Stanley Humphries Doukhobor Student Choir
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Doukhobor Student Choir
We Are For Peace

Stanley Humphries Secondary School Castlegar, BC.

The Stanley Humphries Secondary School Doukhobor Student Choir was formed by Peter Samoyloff in December 1968 to sing at the school's Christmas concert. Since this humble beginning the choir has grown to over one hundred members. In July 1969, the choir travelled to Verigin-Kamsack area to take part in the Association of Canadians of Russian Descent Jubilee. This event commemorated the largest migration of any group at any time to enter Canada. This group, the Doukhobors, settled in the Verigin-Kamsack area. Here, the choir was joined on stage by Premier Ross Thatcher who brought greetings to the visitors from the Province of Saskatchewan.

In British Columbia, on June 9, 1969, the choir performed for Premier Bennett at the official opening of the Hugh Keenlyside Dam at Castlegar. Since then the choir sang at many local concerts and youth festivals.

On August 1, 1970, during the Kootenay-Columbia Days Festival in the Castlegar-Kinnaird area, the choir entered a Doukhobor Community float which was financed by elders of the Doukhobor Community headed by Anna Markova. The students designed and constructed the float entirely by themselves. The float won the overall prize for the best entry.

Later in August, supported and encouraged by the community, the choir entered the float in the P.N.E. parade at Vancouver. The choir, accompanied by John J. Verigin, Honourary Chairman of the USCC, marched three miles behind the float singing "We Are For Peace", viewed by approximately one million people, both on the street and over televison. Upon return, the float won top honors at the Fall Fair Parade in Grand Forks. The theme of the float was "Peace" which coincides with the "75th Anniversary of the Burning of the Arms."

In March 1971, the choir travelled to Vancouver where it performed at two high schools and the University of British Columbia. The tour ended with a performance at a concert sponsored by Union of Young Doukhobors of Vancouver.

The greatest honour bestowed upon the choir was performing for Her Gracious Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, and Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne. This event took place May 5th 1971. The choir sang a traditional Doukhobor hymn "In Honour of Peace and Freedom". The choir also presented the Royal Family with traditional handmade Doukhobor artifacts; a minature spinning wheel to Queen Elizabeth, three cherry wood ladles to Prince Philip and to Princess Anne, an embroidered Doukhobor shawl.

Later in the month, the choir was also honoured to perform for His Excellency, the Governor-General of Canada, Roland Mitchener and Mrs. Mitchener.

In July 1971, the choir travelled to Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan where it participated in the Peter's Day celebrations. A concert was also performed in the Blaine Lake High School.

The choir wishes to express a sincere thank you to all who, in any way contributed to its success.

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