Sunday, November 16, 2014
1:00 to 2:00 pm
Please join us at the Center on November 16, as we proudly dedicate our outdoor plaza in honor of our organization’s founder and first president, Lambe Markoff, and his wife Nevena.
Lambe Markoff was born in 1883 in R’Zanovo, a small village in Macedonia approximately 20 miles northwest of Ohrid. Nevena Dimitroff was born in 1882 in Burinec, approximately 3 miles from R’Zanovo. They were married at Sveta Nedela Orthodox Church in R’Zanovo, which still stands today. Lambe immigrated to America on February 14, 1909, at the age of 26. In 1912, he went back to Macedonia and returned to America with his father Marko Martinoff, wife Nevena and daughter Ilanka and settled in West Homestead.
To promote their family closeness and interdependence, Lambe and Nevena erected the “Markoff Building” on the corner of West 8th and Forest Avenues. This edifice not only provided homes for their children and their families, but for other Macedonian and Bulgarian immigrants, as well. He was the co-founder of the West Homestead Baking Company, where their sons Steve, Nick and Christ were also employed. People in the Steel Valley area still remember the famous “round rye” and the early morning aroma of freshly baked bread. Grandsons of “Dedo” Lambe and “Baba” Nevena have fond memories of “working on the baker’s truck” with their dads and uncles.
The region’s Macedonian and Bulgarian immigrants often gathered in the Markoff Building to hold regular meetings to discuss social, educational and artistic pursuits, as well as employment opportunities and the protection of members’ families in the event of sickness and death. Realizing a need for an organized association to address these issues, Lambe established the Bulgaro-Macedonian Beneficial Association in 1930, and served as its first president. A true visionary, he initiated and oversaw the development of our present-day building, which was completed in 1935.
In 1995, the BMBA became the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center. We are pleased to honor the couple who established what is today the oldest and most active Bulgarian and Macedonian Center in the United States.
Coffee and light fare will be available at the dedication ceremony. You may RSVP to Pat French at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-831-5101.