Voros 50th Anniversary Party

September 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Mate and Ilona met at Sunday School in the early 50s in Hungary. One day Mate walked Ilona half-way home, and they fell in love. Soon after Mate joined the Hungarian army and was posted on the Yugoslavian border. He used his post as a border guard to help Hungarian refugees flee from the Communist Government. The Hungarian people staged a revolution in October of 1956, but when the Russian army quashed it and killed thousands of people Mate decided it was time to flee the country as well. He asked Ilona’s parents if he could take their daughter with him and they agreed on the condition that they be married at the first opportunity. A few days later they left the village of Davod in a sleigh and crossed the border into Yugoslavia thanks to Mate’s contacts on the border. They would not return to the village of their childhood for over 20 years.

They spent months moving from camp to camp and were finally able to be married on September 10th 1957. And while their wedding was large, as it was witnessed by the thousands in the refugee camp, it was not the story-book wedding that young girls dream of. Shortly thereafter they made the voyage to New York. Their ultimate destination was California where Mate had dreamed of living since a Missionary from a church in the Bay Area had visited his village when he was a child. They arrived in Redwood City around the new year, 1958 where they stayed with other Hungarian families until they could get on their feet.

The Voros family flourished in the California sun where Mate’s entrepreneurial sprit and DIY ethos made led him to an early ‘retirement’ from the real-estate market, while Ilona, with the help of her daughter, discovered that American women had options beyond homemaker and had a successful career of nearly 20 years working at Stanford university.

Over 50 years after fleeing the Russian Army Mate and Ilona Voros finally had the story-book wedding in their church in Redwood City. They reconfirmed their vows and were joined in celebration by the very close-knit community of Hungarians in the Silicon Valley who have become their extended family.

Their story is an amazing example of the American dream-come-true, and I am very happy to have been a small part of it


1 Comment »

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  1. I passed this on to Julie’s Grandparents and they were touched that you mentioned them

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