On Friday 19th October we had the honour to host a small group of residents from Kalyna Care to our museum “Bishop Ivan Prasko Memorial Library and Museum of Ukrainian Arts and Crafts”.

The museum is located on the same premises as the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Eparchial and Parish offices, community hall, Bishop’s and priests’ residence, Basilian Sisters’ Convent, Ukrainian Parish school and Child Care Centre. According to the late Fr Zenon Chorkawyj, curator of the museum, the purpose of the museum “is to preserve and expand the knowledge of Ukrainian culture in Australia.” This, it certainly does, with over 30 exhibitions hosted over the past 50 years.

In 1968 when Fr Zenon returned to Melbourne after completing his studies in Rome and visiting many museums in Europe his proposal to establish one in Melbourne was not only encourage by the late Bishop Ivan Prasko but also a space was provided under the Cathedral.  On the 3rd August 1979 we had the official opening of the present museum. Under the patronage of Bishop Ivan and now Bishop Peter Stasiuk today we have over 10,000 of historical and cultural artefacts catalogued. Objects in the collection offer a fascinating and educational insight into Ukrainian religious, cultural and historical life. We need to thank the late Fr Zenon whose enthusiasm and guidance worked so diligently with the many faithful volunteers in establishing and developing such a priceless collection we have today.

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Two of visitors from Kalyna Care, Ms Oksana Tarnawska and Mr Michael Hanytsky, who, for many years alongside many other faithful volunteers, worked with the late Fr. Zenon. They were very keen to share their stories of the pioneer work that was done to set up the museum and were pleased that the work continues.

The Ukrainian Museum is open every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. The current exhibition on display in the church hall is “Embroidered blouses and shirts from the different regions of Ukraine”. Visitors are most welcome.

Stephanie Neugebauer, The Church and Life Newspaper, September 2018