Father Jim Nakonechny of the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, and chair of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, speaks during the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Father Jim Nakonechny of the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, and chair of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, speaks during the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deerians stand with Ukraine at rally

180 Ukrainians have settled in Central Alberta

Red Deerians voiced their support for Ukraine this weekend.

The Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee hosted the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon.

“The simple message that all of us have today is that we stand with Ukraine and against Russia’s war and atrocities (against) Ukraine,” said Orysia Boychuk, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ Alberta Provincial Council.

“We will remain with Ukraine every inch until peace, freedom and democracy in Ukraine is restored and justice is done. There can be no other outcome.

“The people of Ukraine can count on the unwavering support of Albertans. We will do our utmost to provide for the thousands who seek refuge in our province with everything they need until they can safely return to their homes and their families.”

Father Jim Nakonechny, of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church and chair of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, said as of Friday, 180 Ukrainians have settled in Central Alberta.

Sunday’s rally was a day where people could come together and be there for each other, said Nakonechny.

“We can see everyone standing around and talking. They’re able to see they aren’t alone,” he said.

“A lot of them come here and don’t know each other, so we’re giving those opportunities to have connections. We’re hoping later in August to have a newcomers barbecue, just to bring everyone together.”

The Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee is described as the central resource in Red Deer and Central Alberta for host families and new Ukrainians.

Mayor Ken Johnston said during a speech that Red Deerians admire and celebrate the ability of Ukrainian refugees who are starting a new life in Canada.

“Red Deer stands in awe of the courage of Ukrainians, of their will to be able to fight back in the struggle against the aggressor, to maintain themselves and stand their ground in a noble and just cause,” said Johnston.

The City of Red Deer is offering free transit passes and programs to Ukrainian refugees, Johnston added.

To donate to the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, cheques can be sent to St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church (Aid for Ukrainian Families) at 3932 46 St., Red Deer, AB, T4N 1M1. To E-transfer a donation or for additional information, email ukr.dis.families@gmail.com.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Dozens attended the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Dozens attended the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Zemlia Trio perform during the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Zemlia Trio perform during the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Dozens attended the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Dozens attended the Red Deer Stands With Ukraine rally, hosted by the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee, at City Hall Park Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)