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1932 Iga vas – Confirmation of Jože Zigmund

9. 03. 2012

Prispevek smo prevedli in je na voljo v  slovenski verziji.


It is the day of the confirmation of Jože, son of Franc and Frančiška (Mlakar) Zigmund of Antonova Hiša, Iga Vas 28. An important day for the  family as they have seven daughters, but only one son, Jože.

Jože Zigmund was my father and in 1948 he brought the photo with him to Australia .

I have always taken an interest in my parent’s collection of old black and white photos from the “stari kraj”. So many faces I didn’t recognize living in faraway places with strange names that I was somehow connected to. For a young girl born and growing up in  Australia, the distance was not only geographical, but also of time and culture which made the photos even more intriguing.

I don’t remember asking my father what this photo was about or who was in it, so while researching my Zigmund – Mlakar – Šumrada family tree, I asked my Teta Rezi (Terezija) of Postojna for some further details. She was able to identify herself, Jože, three sisters and some of the neighbours.

The photo was taken between the Antonova Zigmund hiša and the stable and I have been told that it is one of the few informal and unposed photos taken at that time. We see smiling faces, hands in pockets, a cheeky grin or two, and hands casually resting on neighbours’ shoulders.

Young Jože is smartly dressed in his two piece suit with a bowtie and probably a new hat. By the time the photo was taken his boots were no longer clean and shiny.

He and another boy are holding toys, which I assume are gifts for this special day.  Jože has a balloon or ball with a smiling face printed  on it.  As purchased toys were few and far between I am sure they were the envy of all the other children, as evidenced by the admiring face of the little girl with the frilly collar.

Young Jože Mlakar (who has a sister Kristine) is holding a shiny object, possibly a harmonica.

The little boy (to the left of Jože) is wearing a jumpsuit made from fabric with an unusual “zig zag” pattern. I wonder if his mother made the outfit from a leftover piece of dress fabric. I hope the other children didn’t tease him too much.

Four of Jože’s sisters are also in the photo.

  • His older sister by two years, Alozija, is standing at the back holding the youngest Zigmund sibling, toddler Terezija.
  • In the front is a smiling Angela who was the third eldest daughter. She is holding a neighbour’s baby girl with great confidence and the sweet little one can’t take her eyes off her. Angela seems to have a natural affinity with children and it is probably why she later worked as a nanny in Venice during the WW2 years.
  • And standing to attention in the front row is a very serious Milena who is the second youngest daughter.
This photo highlights the fashion worn in that era. Angela is wearing an outfit which includes pantalettes, stockings, and shoes but not a pinnafore to keep clean. I wonder if she attended church to see the Joze receive his Birma? As the baby girl’s boots are pristine, I think Angela has been holding her for awhile.
By contrast, her sister Milena is barefoot and wears a pinnafore to protect her dress. Perhaps as one of the younger siblings she had to remain at home.

Other neighbours are Ana Ravšel with her son Ivan. Ana is very happy to be in the photo but Ivan is tired and pulling her.

In front is a little sweet shy girl holding a pretty purse. Maybe it is broken and she is allowed to play with it. Or has she taken it without her mother knowing? I hope not ! No tears today. And don’t her dark stockings go with those white pantalettes?

The boy with a dark hat at right is a young male who has a striking resemblance to my daughter’s ex-boyfriend who is Irish/Australian. We often laugh over this and wonder if he has been reincarnated!

On the left is a teenage girl who wears her hair in an old fashion style of a long plait trailing down her back. By the early 30s most of the girls in other Stareslike photos wear the shorter length of hair that became fashionable in the 1920s.

The prettiest outfit is worn by the girl on the right hand side. The layered dress influenced by the modern 1920s flapper style is worn with old fashioned pantalettes.

It looks like she is wearing a watch, possibly a gift for her own Birma.

And what of the future lives of the Zigmund children?

  • After spending the war years in Italy, my father Joze (1921-2002) migrated to Australia.
  • Milena (b. 1925) met and married an American serviceman and today lives on a farm in the USA.
  • Angela (1923-1987) migrated to Peru where she had 4 children of her own .
  • Tragically Alozija (1919-1942) was killed at the young age of 23.
  • Only the youngest Terezija (1930-2010) remained with her mother in Iga vas.

Written  by:  Maria Capelli

Reference: 26 (28) Antonovi,  page 104, Janez Kebe “Loška dolina z Babnim Poljem”, 2. del

Location: Iga vas
Date: 1932
Author: unknown
Collection: Neda Zigmund and Joze Zigmund (dec), Perth, West Australia
Scanned: February 8th, 2012 (by Maria Capelli)
Format: photograph

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5 komentarjev leave one →
  1. Barbara Sosič permalink
    9. 03. 2012 10:37

    Congratulations on your comment! It touched my heart. It is a very good perception of the community in the photography and reflects all the atmosphere of the event. Friendly and informal life in Iga vas, lots of children, bright future… your parents didn’t forget to bring you up with respect and love for distant places, where they had come from! I see your father’s family is scattered all over the world. This made me sad! Do you think this was a bitter experience for them and made their parents very unhappy…? Besides I think that their leaving left a gap in the whole nation – people were gone, gave their best to distant countries – we miss them, consciously or unconsciously.
    Barbara Sosic, Documentation department, Slovene ethnographic museum

  2. Eddie Thomas permalink
    9. 03. 2012 11:22

    So well descriptive and written. Although I have seen this picture many times and explained to me in different ways your prose has touched me, you have missed your calling and should be an author (or is that authoress?) Not having had contact with my mother’s side of the family until the late 80’s the stories of what happened to split the family still haunt me. It has been an adventure for me to speak and meet my beautiful and talented cousins around the world. Keep up the good work Maria for I am truly your biggest fan.

    Eddie Thomas
    son of Milena Thomas (the one standing at attention)

  3. Janja Kozarka permalink
    11. 03. 2012 21:32

    I’m very happy we have a new author from abroad.
    Congratulations to the first contribution.

  4. Mici permalink
    19. 03. 2012 03:19

    Thank you,dear cousin.Your comment is excellent.I enjoyed it very much.

  5. 8. 05. 2017 13:33

    Thank you cousin Maria. Congratulations on your comment!

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