Dauphin was one of more than 50 communities across the country to recognize the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine with a candlelight vigil, Friday evening.
After an opening prayer, Ukraine’s national anthem was sung by a local folk singing group.
Various dignitaries spoke to the crowd of about 100 people who braved the cold temperatures to attend and show their support for Ukraine.
Organizer Stephen Jaddock was pleased with the attendance, noting the temperature was crisp even though it had warmed up a few degrees from earlier in the week.
“I was telling the speakers to make sure they were dressed appropriately and be able to handle it,” he said. “And you know what? It went about 45 minutes, so that’s quite the amount of time to be out in this weather. But I’m happy with the turnout.”
Because of the city’s Ukrainian heritage and culture, Jaddock wanted Dauphin to be part of the vigils being held nationwide.
“We wanted to make sure that Dauphin was on the map with the communities across Canada that were doing this, over 50, so I’m very happy that Dauphin was included in that number,” he said.
The recurring theme of the evening was that the war must end as soon as possible.
“We just wanted to say that the war in Ukraine is a terrible thing and that it needs to end. And also that we’re very thankful that families have chosen to come to Dauphin and we’ve been able to help them out with the volunteers and the great people that we have in the community of Dauphin and the Parkland area,” Jaddock said. “It was a great message and I’m pleased that it was able to get out.”
A number of the families that have relocated to Dauphin were in attendance and Jaddock feels events such as this will send a message to them that the community is here to support them.
“We’ve got the Ukrainian culture here. And it was so nice for the City of Dauphin to make sure that the Ukrainian flag was flying today. They made a special effort to make sure that was happening,” he said. “And I know that when the war broke out, the Ukrainian flag was flying in the City of Dauphin for many, many days. So it was so good to see. And again, it just speaks to the support that we have here.”
Like everyone in attendance, Jaddock hopes the war in Ukraine ends soon.
Since the war started one year ago, five million civilians have been forced to leave Ukraine and more than eight million are internally displaced.