Joseph Ctirad Vrana

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Author: Josef Čermák ( PLUS)

Josef Čermák is one of our frequent contributors. Throughout the last 8 months, he has written many articles about our community in Canada and other stories that many Czech and Slovak expatriates relate to. This time his story has a sad tone to it as he announces the death of his friend, Joseph Ctirad Vrana, and one of the Czech immigrants in Canada. Click on the image if you would like to read his personal message.


Česká verze ZDE

Photo for © Marie Zieglerová

Czech/Slovak Expatriates (5): Josef Skvorecky (Čeští/slovenští expati (5): Josef Škvorecký)

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Josef ŠkvoreckýAn article by Josef Cermak about Josef Skvorecky, a well-known Czech writer, publisher, and expatriate, who spent much of his life in Canada and celebrates his 85th birthday tomorrow.

I don’t think there are many Czechs unfamiliar with the name Josef Škvorecký, even though they may not know that he was born in Nachod on September 27, 1924. And almost everyone of them knows one or two of his books, books such as The Cowards (Zbabělci), The Miracle Game (Mirákl), The Tank Corps (Tankový prapor), The Engineer of Human Souls (Příběh inženýra lidských duší), or the book I love best, The Swell Season (Prima sezona). If the majority of Škvorecký’ s most popular books focuses on a society, split by ideology, at a time of revolutionary changes, his literary pallet is much richer. The Swell Season is a sensitive portrayal of the maturing process not only of Josef Škvorecký, but his whole generation. Continue reading

The Lives and Fate of Our Compatriots in the World (Životy a osudy našich krajanů ve světě) (1/3)

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Kniha Kdo byl a kdo je kdoAuthor: Miroslav Sígl ( PLUS)

I did not realize how much attention the encyclopedia “Who was and who is” (of Melnik, Kralupy and Neratovice, a region with a total of 76 municipalities) would get. The encyclopedia was published in 2008 by Libri Praha. In its 640 pages one can get to know more than two thousand people. As compatriots they lived or still live, worked or still work abroad. It is commendable that one still remembers them and that many of our towns, villages, schools, institutions or businesses continue to be in contact with them and are met with interest when they visit their native places. Our Czech Institute of Foreign Affairs in Prague pays them great attention, but also the press of foreign countrymen. I briefly mention some of the significant among them, their story is generally very interesting and their remarkable life deserves further interest from the public. Some names are missing some biographical data, I shall welcome (as well as the publisher) any further comments or additional information.

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Czech/Slovak Expatriates (4): Jan Rubes (Čeští/slovenští expati (4): Jan Rubeš)

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jan-rubesAuthor: Josef Čermák ( PLUS)

According to an announcement made by his family on June 30, 2009, Jan Rubeš, one of the most impressive, most important and best loved Czechoslovak artists in the world, died at the age of 89. No cause of death was given.

Rubeš was born in Volyně, Czechoslovakia, on June 6. 1920, attended Real-Gymnasium (a Czech term for a high school) in Strakonice (graduating in the year of the Munich surrender), and matriculated at both the Faculty of Medicine. Continue reading