Seven decades of proud history – News online

J. Gajeskov

Today’s look of the big hall of the SNO House in Kenley Vale

One of the first Serbian national organizations in Australia, founded back in 1951, is preparing to solemnly mark the great jubilee.

The Serbian People’s Defense, whose home is located in the Sydney neighborhood of Kenley Vale, will celebrate seven decades of existence through a series of cultural and social activities. The first will be held on Saturday, June 26, on the eve of the great Orthodox and Serbian national holiday Vidovdan.

– On that day, starting at 5 pm, we are holding the Vidovdan Academy, where the audience will be introduced to the students of the Serbian Sunday School “Vuk Karadzic” at the Cathedral of St. George in Kabramat, as well as two folklore groups SNO. We expect the participation of several other close folklore societies – the president of the organization, Djordje Grubisic, says for “Vesti”.

– After the cultural and artistic program, we are planning a great national celebration, which will last until late at night. Admission to this event is $ 25 per person, and a wide selection of food and drinks is provided, so everything will be on the level of both holidays and our house.

Memorial plaque at the entrance to the SNO Home

As far as we know, a lot of money has been invested in home renovations over the last year?

– That’s right, the big hall was renovated, it got a new floor, and the walls were decorated with paintings by the academic artist Radoša Stevanović. There is also new furniture, then we renovated the restaurant, kitchen and bar, as well as the upstairs hall where folklorists practice. We lined the canopy outside in front of the restaurant. Those who have not been to the House of Serbian National Defense recently will be pleasantly surprised to see what we have done. I invite all our current and former members, our people of Sydney and the surrounding area, to join us in celebrating this important jubilee, as well as other actions that we will organize during the year.

Recall in brief the history of the organization?

– The Serbian National Defense was founded on October 8, 1908 in Belgrade. The first president was the legendary general Boža Janković, and the first secretary was the famous writer Branislav Nušić. The membership consisted of Serbian officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, teachers, students, priests and peasants who followed the path taken by Gavrilo Princip in defense of the Serbian people.

Djordje Grubisic and painter Rados Stevanovic in front of a mural painted by the artist

How did the SNO arrive in Australia?

– After the Second World War, officers, non-commissioned officers and former soldiers from Ravna Gora who moved to Australia, decided to establish the Serbian National Defense here and to continue the tradition of their ancestors. The first meeting was held on May 24, 1951, on a Sydney field, and among the founders were the priest Milenko Stefanović, Zika Timotijević, Đora Sudžuković, Životije Stefanović, Prvoslav Odović, Bogoljub Marković and Gvozden Bralović. The first official session was held at the Ritz Hotel on July 8 of the same year, when the management was elected, headed by the first president of the SNO for Australia, Gavril Bulic.

Grubisic adds that at the ceremony on June 26, there will be more words about the rich past of this national organization.

– After the founding session, the rest is history. Land was purchased in the suburb of Kenley Vale, where the first SNO Home on the Fifth Continent was built. The holding of various socio-cultural and educational activities has begun, and they continue to this day. More details about the work of our organization during the past seven decades, all those interested will be able to find out at the upcoming Vidovdan Academy.

In the end, let’s say that the generations who built the Home in Kenley Vale dedicated it to Serbian children and youth in Australia, in order to preserve the Serbian name, culture and tradition. The SNO Home was ceremoniously opened and consecrated exactly 56 years ago, on Sunday, June 13, 1965.

Source: Vesti online by

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