The annual show commemorating St. Mykolai’ (St. Nicholas) was held at the Rochdale AUGB Branch on Saturday 17th December.  This year’s show was called “Nebesniy Mishok” (“The Heavenly Sack”).  It opened with a poem “Na Svyatoho Mykolaya” (On Saint Nicholas’s Day) and was read by one of the Ukrainian Language School teachers, Mrs Olya Kearns.  The narrator was the head of the school, Mrs Maria Kopczyk.  The opening sequence began with the appearance of Svyatyy Mykolai on the stage who was so happy that the weather was good – peaceful and snowy, with the animals still asleep and children awaiting him. 

After he had left the stage, the ‘Snihova Tsarivna’ (Snow Princess), played by Natalka Hewka, entered to clear the snow.  She greeted everyone and continued to prepare the path for the coming of ‘Svyatyy Mykolai’. The ‘Kaban’ (Wild Boar) played by Danylo Vovkun, searched for somewhere to get warm and on finding a sack, hid inside it.  After some time, more animals arrived with similar intent:  ‘Myshka Skryabotuszka’ (Scratchy Mouse): Harry Hoyle; ‘Ptaszka Kraszka’ (Little Bird): Ben Hoyle; ‘Zaychyk Pobihayczyk’ (Runner Hare): Marie Halstead and even ‘Vedmid Nabrid’ (Mucky Bear): Marko Terplyvych.  All found a place in the sack, where they were all warm and happy to share accomodation together. 

Suddenly, a sound was heard and in came Granny and Grandpa (Luba Lawrence and Petro Duczak).  Granny hurried up Grandpa who was struggling to walk with his stick.  Granny loved the snowy view from the bench as the snow began to fall again.  Grandpa however had noticed something lying on the ground and then when he had spotted the animals in the sack, he behgan prodding them with his stick, remarking that there would be a delicious dinner!  Granny shouted out telling him to leave the animals alone but before he could react, the ‘Kaban’ attacked and injured grandpa.

Then bells began to jingle to the sound of “O, khto khto…” ("Oh, who who who loves Mykolai?").  Svyatyy Mykolai enters and greets everyone.  He sees that all the animals had been living well together in the sack and that no one had been turned away.  For their show of goodness he presents them all with tasty presents.

Turning to the audience, he passes on his greetings from Ukraine and remarked that the angels had told him that all of the children in the community had been well behaved.  All the obedient children were then awarded with presents.  Whilst the weather was snowy outside, there were still a good number of children with their parents who attended.

A grateful thanks to the teachers, pupils and helpers who played their parts so well, obtained the costumes and scenery and enriched ‘Svyato Mykolaya’ for all the children present. 

Taras Melnyk      


















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