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John Craig Brokovski came to Alberta in 1910, one of numerous Ontario businessmen and professionals seeking prosperity and success in the newly-created province. For many years he was a prominent member of the Calgary legal community, remembered by one of his younger colleagues thirty years after he had passed away as "the most outstanding lawyer of all."(1) Brokovski, being of Polish origin, was also a unique personality within the Anglo-Saxon-Protestant social elite of the city of his time. The purpose of this essay is to recollect the life of an unusual English Canadian proud of his Polish name at the time when the descendants of the non-British immigrants to Canada often relinquished their strange-sounding family names to better fit in.(2) John Craig Brokovski was born at Coldwater, Ontario, on June 18, 1867, a son of Edwin Frederick Thomas Brokovski and Elizabeth, nee Craig, after whom he took his middle name. The Craigs, originally from England, after spending some time in New York, pioneered since 1821 in the heart of the United Empire Loyalists' settlement area that had later become known as the Simcoe County. Elizabeth's English-born father was the surveyor for Medonte and Orilla townships. He was also one of the charter members of the Craighurst Loyalist Orange Lodge. Her uncle, John Craig, after whom the town of Craighurst had been named, served as postmaster, clerk of the division court, councilor for Medonte, and for many years, reeve and warden of the Simcoe County. Some of the positions held by him later went to one of Elizabeth's brothers.(3)

June 22
Historical Society of Alberta

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