How a Briton, ‘the king of tea’, helped Serbia

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Presentation of the book “Small, Magnificent Serbia”

Nearly everyone heard of Lipton teas, but not everyone heard of Thomas Lipton, a multimillionaire who spent his wealth with revolutionary innovation in the trade of tea and other goods, to help the poor and vulnerable. In that sense, a special place was reserved for Serbia, which he visited in 1915 at the height of the typhus epidemic

“Sir Thomas or Uncle Toma as Serbs called him, is a reflection of esteem and sympathy that Serbia enjoyed in the highest circles of the British society in the first half of the twentieth century. Lipton is just one in a series of renowned Brits of the time, who was very actively engaged in humanitarian work and support for the small, brave allied country,” said Dennis Keefe, UK Ambassador to Serbia.

“Thomas Lipton was probably among the most important individuals who were in Serbia at the time, and certainly the wealthiest man to visit our country. He was famous in the entire Atlantic world, King Edward’s closest friend. Apart from numerous innovations in production and trade in tea, he was also the creator of an international football competition from which the modern FIFA World Cup was created,” said Dragan Bisenić, author of Small, Magnificent Serbia, which was presented on January 29, at Hyde Park restaurant in Belgrade.

It is a book which speaks about humaneness and friendship, it reminds us why Thomas Lipton’s visit was of major importance for our people, which city named him honorary citizen, what kind of nickname the locals gave him. The renowned Brit visited Niš, Belgrade, Valjevo, Kragujevac and Vrnjačka banja in 1915, met all the distinguished individuals, including Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević. He met with Field Marshal Putnik at the front, went fishing with the locals. He published several news articles about our country in the UK, as well as the book Terrible Truth about Serbia.

“We are proud that our company confirmed out socially responsible role by participating in the realization of this idea, and that the book Small, Magnificent Serbia will help readers learn about events from the First World War. I am sure that Unilever, which owns Lipton today, will continue supporting important cultural events that help preserve heritage for future generations,” general manager of Unilever Serbia Dobrivoje Milovanović said during the presentation of the book.

Publisher of the book Small, Magnificent Serbia is Klub plus, and it is a book that will make Lipton teas even more enjoyable than before.

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