The Ladies Auxiliary was established under the umbrella of the St Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church in the early 1960’s, shortly after St Clement was registered as the first Macedonian Orthodox Church in Canada. The Ladies Auxiliary, along with the religious, cultural and educational society, holds a special place in our Macedonian Community.
The idea and formation of a Ladies Auxiliary was that of Luba Neshevich, who worked with many other women in our community to form the Ladies Auxiliary of St Clement.
The founding members were Luba Neshevich and Mary Kondoff along with Zorka Basil, Lefi Neshevic and many other equally 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 ladies 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 that would be given 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 it’s 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.
The idea and formation of a ladies auxiliary was that of Luba Neshevich as soon as the idea for a Macedonian Orthodox Church was discussed in our community. Luba worked with many other women in our community to form the Ladies Auxiliary of St Clement.
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 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
2019 Marina Atanasovska
2021 Irena Shopov Karaoulis
Events hosted by the St Clement of Ohrid Ladies Auxiliary include:
January 5 – Koleda (day before Christmas eve):
January 7 – Christmas (Bozik):
January 14 – Old New Years (Stara Nova Godina):
January 19 – Saint John the Baptist (Vodici):
March 8 – International Women’s Day:
March or April: Easter (Veligden):
April (week before Easter) – Palm Sunday (Tsvetnitsi):
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:
October – our busiest month!
Nov 8 – Saint Dimitri (Mitrovden) Bazaar and Bake Sale:
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