MH17 anniversary: Perth’s Ukranian community prays “every week” for victims

Ukraine Association of WA president Mykola Mowczan and Father Ihor Holovko of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St John The Baptist. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d456736
Ukraine Association of WA president Mykola Mowczan and Father Ihor Holovko of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St John The Baptist. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d456736

PERTH’S Ukrainian community prays each week in Maylands for the 298 passengers, including 37 Australians, on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 shot down by a Russian missile two years ago over a breakaway area of the eastern European country.

“We pray for this tragedy every Sunday, not just the anniversaries, but every Sunday,” Ukrainian Catholic Presbytery Father Ihor Holovko said.

WA victims on the Netherlands-Malaysia flight included the daughter of Mosman Park parents Fatima Dyczynski (24), and Scarborough schoolchildren Mo (12), Evie (10) and Otis Maslin (8), who were with their grandfather Nick Norris (68).

Dutch-born Perth resident Dafne Vieveen was aboard, as were Kelmscott school bursar Edel Mahady and Albany couple Arjen and Yvonne Ryder.

Last Sunday, Fr Holovko held a requiem to remember the victims and families of the crash, and plans another on Sunday.

Like all Australians, he said his parishioners were seeking answers about how the tragedy occurred.

“All of Ukraine feels this tragedy, and it plays into my mind personally so I seek it on the news,” Ukrainian Community Association chairman Mykola Mowczan said.

He said the anniversary could be a time when all Australians reflected on their connections to the world and their role in helping and understanding its tragedies.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop worked with the foreign ministers of the other countries to establish the five-nation criminal investigation led by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, which is due to report shortly.