Dear Fellow Macedonians,
During the weekend of November 22, I visited Toronto at the invitation of our dear friends Tanas Jovanovski of the Makedonija newspaper and Bill Yancoff of the Macedonian Heritage Hour, to deliver the keynote address at their anniversary banquet. I gladly accepted this invitation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Makedonija and the 20th anniversary of Macedonian Heritage Hour, which for a quarter of a century have ensured that the Macedonian voice in Canada is heard. These two media outlets have our utmost respect and, on behalf of the United Macedonian Diaspora, I wish them great success in the years to come.
As I mentioned in my speech, each time I come to Toronto, I feel at home because there are so many Macedonians in one place and it really is amazing. The banquet was attended by hundreds of people, younger and older generations alike. It was quite remarkable! It was a sincere pleasure to see familiar faces and to meet so many inspiring individuals.
One man left a deep impression on me. He told me that he was nine years old when he carried his baby sister on his shoulders through the cold winter mountains to escape the Greek army. His story was inspiring, and underscores UMD’s message that we must never give up, and must constantly educate American, Canadian, and international communities about the challenges Macedonians have faced in the past and continue to face in the 21st century.
In addition to visiting St. Clement Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral, I also visited St. Dimitrij Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church for the first time, at the invitation of Messrs. John and George Markou. The iconography in the church done by Georgi Danevski was simply breathtaking. I was very pleased to see a growing and vibrant Canadian Macedonian community in Toronto and Markham.
The following day, we held a presentation about the work of the United Macedonian Diaspora at St. Clement. UMD thanks St. Clement’s Board for generously making the hall available for the event, Bill Yancoff for the kind introduction, and Jim Daikos, Gligor Canev, and William Jankovski for their efforts to ensure that the event was well attended. I was gratified by the excellent questions and dialogue with the audience. It was an honor to be among such enthusiastic community leaders and activists who have dedicated their lives to championing the truth of the Macedonian cause.
Without the generous financial support of all who donated following my presentation at St. Clement, UMD’s work in Washington, D.C. and throughout the world would not be possible. Simply saying “thank you” is not enough. From the bottom of our hearts, we are very grateful for your support. We thank Tanas Jovanovski and Bill Yancoff for their generous donation, especially since they are constantly fundraising to sustain their media outlets. Each and every one of you who donated knows how necessary it is for Macedonians to have a clear, concise, and coordinated professional voice in Washington, D.C. and around the world, and we thank you for it!
UMD encourages you to save the date for the first ever UMD Global Conference, which will be held on June 11, 12, and 13, 2009 in Washington, D.C. More information will follow in the coming weeks and months. We hope you will join us to help launch a great new Macedonian tradition.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 756-2244 if you have any questions. If you wish to help further UMD’s work in Canada, please contact Jim Daikos at (416) 209-0448.
Once again, thank you for your generous support of the United Macedonian Diaspora.
Metodija A. Koloski
P.S. Please forward this letter to your family and friends.
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