On Saturday, 5 June 2010, by the side of the Rila Monastery worship was carried out at the grave of James David Bourchier

“Citizens for Rila”
Jun 07, 2010
James Bourchier is a good connoisseur of Balkan issues and he criticized the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) and the Treaty of Neuilly (1919) as he considered them unjust to Bulgaria. In the course of the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) he put efforts to secure better conditions for defeated Bulgaria.

His articles in the Times were appreciated by his contemporaries as competent as far as they are a combination of vast knowledge and profound analysis. The analysis felicitously juxtaposed the interests of the Balkan states to the ambitions of the Great Powers and in the first place to those of Great Britain. The leaders of the young Balkan states at that time were not known by high self-confidence and eagerly sought after the support of the authoritative newspaper. It is good to appreciate this support not as an expression of eccentricity but as a thought over moral binding and conscious position taking.

Bulgaria never forgot Bourchier: a monument was erected over his grave, a post stamp with his portrait was issued, and a street was named after him. But already nine decades after his death his reports from the Balkans have not been collected and published and we don’t dispose of his biography in Bulgarian as well. Doesn’t our gratitude come somehow slowly?

Upon his death he was buried by the side of the Rila Monastery which is an honor awarded only to this foreigner.

Respects were paid and flowers laid by HE Geoffrey Keating, Ireland's Ambassador to Bulgaria, the Mayor of the village of Bistritsa and other officials.

The trip to Bourchier’s grave was succeeding the awarding of the first for Bulgaria prizes for eco-journalism as well as a journalists’ conference named after Bourchier focusing this year on the eco-journalism. The two initiatives were organized by the Citizens for Rila and Green Balkans NGOs together with the Embassy of Ireland and took place on 3 June 2010.

Boris Mihaylov