Norilsk is not Norilsk without such people
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Norilsk is not Norilsk without such people

August 10, 2020

He is 79. He has lived in Norilsk for over 50 years, and in this July he left his hometown.

Ivanitsky the worker has a lot of titles and awards. He is an honorary citizen of Norilsk. Here, in the North, he led an active social life. For the last 15 years, with his wife Nadezhda, they have run the choir Inspiration, which is called a cultural phenomenon of the industrial city.

Ivanitsky the missionary really saves many many people. He knows Norilsk like no one else, he feels the pain points of the city he has served for half a century. As well as the pain of any person he met along the way. It is not for nothing that he became the first official brother of mercy in the local public organization for helping people.

Here he had no equal: he literally raised disabled people to their feet, tirelessly working out with them in the rehabilitation center with and without simulators, then as part of the mercy center he visited the sick and the infirm at home and in the hospice, then he ran to present the sponsored veterans with food.

Stepanych, as he is called, bought cereals, flour, fruits, vegetables on his own pension, he himself salted a hundred poods of cabbage for the winter, so that he could distribute those non-state sets of his own to old people who are left alone all year round. Some of them trusted only him, and if one of the young volunteers came, they accepted only after hearing the password “I am from Ivanitsky”.

Vasily Stepanovich came to Norilsk from Ukraine. He adores it and also worries with his soul for everything that divided the fraternal lands. There he began his working way at the Zaporozhstal plant, and upon his arrival in the Arctic region – in 1968 – he immediately found himself at the copper plant.

“At that time I did not even know that there is such a city on the map as Norilsk. I knew Dixon, but Norilsk – I did not. I came first to Kayerkan, and then here. I got off the train on Octyabrskaya Square, saw the city and understood: there is an owner here. Asked where the factories were. They told me: copper, nickel, different mines. I decided that I would go to the copper one… There they took me to the smelting shop, but not right away – “as an exception”, the chief said. My first shift as a smelter was from 4 pm. Then I was offered to become an electric bridge crane operator”, says Vasily Stepanovich.

He gave 37 years to the copper plant. Combined the work with the position of the territorial public self-government committee No.1 chairman. The Norilsk people remember those famous organisations: there could always be a useful application for a caring person. They have sunk into oblivion. Those who were not indifferent remained to shine for the others.

“The workers chose me”, he says. It seems that even today this person remains in the same “communist format” that brought up his best manifestations, as he sincerely believes. And as if Vasily Stepanovich still justifies the trust and expectations of people. Even those who are no longer alive – he is faithful to their memory. Silently and steadfastly. He is just quietly working for the good of “his own Norilsk”. Before leaving, all June and July weekends he organized independent subbotniks at the old churchyard: he managed to clean up 115 graves. With assistants, of course, not alone. But who today can just inspect other people’s graves? Only people of conscience, deep decency and inner purity.

He considers the Inspiration choir his and his wife Nadezhda Onishchenko’s achievement. This year, the choir, without which almost no event in the Norilsk industrial area and in Taimyr could do, has turned 15 years old.

Nadezhda Mikhailovna said goodbye to the city earlier. After her, our hero sold his Norilsk apartment left his beloved land for Sergiev Posad.

A man who beat a bear on the forehead with a stick in the tundra, gathered up wagons of mushrooms and berries, was saturated with the winds, smoke, gas and everything northern was about to cry, saying goodbye to Norilsk. This is a difficult topic for him.

For merits and conscientious work, active social work, Ivanitsky was awarded the Orders of the Red Banner of Labor, the Badge of Honor, has the title of Honored Metallurgist of the USSR, Honored Worker of the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine after A.P. Zavenyagin, a lot of other certificates. Several years ago he was awarded the most important title – the Honorary Citizen of Norilsk.

If you write a treatise on the topic Norilsk Combine. Epoch and People, Ivanitskiy would definitely become one of its heroes. To be honest, he does not like to be praised, admits modestly:

“It’s better when they tell off. So the conscience will never sleep. And you will move forward with even greater progress”.

We apologize, but it was impossible not to write about Vasily Stepanovich: without such people, in fact, Norilsk is not Norilsk, and the North is not the North.

Get acquainted with other outstanding Taimyr people in our Territory genius project.

Text: Marina Horoshevskaya, Photo: Irina Danilenko

August 10, 2020

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