IVO LEBER

Born: 27th of May 1921

Place: Štajerska: Maribor, Slovenia.

Mother: Gabriela Gaube

Father: Ivan Leber

Their profession: Farmers & orchards & shop keepers

Education: primary school in Jurij Stajerska, secondary in Maribor, University; Ljubljana, Graz

Name of the Degree - BSs or MSc?

Ivo worked as Professor at the Ljubljana University, specialising in Formation of Road Cement (asphalt) and Tar.

Practised in Kanal, Goriška Brda (close to Italian border).

With this work he was invited to Velesejem (International Expo) in Zagreb, Croatia, as speaker and translator to Swiss and German heads of business.

Overheard by “UDBA” talking to a Swiss banker, who was asking surrounding communist leaders.

Immediately after, Ivo was warned to escape or he will be arrested. So, he left in a government car to Sveščina? (Štajerska) to pick his wife Maria and ran across the border to Graz.

They spent there many months in refugee camps and eventually were selected to travel to Australia.

Spent time in a migrant camp in Bonegilla and later came to Melbourne.

Worked in Jam Factory South Yarra, and with assistance of the supervisor there got a job in CSIRO as a scientist in his profession, in Cement formation. His first major job was on St. Pauls Cathedral floor renovation in 1950’s.

Later, while visiting shops, he got the idea that lampshades were needed. He designed some shapes and got his wife Maria to sow them while he was still working at CSIRO. Soon he decided to research the market and started small workshop with few workers, left CSIRO, and started manufacturing lampshades with his wife. He travelled to Europe, USA, and China for bases, and silk, for shade material. They later bought a factory employing around 70 people.
In 1972 they had two daughters, Sonja and Michelle.

Ivo was asked to join the Slovenian Association Melbourne Committee to assist in bringing first music ensemble from Slovenia (ensemble Slak).

Later Slovenian Association Melbourne sold the original building in Carlton and bought 17 acres of land on the hill in Eltham.

Ivo was a President of SDM in ?? Within this time helped with the building of a new Slovenian club in Research. He also assisted in 1972 with community functions, art and craft exhibitions, collecting subscribers and help for publishing the Slovenian history book Slovenians from the Earliest Times within the Council of Slovenian Organisations in Victoria.

Ivo married Helena Van De Laak in ??

Together they contributed their assistance, support and many ideas for maintaining and improving the Slovenian Community life in Victoria, among them the care for the seniors members, visiting artists (Dubravka Tomšič) and Slovenian parliamentary and church dignitaries in Victoria.

Ivo and Helena were both Committee members of Slovenian National Council of Victoria, being so very active, and important, at the time of Slovenian Independence movement in 1991. Both, Ivo and Helena were speakers at the demonstrations (when Serbia – Yugoslav army attacked Slovenia), at the public gatherings with Australian Parliamentarians as guest speakers in Melbourne City Square.

Started to work on radio and television (when?): radio 3EA, now known as SBS.

Ivo died in 2006.

Helena and Harry


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