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Cecilia Dvikov

Interview conducted by Elisabeth Edwards for research for the Orange Migration Heritage Project, with Cecilia Dvikov.


Cecilia originated from Slovenia (in the former Yugoslavia). Cecilia and her husband Niko arrived in Sydney and stayed with relations. Cecilia's husband Niko worked at the Emmco factory in Orange.


Towards the end of WWll, when Cecilia was a young woman, she and her family, who had some Austrian blood, were deported from Slovenia. They were in Budapest for a while but eventually were sent to a displaced persons' camp in Vienna. From there they made their way back to the Slovenian border. There were two much younger siblings besides a brother and another sister nearer Cecilia's age. The family was reunited back in Slovenia but her parents and younger siblings migrated to Australia.

Cecilia married Niko and they later managed to get to Australia on visitors' visas. When they wanted to stay, they had to pay £550, an enormous amount of money ("We could have built a house for that"). So Cecilia and Niko worked hard - Niko at Emmco and Cecilia at the Occidental Hotel, for five pounds a week.

Cecilia's employer was a dragon of a woman who exploited her shamelessly, and Cecilia had constantly to remind her to pay her. This included cleaning up the hotel dining room on Christmas Day even though she was not supposed to be working. In the end Niko got her a better paid job at Emmco. Cecilila didn't bother picking up her last two weeks' wages from the hotel. "[At Emmco] when I worked half an hour longer I was paid."

Cecilia found things hard ("For three years I cried") and also encountered some racism, mainly consisting of name calling.

Cecilia's father, Mr Jug, wasted no time in setting up a wine cellar under his garage. Mr Jug also had an illegal still and used to make slivovicz and other spirits. Cecilia and her mother used to live in fear of the police finding out.

Emmco also threw out waste fibreglass and this was collected by Mr Jug to insulate the house he built. He also used the wire from the backs of fridges to make a fence.

Cecilia remembers some good times at dances and other social occasions at the 'Dude Ranch' (Commonwealth hostel in Orange) and Dr Glasson's involvement with the New Australians.