The visit by displaced Ukrainians to Jamestown on 1 & 2July, was a special experience for not only the visitors, but for those locals who shared with them. Upon arrival at Bundaleer they were intrigued to have the opportunity to see sheep being shorn by Joe Jacka and to pat a lamb added to the enjoyment. They also appreciated the quietness of the forest surroundings, listening out for the laugh of a Kookaburra. The chance to inspect and have a ride in Colin Kaehne’s meticulously restored Oldsmobile truck was one they will remember.
Around 120 people gathered in the Memorial Town Hall on the Saturday night for a meal which was followed by the Ukrainians singing their National Anthem and other meaningful songs. The Grand March started the entertainment with excitement when music was provided by Margie Symonds and Leslie Kurlow. This was a great way to encourage lots of people ‘onto their feet’ to mingle with the visitors and later another game caused a lot of interaction and fun. A video presentation by the Jamestown Community School was another feature along with some inspiring art work by the 5/6 class in recognition of a notable Ukrainian artist , Maria Primachenko, much of whose work has been destroyed by the recent invasion.
Whilst language was a barrier for some of the near 40 people who travelled up from Adelaide by coach, everyone was friendly. A video explaining some of the issues regarding the terrible situation of their country was also shown and a Q & A followed when some of the refugees had an opportunity to explain their plight personally to those present.
The local Pine Cones band set the beat for dancing at which the Ukrainians excelled.
The following morning a Church service was held in the Uniting Church when both national anthems were sung and further information was shared regarding the destruction of their beautiful homeland.
A shared lunch was enjoyed before the happy group of Ukrainians left for Adelaide with many smiles and words of appreciation of the chance to spend time in our peaceful countryside, along with some shed tears and the hope to meet again.
Generous donations were received over the weekend and the Uniting Church plans to once again forward a considerable amount of money to further support these displaced people from their beautiful war torn homeland. Thank you to local businesses who contributed to raising funds, including giving Vouchers as Raffle prizes, which will be drawn at the end of July.
If anyone wishes to make a donation direct to the Ukrainian Appeal please contact Jenny 0427 866 448.