Macedonians in Geelong




Brief History of the Macedonian Orthodox Community of Geelong & St John the BaptistChurch

  • 1976 – 5 Acres of land is bought after the decision was made by the local Macedonian community to build a church and community hall.  At a community general meeting, it was decided to name the church – Saint John the Baptist.
  • 1977 -  After a few local Macedonians started to ask the question why other communities were being represented at various local festivals and why the Macedonians were not represented, a handful of their Macedonian friends decided to gather their children and start to have dancing practice in their homes and garages.  This was the first inception of a Macedonian dancing group in Geelong.  The lessons were based on traditional Macedonian dance steps that everyone knew.  A few years later, the ethnic Macedonian school “Kole Kaninski” was formed, and the dancing group was formally named “Biser”, meaning pure or a string of pearls.  Since then, Biser has represented the Geelong Macedonian Community at every single Pako Festa since 1981 and dozens of other local festivals and events.
  • 15th January 1978 – A ceremony was held where the foundations of the church were blessed.
  • 11th May 1980 – The church has been completed and blessed by the Bishop Kiril from Macedonia, and father Chedomir Ilievski was appointed the first priest for the new St. John the BaptistChurch.
  • 1997 – Biser Dance Group tours the republic of Macedonia as official guests of the government, performaing all over the country over a period of 2 weeks, culminating in performances celebrating the National Macedonian Day – “Ilinden”
  • 2005 – Church is completely renovated and extended upwards with the addition of a steeple.
  • 5th February 2006 – The renovated church is blessed by the Metropolitan of Australian and New Zealand Diocese Bishop Peter.
  • 2008 – New chandelier from Macedonian is purchased and mounted in the centre of the church
  • 2009 -  New wood hand-carved frame for mounting the iconostas  arrives from Macedonia and is installed, greatly enhancing the beauty of our church.
  • 2010 – Current activities and branches of the Macedonian Community in Geelong:
      • 200 paid members of the Macedonian Social Club
      • 60 dancers in the Biser Dance Group, representing the Macedonian Community, and our rich culture through music, song and dance at various local and interstate festivals.  Dancers range from 5 to 23 years of age, in 3separate groups, which train every week.  The dance group is planning on touring Macedonia once again in 2011 with a series of performances across the country.
      • Senior citizens group which is very active, with almost weekly activities being organised
      • Catering service is available when hall is hired.
  • 2011 – Biser Dancing Group toured the Republic of Macedonia, with performances in Skopje, Ohrid, Prilep and Bitola.  16 dancers and their families toured throughout Macedonia as part of the 14 day tour, with a total of 45 dancers, parents, siblings and even grandparents joining the tour.  The unforgettable tour was the culmination of over 18 months of fundraising to subsidise some of the travel costs, with special thanks to Diversitat for their ongoing support..
  • 2011 – After receiving partial funding from the City of Greater Geelong, the Macedonian Social Club installed a completely new Septic Tank / Sewage Water Treatment Plant. 







Kratka istorija na nashata Makedonska Pravoslavna zaednica vo Gilong i crkvata Sv. Jovan Krstitel

  • 1976 - se kupuva 5 akri mesto na koe se odluchi da se izgradi crkva i sala so site pomoshni prostorii.  Odluka donesena na sobranie na redovnoto chlenstvo, crkvata da go nosi imeto Sveti Jovan Krstitel.
  • 1977 - se formira prvata Makedonska igraorna grupa vo Xilong  - KUD Biser i uchilishte za izuchuvanje na Makedonski jazik “Kole Kaninski”.
  • 15 Januari 1978 - se osvetuva kamen-temelnikot na crkvata.
  • 11 Maj 1980  - se osvetuva crkvata od strana na togshniot nadlezhen Aphirej na Amerikansko-kanadskata i Avstraliska eparhija Negovoto Visoko-preosveshtenstvo Mitropolitot Kiril, a za parohiski sveshtenik beshe postaven sveshtenikot otec Chedomir Ilievski.  Ikonite za ikonostasot bea podareni od Maticata na iselenicite od Makedonija izraboteni od umetnikot Spase.
  • 1997 - KUD Biser nastapuva vo Makedonija kako gosti na Maticata na iselenicite.
  • 2005 – se izvrshi pogolemo renovirawe na crkvata so nejzina dogradba vo visochina. 
  • 5 Fevruari 2006 - na obnovenata crkva beshe izvrsheno Malo osvetuvawe od strana na nadlezhniot Arhirej Negovoto Visokopreosveshtenstvo Mitropolitot Prespansko-Pelagonski i administrator Avstralisko-Novozelandski g. Petar.
  • 2008 – se kupi luster od Makedonija za vo sredinata na crkvata.
  • 2009 – se postavi nov ikonostas vo dlaboka rezba izraboten od oreovo drvo vo Bitola Makedonija, a so negovoto postavanje crkvata dobi mnogu na svojot izgled i ubavina.      
  • 2010 – ushte nekolku povazhni informacii od Makedonskata Pravoslavna Opshtinata vo Gilong:
      • 200 redovni chlenovi na Opshtinata.
      • 60 deca chlenuvaat vo Makedonskata igraorna grupa “Biser”. Drushtvoto Biser, od 1980 godina uspeshno ja prestavuva nashata bogata kultura preku: folklorot, pesnite i orata i pred drugite nacii so nastapi na razni festivali i koncerti vo Gilong, Melburn, i Sidnej, so realna nade` deka vgodina ke nastapi vo Republika Makedonija po vtorpat. 
      • Aktivna penzionerska grupa
      • Kristal Katering

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