Celebration of Constitution Day in Ottawa

Ustava 200On Thursday, September 10, 2015 the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Ottawa held an official reception on the occasion of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic. Reception was attended by approximately 250 guests representing the Canadian government, diplomatic corps, business community, NGOs, the media, and many Canadian Slovaks not only fromn Ottawa but from Toronto, Montreal and other parts of Canada.

Slovakia's Constitution Day celebrations at the Slovak Embassy in Ottawa turned out to be one of the largest ever, attended by approximately 250 guests representing the Canadian government, diplomatic corps, business community, NGOs, the media, as well as more Slovaks from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and other cities than we have usually seen at past celebrations. Among unusual visitors were a delegation from the Saudi Arabian Embassy; more Roman Catholic priests than ever from Ontario, and even a uniformed female top officer from the Slovakia Police Forces. Constitution Day is Sept. 1, which is allotted for Slovakia to celebrate becoming a real independent country. But because of all the other businesses in Ottawa, organizing the celebration had to be postponed to Sept. 10.

Ambassador Andrej Droba spoke admiringly of not just Slovakia's certain progress since independence, but also on how well have grown her relations with Canada, not just in personal things but also in businesses in both countries working back and forth with each other.

Part of the Reception was the opening of an exhibition of Slovak painter and sketch artist living in Montreal, Peter Krča, who holds several Canadian awards in the arts.

A pleasant surprise for all was Ambassador Droba's presentation of a Gold Medal award to Jan (George) Frajkor for his work in both countries on Slovak and Canadian affairs. He cited Frajkor's work in print, radio and television journalism, and in university affairs, for his contributions to the deepening of Slovakia-Canada relations and Lifelong activities in development of the Slovak community in Canada.

Mr. Frajkor in a short speech said he was humbled and immensely affected by the medal presentation. He spoke of how well Canada and Slovakia had both helped his efforts, including his teaching in journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa and Comenius University in Bratislava. The Gold Medal is an honor from the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Minister Miroslav Lajčak.

Carol Lutes Racine, a former Carleton student, and former newspaper journalist for the Ottawa Citizen, attended the Constitution Day. She posted on Facebook a photograph she took of herself and Mr. Frajkor with the medal.

Responses and congratulations for that posting have come in from many Facebook web sources in the world. Notable ones? That includes one from Majka Frajkorova Fabrikova, a descendant of the Frajkor family at its hometown, Juškova Vola, in eastern Slovakia. She said: "Gratulujem".

Text: E.R. and Milan Vrbovský, PhD., Photos: Tibor Dej