At a banquet held in honor of Consul General Desko Nikitovic, at New Gracanica Monastery, Chicago, His Grace Bishop Longin, presented Nikitovic with the medal of the Order of Czar Konstantin, which was conferred by Serbian Patriarch Irinej
On Saturday, October 12, 2013, His Grace Bishop Longin, hosted a banquet at New Gracanica Monastery in honor of Desko Nikitovic, who held the position of the Consul General of Serbia in Chicago, from March 1, 2003 to September 28, 2013. Over 300 guests attended the event, including representatives from every national organization in the Serbian Diaspora in the US, distinguished businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and educators. Also attending was a special guest, Vuk Nastic, father of the two young children from California who were separated from their parents for 8 months and who were reunited to their family only after the direct intervention of Consul General Nikitovic.
All of the speakers enumerated Desko Nikitovic’s tremendous work and results while Mr. Nikitovic headed the Consulate for the previous decade. Mr. Niktovic was specifically acknowledged for all of his cultural, economic, and social contributions, the greatest of which, was the reunification of the motherland and the diaspora. In a very emotional speech, Vuk Nastic said that he believes that his children would have never been returned to their family, had it not been for the advocacy of Consul General Nikitovic. Also during the evening’s program, a letter sent to the Nikitovic family by HRH Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and Princess Katherine was read. In the letter, HRH Prince Aleksandar said that the departure of General Consul Nikitovic is a tremendous loss to the Consulate in Chicago, the state of Serbia, and the Serbian Diaspora.
His Grace Bishop Longin, of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica-Midwestern America, spoke of the strong bond between the Church and the Consulate. Bishop Longin expressed gratitude to the Nikitovic family for the generous financial contributions to humanitarian projects in Serbia and the Serbian Diaspora in America. He made special mention of the Consul General’s wife, Ryann Nikitovic, whose family is one of the largest benefactors in the Serbian diaspora.
At the end of the evening’s program, Bishop Longin, bestowed upon Desko Nikitovic the medal of the Order of Czar Konstantin. His Holiness, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, honored Mr. Nikitovic with this medal in commemoration of his ten years of sacrificial work in Chicago, and he will be the first recipient of this prestigious honor in the United States. Desko Nikitovic, who will continue his career in Chicago, sincerely thanked the church, national organizations, and all individuals who throughout the years supported the work of the Consulate and his family. Nikitovic stated he was proud of his accomplishments to improve the Serbian image in America for strengthening economic relationships with the US and for creating a strong bond between the motherland and the diaspora.