The plaque honoring Adolf Engel Janosi that was recently installed on a beautiful pink building on Rakoczi Utca in Pecs.
I’ve written here before about Margaret’s great-great-great grandfather, Adolph Engel-Janosi (you can read that post here). A few weeks ago, Margaret’s cousin Peter (his father was Margaret’s grandfather’s cousin), as well as several others who share a common ancestry from Adolph, came to Pecs to participate in a ceremony to install a plaque on one of the buildings that Adolph built in the 1800’s. The general idea behind the event was that Adolph played a significant role in the economic and cultural development of Pecs, and that his contributions should be remembered and honored. The mayor of Pecs opened the ceremony with a longish speech about how Adolph’s life should be viewed as a model of how individuals can work hard to improve themselves in difficult times (such as Hungary’s current economic trouble).
Here are some photos from the event, including the installation, which took place the day before.
This is the building that was once a home owned by Adolf (or one of his sons, I think). I took this shot right before the installers arrived to put up the plaque. Note the Burger Queen.
This angle gives you a better idea of the street -- it's one of the busiest sections of one of the busiest streets in Pecs. The building (which is in the center of this photo) currently houses a tax office.
The installers at work - a father, two sons and a friend. The plaque weighs nearly 200 kg (440 pounds). There was some doubt that they would be able get it up onto the wall.
The boys were easily distracted.
Finished. The ceremony was scheduled for the following afternoon.
Margaret with Monica (Peter's wife) who came from New York and Ilona, a retired school teacher from Budapest.
Speeches were made, in Hungarian, except, of course, for Margaret, who read her mother’s words, then her own, in English. Our dear friend, Renata, was kind enough to translate Margaret’s speech into Hungarian. Renata is tired of me thanking her and her husband, Zoltan, for helping us, but, really, we’d be lost without her. :) (That was an emoticon for Renata)
Zsolt Pava, the Mayor of Pecs, gives the opening address. I spoke to him for few a minutes before the ceremony - he's seems to be a very nice man who understood the importance of this day.
Peter makes his speech.
Anna Stein makes her speech.
Renata translates Margaret's speech into beautiful Hungarian. The audience is more responsive to this version.
The mayor pauses to reflect after placing a wreath beneath plaque.
After the ceremony on the street, we all came back to our apartment and drank Pesci champagne with good cheese and bread. It was a very, very good day. I pass by the plaque nearly every day — the wreath is still hanging there, even though it would be easy for some bored kid to reach up and tear it down. It’s nice.
I'm visiting Pécs, Hungary with my wife and son for the Fall 2010 semester. My wife, Margaret McMullan, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the University of Pécs. My 13 year old son is attending a semi-bilingual school here called the ANK where I am teaching English Language and Drama to 4th - 8th graders 2 days a week.
How lovely – and what wonderful timing that the three of you were there!
Congratulations to Margaret and her entire family. What an honor for you all to have been able to be there and to have participated!! Jim
A bit somber but still a good post. I like the pictures a lot. Wondering if they put a little plaque below with a few other languages.