A Very Special Celebration
BY MICHAEL CELIK
On Sunday, March 16th a very special event took place at the Friendship House, 280 Queen St.
W. in Toronto. The Friendship House which regularly celebrates May Day, Victory Day and the
Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, staged a very personal kind of celebration
The organizers of this event kept their plans kind of secret, just like in a revolution, only few knew
the details, but everybody knew that it had to happen. This event marked the 82nd Birthday of
Michael Lucas and the lifelong work of this remarkable man. His unwavering devotion to the cause
of Socialism and social justice did not stop with Gorbachev’s Destroika, and for this spirit of
tenacious dedication and tireless work, he is respected all over the world.
As friends, members and other guests poured into the Carpathian Room of the Society of
Carpatho-Russian Canadians, the spirit of the event was already in the air. Smiles, hugs, kisses
and kindness were all aimed at this special man, Michael Lucas. Flowers, gifts and cards adorned
the head table, but in the spirit of Socialism two of Michael’s oil paintings were raffled off free of
charge, for the lucky guests to take home. In addition, Michael Lucas’s recently published book,
“From the Carpathian Mountains to Canada” was also given out free to all the guests.
After food and drinks were served, still another surprise was brought out in a form of a large
square cake with burning candles on top. And as Michael was blowing out the lighted candles, the
room resounded to the familiar Happy Birthday to You!
The impact of the occasion was so profound that Michael had to suppress tears of joy before he
could say a few words into the microphone.
Young and old listened attentively to the advice and wisdom of comrade Lucas, who had traveled
27 times to the Soviet Union, CSSR, Poland and who had been decorated with many medals of
Friendship, Stalin and Lenin.
His message to the youth in attendance was to be decent people and aspire to the lofty goal of
Socialism, social justice and the betterment of all mankind. Fruits of that labour are for all to share,
but the rewards bring personal satisfaction that cannot be expressed in monetary terms.
This festive occasion was accompanied by musical performances of three remarkable artists and
an exceptional Azeri violinist who charmed us with a wide-ranging repertoire of music. The
passion of his music had us worried for his violin. His performance of Hungarian czardas brought
the people in the dancing mood as well as the Russian and Greek melodies following. A good time
was had by all.
This special occasion for a very special person will remain in our memories for a ling time and, we
hope to have many such occasions for years to come.
Happy Birthday Michael!
We will be there with you!
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