Macedonian Patriotic Organization

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Macedonian Patriotic Organization
M-p-o-logo.png
Founded 1922
Founder Anastas Stephanoff (first president)
Type Political, Cultural
Focus Continue to work for human, civil and economic rights for all Macedonians of the world
Location
Area served  United States
 Canada
Members N/A
Key people President of the Organization
Nick Nicoloff
Central Committee
Slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians"
Website macedonian.org
The 6th annual convention of the MPO in Akron, Ohio, 1927
MPO list with Buneva's picture appealing for free speaking of Bulgarian language in Yugoslav and Greek Macedonia.

Macedonian Patriotic Organization (MPO) is a political organization founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the United States in 1922 by immigrants from Greek Macedonia. It was originally called the Macedonian Political Organization but changed its name in 1952. From 1926 it has published the newspaper Macedonian Tribune. The MPO generally promotes the view that ethnic Macedonians are Bulgarians.,[1] and supports the idea of the irredentist concept of a United Macedonia. Currently, MPO supports also the independent Republic of Macedonia and, in that context, it is involved in pro-Macedonian advocacy within the US and Canada.[2]

History[edit]

The Macedonian Patriotic Organization of the United States and Canada ("MPO") is the oldest organization of Americans and Canadians of Macedonian descent in North America. Macedonian-American and Macedonian-Canadian immigrants, including several who fought against the Ottoman Empire during the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, established the MPO in 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From its inception, the MPO has advocated to organize and educate the emigrants in civil values, and to prepare them for fighting in favor of Macedonian liberation and establishment of “a state unit in order to guarantee constitutional, ethnic, religious, cultural and political rights and freedoms of all of its citizens.”[3] The founders of the MPO, in keeping with the dream of a united and independent Macedonia, adopted the slogan "Macedonia for the Macedonians", a proclamation of William Gladstone, who in 1897 expressed his views on the "Macedonian Question". The use of concepts of “Macedonians” and “Macedonian emigrants” in the first chart are equally valid for all ethnic groups in Macedonia – Bulgarians, Romanians, Turks, Albanians, Greeks etc.[4]

The different phases that the Macedonian Question went through have put a pressure upon MPO to develop and enrich its ways and means to achieve its aims. Firmly based upon the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization's (IMRO) rich experience and traditions, MPO has further developed into one of the most interesting and original national-liberation organizations.[5] During the 1970s the MPO was against the regime in Belgrade and opposed the past Communist regime in Sofia. The Macedonian Tribune as its organ printed appeals by the old leader of the IMRO, Ivan Mihailov. His memoirs (written in Bulgarian) were advertised by the paper and were avidly read.[6] Although the Macedonian Patriotic Organisation always pointed out that Macedonians are Bulgarians, its activity was centered on Macedonia. A number of the Americans born of Macedonian Bulgarian descent have little knowledge of Bulgaria and often identify themselves simply as Macedonians.[1]

Over the past 86 years of its existence the MPO has evolved and today acts as a non-profit corporation that aims for preservation of the customs, history, and traditions of Macedonian-Americans and Macedonian-Canadians, and engages in charity work in the United States, Canada, and partially the Republic of Macedonia.

Recent scandals in MPO[edit]

The last but one President of the Central Committee G. Lebamoff sharply criticized the policy of Republic of Macedonia stating, by this way, hiding the truth about the Bulgarian roots and history of the Macedonian people, it has no future.[7] However on the 2009 convention of MPO, the past president of the Central Committee A. Alusheff illegally expelled MPO "Switzerland of the Balkans" from the MPO for pro-Bulgarian bias.[8] Once Alusheff's mandate expired, the new Central Committee reinstated MPO "Switzerland of the Balkans" asking the chapter to continue its work on restoring the MPO’s historical roots. On the other hand a former chapter of MPO from Toronto called "Luben Dimitroff",[9] splintered previously from the Canadian MPO and started publishing another Macedonian Tribune[10] in the pre-World War II Bulgarian orthography, espousing pro-Bulgarian views. This publication has been dismissed as unauthorized by the Macedonian Patriotic Organization.[11]

Chronology[edit]

1922 MPO founded, Fort Wayne

1925 Macedonian Press Bureau founded, New York City

1927 Macedonian Tribune first published on February 10, Indianapolis

1927 National MPO Ladies' Section founded

1940 Almanac Macedonia published 1946 National YMPO founded

1983 Macedonian Tribune moved to Fort Wayne

1986 Freedom Monument dedicated, Fort Wayne

1990 Indiana Historic Marker dedicated at site of first Macedonian Tribune office, Indianapolis

1994 MPO purchases Macedonian Tribune Building, Fort Wayne

1995 Macedonian Veterans Association founded

1995 Macedonian Professional Association founded

1995 Wreath Laid at Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery

1996 MPO establishes Homepage on the World Wide Web at www.macedonian.org

MPO local chapters[edit]

The Macedonian Patriotic Organization has local chapters in most large cities in the United States, Canada and Brazil, wherever there is a larger number of Macedonian immigrants. The current MPO chapters are:

  1. Chicago, Illinois, MPO "Independence"
  2. Cincinnati, Ohio, MPO "Bistritsa"
  3. Cleveland, Ohio, MPO " Vardar "
  4. Columbus, Ohio, MPO "Freedom"
  5. Detroit, Michigan, MPO "Fatherland"
  6. Fort Wayne, Indiana, MPO "Kostur"
  7. Indianapolis, Indiana, MPO "Damian Grueff"
  8. New Jersey Region, MPO "Strumishkata Petorka"
  9. Northwest Indiana Region, MPO "Rodina"
  10. Phoenix, Arizona, MPO "United"
  11. Southern California Region, MPO "Brothers Miladinovi"
  12. Springfield, Ohio, MPO "Solun"
  13. Washington, D.C., MPO "Liberty"
  14. Youngstown, Ohio, MPO "Todor Alexandroff"
  15. Toronto, Ontario, MPO " Switzerland of the Balkans"
  16. Toronto, Ontario, MPO "Victory"
  17. Sao Paulo, Brazil, MPO "Strumishkata Petorka"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]