Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery Announces Ceremony Hall Art Restoration Project

Phase One of the Restoration of the Ceremony Hall Begins

CHICAGO, ILL. November 9, 2011 — The restoration of the Ceremony Hall in the crematorium/columbarium building at Bohemian National Cemetery began on November 1, 2011. Noted Moravian-born artist John A. Mallin decorated the Ceremony Hall in 1918 and led previous restoration efforts in 1928 and 1948. The current restoration project, initiated by Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery, is the first in almost 65 years.

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Vladimír M. Rydlo – a Czech Engineer in Atomic Energy of Canada Limited – 80 Today

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In his younger days, he must have been a handsome fellow. Even today – even though time had bowed him a bit, and thinned his once luxurious lock of hair – he looks quite good. If you peered deeply into his eyes, you’d see in them shadows indicating that life did not always treat him (as it had hardly anyone) with much consideration.

Vladimír was born on November 11, 1931 in Pilsen’s maternity hospital (the family lived in Kralovice). It was in Kralovice, where Vladimír attended public school. During the war – in 1941 – his father, a professor at agricultural school, was transferred to Novy Bydžov, where – two years later- he was appointed deputy director. Continue reading

Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Michel Sokol unit

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The last hurrah (poslední hurá)

The region that witnessed the establishment of the first Sokol unit (and probably of any Czech or Slovak organization in Canada) is a region of magic names:  Rocky Mountains, Crow’s Nest Pass, Turtle Mountain, Elk river, Porcupine Hills, Deception Mountain, Coal Creek… A region where in the autumn dark green spruces and birches (at least I think it’s birches) dressed in gold march up the mountains’ hillsides, where at night a fairy tale  moon shines through the veils of vapor, drawing close to the mountain peaks and when – at daytime – the sun is hidden behind the clouds, the mountains which charmed at night, look down at you threateningly and with utter contempt. Continue reading

Bozena Samanek (Božena Šamánková)

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Author: Martina Roe (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

presented herself to Czech readers in Sydney in 1991, where she published her first novel “Útek z domova”, (describing the family’s escape from Czechoslovakia). In her second book “Andělské schody”, published in 1994 she is returning to her childhood and her life of a young woman responsible for a family in the war years. “Perpentuum mobile” is the closing part of a trilogy, and describes the difficult beginnings after arrival in Australia, and the developments in the lives of her family. It was published in 1995 and in the same year she also published her second book of poetry “Jak život šel.” Two years later she published her last book “Opál na dlani” (Opal on the palm), stories of very unusual experiences which happened during her lifetime.

In Prague, in the thirties, she published a small collection of poems. In Australia she wrote a number of short stories in the English language, which were published in the magazine “Fellowship of Australian Writers”. (They were: “Day of Execution”, “London Calling”, “A Thought”.) Continue reading

Marketa Slepčíková: 8 years and 400 programs on Czech Television in Toronto

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

Czech (or Czechoslovak) television in Canada is nothing new: Vladimír Bubak and David Ševčík started broadcasting their programs in Kitchener-Waterloo in 1978, in Ottawa the first broadcast (Arnošt Wagner) took place even earlier (1973), in London the creators of a television program were a husband and wife team, Josef and Ružena Mára. Perhaps the most significant was the TV program in Toronto, a child of Milo Kubik (I was his happy assistant). But of course none of those programs could match in scope the Nová vize of Marketa Slepčíková-Rešovská.

Whenever I talk to Marketa, it hits me how much the world has changed during the 87 years of my earthly visit. Imagine (for example) a business street in a city of almost any size 87 years ago, a street where women used to come to shop. Prams everywhere. Continue reading

63. Czechoslovak (Czech and Slovak) day at Masaryktown

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

Weather and the opening ceremonies
The Czechoslovak (and later Czech and Slovak) Days used to be held on Sunday and the weather (if my recollection is correct) behaved as it should. Switching the date of our important day to Saturday apparently displeased the gods of weather and they started to spray us. This year wasn’t an exception, even though – although the sky over Masaryktown was full of playful clouds – it didn’t rain there. It rained though all around and that certainly affected the afternoon crowd. Continue reading

Richard Krpač’s Last Day in Toronto

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

An evening in the Mysteriously Yours Theatre in Toronto
Richard Krpač completed his four year tour of duty as the first Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto on June 30th. He left behind a terrific amount of work, starting – as we have already reported – with bringing into the Czech-Canadian circle an impressive number of highly successful countrymen and countrywomen, who until that time had little contact with the community. One of his most memorable actions was the evening at the Hart House of the University of Toronto, which he named Glamorous Prague, an event in which he managed to bring together hockey, Canadian Indian children, and Czech models. Continue reading

He belongs to people who know what they want

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Author: Martina Roe – Václav Židek (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

“Let live our Czech Republic!”       
We all call from our lungs.  
We respect and love Masaryk
But we do not do anything ourselves!

(Karel Hasler 1919) 

Thomas Hasler was born in Prague in 1941, a month before his father was murdered at the Mauthausen concentration camp by the Nazis. He left Czechoslovakia with his mother in 1949, a year after the Communists came to power, and grew up in Australia. He spent his childhood until the age of 16 years in Australia.  He moved with his mother to the U.S. in 1958.  He now lives in Baltimore. He  earned a B.A. from Hobart College and an M.A. from the University of MichiganContinue reading

The saga of the “Prague” deli on the Toronto’s “Queen Street” (Sága “Pražského” uzenářství na “Královnině ulici” v Torontu

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

It all started long time ago. Next year, it will be 60 years. In 1952 Jaroslav Roušal opened in a building municipally known as 638 Queen Street West in Toronto “J. Rousal Prague Ham Shop”. It was the first establishment in Toronto making Prague ham and sausages. The Roušal family continued in this business until 1968 (I stopped there occasionally for sausages or other goodies, but because it happened long time ago and my memory isn’t all that good anymore, I don’t remember too much about the Rousal years, and will move directly to the Pichlik family dynasty). That year (1968, when in Prague and actually all across the land, Prague Spring filled the streets with a new hope – and then came the tanks from the east), in the fall, the Prague Ham Shop was bought by the Pichlik family.  Continue reading

First San Diego Czech-Moravian-Slovak Festival Tomorrow (První česko-moravsko-slovenský festival již zítra)

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Czech and Slovak women from San DiegoTomorrow is a special day for San Diego Czechs and Slovaks. It will be the first time for all of them to learn and share their heritage at the San Diego Czech-Moravian-Slovak festival. The festival will feature traditional music, art and crafts, but visitors will also be able to come to the Czech and Slovak Mass and taste the food, which is much different from the food available in the local restaurants or grocery stores. 

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A Christmas tree of memories of Vlasta Brankovská (Vánoční stromeček vzpomínek Vlasty Brankovské)

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

I occasionally see her at concerts and community celebrations. A vigorous (she’ll be ninety in July, but no one could guess that), apparently utterly self-confident, self-sufficient, practically invulnerable, woman. The only thing I knew about her was that she taught children (and adults) to play tennis, and that she had a son, who worked in real estate and also played tennis. On the first day of the year 2011, I was watching on the Toronto Czech television program, Nová vize (New vision) a re-run of a film. The beautifully tanned producer, Marketa Slepčiková-Rešovská (Marketa has to her credit some 350 television programs, many of which, especially those created in the last two years with cameraman Igor Rešovský, are of outstanding quality), introduced Vlasta Brankovká (that self-confident, self-sufficient woman I occasionally see at concerts), standing beside a Christmas tree.

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