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December 12, 1939 - September 6, 2002

I am sure many people on our mailing list throughout the World have asked this question over the years.

I know Maksi from my student years, I guess from about 1965. Maksi is book binder by trade. He also studied at the Komenius University in Bratislava, physical education, while working at a printing company. Maksi beside being a good dancer, the life of a good party was also an excellent athlete swimmer. He held three Czecho-Slovakian Junior swimming records in 1957 and many times he was also Czecho-Slovak National Junior Swimming Champion. In 1965 or 1966 they opened a new University Students Club in the center of Bratislava. There were student dances at least four days a week. We used to dance and party. Maksi was always at the center of happenings, he was the happening maker and we all had a great time and perhaps for few hours we have forgotten the reality of life in Bratislava. At the same time a University Students Organization started to publish a student paper "Echo." Echo was testing the loosening of the censorship and the beginnings of democracy, only to be closed on numerous occasions. Many students used to sell Echo at street corners and no doubt, Maksi was the best seller. Nobody could outsell him. The way he sold, was unbelievable. The paper was going off his hands like hot cakes. In September 1968 while I was returning to Bratislava from a three month hitch-hiking trip through western Europe, I met Maksi and his bride in Vienna, Austria. I was surprised to see him married and even more surprised to learn that he is not going back to, Bratislava after the honeymoon, but instead they are emigrating to Canada.

Almost four years later, after we moved from Toronto to Edmonton and finally to Vancouver, I met Maksi, my long lost friend again.

When he was a boy, his dream was to live one day in the Kysuce region of north west pad of Slovakia bordering with Poland and Moravia. This is still one of the poorest regions of Slovakia. He always liked Kysuce with its rolling hills and mountains and unspoiled nature. 

In British Columbia he spent every weekend with his family outdoors, camping. In 1975 during one of their weekend trips in Central British Columbia, 300 miles north-east of Vancouver flashback of his dreams about the Kysuce region came to reality and he felt in love with this area, as it was reminding him of the Kysuce.

He persuaded his dream, bought 10 acres of land, built a house and moved to Cariboo permanently. He knew the life in Cariboo will be hard and harsh, since at that time he had no running water, electricity, phone or any other amenities of city life. Now 13 years later, he has water, electricity, and all the amenities of modern household. His house is still not finished as he always finds new ideas for improvements and additions. Maksi is 54 years old, very enterprising and not afraid of any job. He is self employed, does carpentry, builds log fences, cuts fire wood and manufactures his own style of picture frames. Because of his high standard of workmanship he very busy. He is well known and liked this rural community and everyone knows that they can always count on Maksi. He is very close to nature. In summer he feeds hummingbirds, in winter other birds and squirrels. He is not a hunter as one would expect, but he enjoys the wild life's company, studies their habits and updates his animal identification records.

Our two children Julia and Mathew, my wife Maria and I, visit Maksi at least twice a year as we enjoy each other's company and beautiful Cariboo. We go for nature walks, fishing, bird watching, identify flowers and observe the wild life. Many evenings by the camp fire, we sing and talk of the long gone years of our life and Bratislava.


Go to letter from Makši

Go to World wide reunion of Veckar's "GENERATION 1968"  

Go to Makši's pictures over the years

Go to Makši's 62nd Surprise birthday party

Go to Makši's final days

Celebration of Makši's life party at Watch Lake Community Hall on September 28, 2002

Scattering Makši's ashes at his favorite spot near his house on September 29, 2002

Scattering Makši's ashes at Bute Look Out above Watch Lake, BC, on October 13, 2002

Makši's burial in Bratislava on November 12, 2002

Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 1, No. 4, Winter 1993
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1993 
 3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.