by Myron B. Kuropas

Honoring Lubomyr Luciuk: giving credit where credit is due

Finally, we're making headway. We're getting exceptional press coverage in our drive to convince the Pulitzer people to strip The New York Times scam-artist Walter Duranty of his unmerited prize.

The Ukrainian Weekly has kept tabs on the numerous newspaper and magazine articles that have been generated as a result of the campaign. The best coverage thus far appeared in the July 22-August 4, 2003, issue of Insight, a must read for all Ukrainians.

Who knows. If the pressure continues, even The New York Times may eventually see the light and remove Walter Duranty from its pantheon of outstanding journalists. You think?

Full credit for initiating this extraordinary public relations effort belongs to Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, a Canadian-born Ukrainian. It's Dr. Luciuk who conceived of the idea of a postcard campaign, helped design it, convinced other Ukrainian organizations to fund it and distributed the cards to Ukrainians all over the world.

It was a stroke of genius. Thousands of Ukrainians in Australia, Canada, the United States, South America and Europe became personally involved when they completed and mailed the cards to Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia University.

Dr. Luciuk is well-known in Canada but not in the United States. This is unfortunate because his accomplishments on behalf of all Ukrainians are legendary.

Born in Kingston, Ontario, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, and is now a full tenured professor in the department of politics and economics at the Royal Military College of Canada.

He has some 14 books to his credit including "In Fear of the Barbed Wire Fence: Canada's First National Intern-ment Operations," "Searching for Place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and Migration of Memory," and "Konowal: A Canadian Hero."

Dr. Luciuk also established Kashtan Press, which has published "Scourging of a Nation: CBS and the Defamation of Ukraine," Stefan Petelycky's "Into Aushwitz for Ukraine" and "Welcome to Absurdistan: Ukraine, the Soviet Disunion and the West," and numerous other publications, all of which are indexed and sent to major libraries throughout the world.

As research director for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA), Dr. Luciuk has written extensively on the Canadian internment camp experience of Ukrainians and, with the assistance of other UCCLA members, has placed memorial plaques at 16 internment sites including Fort Henry (Kingston), Banff and Jasper national parks, Nanaimo, Spirit Lake (Quebec), Winnipeg, Toronto (Stanley Barracks). All 24 internment sites will eventually be covered. For more information visit the UCCLA website at www.uccla.ca.

Never shy when it comes to defending Ukraine and Ukrainians, Dr. Luciuk is a frequent contributor to Canadian newspapers, skewering columnists and reporters who misinform their readers on Ukrainian matters. He is especially sensitive to the entire war crimes brouhaha engineered by Sol Littman and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in California.

Dr. Luciuk is the recipient of many honors and awards including the John Sopinka Award for Excellence in Ukrainian Studies and various post-doctoral fellowships and nominations for excellence in teaching.

Occasionally disenchanted by the mainstream Ukrainian Canadian leadership, Dr. Luciuk does not let his feelings interfere with his goal. His mission is to tell the truth, no matter what. Unlike many others of his generation, he remains focused and uninhibited by those Ukrainians who occasionally stand in his way or remain on the sidelines and criticize. He takes on issues that others fear to touch and in this regard he is a maverick. No matter. He has accomplished much and will continue to do so in the future, creatively and significantly.

Ukrainians who refuse to become active in our community because our leaders and our people are not perfect need to take their cue from Dr. Luciuk. Standing on the sidelines and whining about this and that, him and her, won't help. Ukraine and our community in North America need understanding, appreciation, and determined assistance. Don't want to become involved with mainstream Ukrainian organizations? Fine. Become a maverick. But don't stand there. Do something. Be a Luciuk.

Dr. Luciuk just turned 50. Why not send him a "Mnohaya Lita" for his perseverance and many years of creative work on behalf of all of us? He can be reached at luciuk@uccla.ca.

Myron Kuropas' e-mail address is: mbkuropas@compuserve.com.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 3, 2003, No. 31, Vol. LXXI

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