V spomin - In Memoriam
Naslovna stran

Slovo od Jožeta Andrejaša

teks p. Darko in p. Valerijan

V nedeljo, 24.2.2008 popoldne, je v Nepean District Hospital umrl JOŽE ANDREJAŠ.

Rojen je bil 8.8.1952 v Dolnji Prekopi v župniji Kostanjevica na Krki, staršema Jožetu in Otiliji, rojeni Kos. Krščen je bil v župnijski cerkvi v Šentjerneju. Ko je bil star 4 leta, se je družina preselila v Avstralijo (1957). Prvo sv. obhajilo je prejel v Mt. Pritchardu, sv. birmo v Warragambi.

Obiskoval je osnovno šolo v Mt. Pritchardu, gimnazijo v Bonnyriggu in študiral na NSW univerzi. Nadaljeval je študij in dosegel magisterij. Delal je kot inženir, nekaj časa je bil tudi vodja projekta za razvoj (Project Manager for Development).

Jože se je leta 1979 pri Sv. Rafaelu poročil z Andrejko Sodja, ki je doma z Breznice na Gorenjskem. Rodili so se jima otroci Natalie, Tanya, Amanda in James. Družina je živela v Northmeadu 6 let, nato v Maraylya 20 let in zadnji dve leti v South Maroota, NSW. Jože, Andrejka in otroci so vedno povezani z našo cerkvijo in misijonom, dejavno sodelujoči na naših prireditvah in dogodkih, vsako leto tudi na slovenskem mladinskem koncertu. Jože je bil nekaj let tudi član pastoralnega sveta in gospodarskega odseka, doma pa dober mož in oče, skrben za družino.

Andrejka sodeluje v pastoralnem svetu še sedaj in skrbi za sodelovanje pri mesečni družinski sv. maši in drugih prireditvah. Jože je bolehal samo tri mesece. Družina in prijatelji so mu v bolezni stali ob strani, prejel je tudi zakramente. Pogrebno sv. mašo smo obhajali v petek, 29.2.2008, pri Sv. Rafaelu v Merrylandsu. S p. Valerijanom sta somaševala p. Darko in g. Edi Sedevčič. V slovo so pokojnemu spregovorili otroci in p. Valerijan.

Pokopan je na slovenskem delu pokopališča v Rookwoodu. Jože zapušča ženo Andrejko, hčer Natalie z možem Brettom Carriganomn sinom Baileyem Petrom (vnuk se je rodil štiri dni pred njegovo smrtjo in ga je Jože še videl), hčer Amando z možem Aaronom Nolanom, hčer Tanjo z možem Rudijem Črnčecem, sina Jamesa, svoje starše Jožeta in Otilijo ter sestro Brigito, ki živi v Brisbanu, v Sloveniji pa tri tete in dva strica z družinami. Vedno bo v naših srcih.

Eulogy to Dad
Spoken by James Andrejas

James Andrejas with sisters Natalie, Tanya and Amanda

I offer this Eulogy on behalf of mum, my sisters and I.

Writing a eulogy for dad was both the easiest and the hardest thing to do for all of us. Easy in that he was an exemplary person who accomplished much in his life, in many areas, in an upstanding way, and always with family his foremost priority - we are blessed to have many memories to draw on. But hard too, because dad, in a very real way, was our role model, someone from whom we could draw strength, comfort and wisdom. He will be deeply missed by us.

After coming to Australia as a five year old from Slovenia, dad grew up in Badgery’s creek on a poultry farm, the son of hard working parents and brother to a sister 10 years his junior, Brigitte. He never let go of his Slovenian roots – and identified strongly with, and was immensely proud of Slovenian traditions and culture. He was motivated to build bridges between the generations, which was evident in his establishment of the Australian Slovenian Review – a publication aimed at 2nd generation Slovenians that ran for many years.

Mum and dad met at the Slovenian Club at a Presern day dance 30 years ago. Some of his endearing qualities formed mum’s first impressions of him; the confidence that came through his ‘Colgate confidence smile’, his fun loving cheeky nature which was revealed then and ever-after on the dance floor, and the security she felt as he held her hand.

Mum described dad’s voice as like that of ‘Lurch’ (from the Adam’s family) when she first heard him on the phone; and this was just the beginning of many nicknames various people had for him over the years. Mum lovingly called him Jože, and towards the end when the beautiful shape of his head was revealed after radiotherapy she called him ‘Co Jack’ – after a 1970s TV detective. We called him ‘dad’ but when we could get away with it ‘GI Joe’. A team he managed for BHP in the quarries called him ‘singlet’, because he was always on their backs about work.

Dad was a natural leader who exhibited the rare qualities of integrity and humility. He was a man whose presence was felt in a room, he walked tall, and he spoke in that deep and booming voice with conviction and confidence. The strong set of Christian values that he lived his life by and which formed the foundation for his decisions, gave him great confidence in the face of any challenge. Humility brought a down to earth balance to his personality. He was a man who never shied away from speaking when something needed to be said or acting when something needed to be done - and achieving the necessary outcome was all that motivated him. His word was a strong as oak and he never apologised for his high standards.

