Order for Service on Emil Gaspari
Ljubljana, 06/28/2006 | press release
President Janez Drnovšek today conferred the Order for Services on Mr Emil Gaspari for his services and personal contribution in establishing, developing and strengthening economic ties between the Republic of Slovenia and the United States of America and for all his activities on behalf of Slovenia.
At the ceremony President Drnovšek said the following words after conferring the decoration: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to confer this decoration on Mr Gaspari, whom I have known for many years. He has done a great deal for the recognition of Slovenia in the United States of America. He has done a great deal for our mutual cooperation and has always been at the disposal of Slovenian citizens, and Slovenian businesses, when we have sought the best ways, the best routes to establish ourselves in the USA. I offer him my sincere congratulations for this decoration and for all that he has done to date.’
Emil Gaspari, a businessman of Slovenian descent who has lived in the USA since 1961 expressed his thanks: ‘Mr President, it is with a great sense of honour that I accept your decoration, even though you have put me in a real “stalemate” position. Be that as it may, I would like to thank Slovenia and you for this great honour and I would like to take this opportunity to say something about the year 2006: this year we are celebrating 15 years of Slovenia’s independence and I would therefore like to say happy birthday to all of you, to Slovenia and Slovenians: it is 15 years. The year 2006 is also very important for my career. I landed in America on 17 June 1961. My intention was to stay there three weeks, but then I lost my orientation and I am still there; 2006 is also the year that my wife and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, so this year really is very important. Thank you, Ann. Slovenia, what is Slovenia? Slovenia is my soul, Slovenia is my heart, Slovenia is my roots. Even though I am far away, I am always near. And I shall do this as long as I have my health, and I shall support Slovenia wherever I can. I almost forgot what I was going to say, because in fact I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, English and American and Slovenian ones. Be that as it may, I would simply like to add that this medal really belongs to a person who is also here with us, and I pass your decoration on to her with love – my wife, who took me, who has had infinite patience, who has taken Slovenia as her new country, as her new homeland. With our joint strength and her support I can continue with the campaigns that I hope benefit Slovenia. Thank you very much everybody. I would also particularly like to thank Joco Žnidaršič and Ana for initiating this project, and all who have taken part in it, and of course my friends, colleagues and honoured guests. Thank you for everything, you have given me a lovely surprise.’