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On August 31, 2020 at the College of the State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping in St. Petersburg, a special event was held dedicated to the arrival of the first allied convoy “Dervish” to the Soviet Union on August 31, 1941. The event was organized and held by the State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping and the Northern convoys International Centre.
The event was attended by Chairmen and representatives of the St. Petersburg Committees for Social Policy, Arctic Affairs and Culture as well as representatives of the St. Petersburg Maritime Council, public organizations of the city and College cadets. This year veterans of the Northern Convoys, as well as members of their families from different generations, took part in the event.
After the opening ceremony, the welcome speeches and words of congratulation with the 79th anniversary of “Dervish” operation were said by Sergey Baryshnikov, rector of State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping; Alexander Rzhanenkov, Chairman of the Committee for Social Policy attending the event on behalf of the Governor of St. Petersburg; Sergey Aprelev, Vice-President of “Arctic Convoy” Organization and other guests of honor.
At the end of the official part the veteran of the Northern convoys Taras Goncharenko, who served in the convoys on the legendary steam ship Staryj Bolshevik, addressed the audience with a welcoming speech and congratulations. Lyudmila Kuzmenkova, great-granddaughter of the convoys’ veteran Ivan Yakovlev, spoke with a short recollection of his military memories and with words of sincere gratitude to all veterans.
To commemorate the feat of the Northern convoys and convoys’ participants, the College cadets recited poems and sang songs dedicated to this important page in the history of the Great Patriotic War and World War II.
Before laying flowers in front of the Arctic Convoys Monument, all the guests and participants of the event paid tribute to the memory of the fallen heroes of the Northern convoys with a minute of silence.
Then the guests proceeded to the grand opening of the exhibition dedicated to the Northern Convoys temporarily exhibited in the College building.
An important part of the exhibition opening was the donating of books, photographs and other materials related to the Northern convoys and the long history of visits paid by veterans and their family members from the United States and Great Britain to St. Petersburg. The valuable materials mentioned were donated to the future Memorial Museum of the Northern Convoys History by Margarita Mudrak, Chairman of the executive board of St. Petersburg Association for International Cooperation.
The artifacts and materials presented at the exhibition, as well as those donated by Margarita Mudrak, will be included into the future exposition of the Memorial Museum of the Northern Convoys History that is being created by the “NCIC” Foundation.
At the end of the event the guests of honor and other participants have given highly positive assessment of the celebration.
Photos: Diana Rafaelyan.