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Can Giving Cause Pain Or Really… Be The Cure?

Ilarion A. Burov was a prominent and respected Bulgarian medic, banker, politician, but above all, he was a benefactor! He was a man with a big heart, a true philanthropist of his time!He was born in the small south Bulgarian town of Liaskovets on April 24, 1873, but despite his humble origins, he was awarded a degree in medicine by the university in Toulouse, followed by a specialization in Paris. He returned to Bulgaria to become an army doctor at the Svishtov regiment, where he served from 1900 to 1906.

Burov dedicated the next five years of his life to political activity – he ran for a seat in the Rousse Municipal Council in 1911, which he won with ease, only to be elected city mayor four years later (1915-1916).

The outbreak of the Balkan War of 1912-1913 and WW I (1915-1918) made him return to his medical practice as an army doctor. Around that time, he became a partner in a family company called D. A. Burov & Co. Burov combined business and policy-making with remarkable finesse: while on the company’s board, he was also a highly-ranked member of the People’s Party and the United People’s Progressive Party. Medicine would forever remain Burov’s true passion. He devoted the rest of his life to various social campaigns and charity initiatives, aimed at improving the quality of medical services in the town of Rousse.

After his death on October 19, 1931, he bequeathed 5,000 shares of the BTB company with a nominal value of half a million BGN (about one million leva now). His wish was that the dividends be spent on the purchase of linen, hospital beds and surgical tools, under the condition that the state hospital in Rousse was renamed after him and the Rousse Municipality guaranteed the capital’s integrity. On February 8 of the next year, Burov’s wife Mariyka officially notified the Rousse Municipal Council of her late husband’s will. The donation was accepted at the Council’s regular sitting on March 28th, 1932 and a charity fund in the name of Ilarion A. Burov with the Rousse Municipal Hospital was established. Three days later, the shares were deposited at the branch of the Bulgarian National Bank in Rousse.

In the years to come, the charity fund named after Dr. Ilarion A. Burov and his wife, Mariyka Burova, would support a number of charitable initiatives in favor of the Rousse Men’s High School Knyaz Boris, the Sofia University Medical School, the Princess Eleonora Orphanage in Rousse, and other state establishments.

Several years before Burov’s death, he and his wife donated BGN 50,000 (at least 100,000 levs now) in bonds to set up a charity fund in their name.The interest would go to a women’s charity association called “Dobrodetel” (Virtue), which opened in 1924, to support a home for the elderly in Rousse. The money was spent mainly on clothes and linen for the elderly.

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