“Light Up the Night with Nikola Tesla”, was the theme of the eighteenth annual fundraising ball held in Hamilton at the Saint Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church. There were 250 revellers in attendance to raise funds that will go toward renovating its community centre’s facilities. Attendees included small to large business owners, engineering, science and medical professionals, artists, and community leaders along with Hamilton’s former Mayor Bob Bratina.
Guests had an electrifying experience with a live performance by actor Bob Levnaic as Nikola Tesla himself. They learned about Tesla’s beginnings, his contribution to the Alternating Current (AC) system and his invention of the electrical induction motor and Tesla coil, among others.
Robert Connolly, a Tesla expert and documentary producer, wowed attendees with an interactive presentation with Trent University professor Dr. Magda Havas. They outlined some of Tesla’s inventions and demonstrated a century old Tesla frequency healing machine based on the Tesla coil. A Tesla Model S85 was also parked at the entrance.
People danced to the orchestra’s international melodies and enjoyed having their pictures taken with Tesla and the plasma ball. The party continued into the early morning.
What is Tesla’s connection to Hamilton? Hamilton was the first major city in Canada to be electrified using Tesla’s AC electricity. The oldest hydro generating station in Decew Falls St. Catharines brought hydro to Hamilton via a 56 kilometre long distance transition line. Back then, Hamilton was known as the “Electric City” before it became “Steeltown”.
Ball attendees from the Nikola Tesla Educational Corporation (NTEC) are excited about Tesla’s connection to Hamilton. Veroslav Djurdjevic, NTEC President, said that he was happy to see such a great turnout and that “this is the power of Tesla. NTEC’s major goal is to educate the public, especially youth, about Tesla’s work and to inspire innovation.” Some of NTEC’s initiatives include establishing awards and scholarships for Hamilton students for academic excellence in science, math, or technology; erecting a statue of Tesla; and renaming a local Hamilton street.
St. Nicholas Church is home to the oldest Serbian Orthodox parish in Eastern Canada. Founded in 1913, the beautiful church retains its original bells, a collection of Russian icon prints from 1907, and a monumental mosaic from artist Sava Rakocevic. The church, with parish priest Vojislav Pavlovic, is a regular participant in Hamilton’s Open Doors event, and home to several generations of Hamilton’s vibrant multicultural community.
– Jelica Čudić