2006
In Memory 
Aurelia Pia Rizmal – Elica 
1943 – 2006 
The Oldest Vine Project Co-initiator 
Head of Slovenian Language Group SBS Radio Melbourne

V Spomin Elici Rizmal

Avstralski Slovenci znova žalujejo
“TEŽKI ČASI SE BLIŽAJO  Z BLAZNO HITROSTJO …”
“TEŽKI CASI SE BLIŽAJO Z BLAZNO HITROSTJO …”mi je na koncu svojega internetnega sporočila napisal na velikonočni petek Vinko Rizmal iz Avstralije. Kakšni težki časi, sem se spraševala, toda vse je ostalo nekje v zraku, nedorečeno. Za tem mi je še Elica Rizmal, njegova soproga čestitala za praznike. In na velikonočno nedeljo je ni bilo več! In prišlo je spet Vinkovo sporočilo:
“Aurelia Pia Rizmal – Elica je rojena 14. avgusta 1943 v Celju, sicer pa, do odhoda v Nemčijo za dve leti in leta 1967 v Avstralijo, preživela v Mariboru … ‘she was only seventeen and he was one year more…’ ko sva se spoznala. Bila je sigurno najbolj pošteno in pozitivno bitje kar sem jih kdaj poznal in kakšna čast in sreča je bila živeti z njo … kdo me bo zdaj vsako jutro pozdravil z nasmehom …?”
Elica Rizmal je imela v nedeljo, 16. aprila 2006 še svojo zadnjo oddajo v slovenskem jeziku na najbolj raznoliki radijski postaji na svetu, državni SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) v Melbournu, kjer se govori 68 različnih jezikov. Opravila je še svoj zadnji intervju z mariborskim humoristomVinkom Šimekom, ki naj bi se skupaj s Heleno Blagne in drugimi umetniki podal že cez nekaj dni na gostovanje v Avstralijo. Potem se je okoli enajste ure zapeljala proti domu, proti svoji farmi Pohorje v Monbulku, v okolici Melbourna. Samo dvanajst minuti je še bilo potrebnih … pa je usoda hotela drugače – trknilo je! ne po njeni krivdi in … enostavno je ni bilo več! Za vedno je zapustila svojega moža Vinka, hčerko Zaliko, sina Krisa, posvojenca Bojana, sorodnike in prijatelje, predvsem pa celotno avstralsko skupnost, ki jo je tako zelo potrebovala. Slovenstvo je bil njen svet, bila je prepričana da z njim čuti, diha in da ga razume. Slovenijo – svojo prvotno domovino je neizmerno ljubila in z možem sta jo obiskovala skoraj vsako leto, saj sta si pod Pohorjem zgradila lep dom. Živela je polno, aktivno življenje. V svet je zrla vedno s polno upanja in v vsaki še tako temni plati je videla nekaj svetlega.
In kdo je bila pravzaprav Elica Rizmal? Zelo težko se bo zbrati in zapisati vse njene dejavnosti; najmočnejši so pa spomini na ure in dneve, ko sva skupaj kovali načrte za boljšo avstralsko Slovenijo pa tudi za novo državo Slovenijo ob osamosvojitvi.
Elica Rizmal je med avstralskimi leti končala Pedagoško akademijo v Mariboru, 24 let je bila novinarka in 14 let urednica – novinarka slovenske oddaje na radiu SBS v Melbournu, bila je poročevalka in sodelavka pri mnogih slovenskih radijskh postajah po svetu, vzgojiteljica mladih kadrov za radijske aktivnosti, registrirana prevajalka za slovenski in angleški jezik, nekaj let je bila dejavna v slovenskem društvu Planica – Melbourne, kasneje pa tajnica v Slovenskem narodnem svetu (SNS) Avstralske slovenske konference (ASK) za Svetovni slovenski kongres (SSK), odgovorna tudi za stike z mediji, in v tej vlogi je organizirala mnoga srečanja s slovenskimi in avstralskimi politiki ter z njimi imela tudi intervjuje vse od časov “četverice” (z Janezom Janšo, v Avstraliji s takratnim premierom Bobom Hawkom), bila je delegatka Avstralije ob ustanovitvi SSK v Ljubljani leta 1991, dolga leta je pripravljala kulturne prireditve in za to dejavnost prejela leta 2000 ob slovenskem prazniku avstralsko Prešernovo nagrado (podelil SNS Viktorije), aktivno je sodelovala pri Dobrodelni organizaciji v Verskem središču sv.Cirila in Metoda (v sklopu SNS), do zadnjega trenutka obiskovala bolne in pomoči potrebne, sodelovala pri denarnih nabirkah za Slovenijo, zbirala koale za novo Pediatrično kliniko v Ljubljani (v okvirju projekta Glasa Slovenije), tri leta in pol sta z možem Vinkom pripravljala enourne televizijske oddaje za Community Channel 31 – Melbourne, sodelovala je pri petletnem družinskem projektu “vinska trta” (Vinko je namreč prinesel cepič mariborske stare trte v Avstralijo in posajena je v Yarra Ranges v predmestju Melbourna) in še marsikaj bi lahko zapisala.
Zadnjo noč pred pogrebom je Elica ležala v hiši žalosti v svojem domu, obdana z drevjem in cvetjem, ki ga je tako ljubila in v krogu svojih najbližjih.
Ob odprti krsti so ob njej zmolili in se od nje poslavljali prijatelji…znanci…najbližji…do naslednjega jutra, ko se je karavana treh črnih limuzin podala na njeno zadnjo pot proti središču Melbourna, na pot, ki jo je sama na tisočekrat varno prevozila.
Na stotine prijateljev, znancev, predstavnikov slovenske skupnosti iz vse Avstralije, kolegov SBS Radia, slovenskih vladnih predstavnikov, otrok in mladina se je udeležilo pogrebne svečanosti v cerkvi Sacred Heart v Kew. Pogrebno svečanost je vodil pater Ciril Božič in so jo izvedli po zamisli Elicinih najbližjih in njenih avstralskih sosedov, dolgoletnih prijateljev, ob tehnični pomoči SBS Radia. Od Elice so se z besedami poslovili predstavniki slovenske skupnosti v Avstraliji, slovenski vladni predstavniki in predstavniki SBS Radia.
Elica je bila kremirana v Melbournu in do nadaljnega žara s pepelom  počiva doma, vse do dne, ko bo del njenega pepela posut v avstralskem gozdu in po njenem ljubljenem Pohorju, tako kot sta z možem Vinkom posula del pepela svojega ljubega sinka Matjaža, starega komaj 9 let, ki ga je davnega leta 1981 smrtno zadel avto. Te izgube nista nikoli prebolela in morda je bil prav to razlog da se je tako razdajala in hitela živeti – da bi pozabila.
Avstralska slovenska skupnost in nasploh slovenstvo je z Elico izgubilo kot opal dragoceno osebnost, ki bo ostala nenadomestljiva …
Na koncu tega zapisa me vleče sila besed, še neizgovorjenih: moja draga prijateljica Elica, slutim kako odhajaš in se oddaljuješ, kot da boš izginila a se spet vračaš … v moje misli in srce; imela sem te rada in nikoli te ne bom pozabila ...
Moja Slovenija – maj 2006,
Stanka Gregorič – Maribor

