Our folklore group “The Young Srbadija” was born in 1965 at the founding of St. Demetrius Church. From the very beginning the group consisted of dance, orchestra and singing sections. The rehearsals started and continued at full steam long before the consecration of the church. There were many problems: lack of national costumes, instruments, music notes and recorded music. The Circle of Serbian Sisters, along with artists’ mothers began to shop for these items. The only item that they could get from the old country were the dancing shoes opanki. Mrs. Danica Jovanovic (tetka/auntie) spent endless days and nights sewing the costumes from material resembling the original Serbian materials. Her husband Mr. Sreten Jovanovic became the first coreographer. He sang the tunes and melodies, as there were no other means to play them. Those were the conditions that the founding generation faced, but hard work, dedication and love of all participants prevailed.
On September 18, 1966, “Young Srbadija” performed at the consecration of the Church. Needless to say, their presentations were greeted with great joy and applause. It was well earned. They continued with the same enthusiasm and zeal travelling and performing at many events over the years, including a special appearance before King Peter ll in Hamilton.
A second generation continued the perform under Mr. Sreten until his retirement due to a serious illness. Mrs. Borka Kovacevic became the coreographer of the third generation. She was followed by Mrs. Anka Koljivrat and Mrs. Bojana Drobac in the seventies and Mrs. Nada Zebeljan and Mrs. Dana Ilic in the eighties. They in turn were followed Mr. Dusan-Dule Andric and Mrs. Marija Lebert. From time to time there was no adequate coreographer and the group did not perform. This changed with the arrival of Mr. Gruja Stevanov (Cika Lala) and the group began to practise and perform under the auspices of the Church’s Cultural Committee. The current coreographer is Mr. Dusan Antic and the group has continued to work diligently following in the footsteps of so many dedicated generations.
“The Young Srbadija” celebrates their Slava in honour of their protector St. Basil of Ostrog.
We are looking forward to many more successful years!