OUR HISTORY

The Ladies Auxiliary was established under the umbrella of St. Clement of Ohrid in the early 1960s, shortly after St. Clement was registered as the first Macedonian Orthodox Church in Canada. The Ladies Auxiliary, along with the religious, cultural and educational groups under our church, holds a special place in our community.

The Ladies Auxiliary was idealized and formed by Luba Neshevich, who worked alongside with of the other female founders of our church to grow the Ladies Auxiliary.

The founding members were Luba Neshevich, Mary Kondoff, Zorka Basil, Lefi Neshevic and many other like-minded women who wanted to create a community of volunteers that would support our church, congregation and community. They put so much energy, enthusiasm and love in their volunteering, that every Macedonian should be inspired to be like them. All of the members are grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters. There is not a concert, banquet, religious holiday or event that these ladies would hesitate to roll up their sleeves to help with their desire for success.

Mary Kondoff became the first elected President of the Ladies Auxiliary in 1963. The Ladies Auxiliary organized various fundraising events such as bake sales, bazaars, and celebrations of the religious holidays with luncheons. At Easter, the most celebrated of Macedonian Orthodox holidays, they would create floral wreaths to decorate the church and colour eggs to give out to members of the congregation after the church service. 

Since 1966, the Ladies Auxiliary has been hosting a Mitrovski Bazaar, held on the Sunday closest to Mitrovden on November 8th. At the Bazaar, the Ladies Auxiliary guide and preserve our traditional cuisine with the presentation of our Macedonian baked goods such as our famous leak, spinach, and cheese pitas, kifli, cookies and other baked goods.

Everything was made with loving hands by the wonderful members of the Ladies Auxiliary.

Over the years, additional events were added that fulfilled not only a fundraising function but also created a sense of community. These included Monday night Bingo, garage sales, Christmas parties, and fashion shows. It also included trips to visit Macedonian Ladies Auxiliaries in other Macedonian Orthodox communities in Canada and the United States. These trips fostered cultural as well as personal bonds between our ladies and equally-minded Macedonian women in other areas.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Toronto celebrated its international and multi-cultural diversity through a one-week celebration called “Caravan”. With the hard work by members of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Administrative Council, our Macedonian culture, along with many other ethnic communities in Toronto, was showcased through traditional clothing, food, music and dance.

Over time, the St Clement of Ohrid Ladies Auxiliary has evolved but it’s main foundational premise and dedication to preserving and celebrating our culture and serving our community has remained unchanged. 

Ladies Auxiliary Past Presidents:

1963 Mary Kondoff

1964 Nora Thomas

1965 Ratka Shappas

1966 Pat George

1967 Lena Stanwyck

1968 Elka Georgievski

1969 Trajanka Talevska

1970 Cena Givens

1971 Blaga Mangova

1972 Lefi Neshevich

1973 Ratka Shappas   

1974 Ratka Shappas   

1975 Patsy Sider

1976 Gordana Ristevski

1977 Ratka Shappas   

1978 Vera Chumandra

1979 Gordana Ristevski

1980 Nada Stojchevski

1981 Dragica Ristovski

1982 Dragica Ristovski

1983 Aleksandra Stojkovski

1984 Dana Globocki

1985 Dragica Ristovski

1986 Vera Petrevski

1987 Slobodanka Xristova

1988 Rada Dimovski

1989 Fana Pleterska

1990 Lena Taskas

1991 Donka Trifunovska

1992 Vera Jankulovska

1993 Lila Petrevski

1994 Rosie Stergiou

1995 Vera Belchevska

1996 Rada Vidinovska

1997 Menka Krinchevska

1998 Trajanka Bakalovska

1999 Trajanka Bakalovska

2000 Nada Stojchevski

2001 Marina Atanasovska

2002 Marina Atanasovska  

2003 Jadranka Stojanovska

2004 Jadranka Stojanovska  

2005 Blaga Glavota

2006 Menka Krinchevska

2007 Menka Krinchevska

2008 Slobodanka Stojanovski

2009 Vesna Amicone

2010 Marina Atanasovska

2011 Gorica Poposka

2012 Vesna Amicone

2013 Rada Vidinovska

2014 Lidija Brasnarski

2015 Lidija Brasnarski        

2016 Danica Kristov

2017 Marina Atanasovska

2018 Lidija Brasnarski  

2019 Marina Atanasovska  

2021 Irena Shopov Karaoulis

2022 Irena Shopov Karaoulis

2023 Irena Shopov Karaoulis

Events

Events hosted by the St Clement of Ohrid Ladies Auxiliary include:

January 5 – Koleda (day before Christmas eve):

  • The Ladies Auxiliary maintains this age, old tradition by preparing roasted chestnuts and other treats for the children of our Sunday School and congregation as well as something for the adults 

January 7 – Christmas (Bozik):

  • Our Macedonian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated by having a Christmas Party for the children, including a visit from Santa. Each child is presented with a little 
  • Mini bake sale 

January 14 – Old New Years (Stara Nova Godina):

  • The Ladies make pita (vialnitsi) for sale with a gold coin hidden within the layers of one of the pitas. The person who finds the gold coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year. 
  • Held on the closest Sunday to January 14th

January 19 – Saint John the Baptist (Vodici):

  •  Mini bake sale held after the cross ceremony

March 8 – International Women’s Day:

  • Celebrated at a luncheon with music and dancing
  • Held on the closest Sunday to March 8th

March or April: Easter (Veligden):

  • The week prior to Easter the Ladies are busy with the preparation and decorating of the church including colouring of eggs and baking of Easter bread loaves, Kozinjak, for our bake sale
  • Attending Good Friday services and organizing flowers and other donated items 
  • The Ladies Auxiliary visits the residents of Canadian Macedonian Place with baked goods, music and dancing

April (week before Easter) – Palm Sunday (Tsvetnitsi):

  • This is our big bake sale with baked goods provided by our wonderful community (domakinki) who generously donate of their time and effort to help make this the successful fundraising event that it is
  • Usually includes a buffet lunch

Summer months: June, July and August are generally inactive 

Spring or Fall: Short but fun filled out-of-town bus trips are organized annually, allowing for camaraderie through the sharing of nostalgic stories of the past and creating new shared experiences with current and new members

Summer: a garage sale is hosted with items donated by our community

Labour day weekend in September:

  • The annual convention of the American Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese is held at one of the Macedonian Orthodox Churches in Canada or the United States

October – our busiest month! 

  • We host our annual Fashion Show and luncheon requiring 
  • We have many baking days making buns (kifli) and pita (maznik)
  • Preparation for Nov 8th 

Nov 8 – Saint Dimitri (Mitrovden) Bazaar and Bake Sale:

  •  Our bazaar features a big bake sale showcasing Macedonian baked goods and sweets, including towels, linens, housewares and other items graciously donated by members of the congregation
  • Held on the Sunday closest to November 8th 

December is also a busy month preparing and decorating the church and banquet halls for the upcoming holidays  

December 8 – St Clement of Ohrid Patron Day:

      – Banquet held on the Saturday closest to December 8th 

      – Bake sale held on the Sunday after the banquet

December – Ladies Auxiliary Annual Christmas Party:

      – Luncheon with music and dancing

      – Held on the second or third Sunday of December