Béla Török

Béla Antal Mária Török 

Our father was born 6th October 1914 in Szeged Hungary, his father was nemescsói Dr Béla Antal János Török, a lawyer (and later Royal Notary and Royal Government Senior Advisor) and who was awarded the National Defence Cross and the Lipót Order. His mother was ittebei Katalin Mária Kiss and, therefore, he had two ancestors from the martyrs of Arad: Generals Ignác Török and Ernö Kiss.  His schooling was in Szeged at the Piarist Gymnasium and the Klauzál Gábor Realgymnasium. In 1936, Béla completed Law at the Franz Josef University with “summa cum laude” and graduated as a doctor in Legal Studies. Between 1936-1937, he served as a reserve in the army in the newly formed Armoured Division. Béla then received a Government Scholarship to the Hungarian College of Berlin to further study Constitutional Law and allied subjects for years 1937-1939.  In 1938,  his employment was at the Szeged courts after which he was transferred to Budapest to the Royal Criminal Court, Judgement Department. Béla was married in Budapest to Ilona Láng, a high school teacher, from Miskolc Hungary, on 5th October 1940. He was transferred to the Royal Justice Ministry in 1941 during which time he completed, with honours, the various judicial and legal subjects. In fact, he was the youngest person in Hungary to qualify as a judge. 1942 saw him becoming a father to László (Leslie) and in 1943 to Béla (Bill). During the years 1941 to-1944, he was appointed to the last two Hungarian Ministers of Justice as their private secretary, he worked in the Opinion Evaluation Department. In 1944 on his 30th birthday, October 6th, Béla was called up for army service. His first assignment was to find accommodation for retreating troops to Bavaria. On May 8th 1945 Germany surrendered unconditionally. Between June and October he was in an American prison for enemy combatants at Hohenfels, east of Nuremberg Germany. During his time in prison, his third son András (Andrew) was born on the 27th June 1945. He worked at UNRRA and IRO (international relief agencies) as supply officer during the years 1946-1949. With his family, Béla migrated to Australia arriving in Newcastle 29th November 1949. In Australia during 1949-1951, he was an administrative officer at two migrant camps Greta and Scheyville where the family had been billeted.  While working as a cost clerk with the Main Roads Department during 1952-1956, he studied Accountancy. In 1957, became a member of the Society of Accountants of Australia. Béla  worked as a public Accountant in Sydney during the years 1957-1967. In 1963, he enrolled with the Barrister Admission Board; he qualified as a Barrister by November 1966. He established a successful solicitor practice which was taken over by his  son Bill who continued to operate it till his own retirement. Over the years, Béla wrote many books (see Publications page) and contributed many articles which were published in both the Australian and Hungarian newspapers. He also spoke at a number of significant Hungarian events. Béla, in 1970-1971, organised the St. Steven Free University Scholarship. On June 4th 1970, his English language editorial appeared in the publicity publication – ‘Remember Trianon – Justice for Hungary’.

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