Monday, October 27, 2008

RHSC in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Society's president, David M. Cvet was visited Slovenia between October 7 - 21, visiting family & friends, participated in a historical fencing workshop, and delivered a presentation on Canadian and Slovenian heraldry in Ljubljana, the evening of October 14th. The lecture was organized by the Slovensko rodoslovno društvo (Slovenian Genealogy Society) and held at the Svetovni slovenski kongres (Slovenian World Congress Centre) on Cankarjeva Ulica in Ljubljana. The evening began with a heraldry display, comprised of depictions of municipal arms (click on image above to view larger of the same - L-R: dr. Vladimir Žumer, Peter Hawlina (President of Slovensko rodoslovno društvo and organizer of the presentation, David, Mr. Sergij Pelhan, former Minister for Culture and past-Mayor of Gorica, presently President of Slovenian Emigrants Association - a host of the exhibition), and a colourful display on the specifics of the design and tinctures of the Slovenian national flag. The display included details on the procedure for petitioning arms to the Canadian Heraldic Authority, details provided by David including sample images of his personal Letters Patent. A number of important people gave a short talk on the state of heraldy in Slovenia, including dr. Vladimir Žumer, former Head of State Archive of Slovenia, now President of the newly formed Komisija za presojo javnih simbolov, grbov, zastav, pečatov, žigov in štampiljk (Commission for Public Symbol, Coat of Arms, Flag, Seal and Stamp Judgment) which exists within the department of the State Archives.

David's presentation after this display followed dr. Angelika Hribar's lecture on Slovenian genealogy along with her new book on the subject. David's presentation was a brief introduction to Canadian heraldry, describing the role of the Society in Canadian heraldry, and the role of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The presentation included an overview of how one petitions for arms in Canada, and how this process is handled in the College of Arms. Further details were offered on the procedure for registration of arms in the USA. The presentation concluded with some details on the developments of heraldry in Slovenia, and the need to standardize on the nomenclature utilized in blazon. Much discussion has occurred in the heraldic circles in Slovenia as to whether or not to incorporate the Norman nomenclature in Slovenian blazonry or follow a similar approach as the German blazonry using German terminology to substitue Norman nomenclature using Slovenian counterparts to substitue Norman nomenclature.

It is evident that the interest and activities in the resurrection and practice of Slovenian heraldry is on the rise, and the country has taken steps to implement some structure in the practice of heraldry, with the first step of the creation of a new Commission to review all municipal arms (click on the image of the municipal arms on the left to view a larger image of the same), and have them conform to heraldic rules. The Commission will in the future, expand to include the registration of personal arms in the future. The Commission along with private individual's working towards the promotion and education of Slovenian heraldry through websites such as Slovenska heraldika will hopefully, raise the level of the practice of heraldry to a similar level as other heraldic nations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Society's New President

On October 4th, the Society elected its twenty-third president, David M. Cvet. David (whose surname, for the uninitiated, is pronounced Ss-vet) was born in 1955 in Welland, Ontario, his background being Slovenian. He attended the University of Toronto, receiving a B.Sc. degree in biochemistry/genetics and computer science. His initial employment took him into the biology area, with six years of diabetes research at the Banting & Best Institute, but he subsequently concentrated on the computer-science field, with a career in Information Technology (IT) spanning the years between the mainframe, super-computer era and today’s PC’s. During his career he ultimately achieved positions as Chief Technology Officer for a number of technology companies.

On his entry to the RHSC, David’s ancient and modern skills coalesced to the Society’s enormous advantage. He immediately took on the role of webmaster and completely redesigned its website to the form in which it is seen today – arguably one of the best heraldic websites in the world. Not satisfied with using his technical skills to further heraldry, David has determined to improve his own heraldic knowledge by enrolling in the Society’s Heraldry Proficiency course and passing the first stage of the process to a Licentiate of the RHSC. He became for a time president of the Toronto Branch and has now progressed to the presidency of the national society. The Society is indeed fortunate in its new president.