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Our correspondent Marcela Smolárova had a baby girl ANDREJKA on November 4, 2002







































Volume 11, No. 1, SPRING 2003

Slovak Heritage Live

A quarterly newsletter published by Vladimir Linder

Spring issue was published in February and it was mailed to 1200 recipients world wide. 

My friend Ing. Arch. Peter Bauer 
in front of the new Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava

2002 was a sad year for me, as I have lost my friend Stanka Bulavová from Liptovská Teplička in summer, my friend Makši Dubrovay in fall and my favorite aunt of my wife in December. I have been to Slovakia three times and also I visited Turkish part of Cyprus and Bursa, Turkey with my friends, Folklore group Jánošík from Svit. Our financial difficulties don’t seem to be fading away as there are still lots of you not paying your dues on time or forgetting totally to update your memberships. I guess some of you (the non payers) are thinking that we are sitting on bottomless pit of money. Well, to tell you the truth, the Society still owes me over CAD $ 600.00 for issues published last year and with this issue additional CAD$ 1300.00 will be added to that amount. I would like to recover that as soon as possible. That will be only possible by you, our supporters renewing your memberships on time and paying up for the years of receiving the SHL even though your membership expired....
Our web pages are breaking record levels. We have received a total of 171636 hits with an average of 5536 hits per day in December. In January most visits were from: Slovak Republic, Canada, Japan, Hungary, Poland, France, Netherlands, Romania, United Kingdom, United States, Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Germany, Australia, Spain, Russian Federation, US Government, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, US Military, Lithuania, and Denmark.


Dear Vladimir,
If you ever drive past Bardejov (Kurimka and Lipová to be exact) please conduct a minute of silence. This will be for the people that emigrated from these villages many years ago.
Thank You, George Wadsovich

Dear Vladimir,
Enclosed is a $50.00 check. Please extend my membership for 2 more years. I look forward to receiving the quarterly newsletter. Your travels help me to relive some of my journeys to visit my relatives in Malacky, Bratislava and Brezov
á pod Bradlom.
Thanks for helping keep memories alive! Art Seplak......

...At an average speed of 609 miles per hour and an attitude of 37000 feet we made it to Frankfurt almost on time a bit over 9 hours. I boarded another Lufthansa flight to Vienna and arrived there at 2:00PM. I don’t know if I told you before that in Europe with the exception of the countries of the European Union, both countries check your passport. When leaving Austria you go through their passport and custom control, followed by the same procedure at the Slovak side. They do have passport scanners on the Slovak side to scan your passport number and information to their computers and then you go through the customs the customs officer sometimes asks you if you are bringing anything, but most of the time just waves you through without asking any questions. A bit different from what we are used to at USA or Canadian border crossings as sometimes the questions seem to be endless on both sides. The border crossing to Slovakia was smooth as usual. In fact I arrived at the Advantage Car Rental Company headquarters ahead of schedule at 3:15. My car was ready and I was mobile in few minutes. After unpacking and charging up my cell phone for a while I went to the V-Klub. It was packed with young students. Soon after I entered the office of director and my friend Maroš Veselský I learned that tonight they had a school of folk dancing and they were teaching folk dances from Zuberec in Orava region, which is in Northern Slovakia. My friend and folklorist Jano Blaho was teaching anybody who wanted to learn: Polka, rabbit, and simple dance of this region. After the training session the musicians kept on playing and students were dancing and singing songs from many regions. This continued until about 1:00 AM. I have met many of my folklorist friends here....


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Nikolaj and Helena Knap

There are numerous individuals who are interested in researching villages and towns their ancestors came from. For some, it is vital to see these places first hand. Many people in the United States can trace their families to the Slovak Republic and I am proud to say my name is included in this category. My family surnames are Kovalčík (under Hungarian administration the spelling was changed to Kovalycsik) and Vansco. They came from the village of Ujak, Slovakia (which was renamed Údol in 1948).  This medium sized village near the Poprad River is not far from the town of Stará Ľubovňa. The village itself rests at the top of a hill and it swings around in the form of a “U” shape. I was extremely fortunate that my older family members talked of “Ujak” (Údol) and always made this notation on all official documents. After my grandfather, Michael Kovalycsik, and other older family members passed away, I began to compile extensive records. I researched, gathered and categorized data. After all this I then incorporated it into numerous genealogy binders regarding my family and the village. As time went on, I decided that while it was wonderful to have this wealth of records and information, a return to Údol would assist me in ways no paper record could. Experiencing the village first hand and the people who resided there was an absolute necessity if I was going to continue such extensive research....

Greek Catholic Parish
Údol, 062 45 Plavnica

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In Údol, November 17, 2002

Our church of St. Demeter was built in 1866. Since then it resisted physical attacks during two World Wars, as well as during two centuries of outside weather conditions, as we live in area of Slovakia where winter and fall seasons are the longest seasons of the year. Until now we have made some small alterations to our church but now we are in the need to perform larger repairs as the condition of our church requires it.
This year we have changed windows and we are planning to replace the roof, as the original roof is being destroyed by corrosion and it is leaking, thus damaging the inside ceiling and walls of our church. Not of lesser importance is to bring a natural gas line into the church for heating. In winter months the temperature inside the church is -5 degrees Celsius, which is about 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Not taking to account the cold during the services, the walls and windows are attacked by mildew, which is result of the heat precipitation breading in cold church.
These necessary repairs as well as others that dignity of our church requires, we can only perform if our financial resources will allow us.
The people of our parish are helping not only by physical labor, but also by financial collections with whatever they can. All these repairs are financially demanding so we can handle them only with real difficulties and are very slow.
That is why we are asking you for financial assistance for our church of St. Demeter, that we will need for the roof change and putting natural gas heating in.

