I start by thanking the delegates at the latest AGM held at AUGB Doncaster for electing me for another term as AUGB Chairman. It is an honour and privilege. I would also like to thank our hosts in Doncaster for their kind hospitality and hard work. 

We start a new year with many challenges ahead - some still pending from my first term with others added to the list on the continued work required to maintain and better our organisation for the future. 

As mentioned at the AGM we have begun the major actions needed to consider the future of 49 Linden Gardens. 

In addition, we still need to continue with development of two empty properties in our portfolio, Bedford and Carlisle, which will give us additional revenue for more educational and cultural projects. 

We are also pressing on with assisting AUGB Luton branch with repairs to their property for the new growing community which developing positively after years of uncertainty.  

Last weekend the AUGB’s CEO visited AUGB Edinburgh Branch and had a very useful and informative meeting with the local Branch committee and then on Sunday took part in the annual pilgrimage to Carfin which had special significance this year. 

Meanwhile AUGB’s Deputy Chair attended the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the AUGB Branch property in Waltham Cross. 

Our first video conference with Branch Chairs will take place on 26 July 2017 and we hope to make these conferences a regular feature to improve communication and understanding of the tasks and problems we all face. 

On the cultural side, plans are afoot for the 50th Anniversary Concert of the Ukrainian World Congress (Manchester, 14 October 2017) where we have requested all our communities to take part. 

We will be supporting the events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) to be held in Manchester and London. 

We are also working closely with the Embassy of Ukraine on various options to mark the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor. 

As always, we will provide more information on these in due course.

Sadly, this weekend will see the last issue of Ukrayinska Dumka sent out to subscribers. 

A rapidly declining subscription base and the internet which provides news at everyone’s fingertips mean that – for the time being at least – a printed newspaper is no longer sustainable. 

Over the last 70 years, Dumka has done us proud, thanks to the hard work of a small number of HQ staff and volunteers. It has been AUGB’s window to the world and was one of the key promoters of a unified community – particularly in its early years. 

A key challenge going forward will be to develop our communication capabilities fit for the modern world. I retain the hope that, as well as making better use of the internet and social media, we can also revitalise community support for a printed publication – but this will depend critically on what our members and the wider community want and are prepared to support. 

On a happier note, the Ukrainian Youth Association in GB will hold their 67th Annual National Rally (Крайовий Здвиг) this weekend -  the biggest annual gathering of Ukrainians in the UK. I hope to see many of you there supporting CYM. 

As a member from a very young age it has always been a highlight in the Ukrainian calendar. I thank CYM for their kind invitation. I will be attending as AUGB Chair and also as a member of CYM Ashton Branch where I hope my young ankle biting dancers will do me proud! For me and, I hope, all of you, all the talented young people that take part in this event are winners! 

See you all on Saturday. 

Petro Rewko
AUGB Chairman


Ukrayinska Dumka


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