HUDDERSFIELD'S UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY CELEBRATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY

AUGB Huddersfield Branch
03.09.18


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A Grand 70th Anniversary Celebration marking the establishment of the Huddersfield Ukrainian Community, took place on Saturday afternoon and evening in the picturesque gardens of the AUGB’s local Branch in Edgerton Road. The event saw a fabulous mix of music, song, dance and food from a range of cultures representative of both the local and wider community.

Michael Drapan paid tribute to all the founder members who had the foresight to come together to form the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (Huddersfield Branch) in late 1948. This was to be the springboard for the acquisition of the two Ukrainian centres that catered for the historical, political, cultural, religious and social needs of an ‘emigre' community for seven decades. These founding members not only survived the horrors of the Second World War, but also the internment that followed in numerous camps for displaced persons, refugees and prisoners of war scattered across Germany, Austria and Italy. As they successfully settled in Huddersfield as European Voluntary Workers and integrated into the multicultural fabric of the town, they also managed to retain their national identity and language and maintained the fight for Ukrainian independence and sovereignty, enabling successive generations of Ukrainians to stay true to their roots.

A small number of that first generation of Ukrainians were present at Saturday’s event and were an absolute delight to speak with.

Mr Drapan concluded by saying that we will forever be indebted to them for their sacrifice, passion, dedication and love for an embattled nation - qualities which they have successfully passed down to their successors.

The Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Gwen Lowe, thanked the Association for its invitation and spoke highly of the community’s longstanding contribution to the town of Huddersfield before unveiling a plaque in the memorial gardens to mark this historic milestone.

 

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