Croatian Cultural Garden Dedication Immigrant Mother Statue Unveiling
June 3, 2012
Phase 1 of the Croatian Cultural Garden has been completed. The beautiful Garden was formally dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday June 3rd in front of several hundred attendees.
Marko Lasic served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and the national anthems of the US (by Marcie Coleff) and Croatia (by Vinka Lasic- Knott) were sung.
Marko Lasic introduced Fr. Zvonko Blasko of St. Pauls Croatian Church who gave the opening invocation and blessing.
Fr. Zvonko Blasko, St. Paul's Croatian Church
The statue of the Immigrant Mother was covered until the official unveiling.
Helen Sekulic and son John Sekulic unveiled the statue
Next, Maria Vokic read a moving essay about the Immigrant Mother.
Branka Malinar officially dedicated the Immigrant Mother statue and the Croatian Garden.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald also spoke.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald
Ward 8 Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson and others also spoke.
Ward 8 Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson
Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation president Sheila Murphy Crawford welcomed the Croatian Garden to the family.
Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation president Sheila Murphy Crawford
Branka Malinar introduced some of the benefactors of the Croatian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio including Ed Lozick who spoke a few words.
Ed Lozick and Branka Malinar
Tom Turkaly presented a replica of the Immigrant Mother statue to Mr and Mrs Ed Lozick
Next, Fr. Zvonko Blasko of St. Paul's Croatian Church spoke in Croatian about some of the symbolism of the Immigrant Mother statue and other aspects of the Croatian Cultural Garden.
Fr. Zvonko Blasko of St. Paul's Croatian Church
Fr. Blasko then introduced two students from the Croatian Language School, Cardinal A. Stepinac. Tony Osap recited "Domovino Ja Te Volim" ( I love you my homeland)and Katarina Valentic recited "Ja Sam Hrvatica Mala" ( I am a Croatian girl).
Robert Jerin spoke in English about the symbolism in the Croatian Garden. He also singled out Branka Malinar for her hard work.
Branka Malinar and Robert Jerin
Then Josip Paro, Croatia's ambassador to the United States, spoke.
Josip Paro, Croatia's ambassador to the United States
The Dedication ceremony ended with British Cultural Garden representative Mary Hamlin welcoming the Croatian Garden as the 28th garden in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.
Attendees then moved up to the East Blvd. site of the Croatian Garden for entertainment and food.
Please enjoy these images from the Croatian Garden dedication.
Marko Lasic, Mary Hamlin, Maria Vokic and Judge Diane Karpinski
Tom Turkaly and Raj Pillai
Sheila Murphy Crawford, Branka Malinar and Jeff Johnson
Zvucl Domovine Hrvata Korduna
Zvucl Domovine Hrvata Korduna Band
Cleveland Junior Tamburitzans
Yvonne Conwell, Mrs Joseph Turkaly and Mayor Frank Jackson
Bill Jones, Tom Turkaly, Sheila Murphy Crawford, Carolyn Balogh, Rich Creppage and Mary Hamlin