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Press Release


Saturday, May 15, 1999 at 10:00 AM, Garin Regional Park, Hayward, CA.

(see map below)


Ukrainian patriot, the Reverend Father Agapius Honcharenko made his home in what is now Garin Regional Park in Hayward, California, a part of the East Bay Regional Park District.

The homestead and graveside of the Reverend Father and his wife, Albina Honcharenko, are now a state historic landmark.

Fr. A. Honcharenko was born in Ukraine in 1832 and graduated from the Kyiv Seminary in 1853. While serving as an archdeacon to the Orthodox Church in Athens, he began writing for political publications in London, describing societal injustices in his native land, Ukraine. Arrested and imprisoned in Constantinople, he escaped into a life-time of exile.

From 1868 to 1872 Honcharenko published the Alaska Herald, the first Russian and Ukrainian language newspaper in America. Its first two editions contained the US Constitution, translated into Russian for the information of Alaska's Russian residents, since the territory has just been acquired by the United States.

Honcharenko and his wife moved to the Hayward Hills in 1873 and lived there nearly 43 years. Remains of their homestead include foundations, the couple's graveside and a grotto where the priest held religious services. Albina died in 1915, Agapius in 1916.

Father Honcharenko is known in American, Ukrainian, Greek and Italian history as a liberal fighter against Russian tyranny and slavery.

He came to America during the Civil War. He was active in writing in the American press for Horace Greeley, General Halleck, Secretary William Henry Seward, and other American leaders of his days. He organized Greek Orthodox Churches in New Orleans, L.A. He translated the Holy Scriptures for the American Bible Society; he was instrumental in the Alaska Purchase in 1867, and he was the author of the first English-Russian grammar book in 1868, which was used by the US Armed Forces in Alaska.

The millions of loyal US citizens of Ukrainan descent asked the Historical Landmarks Committee to recognize this American Ukrainian patriot's deeds and name his Historical land "The Ukrainian Park" and recently they have success.

The American-Ukrainian Honchareno Committee in cooperation with Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District invites you to participate in festive opening of state park "UKRAINA" at 10:00 AM at Garin Regional Park, Hayward, California, USA. Cultural presentation of talented Ukrainians from Bay Area and from Sacramento (North California Bandura Ensemble, Dance Ensemble "Mriya" and singers) and brief addresses of dignitaries from Ukraine, USA and Canada.

American-Ukrainian Committee (for more information  tel.(650) 340-8362 - Michael Car). For reservation of dinner at Ukrainian Orthodox Church Hall at 3:00 PM call (650) 571-8509 - Oksana Di Ricco.


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