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Bozoky, Rudolf (Rudy) (1933–2007)

by Attila Urmenyhazi

Rudolf Bozoky, n.d.

Rudolf Bozoky, n.d.

photo supplied by family

Rudolf Bozoky (Rezsõ Bozóky) was born in Siófok, an idyllic vacation town on the shores of the vast Lake Balaton surrounded by beautiful rural countryside. His father was a marine mechanical engineer serving in large River Danube ships plying between Vienna, Budapest and the Black Sea; a life with long absences from home. Rudy’s mother taught him and his three siblings how to cook and be self reliant, while his grandfather taught him carpentry and building skills.

World War II saw first the Nazis, then the Soviets, occupy and ravage Hungary. The young Bozoky became caught up in the ensuing terrible times with his family. He already had a talent for wheeling and dealing and survived by bartering goods and chattels. Those early experiences left a lifelong imprint in his mind.

After the war he attended Budapest Technical University’s faculty of architecture. The eruption of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 prevented his class sitting for their graduation final examinations, yet he considered himself fortunate to be able to flee Hungary after the revolution failed and communism was re-established under Soviet occupation. In the dead of night he crossed the barbed wire, electrified and well guarded border to become a refugee in Austria under United Nations protection. He opted for migration to Australia.

Bozoky quickly found his way in the building industry. Working first as a fit-out carpenter foreman with Hungarian cottage builders in the Western suburbs of Sydney whilst learning English, he moved on to become a contract builder-partner and large scale home unit builder. By 1967 he was a well known large-scale developer/builder working mostly in the inner Sydney suburbs of Newtown, Leichhardt, Annandale and Rosebay. He typically worked on at least four large ongoing projects at any given time and drew all his own architectural plans. His lack of recognised qualification, though, meant the drawings had to be checked by qualified architects. He also supervised the work of all of his contractors, including structural engineers, with daily visits to construction sites. The outcome of his endeavours met the demand of thousands of working couples for modern, compact, affordable apartments close to the heart of Sydney.

In mid 1976 Bozoky's investments crashed due to an unexpected mammoth escalation of interest rates on his interconnected and mortgaged borrowings on speculative land purchases. He was declared bankrupt and moved to New Zealand where he was soon involved again in building projects with developers providing the same modern, quality, compact apartment accommodation for thousands in Wellington.

He later moved to Western Australia to pursue new opportunities as a consulting engineer in pipe laying & earthworks projects with the North West Shelf Gas Company. He then moved to Perth to rejoin his family and start afresh on his own building projects, albeit in a much diminutive scale as a semi-retired person. Three times married, Rudolf, the affable man with a keen sense of humour and zest for life, passed away in August 2007.

Original publication

  • unpublished, 2010

Related Thematic Essay

Citation details

Attila Urmenyhazi, 'Bozoky, Rudolf (Rudy) (1933–2007)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bozoky-rudolf-rudy-14140/text25151, accessed 19 September 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Rudolf Bozoky, n.d.

Rudolf Bozoky, n.d.

photo supplied by family

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bozóky, Rezsõ
Birth

17 April 1933
Siófok, Somogy, Hungary

Death

August 2007
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Occupation
Workplaces