Dad began his working career as a civil engineer and he rapidly developed into a successful business man. Most of his career was spent in project and development management, working across engineering, property, and other industry circles. He was always driven primarily by a desire to provide as best he could for his family. He never saw the need to boast about his work-related successes. He worked in senior positions on numerous major capital works projects like the construction of the Sydney Olympic site. When pressed, however, he would talk in passing about sitting at board tables with Kerry Packer types, and meetings with state and federal ministers. As his family we were always extremely proud of his many accomplishments and inspired by his desire to better himself through further study which included a Masters degree in computing, mining certificate, Australian Institute of Management courses and various seminars, to name a few. He also loved history, ancient history in particular and often spoke about going back to University to study archaeology or to teach. He was an intelligent and inquisitive man, and his general knowledge was extensive; mind you he didn’t always make it that easy for us, when we asked him a question he would take us to his collection of books, point at them and say ‘your answer should be in there’. For dad knowledge was empowering and as we grew up he revelled in sharing it with those who were interested.

Considering all that he accomplished it might be hard to believe that he was first and foremost a devoted and attentive family-man. He was always available to mum and to us; from help with homework, to important moments in our lives, to a crisis. He would always miraculously show up when we needed him most. He put a lot of thought into what was going on in each of our lives, particularly when he pulled us into his ‘study’ for a D & M. He was also full of surprises: Something we will never forget was when dad first offered us beer, Nat, the eldest, would have been about 7 and we were all very keen to try it - , we are after all Slovenian. Dad was carrying a beer box but when he put it down, instead of beer, we found our first family dog, a little Collie called Blaze – he enjoyed bringing smiles to our faces and comforting us when we all suddenly appeared in mum and dad’s room during a major thunderstorm, pillows and quilts in hand. Weekends were always spent as a family and one of dad’s favourite moments were any Saturday afternoon after the whole family spent that day working together inside & outside cutting grass & cleaning. The sun would be low, the BBQ running, Elvis/Roy Orbison/Surfin’ Safari/Slovenian polka mix tapes playing on the outdoor speaker system; he’d have a beer in one hand, gesturing to mum for a dance with the other and all of us around. This is where he was truly happy and content. Together family history was built and it didn’t matter where we moved over the years our home always remained the same. He worked hard in building a strong family unit and this was particularly evident through his creation of the “Family Council” as all our personalities started to develop. Calling a family council meeting was designed to improve communication....as long as we ultimately agreed with him. He was diplomatic and autocratic and a master strategist at the same time; and most frustrating of all, he was rarely wrong about things.

Dad often said to us that he never supported independence in women as much as when he and mum had 3 daughters. He was a very protective father but while he insisted on his daughters looking feminine and well presented; he never treated them like little princesses (except perhaps on the dance floor). He wanted to raise them with the confidence of knowing that if anything happened they would be able to stand on their own two feet. People are surprised to learn that they know how to lay pipes, aim and shoot a riffle, and are trained in martial arts. He was also very generous, giving us a leg up after completing high school, buying us cars and feeling quite relieved in the case of the girls that he insisted on them being Volvo’s after they crashed them. Dad made no apologies for keeping our best interests at heart - particularly when my sisters started to bring boys home. He never wholly trusted a new boyfriend’s commitment and intentions until they were engaged – a stance his son-in-laws all came to respect from him. We know he was very proud of Natalie, Tanya, and Amanda in choosing the men who became his son-in-laws. They in-turn each formed a close relationship with dad, and enjoyed sitting down for a drink and a chat with him about anything and everything – from growing fruit trees to world affairs and back again several times.

My dad was a great Father. He always took the time to pass on his knowledge and skills in which ever way he could. These ranged from learning to drive a manual, to how to use a chainsaw, to what I should wear for that important job interview. He treated and trusted me in such a way that enabled me to become independent and fully responsible for myself upon graduating from high school. He taught me all the necessary aspects about becoming a man and a respectful person, and supported my decisions throughout life, including my career in the Air Force today.

As much as dad loved being at home with the family he also loved to travel. There were frequent Day trips to Mt Tomah, and an annual ski trip to the NSW snowy mountains. We intend to honour dad’s love of the snow, and of a wine and a pizza at his favourite Italian restaurant at Perisher Valley - Aldo's - ;by keeping this tradition alive with a trip to the ski fields around the time of his birthday in August each year. Dad took great pride in organising a 6-week family holiday to Europe in 1999. He and mum took regular trips as a couple around Australia and the pacific islands. His other interests included wine, movies, cars and his long desire to fly finally culminated in an aerobatics flight much to mum’s dismay. Dad was also a man who enjoyed keeping up with technology – and loved a new gadget and remote control to master.

We must say that the old saying that behind every great man there is a great women – rang true for dad; and he would be the first to admit it. He loved mum with his whole being and really needed her. We know that he would find great comfort in the knowledge that he leaves a strong and intelligent woman to continue guiding our family forward with love, kindness and integrity. And while we can never know exactly what dad wanted or hoped for us once he had passed – one thing is for certain – he would want us to support and respect our mother as the head of our family. This is something that we can easily promise to him.

We will greatly miss dad’s strength, advice, and support; his laugh, and his ability to express exactly what he was thinking in a look. He was looking forward to being an active and involved grandfather and would have filled this role with the skill and thoughtfulness that he filled all others. Dad had revealed more and more of his gentle soul in recent years, and we think being a grandfather may have revealed even more. Dad saw photos of his first grandchild, Bailey Peter, and met him briefly on the day he passed away. We have given dad the role of being a guardian angel for all the subsequent grandkids, including the two who will be with us soon. One can only anticipate he has already put together a plan for how best to do this, called meetings with the other angels, read the relevant texts on being a guardian angel, and is ready to roll.

His main legacy is of a strong family with strong values around integrity and a genuine commitment to one another. We will always remember and honour everything he has done for us, the qualities that made him who he was and the love he had for us all. We love you dad. You are at peace now. We will never forget you.

Joe's family at his graveside


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