Dr. Vlasta “Vivian” Bozena Havlas was born on the 22nd of December, 1945 in Svratouch, Czechoslovakia. She was the 2nd of 3 children born to her parents, Jaroslav Myska and the former Bozena Kroulikova. Her older sister was named Vera and her younger brother was named Jaroslav. She grew up in the Town of Skvorec, where her father was an ordained minister with the Church of Czech Brethren.
Dr Havlas was educated in Skvorec before attending Charles University in Prague to study medicine. There she met her husband-to-be, Dr. Mirko “Mike” Havlas. Dr. Mike 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 attended elementary school and high school in the Town of Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Mike Havlas graduated M.D. from Charles University in Prague in 1945. He interned in hospitals in Prague.
Dr. and Dr. Havlas were married by her father on the 27th of September, 1941 in her father’s church in Skvorec.
Dr. Vivian Havlas graduated M.D. from Charles University in 1946. She interned at hospitals in Prague. Dr. and Dr. Havlas set up separate medical practices in the community of Doksy, Czechoslovakia. She specialized in paediatrics and Dr. Mike Havlas had a family medical practice. 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 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. Vivian Havlas took pride in her home, her gardens and her grandchildren. She enjoyed reading and sewing. 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 number of topics.
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 ended. 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.
*Her husband Dr. Mirko “Mike Vaclav 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.