CHAIRMAN'S BLOG

21.09.17


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How time flies, it’s been a month since our last blog!

Summer has long gone and we approach the autumnal season. 

Since August I could say things have been slightly quieter than normal but that is only due to the holiday season even for AUGB staff. Behind the scenes work has continued on a daily basis. 

As you may have already read, CEO Fedir Kurlak, Director Zenko Lastowiecki and I represented AUGB at the 50th anniversary Ukrainian World Congress meetings in Kyiv and Lviv. It was a good opportunity to listen and network with fellow diasporas from all corners of the world which this year included Ukrainians from South Africa, Argentina and Singapore. 

We had an opportunity to meet with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, and attended a reception at the National Art and Culture Museum Complex where Ukrainian President Poroshenko addressed guests from around the world and thanked them for their support of Ukraine. 

On the home front, AUGB Reading Branch held its official reopening on 2nd September. Among the guests were Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Natalia Galibarenko, The Mayor of Reading, MP’s from both East and West Reading, AUGB representatives - Deputy Chair Iryna Terlecky, two Directors (Bohdan Terlecky and Volodymyr Muzyczka) and myself. 

The event was a great success on all fronts with a full house, and although I had to leave early in the evening I believe that celebrations continued well into the early hours. From this event, there is a renewed interest in the community and there is now serious discussion taking place on restarting a Ukrainian Saturday School. 

Well done and a very big ‘Slava’ to all who made this day possible. 

The following weekend, together with my wife Hania, I attended, for the first time, the ‘Spirit of Ukraine’ Festival at Forty Hall in Enfield. Sadly the weather was not in our favour but the day was still a great success with entertainment from Derby, London, Reading and Waltham Cross. The food and drink stalls kept us all sustained to brave the cold weather. 

Well done to the Ukrainian community in Waltham Cross - organisers of this now established annual event, which is an important way of showcasing our heritage to a wider community. Long may it continue. 

Just to add that in the same week our CEO Fedir held discussions with Lycamobile on free calls to Ukraine and from these discussions the festival gained a last minute additional sponsor. 

On 9 September the Board of Directors held a meeting via video link to discuss a range of cultural, financial and strategic issues facing our association in the coming months. 

Our second video conference with branch chairs took place on 20 September. Various topics were discussed from promotion of membership to communication and sharing of news. The two monthly meetings are beginning to show a positive with Branch Chairs exchanging views and ideas. 

On 30 September we will stage our first meeting for quite some time with representatives of long established Ukrainian organisations which is to be held at AUGB Nottingham Branch.

There are many things to look forward to and dates to remember in the last quarter of the year, with social and cultural events and commemorations all over the country:

 

  • 30 September - the 3rd annual Kultura Festival at AUGB Manchester Branch. 
  • 1 October - 75 years of UPA concert at AUGB Manchester Branch.
  • 6-20 October – an exhibition of works of over 30 Ukrainian artists who lived and worked in the UK at the AUGB Gallery in Linden Gardens. This will be the first time that so many works, spanning many decades, have been collected in one exhibition. A catalogue is being prepared for publication which will be a unique record of Ukrainian artistic talent in our diaspora.
  • 14 October - AUGB will be hosting a jubilee concert to celebrate 50 years of the Ukrainian World Congress at AUGB Manchester Branch. 
  • 15 October - 75 years of UPA Concert at AUGB London Branch.
  • 21 October - Varenyk Fest at AUGB Coventry Branch.
  • 21 October - Octoberfest at AUGB London Branch. 
  • 20-29 October - Patriarch Sviatoslav will be visiting the UK. For further details see the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s posters or ask your local parish priest.
  • 10-11 November - the 5th annual Pyvofest at AUGB Bradford Branch. 
  • 11 November - conference with AUGB Branches (at AUGB Leicester Branch) TBC
  • 25 November - Holodomor Commemorations
  • 30 November - a book presentation and exhibition of original works (from the private collection of Michel Lievre) of the renowned Ukrainian painter, Oleksa Hryshchenko, at AUGB Central Office.

 

For details please see AUGB and local branch Facebook, Twitter and Web pages. I hope to meet many of you at most (if not all!) of those events.

I am sure there are many more events happening in our communities. As a first step in redeveloping AUGB’s website, we hope to have a ‘Live Community Events Calendar’ operating from 1 January 2018 so that our network of branches can post all that is happening in their communities during the year, which we will be able to all share and promote.

Petro Rewko
Chairman

 

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