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The Canadian Slovak League (CSL) was founded in December 1932 by Andrej Kučera, Juraj Rodoš and Pavol A. Sabo, representatives of the Winnipeg Branch of the Slovak League of America. The founding members of the CSL wanted to create an organization catering to the needs of Slovak-Canadians and sought to broaden the social and financial support to their members. In 1934, this organization received a “Dominion Charter” therefore making the CSL a fraternal benefit society. For the remainder of the 1930s, this organization continued to support Slovakia’s independence as promised by the Pittsburg Agreement. It also paid death benefits according to the size of its treasury to deceased members’ family. The Oshawa and Hamilton branches of the CSL established the First District of the Assembly followed by the first Slovak Day in Oshawa. Slovak Days in cities such as Toronto, Hamilton, Welland, Montréal and Windsor would soon follow.
In the 1940s, the CSL was involved in the Canadian war effort. Members purchased war bonds and participated in the war effort. The CSL donated an ambulance to the Red Cross. During these years, the CSL established its organ newspaper Kanadský Slovak, edited respectively by Štefan Hreha, Konštantin Čuleň, Štefan Reištetter, Andrej Brazda and Julius Behul. Upon World War II’s and the beginning of Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the CSL sent a delegation to Ottawa to persuade the Canadian government to accept Slovak refugees fleeing the Communist regime, a situation intensified by the Pact of Warsaw in 1968.
In 1954, the CSL was reorganized as an insurance company. Members now had to pay monthly fees according to their age. Due to this new policy, membership dropped making this organization return to its previous role as a fraternal organization. Culturally, the CSL continued to support Slovak Halls where plays and Slovak folk dance groups performed culminating in a performance at Expo ’67. CSL members also sponsored radio shows and television programs.
With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989, the CSL demanded that a full Canadian diplomatic post be created in Bratislava. To this day, the CSL continues to help Slovak immigrants arriving in Canada and promotes Slovak culture and heritage with activities in various branches.
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CSL – Who we are”. Kanadský Slovak. 2009-2013. Web. 26 February 2014.
“History of the Canadian Slovak League”. Kanadský Slovak. 2009-2013. 26 February 2014.
Stolárik, M. Mark. “The 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Slovak League” in 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Slovak League. 65 Anniversary of the Canadian Slovak Newspaper. Gala Anniversary Celebration. [Toronto : Canadian Slovak League], 2007
Sutherland, Anthony X. The Canadian Slovak League : a history. Toronto : The Canadian Slovak League, 1993, 208 p.