1969 - 2019


The Croatian Radio Club, Inc. in New York celebrates its 50th anniversary. That time, which many of us have experienced with it, deserves to be looked at.

That is also the purpose of this memorial book. Remember all those years of beloved memories. And thank everyone who founded the Croatian Radio Club, who worked with him in these 50 years, and especially those who supported him with hard work, money and Croatian hearts.

Let this record of the history of the Croatian Radio Club in New York be useful to future generations, to our young people in the Croatian community in New York and around the world.

It took a lot of effort, and above all the Croatian slogan, that the Croatian Radio Club in New York was enjoying its 50th anniversary, and that is where the folk proverb came to a complete conclusion: "When the fraternal heart is in agreement ..."


Winter 1969. One evening in mid-February, a group of Croatians gather in the hall of the old church of the Croatian Parish of St. Cyril and Methodius at 550 West, 50th Street in Manhattan. Their wish is to launch radio shows for the Croatian community in New York and its surroundings. A cold, snowy night prevented many patrons from coming to the founding session of the Croatian Radio Club. That evening, there were members - founders: Mirko Bari, Jerko Colich, Fr. Mladen Cuvalo, Miro Gal, Bruno Govorcin, Ivan Kundid, Vinko Kuzina, Marko Kristic, Ivan Labrovic, Eduard Martek, Krunoslav Masina, Br. Vitomir Naletilic, Ante Nosic, Ivan Pintar, Duro Raguz and Bozo Radalj. Many of them today are no longer with us. Rest in peace.

         The president was elected Miro Gal with the charge of finding radio stations in New York that could broadcast the Croatian program. Gal performed his task at a lightning speed. Only ten days after the founding assembly of the WHBI radio station, the 30 minutes program is held in Croatian language. But only then was it necessary to work hard and do something that none of these amateurs - the founder was experienced. The club did not have the required technique, even the gramophone board. And to make it worse, only two shows could be broadcast with the available money. It had to react quickly because the first show was followed in a few days.


First radio show

On February 22, 1969, when the United States celebrated the birthday of Father George Washington, the Croatian community in New York celebrated the start of radio shows in Croatian. The program was filmed at Jerko Colic's home in Rego Park, Queens. Speakers and editors were  Krunoslav Masina and Vinko Kuzina in Croatian and Ljubica Gal in English. The first recorders were Jerko Colic, Miro Gal, Eduard Martek and Luis Mervar.

Let's remember this start!

Radio Station WHBI at 9.30 am, on Saturday, February 22, 1969, announces in English: "The Croatian Radio Club presents The Voice of Free Croatia. This is the only Croatian radio program in the Metropolitan area. "

The program of the Croatian Radio program was opened aired with the arias from the opera "Ero from that world" by Jakov Gotovac, followed by information on the purpose of the program on the Croatian radio program and by reviewing the news from the Homeland and the life of the Croatian community in New York. Ljubica Gal reported in English the listener about Croatia's national independence struggle because it was important for the listeners in the English-speaking area to report on the Croatian reality at the time. The program was completed with the Croatian national anthem "Lijepa Nasa" which has remained a practice until today.

After that first broadcast the audience response was remarkably encouraging. Praise, congratulations and financial help come from hundreds of well-known and unknown listeners. This enabled the Croatian community in New York to finally gain its authentic voice and a powerful medium of public information and connectivity. The joy of Croat from New York with the release of the free Croatian radio was enormous, because a year ago, the monopoly in the era of this world had a hated "Yugoslav Radio Clock".

Due to the range of radio waves of 50 kilometers or 30 miles the news about the launch of Croatian radio show spread at a lightning speed, not just New York but also neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut.

Croatianhood win over yugoslavism

The beginning of the work of Croatian Radio was therefore not easy and simple. In addition to financial and technical problems, they also appeared politically. Although the founding of Croatian Radio with enthusiasm is welcomed by all the patriotic Croats of New York, the official and unofficial circles of Communist Yugoslavia, primarily the consulate of the SFRY in New York and their "Yugoslav Radio Clock", have been opposed from the beginning. The free word in the ether of this world was a sharp bone in their Yugoslav communion throat. Thanks to the national consciousness and succession of the entire Croatian community in New York, the Croatian Radio Clock "the Voice of the Free Croatia" successfully resisted their traps, ambushes and threats.

Otherwise, until the appearance of the Croatian radio, the "Yugoslavism" was lightly sown in New York. "Yugoslav Radio Clock" listeners regularly taught the lessons of "fraternity and unity" and the benefits of the socialist reality of the new Yugoslavia! Only by the appearance of Croatian Radio listeners could hear the true side of the story, or the voice and strength of the Croats captured in the “Yugoslav prison”.

The brisk and interesting controversies between "Yugoslav Radio Hours" and "The Voice of Free Croatia" evolved over ether. And these controversies and insults of all Croatian saints, initiated by Yugoslav Radio, have helped to further develop, materially strengthen and strengthen Croatian Radio.


