At the beginning of November, in his home at Geneva Lake, in his 98 years of age, Gioko (Viktora) Ruzic passed away. He was one of the last male offshoots of the prominent Rijeka's (Sušak's) family: benefactor and Rotarian.
Eight years ago my caption was published on the occasion of his 90th anniversary and reception of apposited medal: to my thoughts then it has a little to add ...
Gioko V.Ruzio, the honorary member of RC Rijeka was awarded the Homeland Thanksgiving Memorial (by a row of Croatian Danica with the figure of Katerina Zrinska). The decision is based, among other things, on the fact that Mr Ruzic all the property in Rijeka that he inherited from his father dr Viktor Ruzic, which was returned to him in the process of the repossession which was confiscated during the Yugoslav Communist regime, gave to the Rotary Club in Rijeka as fundamental capital of the Foundation "Dr. Viktor Ruzic ". From the income of this Foundation, RC Rijeka has been helping primarily young talented people in the education and training for years.
The reasons for this we read in the decision of the President of the Republic of Croatia:
He finished primary and secondary school in Sušak, and he attended the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, Bologna, and Lousanne (Switzerland), where he graduated. Most of the working life he spent in Switzerland, dealing successfully with the trade business. In business, he got the reputation of a fair and honest businessman. Although living and working abroad, he was in constant contact not only with the members of his family Ružić, Mažuranić, Brlić and Kukuljević but also with other people from the area of Croatian Primorje and Croatia and the whole of ex-Yugoslav states with whom he cooperated and selflessly helped. Especially it concerns of emmigrants after the Second World War and later, our economic emigrants and during the Homeland War the refugees and victims.
Together with his wife, Sonja Hlebš Ruzio, a well-known actress, he held contacts in the homeland with cultural workers and helped with the performances of our artists in Switzerland. During the homeland war in co-operation with Dr. Vladimir Prašek organizes assistance in the form of several hospital chariots with medicines and other necessities sent from Switzerland and Austria to the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After the creation of the independent Republic of Croatia, he donated to the Faculty of Law in Rijeka a large legal library with several thousand books collected in several generations of lawyers in the families of Ružić, Mažuranić, and Brlić.
The whole property he inherited from his father Dr. Viktor Ružić, that was returned to him in the process of property repossession confiscated during the Yugoslav communist regime, he gave to Rotary Club in Rijeka, with the agreement that it would be the fundamental capital of the Fundation "Dr.Viktor Ružić" in Rijeka, from whose income will primarily be helped young talented people in education and training.
It is his merit that both his sisters - Vera Willisits and Vesna Draxler, have devoted their parts of the property to the said Foundation. This is significant assets of the four four-story buildings in the center of Rijeka (Susak) - whose return and investment in the Foundation are "Dr. Viktor Ružić „ still in the process.
By following outlined it is evident that Gioko Ruzio, with his honest and exemplary behaviour throught the whole his life, with work and fair successful business, by helping others, attentiveness, humanity, with his yield to the common good, with his loyal relation toward homeland, he deserved to be awarded the Homeland Thanksgiving Memorial.
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Rotary Palača Ružić
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