You can send your financial help directly to our bank account of our parish:
Slovenská Šporiteľňa 0103863116/0900 name of the account Gréckokatolícka cirkev farnosť Údol

God Bless You for Your kindness.

With deep respect Father Marek Belej
Administrator of Údol parish and believers from Údol

Greek Catholic Parish
Údol, 062 45 Plavnica

By: Mons, Doc. ThDr. ICLic. František Dlugoš, PhD

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Born November 14, 1877 in poor Orava’s village in Zákamenné, called at that time Zákamenno-Klin, to good, honorable and most of all believing parents Anton Vojtašák and Mária, nee Klimčík. His parents were modest small farmers but rich in spiritual treasures. They accepted every child the God blessed them with. They had 11 children, from whose Ján was the seventh He went to elementary school in Zákamenné and two years in Stankovany. From 1889 he studied at gymnasium in Trstená in Orava, later on at higher gymnasium in Ružomberok where he graduated. From 1895 he studied theology and he completed in Priest’s seminary spiritual formation in Spiš Chapter.

After successful completion of theological studies to his big happiness he was ordained to priesthood. He accepted is ordination from hands of Diocese bishop Paul Smrečány in the Spiš cathedral of St. Martin in Spiš Chapter on July 1, 1901. In years 1901 to1903 he was a chaplain in Horná Zubnica (now Poland), in 1903-4 chaplain in Kvačany in Liptov region, 1904-5 chaplain in Zubrohlav, later in Ústí above Orava, 1906-8 in Tvrdošín, in 1908-10 in Veličná, where he became a priest in 1910. In 1919 he was named the director of bishops office and later also to a position of lector of theology seminary at Spiš Chapter....


I would say that the area of the theater takes over about 4 average city blocks. The square footage of the building is 503202 square feet. There will be two theaters side by side connected with a corridor in the middle. One is the Opera with a capacity of 901 seats and the other is Drama Theatre with total capacity of 649 seats. There is also theatre studio with capacity of 160 seats, restaurant for 132 people, espresso for 27 people, libresso for 44 people, and a Club that can accommodate 108 guests. The final cost of building the theater will be in the neighborhood of over 4 Billion SK which is over US$ 102 Million at the today’s rate of 1.00 US$=39.00 SK. It is expected that the theatre will be finished by April 2004. The problem is financing and they still need over 600 million SK to finish it. I got first hand tour of the whole complex and I must tell you I was really impressed. Opera and Ballet Theatre has 7 servicing floors and the stage stack is 12 story’s tall. There is a main stage with removable turning stage, rear stage, and two side stages. They are all movable and the whole scene can be transported from any of the three stages to the main stage. The chairs of the auditorium are individually air-conditioned in both theatres. The Drama Theatre has 6 servicing floors and the stage stack is 10 story’s tall. Main stage is all-hydraulic and there are two additions side stages. Shared areas for both theatres are the entry hall and the cloakrooms, service areas and the woks of together with the founding stone, the spring...

Is the latest CD produced by Igor Bázlik. You will find 15 Yiddish, Hebrew and Ivrit songs on it sung by Ervin Schönhauser.

Igor Bázlik ,
was born, and will die, like anybody else. The fact that I was born in a family that lived for music and the arts was a gift of God. He located the place in the centre of the small country of Slovakia, which, like many other small countries, makes a man endowed with talent look for a point of departure‑one’s own point of departure‑in a maze of everything that surrounds him. I know a genius is not born very often but I do not feel to be one, I only want to use what was given to me from above and by my parents and to enhance its value and transform it and continue transforming it into something useful and beneficial.
If I have succeeded (at least in part), I must thank my mother, father, uncle also a composer (Tibor Andra
šovan), my professors at the Conservatory and at the Academy of Performing Arts, Slovak Radio and Slovak Television (where I worked at times as a musical director and conductor) and others who accepted my activities‑I can consider it my luck and my own satisfaction that I was born and have worked with the people among whom I could, with more or less success, work and develop.
My cooperation with Ervin Sch
önhauser gave me, however, something new, not yet known to me (I can remember the war time when my parents were hiding a Jewish Family in their cellar) and I am glad that fate has brought me also to a way which has resulted in Jewish songs in my arrangement, in my production, and my guidance of the singer and the orchestra the way I saw them.
Igor Bázlik...

Several book reviews by our correspondent Miroslava DulovÁ

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Is located in the center of Demänovská Valley; straight below the main entrance into the most beautiful and well known Slovak cave Jaskyňa Slobody-The Cave of Freedom. Its elevation is 800 m above sea level and its elegant sports character will satisfy the requirements of most demanding clients. It offers luxury accommodation and boarding services together with variety of supplementary services for spending the leisure time. It is the nearest hotel to the city of Liptovský Mikuláš with complete rehabilitation relaxation center (swimming pool, dry and steam sauna, whirlpool, massage and fitness center). All hotel services are designed to suit the guest’s ideas of comfortable summer or winter family holiday. Business representatives and managers can also use the capacities of hotel not only for business meetings and dining but also for rest and relaxation. Hotel spaces are also suitable for organizing courses and seminars...

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