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John Corsellis, Carer of Post-War Refugees – 14.01.1923–18.11.2018

John Corsellis, who cared for Slovenes fleeing their country in 1945 and chronicled their Odyssey around the world, has died at the age of 95 in his home city of Cambridge.

As a young humanitarian aid worker, John helped look after several thousand Slovene refugees in Displaced Persons camps in Austria until they were able to emigrate to Argentina, the United States, Canada and Britain.

He developed a strong affection for the refugees, whom he helped run schools and other camp activities with the most meagre of means. While the Slovenes were bitter that the British Army sent back 13,000 Slovene Home Guards to be killed by the Communists, they warmly appreciated John for his support and friendship in their time of need.

Together with co-author Marcus Ferrar, John published a book entitled “Slovenia 1945: Memories of Death and Survival after World War II” in the U.K. in 2005. The Slovene edition published by Mladinska Knjiga became a best-seller in Slovenia.

John was a Quaker, and when asked by Slovene television interviewer how this affected his beliefs, he replied simply: “The Bible says ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and the Bible means ‘Thou shalt not kill’.”

A Quaker meeting will be held to give thanks for John’s life on Tuesday 4 December at 2.30 pm at the Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BA.

Here is a link to the interview John Corsellis and Marcus Ferrar gave to Sandi Čolnik of RTV Slovenia in 2006:




Reserve the date for Prešeren Evening – 9th February 2019!

We are looking forward to getting together again at our next Prešeren Evening.  It will take place on Saturday 9th February 2019 at the Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel (the same place as this year). Put the date in your diary!

PS: Don’t forget the British-Slovene Carol Service on 7th December at St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street and St. Andrew’s Hill, City of London, EC4V 5DE. 




Christmas Carol Service on Friday 7th December in London

The BSS warmly invites you to our annual Carol Service on Friday 7th December 2018, at 6:30 pm.

This is our regular festive get together which is held in the beautiful church of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street and St. Andrew’s Hill, City of London, EC4V 5DE.

The church, which was built by Sir Christopher Wren is a wonderful historic building and well worth a visit in its own right. Please come and join in our carol singing in English and Slovene.

Catch up with friends after the service as there will be potica (offered by the Society) and Christmas drinks (courtesy of the Embassy).

There is no charge but a collection is taken to support the work of the Barka charity in Slovenia.

Nearest underground Blackfriars. St Paul’s and Mansion House nearby.


Join a Slovene “Singing Supper” in London on Saturday 6 October

The “Lakeland Voices from Cumbria” choir, which specialises in folk songs from Slovenia, invites you to join them for a Slovene-themed “Singing Supper” at the Number Twelve Restaurant at 12 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0HX this Saturday 6th October at 7.30 pm. There will be well known songs in both Slovene and English which everyone can join in. 

All members and friends of the British-Slovene Society are welcome.

The Number Twelve Restaurant is offering a set menu. For more information, contact

Lakeland Voices from Cumbria on a tour in Slovenia in May 2018


Evening Courses of Slovene at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies UCL

From October 2018 SSEES UCL will again run evening courses of Slovene language at all levels.
Beginners (Tuesdays)
Lower Intermediate (Mondays)
Upper Intermediate (Thursdays)
Advanced (Wednesdays)
Advanced Plus (Thursdays)
All courses are scheduled to run 6:30-8:30pm.
More information about the Slovene courses is HERE

If you are interested please enrol by 30 September HERE

For more information contact Maja Rančigaj Beneš, Slovene language teacher:

These small interactive courses develop conversation skills without losing sight of the fundamentals of grammar. They are ideal for anyone interested in the rich culture and unique language of Slovenia. 

Dora Lavrenčič has passed away

With great sadness, we have heard news that Dora Lavrenčič, widow of Karl Lavrenčič, passed away on 10th July at the age of 94. Dora was a broadcaster with the BBC’s Slovene section.

Née Dora Žebot, she was the daughter of a prominent pre-war figure Franjo Žebot who, as acting Mayor of Maribor, refused to raise the Nazi flag on the town hall at the time of the 1941 invasion. He was subsequently the first Slovene to be transported to Dachau concentration camp, where he died.

Dora’s funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cobham, Surrey at 11am on Friday 20th July. There will be a reception immediately afterwards in the parish centre next to the church. 

The British-Slovene Society sends heartfelt condolences to Dora’s family, Alenka and John.

A Slovene Choir Entertains BSS Oxford Picnic


The Gallus Aeternus choir enlivened the annual Oxford Picnic of the British-Slovene Society on 1st July 2018 alongside the traditional kozolec at the Harcourt Arboretum.


Members old and young came with their families and friends. Ambassador Tadej Rupelj led a strong contingent from the Slovenian Embassy, bringing some good bottles of Slovenian wine in his rucksack.


Guests of honour were representatives of the Slovenian Government Office for Slovenes Abroad. Secretary Primož Ilešič brought personal greetings from Minister Gorazd Žmavc.

JAZOO London Tour

JAZOO, a progressive jazz group, is returning for their 5th London Tour with new material, performing at several music venues.

JAZOO London Tour #05
10 –  15   J u l y   2 0 1 8
Tuesday 10 July at 8pm at SET UK (Dalston)
Wednesday 11 July 2018 at 7pm at Nambucca (Holloway)
Friday 13 July at 9pm at with Don Kipper at Balabam(Tottenham)
Saturday 14 July 8pm at Luna Lounge(Leytonstone)
Sunday 15 July at 8pm at Magic Garden (Battersea)

JAZOO is a 5-member band comprising Nejc Haberman (bass), Danijel Hartman (drums), Stare Katja (flute, vocals, percussion), Matjaž Mlakar (saxophone, flute, vocals) and Tomaž Pačnik (keyboard, accordion, electronics). The band has been active on the alternative ethno-jazz-fusion scene for several years and has toured extensively throughout Europe and other parts of the world.

Twitter: @jazooband
Facebook: /Jazooband


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