Croatian Viewpoint
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An Awesome Sight

No, it’s not Split, and it’s not the Croatian Consulate in an Australian city! It’s a street in Preston, a northern suburb in Melbourne! The Croatian flag flies high there amongst other national flags just inside the boundary of ‘Rydges-on-Bell’, a huge apartment-hotel-conference complex, which opened in October 2008.
Rydges has been created and extended from the buildings of the former Preston & Northcote Community Hospital, where only the original yellow brick hospital ‘smokestack’ remains as a heritage landmark. Who would believe that one day I would see a Croatian flag beside it!
Three generations of Croats and their children and grandchildren have settled in the greater municipality of Darebin, of which Preston is the centre. Thousands of children of Croatian ancestry were born in the PANCH hospital between 1960 and 1998 when it closed.
It’s an awesome sight, and I had to take a second look to make sure my eyes weren’t tricking me! Justice, even belated justice, is sweet!
Jean Lunt Marinovic
January, 2009
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