Pahor decorates diaspora organisation, heart surgeon, inventor

Ljubljana, 5 July - President Borut Pahor conferred several state decorations on Monday, including on an umbrella organisation of Slovenians from Argentina, heart surgeon Ninoslav Radovanović and the late inventor Peter Florjančič.

The Zedinjena Slovenija (United Slovenia) organisation has received the Silver Order of Merit for its role in Slovenia's independence efforts and international recognition and for its efforts over 70 years to preserve the Slovenian identity among Slovenians in Argentina.

The organisation had served as Slovenia's representation in Argentina until the Slovenian Foreign Ministry appointed the first diplomat to the country, the justification for the decoration reads.

Receiving the honour, Zedinjena Slovenija president Jure Komar said that Argentinian Slovenians stood together in 1991 and expressed their wish for Slovenia to be independent. He added that the decoration belonged to those who did that at the time.

Heart surgeon and academician Radovanović received the Order of Merit for his contribution to the development of Slovenia's cardiology and health improvements of many Slovenian patients suffering from heart diseases.

Under his leadership, more than 35,000 open-heart operations were performed with an extremely low mortality rate. He also helped establish the association of heart surgery patients in 1987 as well as the third cardiovascular centre in Slovenia in 2004, the MC Medicor international centre for treating cardiovascular diseases in Izola.

Radovanović said he shared the honour with histologist Marjeta Zorc, without whom the centre would not exist, and all of his colleagues. "Medicor is very successful, which is also demonstrated by the European patient satisfaction criteria. When it comes to patient satisfaction surveys, Medicor ranks the first in Slovenia."

Pahor also posthumously bestowed the Medal of Merit on the legendary inventor Florjančič (1919-2020) for his inspiring life story and major inventions on global scale. The honour was received by Florjančič's daughter Marion Florjancic and grandson Peter Riolo on behalf of the inventor.

The daughter said her father's mind had always been active, in daytime or night time. "He told me that his best ideas came to him during the night, when he was half-sleeping," she said, highlighting that her father had never forgotten his homeland while working abroad. Peter Florjančič lived in Monaco, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany.

Having been a lifelong professional inventor, Florjančič created more than 400 worldwide patents and realised more than 40. He considered the perfume atomiser, diapositive slide frame and plastic injection device his best inventions, the president's office said.

He was often ahead of his time as the development of materials and technologies could not keep up with the scope of his ideas. What pleased him the most was making life and work easier for Slovenians.

© STA, 2021