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Decades-old plaque stolen from Calgary park dedicated to Ukrainian pioneers

A plaque — funded by donations from Calgary’s Ukrainian community to thank Canada for accepting people from the country — has been stolen, a community group says. 

The Calgary branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) found out last week the plaque at Ukrainian Pioneers Park was missing. The park was renamed and the plaque was installed in 1991 to mark 100 years since the arrival of Ukrainian settlers in Alberta. 

“This is just an added burden,” said Halya Wilson, past president at UCC Calgary. Wilson was there when the plaque was put up 31 years ago. 

The plaque is now missing. (Submitted by Halya Wilson)

She said many from Calgary’s Ukrainian community have family in the country, which is at war with Russia, while others are already going through a “stressful time” trying to accommodate new Ukrainians who have recently arrived in Calgary. 

The plaque was funded by donations, said Stephanie Savyn, who is the treasurer at UCC Calgary.

Savyn also documented the park’s naming and plaque installation for the TV program Echoes of Ukraine. 

“We gathered money to build this little monument with a plaque, and the plaque was intended to basically thank Canada for the opportunities that it gave,” she said. 

She added that the church near the park has been vandalized with war-related graffiti, so it’s hard not to feel extra disappointment that the plaque is gone. 

While the plaque is missing, trees planted during the renaming ceremony remain in the area.

Wilson says she hopes the plaque will be returned, but if not the community will get together and make plans to replace it. 

Wilson reported the plaque missing last week — a Calgary police spokesperson confirmed that report. 

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