Peo­ple of the Rev­o­lu­tion

Australian Muscle Car - - Man -

Ge­orge was born in Bu­dapest on 31 Jan­uary 1943 – ig­nore Google; he sliced a cou­ple of years off his age be­cause he started rac­ing so late – and grew up in post-WWII Hun­gary un­der the con­trol of the Rus­sians. His fa­ther owned a big restau­rant with 100 em­ploy­ees and had fought for the Ger­mans in the war, which didn’t go down well. The Rus­sians evicted the fam­ily from the restau­rant and sent them away for be­ing cap­i­tal­ists.

“They took his busi­ness away in about 1949; just take your hat and coat and go,” Fury re­calls of those painful days. “This was the way the gov­ern­ment was try­ing to get back on their feet, be­cause they didn’t have any money, so they took over all these big busi­nesses and ran them them­selves. As you can imag­ine, they all went down­hill.

“They de­ported us to a lit­tle coun­try town, which we weren’t al­lowed to leave, and the de­por­tees had to work in agri­cul­ture and help the lo­cals that way. We were there for a bit more than a year and a half un­til they let us go, but we weren’t al­lowed to go back to Bu­dapest as an­other form of penalty, so we lived just out­side Bu­dapest.”

The Hun­gar­i­ans re­volted in 1956, but the Rev­o­lu­tion lasted barely a week and the Rus­sians re­turned with 150,000 troops and 2,500 tanks, killing 20,000 peo­ple. That was enough for the Fury fam­ily; they joined 250,000 coun­try­men in ee­ing while the bor­ders were still open.

“Dad was looked upon as a cap­i­tal­ist, so it was bet­ter for us not to be there. When the Hun­gar­ian Rev­o­lu­tion was lost and the Rus­sians took con­trol again, we jumped the bor­der into Aus­tria. We were just refugees with noth­ing… I wanted to go to US be­cause of jeans and all those sort of things, but Dad thought Aus­tralia was the best choice, and I think it was.”

It was no easy trip, though. The Suez Canal had been closed af­ter Is­rael in­vaded Egypt, so their ship diverted around Africa. The trip took 43 days and they ar­rived in Mel­bourne on Ge­orge’s 14th birth­day.

Ge­orge, his younger sis­ter and par­ents were im­me­di­ately bused to a mi­grant camp in the tiny town of Bonegilla near Wodonga, along­side the Mur­ray River, not far from Hume Weir, along­side which the old race cir­cuit was built. Fury se­nior cleaned toi­lets and did odd jobs to sup­port the fam­ily un­til they had enough money to send Ge­orge to Mel­bourne, where he found work at the Tom Piper can­nery and rented a house for them all to move into. He was a good son, but “sadly didn’t ful ll my par­ents’ dreams of be­com­ing a doc­tor or any­thing like that; I didn’t have it in me to study that hard.”

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