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Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway Switchman

Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway Switchman

| 9 min

In this film, Paul Tomkowicz, Polish-born Canadian, talks about his job and his life in Canada. He compares his new life in the city of Winnipeg to the life he knew in Poland, marvelling at the freedom Canadians enjoy. In winter the rail-switches on streetcar tracks in Winnipeg froze and jammed with freezing mud and snow. Keeping them clean, whatever the weather, was the job of the switchman.

  • director
    Roman Kroitor
  • producer
    Roman Kroitor
    Tom Daly
  • editing
    Roman Kroitor
    Tom Daly
  • script
    Roman Kroitor
    Stanley Jackson
  • photography
    Lorne C. Batchelor
  • sound editing
    Joan Edward
  • narrator
    Tommy Tweed
  • music
    Robert Fleming


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Ages 14 to 17

History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World
Social Studies - Social History

A snapshot of the immigrant experience in Canada in the 1950s, students can discuss the experiences of immigrants, and how they are similar or different today. Filmed during the era of McCarthyism, students of history can discuss the film's purpose and intended audience, as the protagonist alludes to Soviet atrocities, and expresses his gratitude to Canada and the new freedoms he now enjoys.

Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway Switchman
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