Last month, His Excellency Karel Zebrakovsky, ambassador to Canada from the Czech Republic, visited Manitoba and the DauphinSwan River-Marquette Constituency, at the invitation of Conservative MP, Robert Sopuck, who had made a friendly connection with Zebrakovsky in parliamentary Ottawa. Zebrakovsky, 63, has been the ambassador to Canada from the Czech Republic since 2008, bringing with him a background, not only of foreign diplomacy, but also in technology and education.
His duties, as the highest-ranking diplomatic representative appointed by his country, are to promote friendly, bilateral relations between our two nations, and to help facilitate trade and economic relations, as well as cultural and educational exchanges.
On his first evening in the South Mountain area, Zebrakovsky had dinner at the Sopuck home in the Lake Audy area, and the following morning received greetings and a commemorative gift from Cheryl Penny, superintendent of Riding Mountain National Park. After a brief walk on the beach and pier, he viewed a short audiovisual presentation highlighting the park’s attractions and enjoyed a personal tour of the Visitor Centre, guided by park interpreter, Patrick Mcdermott.
One of the joys of the position for Zebrakovsky is “meeting the many, many people one would not otherwise meet in life.”
He said, “I feel privileged to be able to learn about the culture, education and protection of nature different from my home country.”
During his whirlwind visit, Zebrakovsky visited Dauphin, meeting the deputy mayor and council, and the town of Minitonas, where the vibrant Czech community welcomed him with a town-wide barbecue. Before leaving for the Winnipeg International Airport, the ambassador participated in the Sandy Lake Western Days parade. Sandy Lake and the RM of Harrison flew the Czech Republic flag in recognition of Zebrakovsky’s visit – a touching and most appreciated gesture.
– Candy Irwin writes from Lake Audy, Manitoba