The Story of Mundare
Like many other prairie towns, Mundare's beginning and early growth was a result of the railroad's arrival. English farmers made a settlement in the early 1890's on the shore of Beaver Lake, with the establishment of businesses and settlement of settlers, most of whom were Ukrainian.
A railroad siding on the new Canadian Northern Railway Line was built in 1906 at the present site of Mundare, about 8 miles from the Beaver Lake Store. This soon became the place for commercial activities and a village was incorporated on March 6, 1907. The village, named after the first station master, W. Mundare, was developed on the "T-Town" plan, with Main Street extending at a right angle to the tracks, northwards from the station.
Merchants like J.D. McAllister and J.S. McCallum moved from the Beaver Lake settlement to set up shop in Mundare, resulting in the establishment of such enterprises as a livery barn, lumber yard, implement shop, store, real estate and insurance and a Ukrainian language newspaper.
The Beaver Lake District had been designated as a missionary base for the Order at St. Basil the Great and Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. Their first home was on a farm about three miles east of Mundare, where the Parkland Conservation Farm is situated today. In 1910 the Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church was built, followed by a monastery in the early 1920's and the Golgotha Groto in 1935. The current church was opened in 1968. The Sister Servants built a convent in 1926 and moved their school and orphanage from the farm. The construction of the National Hall on Main Street in 1917 provided a place for hosting a wide variety of cultural and social events. It was replaced in 1925, after a fire destroyed the original. The current hall was opened in 1964. The Basilian Fathers also operated a first-class Museum.
Between 1911 and 1931, the population of Mundare grew impressively from 152 to 832 and Mundare became a major service point for residents in the surrounding countryside. To better provide for the medical needs of the local population, the Sister Servants opened the Mundare Hospital in 1929, with Dr. N.C. Strilchuk in charge. A new hospital, currently a long-term care facility, was opened in 1978. Mundare also boasts senior housing, the 44-bed Father Filas Manor and 14 self-contained units.
In 1964 the Mundare Recreation Centre was built housing a 3-sheet curling rink and a hall, both in use today. An Arena built by the Agricultural Society in 1975 is an important part of the community. In the early 1990's the town took control of Ukraina Park from the Basilian Fathers. It operates as a campsite and park. Other parks in town include Victory Park and the Quentin Warawa Memorial Park.
The School has seen may changes from the old brick school on the current Arena site, to the two story red brick one opened in 1966 next to where the new school is now. It once operated as a grade 1-12 school but since 1997, offers Pre Kindergarten to grade 8. The new school with state of the art education material was opened in 2016, which now has a dedicated music room, art room, foods room as well as many energy efficient upgrades.
Since the early 20th century, Mundare has experienced many changes, both positive and negative, as a result of variances in the farming economy. Today Mundare remains an important regional centre with a proud and fascinating past.