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President of the Republic in Senior Citizens Home Gradišče

Dornberk, 12/28/2006  |  press release, statement

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today visited the Senior Citizens Home Gradišče at Dornberk, and its residents, in particular Mrs Marija Jug who celebrated her 104th birthday in November.

President Drnovšek was received and warmly welcomed by Mr Silvano Gregorič, the home’s acting director, who explained to the President that the home currently housed 148 residents, with around 60 employees doing their best to organise as many different activities as possible for the residents so that everyone can find something to his or her liking. In addition to excursions, picnics and other events, residents can take part in talk groups, painting workshops, and African and Oriental Dance workshops organised in co-operation with the Dornberk primary school.

Dr Drnovšek thanked his hosts for their invitation and said he was pleased to pay a visit to the senior citizens home during the holiday season. He addressed all those present with the following words:
Click to enlarge“I would like to offer you my warm greetings. I am delighted that you have invited me to pay a visit to this home and that we are all here today during this festive period between Christmas and New Year. This is a very special time of the year and it is an opportunity for me to extend to you my very best wishes and wish you all a pleasant festive season.

I am pleased that this home is so well organised and that you have so many activities to take part in, that young people are involved, so that you do not feel lonely and abandoned. You should not feel lonely and abandoned. Every one of us will be in such a situation one day and we must be there for each other and help each other in order to make the best of our time from the beginning of our life until the end.

There is a lady in this home, Mrs Jug, who celebrated her 104th birthday in November. It is a particular pleasure for me to extend to Mrs Jug my congratulations and best wishes for this important day. I have already said that every one who lives to be a hundred years old is worthy of respect for this achievement and I am pleased to congratulate every centenarian in our country. And this is exactly what I am going to do now. Congratulations."

After the President of the Republic had congratulated Mrs Marija Jug, there was the performance of the home's choir – already in existence for one year – led by Mr Miran Rustja. In the continuation of the cultural programme, Slovenia's President accepted thanks for his visit from Mrs Ivanka Cotič. And Mrs Marija Jug sang a few songs for the President.

President Dr Drnovšek thanked his hosts again:
“Thank you for your warm welcome and for the programme that you have prepared. Mrs Jug has shown us that anything can be achieved if one puts one’s mind to it, even live to be a 104 and more. I think that this is the right example for us all to follow. I would like again to extend my best wishes to you all here: the residents, the staff, and to you, Mr Gregorič, because the well-being of the residents in the home very much depends on you. I value highly the work performed by the staff and by all of you who help the elderly here. I am aware that it cannot always be easy for you. But your work is very important. You truly do good work.”

At the close of the visit, President Dr Drnovšek answered a journalist's question:

Mr President, what is your message to the residents of the Senior Citizens Home Gradišče in these festive days?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I think it is important that in the holiday season we offer our greetings and best wishes also to those who may feel somewhat pushed aside or who happen to be in a difficult situation; it seems to me all the more important to offer them comfort and solace on such days and perhaps one small gesture may bring them great joy.