The ‘Karic Brothers’ Award Laureates in 2005


The opening speech of academician Vasilije Krestic

One of the noteworthy characteristics that adorn the Serbian nation is endowing. It has deep roots that originate from the early Middle Ages. The most renowned donors belonged to the upper class, that is, to the most elite circles of the society: district prefects, kings and the landed gentry. When we lost our state, and when the aristocracy ceased to exist, endowing was reduced to bare existence. The Serbian senior bishops, archbishops and individual prelates who have established, within their means, various foundations for the needs of their people and believers, preserved it.
The elite of our society nurtured endowing throughout the entire Middle Ages and so did the high-ranking clergy. Out of patriotic and religious motives they had set up foundations, mainly in Austria and Austro-Hungary, and thus paved the way for the course of the subsequent historical events that happened to our people, particularly in the 19th 20th century.
Modeling themselves on medieval rulers and aristocracy, as well as the Serbian Orthodox clergy, the Serbian middle class has extensively developed the institution of endowment and foundation on all geographical locations that they inhabited. That is how things were in the Principality, and the Kingdom of Serbia, but also in the areas populated by Serbs and under the rule of Turks, Austrians, Hungarians and Venetians. There is a very long list of generous people who have bequeathed substantial parts of their property, sometimes even entire ones when they were without descendants, to their people or the state at their disposal.
Legacies and foundations were created for various purposes, but always with a patriotic background. They maintained their continuance within our society up until the outbreak of the Second World War and the collapse of the state in 1941. They were extinguished after the war in 1945, and the new political establishment treated it with contempt. Eager to take everything that was owed to them on ‘revolutionary merits’, they were not willing to give away to the people that they were swearing by, and on whose behalf they ruled. Originators of legacies and foundations were labeled as capitalist exploiters, and legacies and foundations were categorised as unnecessary and damaging institutions of the bourgeois society that have no place in the socialist system. Therefore, legacies and foundations that were an indisputable pride of the Serbian nation have then ceased with work, and their funds disappeared without a trace. It will require plenty of effort, knowledge and skill for it to be returned to those to whom it was intended. The first Serbian private foundation that was set up after the Second World War is the Karic Foundation. The objectives that led to its creation, as emphasised in their regulations, are humanitarianism, aid to those in need, establishing the Serbian national culture, and its recognition in Europe and the world at large. By creating this foundation, including all its purposes, the Karics have demonstrated the desire to restore tradition and enhance the generosity that once festooned our nation. Time has shown that it won’t be an easy task; the nouveau riche such as the Karics did not thus far show any intent to establish a foundation. Let us hope that they will soon follow the steps of Captain Misa Anastasijevic, Sava Tekelija, Ilija Milosavljevic Kolarac, Sima Igumanov, Vladimir Matijevic, and many other prominent, and less-known.
The award that is presented tonight is only a fraction of the considerable activities performed by the Karic Foundation. It is presented for the highest achievements in the field of science, art, culture, journalism, publishing and humanitarian work. The award was established in 1998 and it was conferred upon tens of people and institutions. It is important to stress that the award has no political or ideological precondition, and is based solely on scientific, artistic, expert, and humanistic values. As there have never been any flaws in that respect, the Karic Brothers award has been gaining increasing repute by the year.
I wish to believe that it will preserve its integrity, and that its significance will grow even greater in the decades to come.
I congratulate this year’s laureates and wish that this award serves as an incentive for fresh intellectual accomplishments and creativity.


BORA DUGIĆ, folk artist

Carried by a God-given talent, inspired by the splendour of the Homolje and the Morava, and famous for his pipe playing, Bora Dugic has developed into a major national artist whose virtuosity has transcended his name to eternity.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
“One of the main factors that determines the value and prestige of a certain award is who is the giver, who are the jury members, and who are the recipients.
Initiated by the biblical truth that the joy of giving is always greater than the joy of receiving, and along with the regular humanitarian activity that is clearly of an invaluable importance to our country, the Karic Foundation has established an award that has become the most prestigious in this part of the world in the past eight years. It is important to say that the biggest award for a good deed is the fact that the deed has actually been accomplished. I therefore wish the Karic Foundation every success in their mission based on a verity that being big means acknowledging the small.”



