Queens Park, Toronto
Dear Honorable Mr. Chan
By mistake I watched a television program called Macedonian Roots on September 20, 2008, which is carried on Rogers multilingual channel.
I heard your remarks on the celebration of the independence date of the FYR of Macedonia with surprise and consternation.
In your remarks, Your Excellency mentioned that the first “Macedonians” had come to Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century and in 1911 built their first “Macedonian” church. According to the Encyclopedia Canadiana, Volume 6, page 260, it states “Macedonian orgin, people of”: ‘As early as 1896, a few young Bulgaro-Macedonian peasants left the regions of Kastoria and Lerin in south Macedonia and immigrated to Canada.’
It is important to point out to Your Excellency that the first “Macedonian” church to which Your Excellency referred is actually the MACEDONO-BULGARIAN church called St.Cyril and Methody, Macedono-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Cathedral. The building, at the present time, stands on the corner of Dundas St. East and Sackville St. in Toronto.
Until the Second World War, there were no “Macedonian” churches in Canada and USA. All the churches were called Macedono-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox churches. In the past, we provided the author of the ‘Many Faces of Toronto’ with the Bulgarian story on this subject.
It is timely to point out to Your Excellency that the so-called “Macedonian” church organization was created by the Yugoslav Communist Party in 1957. This church organization has not been recognized by any other Orthodox Church. Not only that, it is not recognized by the political party which created it. In their “Macedonian” church the worshipers pray to God in Serbian. In April of 2000, the present Consul General of the FYR of Macedonia said on one of the many” Macedonian” radio programs that the worshipers of these “Macedonian” churches worship God in Serbian.
In your remarks, Your Excellency mentioned some people of “Macedonian” descent who have been successful in Toronto, eg. Steve Stavro. These same people are members of the Macedono-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox church at 17 Regent St. in Toronto.
We do not intend to review the history of the Balkan peoples who reside in Canada but to point out the audacity of the FYR of Macedonia.
The FYR of Macedonia has problems with all its neighbors.
In the summer of 2005, the European community told the Republic in no uncertain way, that its history is Bulgarian and its language is a dialect of the Bulgarian language.
Even the American Congressional Records, No 79, June 7, 1983, states that the Republic is populated by Bulgarians, Albanians and others but not with “Macedonians”.
The communist movement which created the “Macedonian” nationality and language in February of 1934, lacks credibility with the world’s historians.
We ask you to reconsider your remarks in the light of these historical facts regarding the residents of the FYR of Macedonia.
President of MPO Luben Dimitroff, Toronto (21.09.2008)
Consul general of the FYR of Macedonia in Toronto
Consul general of the Republic of Bulgaria in Toronto
Credit to: Vladimir Pankov
Credit to: Vladimir Pankov