Cleveland-Bratislava Sister Cities Meeting
Tonight was the first meeting of the season of Cleveland-Bratislava Sister Cities, Inc. and it took place in the offices of the First Catholic Slovak Union (FCSU) on Rockside Road in Independence. Mr. Andrew M. Rajec is the National President of FCSU and he spoke to us for about a half hour about the history of the Slovaks in Cleveland and the founding of FCSU by Father Stefan Furdek in 1890. He urged the various Slovakian factions to work together to form "to form a more cohesive group" and we were impressed with what Mr. Rajec told us about FCSU which offers life insurance and annuities (at very good rates) to its clients. We met Ms. Beata Fedoriouk who works at FCSU and when we told her that we worked for Margaret W. Wong and Associates, Ms. Fedoriouk exclaimed, "she was my lawyer!" And, indeed, Ms. Wong assisted Ms. Fedoriouk when she immigrated to the United States from Slovakia about 15 years ago and we are happy to say that about 4-5 years ago Ms. Fedoriouk became a United States citizen. She told us to be sure to say hello to Ms. Wong.
What really made the evening, however, was seeing all of the beautiful Slovakian costumes and artifacts on display which were organized in 2010 by our friend Mr. George Terbrack who is very involved in the Slovakian community here in Cleveland and acts as caretaker of the Cleveland Slovakian Cultural Garden. In fact, what is at FCSU is a small museum curated by Mr. Terbrack who donated the costumes and quite a few of the artifacts from his own collection. He even installed the beautifully carved doorway to the conference room himself with the help of a friend.
When we asked Mr. Terbrack what this all meant to him he said that, "this museum is representative of our heritage because it came from a labor of love of Slovakian mothers and fathers in the old country. I believe in the values of preserving our heritage."