WA CELEBRATES 60yrs OF POST WW2 IMMIGRATION TO WEST AUSTRALIA (Oct 2009)

Account of the event by Mr Mykola Mowczan, President of Hromada, Perth

The event was arranged by the Ukrainian Association of Western Australia and the Ukrainian Youth Association (C.Y.M). It was a fun and nostalgic afternoon with photographs and video of the early arrivals and life in Northam in the early 1950’s. On October 25, 2009 after Liturgy at both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches approximately 25 people boarded a bus for the Croatian Community Hall in Alfred Street, Fremantle.

The afternoon commenced with an opening by the UAWA president, Mykola Mowczan who spoke about Ukraine and her past and present glories. Vice president, Dr Vasyl Holobotovskyy read a greeting letter from our Ambassador Mr V. Adomaytis which was followed by an introduction of our special guests, Consular Corps representing Estonia, Mr & Mrs Janis Purvinskis, Hungary, Mr Georg Molnar, Latvia, Mrs Anu van Hattem, Sweden, Mr Bruce Morgan & Mrs Lesa Morgan, The Polish Assocation, Ms Halina Szunejko and the Croatian Association, Mr Drazen Pivac.

After the singing of the national anthems of Australia and Ukraine by Suzanna Prushynsky and the toasts, everybody sat down to lunch.

Following lunch, greeting letters were read from Ukrainian Ambassador Mr V Adomaytis, Archbishop Ioan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalic Church, Australia New Zealand Eparchy, and Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R., Eparch for Ukrainian Catholics in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania by Dr V Holobotovskyy, Ms Diana Teplyj and Mr Peter Valega. Then Roztiazhka Dancers opened the concert with their dance Pryvit.

Mrs Lesa Morgan followed with a very passionate talk about the reasons of the post World War 2 migration, then the youngest dancing group in Perth "Zahidni Zvizdi" consisting of dancers from the Ukrainian Ethnic School and CYM performed to everyone’s supportive clapping.

Ms Diana Teplyj read a short excerpt from her father’s memoirs of the trip from Italy to Australia and then Mykola Mowczan surprised everyone with a rendition of an old Italian song which was popular after the war called Mama (the song he sang was in Ukrainian!) The jubilee torte was cut by our priests Rev Frs Wolodymyr Kalinecki and Valentyn Mowtschan (representing our community) and the president, Mr Mykola Mowczan. Ms Irka Konderewicz and representatives from the dancers, then the afternoon was complete but not before a group photograph comprising the original immigrants was taken.

Roztiazhka completed the concert with yet another fabulous Hopak!

We, the children of all those departed WW2 immigrants wish that the Australian soil is comfortable for you ~ Vichna vam pamyat.

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