Tears From Vela Luka ”He Lived Like One Of Us”

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Warm words of grief and respect from Vela Luka.

Oliver Dragojević’s incredible voice was and will remain one of the few things that united almost everyone in Croatia, despite political turmoil, economic problems, and even during the war. 

His love of Dalmatia, the sea, and his country resounded in the hearts of many, not just from Croatia but from across the world, and even in his tragic death after a hard-fought battle with cancer, Dragojević’s voice continues to live on, as solemnly immortal as it ever was.

As grief grips the country, Vela Luka, where his funeral was held, is among the hardest hit. The talented Dragojević spent a huge amount of time on the island, and in both life and death, he has aroused only the warmest words from fellow inhabitants of the small town and municipality located on the beautiful Dalmatian island of Korčula.

As 24sata writes on the 1st of August, 2018, the inhabitants of Vela Luka tearfully welcomed the catamaran which had transported Oliver’s body from Split, on his final journey home. Yesterday morning, Vela Luka residents gathered in front of Oliver’s house to bid a final farewell and pay their respects to the Dalmatian music icon.

Oliver had a huge love for Vela Luka, where he often went to relax his mind, body, and soul, and Vela Luka loved him just as much, and as the crowds lined up to pay their final respects to the voice of Dalmatia, Vela Luka’s various flags flew at half-mast, on a day of sorrow.

”I can only say the best about him. Everything that needs to be said, is already being said. He lived just like one of us, like a Vela Luka local. He lived just like a native Lučanin (native of Vela Luka),” said Tonči Antunović who knew Oliver personally.

”Waiting for the arrival of the catamaran [carrying Oliver’s body] was a gesture of respect, they way in which we paid our tributes to a man who meant a lot to us. He was the type of person to arouse respect, naturally,” he added.

Locals and numerous tourists who came to witness the arrival of Oliver’s body on Vela Luka, his final journey back to his belove island, were filled with emotions while from the calm waves of an otherwise dark harbour, the catamaran solemnly introduced the torch and lit the way to Oliver’s final and now eternal resting place.

Klapa began to sing Oliver’s famous and emotive song “Pismo moja”, which was particularly touching. As the torches lit up the blackness of a calm night sky, tears fell and the coffin, following his grieving family, made its way to Oliver’s happy place, his island home.

Earlier on Tuesday, Split had given a spectacular sendoff to its musical legend, followed by very many smaller boats and acommpanied by escorts, the catamaran carrying Oliver’s body sailed towards Vela Luka at about 20:00.

Oliver’s funeral took place on Wednesday at 18:00 in Vela Luka. A large number of people headed for the island of Korčula in order to attend the proceedings for his final farewell, with the ferry to Vela Luka playing Oliver’s songs only in honour of his life.


Click here for the original article by Mateo Ivic, Rosana Stojmenovic and Ramona Scuric for 24sata


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