WASHINGTON – In a music career spanning over 60 years, Myroslav Skoryk became Ukraine’s most celebrated composer. He produced a stunning array of compositions. His unique and colorful language could be heard in all forms of orchestral music, choral music, ballet, opera (Pope John Paul II blessed and financed the Lviv premiere of his opera “Moses”), chamber music, concerti and solo pieces for piano and violin, as well as music scores for over 40 films, the most famous of which was Paradzhanov’s “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (1965). Most recently, He was artistic director of the Kyiv Opera in 2011-2016.
EDMONTON, Alberta – The Ukrainian Diaspora Studies Initiative (UDSI) at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) lost a close friend and supporter with the passing of Doris Kule on March 15. She was 99. The UDSI is but one of many scholarly projects and programs across Canada that she and her husband, Peter Kule, made possible through their generous philanthropy.
Such contributions were recalled in several tributes. Dr. Lesley Cormack, dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, described Mrs. Kule as a “passionate and beloved community leader and a true champion of education,” who, together with her husband, “left an indelible mark on the University of Alberta through their generous support of world class, interdisciplinary research.”
TORONTO – Prof. Oleh Hornykiewicz, internationally renowned brain researcher and one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, passed away May 26 in Vienna, Austria. He was 93. His greatest achievement and contribution to humanity came early in his career, in 1960, when he discovered the cause of Parkinson’s disease. A year later he initiated the first clinical trials of medication to treat this disorder.
His development of L-dopa for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease revolutionized treatment and remains the cornerstone of therapy today. Thousands of patients worldwide have benefitted from his research and discoveries. For his work Prof. Hornykiewicz received numerous prestigious international honors, awards and distinctions.
NEW YORK – Helen Perozak Smindak, a journalist well-known to the Ukrainian community, passed away on Saturday, May 16, in New York City from complications of COVID-19. She was 91. Ms. Smindak was a longtime columnist and feature writer for The Ukrainian Weekly. In 1957-1958, she was an editor of the newspaper, but her byline appeared on The Weekly’s pages for decades. Helen Irene Perozak was born in Fort William (now known as Thunder Bay), Ontario, on October 18, 1928.
ByHalya Coynash/Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group |
Zinoviy Antoniuk, former Soviet-era dissident, publicist and human rights defender, has died at the age of 86, after many years of illness.
He was not one of the most prominent of the former dissidents, but was a very original and deep thinker and would invariably speak in defense of the persecuted, including during the regime of Viktor Yanukovych.
ByFB page of Archbishop-Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia |
PHILADELPHIA – Metropolitan-Archbishop emeritus Stephen Sulyk, who headed the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States in 1981-2000, died on April 6 at the age of 95. A day earlier, he had been hospitalized with symptoms of the coronavirus.
Archbishop-Metropolitan Borys Gudziak wrote on Facebook on April 5: “A few hours ago, Archbishop Stephen was hospitalized. He is presenting the symptoms of COVID-19, and his vital signs are weak. The Archbishop is receiving comfort care. Everything is in the Lord’s hands.”
Metropolitan Borys provided the following biography of the deceased hierarch.
PHILADELPHIA – On Saturday, January 11, the Ukrainian American community of Philadelphia bid its final farewell to Dr. George A. Perfecky, retired professor of foreign languages at La Salle University. The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church was filled to capacity with family, friends, colleagues and two generations of former students. Also in attendance was the past president of the university, Brother Michael McGinness, FSC. After an insightful homily delivered by Father John Ciurpita , Prof. Leo Rudnytzky read a very stirring and deeply meaningful letter of condolences sent by Archbishop-Metropolitan Borys Gudziak.
The Rev. Protodeacon Slavko (Sviatoslav) Nowytski, 85, left the world peacefully on Thanksgiving, November 28, 2019. He was a filmmaker, director, producer, historian, Ukrainian patriot and man of deep faith. He was born in Torchyn, Ukraine, on October 19, 1934; his family fled the war via Warsaw and Paris prior to emigrating to Canada in 1950. After earning his master’s degree in communications at Columbia University in New York, Mr. Nowytski joined CBS as an editor, working on now-historic raw footage, including the Newark riots and the Woodstock music festival.
TORONTO – With the death of Morris John (Myroslav Ivan) Diakowsky on November 8 at the age of 92, the Ukrainian global community lost a distinguished figure, widely respected for his effective leadership, professionalism and wise counsel. Throughout his long life, Mr. Diakowsky was dedicated to public service. He valued faith and family, culture and education, and left a lasting legacy in these areas through his career with Radio Liberty, his involvement in numerous Ukrainian organizations, notably the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies (CFUS), as well as through his activities as one of the world’s foremost bandura experts.
PHILADELPHIA – Ihor Alexander Shust, a Ukrainian community activist and a former senior vice-president of Wells Fargo, died peacefully at home on November 20 after a long illness. He was 87. Born in Ukraine in 1932, he came to the United States as an adolescent and settled in Philadelphia. He graduated from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently completed the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management at Harvard School of Business.