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Petar Mandic

Petar Mandic

Petar Mandic (1920 - 2012) was one of the people who marked the life of Nova Varos (Serbia) after the Second World War.

Who was Petar Mandic?

He was the doyen of the cultural scene and a dedicated worker in the field of education in this small town near Zlatar. During his life, he held many positions: from teacher and school headteacher, to the director of education and culture, and finally, the director of the "House of Culture", the cultural centre of Nova Varos, which was a nearly three-decade role for which he was remembered.

Petar Madnic | former director of the Nova Varos Culture Center | "Petar Mandic" Endowment

As a more detailed answer to the question Who was Petar Mandic? instead of a formal biography written in a factual style, we suggest that you read the article below by Rade Anicic, his grandson.

The text was written especially for the website of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment.

From the pen of the grandson Rade Anicic

The pleasant July days in Nova Varos. And not so pleasant 10 years later, as I write these lines, complaining a little about the heat. That complaint was interrupted for a moment by the image of my grandfather Pera [nickname for Petar], who knew how to get from Nova Varos to Uzice on foot. Thirsty for school and knowledge. My complaints are interrupted by his fragile body sitting across from me, as he calmly sums up his God-filled life for me. I knew I was writing down something important on paper. Better to say, I didn't know - I felt it.

- Rade, it would be good if you wrote this. To keep it. Well, maybe you'll publish it somewhere.

After ten years, I receive another great confirmation that coincidences do not exist. Just on the tenth anniversary of this storytelling, which is brewing in me thinking that I am not yet old enough to dedicate a book to him, the Endowment with his name appears. And thanks to his Oliver, Grandpa continues to live forever.

With the soft sounds of Radio Belgrade and a cold lemonade, I transform into an ear and listen to my grandfather's words:

I was born in 1920 in Amzici. I finished the first two grades of primary school in Radoinja, and the second two in Kokin Brod. I finished lower secondary school in Nova Varos.
World War II interrupted my education. After the end of the war, on 10th February 1945, the regional liberation committee in Pljevlja appointed me as a teacher and manager of the primary school in Rutosi. On 7th November, I went to complete my military service in Slovenia, at Boinjska Bela near Bled. After completing my military service, I was again appointed as a manager and teacher in Rutosi.

In the summer months of 1950, the Ministry of Education of Serbia organised supplementary training for teachers who had completed high school according to the national plan and programme. After, I passed the graduate teacher's exam with a grade of "very good". On 1st September 1950, by the decision of the municipal administration, I was appointed headteacher and teacher of mathematics in the upper grades of the primary school in Bistrica. I spent five years there.

In September 1955, as required by the service, I was transferred to the position of headteacher of the primary school in Nova Varos, and in 1956 to the administration of the Nova Varos Municipal Assembly, to the position of education and culture officer. After two years of work, I was appointed head of general affairs. Later, I was transferred to the position of director of the Workers' University, and in 1959, I became the director of the House of Culture in Nova Varos, where I remained until my retirement in 1986.

Petar Madnic | former director of the Nova Varos Culture Center | "Petar Mandic" Endowment

For the success achieved in my work, I received several distinction and awards. I received a plaque from the Ministry of Education of Serbia for adult literacy. I received a gold badge from the Cultural and Educational Community of Serbia for my work in the implementation of the cultural development programme. During my work, the Cultural Centre received the Vuk Award, the highest recognition in culture and education. I was awarded the Order of the People with a silver star. I am the winner of the 4th of December award, the Charter of the inter-republican community for cultural and educational activities in Pljevlja, as one of the first founders of this community. I received the Kemal Secerkadic Charter for my contribution to the successful implementation of the programme of the cultural and educational community in the territory of the three republics of Yugoslavia at the time: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

I was a participant in many congresses of teachers throughout the former Yugoslavia. I collaborated in the writing of the Chronicle of schools in Bistrica, Nova Varos, in the creation of a publication about the life work of Camil Sijaric, an academician and writer. I read newspapers regularly: Politika, Educational review, local press, magazines Ovdje (Podgorica), Mostovi (Pljevlja), Savindan (Prijepolje) [it rarely occured that I went to see my grandfather that I would not find him reading something - note. R. A.].

I was elected councillor of the Nova Varos Assembly, President of the Council for Education and Culture, President of the Trade Union Organisation of Educational and Cultural Workers of the Municipality of Nova Varos, as well as a member of the Council of the Regional Historical Archive in Uzice.

I have been married for 60 years to my wife Radmila, who has been a great support for me in my work. I have three children and five grandchildren with her.

The Nova Varos House of Culture was founded by the merger of the City Library and the Workers' University. Thanks to the librarian, the library brought about a thousand works into the House. From the Workers' University, I brought a lot of experience to the House. The activities of the House were: work on the expansion of library activities, organising and implementing amateur and theatre activities, work of the lower music school, which was completed by seven generations by the time I left.

Petar Madnic | former director of the Nova Varos Culture Center | "Petar Mandic" Endowment

Several literary evenings were organised in which the winners of the NIN award also participated. The House of Culture also supported the work of sports organisations: chess players, the Hunting Association, the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired. We organised guest appearances by professional theatres from Belgrade, Kragujevac, Nis, and Uzice, as well as a guest appearance by the National Entertainment Orchestra of Television Belgrade.

A film programme was so developed that more tickets were regularly requested. There were films that played 5-6 times a day, and Nova Varos plays were played at all important festivals of the former SFRY [Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Editorial note].

Many famous names have passed through our House of Culture, and it was an indescribable honour for me to host them. I will mention only a few, as far as my memory serves: Ljuba Tadic, Olivera Markovic, Rade Markovic, Milena Dravic, Dragan Nikolic, Zoran Radmilovic, Mija Aleksic, Miodrag Petrovic Ckalja, Divna Djokovic, Milic od Macva, Darinka Matic Marovic, Radmila Bakocevic, Dusan Trbojevic, Radoslav Trkulja, Dusan Jaksic, Miroslav Ilic, Lepa Lukic, Predrag Cune Gojkovic, Biljana Ristic, Safet Isovic, Gabi Novak, Tereza Kesovija and many others...

I'm sure that, in addition to such names, my grandfather most liked to talk to the farmer on Mondays, the market day. He knew how to listen to other people's pain, share advice, and criticise. He was calm, temperate, honest and just.

The last question Grandpa Pero asked me one March evening was:

- How long is there until dawn?

- Why are you asking me that, grandfather?

- So that you can calculate for me how long I will live...

The next day, 15th March 2012, he passed away.

Endowment "Petar Mandic" - logo

"Petar Mandic" Endowment
Gandijeva 44/49
Postal Number
Municipality of New Belgrade
Date establishment
Registration Body
Serbian Business Registers Agency, Republic Serbia