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V spomin - In Memoriam
Naslovna stran

Ivan Pirjevec
1922 - 2009


* Sela ,Slovenija 24.1.1921-+ Fairfield, 21.1.2009.

V sredo, 21.1.2009 je umrl v Braeside bolnišnici v Fairfieldu Janko Ivan PIRJEVEC
Luč sveta je zagledal v Selu v župniji Batuje na Vipavskem 24.1.1921. Leta 1947 sta se v Podgori pri Gorici poročila z Danilo Bavcon. V Avstralijo je prišel leta 1949 in je tukaj delal kot monter in mehanik hladilnih naprav. Rad je prišel popravit naše hladilnike, kadar smo ga prosili. Žena Danila je tudi cerkvena pevka na našem koru. Predlanskim sta obhajala biserno poroko. Janko je bolehal od lanskega septembra, ko ga je zadela možganska kap na  njegovi farmi blizu Goulburna. V bolezni je prejel zakramente.
Zapušča ženo Danilo, sina Zorana z ženo Maggie, hčerko Maro z možem Tonyjem Scottonom, hčerko Evo z možem Tonyjem La Rocca, vnuke Sama, Erica, Danielle, Eleno, Emilio in Selino ter sorodnike v domovini. Pogrebno sv. Mašo smo obhajali v torek, 27.1.2009, pri Sv. Rafaelu v Merrylandsu. Hči Eva je prikazala očetovo življenje v besedi in sliki.
Pokopan je na slovenskem delu pokopališča v Rookwoodu.
p. Darko in p. Valerijan

Ivan Pirjevec
by Ivan’s daughter, Eva La Rocca

pirjevecIvan was born in Selo Del Bivio (Selo na Vipava) in what used to be Italy, an area which today is part of Slovenia. Dad served in the Italian army in WW2 as a front line messenger and at the end was stationed in Treviso.
With the end of the war came speculation that his homeland would become part of communist Yugoslavia. With this in mind, mum, who grew up with dad in Selo, went to Trieste and waited for him.
They married on Feb 1st, 1947 in Podgora near Gorizia, on the Italian border. There were no photos and, because of the circumstances, they were unable to return to their home. 
For two years they lived with cousins in Udine. This is where Zoran, their first child, was born.
During this time, dad worked for the United Nations involved in the rebuilding of Northern Italy in the area around Vipiteno. This meant driving a truck along the treacherous bombed out roads of the Dolimites and Tyrol delivering materials. It was one of his favorite places in the world.
As displaced persons, they were unable to stay in Italy and were forced to migrate. Like so many others, they hoped to go to Canada but instead had little choice but to go to, what seemed to be the end of the earth, Australia.
After five arduous weeks on the ‘Hellenic Prince’,   they arrived in Sydney on a stinking hot day, 5th of December, 1949. They had one small trunk of belongings, no English and knew not a single soul. They were directly put on a train to Bathurst and then on to the migrant camp in Parkes. It was here that mum stayed with Zoran for about four months while dad returned to Sydney to find work and study.
In 1950, they had settled into a humble house in Canley Vale and the family soon grew with the addition of a daughter, Mara. And four years later the family increased to five with Eva.

pirjevecDad enrolled into English classes and into a refrigeration course. He topped his class the first year of his studies. At that time, he was working for the Water Board. He told us how that the inside walls of the pipes that lay under Mascot airport are marked with his calculations and diagrams.
In 1961, Dad bought his first car, a ute. It was around this time that dad developed a passion for trout fishing. This meant many the beginning of many long trips to Lake Euchembene, Oberon Dam and anywhere else that trout might be found. Despite five of us being cramped into the front of a Ute for trips of up to seven hours, we didn’t dare complain.
Dad was always full of ideas and in 1964 he had an invention patented and exhibited in the Powerhouse Museum. He never stopped inventing, really and there is evidence all around of his creative mind and practical tools he made to make a job easier.
Dad built what must have been the first solar heated water system in this country after having read about the idea. It still works well today although years of patching and fixing are clearly evident.
Dad was proud father of the bride when Mara married in 1969 and Eva in 1976.
It was around this time, about 30 years ago, dad took on a new interest. This was his beloved farm. He said he had the feeling of coming home the first time he went there.
Dad took on 40 acres of rough native land and turned it into lush pastures.
Despite a constant battle with nature's creatures, he produced, according to him, the best cherries, chestnuts and kiwifruit. The list is endless but, most prominent, was the peach orchard. This involved days of intensive work with mum by his side - days of picking, sorting, packing and delivering to Sydney, and then again the next day.
This became too much in recent years and he was forced to let it go.
Instead he concentrated on his cows and competing with the kangaroos in keeping his fences intact. Dad could use a shovel with the same ease as another would use a fork.

