Allotment Owners - history

The Beautifying Association for Beautifying and Protecting the Home Country in Kersko was established eighty years ago on 27 June 1937. The purpose of this association was to protect the interests of the owners of property in the newly developing recreational area of Kersko, their representation during dealings with the Municipal Authority in Hradíštko and nature conservation in the Kersko summer resort. The association also provided residents with the required services and organised social and sports events for them.

Establishment of the association was discussed in advance with the Municipal Authority in Hradíštko and received approval. The initiator of the founding of the association and its first chairman was Mr Josef Hyross, an original owner of land in Kersko. JUDr. Kolář was appointed vice-chairman and Mr Francouz was appointed the agent. A sports collective was also created, which assured operation of the tennis courts.

Lieutenant Colonel Votjíšek established the tennis courts and their construction was financed by Mr Hyross, who also provided land for their construction in the central area of Kersko, near the Saint Josef Spring, free of charge. The association’s building committee was involved in decisions about construction work in Kersko as part of the Building Committee of the Municipal Authority in Hradíštko, but only in an advisory role. The Municipal Authority denied the association’s request to appoint a night watchman, which is why the association employed two guards to protect property in Kersko, at its own expense.

The association also organised a special bus service for transporting holiday-makers from Prague, it organised regular dance afternoons at the hunting lodge, and also balls and social gatherings in Prague for its members during the winter. The association continued to operate successfully during the Second World War. It had a project for a new drainage system for the entire Kersko region executed, but this was unfortunately not realised due to a lack of financing. The association was denied its request for allocation of cement for completing a road through Kersko, because the material was required for more important building projects by the Great German Empire. In 1946 the association was expanded by the Building Residential and Recreational Cooperative, whose chairman was Mr Čeněk Kožnar. This Cooperative was intended to ensure construction of houses for members of the association in Kersko, on land allocated by the state from property confiscated after the war. After 1948 the association was forcedto

merge with the Unified Confederation of Czech Farmers in Prague. The founding meeting of the local Allotment Owners Organisation was held on 18 June 1949 at the gamekeepers lodge. The association was merged with Allotment Owners Union at the 10th due General Meeting of the Beautifying Association on 28 May 1950 and Mr František Salamon became the new chairman. The association had approximately 100 members at this time.

The association was transformed into the local organisation of the Czechoslovak Fruit and Allotment Owners Union as a member of the National Front and was fully involved in the state political system. It was desirable for a representative of each family owning property in Kersko to become a member of the association and so it had 353 registered members in 1968 for instance. The association continued to organise social events in Kersko, it secured materials that there was a shortage of for its members (cement, lime, fertiliser,....), it loaned members machines and tools and published the Our Kersko magazine. In 1978 members of the association built a new club house as a group project not far from the tennis courts. This building work was partially financed by subsidies for construction of the fruit press. The new club house was ceremonially opened on 5 May 1978 and was used for meetings of association members. After 1989 the association separated from the Czechoslovak Fruit and Allotment Owners Union and after mutual settlement of obligations it changed its name to the Enhancement and Beautifying Association Kersko in 1992. The association lost most of its members at that time. The association was forced to overcome financial difficulties, it re-organised its activities and, thanks to the diligent work of the remaining members, it converted the club house into a restaurant providing refreshments to Kersko residents and visitors. The building was expanded, the essential areas for operation of a restaurant were completed, areas for the manager were constructed and it underwent a final inspection. The “U pramene” (“By the spring”) restaurant, locally called “Domeček (“The Little House”), is now operated year-round and is very popular, not only with members of the association. The Beautifying Association has survived to this day and continues to serve Kersko. The association’s restaurant provides refreshments and a place for local residents to gather. The association holds social, cultural and sports events here and association members meet here regularly.

René Elstner
chairman of the Association