AUGB Rochdale Branch organised this year’s commemoration of 84th Anniversary of Holodomor Ukrainian Famine – Genocide 1932-33 at the Holodomor Memorial in Rochdale’s Memorial Gardens.

Those in attendance included the Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Ian Duckworth and Mayoress Christine Duckworth, Tony Lloyd MP, Rochdale MBC councillors, Reverend Fathers Bohdan Matwijczuk, Mykola Romaniv (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church), Jaroslav Riy, Ewhen Nebesniak and Volodymyr Sampara (Ukrainian Catholic Church) and Mark Coleman (Vicar of St. Chads, St. Mary in the Baum and St. Edmunds, Rochdale).  The congregation included representatives from the Ukrainian communities of Rochdale, Todmorden, Manchester, Bury and Bradford. 

Chair of AUGB Rochdale Branch Olga Kurtianyk welcomed everyone in Rochdale Town Hall before inviting the Chair of Association of Ukrainians in Great Briain, Petro Rewko, to give a short speech. 

Mr Rewko explained the background to Holodomor, its impact on its people and how Gareth Jones had written on what he had seen with his own eyes and smuggled out articles that were published in the Evening Standard, Daily Express and Western Mail.

Many countries have already recognised the Holodomor as Genocide but sadly the UK government has yet to follow, although Early Day Motions and proposals by MP’s have been made in the UK Parliament in the past and recently a motion was also put forward in the Scottish Parliament to recognise it there too. 

Wreaths were laid at the Holodomor memorial by Mayor Councillor Ian Duckworth and Tony Lloyd MP, Olga Kurtianyk and a member of the Ukrainian community - Mrs Nadia Sosenko.  A one minute silence was then observed followed by a short memorial service led by the clergy.  The programme of commemoration then continued at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre where Olga Kurtianyk summarised some of the speakers’ words from earlier in the day and then invited all present to observe a Minute’s Silence as a Commemorative Candle was lit by the Chairs of the Rochdale branches of the Association of Ukrainian Women andUkrainian Youth Association. 

An extract from Anne Applebaum’s book, “Red Famine – Stalin’s War on Ukraine”, was read by Volodymyr Duchak. 

Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale stressed that the harvest in Ukraine in 1932-33 was good.  The ‘Holodomor’ was created by artificial means – by Stalin trying to crush the might of the Ukrainian population.  Contrary to what was being said in the West at the time, the ‘Holodomor’ was a Genocide and we must never forget what happened.            

Olya Kurtianyk concluded proceedings by thanking everyone for their contribution to the day’s events. The commemoration concluded with ‘A Prayer for Ukraine’. 

Taras Melnyk



Ukrayinska Dumka


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