February 11, 2007

Fun on the Farm

Posted in family at 1:32 pm by Mike Milinkovich

My cousin Blake McChristie is a wiz with a video camera. I’m not exactly sure how he did it, but he managed to get a bunch of my grandfather’s old 8mm film onto video, then cut-and-spliced it into a wonderful Dambrowitz family momento. It’s a little grainy, but does a great job of capturing the life and times of the family.

So what are you seeing? My grandfather Earnest (Ernie) John Dambrowitz was born in Boston and moved to Matheson, Ontario in the early 1920’s. The family were literally pioneers, homesteading a 160 acre farm in the Northern Claybelt.

He met and married a local girl, Jesse Graham, and together had 10 children. My mother Sylvia is the second oldest of the brood of five boys and five girls. Although the family lived through the Great Depression, the Second World War and tons of hard work on and off the farm, as you can see there were lots of opportunities for fun.

In two and a half minutes, Blake’s video manages to capture some key highlights of my grandfather’s life: his love of family, his lifelong passion for horses and the fun he had designing and building boats.

Ernie Dambrowitz died in 2004 at the age of 93. He was still living on the farm that he had helped carve from the wilderness, and was still actively farming it. He had over 25 head of pure-bred Hereford cattle in the barn when he passed away. He still had the wit and humour of a man half his age. A patriarch in the finest possible meaning of the word, he was truly a tribute to the old-fashioned virtues of hard work and dedication to family.

Check it out



  1. Blake McChristie said,

    Thanks for making the blog, It perfect I didn’t realise you could put youtube stuff on them.

    I hoped everyone would enjoy it. I’m hoping to do more with the video’s I’ve captured. But I have to thank Danny Dambrowtiz who dubed all of it to vhs some time ago made this effort alot easier.


  2. Chad Dambrowitz said,

    OMG, sooo many memories.. i still feel bad i couldn’t go to his funeral. I remember him being such an awesome man

  3. Krissy Hope said,

    Wow!! so happy to find this, just seeing what I could find tonight on Dambrowitz and it was nice to stumble on some history, what a great tribute…hope you all are doing good and hope to see you in July for the reunion.
    The Hope’s
    Krissy, Bryan, Bryanna, Mackenzi, Prestyn & Alyvea

  4. Michael Milinkovich said,


    Good to hear from you! I hope all is well with you and the family.

  5. Jocelyne Saucier said,

    Hi Mike,
    I just had Sylvia on the phone ten minutes ago. She gave me the bride name of her mother we met two weeks ago and here I was, on Internet, lookink for what I could get from that name, Dambrowitz. What a bonanza! I tried to recognize the wonderful old lady we met dancing in her 40’s in her living room.
    But still, I am wondering. Where does the Wambrowitz family come from? Sylvia told me about a country near the Baltic Sea but, with my poor English ear at the phone, I didn’t get it well.
    I hope everything fine for both of you. Take care.

  6. Michael Milinkovich said,


    Thanks for the comment.

    The Dambrowitz’s came to the U.S. and then Canada from Latvia.

  7. Melissa said,

    Hey just lookin up the name dambrowitz and stumble across this video .. many memories and pictures that I have never seen before..

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