Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas — ‘Veselykh Svyat !’

 With a heartfelt gratitude to the Almighty God for graciously granting my life and health to be able to welcome this day of His Only Begotten Son’s birth, my wife Katrusia, I and wish everybody the merriest Christmas ever. We wish all an enjoyable and safe holiday, good health and loving, friendly gatherings of families and friends. Let us all, to use the words from a hymn of the divine liturgy (Mass), “lay aside all cares of life” for at least this one day.

    In our prayers, let us not forget our men and women in uniform, many of whom will not be able to enjoy a decent holiday meal while defending our freedom in faraway places away from home, and a multitude of individuals suffering from natural and manmade disasters in our country and in Syria, South Sudan, Philippines and many other places. Let us not forget the Ukrainian students and their supporters demonstrating in the freezing weather in Kyiv’s Maidan against their oppressive, tyrannical and corrupt government.

                                                                                                                • • •

    The Ukrainian Weekly, an English-language newspaper published by the Ukrainian National Association Inc., a nonprofit association, in Parsippany, N.J., ran an article in the Nov. 24 issue titled “Sarasota: A tropical and cultural paradise with a vibrant Ukrainian community.” The almost full-page article includes three photographs: A view of Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port, and the “Ukrainians on Parade” float at the 50th anniversary celebration of North Port in 2009.

    This superb article was written by Venice resident Dr. Jurij Baranowskyj, a member of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans, St. Mary’ Ukrainian Catholic Parish and other organizations. He is also in charge of public relations for the Men’s Social Club based in Sarasota.

    After describing the “beautiful, white, sandy beaches,” Dr. Baranowskyj goes on to describe the many cultural offerings, “the fast-growing city of North Port” that is “home to a vibrant and active Ukrainian community” with “social and cultural clubs, and established churches of the Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal and other Christian denominations.” After continuing with detailed descriptions of the “diverse area with big-city amenities,” the state of Florida’s 500th anniversary, etc., Dr. Baranowskyj writes, “So, baby boomers, empty-nesters, retirees, come to Sarasota — to vacation, to work, to build, to live part-year, full-year or retire.”

    Dr. Baranowskyj deserves thanks and congratulations for writing the article, and The Ukrainian Weekly for publishing it.

                                                                                                                • • •

    The peaceful demonstrators in support of “EuroMaidan’” in Kyiv, Ukraine, last Friday at the intersection of South Biscayne Drive and U.S. 41 in North Port appreciate the support of all who joined the demonstration, as well as many people who drove by and signaled their support, sounding their horns.

    Individuals or organizations wishing to contribute toward the humanitarian aid for the students demonstrating in Kyiv should mail their tax-deductible contributions to the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Inc., 1206 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111, with a notation in the memo line for “Humanitarian Aid for EuroMaidan.”

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at 

by Atanas Kobryn

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

‘EuroMaidan’ demonstration in North Port

   The Ukrainian American community in Southwest Florida will stage a peaceful demonstration of support Friday for the protesters and demonstrators in the “Euro-Maidans” in Ukraine. The original and largest demonstration called “EuroMaidan,” with some 200,000 participants last Sunday, is in the Independence Plaza — known as “Maidan” in Ukrainian — in the capital city of Kyiv. It was visited recently by several high-ranking foreign politicians and officials, including our senators, John McCain (Republican) and Chris Murphy (Democrat). Similar demonstrations, all calling themselves Euro-Maidans, are taking place in all large and small cities in Ukraine, and in many cities throughout the world, all demanding resignation of the cabinet of ministers headed by Mykola Azarov, the freeing of all those arrested during the attempted breakup of the demonstration, the punishment of officials who ordered and members of police units who committed acts of violence in an attempt to break up the peaceful demonstration, and snap parliamentary and presidential elections.

    The demonstration was triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal, in the last minute, to sign
an agreement with the European Union, despite the fact that he was talking constantly about his desire and plan to sign.

    Local residents are being asked to gather at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the corner of South Biscayne Drive and U.S. 41, next to Farley Funeral Home. If possible, prospective demonstrators should wear Ukrainian embroidered shirts/blouses and bring Ukrainian flags.

    The Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community is very busy raising funds for humanitarian aid in support of demonstrators who stay in the EuroMaidan day and night, even when it snows and the temperature drops below zero, and signing petitions to our senators and congressmen asking for their support for the demonstrators seeking
human rights and justice in Ukraine.

• • •

    Members of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans met last Friday at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious Center (known as the “Oseredok”). The meeting’s agenda included reports of officers — with the finance officer’s report and discussion that followed taking up most of the time — approving a donation of $300 for EuroMaidan in Ukraine via the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Inc., and the induction of a new member.

    Post members were shocked by the announcement of the popular finance officer, Col. Askold D. Mosijczuk, M.D., USA (Ret.), that he will be leaving Florida. Post Commander Eugene

A. Tomashosky asked Vice Commander Col. Roman Rondiak, USA (Ret.), to assume the duties of finance officer until the next election. All are wishing Col. Mosijczuk the best of luck in his and his wife’s new location. My wife and I have known his parents and him since he was a teenager in Buffalo, N.Y., and will miss him.

• • •

    The Canadian Press reported that Valj Semerenko of Ukraine won bronze in the 7.5 kilometer women’s skiing on Dec. 14 in Le Grand Bomand, France, during the IBU World Cup Biathlon. Swiss Selina Gasparin won gold, and Finland’s Kairsa Makarainen, silver.

