The End of a Consulate (Konec jednoho konzulátu)

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This year’s month of March did not treat our community overly kindly. The row of friends to whom we said good bye this March is longer than other years. Quite a number of us gathered the last day of the month in Montreal to attend a somewhat different funeral: we lost a consulate. And this was not a run-of-the mill consulate. Which is not to suggest that the Czech Republic (and before that Czechoslovakia) ever had in Canada an unusually high number of consular establishments. But the Montreal consulate had much closer ties ties with the Czech (and even more Czechoslovak) history, than is usually the case.

What goes for the Montreal consulate, goes equally for the City of Montreal: it was in Montreal where in 1924 a group of immigrants from Czechoslovakia – mostly Slovaks – established Československý podpůrný spolek (Czechoslovak Mutual Benefit Society); it was in Montreal where in 1929 two newspapers commenced publication: Slovenské Bratrstvo (Slovak Brotherhood) and Kanadské noviny (Canadian Newspaper) – /the first Slovak newspaper in Canada, Slovenské slovo (Slovak Word), was published in Blairmore, Alberta in 1910/. Continue reading

A Tale of the Camp Hostyn with a Happy Ending (Příběh kempu Hostýn se šťastným koncem)

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Recently, you had an opportunity to learn about scouting and its history in the Czech Republic. If you think of scouts, you may think of tents, summer activities and games, bonfires, and lots of fun. It is possible that you or your children may experience all that and more in summer camps. How great would it be if you can actually find a camp abroad that is dedicated to Czech or Slovak children and their friends? The one that we will introduce to you today is called Hostýn and it is the last remaining piece of property in the province of Quebec that is owned by the Czech and Slovak community. The camp was established by the Czech Jesuit P. Bohuslav Janíček and on May 9th it celebrated its 55th anniversary. The camp, however, had some dark times when it did not serve its original purpose, but the hard work and strong belief in supporting Czech and Slovak heritage brought the camp back to its former glory as it once was.

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