In the memory of Elica Rizmal
 Australian Slovenians mourn again
"HARD TIMES ARE CLOSING IN WITH MOMENTAL SPEED ..."  
 "HARD TIMES ARE CLOSING IN WITH MOMENTAL SPEED..." wrote to me at the end of his Internet message on Easter Friday, Vinko Rizmal, from Australia. What difficult times I was wondering, but everything remained somewhere in the air, undetermined. After that, on Easter Suturday, Elica Rizmal, his wife congratulated me for the holidays...and than there was no more Easter Sunday!
 And Vinko's message came again:

 "Aurelia Pia Rizmal - Elica was born on August 14, 1943 in Celje, but until her departure to Germany for two years and 1967 to Australia, she spent in Maribor ..." she was only seventeen and he was one year more ... " she met. She was certainly the most honest and positive creature I ever knew and what an honor and luck she was to live with ... who will now greet me every morning with a smile ...?  

On Sunday, April 16, 2006, Elica Rizmal had her last broadcast in the Slovenian language at the most diverse radio station in the world, the State Broadcasting Service (SBS) in Melbourne, where 68 different languages are spoken. She also performed her last interview with Maribor humorist Vinko Šimek, who, together with Helena Blagna and other artists, would be leaving for Australia a few days ago. Then, about eleven o'clock, she drove towards the home, towards her farm Pohorje in Monbulco, near the city of Melbourne. Only twelve minutes were still needed ... but the fate turned tragicly - it knocked! not by her fault, and ... simply she was gone! She forever left her husband, Vinko, his daughter Zaliko, his son Kris, adopted Bojan, his relatives and friends, and above all the entire Australian community, which he needed so much. Slovenia was her world, she was convinced to hear, breathe, and understand. Slovenia - she loved immense love with her original homeland and visited her almost every year with her husband, because they built a beautiful home under Pohorje. She lived a full, active life. She always came to the world with full hope, and she saw something bright in every dark side.

And who exactly was Elica Rizmal? It will be very difficult to collect and record all of its activities; while the strongest are the memories of hours and days when we jointly squeezed plans for better Australian Slovenia as well as for the new state of Slovenia at the time of independence.
Elica Rizmal graduated from the Pedagogical Academy in Maribor during the Australian years, she was a journalist for 24 years and a 14-year editor - a reporter for the Slovenian broadcast on SBS in Melbourne, she was a repporteur and co-worker at many Slovenian radio stations around the world, a teacher of young radio personnel , a registered translator for Slovene and English, for several years she was active in the Slovenian Society of Planica - Melbourne, later a secretary at the Slovenian National Council (SNS) of the Australian Slovenian Conference (ASK) for the World Slovenian Congress (SSK), also responsible for contacts with media, and in this role she organized many meetings with Slovenian and Australian politicians, and with them also interviews from the time of the "Quartet" (with Janez Janša, in Australia with then Prime Minister Bob Hawk), she was a delegate of Australia at the founding of the SSK in Ljubljana in 1991. She organized cultural events for many years and received for this activity in 2000 on the Slovenian cultural day, the Australian Prešeren Prize  (from SNS Viktorija), actively participated in the Charity Organization in the Religious Center of St. Cyril and Methodius (within the SNS), attended the sick and needed help until the last moment, took part in the money gatherings for Slovenia, collected the koalas for the new The Pediatric Clinic in Ljubljana (within the framework of the Voice of Slovenia project), for three and a half years, with her husband Vink, prepared one-hour television shows for Community Channel 31 - Melbourne, she participated in the five-year family "Old Vine" project(Vinko brought the graft of Maribor's old vine to Australia and planted in Yarra Ranges in the suburbs of Melbourne) and a lot more could be written...
 Last night before the funeral, Elica lay in the house of mourning in her home, surrounded by trees and flowers, which she loved so much and in the circle of her closest. At the open crucifix there was a guard, her family and her friends ... until the next morning, when the caravan of the three black limusins went on her last journey to the center of Melbourne, on a journey she had safely transported for thousands of times. Hundreds of friends, acquaintances, representatives of the Slovenian community from all over Australia, SBS Radia, Slovenian government representatives, children and youth attended a funeral ceremony in the church Sacred Heart in Kew. The funeral ceremony was led by Father Ciril Christmas and was carried out according to the idea of Elica's closest and her Australian neighbors, longtime friends, with the technical assistance of SBS Radio. Representatives of the Slovenian community in Australia, Slovenian government representatives and representatives of SBS Radio have spoken out of Elica.
Elica was cremated in Melbourne and rested at home until the day when part of her ashes will be spred in the Australian forest and after her beloved Pohorje, just as she and Vinco's husband took the part of the ashes of her lovely son Matjaž,  barely 9 years old, which was hit by a car in 1981. These losses were never overcome, and perhaps this was precisely the reason why she was so tired and hasty to live - to forget. The Australian Slovenian community and the Slovenian community in general lost Elica with a valuable personality that will remain irreplaceable...At the end of this record, the power of the words still unspoken is pulling out of me: my dear friend Elica, I feel like you are leaving and moving away, as if you will disappear, and you are returning again and again ... in my thoughts and my heart; I loved you and I will never forget you ...
My Slovenia - May 2006,
Stanka Gregorič - Maribor
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