Ukrainian Society in Great Britain [Українське Товариство у Великій Британії] – a community organisation which existed to provide moral and material support to the Ukrainian National Council (UNC) and its UK Representation. Original name of the organisation: Society of Supporters of the Ukrainian National Council in Great Britain (Tovarystvo Spryiannia Ukrainskii Natsionalnii Radi u Velykii Brytanii).
The formation of the Society began in 1957 after the annual general meeting of the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain (FUGB), at which a split occurred on the issue of support for the UNC. Shortly before the meeting the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Melnykivtsi), which exercised significant influence over the FUGB, left the UNC, and the Federation consequently withdrew its support for the Council. In response, many members of the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic Party and other political organisations active in the UNC left the Federation. In the same year, local Societies of Supporters of the UNC were established in several towns and cities. In March 1958 in London an inaugural convention was held, at which a national Society of Supporters of the UNC was founded. In about 1976 the organisation was renamed the Ukrainian Society in Great Britain.
In 1962 the Society had 27 local branches in northern, central and southern England. The main focus of the Society’s activities was the raising of funds among its members and supporters to help finance the activities of the UNC and its UK Representation. It also organised meetings of its members, public lectures, commemorations of historical events, etc. Between 1970 and 1973 it published 11 issues of a quarterly news bulletin, Visnyk.
Until the end of 1976 the Society had an office at the FUGB’s central premises at 78 Kensington Park Road, London W11, jointly with the UK Representation. In 1978 the Society purchased its own building at 15 Godolphin Road, London W12, and this also became the headquarters of the UK Representation. After Ukraine’s declaration of independence the UNC ceased its activities, but the Society continued to exist. In 2002 it transferred its London premises to the Ukrainian state. In about 2005 the Society wound itself up.
The Society was chaired by: Pawlo Bazylewskyj (1958-1959), Andrij Bondarenko (1959-1960), Wasyl Babytzkij (1960-1982?), Alexander Marunchak, Dmytro Kucak, Andrii Drai (1987-1995), Ivan Shkirenko (1995-1996, 2002-2005?), Ruslan Todosyiv (1996-2001).
‘Rezoliutsii pershoho delegatskoho ziizdu Tovarystv Spryiannia Ukrainskii Natsionalnii Radi u Velykobritanii’, Ukrainski Visti (Neu-Ulm), 22 May 1958, p. 4
Bazylewskyi P., ‘Zvit z diialnosty Predstavnytstva VO UNRady u Velykii Brytanii’, in Piata sesiia Ukrainskoi Natsionalnoi Rady (17-23 lystopada 1961): materiialy i dokumenty (1962), pp. 59-60
Sydorenko, M., ‘Z diialnosti Ukrainskoho Tovarystva’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 22 March 1979, p. 3