The traditional Easter Bazaar of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port last Friday and Saturday was very successful.

Attendance was impressive and consisted of both, local residents and out of town guests. Food servers had to work very hard and fast to serve the guests. Food was prepared in the parish kitchen inside and also grilled outside next to a large tent rented by the Bazaar Committee.

One of the features of this bazaar was the guided tour of the interior of this beautiful church. The tour was conducted several times each day by an active parishioner Mrs. Neonilia Lechman of Venice, who provided the visitors with an in depth explanation of the Ukrainian Byzantine iconography, significance of icons in the worship, icons in the “Iconostasis” (wall of icons separating the sanctuary from the “Church of the Faithful”), and answered many questions.

According to Mrs. Lechman some 70-80 individuals took advantage of the guided tours.

The church was open all time and several individuals were being observed to enter the church to view the interior, or to pray in private.

The Rev. Vasyl Petriv, pastor, thanked all who cooperated with each other and worked so hard during the days preceding the Bazaar when preparing for it and during the two days when they had to face and serve the public.

• • •

It was 80 years ago, April 15, 1939, the Soym (parliament) of the Carpathian Ukraine, heretofore an autonomous region of Czechoslovakia, declared independence of Carpathian Ukraine.

This act was not in the plans of Adolf Hitler, who backed the invasion of the new Republic by the Hungarian military forces. The hastily assembled defense units of the Carpathian Ukraine were no match for the modern, heavily armed Hungarian Army, and the new Republic became Hungarian.

The area is now officially known as Zakarpatska (Transcarpathian) oblast of Ukraine.

• • •

During the month of April in 1942 German occupiers executed many Ukrainian patriots in the city of Kryvyi Rih. Executed was Anna Maksymets, member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Serhiy Sherstiuk, and many others.

In April 1945, a physician, poet, writer, and a member of Ukrainian Liberation movement, Dr. Yuriy Lypa was murdered by Communist Russian NKVD (predecessor of KGB).

• • •

Ukrainians in Ukraine (and many who live outside of Ukraine) are anxiously awaiting the debate between President Petro Poroshenko, who is running to be re-elected for another term, and his challenger, showman Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The debate, to be held in the Olympiyskyi Stadium will take place April 19.

The request to hold the debate at the Olympiyskyi Stadium was made by Volodymyr Zelenskiy and President Poroshenko reluctantly agreed.

It is being pointed out that the candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy has no political experience, never held an elected office, and is widely known only as actor and comedian.

Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at atanask@aol.com.

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