Kupalle (Midsummer) Celebration 2022

SATURDAY, 25 JUNE 2022 FROM 16:00-22:00 / 37 Holden Road, London N12 8HS

£7 for members £10 for non-members

The Anglo-Belarusian Society cordially invites its members and friends to the traditional Kupalle (Midsummer) celebration in the garden of 37 Holden Road, London N12 8HS (the nearest tube stop is Woodside Park).

Travel: Please note that Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) workers will strike on 25 June. A reduced timetable is expected to cover the entire week, with just 20 per cent of services running on strike days. Please take this into account when you travel. The Tube is expected to run as normal.

The celebration is organised in partnership with the Francils Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum and the Belarusian Catholic Mission, who together provide the venue.


This year our Kupalle celebration comes close to the 140th anniversary of the birth of Janka Kupala. To mark the poet’s jubilee, the programme will start with a reading of his poem “Kurhan”, the manuscript of which is preserved in the museum of the Skaryna Library. Our guests will also be able to visit the special exhibition dedicated to Janka Kupala, organised by the Library.

The main part of the event, in the garden of 37 Holden Road, takes place between 4pm and approximately 7pm. After 7.00pm the whole party will, later in the evening, walk to the Dollis Brook in the park, accessed by a footpath at the bottom of Holden Road, and turning right after the bridge over the river where there will be floating of the flower crowns at about 8pm – 9pm.

There will be an opportunity to buy some stunning hand-woven items and herb teas made by our Sasha Belavokaya (loomandbloom.com )and there will be a book stall.

Special guests: London-based folk group “Karpatsky Zvuki”.

Making flower crowns, the Witch and decorating the Kupalle wheel 

(donations of flowers by 3pm will be greatly appreciated)

Games and songs – Kupalinka – Jumping over the fire

Please assist us if possible by bringing along flower-crowns and wearing Belarusian costumes. The use of the Belarusian language will be encouraged!

All gifts of cold food, wine, beer and soft drinks will be gratefully received, but – please – NO SPIRITS. There will be a collection to cover expenses (£7 for members, £10 for non-members).


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Condolences and deepest sympathy on the sad loss of Professor Stanislav Shushkevich

Condolences and deepest sympathy on the sad loss of Professor Stanislav Shushkevich to all his family from the Association of Belarusians in Great Britain and the Anglo Belarusian Society.

We remember with gratitude his scientific work and how he came to international prominence through his campaign to provide public information on the widespread hazards from Chernobyl, his role in the end of the Soviet Union, the creation of an Independent Belarus, free of nuclear weapons.

His place in history is assured as the first post-USSR Head of State of an independent Belarus, and subsequently for his many years of efforts to return Belarus to being a democratic country and a respected member of international institutions.

Eternal memory!

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Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP talk.


Invites you to a talk by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP Chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Lithuania, Vice-Chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Latvia

Date: Monday 23rd May 2022 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm

Address: Lithuanian Embassy, 2 Bessborough Gardens, London SW1V 2JE

To help with the Embassy’s security requirements please arrive punctually and bring an ID document, eg Driver’s License, Freedom Pass.

The Rt Hon John Whittingdale will talk about the situation in Ukraine, its implications for the Baltic nations and relations between the UK and Lithuania. John Whittingdale has been the Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Maldon, Essex, since 1992. He served as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 2015 – 2016, and Minister of State for Media and Data in 2020-2021. During the 2017-19 parliament, he served as a member of the Executive and then Chairman of the British Group of the Inter Parliamentary Union. He also acted as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1990, and the Order of Merit of Ukraine in 2019.

He is currently Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Lithuania and Vice-Chair of that for Latvia. Also currently, he leads the UK Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and is Vice Chair of the British Group of the Inter Parliamentary Union.

PRIOR REGISTRATION with blssecretary@hotmail.com IS ESSENTIAL

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON 16th MAY Guests are welcome but please let us know their name(s). ABS members who are not British-Lithuanian Society members who wish to attend please let Alan Flowers know, by e-mail, flowfis@yahoo.co.uk , so he can add them to his personal guest list and make a registration.  The event as at the Lithuanian Embassy hence names of attendees must be provided before the event.

