Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna
Branch No. 2

The organizational meeting of the Organization for the defense of Lemkivshchyna Branch No. 2 was opened by the late Father Basil Klos, on June 30, 1957, in St. Michael's Church hall with Stephen Zenecky as Chairman. The first board of officers consisted of John Sivik, Dmytro Malyk, Peter Kurylo, George Kowalczyk, Peter Rusynko, John Pecylak, Mary Sivik, Seman Banyckyj, Mary Nebeska, John Honczak, Theodore Mychalak, Iwanna Byniowsky, Andrew Tacyn and Stephen Zenecky.
The Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna was founded in New York City in 1936 to serve as an antidote against pro-Russian and pro-Communist propaganda among the Lemkos and to alleviate the religious, national and social oppression to which they were2 being subjected in their native land under a hostile foreign regime.
The Yonkers Branch of the O.D.L. did not confine its enlightening activity to Yonkers alone but it also promoted an intense organizational effort throughout the United States and Canada, as a result of which twenty new branches were established. In order to attain its goal of combating the pro-Russian and pro-Communist propaganda, Branch No. 2 began the publication of a newspaper called "The Lemko News". The first edition appeared in April of 1958. This was made possible only through interested efforts of its editor Stephen Zenecky, typesetter George Kowalczyk and members who helped the expediting of the paper without remuneration.
In 1963 the office of The Lemko News was transferred to Toronto, Canada. The Branch financed the publication of two books: "Our National Name" by Stephen Zenecky in 1961 and "Lemkivshchyna in Its Struggle for Reunion with Ukraine" by John Krasowsky in 1965. During its seventeen-year existence, the Branch has aided relatives and countrymen in Lemkivshchyna by sending food, clothing and money, as well as funds to help repair and maintain Lemko churches.
The Yonkers Branch of the "Oborona Lemkivshchyny" initiated and conducted the first "Meeting of American and Canadian Lemkos" in Yonkers in the spring of 1965. The blessing of the branch banner took place during the second of these "Meetings" in 1965 of which the local branch was again the host. The banner has the Ukrainian national trident on one side and the coat-of-arms of the city of Sianik with the figure of an eagle on the other.
The Yonkers Branch of the Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna as an organization that favors a sovereign and independent Ukraine. It takes an active part in all the manifestations of the church, civic and political life of the Ukrainian community in Yonkers. It has donated the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars for a cross on the proposed new Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Michael.

See related article listing
"Donors for Sts. Apostles Peter and Paul Church in Krynitsia, Poland".

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Page prepared by Walter Maksimovich

Copyright 1997 InfoUkes Inc.

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c/o Walter Maksimovich
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Originally Composed: Sunday December 28, 1997
Date last modified: January 18th, 2001