Dr. Mirko “Mike” Vaclav Havlas was born on the 27th of October, 1914 in Pisek, Czechoslovakia. His parents were Josef Havlas and the former Svatava Moravcova. His twin brother Zdenek died before his first birthday and his father died when Dr. Havlas was just 2 years old. Dr. Havlas and his mother moved in with her parents and they stayed with them until Dr. Hasvals was about 10 years old, which is when his mother remarried and had 2 more children. Dr. Havlas attended elementary school and high school in the Town of Hradec Kralove. He attended medical school at Charles University in Prague, graduating M.D. in 1945. He interned at hospitals in Prague.
Dr. Havlas attended medical school with Vlasta “Vivian” Bozena, who would become his wife. Mrs. Havlas was born in Svratouch, Czechoslovakia on the 22nd of December, 1915. She was the daughter of Jaroslav Myska and the former Bozena Kroulikova. She was raised in the Town of Skvorec, Czechoslovakia. She had an older sister named Vera and a younger brother named Jaroslav. Dr. Vivian Havlas graduated M.D. from Charles University in 1946. She also interned at hospitals in Prague.
Dr. and Dr. Havlas were married on the 27th of September, 1941 at the bride’s father’s church in Skvorec. Her father was a licensed minister with the Church of Czech Brethren.
Dr. and Dr. Havlas set up separate medical practices in the community of Doksy, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Vivian Havlas specialized in paediatrics and Dr. Mike Havlas practiced family medicine. Several years later the Czech Communist Government forced the doctors to give up their private practices and forced them to work for the Czechoslovakian Government, under trying conditions. For this they moved to the City of Liberec, Czechoslovakia.
Dr. and Dr. Havlas became parents to two children, a daughter named Dana and a son named Tom.
Dr. Mike Havlas instilled in his children that there was nothing more important in life than to be free to live a life of your own choosing. The oppressive regime of communism drove Dr. and Dr. Havlas to find a way to escape from Czechoslovakia to freedom. With no clear plan in mind, in August of 1968 Dr. and Dr. Havlas and their 2 teenage children fled their homeland, leaving everything behind. Many countries were considered by Dr. and Dr. Havlas to settle in, but in October of 1968 they were accepted as political refugees by Canada and arrived in Peterborough, Ontario. This is where the doctors studied English and wrote medical equivalency exams to be able to practice medicine in Canada. Upon passing the exams, both doctors found positions at the Southwest Regional Centre in Cedar Springs in 1969. The Havlas family resided in Chatham. Dr. and Dr. Havlas retired in 1979. They chose to return to the Peterborough area and settled in Lakefield to enjoy their retirement.
Dr. Mike Havlas enjoyed swimming in open bodies of water and he enjoyed playing badminton and other outdoor sports. He exercised his right to free speech by writing members of government on a regular basis on a number of topics. Dr. Vivian Havlas took pride in her home, her gardens and her grandchildren. She also enjoyed reading and sewing.
Dr. Mike Havlas died in Peterborough on the 15th of July, 1993. He never returned to Czechoslovakia. After they fled the country, Dr. and Dr. Havlas and their children would have been arrested if they had returned before the end of the Cold War. Dr. Vivian Havlas did return to Czechoslovakia after the Cold War. She was able to re-connect with family and friends that she had left behind. Dr. Vivian Havlas died in Peterborough on the 19th of June, 2010.
*His wife Dr. Vlasta “Vivian” Bozena Havlas also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
**The webmaster for the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website wishes to thank Tom Havlas for providing the information for this biography.