General Draza Day
On Sunday, 15th July 2012, the parish of St Sava Mona Vale, commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Liberation of Kosovo and Metohija (First Balkan War 1912-1913). At the St. Sava Pro-Cathedral the day began with the celebration of the Holy Liturgy by Very Rev. Stavrophor Fr. Saša Radoičić and deacons Nemanja Mrđenovic and Želimir Milović.
After the Liturgy a requiem service was held for all our fallen heros from the Battle of Kosovo (1389) up to the present day who gave their lives for the "Holy Cross and Golden Freedom". In particular General Draža Mihailović whose memorial day is commemorated on the anniversary of his execution on the 17th July 1946.
In the Parish hall an exhibition was prepared of royal orders, decorations, medals and cocardes of the period 1859 to 1941. The collection is substantial and represents one of the best examples of Serbian militaria and royal orders in the southern hemisphere. Keen collectors and enthusiasts are Very Rev Fr Saša and Mr Slavko Marinkov.
Lunch was prepared by our faithful Circle of Serbian Sisters. Nikola Lukich on behalf of the Parish welcomed everyone especially our distinguished guest Her Excellency the Serbian Ambassador to Australia Neda Maletić and, representing His Grace Bishop Irinej, deacon Nemanja.
Nikola Lukich an amateur historian on the Serbian community in Australia, gave a visual presentation on the First Balkan War especially the sacrifice of the Serbian soldier and its people.
Ambassador Maletić also addressed the audience and spoke of the recent census conducted in Australia last year in which it would appear there are 27,000 less people of Serbian ancestry than the previous census. The ongoing issue of many in the Serbian Community either not declaring ancestry or stating an alternate, for example “Yugoslav”.
Ambassador Maletić also expressed her respect towards the fallen heroes of the First Balkan War and commemorating "General Draza Day" (Дражин дан) presented the Parish with a two volume set on The Trial of Gen. Draža Mihailović. Very Rev. Fr. Saša thanked her Excellency and also presented her with a Commemorative History of our Parish as a momento of her visit.
Also Mr George Moscos and Mr Dimitrios Gongolidis, guests from the Greek Orthodox Church of St Archangel Michael at Crows Nest, gave a short presentation on Serbo-Greek relations entitled “Brotherhood and Friendship“ and outlined the joint struggle to expel the Ottomans from the respective territories.
For those interested in seeing the exhibition of royal orders, decorations, medal and militaria presentation a second event is planned for Friday, 10th August 2012 "Chetnik Day" (Четничко вече) at the Serbian Centre Bonnyrigg.