As more Eastern Europeans settled in St. Albert they became an integral part of the life of the region. The diverse talents and skills that that they brought from their homelands, helped them to make great contributions to the growth of the community.

Many of the Polish, Ukrainian and Russian immigrants in St. Albert assisted with projects in Edmonton, like the building of Ukrainian and Polish churches and the Polish Hall. In St. Albert, however, the newcomers never had their own cultural institutions and instead became actively involved in organizations that already existed. When it came time to build a new community hall in 1939, local residents pooled their money and donated their time and labour. Mark Sebzda and Peter Sernowski were among the many St. Albert residents to lend a hand. Dr. William Cuts (born Cutsungavich), a well-respected doctor, was instrumental in the establishment of the first Protestant Church and School in St. Albert.

In terms of impact on the residents, it was perhaps the teachers that left the greatest impression. Marie Wolniewicz taught for 46 years and Maria Romanko was with the St. Albert Catholic School system for 28 years. In the 1970s Mrs. Romanko organized a social studies unit on “Polish Heritage in Alberta” which was approved for use in grade seven classes throughout the province. She was also involved in the creation of a Polish bilingual program in Edmonton. Miss Wolniewicz taught grade one for so long that it seems nearly everyone in town had her as a teacher.

Community Hall construction, 1939. Musée Héritage Museum