UWC expresses condolences on the passing of Omelan Kowal (1920-2019)
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) expresses deep sorrow and condolences on the passing of prominent Ukrainian community and political activist Omelan Kowal who died on 19 January 2019 in Lviv, Ukraine.
The passing of Omelan Kowal is a painful loss not only for his family, but for several generations of Ukrainians who remember Omelan Kowal as an undefeatable warrior in the struggle for an independent Ukrainian state, and since 1991 – for its consolidation, and also for his tireless efforts in building a strong Ukrainian community worldwide.
Since 1938, Omelan Kowal was a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, one of the organizers of the Proclamation of the June 30 1941 Act of the Restoration of the Ukrainian State in the oblast of Ivano-Frankivsk, and a prisoner of Nazi concentration camps.
The name of Omelan Kowal is closely connected with the UWC, beginning with the First Congress in 1967 during which he was elected to the Presidium as Deputy Treasurer. From that time forward, Omelan Kowal was repeatedly elected to the Presidium and Secretariat, and from 1971-72 held the position of Treasurer. Omelan Kowal actively participated in many UWC Congresses, including most recently in 2013, and UWC Annual General Meetings.
Omelan Kowal also initiated and contributed to the development of the Coordinating Branch of Ukrainian Central Community Organizations (now European Congress of Ukrainians) as a member of the Presidium from 1950, and its President during the years 1990-1995.
Several decades of his life Omelan Kowal dedicated to the development of the Ukrainian Youth Association: originally as one of its founders and leaders in Belgium, and later from 1958-1978 as President of the Ukrainian Youth Association World Executive.
In Belgium, Omelan Kowal dedicated significant time to the development of the Ukrainian Аid Committee in which he held the posts of President and Secretary General, and managed the organization’s publications. Among his notable accomplishments are the acquirement of the Educational-Recreational Ukrainian Youth Centre in Ardennes and a Centre for the Ukrainian Aid Committee in Brussels.
With the re-establishment of the independence of Ukraine, Omelan Kowal integrated himself into the socio-community and political life of the country, particularly with the establishment of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists and popularization of the educational concept authored by Prof. Hryhoriy Waschenko. He obtained Ukrainian citizenship and returned to live in Ukraine.
For his service to the Ukrainian people and Ukraine, Omelan Kowal received numerous awards, including the Order “For achievements” III Rank and the Order of Freedom, an honorary medal depicting St. George from the City of Lviv, the Order of Volodymyr the Great from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, the Belgian Royal Order of Leopold II and the highest named recognition Lytsar-Vytiaz from the Ukrainian Youth Association World Executive.
The leadership and membership of the UWC share the sorrow of this unbearable loss and pray for the repose of the soul of Omelan Kowal.