On Thursday the 9th of November, His Grace Bishop Siluan was received by the Mayor of Hornsby, Mr Phillip Ruddock. The Mayor is Australia's second longest serving federal politician, serving the nation as both Minister for Immigration and Attorney General. As a token of thanks for Mr Ruddock's decades long support of the Serbian Church and community, His Grace presented Mr Ruddock with an Orthodox wall Cross. Mr Ruddock mentioned that he has a considerable number of Orthodox icons, and was grateful for the new addition to his collection. In a very warm exchange of reflections on both world and local events, both the Bishop and Mayor expressed their mutual concerns for society in this time of social confusion.
Mr Ruddock was very pleased to hear that the overwhelming majority of Krajina Serbs who found refuge in Australia after being expelled from the ancestral homeland, had mostly succeeded in establishing a new life in Australia. He was especially glad to hear that many young Krajina children continue to do well in their education and employment. Mr Ruddock visited Krajina in 1997 and upon seeing their abandoned homes and derelict farms, ensured that a as many as possible displaced Krajina Serbs be resettled in Australia as quickly as possible.
Mr Ruddock also recalled the 2004 visit of the late Patriarch Pavle at the consecration of the land purchased for the building of St.Sava College. Bishop Siluan informed him of the building progress made of late, and availed himself of the opportunity to invite Mr Ruddock to attend a function as guest of honour planned for early next year at the College. The former MP was quick to gladly accept the invitation, and expressed his commitment to assist the Church and community in whatever manner he could.
His Grace Bishop Siluan thanked Mr Ruddock for receiving him, and wished him the very best in his new role of mayor.
Fr. Rade Radan