The anniversary was cause for celebration, and in collaboration with the CHF Split a concert was organised featuring renowned Split band Trio Gušt. The band also performed in Iquique at the Croatian Hall and in Punta Arenas hosted by the Croatian honorary consulate. Also performing was Sokol’s own Jeka folklore ensemble.
The Sokol Croatian Club of Antofagasta was founded in 1927 at a time when many clubs were established among the emigrant communities—for the most part philanthropic, sporting and national—with the mission of serving the needs of emigrant Croatians. Sports played a significant role in emigrant life and Sokol quickly became the focal point of sporting activity in this town on the Pacific shore of Atacama.
The 85th anniversary is certainly something to celebrate, and in collaboration with the Split branch office of the CHF a concert was organised on 1 December featuring the famed Split-based Trio Gušt band to the delight of the gathered audience.
Croatian Ambassador to Chile Vesna Terzić welcomed the gathered, followed by Branka Bezić Filipović, head of the CHF Split, who greeted everyone on behalf of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, which has been working with Sokol for over 30 years.
Letters of greeting were read from KK Adriatic and KK Split—basketball clubs with whom Sokol twinned last year with the help of the CHF, and from Split Mayor Kerum. Split and Antofagasta are, namely, friend cities. The last speaker was Sokol president John Obilinović before the event got into full swing with dance and song. Following Trio Gušt on stage was Sokol’s own Jeka folklore ensemble.
Given that the trip to Chile is no small feat, performances were also given by Trio Gušt in other cities. The first concert was in Iquique, at the local Croatian Hall, where the band was hosted by the presidents of two local organisations, Ivo Fistonić and Hrvoje Ostojić. This was followed by a performance in Punta Arenas organised by the honorary Croatian consulate and a youth group led by Marko Matulić that is working to preserve Croatian heritage.
Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović