The prominent CAA member passed away in Toronto at the age of 83. He lived in Canada for almost half a century.

The absence of the late Vladimir Petranović will certainly be greatly felt in the cultural life of the Croatian community of the Canadian province of Ontario, and in Toronto in particular. We grieved at the news that he passed away in Toronto on the 5th of April 2017 in his 83rd year. He spent the last almost fifty years of his life living abroad, in Canada.

Vladimir Petranović was born in Bjelovar on the 4th of November 1934. He earned a degree in chemical engineering in 1959 at the University of Zagreb, whereupon he found employment at the OKI company. There he met his future wife and lifelong partner Mira. He remained with the company through to 1968, when he moved to Toronto. There he continued his university studies and earned a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Toronto with a dissertation in the Chemical Analysis of Some Activated Sludges. His studies in Croatia and Canada would define Petranović’s professional career path, but parallel to his work he was always active in the cultural life of the Croatian community in Canada. In Nova Scotia he found employment with the General Electric Port Hawkesbury Heavy Water Plant, where he remained until 1970 before moving to Toronto and continuing his career as a chemical engineer.

Vladimir Petranović was a typical example of an engineering expert with a vigorous interest in the humanities. He was very active as a member of the AMCA association of University of Zagreb alumni and in particular as the founder of the Toronto chapter of the Croatian Academy of America and the spiritus movens of its activities in Canada. He was the chief initiator and organiser of CAA symposia in Toronto over the past thirty years, producing the following: 1983: Five Centuries of Croatian Printing Arts, organised in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute in Toronto. 1984: Kingdom of Croatia, which featured lectures on various cultural, societal and political aspects of medieval Croatia. 1994: Aspects of Croatian Medieval Culture, followed as a natural continuation of the previous symposium, focusing more on medieval Croatian linguistic, literary, theatre and arts development. The three symposia that followed covered current themes. In 1995: The Aggression on Croatia as Reflected in Arts and Literature. 1998: The War in Croatia as Reflected in the Media. 1999: Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The series continued in 2000 with: Croatian Renaissance Writer Marko Marulić. 2002: Croatians in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2004: Frair Andrija Kačić Miošić. 2005: Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer. 2007: Croatian Culture in the Adriatic. 2013: Six Decades of the Croatian Academy of America. One of the lecturers was CAA president John Kraljic, who took the opportunity to present Vladimir Petranović with a citation for his many years of work and dedication to the work and success of the CAA.
Topical exhibitions of books and journals were a highlight of all the symposiums. Vladimir Petranović, a great enthusiast of the Croatian Academy of America was the driving force behind all of these events. His work certainly made a massive contribution to the dissemination of the facts about Croatia. Lecturers from the USA and Croatia were frequent visitors to his hospitable home.

By: Vladimir Bubrin & Vinko Grubišić