The British-Croatian Society is an apolitical, independent registered charity whose objectives are to foster the development of good and friendly relations between the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Croatia and in particular to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Croatia in Britain.
The formal powers, which are available to the Society to enable it to achieve these objectives, are set out in the Memorandum of Association. The principles ones being as follows:
- Advance cultural exchanges and activities between and within the two countries;
- Arrange meetings, courses, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, concerts and other artistic or educational activities in both countries;
The Trustees and Committee Members of the Society are responsible for realising the Society's objectives.
The Patrons assist in achieving these objects by supporting the Society through goodwill, appearing at Society functions and generally promoting the Society whenever this is appropriate and convenient.
The Society also raises funds from time to time for charity projects in Croatia.
A British-Croatian Society had been formed in 1974 and was still active up to the 1980s. However, it was Dr. Ante Cicin-Sain, a former Croatian Ambassador to the United Kingdom who revived the organization into its present form in January 1996 on the occasion of the Embassy's acquisition of new premises in Conway Street.
In an invitation to attend a reception to celebrate the opening of the new Embassy on Saturday 27 January 1996, he wrote "Our intention is that the Embassy should not only serve for the normal official functions, but it will also provide space for a Croatian Cultural Centre and the British-Croatian Association, so that Britons and Croatians alike can meet there to enjoy events and entertainments of mutual interest". The current Croatian Ambassador has faithfully maintained that promise for which the Society is very grateful.
On 20 April 1996, the British-Croatian Society was formally established at a meeting at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Flora Turner chaired this historic meeting. The late Dr Kathy Wilkes was nominated as interim Chairman a "temporary" position she held until her untimely and sad death on 21 August 2003 aged 57.
A further meeting held on 25 October 1996 formalized many of the Society's current rules. Charitable status was conferred on 5 June 2001.
The British-Croatian Society continues to flourish with increased membership, regular events, an annual dinner, and a newly launched website.
Nicholas Jarrold, Chair
Robert Dolata, Secretary
David Davison, Treasurer
Paul Jenc, Sponsorship
Suzanna Dolata, Membership
Peter Elborn, Events
Sir John Ramsden
Sir Nicholas and Lady Jackson