Church: Willard - Holy Family (Slovenian Program – 1970)


Surnames: Staut, Barnes, Riddlestine, Snedic, Volovsek, Pakiz, Lamovec, Yndogliato, Mertens

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 11 Jun 1970

Last Thursday evening more than one hundred members and visitors gathered in the Holy Family Catholic Church, Willard, for a program of sacred and secular song by the Slovenian Mixed Choir. Mrs. Henry Lamovec accompanied at the organ. It was the third in a series of nationality programs of the Clark County Historical Society.

Dressed in festival costumes, Mr. and Mrs. John Staut of La Crosse greeted the arrivals. Both have traveled to Yugoslavia in recent years. The former residents of Willard also explained some of the articles in the display.

The business meeting and remainder of the program were held in the Parish Center, where red carnations, the national flower of Yugoslavia, were on the officers' table.

There will be no meeting in July, but all members and friends are invited to attend the annual picnic Sunday, July 12, at Neillsville. Mrs. Tom Yndogliato reported that tours through the Listeman Arboretum, the World's Fair Pavilion, and other places are planned for 2 p.m., and the pot luck picnic is planned for 4:30 at Schuster Park.

Articles added to the society's collection were an1800 bamboo rocking chair from Ethel Mae Riddlestine, World War I papers from dr. R.L. Barnes, and two books of the Holy Family Church history given by the Rev. Michael G. Mertens.

The Slovenian Women's Union arranged the program and the outstanding display of articles from their native land. Included were the wooden dishes carved and sold by peddlers, a purse of corn husks, and other articles showing the conservative and artistic ways of the people. Mrs. John Snedic, the first child born in the Slovenian community, brought her baptismal garments for the display.

Scenes of their picturesque homeland were displayed on the walls and also a map to give a better understanding of how small the country really is. Staut told about the huge stumps they were confronted with when they came to Willard years ago. Their method of planting two trees for each tree cut down had been practiced for centuries , and has made forest products a valuable export from the tiny country. No part of a tree was left to decay.

Both in turn explained how tradition of treasuring the costumes which were several hundreds of year old. The cloth in the garments was far more durable than our present day material. Velvet with a pressed design and embroidery showed little wear. Start told how he had received the clothing from a friend. Mrs. Staut's bonnet was new but her other clothing was the older festive dress. Mrs. Staut and her mother, Mrs. Anna Volovsek of Willard, had traveled to Yugoslavia last summer.

Frank Pakiz played tapes of Slovenian music during the evening.

The women served lunch of potica, sausage and coffee. Potica is made for special occasions and is served at their annual dinner held for the public in August.



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