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Canadian Czech-Slovak Benevolent Association
ince 1913

About us

Founded in 1913 in Winnipeg, Czecho-Slovak Benevolent Association is a non profit organization created for mutual support of Czech and Slovak speaking citizens. Our strength is our herritage and ourselves. In this section you will find information about our organization including:

Mission Statement

The mission of the Society is to unite all Czech and Slovak speaking individuals for mutual support in case of sickness and death. To provide an environment of pride in our herritage, a place where our culture is kept alive, and an intellectual development of our members is fostered.

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Prepared in by: Jerry J. Klimes, President of Canadian Czechoslovak Benevolent Association in year 2001.

Canadian Czechoslovak Benevolent Association was founded in April 1913 under the name Czecho-Slavic Benevolent Association (Czechoslovakia did not exist then yet). The initial purpose of the organization was to help newcomers to establish themselves in their new country, and at the same time, preserve the traditions, culture and heritage of their homeland. This very important task remained unchanged up until these days and it still is most emphasized among our members.

After WW1 and defeat of Austro-Hungarian Empire several new countries were founded in Europe, among them was also Czechoslovakia. Having own country initiated Czechs and Slovaks who were a vast majority in existing organization to change the name to Czecho -Slovak. Through donations and fund raising drives members were able to buy their own building social hall and very same building is our home base in these days.

In years between WW1 and WW2, due to a large wave of immigration, association grew and prospered quite well. Several members became well recognized and respected citizens of Winnipeg and played very important role in the development of the organization.

New huge wave of newcomers came in 1948, after communist takeover in Czechoslovakia. Our Association broke all ties with the new communist government and distanced itself entirely. Some of these people dedicated to life, growth and prosperity of the Association, preserving heritage and promoting culture and traditions in Manitoba. Thanks to their tremendous efforts Czechs and Slovaks became more recognized.

Suppression of liberal uprising and invasion of Soviet Army in August 68 generated last massive stream of new immigrants from Czechoslovakia to Canada. Also majority of them elected to stay in Eastern Canada, Winnipeg had a significant number of newcomers. Many of these are still very active in our Association and they play a very important role. Late sixties and early seventies were the last time when our organization experienced a dramatic and large growth.

Since that time newcomers were coming to Manitoba just sparely. However, this did not have a negative effect on growth of the organization until the collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia in November 89. Establishing a new democratic regime in the country almost completely eliminated a need for leaving country and looking for a new land where to live.

The reflection of this situation for us is a fact we have very, very few new citizens coming to Winnipeg. Along with an aging current membership, fading enthusiasm, sense of lost purpose, we found ourselves at the point of virtual extinction. Fortunately for us in March 1997 a group of several members decided that a radical change is needed. That, there is much more to the curent Czech and Slovak communities than single purpose of initiating newcomers to the life in Canada. New executive realized it would be an irreplaceable damage to loose the organization and started vigorously working on a rapid improvement. They successfully started assembling Czechs and Slovaks again and convincing them about priceless value of having own place, where our culture and heritage can be preserved and passed on to our children. Quarterly magazin edited by Giselle Majersky and Joe Dobrovolny in Czech and Slovak languages, is into the eighteenth year of its publication, providing members and non members with a glimps of the activities in our community. Special projects of social, cullinary and cultural nature are registering growing participation by members and nonmembers of Czech and Slovak discent alike. A CCBA website is being updated as this report is being updated. It is an ultimate goal of this executive to eventualy establish a youth committee, which will be operating along side of the board. Ultimately, members of this committee will be the future leaders of our organization.

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