József Váry, individual member of the CIC for 33 years celebrated his 95th birthday in January 2019. CIC’s Director General, Tamás Marghescu, Dr. Kristóf Hecker, Head of Division Coordination Unit and László Vajai, member of the Hungarian Delegation visited him at his home in the hills of Budapest. He told stories from his memorable life and his engagement in the CIC.
József Váry was born in 1924 with the German name, Wagner. His family owned a timber yard, and later his father opened a printing company. His father was knighted for his merits in World War I, and he had to change his name to a more Hungarian one – Váry. The family’s goods and their home were taken away from them at the end of WWII. Therefore he had to start his professional life as a labourer in the early 1940s.
His passion for hunting commenced at the early age of 13. When he moved to the Hungarian capital, he found ways to start a sporting career with clay pigeon shooting competitions – at that time sometimes even live pigeon shooting. He was 5 times Hungarian champion and in 1955 the Hungarian team, with his participation, got the silver medal at the European Championships.
He became a CIC member in 1973, upon invitation of the President at that time, Pál Vallus. He missed only 3 General Assemblies leading up to 2006, when he left the CIC for health reasons. He also had to give up his life-long passion, hunting. In his 33 years within the CIC he played an important role in representing Hungary, several times on his own. He was the one who got fully behind the idea of the “Loyalty to CIC“-prize at the General Assembly in Istanbul in 2002. He offered to take on the burden of arranging and paying for the first 100 medals and golden pins for the prize (see prototype in the picture).
He travelled to 33 countries, he hunted in 13, mainly on birds, his favourite game, but he also took several hundreds of trophies in his hunting “career”. For his merits he received the title “honorary citizen” from his home town, Gyoma (today Gyomaendrőd), next to many national and international awards.
Mr Váry, even at the age of 95, maintains a very good sense of humour and the CIC wishes him good health and excellent memory when noting down his life story in a book to come.