For immediate release (St. Paul, Alberta -- Edmonton -- Ottawa: September 30, 2019)
Members of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) and its activist counterpart, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA), on Sat. Sept. 28 unveiled Canada’s newest monument dedicated to remembering the country’s first national internment operations, in St. Paul, Alta.
Titled 21 Strands, the monument is unique, composing not just a trilingual educational (English-French-Ukrainian) plaque, but also an image of internees standing behind 21 horizontal lengths of Canadian barbed wire.
Well over 100 people attended the unveiling ceremony, presided over by Caroline Yewchin from the local Ukrainian community. Among those who spoke or laid wreaths were St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller, Chairperson of Champions for Change Penny Fox, a representative of the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, as well as delegates from the Edmonton Chapter of the League of Ukrainian Canadians. Special thanks to Rev. Fr. Peter Haugen of the All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and Fr. Andrij Nykyforuk of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church.
“We’re very pleased with the evocative appearance of the monument, as well as the local turnout for the unveiling,” said newly elected UCCLF chair Borys Sydoruk. “I’d like to thank the St. Paul community, particularly Dr. Amil Shapka and his son Tanis for their extraordinary efforts in making this monument possible. We couldn’t have done it without them and so many others, and we hope to do similar educational and commemorative projects throughout Kalyna Country, and elsewhere in Canada.”
Members also discussed near future initiatives, including a project title "Heroes of Their Day," which will honour the Ukrainian Canadian men and women who volunteered for overseas duty during the Second World War, some of whom helped rescue and settle Ukrainian displaced persons from war-torn Europe to Canada.
This project will involve the unveiling of a commemorative stained-glass window in London, England in the spring of 2020.
The public is invited to financially support this project and others by donating at www.ucclf.ca
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