There will be a £5 refreshments fee payable at the door

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Annual report of the Chairman of the Anglo-Belarusian Society for 2021/22 by Alan FLOWERS

The year 2021/22 saw an emergence of the Society from the preceding Covid-19 lockdown year. The year started with a purely on-line AGM combined with an on-line Mother Language Day on 27th February 2021, and concluded with several hybrid events, which allowed for either an in-person or on-line presence.

In 2021/22 the Society held a programme of six events, many of which had some of the largest levels of participation seen in recent years, We held an AGM, jointly with a Mother Language Day event. The traditional events of Kupalle and Kaliady with Batlejka were held with live participation, although in 2021 the Society itself could not host an open Kupalle event due to Covid-19 restrictions in force at the time.  Instead members made private arrangements to celebrate this. Solely on-line events to commemorate 35 years after Chernobyl and to celebrate Belarusian culture took place in April and July respectively. The Society co-sponsored or otherwise supported a conference on Belarusian Studies in the twenty-first century, and Prof. Arnold McMillin’s 80th birthday was celebrated with the Society honouring him with an honorary life membership of the Society. Many Society members were pleased to witness, on 4th February 2022, the consecration at Finchley of a memorial to the deceased heroes of the protests in Belarus since 2020. This is located between the wooden Uniate Church and Marian House..

At the 2021 Annual General Meeting held on-line on 27th February and 5th March 2021 we elected the Society’s officials, reviewed the year just past, looked forward to events in 2021, the first of which was a commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Chernobyl.

The Chernobyl Commemoration event on Saturday 24th April 2021 attracted an on-line audience on the day of over 100 persons, and ran on both ZOOM and live streamedon YouTube. It included prominent Belarusians, including Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, 2015; Stanislau Shushkevich, the first head of independent state of Belarus in 1991-1994, Corresponding member of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, Professor in Physics and Mathematics; and Belarusian Physicists DrValery Huracheuski (Associate Professor) and Dr Vadim Zelenkov. The event was recorded and the edited version, prepared by Sasha Belavokaya loaded on YouTube. This had over 400 views up to March 2022.

On 7th July 2021 the Society celebrated an International Day of Belarusian Culture by bringing together over 15 academics, artists, actors and musicians who had contributed to the promotion of Belarusian Culture in the UK over the last 6 decades. The event linked persons in six countries, and nine different cities, and including leading Belarusian actors Oleg Garbuz, Tatiana Popova-Gatovchits and Gennady Gatovchitswith Belarusian musicians Viktar Rudenka and Zmitser Vajciushkevich.  The full list of the many who contributed to this event is listed in the annex to this report.

A new event in celebration of dranicki was held on 20th November, with Aleś Bely, historian, author of 7 books on the history of Belarusian and Lithuanian cuisine, including “The Belarusian Cookbook” in English (2009) providing an on-line talk to the audience in Penn Road.

As 2021 drew to a close the traditional Kaliady with Batlejka was celebrated in person in December.

The Society’s year closed with Mother Language Day being held on 26th February 2022 and organised with the participation of the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum.

All events held in 2021/22 were recorded on video and are now available on YouTube on both the Chairman’s Channel “Alan Flowers-ABS-UK” and the YouTube Channel of the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum.  The Society’s web-site was maintained throughout the year, and all events offered to members, which include many advertised for other Belarus related organisations are listed on the ABS Facebook page and web-site ( http://absociety.org.uk/  ).

Thanks go to Father Serge Stasievich for facilitating the Society’s meetings in Marian House, and to the Belarusian Charitable Trust and ZBVB for enabling meetings to be held at Penn Road.

The diverse range of well attended meetings carried out in this last year would not have been possible without all the members of the Council of the Society contributing immensely to the success of this programme, its promotion before the event, the catering and technical support at the events, and the post event video production.  Hence in closing this report I wish to put on record the debt the Society owes to all the selfless hard work put in by the Council members during this last year.


