Fifty years have passed since Ukrainians in the Diaspora received the solemn and tragic news that the Leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists was no longer with us.
On Wednesday, 15 October 1959, Stepan Bandera was assassinated.
His death occurred on the doorstep of his home in Munich, Germany where he lived with his wife Jaroslava and three children Natalka, Andrij and Oleksandra.
News about the death of Stepan Bandera was covered by the world press.
The following day, the Leadership of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists in Exile was formally advised of this tragic event. They announced a period of official mourning which lasted from 15 October to 15 December 1959.
The death of Stepan Bandera also touched the lives of Ukrainians in this area. I well remember how the CYM members of our Oseredok and students of the Ukrainian School sent a sympathy card to Pani Bandera, and then received a ‘Thank You’ card from her.
In the book – ‘The Assassins of Bandera Before the Court’, on pages 508-509, amongst the expressions of sympathy is recorded the names of our CYM members and students of the Ukrainian School.
On the 1st November 1959 in the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Gregory in Queanbeyan, the late Rev. Father Dacyshyn conducted a solemn Panahyda. Wreaths were laid at the symbolic grave. After the service Rev. Father Dacyshyn provided a solemn and moving eulogy.
On Sunday, 18 October 2009, our CYM members gathered in the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Archangel Michael in Canberra to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Stepan Bandera’s death.
We came in our CYM uniforms and with our CYM flag and Ukrainian flag to pay homage to a Great Son of Ukraine.
Our Parish Priest, Rev. Father Oleh Stefanyshyn conducted a solemn and moving Sacred Liturgy and Panahyda, with yunak Markian Stefanyshyn as the alter boy.
Stepan Bandera remains for the Ukrainian nation a symbol of uncompromising integrity and commitment to the ideal of a free and independent Ukraine.
Podryhy Marusya Jacyshyn and Sonya Heaney
Patron Colonel Evhen Konovalets