 Croatian listeners, even those who are so inclined to Yugoslavia, are proudly portrayed by the Croatian Radio and assisting them morally and financially. In this public radio conflict, the Croatian idea was a pure victory. Yugoslavian radio is experiencing a complete crash and will soon be abandoned by broadcasting.

         One of the greatest merits of Croatian Radio is that in the New York community, known as the "tower of the Yugoslavia", it clearly defined the boundary between the Croatian nationalist and the alien Yugoslavian. Without Croatian Radio, the false Yugoslav prophets had a broad and unobtrusive field of their anti-Croatian work.


Immediately after the first show, the filming program moves to Brooklyn, home of John and Mary Pintar. Ivan Pintar was also a technical director and administrator of Croatian Radio for several years, as he opened his home to Croatian Radio. In this home, preparing radio programs from the beginning of Radio's work until the end of 1971, the editors, with the help of their hosts, carried out many sleepless nights. In December 1971, the studio of Croatian Radio shortly moved to Bronx on 28-85 Valentine Avenue, in the premises which the Radio was donated by a well-known Croatian activist, now the deceased Ante Nosic and his wife Anka. For a year, the Club buys its own building.


The Club has been keen on the desire and the need for its own spaces to make loans and generous cash gifts that members of the Club and the known Croats donated to the Croatian Radio Club.


On Dec. 27, 1972, a two-story building was purchased in Astoria (37-18 / 20 Astoria Boulevard), where club rooms and studio of Croatian Radio New York were finally placed. For many years to date, the Croatian Radio Club has given club rooms to many Croatian companies for their meetings. Just a few of these companies are: The Croatian Academy of America, Croatian National Football Club (HNNK) CROATIA New York, Croatian Children's Festival, Croatian Chronicle, Croatia Fund, Inc., Croatian Chess Club NY, HKD Napredak NY, Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 789 "Slobodna Hrvatska", Imotski Club, Poljicka NY Club, Radio "Glas Bosnie and Herzegovine".


After two years of broadcasting the Croatian Radio program, it was extended from half an hour to an hour. The first one-hour show was broadcast on January 16, 1971. In mid-1972, the Croatian Radio introduced the second permanent program, half an hour, Monday night, and another, Thursday night, 1973. So "Voice of Free Croatia" came to Croatian homes three times a week. Three-night shows were held all year long, but high cost and overload of editors led to Thursday's broadcasting being suspended. This same half-hour show is taken over by the Croatian Catholic Parish of St. Cyril and Methodius and St. Rafael so that the Croatians are informed in the same amount as before.



 After six years of existence at the Croatian Radio Club, it is coming from the TV station WBTB-TV, specializing in foreign language programs, for one-hour television programming in Croatian language. And on Saturday, November 8, 1975, the first Croatian TV show was broadcast in New York under the leadership of Krunoslav Masina and participants fra Mladen Cuvalo, prof. Bogdan Radica, Miro Gal i Miho Miketic. In addition to other interesting features, the "Grandfathers land" travelogue was presented by Ivan Pintar.



The most prolific year for Croatian radio was, however, the 90th. The time of the Croatian War for independence. The Croatian Radio Club stands in defense of Croatia's humanitarian aid in every form, by collecting money and funds in that war period.

Now he fought harder for the Croatian word, justice, culture and dignity by linking Croats outside of their country with her and expanding Croatian justice and patriotism.

The advancement of technology and Croatian radio are modernized with devices for a better and better presentation of the program.

In 2010, he moves to a digital recording system, which greatly facilitates the job of technical editors because the tapes no longer have to be carried on the radio station. Thanks to the technology, the 2005 shows go live every Wednesday and Saturday, and their biggest advantage is the possibility of uninterrupted reporting of our listeners in the program with wishes and greetings.

With the transition to digital recording system, the Croatian Radio Club gets its website through which listeners can listen to shows online all over the world, especially in Croatia.



Editors and speakers from the beginning till 1979 were mostly Krunoslav Masina and Vinko Kuzina in Croatian, and in English, Ljubica Gal. In the first 20 years the other speakers were: Zvonko Crnogorac, Toni Kusic, Miro Gal, Ljubica Gal, Ante Barulic, Julio Segaric, Branka Baric, Kati Jonlic, Zoran Kuzina, Josip Puric, Ante Sovulj, Ana Raguz, Tony Kusic, Ljubica Struic , Milka Pavlak, William Kraul and "Adrijana".

Nineties and two thousand speakers on the Radio were: Nina Ogrebic, Velimir Mehmedbasic, Josip Kucan, Jozo Vukusic, Blanka Raguz, Miro Mustapic, Diana Kolanovic, Maria Kero, Boris Miketic, Vladimir Grubisic, Diana Lasic, Beba Sunara, Ruza Marosevic, Johnny Skibola , Sanja Bogovic, Visnja Miocic, Petra Pesa, Sandra Misic, Silvia Grzetic and Ana Mihaljevic.


