In Loving Memory of Stefan Romaniw

#UWC news
June 26,2024 4768
In Loving Memory of Stefan Romaniw

It is with profound heartbreak and deep sorrow that we inform you of the untimely passing of Stefan Romaniw this morning at the age of 68 in Warsaw. A revered son of Ukraine and First Vice President of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), Stefan was an esteemed member of the UWC Executive Committee, a dedicated community leader in Australia, former Chairman of the OUN-B leadership, former Chairman and member of the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM), a true patriot of Ukraine, a faithful husband, father, grandfather, and a cherished friend to Ukrainians worldwide.

The loss of Stefan Romaniw is deeply felt by his beloved family, the broader Ukrainian community globally, and especially by the UWC. His robust and unwavering voice consistently advocated for Ukrainian interests on behalf of the UWC and the entire Ukrainian diaspora.

Joining the UWC in 2008 as Secretary General, Stefan diligently served as First Vice President since 2013, becoming a central figure in the organization. Known for his uncompromising patriotism, excellent strategic and organizational skills, and his courageous and resilient spirit, Stefan Romaniw remained passionately engaged in Ukrainian matters until the end. His death occurred during a public trip on his way back to Australia from Lithuania, where he had participated in the founding meeting of the Anti-Imperialist Bloc of Nations (ABN) in Kaunas and addressed the Ukrainian community in Vilnius.

Stefan’s immense contributions to supporting and defending Ukraine and fostering the development of the global Ukrainian community are immeasurable. This year, he took on the responsibility of organizing and hosting the UWC Summit in Bucharest, where he skillfully chaired sessions and engaged with numerous global participants. In recent years, he notably focused on unifying the global Ukrainian community, developing a vision for this purpose, and actively working to bring it to fruition.

Stefan Romaniw’s decades of dedicated service to the Ukrainian cause span countless successful initiatives, including efforts to restore historical truths about Ukraine’s past and to recognize the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people. In 2008, he spearheaded the first “Unquenchable Candle” international action, which took place across 32 countries in the Ukrainian diaspora and all 25 regions of Ukraine. Since then, he has served as the permanent Chair of the UWC International Coordinating Committee for Holodomor Awareness and Recognition, initiated the creation of the Holodomor Descendants’ Network, and actively collaborated with Ukraine in establishing the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide and other significant initiatives.

Stefan was an active supporter of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity, frequently addressing its Euromaidans. He consistently championed the democratic voice, freedom, and dignity of the Ukrainian people. A devoutly religious man, he greatly respected the Ukrainian Church and contributed significantly to its affirmation and development, including as Chair of the UWC Commission on Religious Affairs. Additionally, Stefan adeptly managed other critical areas of work, including organizing UWC Congresses and Annual Meetings, supporting educational efforts and the youth movement in the diaspora, countering Russian disinformation, and much more. Stefan Romaniw approached everything with the highest standards, always with love, good humor, and a memorable smile that will be forever cherished alongside his wonderful deeds. His life serves as a profound example for future generations.

For his unwavering service to the Ukrainian people and Ukraine, Stefan Romaniw was awarded high state awards of Ukraine: The Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise V Class, the Order of Merit I Class, the Order of Merit II Class, the Order of Merit III Class, the Jubilee Medal “25 Years of Independence of Ukraine” and in 2023 was awarded UWC’s highest honor – the St. Volodymyr the Great Medal.

Stefan Romaniw was born on November 12, 1955 in Melbourne, Australia. His father, originally from Ternopil, arrived in Australia in 1949, and his mother, a German, originally from Stuttgart, Germany. From a young age, Stefan attended the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Melbourne and his native Ukrainian school. He graduated from the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Education and worked as a primary school teacher. He was the Chairman of CYM Melbourne – the regional CYM branch in Australia – and the Chairman of the Parish Council of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne. He chaired the Parliamentary Commission on Multiculturalism in the State of Victoria. Stefan Romaniw has also led the Ukrainian community in Victoria for many years. As the long-time Chairman and Co-Chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, he has led numerous successful campaigns in support of Ukraine.

The passing of Stefan Romaniw represents a profound and irreparable loss for the entire global Ukrainian community and all who had the privilege of knowing him. The radiant memories of Stefan Romaniw and his noble deeds will endure eternally.

Eternal Memory!

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