March 9,2019  – The 5th Branch of OOL held their Annual General Meeting in Irvington, NJ.

The first OOL conference took place in Philadelphia, PA on June 6, 1936, at which time 26 branches were formed, including Branch #5.

World War II stopped the activity of OOL for ten years, until in 1957, a group of founders of OOL in Newark, NJ – Peter Zhydovskiy, Ivan Yushchak, Peter Tsytsyl, and Michael Farbanets – began the activity of Branch #5.

The firm meeting was commenced by a member of the National Council, editor Stepan Zhenetskiy, who spoke of the need to create cells of organizational life and to help the Lemko population in Poland.

There were 20 people in attendance at the meeting. After a long discussion, they decided to renew Branch #5 in Newark, NJ. The composition of the management of Branch #5 was: Peter Zhydovskiy – President; Metodiy Mydiukh – Vice President; Michael Farbanets – Secretary; and Ivan Kupyna – Treasurer.

From 1958, the responsibilities of Branch #5 were carried out by: Metodiy Mydiukh, Michael Farbanets, Teodiziy Vyslotskiy, Ivan Yushchak, Dmytro Kulyk, Liubomyr Pekh, Ivan Nyshchyt, Volodymyr Kikta, Ivan Soroka, and Teodor Pyz.

The branch includes 29 members. Every year, Branch #5 organizes the traditional “Christmas Eve dinner” and New Year’s Dance. Every year, members of Branch #5 also gather together during the Christmas holiday and carol. Through the sale of baked goods and other fundraising efforts, Branch #5 helps in the building and re-building of churches on the Lemko territories of Poland. Members of Branch #5 have assisted and continue to assist during picnics and cultural festivals in the U.S.