Russian to the ball

The Rousichi Dance Ensemble performs.

DANDENONG’S Russian population has celebrated 50 years in the community with a jubilee ball.
The Russian Community Centre (RCC) hosted the event last month.
It raised funds for a new car park at the centre and featured speeches from politicians and community members, a slide show of snaps from the past 50 years, dance performances from Rousichi Dance Ensemble and a poem reading from Nadiya Storojenko.
Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus said more than 1000 Russians lived in his electorate – most second and third-generation residents.
“The longevity of your parish stands as a testament to the tireless efforts of a strong unified community,” he said.
“The parish represents the determination and perseverance of the Russian people who forged a new life in Dandenong after escaping persecution from communist regimes.
“Your commitment to the local community will no doubt keep alive the culture your forefathers brought to Australia, ensuring that your Russian heritage is not forgotten and is shared by all Australians.”
Dandenong’s Russian Orthodox Church parish priest Father Michael Protopopov told the gathering he was pleased the community remained unified.
“I think the greatest achievement in the last 50 years is not what we’ve done in the past, but the fact that today we have a new generation of people who have taken up the baton and are moving forward with our parish and our community to take us into the future,” he said.
City of Greater Dandenong Mayor Angela Long said the council truly valued and respected the contributions the Russian community continued to make to the city.
“As the Russian population has grown, so has the richness of its history and culture in our city,” she said.
“Thanks to those early settlers, the Russian culture and tradition is proudly alive and well.”
The RCC committee would be grateful for any donations, sponsors, or ideas on how to raise more cash for the project at 164 Kirkham Road, Dandenong South.
Its hall is available for hire and can accommodate up to 350 people. Call committee secretary and hall booking officer Lusy Jaske on 0481 322 665.