Croatian Fraternal Union

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The Croatian Fraternal Union (Croatian: Hrvatska bratska zajednica) (CFU), the oldest and largest Croatian organization in North America, is a fraternal benefit society of the Croatian diaspora based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

History and activities[edit]

In the late fall of 1893 Croatian American journalist Zdravko V. Mužina issued a call for a convention to organize a fraternal benefit society for Americans of Croatian descent. Three hundred people met in response to the call on January 14, 1894 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. Only a handful of people signed up and paid dues to the new group. Mužina arranged for another meeting on September 2, 1894 which merged six Croatian societies into a new group, the Croatian Federation. This group changed its name to the National Croatian Society in 1897. In 1926 the National Croatian Society merged with the Croatian League of Illinois of Chicago, St. Joseph Society of Kansas City, Kansas and the New Croatian Society of Whiting, Indiana to form the Croatian Fraternal Union.[1] In 1939 the CFU absorbed the Slovanic Croatian Union.[2]

A street in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, is called Street of the Croatian Fraternal Union. The National and University Library in Zagreb, one of Croatia's central cultural institutions, is located in that street. Josip Marohnić, founding father and first president of the CFU, also has a street named in his honor in Zagreb.[citation needed]

Benefits and activities[edit]

The CFU offers a wide variety of insurance plans. However, it has been an important group in preserving Croatian culture in North America, by supporting Croatian roots, and traditional tamburitza groups.[3] The Zajedničar, the CFU's newspaper, has been in circulation since 1904 and provides insurance information, as well as providing details about CFU cultural events from around the continent. The "Z", as it is called, began as a monthly and became a biweekly in 1909[4]

Membership[edit]

Membership is open to people of Croatian descent or those married to the same. Juvenile memberships are also available.[5]

In the late 1960s the CFU had 110,000 members. This declined to 100,000 members in 1979. That year the CFU had 1,000 lodges in twenty six states and several Canadian provinces.[6] The CFU had 90,000 members in 1988.[7]

Current Officers[edit]

National Board[edit]

National President Bernard M. Luketich
Vice President/Member Services Franjo Bertovic
National Secretary/Treasurer Edward W. Pazo
Second Vice President George Pavlecic
President, Board of Trustees Bernardette Liketich-Sikaras
Secretary, Board of Trustees Stan Blaz
Member, Board of Trustees Michael Ricci
Catherine Obenour
Ladislav Meze
Robert Novosel
Michael Loncarich

High Trial Board[edit]

President Richard Major
Secretary Robert Luketic
Maryann Bolijkovac
Robert Panenich
Donald Weakley
Frank Jerbich
Stephen Vrkljan

Junior Cultural Federation[edit]

President Donald Weakley
1ST Vice-President Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras
2ND Vice-President Goldie Malone
Secretary Ivan Begg
Treasurer Ted Sebetich Jr
Trustees Don Bowman
Mike Ricci
Michelle Janicki
Joe Grman
Antun Belan
Board of Advisors Joan Kutz, Festival Coordinator
Virginia Michtich
Carol Sees
Janet Craig
Emil Riccio
Ex Officio Bernard M. Luketich

Lodges[edit]

United States[edit]

