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St. Michael's Day in Melbourne

On Sunday 24th November, the Melbourne and Geelong branches of the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM), came together at the CYM property "Karpaty" in Buxton, to celebrate the feast day of their patron, Archangel Michael.

Each year, the day is kick-started by a parade of CYM members and this year was no different. At the assembly, which followed, the president of the CYM Melbourne board, Dr Christina Moravski welcomed all members and guests to the wonderful property; she also took the opportunity to thank the pioneers who had the foresight to acquire the land for the generations to come. This year, CYM Geelong celebrates 50 years since its formation, on behalf of the CYM Melbourne branch; Christina thanked their neighbouring branch for their cooperation over the many years and presented the vice-president Steven Tkaczuk with a framed certificate. Also in her speech, Christina told of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33, for which 70-year commemorations have begun and asked for a minute silence to remember this atrocious genocide.

Every Tuesday throughout the school year, CYM members work hard in their CYM youth groups. On Sunday, many of these members received badges in recognition for passing written badge tests, many of which, according to the senior leader were "of excellent standard". In addition, some members pledged their oaths and moved on to the next level of CYM, receiving the appropriate coloured tie.

An organization such as CYM works and grows only through the voluntary work of its members. Some of these members specialise in a certain area and therefore CYM recognises this achievement through an appropriate award, these fall in many categories such as Culture, Sport, Education, International relations, Society and Housekeeping. Awards in all of the above categories were handed out at the assembly. After assembly, Father Simon Ckyj said mass. Himself a former member of the organization, Fr Simon spoke fittingly to the youth, explaining what it meant to be a good member of CYM, society and therefore a good Christian and in a touching gesture included the youngest members in the mass bringing them up around the alter to witness the consecration of the body and blood of Christ.

After mass, there was lunch and after lunch the Bulava organised and ran a wonderful afternoon of games and activities. There was something for everyone, with face painting, all kinds of races and coloured hairspray. Three legs raced here and there and many eggs bounced their way across the field separated from their spoons. Those who needed a few minutes to get their breath back could sit and colour in, or play a board game. On the sports field even the hot sun couldn't stop the energetic game of volleyball and soccer, with many a young foot deftly sweeping the ball away from an older member.

As the sun made moves to set in the sky and it was time to head home, it was clear from the looks on people's faces that they'd rather stay. Karpaty was left deserted, but the sound of the laughter and the memories from the fun day fill the hearts of every CYM member.

From the Board of the Ukrainian Youth Association - Melbourne Branch

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