Thousands say a final goodbye to Croatia’s favourite singer.
The funeral of famous Croatian singer Oliver Dragojević at the cemetery in Vela Luka on the island on Korčula brought together thousands of people on Wednesday evening, including family members and numerous friends and colleagues.
Vela Luka Mayor Katarina Bilić said that Oliver was “the greatest man from Vela Luka”, who would forever stay in the hearts of his fellow citizens. “When we heard the news that we will never see you again and that you will never walk through our town, the life in the town stopped,” said Bikić. “You will forever stay part of the history of this little town, which you made so great,” she added. Bikić pointed out that Oliver was not only a good musician but a good man. “I wish you calm seas. Adio, Captain,” said Bikić.
Prior to the burial, the coffin with Oliver’s body was draped with the flag of Torcida, the fan association of the Hajduk football club from Split. After that, the Torcida secretary Toni Baletić and Hajduk representative Jurica Gizdić laid a Hajduk scarf in the grave.
Oliver’s funeral saw his numerous friends and colleagues gather in Vela Luka, including musician Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni, poet Jakša Fiamengo, Stjepan Hauser from 2Cellos, celebrated Croatian basketball players Dino Rađa and Rato Tvrdić, and Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek.
Thousands of citizens visited the Dragojević family home in Vela Luka and laid flowers and lighted candles. In addition to the locals, the visitors also included tourists spending their vacation on Korčula, particularly those from Slovenia, where Oliver was also very popular.
The locals said that Oliver Dragojević’s death filled their hearts with grief, but also with pride since he decided to be laid to rest in Vela Luka.
Tonči Surin said that Oliver’s contribution to the promotion of Vela Luka was unique. “Vela Luka has lost a great promoter, Oliver was the one who always emphasised the importance of Vela Luka,” said Surin.
The funeral was also attended by Oliver’s music associate Goran Franić, who played the bass guitar with Oliver for over 40 years. “Oliver deserved all the love of the world because he used to spread positive energy with beautiful songs,” he said.