I am the proud product of a Hungarian freedom fighter and a French Canadian. My dad arrived in Canada, with many other Hungarian immigrants, in 1956. His first job was as a gold miner in Val-d’Or, QC, where he met my mother. My dad is highlighted in yellow below with his mine crew (Val-d'Or, QC).
I was born in Val-d’Or but shortly thereafter moved to Yorkton, SK, with a short stop in Thunder Bay on the way.
In Yorkton my dad worked in his chosen profession as a baker. When I was in Grade 2 he bought a Bakery in Wynyard, SK where I grew up and graduated high school.
Wedding photo of my mom and dad
During the Hungarian revolution my dad faced many hardships and life-threatening events. He is a survivor and after arriving in Canada he found friendship and opportunity.
From time to time he also faced the same prejudices experienced by many immigrant waves arriving before and after him. He was a tough man who did not tolerate being pushed around and, in fact, he pushed back pretty hard.
Military picture of my dad
Dad and Grampa (nagypapa in Hungarian )
My dad and me in Yorkton, SK
Mom, dad and me in Yorkton, SK
Based on what he went through it is not surprising that he taught me to be independent, stand up for myself, and to defend myself when need be.
The latter was helpful as I was overweight during elementary and high school and those who picked on me found out quickly that I too would push back hard. My nose is still slightly off kilter as a result.
I shifted from fists to words in about Grade 9.
This is when my mother’s influence on my moral compass is so appreciated. She had a heart of gold, a deep-seated spirituality, and was a champion for those in need. Religion played a big part in her life, for better and worse. The “religion” journey is story I may tell later but in the end it had a positive influence on me.