The abortive Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against Communist rule, which brought 38,000 refugees to Canada can justifiably be recorded as part of our history; all levels of Canadian governments a came to the aid of the newcomers and both earlier immigrants from Hungary and native born Canadians responded quickly with donations of cash and clothing.
Many who came to these shores in 1956 have achieved fame and fortune; many decided to remain here. There was Robert Lantos whose record for making good Canadian films is high on a very small elite list. Theres Peter Munk who early during his time here creates superior high-fidelity sound products and now is one of the worlds leading mining magnates.
The late great poet George Faludy, who died last month at 95, sojourned here for many years went back to Hungary then recently planned to return to Canada. This month a small park in Toronto has been named after him.
Not only did long established Hungarian immigrants like doctors John and Paul Rekai help the newcomers but also native-born Canadians were quick to respond with financial aid and gifts in kind.
Beginning September 27, the University of Torontos Munk Centre for International Studies hosted a four-day conference examining the impact of the revolution on global affairs. Co-sponsors were the Multicultural History Society of Ontario and OMNI Television.
The first day of the conference also saw the unveiling of Hungarian Exodus an exhibit, the work of foreign photographers who stayed in Hungary to record the revolution and descriptive panels of the contribution of Canadians to the 38.000 who came here.
Hungarian Exodus will tour many countries throughout the world.