Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Demetrius Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Mykhailo Zienchuk, Parish President, UOC St. Demetrius for New Pathway.

On warm and sunny Sunday November 8th, 2015 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Demetrius in Etobicoke celebrated its 75th Anniversary Parish Khramove Sviato with an Archpastoral Divine Liturgy and celebratory banquet.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Yurij, and His Grace, Bishop Andriy, were greeted first by the parish children with bouquets of roses, then with bread and salt by Mykhailo Zienchuk, parish president, and Oksana Balaban, parish cultural/educational liaison. Finally, Fr. Volodymyr, along with guest clergy Fr. Mykolaj Sidorski, Fr. Bohdan Hladio, Fr. George Gembliuk, Fr. Deacon Borys Melnyk and Subdeacon Franko Diakowsky greeted and escorted Archbishop Yurij and Bishop Andriy into the church. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated to a packed church.

After the Archpastoral Divine Liturgy, a celebratory banquet was held at the Trident Banquet Hall (Ukrainian National Federation) in Etobicoke. Parishioners and guests enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Baby Point Lounge, and experienced a wonderful program of instrumental music, singing and slideshow of photos from 75 years of activities and events at St. Demetrius. During the meal diners were entertained by the beautiful sounds of Oksana Kosarenko playing the harp. A full program was presented with greetings from parish council as well as greetings from representatives of sister parishes. The program included a singing performance by the Junior Youth Choir directed by Oksana Chved and Oksana Klinovska, with a lively solo performance of “Ласкаво просимо” by young Maria Klymenko.

As well, a selection of musical pieces were performed by the violin duet of Basil & Lukian Zmiyiwsky, while the members of our senior youth, CYMK, enthusiastically sang “Ой у вишневому садочку”, and a septet of members of the St. Demetrius Church Choir, under the direction of Victor Kowalenko and Zhanna Zinchenko, sang a trio of liturgical songs.
The program was highlighted with a special performance by the St. Demetrius Bandura Ensemble which included 20 current and former students of the Bandura School from over the last 33 years – the ensemble, directed by Ron Demeda, performed bandura arrangements of the liturgical pieces “Достойно є”, “Херувимська Пісня No7”, and concluded with the lively “Полтавський Марш”.

The afternoon was fortified with words from His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, His Grace Bishop Andriy, and Fr. Walter Makarenko who, in August 2015, started his 25th year as St. Demetrius’ parish priest. The afternoon concluded with the singing of “Достойно є” and then everyone joined hands for the singing of “Де згода в родині” by all present at the banquet. Thank-you to our talented masters-of-ceremonies Liza Zienchuk and Taras Chved, and to Mark and Stefan Olynyk for engineering the sound and lighting.

The 75th Anniversary Organizing Committee, consisting of Michael Kalimin (Chair), Fr. Walter Makarenko, Victor Kowalenko, Natalka Olynyk Kowalenko, Luba Linok-Kalimin, Vera MacIntyre, Tamara Dowhal, Michael Zienchuk, Darcy Moskaluk-Rutkay and Johnny Moskalyk deserve a truly great and sincere thank you for putting the whole day together, and we also must mention work of the Banquet sub-committee, which included: Victor Kowalenko (chair), Natalka Olynyk Kowalenko (organization), Luba Linok-Kalimin and Nadia Linok (decor), Nicholas Kalimin (printed program), Leo Atamanchuk, Ola Cybuchowska, Orysia Manzatiuk, Oksana Balaban, Team A (ticket sales), Helen Spendick (fundraising), and Ron Demeda (photo slideshow). St. Demetrius is grateful to Iwona and the staff of Trident Banquet Hall, as well as to the Baby Point Lounge Catering team for their excellent service, while we give a special thank-you to Dobr. Sonia Melnyk for the wonderful and delicious 75th Anniversary Cake.

Finally, St. Demetrius invites all of the Toronto Ukrainian community to join in the continued celebration of their 75th Anniversary by attending, on March 5, 2016, the SnowDrop Gala at the historical and elegant Old Mill Banquet hall in Toronto. A wonderful dinner program featuring the incomparable Irene Atman, as well as virtuoso Ron Demeda concluding with dancing to the music of “Zirka” will surely make this a memorable night out. Proceeds from the SnowDrop Gala will go towards supporting St. Demetrius as it continues to serve the Ukrainian community in Toronto. Tickets are available through St. Demetrius’ office by calling 416-255-7506.