Wrapping up its tour across the USA, the Holodomor Remembrance Flame will make a brief return to Canada this weekend starting in Hamilton last night and touring southern Ontario and Montreal before making its last stop in Ottawa:
Lidia Prokomenko remembers eating acorns and chewing grass to survive, and watching her neighbours die, during the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33.
Now 83 and living in St. Catharines, Prokomenko was just eight years old when she witnessed dead bodies strewn on the streets of her childhood hometown of Harkiw.
“It was worse than anything,” said Prokomenko.
“It was worse than the (Second World) war.”
In 2003, the Senate of Canada voted to recognize the famine as a genocide and encourage historians, educators and parliamentarians to include the true facts of the famine in future educational material.
The House of Commons has yet to follow suit.
For years, many Ukrainians were too afraid to speak about the forced starvation out of fear for relatives who remained under the power of the Soviet Union, said Alexandra Sawchuk, who is a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, St. Catharines branch. There are 35 Holodomor survivors in Niagara.
Here is the schedule of the rest of the stops this weekend:
|May 23||Toronto, ON – TBA|
|May 23||Windsor, ON – TBA|
|May 24||Hamilton, ON – 1:00PM Sir John A. McDonald Secondary School (130 Bay Street)|
|May 24||Montreal, PQ – 5:00 pm Place du Canada (Rene Levesque Boulevard & Peel Street)|
|May 26||Ottawa, ON – 4:00PM Parliament Hill with participation of Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and His Excellency President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine.
Listings courtesy Ukrainian Canadian Congress