More than 20 years ago Maria Raykova Kalpakchieva (on the photograph is her sister Raina Kalpakchieva) donated to the White Brotherhood Society the house she had inherited from her family. Built after 1952, the house was used by members of the prominent Kalpakchiev family of Tarnovo, who were well-known to the Brotherhood on Izgrev as well. The donation was accepted by the Board Chairman Blagovest Zhekov in 1996. Since then the fraternity home day by day became a true of centre of Brotherhood life, accommodating a range of activities: shelter for guests from Bulgaria and abroad, venue of discourses, lectures, meetings, concerts, exhibitions, lessons of music and musical instruments, countless gatherings and reunions, activities with children, publication, preservation and distribution of the Master’s Teachings, storage for valuable items, etc.
Nayden Georgiev passed away on 20 November 1988 and Rayna followed two years later, on 19 June 1990.
Rayna Raykova Kalpakchieva was born on 26 June 1907 (by the Julian Calendar) in Veliko Tarnovo. Her father, Rayko, was a merchant. Initially he met Krastnikov in Burgas, but shortly after he found the Teacher and became part of the Brotherhood life. Besides Rayna, the family had three other children – Nedyalka, Maria and Peter, who was the youngest.
‘I was born in Veliko Tarnovo on 13 June 1907. My father, Rayko Kalpakchiev, came from an old-time family of Tarnovo. By the call of his heart, he married Todorka Hazhinikolova.
We were three girls and one boy: Rayna, Peter, Nedyalko and Maria. My father had a factory for knitwear in Burgas. There he met Krastnikov (a Spiritist) and became his follower. However, later he embraced the ideas of Peter Deunov.
After the birth of the fourth child (my brother), the marriage of my parents was falling apart. The Master however advised my father that he should not get divorced. Mama did not share my father’s ideas. I remember how Elena Ilarionova, Veneta Divitakova and Sefanka Simeonova used to come and counsel her, but she remained resistive. During the war she contracted cholera. She spent two years in very ill health and kept telling us: ‘I have nobody else to blame but myself’. She died in 1916 at the age of 28. We were raised by grandma Rayda, because for several years in a row our father was away at the warfront.’