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(E) Our new sister-city is Vela Luka
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  09/21/2003 | Community | Unrated
(E) Our new sister-city is Vela Luka


Our new sister-city is Vela Luka

Sonja Rupp (photo)

Anacortes Croatian Club representative Sonja Rupp seals the deal with Vela Luka's Mayor Tonko Gugich
Our new sister-city is Vela Luka
Before Anacortes had an official sister city organization, it had several sister cities along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Families from Vis, Brac and, more than any other town, Vela Luka settled in Anacortes beginning over a century ago.
Cultural exchanges between the old country and the new have been almost routine, which might explain the delay in formalizing the relationship. Not to say that Anacortes' Croatian heritage has been taken for granted; the always active community formed the American Croatian Club of Anacortes (ACCA) and the Vela Luka dance troupe in the early 1970's.
Meanwhile, the Anacortes Sister City Organization has established official ties with Sidney, B.C.; Lomonosov, Russia and Kisakata, Japan.
Two years ago ACCA Boardmember Vlatko Kolega pointed out that it was past time for Anacortes to have an official Croatian sister-city. Since then, a committee has been researching likely towns. Naturally, attention focused on the island of Korcula, both its namesake city and Vela Luka. Croatian Club Treasurer, Sonja Rupp, made two trips to Korcula and found officials in Vela Luka much more responsive to the sister city idea; it was only last month that her meetings with Vela Luka's Mayor Tonko Gugic led to the formalization of this long-standing connection.
Back in Anacortes, Nikki Lau Lovric and her husband John Lovric, were busy getting papers signed and gifts collected, including an Anacortes flag and centennial coin and a photo of several of the descendents of Vela Luka's emigrants. Plans are already being made for a Sister City trip to Vela Luka next summer. For more information contact the Lovric's at 293-8530.

Photo Vela Luka

Descendents of Vela Luka's emigrants gather at the Seafarer's Memorial in Anacortes.

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