Prime Minister JanÅ¡a Visits Slovenian Community in Lemont
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez JanÅ¡a visited members of the Slovenian community in Lemont, IL, on Saturday, May 19, prior to taking part in the two-day NATO Summit in Chicago, where he was accompanied by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Defense Minister AleÅ¡ Hojs. In Lemont, southwest of Chicago, he was received by Slovenia's Consul General in Cleveland JurÄek Å½mauc and the Honorary Consul for Illinois, Janez Vidmar, as well as the President of the Slovenian Cultural Center, Martin Hozjan, and warmly greeted by an assembly of over 250 people.
The reception began by menâs choir Zbor Å pendov singing the Slovenian national anthem. Martin Hozjan spoke about the meaning of the SCC in the lives of the Slovenian Community in Northern Illnois and its close connection with the Slovenian Franciscan Fathers, on whose property the SCC was built. Mr. Hozjan made it a point to thank the PM for all the help the Slovenian Government has provided in helping maintain the Slovenian Language School in Lemont.
Prime Minister JanÅ¡a congratulated the community on its success in maintaining the connections with Slovenia and, most importantly, thanked for all of the work the community did 20 years ago in helping Slovenia establish itself as a free and independent country. He noted that it was Slovenian communities in the U.S. like the one in Lemont that helped change the minds of U.S. policy makers regarding the events that were then unfolding in the former Yugoslavia.
These addresses were followed by a short musical program featuring the SlomÅ¡ek Slovenian School, and a duet by Christina and Martin Nyberg, who impressed all with their performance.
Afterwards, Martin Hozjan presented the PM with a memorial book of the 100th anniversary of the Slovenian Catholic Parish of St. Stephen in Chicago, and a memorial book of the opening of the SCC.
In addition his visit to the Slovenian diaspora, PM JanÅ¡a also met with representatives of the Slovenian American Business Association.