Following the public meeting held in Manchester on Oct 19th in relation to the community hall rebuild, an article appeared on the AUGB website and was subsequently re-printed in the Ukrayinska Dumka newspaper.  The Manchester Branch Chair, Mike Mandzij, complained to the AUGB Secretary (23.10.08.) stating that some of the detail was factually incorrect, specifically in relation to the status of a particular community member who had made a number of  comments and proposals during the meeting (even though the person concerned is an AUGB member and an active member of the local community).

Responding on Oct 24th, the AUGB General Secretary, Fedir Kurlak, stated that the report had been prepared purely on the basis of an audio recording of the meeting.  He suggested to Mike Mandzij that the latter writes a response to the editor of Dumka stating his views publicly.  However it would be far more productive for everyone concerned if all efforts were focused on the issue of the insurance claim which was and is, the key to the new hall build commencing sooner rather than later.

A number of other issues were also raised in the same email which were subsequently followed up by a further e-mail to the Manchester Branch on 30.10.08. requesting:

  • confirmation that the AUGB President and Secretary would be copied in to all email and letter correspondence regarding the insurance claim to keep them fully up to date with developments as they happen;
  • an updated business plan (requested several times previously) together with
  • a copy of the £1M base case project which Mike Sywanyk referred to for the first time during the meeting on 19 October and
  • the addresses of AUGB Manchester Branch members (email or postal) for the purposes of sending them a copy of the transcript-extract from the meeting of AUGB Rada and Manchester Branch Committee held on 29 March 2008. 

On 3 November Manchester Branch Committee replied by stating that:

  • A date for the Insurance Mediation meeting had not been set, however committee member Mrs Olya Reynolds would maintain contact regarding the insurance claim issue.
  • The Manchester Branch Treasurer “has refused to prepare a new business plan until  the new hall project has been agreed and supported by the Committee”.
  • “The project for a £1M build was presented by Mike Sywanyk to the AUGB AGM held in Huddersfield in 2006 as Plan #3.  The AGM took the view that this plan was not suitable for our needs.”
  • If a list of members is required, contact should be made with the local Branch organisational officer.

The General Council (Rada) in a lengthy response dated 5 November re-iterated its earlier requests for information (of Oct 24th and 30th). 

It is imperative that the AUGB governing body, and as such all the AUGB membership, is kept up to date on developments in the matter of the insurance claim.

It is equally vital that the Manchester Branch prepares a budget and business plan without further delay inasmuch as it will provide an assurance to Rada, all AUGB members and most importantly of all to the local membership that the ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs of the hall build project can be sustained – i.e. that the Manchester community will be able to cope with the on-going costs (covering running repairs, maintenance, utilities, rates etc.) upon completion of the build.

Likewise the base case project of £1m supported by a budget and business plan is vital as it will identify the on-going costs associated with the base relative to meeting the long term viability and needs of the local community. More so as the AUGB AGM 2005 minutes referred to made no mention of such a base case proposal being presented or discussed.

It is hoped that the Manchester Branch Committe will be in a position to attend to each of the requests made without delay.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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