The Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church
English Translation by Katherine Ilachinski
On May 19 2012, the Russian club in Harbin (RCH), with financial support from the Harbin-Chinese Historical Society (HCHS), Sydney, Australia, held a Saturday work day (Subotnik) in order to bring the Russian section of the cemetery in Huangshan in order. The work plan was agreed with the Chinese Orthodox community of Holy Protection Church in Harbin, under whose economic management the territory of the cemetery is found.
On the Saturday work day, 22 enthusiasts came – 6 men and 16 members of the fairer sex (age spread – from 7 to 76 years). A bus was commissioned, gloves were bought, garbage bags, drinking water, all the necessary tools prepared – shovels, sickles for cutting grass, rakes, and saws, most of which the Chinese side gave.
The men sawed and rooted out the lilac trees. The girl collected the garbage, leaves, mowed the grass and small bushes, and painted the faded letters on the old monuments. They collected 16 large bags of trash and leaves. Total cleared of undergrowth were about 40 graves.
In the course of the work, a fallen Orthodox burial cross covered with earth and leaves was found. When it was lifted, they saw an inscription on it: “N.N.Rimskaya-Karsakova” (it was through the letter “a”), without dates of life. The Cross was set up at the same place where it was found.
The grave stone with the inscription “Eternal memory to my dear baby goddaughter Marochka. Born July 29, 1944, died October 20, 1944.” was found and dug up.
Another plate of Nina Indrikovna Gaile was found (June 5, 1929-January 31, 1940): “Sleep baby, sleep in the quiet grave in this place till our Lord Himself shall come, and will take you to eternity.”
Thus, the list of burial names, which RCH has compiled in the last year and a half, increased by three names. Eternal rest to you, Russian people, who found the last resting place in the land of Harbin.
After the hard work our team went to eat in a small restaurant in Daoli. On behalf of the Harbin-China Historical Society (whose president is Igor Kazimirovich Savitsky), the cost of refreshments for work day participants were also covered by HCHS. The meal went, as they say in official documents, “in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”
Finally all the participants were given archival issues of the journal “Friendship banks” and the issue of the journal “Russian Asia”.
Thanks to all participants of work day: first of all, its organizer Sergei Eremin, Slave and Pavlu Rozhkov, Gregory Legonkov, Ivan from Hagunda, Roman Chukmasovu from Blagoveshchensk, Lyudmila and Julia Boiko, the most charming our 7-year assistant Taisia Sun, Ella Yeryomina, Sokol Larissa, Larissa Zhebokritskaja, Vassilieva Janna, Dyatlova Marina, Svete, two Katya’s and five of our young and cute assistants. Thank you for your time and effort for the benefit of preserving the memory of the Russian people, who were buried in Harbin!
The Russian club and HCHS plan to continue the practice to spend Saturday work days in the cemetery “Huangshan”. Watch for our ads and participate in club events!
Until next time!
Russian Club in Harbin
Photo: Larissa Zhebokritskaya
May 19, 2012