On Thursday, December 2, 2010, at the Hrvatski Dom - Croatian Centre in Buenos Aires, the ambassador Mira Martinec gave Joza Vrljičak M.A., chief editor of the journal Studia Croatica in Buenos Aires, the Recognition Charter (Povelja) of the Republic of Croatia for his particular contribution to the promotion of Croatian culture in Argentina, during the 50th anniversary of the appearance of the journal. At the recognition ceremony were present Studia Croatica´s contributors and representatives of the Croatian community.
These were the words spoken by Joza Vrljicak on that occasion:
On behalf of Studia Croatica I thank the Republic of Croatia and its president, dr. Ivo Josipovic to have given this recognition to the journal in its 50 anniversary.
I also thank Ambassador Mira Martinec and Consul Nikolina Zidek, who have initiated and driven this recognition. To the estimated Ambassador we bid a fond farewell and wish her success in her future missions.
Fifty years is not little and the work was certainly a team effort.
Studia Croatica was born in 1960 with the idea and the thrust of a group of Croatian patriots led and supported by Ivo Rojnica, among which were Ivo Bogdan, Branko Kadic, Andjelko Belic, Vinko Nikolic, Milan Blazekovic, brothers Bozidar and Radovan Latkovic, Srecko Karaman, Danijel Crljen, Ivo Huhn and Mate Luketa. Franjo Nevistic, Ljeposlav Perinic, Vjekoslav Paver and Pero Vukota joined later.
The first editor in chief was Ivo Bogdan, being deputy editor and tireless translator Branko Kadic.
After the death of the first editor in 1971, dr. Franjo Nevistic was named to the post and in 1984 became editor dr. Radovan Latkovic to 1994, being deputy editor Ljeposlav Perinic.
In 1995 this speaker took the helm and was deputy editor Mira Dugacki-Vrljicak until her death in 2004. That function is performed today by dr. Adriana Smajic.
As I was saying, many people have worked over these 50 years for the journal to be published in its various forms, on paper and in various electronic formats. They have done as authors, translators, typesetters, proofreaders, sponsors, administrators, tipistas, electronic publishers and other functions.
To name them all would be impossible in these circumstances. In this context, let me say that we are working on a book with the history of the Journal and the Institute for Croatian Culture, which we hope to have ready by early next year.
There are named to all authors, members, sponsors and other collaborators, and their number is 550.
I want to mention that among the contributors to the jounal there were and there are a number of prominent members of the hierarchy of the Church, and members of various religious orders, Franciscans and Jesuits in particular.
Since its inception, the journal always had content, perspective and international scope. The journal always had authors living in a variety of countries, mainly in Latin America, North America and Europe.
In its paper form, the journal was sent to numerous libraries, institutions and personalities worldwide.
Of course the journal could not be sent directly to Croatia, but somehow it did arrive. I was told a few years ago by the director of the Croatian National and University Library that Studia Croatica was received and kept it well hidden hidden drawers. In Yugoslavia the Croatian word was taboo.
International perspective that I mentioned before, was particularly noticeable with the active participation of the magazine in the HNV Hrvatsko Narodno Vijece - Croatian National Council. This organization coordinated the effort and struggle in the Diaspora towards the fundamental objective: the establishment of a state of our own, free, sovereign and independent.
That goal was finally achieved, certainly not easily, under the leadership of dr. Franjo Tudjman, founder and first president of the Republic of Croatia. Our journal is honoured to have him as a contributor already in 1981.
Studia Croatica want to emphasize that maintains relations with many institutions in Croatia and the emigration, and I shall mention here three: Matica Hrvatska Iseljenika – Croatian Emigrants Foundation–, who supported our work during years, the Croatian World Congress and the Union of Croatian Associations in Argentina.
Moreover, it should also mention the close links with other publications that shared the same ideals and objectives, and were published in other languages: Hrvatska Revija-The Croatian Review (in Croatian), Journal of Croatian Studies (in English) and Kroatische Berichte (in German).
Cooperation with the Journal of Croatian Studies continues to this day, to which we have to add, now in the Internet world, the various portals that conform the Croatian Constellation, based in New York, Zagreb, Montreal and Buenos Aires and colleagues in other cities.
While it is true that the fundamental objective of this and other publications were achieved with the establishment of the Republic of Croatia, we see as our current objectives the dissemination of Croatia and its rights as a sovereign state in the community of nations, and the affirmation of the Croatian identity and culture among its very large diaspora.
This work is currently performed by publishing through the Internet using several ways: emails, websites, blogs, facebook, twitter, youtube, ebooks and other.
During these 50 years, the total published in paper format was 11000 pages. A couple of months we have completed the re-publication of the entire collection of the journal as ebooks. Publication in the Internet era also ascended to the other thousands of pages and hundreds of videos.
But inspite all these electronic media, we understand that the paper edition is still important, that is why I've just re-published the book Croatia and her Destiny on paper, and soon we will publish Croatia: Myth and Reality (in Spanish), by our contributor, the recently deceased C. Michael McAdams. Another book we are preparing is about Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, who we hope will be proclaimed a Saint in the coming year and the Jubilee Book with the history of our journal, as I mentioned earlier.
Finally, I take this opportunity to thank those who are supporting materially this effort publishing endeavour, several of whom have joined us today.
That is all. Thank you for your presence and attention.