The promotion of Anto Kovačević’s book, published by Školska Knjiga of Zagreb and Hrvatski Sokol of Usora, was staged at the Croatian Heritage Foundation headquarters on the occasion of the recent World Teachers’ Day.

The Croatian Heritage Foundation played host October 6th to the promotion of Anto Kovačević’s book Jedra žedna vjetra (Sails in Want of Wind). The book is published by Školska Knjiga of Zagreb and Hrvatski Sokol of Usora.
On hand for the promotion were representatives of the State Office for Croats Abroad, state ministries, the office of the Mayor of Zagreb, the author’s associates in publishing this collection, many fellow teachers and pupils from Usora.
Joining the author to speak about the book were CHF director Marin Knezović, the head of the education programme at publisher Školska Knjiga Matilda Bulić and children’s writer and editor Željka Horvat Vukelja. The promotion was moderated by Vesna Kukavica, the head of the publishing department at the CHF.
Former pupils of Kovačević as a teacher, now themselves teachers in Usora and university students in Zagreb and Mostar – Monika Čolić, Antonio Anđelić, Dajana Ivkić and Ana Marija Brkić – read their prize-winning compositions.
They bear witness to the good judgement and effort invested by their former teacher. Also on hand to present a gift ahead of Kovačević’s imminent retirement as a sign of recognition for his valuable work as an educator were Usora parish priest Ravlić and fellow teacher and representative of publisher Hrvatski Sokol Slobodan Krajina.
“The book, lavishly illustrated with photographs and facsimiles of commendations, is divided into five chapters, easily navigated by an excellent index of names at the end of the volume. Anto Kovačević, a Croatian language teacher for forty years (1972-2012) collected and stored, like an expert archivist, the chronologically presented and prize winning compositions of his pupils with particular talent for literary and journalistic expression. With incredible assiduousness and care he added one by one to his comprehensive documentation, and we have now before us a comprehensive and intriguing manuscript of the elementary school generation of Usora, a Croatian enclave in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Branka Primorac says in her review of the book.
Anto Kovačević is a prominent education worker and writer from Usora, a municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina situated between the towns of Doboj and Tešanj. Before the war Usora was home to some 8,500 people, most of them Croatians. Part of the civilian population fled during the war, and Usora now numbers only 5,000 inhabitants. The municipality consists of the villages of Alibegovci, Bejići, Omanjska, Sivša, Srednja Omanjska and Ularice and part of the village of Makljenovac. Learn more about Usora.
In the book Sails in Want of Wind, a collection of published and prize winning literary and journalistic compositions (1972-2012) the author, among other things, provides a glimpse of the participation of youth from Usora in the CHF’s Gold Fish competition. On page 425 of the collection Kovačević recalls the “little fish of Usora”, these being Antonio Anđelić and Karmen Bejić (2006), Anita and Monika Brkić, Dario Katić and Karmen Bejić (2007), Dajana Ivkić (2009), Monika Krištić (2011) and Anja Bejić (2012). He also mentions the participation of his pupils in the Little School of Croatian Language held in Novi Vinodolski in 2007 and its Spomenak collection.
Following the promotion held on the occasion of the 24th Days of Croatian Culture in Usora, the book was promoted in Zagreb on the occasion of the recent World Teachers’ Day. Can one imagine a better recommendation of the book and its author?

Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photos by: Snježana Radoš