March 12th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 10
Evan Gushul gives
impromptu presentation
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Evan Gushul presenting one the photos from his family collection. The couple pictured
are Evans parents Thomas and Lena.
Pass Herald Reporter
On Sunday, March 9th, Evan Gushul, 97 gave an unscheduled presentation of his family’s photographic legacy to about 30 people during the Crowsnest Historical Society’s annual general meeting.
Ian McKenzie, a Crowsnest Historical Society volunteer, was scheduled to narrate a slideshow of the Gushul family’s photography. The Gushul’s have donated their family collection to the Crowsnest Museum.
Evan was not scheduled to give a presentation, but seeing the first photo seemed to inspire the man, who turns 98 in July, to speak about his family’s photographic legacy.
“Here we have a Ukrainian family celebrating Easter. And they have salt and bread… it all carries a significance in their lives… We were the only Ukrainian family in Blairmore,” said Gushul of one particular photo.
According to documents supplied by Fred Bradley, president of the Crowsnest Historical Society, Evan’s father Thomas immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine in 1906 and became district photographer for the community in 1914 after being laid off from the International Mine.
The layoff allowed Thomas to develop his photography skills. He slowly established a reputation as his photos began to appear in books and magazines. Thomas is remembered as one of the most prominent photographers in the Crowsnest Pass and took the first ever 120-degree panoramic shot of Frank Slide.

Evan, like his father, became a reputable photographer. He began learning the trade at the age of six, set up a photo engraving business in the Pass, was the head photographer for the Lethbridge Agricultural Research Station and was eventually named an Associate of the Photographic Society of America. He was quoted as saying his father was his biggest critic. Evan was also a machinist and welder who worked in local mines.
Today, despite his age, Evan maintains a sense of humour. He had the audience laughing appreciatively to his description of a photo of a man using a handcar.
“This is a little [handcar]. You pumped this with your feet actually to propel yourself on the track. If the train were to come, you get off the track,” explained Gushul.
After the presentation, Bradley presented the Gushul family with an award for their efforts in preserving the history of the Crowsnest Pass through their photographic contributions.
“We are just so appreciative of the work that was done by Evan’s parents and Evan in recording and preserving the history of the Crowsnest Pass and then donating that vast collection of photographic images to the museum,” said Fred Bradley, president of the Crowsnest Historical Society.
March 12th ~ Vol. 84 No. 10
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