Row left to right...Dr.Robert Batt, Organist; Pastor Andres Rebane; Myron Petriew, Canadian Ukrainian Congress; Pastor Vida Jaugelis,Lithuanian community;Milvi Puusepp St.Peters Estonian Church chairman ; Mark Warawa,Member of Parliament,Langley,BC; Vello Püss, VES, Vancouver Estonian Society ; Kris Lubowski, "Gazeta Polska Club"; Arvo Marits, EKN; Estonian Central Council. Back row left to right: Pastor Heldur Kajaste Estonian Baptist Church; Father Edward Evanko, Ukrainian Catholic Church; Father Roman Tsaplan, Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver; Harry Jaako, Honourary Consul to Estonia in Vancouver; Martin Kuuskmann, Bassoonist. Photo by Pastor Heldur Kajaste
Pühapäev, 09 September 2012 13:39
Estonian Life No. 36 2012
This year's Black Ribbon Day ceremony in Vancouver was organized by the Estonian community and commemorated in St. Peter's Estonian Church. Ninety members and officials from the Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Polish communities participated in the hour-long ceremony, and included Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley, B.C., representing Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism; Harry Jaako, Honourary Consul to Estonia in Vancouver; Mir Hutsulak, Honourary Consul to Ukraine in B.C.; Myroslav Petriw, Member of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress; Kris Lukowski, "Gazeta Polska Club"; and Vello Püss, council member of the Vancouver Estonian Society.
Mr. Warawa reiterated in his speech Canada's commitment to the founding principles of the Black Ribbon Day resolution passed by parliament in 2009. He also expressed a great enthusiasm for the event, the first he had attended, and promised his future participation in the coming years. The speeches given by Jaako, Petriw and Lukowski each described the historical and emotional consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact on their countries, and they all emphasized the need to remember the lessons of history so that such tragedies not be repeated. Jaako quoted President Toomas Hendrik Ilves' speech given on the 21st anniversary of Estonia's regained independence, August 20: "We must become accustomed to the fact that when we speak about the present, comparing it with the past becomes less relevant. And in many ways this is good and right. Because for how long can we remain depressed about the past? It is easier to lead our lives when the past has gradually freed us from its oppressive shackles.
Even so, the rapid onset of amnesia is somewhat frightening. Especially since we know what complete forgetting can lead to."
Candles decorated with the colours of Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine were lit by members of the respective communities and white carnations were laid by the candles by all who wished to remember those who had perished. A minute of silence was then held for the victims.
Prayers were led by Pastor Andres Rebane and included participation by Pastor Heldur Kajaste of the Vancouver Estonian Baptist Church, Edward Evanko of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Pasotr Vida Jaugelis of the Lithuanian community.
A beautiful musical solo was performed by Estonian bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, and Dr. Robert Batt played the pre- and postludes on the organ.
Many thanks must go to the organizers of the event: Milvi Puusepp and Pastor Rebane. Arvo Marits, EKN, performed the master of ceremony duties.