The Croatian Radio Club in New York has had extensive cooperation with well-known Croatian intellectuals and political workers from New York himself, as well as from other countries. They were listening to comments by beloved Bogdan Radic, Stanko Vujic, Mate Mestrovic, Karla Mirth, Drago Sporer and Marijan Gabelic, as well as reports by European rapporteur Zvonimir Mahac from Germany. Many Croatian publicists, cultural and political workers were present on Croatian Radio. Special interviews were given by: Ivo Rojnica (Argentina), fra Lucijan Kordic (Switzerland), prof. Vinko Nikolic (Spain), Ivo Kisic (Venezuela), Mladen Schwartz, Stjepan Bilandzic, Josip Gamulin, Franjo Mikulic, Danijel Crljen and others.


Earlier years, the Croatian Radio Club also co-operated with other Croatian radio programs from Saint Louis, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago and Milwaukee. Most commonly during Christmas holidays with each other's Christmas cards. We had a series of reporters from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and today this is Ante Peran.

The religious associates on Croatian Radio are the Parish of St. Cyril and Methodius and St. Rafael at Manhattan, Croatia's Catholic Mission of Blessed John Merz in Astoria with the latest community reports on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in the past the Croatian Catholic Community of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Fairview, New Jersey.

In addition to the collaborator's commentators, numerous technical associates played an important role. Their number is quite significant and we mention a few: Ivan Pintar, Julio Segaric, Vlado Maric, Franjo Ljoljic, Jozo Setka, Ante Cogelja, Pavle Prigorac, Vlatko Maiser, Zoran Kuzina, Mate Bilandzic, Stipe Dumancic, Ivica Baric, Marko Maric and Marko Vidovic. All of them would record a single show and then upload the tape, or the show, to radio studio.

Let's not forget that the 60's and 70's news did not spread as fast as it is today, but the news was sent by fax or over the phone, so all the information had to be recorded and finally recorded.

The Croatian Radio Club New York supported almost all Croatian humanitarian action that was organized in New York. He helped build the Church of the Croatian Martyrs in Udbina (Lika, Croatia), and in Zagreb the newspaper "Political Prisoner.

For many years, until now, the Croatian Radio Club has been participating financially by students of the Croatian Cultural Society Napredak Sarajevo / Zagreb in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and through the Croatian Scholarship Fund from San Ramon, California, which grants scholarships to Croatian students in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (www. He has also helped the Croatian Cultural Society in New York "Cardinal Stepinac", HNNK Croatia New York and the Croatian Children's Festival in New York.

      Special thanks should be given to the Croats of New York. Over the years, the Croatians of New York gathered financial support for the maintenance and broadcasting of "The Voice of Free Croatia". There is a huge THANK YOU!

The annual assemblies and parties were regularly held in the premises of the Croatian Center within the Croatian Catholic Parish of St. Cyril and Methodius and St. Rafael at Manhattan. For this, thank you very much to the Croatian Friars from the Croatian Franciscan Custody of the Holy Family in America and Canada as part of Herzegovina Province of the Assumption of Holy Mary.


Always on hand since the first day, we were sisters of the Franciscans from the Province of the Holy Family in Herzegovina as part of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Franciscan Christian King.

Whenever we send the messages of the Croatian Consulate General in New York as well as the Croatian Embassy in Washington D.C.

In the club premises, there are six plaques given to long-time members of the Club, in gratitude for their long-standing contribution to the Croatian Radio Club. These are Sime Raljevic, Vinko Kuzina, Stipe Dumancic, Krunoslav Masina, Eduard Martek and Ivo Kresan. Krunoslav Masina was awarded the title of Honorary President and Vinko Kuzina a life-long honorary president.

Do not forget, Croatian Radio Club hosted twice on Croatian police and firefighters who participated in the World Police and Fire Games ( in the United States in 2011 and 2015.


All of our editors, associates and executives deserve a big thank you for all the sacrifice, effort and desire to hear the Croatian word in New York and beyond, and from 2010 and around the world due to live broadcasts over the Internet.

Today, Croatian radio is being worked by long-time technical editors Stipe Dumancic, Ivica Gasparic and Vlado Maric, along with editors and speakers: Boris Miketic, Petra Pesa, Silvia Grzetic, Sandra Misic and Ana Mihaljevic.

But our broadcasts would not be without you loyal listeners, who help the Croatian Radio Club materially to continue to promote Croatian word, culture and language.

Our wish is that we will continue news and events from our country on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and in the future and over the Internet while preserving the Croatian language and culture. In this way, we care for love for the Homeland and invite young generations to preserve the beautiful wealth of Croatian heritage.

Aware that in this work there is a great moral responsibility for us. We are proud of that!

Our doors are always open. We are looking for and need volunteers. The Croatian Radio Club is a charitable society belonging to all Croats of New York City and its wider environments. Come and get involved in our work. Let "the Voice of Free Croatia" be heard forever from this powerful and cultural headquarters of the world.

Written by: Stipe Dumancic and Vedran Josip Nazor