A Tribute to Maurice Belgray

(Formerly Moise/Moshe Bilgoraj of Majdan near Skala)
by his son David Belgray

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My dad was born Nov. 7, 1892 in Majdan, and was schooled by tutors until he saw greater opportunity beckoning in America, so he came to the U.S. in 1910.. He was not drafted in WWI because his family was living in the Austro-Hungarian empire, enemy of the U.S.. (It became Poland during that war, and Ukraine from WWII) He always talked about the Ukrainian peasants who finally, inebriated, went home from his father's tavern. The "tavern" was their home; finally they could go to sleep. They had a family cow and thus their own milk, butter & cheese.

During WWII, Dad was Supt. of Purchasing (Lumber) in building Camp Kilmer, Fort Dix, Sampson Naval Training Station, & others. Contractors always approached him: "Morris, give me the order and I'll take care of you." "Here's how you can take care of me", he'd reply. "Tell me your price, quality & delivery date." He'd gone from $40/week to $100. But nary a kickback. Friends thought he was a fool for not grabbing war profits from excessive contract prices. But he maintained his pride and patriotism. He deserves a medal!


This page created by Max Heffler
Updated Jun 15, 2015. Copyright 2005 Skala Research Group. All Rights Reserved.