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Friends of
Bohemian National Cemetery

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Past Programs & Events

2015,     2014,     2013,     2012 and before

2017 - 2016

 


Sunday, August 20th ~ Friends Summer Meeting
Sunday, August 20th Friends had their summer meeting at the cemetery. Chuck Betzold gave a program on the "Beyond the Vines" outdoor columbarium.
Summer Meeting Flyer
Sunday, February 26, 2017 ~ Friends Winter meeting
Friends Winter meeting was held on Sunday, February 26, 2017 with a buffet dinner The program featured Judy Vessely, Czech violinist with keyboard accompaniment playing Czech favorites, show tunes, and requests.
winter meeting 2017


Saturday, September 24, 2016 ~ Tour of the Tombstones

Our Fall Tours of the Tombstones were offered at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. and led by professional guide Albert Walavich. Both tours were well attended and much enjoyed by the participants.



Sunday, August 21, 2016 ~ Friends Summer Meeting at BNC

Friends summer meeting was held August 21st at the BNC office building. The meeting featured a DVD made from some 16mm color film of the cemetery from the late 1940s and 1952. The film was well received and triggered lots of memories from several members.

The meeting also took the opportunity to unveil a plaque, purchased by Friends of BNC, showing that the cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.


summer meeting poster
Sunday, May 22, 2016 ~ Tour of the Tombstones

Our Spring Tour of the Tombstones was at 1:00 pm May 22 and led by Albert Walavich. See upcoming event for our next tour.



Sunday, February 21, 2016 ~ Friends Winter Meeting

Our winter meeting was February 21st at the Chicagoland Czech-American Community Center at 6635 Cermak Rd. in Berwyn.

Irena Cajkova and Tom Gaulkin gave their program
A Glimpse of Czech Chicago to a full house. Czech Lass

Saturday, October 10th , 2015~ Tours of the Tombstones

Fall Tours of the Tombstones were at 10:00 a.m. and at 1:00 pm
and led by Albert Walavich. tour

 

 

Saturday, September 19th, 2015~ A Glimpse of Czech Chicago

Irena Cajkova and Thomas Gaulkin presented a program on
the history and influence of the Czechs in Chicago.

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Sunday, September 13, ~ FallFest Gala

Friends FallFest Gala was held Sunday, September 13, at 12:30 pm at the elegant Ashton Place in Willowbrook, Illinois.

The energetic Moravian Cultural Society dancers, dressed in their beautiful kroje, provided the entertainment. Attendees enjoyed a choice of delicious entrees, with wine and beer included, and a chance to bid on unique items in our popular silent auction.text.

fallfest

Sunday, August 16th ~ Friends Summer Meeting


Friends Summer Meeting was held at 1:30 pm in Ceremony Hall.
Paulina Dropka, Sokol Spirit head Czech language teacher, presented a program, Vyšehrad, the Oldest Prague Jewel ; a look at the history of the region of Prague and its cemeteries.

Refreshments were served after meeting and program.

A Statue of Smetana in Vyšehrad Cemetery Smetana
Sunday, July 12 ~ BNC Annual Picnic

The BNC Annual Picnic was held. Guests enjoyed a beautiful day with live music, potato pancakes, sausages, bakery items, and items from our Friends book table. The new Eastland Memorial was dedicated at 1 pm. Visit www.friendsofbnc.org/eastland for more information on the memorial.

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Sunday May 31 ~ Spring Cemetery Tour

Friends Spring Tour of the Tombstones, led by Albert Walavich, was held Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

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Monday, May 25th ~ Memorial Day

The parade was led by the Sokol Spirit color guard to the crematorium/columbarium building for the ceremony.

The ceremony included music and honored the veterans in the audience. Alderman Margaret Laurino and Kristyna Driehaus, chair of the Chicago Czech Center were the speakers.


memorial day program
Friday, May 22nd at 10:00 am

Volunteers helped Friends place flags along the roads leading to the crematorium/columbarium building to decorate for Memorial Day.


