In the May 8 article headlined “Veteran who helped bring 30,000 Ukrainian refugees to Canada to be honored in the U.K.,” Paul Waldie, Europe correspondent for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, writes about Bohdan Panchuk and the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association, an organization he co-founded at the time of World War II.
“… the former schoolteacher from Saskatchewan, who enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 and landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944, became a key figure in helping more than 30,000 Ukrainian refugees come to Canada after the war,” Mr. Waldie informed readers.
His article also noted that Panchuk and the UCSA were to be recognized as part of Britain’s 75th-anniversary celebration of Victory in Europe Day. “A service was planned at St. James’s Church in London to unveil a stained glass window in honor of the association, which operated out of the church’s vicarage,” but the ceremony was postponed until November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Globe and Mail story also included this information:
“After D-Day, Mr. Panchuk was stationed across Europe as Allied forces moved eastward. Almost everywhere he went, he ran into camps full of Ukrainian refugees. He started organizing relief committees and handing out Canadian Red Cross cards to ensure the refugees received basic necessities.…
“Around 2 million Ukrainians had been displaced by the war. When the fighting ended, their fate grew uncertain. The Soviets demanded they return to Ukraine, which had been absorbed into the Soviet Union, and thousands were deported from Poland to the USSR. Mr. Panchuk wanted as many as possible to come to Canada.
“He stayed in Britain after the war and launched an intense lobbying campaign together with his wife, Anne Cherniawsky, a Canadian servicewoman he’d met at the UCSA. Over the next seven years, the Panchuks and other UCSA members cajoled ambassadors, civil servants, military leaders and anyone else that came to mind.
“As a result of their efforts between 30,000 and 40,000 Ukrainian refugees came to Canada; thousands more went to Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. …”
To read the full text of the article, go to: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-veteran-who-helped-bring-30000-ukrainian-refugees-to-canada-to-be/.