Monday, December 1, 2014

81st anniversary of ‘Holodomor’ commemorated

    Last Saturday was declared a Holodomor commemoration holiday, with services in the capital of Kyiv and all other cities and towns throughout Ukraine to commemorate the genocidal artificial famine in 1932-33 ordered by Stalin that took over 10 million lives. President Petro Poroshenko and other national and local officials participated.

    In New York City, a special ecumenical
service was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and many representatives from various denominations, in addition to the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox Church dignitaries taking part. In many locations outside of Ukraine, observances took place in various cities, including Chicago, Toronto, Paris, Rome and Lisbon.

    In North Port, “panakhyda” services were celebrated after the conclusion of the regular liturgies (Masses) at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center by the Rt. Rev. John Fatenko, and at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church by the Rev. Dr. Severyn Kovalyshin, pastor, with the Rt. Rev. Mitrate Archpriest Wolodymyr Woloszczuk, pastor emeritus, and His Excellency Miguel Mykycej, retired bishop of Ukrainian Catholics in Argentina, who is visiting his sister Eva Juzyn of North Port. Representatives of local Ukrainian American organizations, with lighted candles, lined up behind the two main candle-holders, president of the Coordinating Committee, Roma Guran, and Marian Bojsiuk, representing
Ukrainian American Veterans Post 40 Commander Col. Roman Rondiak, USA (Ret.).

    The Ukrainian Baptist Church of North Port, according to Pastor Vitaliy Bernatskiy, celebrates a week of Thanksgiving with daily prayers, including thanksgiving prayers for this year’s harvest, for the well-being of the local community, and for Ukraine and the soldiers fighting the War of Dignity against Putin’s aggression.
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    Local branch 56 of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, known better as “Soyuz Ukrayinok” (union of Ukrainian ladies), headed by Ann-Marie Susla of Englewood, held a very nice and well-attended “tea evening” to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UNWLA’s national magazine, “Nashe Zhyttia — Our Life” last Sunday at St. Andrew’s.

    Ann-Marie informed me that Soyuz Ukrayinok’s traditional fall picnic, held last Wednesday at Maxine Barrett Park in Venice, was a success in spite of the relatively cold weather (not nearly as cold as in Ann-Marie’s hometown of Buffalo!). The picnic committee, chaired by Larissa Shpon of Warm Mineral Springs, arranged for a delicious
buffet lunch and some interesting activities that the guests enjoyed a lot. Ulana Rondiak of Osprey did a masterful job as mistress of ceremonies.
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    Last week’s column reporting on the UAV Post 40 installation/ fundraiser luncheon at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club omitted the awards given out. UAV National Commander Ihor W. Hron, who is also Post 40’s past post commander, was presented with an award for his many initiatives on behalf of UAV and Post 40 by outgoing post Commander Eugene “Gene” Tomashosky.

    Tomashosky also recognized and presented the annual Commander’s Award to a well-known and respected couple, professor Vira and Dr. Bohdan Bodnaruk of Venice, active with St. Andrew’s and other organizations. Vira Bodnaruk is also president of the Ukrainian Language Society, which, among its many activities, promotes the distribution of Ukrainian books and other literature in Ukraine, with emphasis on the eastern region.

    A happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving to all.

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


Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians

by Atanas Kobryn

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