In the past thirty years, Dr Djokic has substantially applied his knowledge and results in experimental medicine to his clinical practice while treating patients with lung disease. Dr Djokic is actually one of the most merited for establishing the Institute for biochemical research, as well as the Department for cardiovascular function research within the Faculty of Medicine in Pristina, which he was heading for a number of years.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
“What is the uniqueness of this award that bears the name of the Serbian Karic family? Here is the story:
In the ashes of a burned down monastery remained a half-burnt monk’s note saying: “Pen broken, ink dried-out, book closed.” When around ten years ago it appeared that Serbia has become that closed book, and when our Lord has put us to the most severe test, the Karic family found that pen, that ink, and that piece of paper from the book. They found strength to rise above the ashes and create on it something new and better, never getting disheartened in their struggle with obstacles, and achieving to shed light on us with this award. The name of this award imposes a duty upon us to maintain a sharp pen, an ink that never dries out, and when our time ceases, to hand the book down for others to continue it.”


MILOŠ NENEZIĆ, director of “Trayal”

A man who worked as an manager in the export department of “Trayal” in 1997, and fought with great determination for its survival when it faced difficulties in 2002/03. That was the time when only one of five factories was in operation, when creditors were pulling out, as were the banks, and when business partners lost all trust. Mr. Milos Nenezic firmly stood at the forefront of the company, and together with his co-workers changed the course of events. At present, “Trayal” has over 3 600 employees. Production and export, which is even more important, grows by the year, and Trayal exports its own brand name.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
“This award means a great deal to me personally, as it does to “Trayal” Corporation, to our partners, and the city of Krusevac; it is a great acknowledgement of our collective accomplishment in this two-year-period. It is also an important incentive for our further work, as our mission is not yet completed; it is actually a continuous process, as are the market-led demands.”


MILOŠ VASIĆ, journalist

The award has been presented to Milos Vasic for the book The Assassination of Zoran.
This book was sold out in 70 000 copies, which is a record for our circumstances. Its subject is the transitional chaos of an incomplete country.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
“This award means a great deal to me, and I believe that it is very important for this profession as well. If a foundation of this repute decides to award the type of journalism that I am engaged in, and an area where I like to think of myself as uncompromising and truth-searching at all cost, then this award represents an encouragement for any young person that follows our footsteps. Evangelist had rightly said: “Search for truth, for truth will free you. However the truth is, let me remind you yet again, that even the worst truth is better and purer than the most pleasant lie.”


Dr TORAO TOKUDA, humanist, founder of the Tokushaki Medical Group

What had the bearing on our decision to confer this year’s award on Dr Torao Tokuda is the fact that Dr Tokuda has shared with our nation his magnificent humane vision, insisting that all people, without exception, should have, as he says, “an equal right to life”. In order to make such a health care system function, Dr Tokuda created the biggest medical corporation in Japan, and the third by its volume in the world. This medical group has over 18 500 employees, and the Tokushaki Medical Group is the world’s largest medical group that is privately owned by only one man.

Extract from the winner’s speech:
“On behalf of Mr Torao Tokuda, his son Takeshi Tokuda has expressed his father’s gratitude at the 2005 Award ceremony, and conveyed Mr Tokuda’s exceptional joy and honour for receiving such a significant award for his work.
We are well aware that the leader of your group, Mr. Bogoljub Karic, has contributed a great deal to the development of his country, as well as to the improvement of the living conditions of children, the young, and all those in need of help, and that evoked great admiration in us. In order to provide the young with education, he has established a highly regarded university, and did plenty to help the growth of your country. I would wish to yet again express my exceptional gratitude for such a great honour given by a foundation that was established by people of such high rank.”