WHEREAS, we have come together here today to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ukrainian National Association, Inc., a fraternal benefit society that has served the Ukrainian community in the United States and Canada for over a century; and
WHEREAS, 125 years ago today, on February 22, 1894, a group of dedicated community leaders, immigrants from Ukraine gathered together in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, deeply concerned over the plight of their brethren immigrants in their new homeland, America. Hard-working immigrants who found themselves in dangerous working conditions, subject to injury and death, financial hardships, discrimination and bias; and
WHEREAS, these founding fathers heeded the following call for unity that appeared in the Association’s publication, “Svoboda”: “Ukrainians scattered across this land need a national organization, namely a brotherhood, a national union that would embrace each and every Ukrainian no matter where he lives… For in unity there is strength and it is not easily defeated”; and
WHEREAS, these founding fathers established a fraternal society – a brotherhood, whose mission was to provide financial security to its members, and to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans; and
WHEREAS, fraternal societies like the Ukrainian National Association exemplify the “take care of your own” spirit that helped build America and continue to give billions of dollars back to the American public in the form of community service volunteer hours, donations, and educational scholarships; and
WHEREAS, today, at 125 years of age, the Ukrainian National Association has grown far beyond what it was at the time of its founding in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, yet has remained steadfastly devoted to its founding principles.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, we, Mayor John J. Brown, Mayor of the City of Shamokin, and the City Council of Shamokin
(1) Wish the Ukrainian National Association further success in its mission of providing financial assistance to its membership; expanding cultural awareness among the American public of the rich contributions of Ukrainian Americans to America’s mosaic; informing the public about events in the United States, Ukraine and beyond through its newspapers, “Svoboda” (since 1893) and “The Ukrainian Weekly” (since 1933);
(2) Acknowledge the historic significance of Shamokin Pennsylvania, as the birthplace of the Ukrainian National Association – and the foundation of organized community life of Ukrainian Americans in the United States; and
(3) Express their most sincere congratulations to the Ukrainian National Association on its milestone anniversary and its 125 years of exemplary service.
John J. Brown , Mayor