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Serbian Flag Raising Ceremony

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 15:00, the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia organized the Raising Ceremony of the Flag of the Republic of Serbia in Queen's Park - Provincial Parliament of Ontario.

The Raising Ceremony of the Serbian state flag and intoning the anthem, as well as the presentation of an appropriate cultural and artistic program, was the act of honoring the arrival and settlement of the first Serbs in Toronto and Ontario in 1903.

The Event was blessed by Father Jovan Marjanac, secretary of the Serbian Diocese in Canada who conveyed personal greetings and blessings of the bishop of Serbian Diocese in Canadian, Dr. Mitrofan (was attending the gathering  of the Holy Archdiocese in Belgrade).

For this occasion, Students of the Serbian School "St. Sava" at the Church of All Serbian Saints in Mississauga, performed Serbian and Canadian anthems.

During the Serbian anthem "God's give us justice", the flag of the Republic of Serbia was raised by Mr. Zarko Brestovac , Serbian-Canadian, the bearer  of the Medal of St Sava and the Golden Medal for merits in promoting Serbian culture and humanity, ordered by the President of the Republic of Serbia  and two young members of the SCA “Oplenac” from Toronto, Miss. Milka Batak and Mr. Uroš Krtolina in their Serbian traditional folk dresses.

The Flag Raising Ceremony was attended by the MPP Tom Rakocevic, who thanked Consul General V. Petkovic for the initiative of performing the Serbian Flag Raising Ceremony. MPP Rakocevic conveyed to Consul General Vasilije Petkovic a personal congratulations of the leader of the New Democratic Party Mrs.  Andrea Horvat, the leader of the Official oposition in Ontarian Parliament on this occasion; Head of the Protocol of the Ontario Government, Mr. Jonathan Sauve pointed out the extraordinary cooperation with Consul General Vasilije Petković which is contributing to the achievement of better relations between the Canadian province of Ontario and R. Serbia; Lieutenant Colonel of Military Police Academy and Citizen Judge Mrs. Nancy Siew informed that she had the opportunity to work with immigrants from all parts of the world, knowing that that each one fo them was carrying some "story and the burden of the past,".  Mrs. Siew pointed out that in the new homeland, however, the emigrants should work together for a better future of coming generations.

Special guest, Secretary General of the Cultural and Educational Association of Serbia (CEAS), Mr. Zivorad Ajdacic, greeted the Ceremony as he said, "a very important gathering". He commended the Serbian Consulate General`s activity on the accomplishment of the entire event and pointed out that it is proof that Serbia "is concerned about its citizens in the diaspora, as the Serbs abroad are concerned about the Serbia, who were assisting whenever is necessary." He appealed to young generations of Serbian immigrants to never forget their origins and to keep their ties with Serbia wherever they live and work in the World.

Canadian-Serbian artist, Ms. Lily Otasevic highlighted the excellent education she gained in Serbia, which enabled her to achieve success in Canada in her field of work. "Serbian Canadians are blessed with the values of both countries, Serbia and Canada".

Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, Vasilije Petković, said that the Serbian Flag Raising Ceremony in Queen`s Park is the act of honoring the arrival and settlement of the first Serbs in Ontario, which represents a connection between the first Serbian immigrants and their successors living and working today in Canada. He pointed out that no generation of immigrants had forgotten their old Serbian countries, but remained in close contact, helping and preserving the memory of the Serbia in their new home.  First Serb settlled in Toronto was a certain Sremac Herceg in August 1903. The first Serbian Orthodox Church was built in Hamilton in 1913.

By increasing the number of Serb emigrants, there was a need for establishing the consular representation. The first Yugoslav Consulate General in Toronto was opened in 1953, representing the interests of the SFR Yugoslavia at the time. Finally, since the breakup of the federal state and the state union of the Serbia and Montenegro, starting from June 5, 2006, the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in Toronto, serves the citizens of the Republic of Serbia and all Serbs who live and work in the jurisdiction of this Consulate General.

Consul General Vasilije Petkovic pointed out that Serbian community in Ontario and Canada is organized, educated and well-informed and with its preserved culture and identity significantly contributes to the development of Canada as a society and the state. The Serbian Diaspora in Ontario is one of the most important communities, which has a good organizational scheme. There are many associations, organizations, cultural and artistic societies, humanitarian organizations, sports associations and each on e of them, in its own way, marks, preserves and promotes Serbian values.

The Serbian community in Canada and Ontario is one of the active Serbian communities in the World. This is reflected in numerous awards that organizations and individuals have received as a reward for their achievements. For example, this year, CEAS awarded seven awards of which five Golden badges and two Charters to the members of the Serbian Community in Ontario and Canada.

Some activities tha tare promoting Serbian values, were carried out in cooperation of the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian community in Canada and the Canadian diocese of Serbian Orthodox Church, which represents a kind of "Earthly Trinity: the Church, the People and the State". "We are together stronger, and it is in the spirit with our national slogan, which should always be remembered:" Only the Unity save the Serbs, "said the Consul General Vasilije Petkovic.

"The Serbs living in Canada, the Serbs who temporally stay here, the Serbs in all Serbian countries, have nothing to be ashamed of.  On the contrary, we have a lot of reasons to be proud of. Therefore, when this ceremony ends and when all of us go back to our homes, offices or anywhere else, we should be proud for being Serbs.

Cultural and artistic program was held thanks to the "SCA Oplenac" from Toronto and the Cocktail reception was held within the premises of the Ontario Parliament building, thankfully to the Serbian-Canadian companies: "Modular Homes", "Advanced Coatings", "Zoran Kitchens and Bath INC, Delta B Electronic INC, 747 Travel Toronto, JIT Road Transportation, Pirlitor Machine and Tool LTD, Interex Constructions INC and Royal Meats Barbeque.


 


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