Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
In 1981 I started work in an organization that was then called the Institute for Urban Planning and Design, in the Department of Planning.
In the first conversation with Mr. Tomislav Đorđević I asked how I got to be chosen to be in charge of the agriculture sector. From the very first sentences of our conversation, I saw what a visionary he was, for a small municipality like Šid – especially from the aspect that there was still a united Yugoslav region.
Already then we had agreed, and he was way ahead of me due to his insistence on the introduction of new technologies in all areas of the economy, including agriculture, that had to be built into a lasting document such as the Šid municipal spatial plan: that a document with its comprehensiveness and vision had to survive a prolonged period of time without significant limitations, so that whatever the future may impose can be properly incorporated and adopted into the spatial plan. Based on these ideas and requests of his, Šid got one of the best spatial plans at the time in Vojvodina and beyond.
The organization under his leadership did not deal exclusively with the issue of urban planning but he was simultaneously introducing new information technologies, which at the time were not implemented even in organizations at the level of Novi Sad and Belgrade, with particular emphasis on the financial sector. The little town of Šid, thanks to the intellect that Mr. Đorđević gathered, became a prestigious regional information center.
A third area of business that was being developed in parallel was the design of infrastructure facilities at the municipality level, with solutions that met the ten-year and longer development plans.
Due to certain political circumstances, I left the Institute and engaged in other activities and assignments, but I remained in contact with Tomislav Đorđević in different ways. Sometime in the 90s he contacted me and asked if there was a possibility that the village of Erdevik, where I live, and its surrounding area provide the raw material for processing into a whole range of products based on starch from corn and wheat, where he would provide full financing, while the village would put up the infrastructure. This is where I failed, and I still can’t get over it, because i caved in under the bureaucratic machine that did all in its power not to provide the necessary infrastructure, so that in spite of my own personal insistence with Mr. Đorđević to wait a little longer, part of these facilities was installed in Bački Jarak in the chemical, cosmetic and now the advanced stages of the food processing industry. At that time Erdevik had 5,000 residents and we were close to the population of Backi Jarak, which now has a much greater population, while Erdevik has about 2,000.
I personally know that his engagement in technical and technological terms is never below the highest possible standards for the time when it is implemented. And as soon as one idea is realised from a professional and economic point of view, he is on the quest for the next idea. His greatest wealth is not the capital he has today, but the value of ideas he is capable of implementing and absolutely seeing through to the end, where his personal involvement provides the keynote to everything he envisages.
It is normal for every technically developed civilization, such as Western Europe or America, that such persons are protected from incompetent second-grade structures that are installed in the society we live in. Here they can very often become real victims because we lack proper criteria to appreciate true values, in particular creative values, and the creative spirit of Mr. Đorđević by far transcends the time and space he lives in.
Dušan Tadić, Chemical Engineer
Erdevik, Karađorđeva 13
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