pirjevecThe backyard was a great source of fresh fruit and vegetables for us all and mum has done a great job keeping it going.
At the same time of his first crop of peaches, dad became nonno for the first time with the birth of Sammy. Over the next nine years this increased to a total of seven grandchildren with the addition of Danielle, Mara, Elena, Eric, Selina and Emilia. Visiting Nonno meant a rides on the tractor and other fun times.
The farm was the venue for many family gatherings. These gatherings he came to value greatly in recent times.
Nonno was a source of adventure and possessed a wealth of knowledge.
Dad spoke seven languages fluently and always embraced an opportunity to practise them. A dictionary could always be found at arms reach of the places the sat, the kitchen table or armchair at the farm. He was dedicated to life long learning.
He took pride in discovering a new English word and would always question us on it.
Dad was at home in his trademark outfit – overalls and if it was really cold he'd wear two pairs. In his pocket could always be found his glasses, a pen and a screwdriver - one that was also a power tester.
Mum and dad made their first trip back home in 1966.Dad loved to travel.
Together with mum, they visited many places around the world. Mostly he loved to return to the region of his youth. His last trip was in 2003 he returned toSlovenia and  Selo. Here he was able to share his homeland with two of his grandchildren...
and share stories such as the time, as a ten year old,  he saved a young child on an ox-drawn cart from being hit by a train.

pirjevecThe highlight of this trip was undoubtedly the return to the church in Podgora for the wedding of Danielle and Sid. He was so proud. It always brought a tear to his eye when recounting this time.
Dad was a hard worker all his life refusing the take the soft option. For example, he vehemently refused to get a ride on mower For this reason there were few moments of frivolity. As a rule, life was serious and there was work to be done.
However, dad always enjoyed engaging in good conversation, and often had a captive audience loved sharing new ideas and solving problems,
He and mum began each morning with a crossword and a Sudoku, competing with each other for the answers.
Dad was always ready to help anyone in his family if he could. If there was problem, he wouldn't rest until he'd solved it. A prominent feature of dad's character was never throw away - work out a way to repair, save and value the simple things in life. His garage and mum's 40 year-old fridge is testament to this.
Over the years we have shared many special times together  -Golden wedding 50 years married, his 80th birthday and in 2007 their 60th wedding anniversary.

pirjevecDad softened a lot in recent times. He focused less on work and more on family and friends. He looked forward to our visits on Friday and Saturday night greeting us with a kiss and a smile and smelling fresh of Tuscany aftershave. He also looked forward to playing cards. Despite mum constantly being at him for taking too long, he was genuinely happy when she won. He got a real kick out of Elena catching him cheating once, and I'm sure it was only once.
Although he mostly kept to himself, in recent times he came to appreciate the company of friends, friends old and new.
I don't believe dad had any regrets. Dad was fit and healthy he never indulged in any bad habits.
With all things in life, he stressed the importance of ‘being rational’.
It is hard to be rational and make sense of the last five months of dad’s life, cruelly robbed of movement and speech and dignity.

However, throughout those months we all came to appreciate just how much could be said through expression and limited hand gestures and the simple squeeze of a hand. I believe it was also a time for him to realize just how much he was appreciated and loved by us all.
In true spirit, dad kept on going until he just became too tired and could simply go no more.

The time has now come to him to rest. Dad passed peacefully, as he had spent the last 65 years, with mum by his side holding his hand.

Go now, on your journey, until we meet again.

By Ivan’s daughter, Eva La Rocca



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