|Country of Origin||Hungary|
|Date of Birth||11/3/2029|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1957|
|Submitted by||Attila Urmenyhazi|
Elemér Kozma, master instrument & toolmaker, manufacturer, industrialist, founder of Kozma Industries in Bayswater, Vic. was born in eastern Transylvania’s pure ethnic Hungarian region of Romania, in Csíkszereda town. Renamed Miercurea after WW2-1945, the township lies in the midst of idyllic alpine, forested country. His master tradesman toolmaker father çron had his own machining, die-toolmaking business whilst his mother took care of the three children: Béla, Elemér and Klára. The family was devastated in 1941 when çron, head and breadwinner of the family died at age 41, caused by food poisoning under suspicious circumstances due to his leftwing political activities. When Elemer graduated from middle school in 1944, his sister, mother, uncle, auntie and himself fled to Budapest where mother Klára worked at a patisserie whilst he was enrolled in high school (the Berzsenyi Gimnázium). That year Budapest turned into a war torn city in ruin under ruthless and perilous Nazi German occupation and Allied bombings when all formal education had come to a halt. Heeding his uncle’s advice Elemér took on an apprenticeship in the toolmaking trade. His first employers were Sved & Tsa fine instrument makers and afterwards as a qualified tradesman toolmaker, he joined Medicor works until the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution in October 1956. Elemér was a star ski jumper going back to childhood and when his club Bp. Honvéd asked him to join a forthcoming ski jump training camp in Poland, he first decided to go but changed his mind when two trusted close friends planning to escape to the West convinced him to seize the opportunity to join them in their quest to live in freedom and better future. The three friends crossed the Austrian border on 6 January 1957 to become Hungarian refugees under UN protection.
Living at the refugee camp in Linz for a year, Elemer was able to work in his trade, outside the camp. He applied to settle in Switzerland but when not successful he opted for a welcoming Australia. He arrived by boat to set foot on Australian soil on 15 January 1957.
By the end of his first week at Bonegilla migrant camp, Elemer had found a job in Melbourne in his trade by working for the American owned Ferguson agricultural machinery company. Later on, he could not resist the offer made by a chalet hotelier friend in the Victorian Alps and became a full time, live-in ski instructor, keeping up with his passion of ski jumping in his spare time. He even took part in the ski jumping nationals to win the bronze medal with 3rd placing but maintained that had he not been marked down by the referees who were unacquainted with the modern techniques, he would have scored enough points to become first and get the gold medal. After two years he left the snowfields to return to Melbourne and to his trade. Elemer then married Eleanore, an Australian lady in 1960. In 1961 the ambitious Hungarian set up his own company unaware of the successes awaiting his business venture. At the beginning, he was given a corner in his father-in-law’s shoe heel fabrication workshop where he worked tirelessly, saving hard to later invest into lathe’s and production machinery. He then became his own sales representative going from company to company, showing samples of gadgets and contraptions to promote his work in anticipation of orders which were placed with more or less success rate. Later on when he owned a full set of metal press machinery Elemer realised that it was better to mass produce and deal with big-time players, his end buyers. From 1969 he began supplying the General Motors with car parts and components, developing further his business operating under the name of Kozma Engineering Pty Ltd.