Fr Ian Bojko (originally ‘Ioann’) was born in August 1934 on the Dnieper River, Ukraine. During the German Occupation, he lived with his father’s family in Kiev, where he had just commenced schooling. In Spring 1943, his family was transported to Slovenia; with the advance of the Soviet Army, the family moved to Lindau, Germany.
After the war, he attended the Russian Gymnasium (School) for ‘Stateless’ persons, Munich, and attended the Synodal church where Metr. Anastasy (Gribanovsky) served. The Bojko’s arrived in Australia as Displaced Persons in December 1950. Ian arrived in Adelaide the next month, finding work at an electricity station, and then at the Customs Service in a wool store bonded warehouse.
Abp Theodore (Rafalsky) of Sydney tonsured Ivan a reader at St Nicholas parish, Adelaide, in 1953. Three years later, when Hieromonk Dimitry (Obuhoff) was seeking candidates for the monastic life, Rdr Ian joined him.
Establishing the monastery was so physically difficult that the project could not go ahead. Hmk Dimitry was transferred to be parish priest in Geelong, and Rdr Ian accompanied him to look after him. While in Geelong, Rdr Ian was ordained a subdeacon, and assisted greatly in the construction and beautification of that parish. In November 1963, when Hmk Dimitry was transferred to the Vladimir Icon parish, Rocklea, Sdn Ian again went with him. Soon after, in January 1964, Bp Philaret (Vosnesensky) of Brisbane ordained him a deacon to serve at the Vladimir Icon parish, which he did until August 1988 when he transferred to the OCA and began attending Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church. Yielding to the requests of the community, in 1989 he was ordained to the priesthood at the request of Metropolitan Theodosius by Bp Gibran (Ramlawey – primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australasia), and was appointed rector of Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church.
Fr Ian ministered faithfully at Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church for 16 years – from 1989-1995 as rector, then 1995-2005 as serving priest – both while maintaining secular employment with the railways and in secular retirement. His rectorate will be remembered for the quiet, faithful service that Fr Ian sacrificially rendered the parish, keeping an outpost of Orthodoxy alive for sixteen years. He was noted for his love of God and his parishioners, his gentleness, his willingness to help anyone who asked, and his eagerness to pray for all.
Ill health forced the retirement of Fr Ian from pastoral duties, with his final Liturgy at Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church being served in 2005. He resided in Brisbane until his repose in January 2013.
The 2013 extension to the church – including an office, meeting room and storage facilities – was named the Fr Ian Bojko Room in his honour.