Grigory and Marfa Saprykin lived in Norilsk for over 60 years
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Grigory and Marfa Saprykin lived in Norilsk for over 60 years

July 18, 2022

There is a memorial plaque in honor of the oldest Norilsk family on Leninsky prospekt.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Shift driller, senior driller, the drilling site’s head, the drilling workshop’s head, the geological exploration party’s head: Saprykin participated in all major geological exploration works in Norilsk, and supervised many.

Grigory Saprykin led drilling operations at the port construction in Dudinka, carried out drinking water wells’ exploration and drilling in the area of lake Samsonkino, led the Ugolny Ruchey (Eng.: Coal Creek), Medvezhy Ruchey (Eng.: Bear Creek) and Norilsk-1 deposits’ geological exploration. Geological exploration was carried out in the Kayerkansky, Gora-Zubovsky, Dudinsky, Zapadno-Haraelakhsky, Chernogorsky and other Taimyr areas under Saprykin. Norilsk geology veteran worked here from 1935 to 1990.

His wife Marfa lived and worked in the northern city together with him. She was in charge of the first Norilsk kindergarten. Several Norilsk residents’ generations have passed through this kindergarten. From the Marfa Saprykina’s memoirs:

“Kindergarten has become my labor front. Parents who worked day and night for the front should be calm for their children. And I rarely returned home before eleven in the evening, I myself undertook to dig, and revenge, and paint. We also tried to celebrate the holidays so that they would not be worse than in peacetime. I bought two American nightgowns at a flea market. One is blue, the other is pink. I made a dress out of blue and thee Snowstorm costume from pink for the New Year’s party in the kindergarten. Two teachers played balalaikas replacing the whole orchestra. And everything was nice. I really regret that I retired early. I really loved all the children in the kindergarten”.

The young Norilsk Saprykin family (father, mother and two little daughters) was settled in the attic in one of the barracks by the winter of 1937. There was a hipped roof, an icy staircase and a small stove.

Grigory Saprykin told that he had been at the drilling rig all day long, and the young mother had been helped by people who worked in the city, both civilians and prisoners:

“There was a prisoner Rakcheev, he prepared firewood for the stove, applied water. He reported and sent greetings from my wife meeting with me”.

Later Grigory emphasized that it had been simply impossible to survive in the polar city without support.

In the History Spot photo project previous publication we told about the Laureatov street.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

July 18, 2022

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