Manchester Branch Chair, Volodymyr Szlachetko, addresses the celebratory audience

On 13 September AUGB Manchester and Bolton Branches jointly celebrated 18 years of Ukraine’s Independence with a major concert at AUGB Community Centre in Bolton. The concert was well attended from the North West with Yevhen Czolij, President of Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), as the main guest.

The concert was opened by Manchester Branch's Cultural Officer, Bohdan Ratycz, who greeted other guests including Rev. J. Rij, Rev. E. Nebesniak, Rev. B.Matwijczuk and Rev. D. Hedilczak.

Mixed choir "Oberih", conducted by Luba Vladuk, opened the programme with a religious theme followed by some lively Ukrainian dancing from the "Podillia" ensemble of Manchester's Ukrainian Youth Association, choreographed by Linda Schlachetko.

It is worth noting that this ensemble had returned from Kyiv, having successfully taken part in the "Zoloti Vorota" International Festival. 

Dr Lubomyr Mazur, Honorary President of the AUGB gave the main address focusing on the positive aspects of 18 years of Ukraine’s Independence.  Yevhen Czolij received a rousing reception for his speech and greetings. Earlier in the day he addressed the community about the work of the World Congress at the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

The youngest members of the community were not excluded on the day and performed as the Petro Dnistrovyk School of Dancing, ably choreographed by Maria Babych. They received rapturous applause for their attempts at performing the most ambitious acrobatic elements of Ukrainian dancing. Their enthusiasm and energy was infectious.

In keeping with the upbeat atmosphere the Kobzar Brotherhood from Bolton sang some traditional Ukrainian folk songs to further raise the spirits of the audience. A highly talented younger member of the community, Lilia Tymczyszyn from Bolton, gave a rendition of Skoryk's "Melodia" on the viola.

The finale of the day was the "Orlyk" dance ensemble, representative group of the AUGB and choreographed by Maria Babych, which performed to its usual high standards. During the summer months "Orlyk" won 1st place at a festival in Spain. 

Volodymyr Szhlachetko, Chairman of AUGB Manchester thanked the participants; everybody sang a "Mnohaja Lita" (Many Years) to Ukraine and the concert concluded with singing of the national anthem.

A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable day made all the more special by the participation of Yevhen Czolij!

Bohdan Ratycz

Ukrayinska Dumka


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