Anglo Belarusian Society
International Day of Belarusian Culture – 7th July 2021
(Birthday of Yanka Kupala, Jan Chachot and Marc Chagall)

Belarusian Culture in the UK
An Evening Celebrating Belarusian Culture in the UK

Meet Contributors to Its Understanding, Performance and Exhibition in the UK

 Host: Alan Flowers (Chair, Anglo-Belarusian Society)

 Reading of Kupala’s – “And,say, who goes there?” (1907)

  • Alena Edwards (Belarusian)
  • Alan Flowers (English)

Kupalle 2021 – Video:

  • Sasha Belovookaya
    Artistic Academic Contributors will include 

in order of appearance:-

  • Arnold McMillin (Academic, UK) (London)
  • Mikalaj Packajeu (Chair, ZBVB, UK) (London)
  • Jim Dingley (Academic, UK) (Brighton)
  • Karalina Matskevich (Skaryna Library, UK)(London)
  • Tzwei So (Architect, UK) (London)
  • Vera Horton (Actress, BelDiasporaTV, UK) (Salisbury)
  • Alison Cameron (former Aberdeen City official)(London)
  • Richard Demarco (Art Impressario, UK)(Edinburgh)
  • Vasili Vasiliev, and Galina Vasilieva (Artists, Vitebsk)
  • Valery Martynchik (Artist, UK)(London)
  • Tatiana Popova-Gatovchits (Actress, Belarus)(Portugal)
  • Gennady Gatovchits (Actor, Belarus)(Portugal)
  • Oleg Garbuz (Actor, Belarus)(Minsk)
  • James Mallinson (Theatre Producer, USA)(New York)
  • Viktar Rudenka – (Musician, Belarus)(Moscow)
  • Zmitser Vajciushkevich – (Musician, Belarus)(Minsk)
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Chernobyl Commemoration


ABS Chernobyl Commemoration 23 April 2022,  13:00-16:30 (London)

HYBRID EVENT – a mix of live and virtual event

Marian House, 5 Holden Ave London N12 8HY England and

Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87311034135…

Meeting ID: 873 1103 4135
Passcode: 981490

Event running order:

• Short update talk by Alan Flowers:
“Chernobyl at 36 years and Impact of Russian War on Ukraine at Chernobyl”

• Readings on Chernobyl. Please bring your own piece for a recital, if you wish!

Main event ending approx 14.30. Afternoon light refreshments and networking until 16.30. Everyone is cordially invited afterwards to the service at Belarusian St Cyril of Turau Church.

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Voices from Ukraine and Belarus

Saturday 19th March 2022, starting 16:15

Guests who have agreed to join and speak:

Alhierd Bacharevic (BY) (in Graz, Austria) – writer (author “Dogs of Europe”)

Olena Mazur (UA) (in Kherson, Ukraine) – English Teacher

Volha Kalackaja (BY) (location to be advised) – Belarusian-English literary translator and activist

Professor Ihor Oleksiv (UA) (in Lviv, Ukraine – Professor of International Business, Lviv Polytechnic Nationbal University)

Maria Sliaptsova (BY) (in Vilnius) (works at Belarus Human Rights House named after Boris Zvozskov, in Vilnius)

Taras Shmiher (UA) (in Lviv) ( academic at Translator’s Department, Ivan Franko National University)

Hybrid In person / ZOOM Meeting Marian House, Finchley, London

& ZOOM – ID : 822 0236 8680 ; Pass: 287210 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82202368680…

16:00 for 16:15 start to approx. 17:00


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AGM Saturday, 19 March 2022

On Saturday, 19 March 2022 an Annual General Meeting of the Anglo-Belarusian Society will be held at 3pm start at Marian House, Holden Avenue, London N12 8HY

15:00 – 16:00 AGM – In person at Marian House, and online, members are encouraged to attend in person if possible

16:15 – 17:00 –  “Voices from Ukraine and Belarus” – a link to persons in Ukraine and Belarus to hear their current experiences and the actions of Ukraine and Belarus people in relation to the current Russia-Ukraine-Belarus war.

17:00 – 17:25 – Tea/coffee, soft refreshments, biscuits – close of event

17:30 optional attendance at Church service in Church of St Cyril of Turau & All the Patron Saints of the Belarusian People, located beside Marian House.

Zoom meeting:

Topic: Anglo Belarusian Society AGM 2022 – and Online Voices from Ukraine and Belarus – Saturday 19th March 1500-1700 – In person at Marion House

Time: Mar 19, 2022 03:00 PM London


Meeting ID: 822 0236 8680

Passcode: 287210


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