[bas relief by Oleh Lesiuk]
Remarks by Ihor Kharchenko’s [Ukrainian Ambassador to London] Speech
at the Commemorative Plaque Unveiling Ceremony for Gareth Jones
University of Wales, on Tuesday 2nd May 2006
Thank you very much Mr Vice Chancellor, since I have only been in the country of Wales for two hours, I promise that next time I come here I will be able to speak at least a couple of phrases in Welsh, as it is difficult for me now.
May I complete the reading of the inscription on the plaque because we have heard it in two languages; both Welsh and English and as I bet it is the first Ukrainian script in Aberystwyth, I would now like to proudly read it in Ukrainian:
”In Memory of Gareth Richard Vaughn Jones, born 1905, who graduated from the University of Aberystwyth and the University of Cambridge. One of the first journalists to report on the Holodomor, the Great Famine of 1932-33 in the Soviet Ukraine.”
I am really proud to be here in Wales and when driving up from London this morning I was thinking about why people holding British, Canadian and Ukrainian passports would gather here for this occasion in Aberystwyth, Wales?
Why? Because, a man named Gareth Jones lived here 70-odd years ago? Yes, but not only…
Is it because Ukraine is now free and Wales is living through a remarkable part of its history and we are now free to co-operate together? Yes, but not only…
I think it would be good to recall that in Ukraine we have a novel in the school curriculum written by the renowned Ukrainian author, Mychailo Stelmach, entitled; “The Evil and the Truth“ and I think in the remarks of the sermon earlier this morning [by Lord Elystan Morgan - CLICK HERE], the President of the University of Wales was recalling some common points of wisdom and most appropriate as to why people from over the ocean, from different cities and members of the public all came here...
Ukraine lived through a very difficult period of history in the 20th century. We had more evils than truths and that is why Ukrainians will always be grateful for every word of truth that has been broadcasted in their countries and for this reason I am personally grateful to all Ukrainian institutions and organisations, the University of Wales here in Aberystwyth and members of the family who made this occasion happen.
I believe all of us standing here today, making their way to this place, just to signify the point of common wisdom that reads, ‘truth will finally prevail’.
And I think this is a valid occasion for us all to gather here together at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Thank you very much
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