GOT TO BE THERE
To keep our
Slovak community in Canada together, we need to
hold events and conduct our activities which will
attract our people back to the community.
Even more important there has to be a feeling
that attending these events gives one the chance
to associate with people one is proud to
associate with, especially with those members of
our community who have made it, those people who
have become prominent and successful in Canadian
and American life.
The attraction of the event would be even more
pleasing if those who are prominent in our
community and those who have become stars were
also to attend. Any event that attracts a Eugene
Cernan, a Robert Urich, a George Shuba, a Stan
Mikita, makes the event more enjoyable because we
see them taking pride in their Slovak roots, and
we take the same pride in seeing one of our own
having become a success in Canada and the U.S.
still associating with the community.
Everyone of us should make an effort to attend
the performances of our young people in their
folk dance and choral groups. They need financial
support, but even more they need an audience to
make them feel that what they are doing to keep
our culture alive,is worth it.
There are events around Toronto during the
year which Slovaks simply have to attend: Martin
Luther Day, Slovak Day (CSL) picnic, Slovak
pilgrimage to Martyrs' Shrine, Jednota Family
Picnic, Odpust at Cambridge, Slovak Constitution
Day, Cyrillo-Methodian Day at the Cathedral.
In addition there are the Church calendar
events: Christmas, Easter, and Mission Days which
are designed to service the religious needs of
These are the minimum events Slovaks must
attend to keep the community going. They must
also participate in Slovak organizations and
activities because without them, the community
will cease to exist in Canada.
One way to keep our young as part of the
community is through athletics: baseball,
bowling, soccer, tennis and gymnastics. We must
develop these activities and give them a Slovak
profile so that others will know there are
Slovaks in Canada. Everytime I hear native people
get upset about the name Cleveland Indians or
Washington Redskins, I feel like telling them
that we wouldn't mind these organizations
changing their names to Cleveland Slovaks or
We should consider how to establish a Slovak
presence in our Canadian and American activities.
Let's have our choirs compete at festivals.
Slovakia today is an independent state which
celebrates its Independence on January 1 (not a
day conducive to holding ceremonies because of
other competing events already taking place that
day), and its Constitution on September 1st.
There are those who still wish to celebrate
March 14th in honour of the First Slovak
Republic, and that is well and good. But our
efforts now must be to honour our present Slovak
free and independent state for which we had
for so many years longed. We should make both
January 1 and September 1 grand days, and we
should fly the Slovak flag from our homes on
those days. Slovak organizations should sponsor
receptions that day for other
Canadians and Americans to remind them of our
outstanding achievements, independence and
freedom. There should be masses of thanksgiving
As time goes one, Slovak musicians and artists
will be making plans to travel to North America,
we should try to attend their concerts.
These things benefit our community and help us
maintain our pride in our Slovak heritage.