December 4, 2020

An indelible legacy


Forty-three years is, indeed, a serious chunk of time.  And it is even more certainly an impossible task to encapsulate the impact Roma Hadzewycz has had on this newspaper, which has been published without fail – without ever missing an issue – for 87 years.

Many newspapers never made it that long.  The list of newspapers that have been published for 87 years – and that are still published today – is even smaller.  This list will likely shrink further as more and more newspapers across the globe cease publication of their physical editions.

In this context, The Ukrainian Weekly’s legacy should command our respect.

Now consider that for 40 of those exceptional 87 years this newspaper has been led by the same editor-in-chief, Roma Hadzewycz.

For four decades Ms. Hadzewycz has held this newspaper and its staff to the highest journalistic standards while covering news in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora, be it a local community event or news of Ukraine’s independence in 1991.  For the past four decades, the editor-in-chief of this newspaper took upon her shoulders a very heavy responsibility.  She did so with a small but dedicated staff, and delivered on deadline a trusted, reliable newspaper.

For her work, she was awarded the Shevchenko Freedom Award by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Order of Princess Olha (third degree) by the president of Ukraine.  Ms. Hadzewycz has certainly earned her rest and retirement.  But more than that – she has earned our respect and gratitude.

Alas, she is a consummate journalist who most certainly would prefer that we shine a proverbial light on the news rather than have her stand under the spotlight and be the news.  Our apologies in advance, dear Roma, but in this case you are the news!  You have left an indelible legacy on a newspaper already rich with history.

We believe that the best way to honor Ms. Hadzewycz’s achievement and express our gratitude for her service to Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora is to soldier on with the job – to ensure that the journalistic standards set do not fall or falter, to ensure that The Weekly continues to be a voice for Ukrainians around the globe, and to ensure that light continues to shine brightly on our community and Ukraine and that it never dim.

The Weekly has done this important work in the past.  It did so when information about Soviet Ukraine was shrouded behind an Iron Curtain.  It did so when information about the nuclear disaster in Chornobyl was purposefully concealed and manipulated to hide the full scale of the catastrophe, and, most notably, it did so as part of its founding mission to tell the world the truth of the Holodomor – the Great Famine of 1932-1933.

As Ms. Hadzewycz stated previously, thanks and recognition must also be given to the Ukrainian National Association, which has published both this newspaper and the Ukrainian-language Svoboda.  Without UNA’s vision and dedication to both publications, the work done by these historic newspapers would not be possible.

On that note, there is much work left to be done, and there remain untold stories both great and small about Ukraine, about Ukrainians around the globe, and about our UNA members that deserve to be told.  We will aspire to tell those stories and continue to build on this newspaper’s great legacy.

The job continues.  Now on to the next issue of The Ukrainian Weekly!