On the 7th of March 2010 after Sunday mass Ukrainians in Brisbane gathered together at the Ukrainian Community Centre in South Brisbane to commemorate the 196th Anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth.
At midday Mr Ostap Kurlak, secretary of the Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc. (UCQ) welcomed members and guests to the Ukrainian Community Centre and explained
that the commemoration would be divided into two parts.
The first part being the commemorative luncheon and the second part the concert program.
The very reverend Mykola Serdiuk and Father Jarko Pasok were invited to bless the meal.
A beautiful buffet lunch was prepared by a very dedicated group of ladies, led by Mrs Marie Cuda and Mrs Mary Hughes.
ABOVE: Some of the ladies who prepared the lunch.
Left to right: Mrs Olya French, Mrs Mary Hughes, Mrs Olena Chomyn and Ms Nataliya
ABOVE: Mrs Marie Cuda – Looking after our guests at lunch.
ABOVE: The concert began with an opening address by the president of UCQ – Mr Stephan Chomyn, standing in front of the UCQ Choir with some of our youngest members of our community holding a portrait of Taras Shevchenko.
Stephan reminded everyone that our community here in Brisbane, since it’s formation has always arranged a gathering in March to commemorate and honour the life of Taras Shevchenko, and that it was his hope that this tradition of showing our respect for this great man will continue.
The president declared the concert program open and the choir then sang ‘Zapovit’.
The community choir performed three songs under the direction of young choirmaster Tomas Miljenovic, this performance also included a recital by Mrs Marusia Maccormick. The choir started with “Reve Ta Stohne” and “Taka Jii Dolja” and ended with “Uchitysja Braty Moji”.
Ostap spoke about Shevchenko’s influence in the rebirth of Ukrainian national identity in the dopovid. Then followed with a short talk, in English, about Shevchenko translator Vera Rich,
ending with her translation of “Zapovit”.
The next item on the program was an acoustic performance by our UCQ Musical Trio. A medley of five well know Taras Shevchenko songs played by Stephan Chomyn on piano accordion and Tomas Miljenovic on clarinet, joined by mezzo-soprano singer Ms Lyudmila Kelloway singing “Dumy Moji”, “Nashcho Meni Chorni Brovy” and “Jak By Meni Cherevichky”.
ABOVE: Ms Lyudmila Kelloway, Mr Stephan Chomyn and Mr Tomas Miljenovic.
The choir returned to perform two more songs “Po Dibrovy Viter Vyje” and “Plavaj Plavaj Ledebonjka”, which included a recital by Mrs Kataryna Miljenovic.
Special guest Yulia Raj from Ukraine entertained the audience with a beautiful rendition of the song “Cheremshyna” and “Ukrajino”.
Yulia, new to Queensland’s Gold Coast, has already performed at the “Brisbane Malanka 2010” and at “Shedrij Vechir” celebrations.
We welcome Yulia to Brisbane and trust that she will enjoy being part of our Ukrainian community. A future concert evening with Yulia is planned.
ABOVE: Ukrainian contemporary singer Yulia Raj.
At the conclusion of the concert UCQ President thanked all those who helped with all the preparations for the luncheon and the concert.
He particularly thanked the priests for blessing the meal, Mrs Marusia Maccormick and Mrs Kataryna Miljenovic for their recitals, the young members of our community, the choir director Tomas Miljenovic for his persistence, and all the choir members who make the effort to come to rehearsals and to perform, the UCQ musical trio for their performance, Mr Tomas Miljenovic on Clarinet and especially Ms Lyudmila Kelloway for her splendid singing.
Stephan thanked Yulia for coming to our commemoration and for taking part in the concert, and that we look forward to hearing more of Yulia’s singing in our community centre.
Our President in his closing remarks pointed out to the audience that the new vertical blinds on the windows and the newly installed air-conditioning in our community centre, a long time dream of his committee, was made possible because of the most charitable donation made by the late Mrs Maria Wajda.
Stephan in this acknowledgement of Mrs Wajda’s gift to our community said that this gesture will forever remain in our memories.