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Intelligence Analyst and Missing Children Program Coordinator

Date and Place of Birth: 1947 in Karslruhe, Germany (DP camp)

Date of Interview: June 5, 2017

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw

Length of Interview: 01:53:11 (raw)


LH: So, with a few connections, and some research and a little bit of hard work I actually came to work for Customs and Excise, it’s gone through many different name changes, it’s Canada Board of Services today. And I went in there because I had a science background and they were starting up a Customs drug team. This was in the days when narcotics were becoming full blown in the general population.

I: So, what year was this?

LH: 1985, from 1975-85 I was home. So I started to work there and I had one director, I think there were 2 of us, just starting up. What do we need to do to get this team working? Well, we had to do a lot of training and a lot of research. So I started doing a lot of research on methodologies of reports that we had and methodologies of how drugs are coming into the country, who is bringing them in, creating profiles, and stuff like that. And that was sort of the beginning of developing intelligence analysis within the Customs Service. For me it was just great fun, because it was research, the same techniques you use in scientific research or any other research, it doesn’t matter – it’s research, and putting these things together.

I: And the research would be on what, police reports…?

LH: Police reports and Customs reports too, because we saw this stuff coming into the country but nothing was organized in a way of pulling it in together, trying to analyze what is happening – because you do find out what is happening, who’s involved, how do they do it, how do they hide it, where did they get it – that kind of thing. So then, we started intelligence analysis and training our officers. So it was kind of a slow progress, but…

I: So, did you then create a basis for how it was…

LH: We created a whole intelligence division, eventually. So we had officers in the field and analysts with documentation, that was my end of it, and it grew after a while into a larger organization.

I: It’s grown quite a bit, yeah.

LH: But within that, I’m not even sure what question we started with here [laughs].

I: What you did with your career after you came back!

LH: Ok, so I’ll just mention one more thing because it’s kind of been a highlight in my life. One of the things that was happening from about 1978 onwards is we had some very horrible child abductions in British Columbia and we also had children being abducted across the border, kidnappings and what-not’s. And so we started looking at the fact that maybe we should train our officers also in looking out for children. Because in those days, we didn’t have passports, you hardly needed any identification to cross borders, it was pretty loose. And so I got involved actually in developing the Missing Children program for Canada Customs. Nobody wanted that program, nobody wanted to work with that, everybody else wanted to work with drugs, because that was a lot more sexy than working with missing children. So I said, that’s fine, I’ll take that project on.

So we developed, again, profiles–you had to do a lot of research–and training packages, and I used to go out and train the officers all over British Columbia: how to look out for children, what our laws were, what we were allowed to do, what we couldn’t do, how we had to marry up with Immigration Services to be able to detain people, because we were only Customs at the time, and that was very rewarding. I attended a lot of conferences that were the NGOs and the non-profit missing children’s organizations in Canada and the United States. Actually I stayed in that probably for close to 10 years – we got lots of awards as an organization, and even personally, for having done that kind of work and it was very satisfying, it was very satisfying. And we met people also who had lost their children, because we’d be at conferences and you would meet people who would tell their terrible stories. So, that’s another part of working for the federal government in that organization, but a very different, a very social and humanitarian kind of project.


• Lydia’s mother Nadia Mychajlowska, is interviewed in UCRDC Archive File #264 (video). Interviewer: Ariadna Ochrymovych for “Share the Story” project (“Nadia’s Story” ; ”Share the Story” project)

• Lydia’s father Ivan Mychajlowskij, is interviewed in UCRDC Archive File #325 (Audio CDs: 6CDs, 6 hours). Interviewed by Victor Susak on Dec. 27, 1995 about his time in the Belomor Canal Ukrainian concentration camp in the 1930s and time spent as a forced labourer in Germany

• Lydia’s sister Valentina Kuryliw is interviewed in UCRDC Archive File #362 Video. Interviewer: Ariadna Ochrymovych on 9 April 2012 for the “Share the Story” project; also in UCRDC Archive File #361 Video. Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw on October 29, 2015 for the “Children of Holodomor Survivors” project. 

• Lydia Huzyk’s husband Daniel Huzyk is interviewed in UCRDC Archive File #441 (Video). Interviewer: Sophia Isajiw on 5 June 2017 for the “Oral History of Ukrainian Canada (OHUC)” project.

Lydia Huzyk’s mother Nadia Mychajlowska (née Menko) obituary notice.

Lydia Huzyk’s brother Walter Mychajlowsky’s obituary notice.

Khachatourians, George and Lydia Huzyk. “Relationship between nucleoside triphosphate pools and DNA replication in the cell cycle of Escherichia coli.” Department of Microbiology, University of British Columbia, 1974.

excerpt from the Interview with LYDIA HUZYK

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org