1981: an overview


The year 1981 is sure to be a memorable one in the history of the UNA and the Ukrainian community at large because this was the year that the Ukrainian National Association and the Ukrainian Fraternal Association formally announced promoting Ukrainian culture, the plans to merge the two fraternal organizations into one Ukrainian National Fraternal Association. The merger would create a 110,000-member-strong institution with $57 million in assets. Officers of the UNA and UFA met at several meetings during the year to discuss the details of the merger.

This year was also a notable year in terms of the record $45,000 of scholarships that the UNA awarded to Ukrainian students in the United States and Canada.

Because it was the year before the 30th Regular UNA Convention, which is to be held in May 1982 in Rochester, N.Y., it was a time of preparation for the quadrennial event that is sure to be one of the major determining factors as far as the future of the Ukrainian community in the diaspora is concerned.

On September 20, the UNA honored the founder of Svoboda, the Rev. Hryhory Hrushka, when a monument to him was moved from a vandalized park in Cleveland to Soyuzivka and rededicated there during a special ceremony.

In line with its long tradition of promoting Ukrainian culture, the UNA sponsored a program titled "Ukrainian Opera in Concert" in New York's Carnegie Hall on November 15. The concert featured the music of Ukrainian composers as performed by the 100-member Ukrainian Canadian Opera Chorus, the American Symphony Orchestra, soloists Victoria Masnyk, Hanna Kolesnyk, Leonid Skirko and Bohdan Chaplynsky - all under the baton of Wolodymyr Kolesnyk. In previous years, the UNA had sponsored performances of Mykola Arkas's opera "Kateryna," Paul Pecheniha-Ouglitzky's "The Witch" and Leonid Rudnytsky's "Anna Yaroslavna."

Also in November, on the 14th, the UNA was co-sponsor, along with the University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center and Minnesota UCCA branch, of program titled "Ukrainians in North America: a historical commemoration." During the event, Dr. Wasyl Halich, author of "The Ukrainians in the United States," the first work on Ukrainians in America published in the English language (1937), was honored as "distinguished Immigration scholar."

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 27, 1981, No. 52, Vol. LXXXVIII

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