September 19, 2023 – During his visit to Hamilton, president Zoran Milanovic told Croats in Canada that Croatia does not need their money because they have already given enough of it. It does need their love and to remain what they are, adding that it is up to them to decide whether they will return to Croatia.
“It is your assessment and decision whether you should return to Croatia. Our heart is open to your experience, knowledge, intelligence, and above all love for the homeland, for Croatia and its traditions. You have given enough money. Croatia does not need your money, but needs your love and for you to remain what you are,” Milanović told the Croatian emigrants in Hamilton, Canada. As Index writes, he visited the Croatian parish of Sveti Križ, which marked its 65th anniversary.
President’s First Time Visiting Croats in Canada
As stated in the press release from the President’s Office, he met the coadjutor bishop of Srijem, Msgr. Fabijan Svalina, who came to Canada for the anniversary. The Croatian clergy from Ontario, the president and his wife Sanja Musić Milanovic attended the holy mass.
“This church was built with the hands, money, effort, and work of our people. This area and this church have been Croatian for 65 years,” said Milanović. He congratulated the clergy and Croatian emigrants on the 65th anniversary of the Croatian Parish of the Holy Cross. He told Croats in Canada that he would remember this visit as very nice and warm, especially since this is his first visit to Canada.
“Let’s go to work to make a country that they will be proud of”
“After this, we will continue to work to try to make Croatia a country that you will return to by intuition and feeling. If you make such a decision, because it must not be imposed, and a country that, even if you do not return to, you will be extremely proud of “, said Milanovic. He will also participate in the session of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
“Proud not only because in football we beat the bigger and richer, but also because it will simply be a nice, decent, peaceful and good place to live. A place where man is respected, family is respected, where everyone has the right to their privacy. Where people have enough so that they can save, earn, and get rich if they see the point in it. But where everyone has the right to seek happiness, concluded Milanovic.
The city of Hamilton is home to the second largest Croatian community in Canada, after Toronto, and Croats in Hamilton have a long tradition because, in addition to the Croatian parish, there is also the oldest active Croatian organization in Canada – the Croatian National Home, which celebrates its 95th anniversary this year.