birthday on May 12th, 1981. It was held at the Hotel Vancouver in the Panorama Room. It was arranged by their daughters, Joanne and Norma, who attended with their husband and their children. Peter Moysiuk was asked to emcee at this celebration. He had been good friends with Joe as the Moysiuk family lived only a block away from Teenie and Joe's home on West 11th Ave. near Oak Street in Vancouver. They first met at Joe's cleaning and tailoring shop close by on Heather Street.






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Moysiuk, Audrey



Birth Date

March 12th, 1901 (Joe)


Ohladiv, Ukraine (Joe)

Biographical Text

Joe Musey was born on March 12th, 1901 in the small village called Ohladiv in the Lviv region of in Ukraine. This area was under Austrian rule until 1914, then it became Polish territory until 1943. In 1943 it became part of Ukraine again. Joe went to school in his own village for 3 years, then in a nearby town called Radekhiv for grades 4 and 5. When the war started in 1914, schools were closed and teachers were required to go to war. Joe's father, at age 40, was also taken away to fight in Italy. As the eldest son, Joe was left to work the 4 acres of land the family owned. Her schooling was over, although he wanted to be a teacher. The war ended when he was 17. He didn't make the decision to come to Canada until he was 27, in 1928. He crossed the Atlantic on the Empress of France from London, which took 5 days to get to Halifax. He had left his home in May of 1928. He travelled from Lviv to Danzig by train (1 day), then from Danzig to London by boat (2 days). In Halifax they were taken to a CPR barracks where Canadian farmers went to select workers. Joe continued on to Edmonton by CP Rail with a 24 hour rest stop in Winnipeg. He first worked on a farm 25 miles north of Edmonton for 4 months. His wage was $50 a month. He saved up to pay back the $125 dollars of the loan he had taken out to pay for his passage to Canada.

Joe then decided to go to Winnipeg, as he had heard that a former schoolmate, Ronan Senicky, had a farm nearby. He got work in a ladies' garment factory and worked there for 18 years until he moved to Vancouver in 1946.

Teenie Nahorna arrived in Canada in 1924 from a village called Korchiv in Ukraine, which was only 10km from the village that Joe came from. Her sister Pauline, who had emigrated to Canada earlier, was able to send Teenie a ticket to come to Canada. Pauline lived on a farm in Manitoba, near a town called Lockport with her husband Meratski.. In 1928, Joe spent 3 months learning English at night school at the Ukrainian Society in Winnipeg. Joe met Teenie through the Ukrainian Society. They married in 1932 and lived in Winnipeg until 1946, where their daughters Joanne and Norma were born.

When the family moved to Vancouver in 1946, they lived in several homes: one on West 20th near Douglas Park, another near 25th and Oak. In 1977, they bought a 4 plex on 11th Ave. near Oak Street where they lived for many years. Joe started his cleaning and tailoring shop soon after arriving in Vancouver and worked there until he retired. Their daughters, Joanne and Norma, went to the Model School at 615 West Broadway and the to King Edward High school.

Joanne worked for an insurance company in Vancouver and then married Ken Orr, a chartered accountant. They have three children: Leslie, Cynthia, and Robert. Norma studied Home Economics at UBC where she met her husband Terry Gibson, who was in business administration. They have 4 children: Susan, Wendy, David, and Andrew. Both of these families lived in Calgary.

Additional family information: Joe's father's name was John Musij, his mother was named Katherine. There were 5 boys and 2 girls in the family, of which Joe was the eldest, followed by Misha, Bill, Tony, John, Annie, and Peter. Bill, at some point, came to Toronto where he worked for the City of Toronto. Tony came to Montreal and worked as a machinist in an auto shop.

Joe later talked about how CPR agents came to Ukraine to recruit immigrants, offering 160 acres of land for $5, free of tax, for 5 years. Their advertisements called Canada "a land of milk and honey". Joe said that he did find that place.

Joe and Teenie sold their 4 plex soon after Joe retired, and they lived in an apartment. Teenie predeceased Joe, who then lived in a seniors' complex in the West End of Vancouver. Joe and Teenie were members of the AUUC for many years. Joe sang in the men's choir for a time.


Moysiuk, Audrey, “Joe and Teenie Musij (Musey) & the Musij Family,” Association of United Ukrainian Canadians - Vancouver, accessed June 25, 2021,