John (Janos) Herendi OAM
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Story of J. Herendi OAM, teacher, editor, publisher, community leader (1925-2011). PART 2
John is well known Australia wide for his key role in the success of four Hungarian Cultural Conventions when they were held in Adelaide:1976 (3rd), 1988 (7th), 1997 (10th ) 2003 (12th). A State capital becomes the venue regularly every three years for the holding of this nationwide event called Hungarian Cultural Convention. This is a festival rich in celebration of Hungarian cultural heritage through concerts, exhibitions, talks and lectures, balls, folk dance shows, entertainment etc. Hungarian origin individuals from every corner of Australia, family and friends add to the merry get-together that lasts a week. The staging of this demanding event is an enormous organisational challenge but very rewarding to the praiseworthy committee members.
With the steadfast help of his loving wife Martha, John worked tirelessly in running, editing and publishing successfully a Hungarian monthly periodical, “Adelaidei Magyar Értesítő” the Hungarian Bulletin of Adelaide, achieving its 44th year of circulation this year. Its main aim is contribution to social cohesion and wellbeing of the Hungarian community in South Australia, keeping fellow Hungarian-Australians well informed of news, ongoing issues and notifies them of social functions. He was always ready to undertake a key role in organising and promoting the occasional ethnic folk art exhibition, food tasting carnival, etc. alongside his many other commitments to onerous tasks, all to serve his community. In retrospect, to John, the most important role among the countless voluntary tasks he undertook in life that brought him fulfilment, was teaching and promoting Hungarian culture in multicultural Australia, his much loved, adopted homeland.
John was a well known organiser, charity fund raiser helping out beyond his own community. He was a regular collector for Red Cross; under his direction the scouts raised $2000 for the victims of Cyclone Tracy, the Premier’s Bushfire Appeals, and the “Help Poland Live” appeal. John Herendi was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2006, with the citation: “For service to the Hungarian community of South Australia through cultural, social welfare and educational activities, and to the promotion of multiculturalism”. John led a very active life as a well loved and highly respected leader of the Hungarian community. The altruist educator, the humble family man, the outstanding Hungarian-Australian passed away in Adelaide on 5 August 2011, aged 86.
Research: Attila Urmenyhazi (Ürményházi )