|ANICA KODILA nee DOVGAN
Anica trusted me in 2007 the following:”Every beginning is hard. I will be short, for I prefer sewing to writing. Pages from Anica’s Book of Records – Exhibitions and Awards
Anica – her own words translated:
‘Since I was small, I loved sewing, doing embroidery and crochet, as well learning Idrija bobbin lace. I have learnt most from my Mum, who was an excellent dressmaker. She has sewn many wedding gowns and dowry items. In those days, the dressmaker went to the bride’s home and was an important contribution to the wedding preparation. That was my Mum’s work.
There were hard times – you could hardly get the bare necessities. After the war it was even worse.
Before migrating to Australia, I was one year in a refugee camp in Italy.
In Australia I arrived in 1958. Life was much better. I have done a lot of sewing. In 1959 we married, Alex and I, and we had 3 children.
I have sewn all the clothes andbedding for our children. I have often embroidered special decorations for them, and for children of our friends.
I started doing other crafts as well. I had many ideas and all the ideas, and my dreams, came true. All my craft items turned out lovely. At times it was harder, but with the perseverance I succeeded.
My first craft exhibition was in 1982, and since then many more followed, especially monthly at Hawthorn Town Hall, followed by exhibitions at Slovenian Community events and Slovenian Clubs all over Australia.’
1982 Hawthorn Town Hall and RMIT, at Slovenian Association Melbourne, the Vestnik celebration
1983 Hawthorn Town Hall
Slovenian Association Snežnik, Albury Wodonga
Slovenian Association Melbourne
1984 Slovenian Association Melbourne – large red hearts with lace . and decorations, which performing children presented to their Mums
Slov. Assoc. Melbourne celebrating 30th Anniversary
1985 Fitzroy Gardens, Australia Day celebration
Carlton Gardens – Carlton Festival
1986 Caulfield Gardens Festival
Slov. Assoc. Planica, Springvale
1989 Slov. Assoc. Melbourne, 35th Anniversary
1990 Second Slovenian Festival at SAM
1991 Slovenian Assoc. Melbourne Arts and Crafts Exhibition
1992 Third Slovenian Festival, Jadran, Diggers Rest,and celebrating an Anniversary
Slov. Religious centre, Kew
Eltham Council Festival, Eltham, receiving first prize
Participating every year at Eltham Festival until 1998
1993 Slov. Assoc. Melbourne
1994 Fourth Slov. Festival, Geelong, receiving first and second prizes for cakes as well
Celebrating 40th Anniversary of SAM, exhibition outside in a tent
1995 Slov Assoc. Geelong celebrating an anniversary
1996 Box Hill Town Hall – Anti Cancer Council, receiving a prize
Slov. Club Jadran celebrating 25th anniversary
Fifth Slov. Festival at Planica, Springvale, 1st prize for potica
1998 Sixth Slov. Festival at SAM, first prize for potica and 2nd prize for “pita”
Monbulk Town Hall, at the time of the visit of a Slovenian band
Victoria Market – Slovenians Seniors outing
Royal Exhibition Building, from 1998 to 2001
2000 Sydney Olympics, Slovenian House and Slovenian Rel. Centre Merrylands
Immigration Museum, Melbourne
2001 Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2002 Christmas decorations
2004 Golden Anniversary, Slov. Assoc. Melbourne, crafts and 2 prizes for cakes
2005 Decorations for the church – wedding
2006 RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) – Slov. Community participation
Easter crafts and decorations
A craft expert from Slovenia, Daša Hribar selected items for an exhibition in Slovenia and have donated all the exhibited items to the Museum in Ljubljana
Tenth Slov. Festival at SAM.
I have baked the sweets and cakes for many festivals as well.
2007 Many Christmas decorations for markets and friends
The Certificates and Awards are presented in the Photo Gallery.
Translated by Sue Kodila Jones
ANICA KODILA – Eulogy – 20 February 2015
Anica was born in Slovenia in 1938. She was the youngest of 5 children, and the only girl growing up with 4 brothers Michael, Tony, Frank and Joe. 2 of her brothers, Frank & Michael still live in Slovenia, Tony lives in France and Joe is in Melbourne.
Anica lived a very full life, she survived the war and immigrated to Australia in 1958 to pursue a better life for herself.
In 1959 she married her life partner Alex and had 3 children, Sue, Eddy & Michael. She was a warm and loving lady who lived and cared for her husband, children and later their partners and grandchildren. One of her favourite things was to hear stories of her grandchildren’s antics and achievements and then relay them to others.
She was always busy; baking, cooking, sewing, doing her embroidery and craft work. She loved arranging flowers and tending to her garden. She especially loved her orchids. She could put her hand to anything and do everything so well. She possessed a great resourcefulness, which probably developed from an early age through growing up in tough times in Slovenia.
We will always remember her potica as the best in the world and her tireless work at craft exhibitions. Her grandchildren adored her soup, rice croquettes and strawberries dipped in chocolate.
Anica’s courage, strength and positive attitude whilst battling her illness over the last couple of years, was amazing, and certainly impressed everyone around her. She maintained a sense of humour until she could no longer speak and her main concern was always the rest of her family rather than herself.
She still had so much more to give and even though too young to leave us we are grateful and blessed to have had the precious time we did with her.
Anica, wife of Alex, our mum and nanna, will be missed enormously, her gift to us was her unconditional love and support and we love her dearly.
Her strength and our cherished memories will live in our hearts always and guide us through the rest of our lives.
By Anica’s Family
Eulogy of behalf of Slovenian Association Melbourne – Julija Čampelj, the President
Click on image to enlarge