Andrew (András) Szabo
|First name||Andrew (Andr‡s)|
|Country of Origin||Hungary|
|Date of Birth||1923|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1949|
|Submitted by||Attila Urmenyhazi|
The Story of Andrew Szabo, translator, cameraman, professional drummer, musician-accompanist, sales representative.
The Tasmanian government had sought migrants from that camp to fill acute job vacancies in the island state. His compulsory but paid work contract for 2 years was an unskilled conveyor belt worker’s job with Arnold Biscuit Company, in their production factory at Liverpool Street, Hobart. After a while, following a work reassignment, when Andrew realised that the new job held a serious risk of injury to his hands or fingers owing to his duties involving machinery, he strongly protested and sought an alternate and suitable work through the Commonwealth Employment Service. The CES understood his case and sent him to his next job at Watsons Plant Nursery in Harrington Street where he worked happily for about 6 months. Whilst still within the contract period, the CES offered Andrew a job at the Prince of Wales picture theatre in Macquarie Street where his wife Maria was already working. During his full time employment with the movie theatre, he was engaged by Leicagraph Photographic Studio as cameraman. Working part time and on commission, he attended many hundreds of weddings, birthdays, engagement parties, christenings, baby photos, etc. Once out of his contract as DP, Andrew became a door-to-door salesman working on commission and started to sell household Electrolux vacuum cleaners in day time, whilst continuing on with his “on call” and “on commission” arrangement with Leicagraph as their cameraman for all social occasions.
By 1965, Andrew became fluent in English and terminated his engagements with both employers to carve himself a new career in the insurance industry. In the ensuing time the Szabo family grew happily with the arrival of their daughter Elizabeth in 1950 and of Andrew George in 1956. He joined MLC Insurance and was engaged as sales representative, with commission based remuneration. Legal & General Insurance was his next employer. The two years spent with these two companies did not just provide a comfortable livelihood but was also a professionally enriching experience for him.
Aiming higher, Andrew became senior field representative of Medical Benefit Fund of Australia (MBF) with a responsibility to service existing MBF members, advise and sign on new ones in an area extending from New Town to Brighton. His work thus consisted of liaising with both administration and workers of 187 industrial companies and organisations across “his” territory. He worked in that capacity with the MBF for 20 years with diligence until his retirement.
In order to fulfil his lifelong passion for playing music, he joined the Musician Union of Tasmania, a must to enable playing with established, professional bands. He played for many years with the well known local pianist John Sydney as his accompanist-drum player. Despite his advanced years, Andrew is still a sought after as a band musician, playing with swing and country music bands performing regularly at retirement homes to cheer up the confined residents.
For 62 years Andrew was wholeheartedly supported by his loving wife Maria in all his endeavours until her passing away. With her help he managed to secure an enviable, prosperous and most happy lifestyle in their adopted country, Australia. Apart from his son and daughter, Andrew is very proud to have 5 grand children and 5 great grandchildren.
Andrew Szabo always nurtured his Hungarian heritage with zeal. In Hobart he was the oldest original post-WWII migrant, the last founding member of St. Stephen Hungarian Association established in 1952 but defunct since the early 1980’s to give way to its successor, the Hungarian Association of Tasmania, Inc. He was a respected veteran member of the Hungarian community who, on very many occasions, delivered speeches and recited heart rending patriotic national poems. Andrew Szabo passed away at age 91 in Hobart in 2014.
Submitted by Attila Urmenyhazi (Ürményházi) JP