Tag Archives: communism

Family • Photo Restoration • 64 • Dusil • 50th Anniversary of our Emigration

• Today commemorates the 50th anniversary of our family’s emigration from former Czechoslovakia. It would also have been my dad’s 77th birthday. On this day in 1969, over a year had passed following the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact‘s illegal occupation of Czechoslovakia. Our departure would have been immediately after the invasion, but with my mother being eight months pregnant, my parents felt it would be safer to leave a year later.

• Our departure was shrouded in tremendous secrecy, with only the most trusted members of our family and friends knowing our plans.  The local authorities could have found any minor excuse to prevent us from leaving the country. For this reason, I prefer to categorize our departure as an “escape”, even though we legally left the country with all the necessary paperwork.

• I want to thank my mother and father for their tremendous bravery and steadfast convictions in believing that we would have a better life in the West. Our departure may be the obvious choice in hindsight, but at the time, it could have been argued that there was no clear winner between the political doctrines of capitalism and communism. Two more decades were necessary to prove which was better. The collapse of the iron curtain and the end of the cold war at the end of the ’80s put a definitive stamp on that debate.

• When I was eight years old my father was driving me to our animal hospital where he worked as a veterinarian. During our drive, Taci decided to explain communism to me. I vividly remember him articulating the horrible regime from which we escaped, with a heavy heart. In these few minutes, he created a hypothetical analogy for my young mind to understand – “If Canada were to become a communist state, then our veterinary business and our house would be taken from us. In fact, every citizen in the country would not be allowed to own any business or property – the government would take ownership of everything.  Even at eight years old this resonated with me. More importantly, I recall the sadness in his heart, while explaining this to me, because he had to leave behind many friends and family who continued under the repressive and totalitarian communist regime.  As he took the final turn to the animal hospital he concluded by saying, “Unfortunately I will probably not live long enough to see the collapse of communism, but with any luck, maybe you will see it happen”.  Both came to pass.

If you are interested in other posts of our emigration you can find their links here:

62 – Košice · Vaclav, Robert, & Robert Sr. Dusil
68.Oct – Košice · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil
68.Oct – Košice · Iveta, Stefan, Valeria Kende, Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (back yard)
69.Oct – Paris · Sona, Roman & Gabriel Dusil (park)
69.Oct – Paris · Roman, Gabriel & Sona Dusil (park bench)
69.Aug – Košice · Eva, Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (Slavo’s back yard)
81.Jul.12 – Burlington · Cezar, Eva, Gabriel, Vlasta, Alica, Sona, Valeria, Roman & Erika Dusil (Ali’s birthday)
81.Dec.24 – Burlington · Roman, Gabriel, Vlasta, Sona, Alica, Nuri & Cezar Dusil (Christmas cousins)
88.Dec.24 – Burlington · Vlasta, Gabriel, Roman, Alica & Sona Dusil (Christmas)
99.Sep.25 – Prague · Annika, Alica, Sona, Karin, Roman, Gabriel & Roland Dusil (wedding)

  • I love you, Mamička
  • I love you, Taci
  • I love you, Googičko
  • I love you, Pumprdlik
  • I love you, Trpaslik

Family • Photo Restoration • 59 • Taci & Gabičko

I Remember Taci


I remember when Taci would drive me to school in the morning, and sometimes I’d be late because of the train tracks.

I remember when Taci walked up the stairs and his ankles would crack.

I remember when Taci shared his grapefruit with me, and when he peeled me a big piece he said it was a ‘horsie bite’. If it was bigger than that, it was an ‘elephant bite’, and the biggest one was a ‘buffalo bite’.

I remember going to the Canadian National Exhibition and a carnival game would chant ‘doggie doggie, buffalo buffalo”. Taci would say that for years later, when he was in a good mood.

I remember when Taci took me to my guitar lessons.

I remember when Taci would play the banjo at night.

I remember Taci teaching judo, and wrestling with his students.

I remember when Taci and I went to the 1976 Olympic Games, and I asking him why he wasn’t fighting in the Judo matches with the other men.

I remember when Taci watched NHL hockey. He would ask me to get him a beer from the fridge, and I’d secretly take a sip before bringing it to him.

I remember when Charlotte’s Web premiered on television but I cried because I wasn’t allowed to watch it, because of hockey.

I remember when Taci bought the Aldershot Animal Hospital and we slept there for six months till our house was built.

I remember when Taci was upset with me because I filed a client card incorrectly, and he couldn’t find it.

I remember when Taci was operating on a dog, and the air smelled bad.

I remember when Taci told Mamička about the clients that visited that day.

I remember our great dane respected and loved Taci a lot.

I remember when Taci built a pool for us in the back yard, and he played with us.

I remember when Taci chasing me and my cousins around the house, and how happy I was to have a dad that played with me.

I remember when Taci built a deck and I helped by holding the measuring tape. Taci kept saying 69″ with each board he measured and from that day forward we called the measuring tape ’69’.

I remember Taci telling me stories about his family, and how life was like in Czechoslovakia.

I remember asking Taci why we left, and I noticed how sad he was, telling me that communism will unlikely fall in our lifetime.

I remember how Taci talked to and respected everyone, even an elevator attendant.

I remember when I asked Taci about the birds and the bees and he told me that you should love someone if you make love.

I remember when Taci would stand by the window and look at the ravine for a long time, thinking about stuff.

I remember when Taci stood in the kitchen, looking depressed, and I wanting to tell him that everything would be OK.

I remember when Taci came out of the house when I was playing basketball. He looked at the house, as if for the last time. As he walked down the street I thought I would never see him again.

I remember Taci laughing,

I remember Taci crying,

I remember that Taci was strong and smart,

I remember that everyone respected Taci,

I remember how everyone loved Taci.

• Taci

If you missed the other Taci posts, you can link to them here:

• Digital Photo Restoration

 4 minutes 40 seconds


71 - British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (lake)

71 – British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (lake)


71.Jul - British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (moutain lookout)

71.Jul – British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (moutain lookout)


71.Jul - Alberta · Gabriel &Vaclav Dusil (highway 9)

71.Jul – Alberta · Gabriel &Vaclav Dusil (highway 9)


71 - British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (river)

71 – British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (river)


71 - British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (mountain)

71 – British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (mountain)


72 - Brampton · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (big hug)

72 – Brampton · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (big hug)


75 - Burlington · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (newspaper)

75 – Burlington · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (newspaper)


74.May - Hawaii · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (flamingos)

74.May – Hawaii · Vaclav & Gabriel Dusil (flamingos)


74.May - Hawaii · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (plane trip)

74.May – Hawaii · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (plane trip)


72.Jul - Orlando · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (hugging statue)

72.Jul – Orlando · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (hugging statue)

71 - British Colombia · Gabriel & Vaclav Dusil (lake, restoration)