Vladimir Bakalenikov, Z"lVladimir Bakalenikov.JPG


(As related by his daughter, Leah Bakalenikov)

I do not want to talk about myself, but about my father, Vladimir Bakalenikov, who recently passed away. I want to talk about him, about his participation in our community life and the help he provided to many people.

My father was an engineer by profession, a knowledgeable, highly qualified professional in his field. But his passion was journalism.

My father wrote articles on topics of concern to the people, and he collaborated with the editors of many newspapers published in Toronto in Russian. You could say he was a fan of the Russian language, and advocated for the purity of the Russian language in the Toronto media. He edited several textbooks and reference books, often writing eloquent introductions. He always meticulously indexed the sources of information for his books, regardless of topic, whether it was a history book or an anthology of poetry with interesting facts from the biography of the poet. My father left a huge library of classical Russian and foreign literature, which he collected all his life.

He also used his talents to help the Jewish community. For many years he proofread the Russian edition of Exodus Magazine, as well as the Jewish Calendar produced by the JRCC. Each edition of Exodus contained his amendments. And all this, of course, was done on a voluntary basis!

My father was socially active. He was a member of the veterans' organization in Toronto since the beginning of its formation. He always defended the interests of veterans of World War II, working with the city agencies and communicating with government bodies about the needs and rights of veterans. And this despite the fact that he hardly spoke English (since it was very difficult to learn a new language at an older age)! Therefore, he had to carefully prepare for every meeting: First, he would write a summary in Russian of what he wanted to say, then use a dictionary to translate it into English, and then memorized it by heart! Only after such an incredible preparation did he go to meet with officials.

I would also like to recall the incredible dedication and focus of my father, at times bordering on obsessive. If not for this persistence and unshakable belief in his case, it is unlikely he would have been able to achieve his goals. I remember he told me that he wanted to take part in the International Festival of Youth and Students, which took place for the first time in history in the Soviet Union in 1957. Each Soviet republic sent its delegation to Moscow, and my father thought he should certainly go, because it was very important to "sip" of this air of freedom for him. He won all competitions for applicants went to the finals, and went to the festival as part of a very small delegation from the Uzbek Republic.

I am proud to say that while my father was here, in Canada, he continued his scientific-technical research in engineering, and even wrote a study relating to the power system, which he asked me to translate into English this year to patent his invention. But unfortunately we did not manage to complete this project. When the Department of Energy in now independent Uzbekistan learned about the untimely departure of my father, the Uzbek energy sector, as well as former colleagues and my father’s comrades sent me a letter in which they described how selflessly my father worked, how much effort and talent he put it to his work in Tashkent, how he always introduced innovative ideas, and helped to mentor young graduates from university into educated professionals.

His best friends from school, one of which now lives in New York and the other in Germany, told me that my father, Vladimir Bakalenikov, will forever remain in their hearts and prayers as the most humble and fearless of people.