ARIZONA 978 – Phoenix 1002 – Tucson
CALIFORNIA 121 – Oakland 177 – Los Angeles 352 – Watsonville 434 – Sacramento 581 – Fresno 588 – San Pedro 612 – San Jose 619 – Roseville
641 – San Diego 677 – Los Angeles 730 – Dinuba 900 – San Francisco 929 – Mountain View 959 – Fontana 1007 – San Francisco 1983 – Sunnyvale
1987 – San Pedro 1989 – Sunnyvale 1991 – San Mateo 1993 – Los Angeles
COLORADO 12 – Denver 402 – Pueblo
CONNECTICUT 616 – Stamford
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 1976 – Washington 1984 – Washington
FLORIDA 982 – Miami
GEORGIA 1014 – Atlanta
IDAHO 693 – Boise
ILLINOIS 9 – Chicago 18 – Joliet 32 – Chicago 75 – Waukegan 175 – Joliet 201 – Dunfermline 202 – Chicago 217 – Benld
222 – Madison 229 – Chicago 367 – Canton 440 – Chicago 848 – Chicago 948 – Chicago 3055 – Chicago
INDIANA 57 – Whiting 154 – Chicago 170 – Merrillville 805 – Whiting
IOWA 64 – Des Moines
KANSAS 35 – Kansas City
MARYLAND 684 – Baltimore
MICHIGAN 69 – Caspian 259 – Hermansville 270 – Ahmeek 335 – Escanaba 351 – Detroit 533 – Battle Creek 561 – Flint 656 – Kipling
717 – Detroit 1015 – Grand Rapids
MINNESOTA 94 – Eveleth 238 – Gilbert 316 – St. Paul 355 – Ely 513 – Keewatin 550 – New Duluth 635 – Virginia 664 – Nebish
MISSOURI 50 – St. Louis 167 – St. Louis
MONTANA 84 – Anaconda 987 – Lewistown
NEBRASKA 101 – Omaha
NEVADA 428 – McGill 1985 – Las Vegas
NEW JERSEY 362 – Hoboken 760 – Camden
NEW MEXICO 60 – Gallup
NEW YORK 243 – Cementon 326 – Astoria 557 – Buffalo 789 – New York City 1981 – Astoria 1990 – New York City
OHIO 47 – Cleveland 66 – Youngstown 136 – Lorain 182 – Warren 185 – Campbell 235 – Cleveland 310 – Columbus 337 – Euclid
403 – Cleveland 472 – Akron 514 – Canton 563 – Dayton 570 – Brewster 598 – McDonald 600 – Massillon 614 – Newton Falls
699 – Akron 859 – Cleveland 995 – Cleveland
OREGON 130 – Portland
PENNSYLVANIA 1 – Pittsburgh 3 – McKeesport 4 – Etna 5 – Johnstown 6 – Rankin 10 – Export 13 – Steelton 19 – Pittsburgh
34 – Pittsburgh 72 – Uniontown 79 – Dysart 80 – Smoke Run 85 – Rochester 126 – Farrell 141 – Pittsburgh 146 – Versailles
194 – Monessen 234 – Pittsburgh 248 – Clairton 274 – Homer City 279 – Whitney 304 – Ambridge 307 – W. Brownsville 309 – Bessemer
314 – Steelton 320 – Duquesne 327 – Donora 345 – Greensburg 354 – Cokeburg 423 – Aliquippa 432 – Yukon 508 – Greenville
522 – West Pittsburg 528 – Republic 535 – Midland 540 – Conway 541 – Trafford 567 – Canonsburg 576 – Bethlehem 592 – Simpson
602 – Verona 669 – Coraopolis 716 – Tire Hill 718 – Rankin 720 – Aliquippa 740 – Rices Landing 776 – Monaca 992 – Fairless Hills
TEXAS 1836 – Houston
UTAH 282 – Helper
WASHINGTON 56 – Roslyn 246 – Tacoma 271 – Aberdeen 439 – Seattle 488 – Spokane 695 – Gig Harbor 867 – ESL Tacoma 1012 – Anacortes
WEST VIRGINIA 2 – Benwood 523 – Warwood 595 – Weirton 606 – Bluefield
WISCONSIN 392 – West Allis 599 – Sanborn 639 – Eagle River 680 – Ashland 692 – Kenosha 993 – Mukwonago 1959 – Milwaukee 1994 – Milwaukee
1995 – Sheboygan
WYOMING 306 – Rock Springs 374 – Rock Springs

Canada[edit]

ALBERTA 503 – Calgary 520 – Edmonton 949 – Alberta
BRITISH COLUMBIA 268 – Nanaimo 787 – Vancouver
NOVA SCOTIA 786 – Stellarton 796 – Glace Bay
ONTARIO 500 – Cambridge 501 – Ottawa 512 – Mississauga 515 – Toronto 525 – Mississauga 530 – St. Thomas 531 – Simcoe 545 – Etobicoke
617 – Welland 638 – Windsor 644 – Hamilton 648 – Kirkland Lake 650 – Toronto 679 – Thunder Bay 793 – Sudbury 874 – Huntsville
919 – Sault Ste Marie 930 – Schumacher 936 – Bothwell 954 – Hamilton 961 – West Toronto 975 – Toronto 977 – Toronto
QUEBEC 739 – Montreal 814 – Val D'Or 866 – Montreal 990 – Montreal
SASKATCHEWAN 521 – Saskatoon

Croatia[edit]

CROATIA 2000 – Zagreb 2001 – Ogulin 2004 – Koprivnica 2005 – Rijeka 2006 – Split 2007 – Županja

Notable presidents[edit]

Anton Gazdić, first president of the Executive Committee for the Yugoslav Classroom at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning.

References[edit]

  1. ^ About CFU History
  2. ^ Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations Westport, CT; Greenwood Press p.76
  3. ^ Schmidt p.76
  4. ^ About CFU History
  5. ^ Schmidt p.76
  6. ^ Schmidt p.77
  7. ^ Alan Axelrod International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997 p.57

External links[edit]