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Circle of Serbian Sisters "Queen Aleksandra"

Under the pressure of war and Golgotha of Serbian nation in occupied Serbia, and after the call of their own conscience to help them, on October 12th, 1941, Circle of Serbian Sisters (CSS) is founded in Toronto.
Following sisters were present at the founding congress: Angelina Kaljalovic, Milka Tosic, Julka Pupic, Mila Cuk, Milica Miloskovic, Milica Markovic, Mara Miloskovic i Susana Hric.
At that time, Board has been elected, with the primary task to govern the actions of Circle, and to invite other Serbian sisters to join this newly founded organization. First Board members were: Angelina Kaljalovic – president, Julka Pupic – vice president, Milica Markovic – secretary, Milica Miloskovic – treasurer, Milka Tosic – member, Mila Cuk – member, Mara Miloskovic – member.
Beginnings were difficult, primarily because the number of Serbian sisters in the area was small, and goals very high. At that time, there was no any building in the Toronto area held by the Serbian community, and many times, meetings were organized in private homes. Many sisters did not have owned houses either. Fund raising events were held in rented halls and Circle was in very difficult position. However, their dedication and strong will helped them to survive and overcome all problems.
Circle of Serbian Sisters had found full understanding, moral and material support of Serbian people.
First fund raising tea party, called "Help to Motherland" was held on November 1st, 1941, only eighteen days after the founding the Circle. Second one was held on December 2nd, 1941, and was called "Helping our Heroes Cetniks".
Because of the broken lines of communication, help was sent via Royal General Consulate in Montreal, who was directing it further to Canadian Red Cross for help to Serbian prisoners of war in German and Italian concentration camps. Besides monetary and parcels type of help, CSS was later engaged in collecting clothes not just amongst Serbian people, but our Canadian friends as well. Relationship was established, and some clothing was received from Serbian Relief Fund of New York.
At the end of March 1944, CSS was named "Queen Aleksandra", and on November 20th, 1955, Queen Aleksandra had became the patron of Circle.
In 1948, in Serbian community of Toronto, campaign to build first Serbian Community Center was started, and Circle took a part in it.
Contribution to the Church, Eparchy, Community Center can not be measured in monetary units. Contribution through everyday activities, preparation and organization of banquets, parties, celebrations, weddings, etc. is priceless. And all of that is pure volunteer work, for which, none of the sisters ever asked to be acknowledged and appraised.
Feeling that it was their motherly, national and religious duty was enough to them.
(Text of Olga Markovic, taken from the book CSS "Queen Aleksandra" published on 50th anniversary)
For as much as the Sisters were involved and played important role in the first years of founding of the church of St. Sava in Toronto, that much they played important role in life of Serbian Church Centre in Mississauga, and especially during the time of building the Synaxis of All Serbian Saints Church.
During the eighties, activities were aimed towards the Serbian Centre, while during the nineties, Sisters concentrated their work towards new church. They replenished the kitchen and were involved in collecting inventory for the new church. After the building was finished, they donated $50,000 for new and beautiful iconostasis, now part of the interior decoration. At the time of Consecration of the new church, they donated $15,000. Estimated value of all monetary donations during the nineties of the Sisters is about $140,000.
Since the acquisition of the Serbian Centre in Mississauga, Sisters were covering both locations: St. Sava Church in Toronto and Serbian Centre in Mississauga. Weight was too heavy, and on annual congress of Circle, held on December 2nd, 2002, it was decided to consolidate activities of the CSS "Queen Aleksandra" to Serbian Centre in Mississauga and Synaxis of All Serbian Saints Church only. Clergy of the St. Sava Church was to organize and establish a brand new Circle of Serbian Sisters with new name and new slava.
President of the CSS "Queen Aleksandra" is Mrs. Dragica Grubic, in her ninetieth mandate.
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