The plane sluggishly moved to its take-off position. Very few of its passengers had ever been on a plane and the tension could really be felt in this moment. Other than the flight crew and attendants, it was all Hungarians aboard. The lively conversations were quiet now as the refugees focused their attention through the small windows of the plane to catch even a glimpse of the airport. The plane’s engines revved to a deafening sound and then the plane moved forward with quickening speed. The two young children would now feel the acceleration and the release of the wheels from the ground as the plane became airborne. Violetta quickly tried to humour her young son, who was clearly deep within the fears of a three year old mind and totally did not understand this experience. They could now see the whole city of Vienna and there would be many hours to watch the world below them. It was time to say farewell to Austria from way up above the land that had become their home and to see the world as they imagined in a way that only God could see.
The first landing was in Iceland for refueling and the passengers were allowed to leave the plane and walk about the terminal. It was intensely cold here and very few were dressed to venture outdoors. They found some time to look around and window shop and pickup some items to eat within the terminal. The two hours passed by quickly and they were called to re-board the plane. The second take-off was much easier to handle for everyone on board and the applause that resounded as the plane left the ground clearly indicated the new found confidence of the passengers.
The next stop would be in Newfoundland for another refueling and then on to the final leg of the journey into the airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They were now in Canada and on to a new beginning.
|Caption: This group of Hungarian refugees were among the tens of thousands that arrived to begin their new home in Canada. This photo was extracted from the website http://kanadaihirlap.com
Canadian Immigration was already waiting for the Hungarians to disembark and a lengthy visa validation process was conducted. They were then moved by waiting buses and taken to a center much like an armory, where they would spend a few weeks waiting for relocation. The conditions were acceptable but there was very little privacy in the large dormitory layout. Single cots were placed side by side and row on row from one end of the building to the other. There was high level of anxiety wrapped around the unknown of being in their new homeland.
The Krekks were visited by their Immigration Case Worker, a tall elderly gentleman who was fluent in German. This made the communicating so much easier. He informed the family that they would be relocating to New Glasgow and they packed up their two suitcases and left with the Case Worker, who drove them to the town in northern Nova Scotia.
The family would be relocated to two homes in New Glasgow as the assimilation process into Canadian life was yet another challenge. Their first sponsor was with a nurse, who generously offered up room and board to the newcomers, but with the reality of housing a family with two very young children and a third child on the way, the Krekks requested another move to their Case Worker, who would drop by each week to see how the family was doing. In a short time the official arrived with his own vehicle and moved the family across town to a butcher shop that was run by two Hungarian gentlemen. In the upstairs flat above the store, the Krekks found a new level of freedom with semi-private accommodations and a shared bathroom. This would be their home for their very first Christmas in Canada. Violetta would spend countless hours preparing their flat for the holidays, handmaking decorations with aluminum foil she received from the butcher shop below. Lajos, would spend his days visiting businesses and companies trying to secure a job but in the height of the eastern coast winter and depressed economics in the area, there would be nothing to be found. The butchers from below would constantly visit with the family bringing them assorted cuts of leftover meat to compensate the meager allowance that the family received from Immigration. The building of a life within the elements of poverty was something, a starting point but it is one that is necessary for a deeper appreciation for those things that come along the road to prosperity.
On February 25th, 1959, Violetta gave birth to her third child, a daughter, Viola Mary Teresa , nicknamed respectfully in the Hungarian tradition Baba, which meant baby of the family. This would be the Krekks last child. Little Baba would be considered the family’s miracle baby as there was no movement of the child within the womb from the seventh month point to the moment just before birth. The doctors had anticipated a still birth since they could not detect any vital signs from the baby within. Only days before birth, little Baba began kicking and rolling in a call to get out to discover the world and discover the world she would.
It is amazing that all three Krekk children were born with different nationalities.
New Glasgow would not prove to be their lasting home as Lajos, even with the help of Immigration could not find work placement. Lajos so wanted to return to farming, this is what he did best. The skills of his lifetime, to work the land with his hands and sweat. In early April, the Case Worker appeared at their flat with news that the family was being moved to New Brunswick, where a family was sponsoring them with a guaranty of employment for Lajos to work on their dairy farm. This was absolutely wonderful news to the Krekks. The family had also been offered a home, their own, rent free. This Civil worker, who had a deep fondness for the family, used his own personal vehicle once again to drive the Krekks to their new home in New Brunswick.
It was a quick departure, right there in that moment they packed up, said goodbyes to their Hungarian butcher friends and left Nova Scotia behind with a bigger and better dream of tomorrow.
Their new home would be on a large farm outside of Havelock, New Brunswick.
Chapter 4 New Brunswick – The Farming Life Once Again…..coming soon…