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at 

Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ukrainian American Club throws another successful party

The Ukrainian American Club of Southwest Florida, headed by Daria Tomashosky of North Port, concluded its activities for 2013 with a very popular, traditional Christmas party held last Friday at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center (known as “Oseredok”). Anna Mariani-Kebus of Port Charlotte, an active member of the Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community, chaired the Christmas Party Committee.

    More than 120 members and guests enjoyed home-cooked and baked delicacies from a sumptuous buffet organized by the party committee, and had a wonderful time. The guest list included the president of the North Port Kiwanis Club, Ken Maturo, and his wife Lauren; president of North Port Area Republican Club, Nathan Worley; His Honor Bohdan A. Futey, federal judge of the US Court of Federal Claims; and national commander of Ukrainian American Veterans, Ihor W. Hron of Osprey.

    The attendees enjoyed a fantastic performance by the North Port High School Chorus, who performed at last year’s processional at Disney’s Epcot and will perform more shows over the next couple weeks. They really wowed the crowd.
Mariani-Kebus presented them with a check for $500 from the estate of the recently departed Bohdan Pochmursky. This was followed by a collection initiated by Ihor Hron, which resulted in collection of more than $350. These funds will help to offset the Chorus’ travel expenses to Epcot.

    Another attraction of the party was a performance by the club’s “oldsters” male choir, led by Gene Tomashosky, who was hilarious as director. The group came in wearing reindeer antlers and sang “Jingle Bells.” They really were the hit of the evening.

    Anna (Nusia) Mariani-Kebus and her committee did a superb job in organizing and managing the party, which will be long remembered by all who attended.

• • •

    The monthly membership meeting of Cpl. Roman G. Lazore Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans will take place at 3 p.m. Friday at the Oseredok. This is an important meeting; there will be no
meeting in January due to Christmas and other holidays observed by Ukrainians according to the Julian calendar.

• • •

    The traditional pre-Christmas bazaar at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, chaired by Iwanna Holowaty of Venice, will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Parish Center, 1078 N. Biscayne Drive (corner of West Price Boulevard). In addition to many items for sale, there will be food served all day. The popular Ukrainian dinners will be available from noon to 6 p.m., with takeouts available.

• • •

    The Oseredok will celebrate the Feast of its Patron Saint, St. Andrew, the First Called Apostle, on Sunday. The solemn divine liturgy (Mass) will be celebrated at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Church, 4100 S Biscayne Drive, at 10 a.m., to be followed by a festive dinner at noon. A special program will be presented during the meal. All are invited.

    Dinner tickets, at $15 per person, can be obtained by calling Maria Nikitin at 941-423-1092 or Halya Lisnyczyj at 941-429-2350.

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ukrainian American Christmas party is Friday

     The traditional and very popular Christmas party of the Ukrainian American Club of Southwest Florida, headed by Daria Tomashosky of North Port, will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center (known as the “Oseredok”), 1400 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port. Christmas party chair Anna Mariani- Kebus of Port Charlotte and members of the committee worked very hard to ensure that this year’s party is as good, if not better, than previous years’.

    In addition to many attractions and surprises, the members will enjoy a delicious potluck dinner consisting of many homemade Ukrainian and American delicacies, including pastries and other desserts.

    Members and guests attending the club’s last
monthly membership meeting, held Nov. 20, enjoyed guest speaker Valeriy Palubok, staff biologist at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, and a video presentation about his and Dr. Eugenie Clark’s (founder of Mote Marine) search for traces of a great Ukrainian scientist and explorer Nicholas Miklukho-Maklay who was exploring Papua New Guinea in the 19th century.

    The business portion of the meeting included the customary reports of offi- cers and the presentation of plans for activities and events for the next several weeks; welcoming new members George and Kateryna Steciuk, who moved to our area from New Jersey; and singing “Mnohaya Leeta”
(many, many years) for Dr. Michael Yarymovych of Osprey on the occasion of his patron saint holiday, St. Michael the Archangel.

• • •

    The monthly membership meeting of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans will take place at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Oseredok. This is a change from the customary meetings being held on the first Friday of the month due to the other activities in our community, including the aforementioned Christmas party.

• • •

    The community commemoration of the 80th anniversary of “Holodomor,” the genocidal famine in 1932-33 in Ukraine that took the
lives of nearly 10 million men, women and children (approximately 25 percent of the population at the time) will be held Sunday, beginning with a “Panakhyda” (requiem service) for the repose of souls of victims, at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at Biscayne Drive and West Price Boulevard, North Port. It will be followed by a special program at the Parish Center next to the church. His Honor Bohdan A. Futey, federal judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, will be the guest speaker.

• • •

    The traditional pre-Christmas Bazaar, chaired by Iwanna Holowaty of Venice, will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the
Ukrainian Catholic Parish Hall next to St. Mary’s Church. In addition to crafts and many other items that will be available for sale, the popular Ukrainian American dinners will be served from noon to 6 p.m. Takeouts will be available.

• • •

    The Oseredok will celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew, the First Called Apostle, patron saint of the Oseredok, on Dec. 15 with a festive dinner that will be served following the solemn divine liturgy (Mass) and special prayers at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Church, which will begin at 10 a.m.

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at