ONE HUNDERED AND SIXTY YEARS OF “STEPA STEPANOVIC” SCHOOL IN TEKERIS
Donation to “Vera Blagojevic” orphanage in Banja Koviljaca
Belgrade, 29 May 2003 – TRH Crown Prince Alexander II and Princess Katherine attended today the celebration of the 160th anniversary of elementary school “Stepa Stepanovic” in Tekeris.
Beside Their Royal Highnesses, the celebration of this important jubilee was also attended by His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac and Valjevo, deputy of the Chief of stuff of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro General Zivulovic, military attaché of Italy Mr. Adriano Skeggi, military attaché of the Czech Republic Mr. Mihail Bajakut, the third secretary of the German Embassy Mr. Bernard Hering, Crown Council member Prof. Dr Dragoljub Kavran, poets Dobrica Eric and Krstivoje Ilic and many cultural and public figures from this region.
The distinguished guests were introduced to the monography of the school that caries the name of great military leader Stepa Stepanovic. During the great battle of Cer in 1914 this school served as hospital, when Austrian soldiers took it and brutally killed 63 wounded Serbian soldiers.
In a short speech HRH Crown Prince Alexander II emphasized this school has brought up a great member of scientists, professors, doctors and artists, who represent our country and its great potential in the best possible way, and added:
“Glorious past is what we are proud of, and better future is something that we must make for ourselves. It is up to us to unite around the goal to bring our country back in to the great European family of democratic nations, where we have always belonged to. It is our debt to our ancestors and our posterity. I hope and I expect that we shall all work together to achieve this goal”.
The pupils and citizens prepared an interesting program for their guests. Their Royal Highnesses with great interest enjoyed the performers who evoked our history and the rich cultural heritage of this region. During today’s celebration the school was awarded with the Medal of King Alexander, delivered by the Society for preserving the tradition of the Wars in Serbia from 1904 to 1918.
Their Royal Highnesses and other distinguished guest then laid wreath on the monument to Stepa Stepanovic and charnel house of the Italian volunteers in the battle in Cer, and afterwards went to the very site of the battle.
The hosts introduced the guests to the battle strategy of Serbian Army, that defeated much stronger Austro – Hungarian enemy. By that victory Serbia put itself to the most prominent place not only in Europe but in the world as well.
Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine then visited the Church dedicated to Holy Prophet Elijah.
Continuing their visit, Their Royal Highnesses went to the Home for the children without parental care “Vera Blagojevic” in Banja Koviljaca. On that occasion they delivered food, bicycles, and new clothes and shoes. The clothes and shoes are donation from our local manufactures rallied in the program “Good deeds are always in fashion”. This program is carried out in cooperation of the Foundation of HRH Crown Princess Katherine and “YUTEF”, and it is going to last throughout the year. The aim of this great humanitarian program is to provide each month new clothes and shoes for the protégées of orphanages all over Serbia.
HRH Crown Princess Katherine thanked for the worm welcome and added that Crown Prince Alexander II and herself will always be with the children with parental care.
Princess Katherine expressed her pleasure because the children will travel to Italy wearing new clothes and shoes, to spend some time with Italian children of their age, and Crown Prince Alexander II invited the children to come to Belgrade and be the guests at The Royal and The White Palace.
At the end, the present were addressed by His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac and Valjevo who thanked Their Royal Highnesses for their great parental love that they so generously give to the children who are deprived of it.
Finishing their visit, the Royal Couple were the guests of Sabac Company “M – Plast” that donated toys for the young ones who were the guests of Their Royal Highnesses at Christmas and Easter receptions at The White Palace.