Interview with Radoje Radulovic- Laso
11 July 2022
“Living History Project” interview with Radoje Radulovic- Laso, President of Radosice Village Council
We would like to thank you for your time and for agreeing to do this interview for the third edition of our Newsletter as a part of our "Living History Project". Can you tell us something about yourself?
I was born in Badanj village, where I grew up and finished school. I spent my whole life there, got married there, started a family and have two wonderful children.
Could you please tell us something about your first job?
My first job, after finishing elementary school, was working on a drill rig for Geo Institute Belgrade. I worked there for 3-4 years, and then Suva Ruda opened a mine and I worked there at the same location (Sastavci) for 4 years on exploration activities. After that, I started working as a driver in Suva Ruda (Kizevak) and worked there until retirement.
You are the President of Radosice Village Council. Can you tell us more about responsibilities and challenges of such function?
On one hand, it is an honor and a pleasure when people choose you, as they always choose the best of the best. On the other hand, responsibilities and demands of residents are big, and our village is small. Radosice residents emigrated to Raska, the village is almost deserted, and we have no income except what the Municipality gives us from its budget. So, we have few opportunities to build roads and other infrastructure, which is of greatest importance to us.
Is Raska a mining town in your opinion?
Raska was a mining town, but due to closure of some mines it is no longer one. We hope that mining will be revived in the future, given that exploration is ongoing on the entire territory of Raska municipality and that according to my knowledge the whole area is endowed with ore, and that Raska will become a mining town once again.
Did anyone from your family or acquaintances work in a mine?
Not from my family, my father passed away when he was young, but a large number of my neighbours did.
When you look at life in Raska then and now, can you make a comparison?
It is much easier to live now, whether in a village or a city. As far as villages are concerned, everything used to be done by hand. That's how it was in my time, when I was younger. Now everything is done with the help of mechanization, and everything is much easier.
Do you think that Raska would flourish again if a mine is opened in the future?
I think it will. Raska is on an important strategic location where it needs to be supported both economically and politically, and there is mineral wealth on the entire territory. Anyone who comes to open a mine will be welcome.
How do you see Raska in the future?
Large migrations towards Belgrade are happening. I think that young people should stay in Raška. Our people are hardworking and talented. Some make it in abroad, and some don't. I always say that it is better to live and raise a family in one’s hometown, than somewhere else.
Do you have a message for young people who are just starting to build their careers?
I like to cooperate with young people, to help someone, to transfer my knowledge based on experience. My motto is work, work and only work and persistence, and everything can be achieved.
What did Raska and Radosice village look like in times when the mines were operational?
Most of the workers from my village worked in Suva Ruda. Radosice was a lively place, several shops were open, and buses that brought workers from Raska every day were full. Both Raska and my village would always "feel" when Suva Ruda received a salary.
Our Company carries out Exploration drilling on Radosice village territory among others. Can you tell us more about that?
I have spent my whole life on that territory where exploration work is currently being carried out. I heard from reliable sources that it is rich in ore. After all, I worked on all those locations doing exploration work and personally saw that there are mineral resources. So I think that one day there will be big mines there, because there were mines there before. At that time, as far as I know, there was no technology to extract arsenic from ore. Even then, I heard stories that over time technology will reach that level and there would be huge mines in that area.
As a former miner and President of a village where mining activities may start, you have an excellent understanding of interests of both parties. What kind of attitude do you expect from companies towards the local community and what would you draw the companies’ attention to when it comes to mining in Raska and in your local community?
With all due respect, no matter which company comes to this area, respect for the environment is the priority, so that people can survive and live healthily, everything else is not a problem.
Thank you for the time you dedicated to do this interview. We hope that our cooperation will continue and improve further!