Flag Day
Saturday, May 16th ~ CSA Join Hands Day Help with clean-up projects at the cemetery
Sunday, May 10th ~ Mother's Day Ceremony

Ceremony to place a wreath at the Mother monument at 11:00 am. Refreshments in the gatehouse from about 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.


 

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 ~ Friends Winter Meeting

On Sunday, January 25th. Friends held its winter meeting at Klas Restaurant, in Cicero.

Tony Kartsonas presented information on the recent restoration work done on the Columbarium entryway.

Chuck Michalek gave a program on the newly planned memorial of the Eastland Centennial Commemorative Project which will be located in section 16 where most burials from the Eastland are located.

 


Winter Meeting the presentation

Dinner and presentations at Klas. Attendance was very good in spite of the weather and the Czech food was excellent, as usual.


Judy Baar Topinka

In December, Friends lost a great friend in Judy Baar Topinka ...more


See a 2004 interview.
At Home with Judy Baar Topinka - 2004

 


Sunday, August 3, 2014 ~ Friends 10th Anniversary Celebration

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery held a celebration of our 10th anniversary on August 3, 2014.

Festivities were highlighted by music from the Marianske Lazne Dixieland band from the Czech Republic.

Chlebicky and other Czech foods and drink were enjoyed with a talk from Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Judy Baar Topinka amd the Czech bandJudy Baar Topinka spoke to the audience.

Friends leaders and friends Leaders of Friends posed for this picture.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014 ~ Friends Spring Walking Tour

Friends Spring "Tour of the Tombstones" guided by Albert Walavich was held Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm.
 

Monday, May 26, 2014 ~ Memorial Day

Memorial Day services at Bohemian National Cemetery were held Monday, May 26th. Aftter refreshments in the gate house, the attendees proceeded to the Crematorium/Columbarium for the service with music, an address, and Taps.


Art Lorenz and Jerry Gaydusek admire the new poster created by Chuck Betzold.Art Lorenz and Jerry Gaydusek

Friday May 23~ Flag Day

Friday May 23, volunteers placed flags for the annual Memorial Day ceremony. Many thanks to all those who helped ready the cemetery for our honored visitors.


Small American flags and larger service flags flanked the large American flag for Memorial Day.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 ~ Friends Winter Meeting

On Sunday, January 26th. Friends held its winter meeting at Klas Restaurant, in Cicero. After a Czech dinner, Dr.. Susan Mikula, Professor of Slovak Studies, Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois presented a program on Milan Hodža, Slovak statesman, journalist, and professor.

Dr. Susan Mikula


Dr. Milan HodžaDr. Milan Hodža (1878 – 1944)Slovak statesman, journalist, and professor. has been described as the Slovak George Washington.

Hodža served as the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1935 to 1938. He also was acting President of Czechoslovakia in 1935 succeeding Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.

In 1938 he fled Czechoslovakia just ahead of the Nazi invasion. Dr. Hodža came to the United States where he died in 1944.

Dr. Hodža's remains were buried at Bohemian National Cemetery.

In a ceremony in 2002 Dr. Hodža was disintered and on 27 June 2002 the remains of Milan Hodža were reburied in the National Cemetery in Martin, in his native Slovakia.


Sunday, October 6, 2013 ~ Tour of the Tombstones

Sunday,October 6, Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery held our Fall walking tour of the cemetery led by professional tour guide, Albert Walavich.

The weather was beautiful for afternoon tour. About 50 people came for the tour. Guide Albert Walavich again fascinated the visitors with information about the many different examples of funeary art. Refreshments were enjoyed in the gatehouse after the tour


a past walking tour

Sunday August 18th, 2013 ~ Friends Summer Meeting

Friends Summer Meeting was held Sunday, August 18th at 1:30 pm in the Ceremony Hall of the crematorium/columbarium building.

Larry Paarlberg (left), president of the International Antique Phonograph Society, and Tim McCormick (right), director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, delivered a fascinating program on the life
and music of Bohumir Kryl (1875-1961), Bohemian-American sculptor and musician.

