Ukrainian Bureau [Українське Бюро] – an advice and information centre, active in 1949-1950, from which the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain evolved.
A decision on the formation of the Ukrainian Bureau (UB) was taken on 13 March 1949 as a result of the split which occurred, against a background of party political differences, at the annual general meeting of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain held on 12-13 March. An executive committee was elected to govern the UB, comprising Bohdan Panchuk (chairman), Eugene Pyndus (vice-chairman), George Salsky (executive director), George Wowk and Tadeusz Atamaniuk (secretaries), and Mychajlo Krat (treasurer). The UB’s head office was in London. It encouraged its supporters to form local Samopomich (self-reliance) groups, and by August 1949 there were 84 such groups.
The work of the UB was divided into two strands, involving the Ukrainian community on the one hand, and the British public on the other. With respect to the Ukrainian community the UB provided advice and assistance to its members, organised the sale of Ukrainian books and periodicals, took initial steps aimed at the formation of a trades union for Ukrainian workers, particularly European Volunteer Workers, and provided support for the activities of the London Office of the Ukrainian National Council Executive Committee. As a means of disseminating information to its members it published the Bulletin of the Ukrainian Bureau, approximately once or twice a month. The UB also sought to inform the British public about Ukraine. It published several English-language leaflets and brochures, including the first issue of the Ukrainian Newsletter, dated January-February 1950, and planned to establish Anglo-Ukrainian Clubs in towns and cities with large Ukrainian communities. The Central Office of these clubs was to be based at the UB in London.
A constitution was adopted at a general meeting of UB members held on 20-21 August 1949. The meeting elected Panchuk as the UB honorary chairman, as well as a council comprising nine members, from among whom Wiaczislaw Kochaniwskij was subsequently nominated UB chairman. It was also decided at the meeting to rename the Samopomich groups as “Self-reliance groups of supporters of the Ukrainian National Council”. At an extraordinary general meeting of the UB on 30 October 1949 a community organisation entitled Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain (FUGB) was formed. UB members became members of the FUGB, and the Bulletin of the UB was renamed Bulletin of the FUGB. The UB continued to exist as a separate body and, for a transitional period, its council managed the affairs of the FUGB.
On 11-12 March 1950 a general meeting of the UB and the FUGB was held, at which a constitution was adopted for the FUGB and an FUGB governing body was elected. The activities of the UB ceased at this point. Panchuk continued to use the name Ukrainian Bureau in relation to the London office of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (UCC) after becoming the UCC’s European representative in September 1950 (in March 1951 he was also appointed the Great Britain representative of the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee). In June 1952 Panchuk, who had arrived in the United Kingdom in 1941 with the Canadian armed forces, returned to Canada.
(The UB of 1949-1950 considered that it was continuing the work of the Ukrainian Bureau of 1931-1940 and of the Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau of 1945-1948, but it was not formally connected with either of these bodies.)
‘Piati Zvychaini Zahalni Zbory Soiuzu Ukraintsiv u Velykii Brytanii’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 27 March 1949, pp. 3-4
Panchuk, B., ‘Do chleniv Soiuzu Ukraintsiv v Anhlii’, Hromada (Paris), 1949, no. 5-6 (29-30), pp. 5-7
‘Ozdorovlennia hromadskoi ustanovy v Velykii Brytanii’, Surma (Munich), 1949, no.3, pp. 18-19
O. D., ‘Za zdorovi pidstavy suspilno-hromadskoho zhyttia’, Vyzvolnyi Shliakh (London), 1949, no. 7 (20), May, pp. 19-20
‘Zahalnyi ziizd delehativ i chleniv Ukrainskoho Biura v Londoni’, Biuleten Ukrainskoho Biura (London), 1 September 1949, Nash Chasopys annex, pp. 1-3
Chornorai, S., ‘Hromadsko-politychne zhyttia ukraintsiv v Anhlii’, Ukrainski Visti (Neu-Ulm), 4 September 1949, p. 4
‘Nadzvychaini zahalni zbory Ukrainskoho Biura’, Biuleten Ukrainskoho Biura (London), 1 November 1949, Nash Chasopys annex, pp. 2-4
Luciuk L. Y. Searching for Place: Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Canada, and the Migration of Memory (Toronto-Buffalo-London, 2000), pp. 185-192