Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava joined CHF deputy director Ivan Tepeš at the opening of the new office of the Vukovar branch of the CHF, with the new premises blessed by Vukovar guardian friar Ivica Jagodić.
The 15th anniversary of the Vukovar branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation was celebrated in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar on the 6th of September. The event programme opened with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Homeland War Memorial Cemetery in Vukovar. Representing the CHF at the ceremony was our deputy director Ivan Tepeš, the head of the Vukovar branch office Silvio Jergović and the head of our marketing department Ivana Rora.
The formal part of the anniversary celebration was staged at the Sveti Bono Pastoral Centre. On hand were CHF director Mijo Marić, deputy director Tepeš, Vukovar guardian friar Ivica Jagodić, Marinko Beljo (representing the prefect of Vukovar-Srijem County), Vukovar deputy mayor Ivana Mujkić, Ilok mayor Marina Budimir, the deputy director of the Institute for the Culture of Vojvodina Croatians Katarina Čeliković, the deputy director of the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences Dražen Živić, the dean of the Lavoslav Ružička Polytechnic School in Vukovar Željko Sudarić, the director of the Vukovar Homeland War Memorial Centre Krunoslav Šeremet, the vice-president of the Zagreb chapter of the Napredak Croatian Culture Association Tomislav Dubravac, the president of the Vladimir Nazor Croatian Culture and Arts Association of Sombor Mata Matarić, and other municipal and county officials.
Everyone was welcomed by Vukovar guardian friar Jagodić, CHF director Marić, deputy Vukovar mayor Mujkić and the country prefect’s envoy Beljo. CHF Vukovar branch office head Jergović spoke of its founding and its fifteen years of activity, highlighting the excellent collaboration with all local institutions and associations, the media at the local and national levels, and with diaspora media outlets around the world.
In its work to date the branch office has promoted many diaspora books, screened a number of documentary films related to the topic of the Croatian diaspora and ethnic Croatian enclaves in neighbouring countries, and staged numerous exhibitions featuring the work of members of our diaspora and of ethnic Croatians from neighbouring countries. The Vukovar branch office has also provided an impetus to the founding of a number of ethnic Croatian associations in Vojvodina and established collaborative ventures between schools in Croatia and schools in this neighbouring region that offer Croatian language classroom instruction. It has also spearheaded the digitalisation of the Miroljub magazine published by the Vladimir Nazor Croatian Culture and Arts Association of Sombor. The branch is a co-organiser of the Organum Cibalae organ music festival in Vinkovci, the Hrvoje Majić Tamburitza Memorial, the Faust Vrančić School of Croatian Language and Culture, a Croatian language and culture seminar for secondary and elementary school teachers providing Croatian language instruction in Vojvodina, the Divan je kićeni Srijem (“Orate Srijem is Wonderful”) event, events celebrating harvest and threshing work in the past, and much more.
Musical entertainment for the event, led by Milka Vida, saw a performance by the Lipa male vocal ensemble out of Vinkovci. The event closed with CHF director Marić presenting letters of thanks to our long-time associates and a tour of the newly-opened Franciscan museum.
The afternoon saw Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava join CHF deputy director Tepeš at the opening of the new office of the Vukovar branch of the CHF. Vukovar guardian friar Jagodić led the prayer and blessed the new premises.
An evening Roman Catholic mass was served by guardian friar Jagodić and concelebrated with parish vicar friar Matija Marijić. The mass was graced by the singing of Vukovar’s own St Cecilia Choir, followed by an organ concert featuring Edmund Borić Andler in the frame of the Organum Cibalae festival.