Bohumir Kryl (1875–1961) was an amazing Czech-American. He was in turn an acrobat aerialist, a sculptor, a world-famous cornetist, a bandleader, a financial wizard, a pioneering recording artist, and an art collector. He was also one of the most engaging and flamboyant characters to be inurned at Bohemian National Cemetery.

... More on Bohumir Kryl

Larry Paarlberg (left), president of the International Antique Phonograph Society, and Tim McCormick (right), director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum
Wayne Wolf

One of our Friends members, Wayne Wolf, played some of Kryl's recordings on his antique phonographs.

 

After the meeting, several of us participated in a wreath-laying at Bohumir Kryl's crypt in the Masaryk Memorial Mausoleum. Pictured left to right are Tim McCormick, Marge Sladek Stueckemann, William Serp, Marilou Minarik, Larry Paarlberg, Diane Minarik. William is a descendant of Louise Minarik and John Kryl, Bohumir Kryl's brother. Louise Minarik Kryl was Marilou and Diane's great-aunt. (Photo courtesy of Connie Wolf)

Tim McCormick, Marge Sladek Stueckemann, William Serp, Marilou Minarik, Larry Paarlberg, Diane Minarik

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Sunday, July 7th, 2013 ~ BNC picnic

Bohemian National Cemetery held its annual picnic Saturday July 7. More people attended this year than last. Frankie from Klas ran the grill producing Czech meats and potato pancakes. Czech music was played by a small group. Friends of BNC books and gifts were available as well.

Floral arrangements from several lodges were voted on and the winning arrangement was from CSA Lodge Sokol Plzen 434.

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CSA Lodge Sokol Plzen 434 Floral Arrangement

Saturday, June 8, 2013 ~ Tour of the Tombstones

Saturday, June 8, Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery held our Spring walking tour of the cemetery led by professional tour guide, Albert Walavich.

The weather was beautiful for the morning and afternoon tours. Guide Albert Walavich again fascinated the visitors with information about the many different examples of funeary art. Refreshments were enjoyed in the gatehouse after each tour


Albert explains the symbology of a monument

May, 2013 ~ Memorial Day

Flag Placement for Memorial Day was Friday, May 24th. Many helped decorate the cemetery for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Service was held Monday, May 27th, 9:30 am Refreshments were served in the Gatehouse. Carnations for ladies were compliments of Friends.

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Flag Day


Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Mother’s Day Program

People met at the Mother Monument in front of the crematorium/columbarium at 1:00 pm. Refreshments were served in the gatehouse after the program .
Mother's day Roses

Saturday, May 11th, 2013
CSA “Join Hands Day”


CSA members and volunteers met to help with spring cleaning at the cemetery.
spring cleaning

Sunday May 5, 2013
Friend's Springfest

Friends held their SpringFest Gala Dinner & Silent Auction at Porretta's Elegant Banquets. Dinner was preceded by cocktails and was followed by a musical performance by the Moja Vlast Czech-Slovak Dancers of Milwaukee wearing kroje from Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia.

The silent auction raised money for the restoration of the crematorium/columbarium door and entryway.


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Sunday January 27, 2013
Friends Winter Meeting

On January 27, 2013, Friends held its winter meeting at Klas Restaurant, in Cicero. Despite the weather there was a full house for a delicious Czech dinner.

Following the meal, Chuck Michalek spoke on the The Eastland Centennial Commemorative Project which is endeavoring to create an Eastland memorial in Bohemian National Cemetery.

The featured program was on Mayor Anton Cermak and the Eastland. Cermak was a founder and president of the Czech Assistance Committee, which was created in response to the Eastland Disaster.

The program was presented by Alberta Adamson who is the president and CEO of the Center for History in Wheaton. The Center has the largest Eastland collection of memorabilia in the nation and offers programs on and off site to groups.

Adamson was substituting for Karl Sup, President Eastland Memorial Society. Although Mr. Sup was unable to attend he did provide his powerpoint presentation for all to enjoy.

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Cermak

Eastland