In Memory of our father Jozef Mader.
Jozef Mader was one of 6 children of Anastazia and Frantisek Mader. He was born in the small village of Mast, close to Bratislava in Slovakia. Jozef was an idealist and a dreamer and always strived for a better life for himself and his family.
As a young man, in 1952, living in communist-oppressed Czechoslovakia, he and his buddies devised a plan to run away to Canada. That was not meant to be. They were stowaways in a train heading for Germany. The Russian soldiers were waiting for them. Heroically, Jozef distracted the soldiers chasing them, which gave the opportunity for his friends to escape. His luck was not on his side that day. He was captured, prosecuted and charged with treason and was sentenced to hang to deter others from their village from trying to escape. After numerous pleas, negotiations and bribery with the court officials his death sentence was reduced to five years of hard labour in the Ostrava coal mines, where his health suffered. He was beaten and tortured repeatedly.
After his release, he was a different man. Nevertheless, his bride to be, Anna, was still waiting for him. They married and had two children, Anna and Jozef junior. His children had no future in the former Czechoslovakia, as he was a marked man, watched closely by the communist regime. He was only able to get labourer’s work and his children had no future for higher education. Jozef was not happy and kept on with his ideals and his dreams for a better life for himself and his family.
On August 25th, 1968, the Russian forces invaded Czechoslovakia and the country was in a state of flux. Jozef seized the opportunity to leave Czechoslovakia with his wife and two children with nothing but the clothes on their backs. He brought his family to Austria where he arranged for his family to immigrate to Canada to give his family and his children a better future. His dream for a better life came true! Canada was a land of opportunity where he settled with his family.
He longed to go back to his homeland to visit his family but that was not meant to be. Jozef died at the early age of 57, on October 23, 1988. He died with his dream fulfilled, of a better life in Canada for his family.