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From Kassa and Szombathely to Taiwan
From Kassa and Szombathely to Taiwan

Once upon a time, there was a Hungarian-founded hospital in Taiwan. Named for the Holy Family, it was established by Hungarian Jesuit Jaschkó István in Lutsao in 1962, and served mainly the poor of the area. The need was so great that it had to be expanded, and a second story was added by 1972.  Unfortunately, it had to close in 1974 due to a lack of permanent personnel, as well as the high pay rate required.  At that  point, the hospital was moved to Potsu.

Fr. Jaschkó was born in Kassa, and after he joined the Jesuits, but before he was ordained, requested to be sent to the missions.  In 1936, he was sent to China, where he spent time learning Chinese, and finished his philosophical and theological studies.  He was ordained there in May of 1941.

Working as a missionary in various localities, he was also director of a small mission hospital in the late 1940s. Continuing his missionary activities even after the hospital was nationalized in 1949, he was arrested and sentenced to house arrest by the Communists.  They expelled him  from China in 1954, and he lived in Macao for a year. Then Fr. Jaschkó began to study Taiwanese, his next assignment.  He bacame director of the hospital of Lutsao, then began to build Holy Family Hospital there.

After Holy Family Hospital closed in Lutsao, he became Pastor at Hsinchu, where he established an institute for children who were mentally and physically retarded, and became its director. In 1998, he received one of the highest Taiwanese state awards.

But the Lutsao hospital was also where Dr. Buzády Tibor of Budapest had compiled a Chinese-Hungarian dictionary, dealing mostly with medical terminology.  Beginning with an explanation of the five tones of Mandarin Chinese and the eight tones of Taiwanese, each page is divided into six columns.  Every entry starts with the Chinese symbols that define each term, followed by the Hungarian pronunciation (according to the Zsoldos method).  The next column contains the Hungarian meaning, while the following column has the Romanicized version of the Taiwanese expression.  Next comes the English phonetic phrase, and finally the English meaning.  For the language student, there is a wealth of information in this modest 87-page booklet published in 1976. 

Dr. Buzády’s bio would merit a whole article of its own!  Born in Szombathely in 1934, he attended the medical school of Pécs, and lived through the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight. He then went on to obtain his doctor’s diploma at the University of London, St. Bart’s, in 1961.  Between 1961 and 1974, he worked in the medical field in Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden.

In 1971, we find him in Sweden establishing an association of breeders of Hungarian dogs (he also wrote a book, Dogs of Hungary, published in Hungarian, German and English).  As mentioned above, Dr. Buzády worked in the missions in Taiwan for a year (1975). For the next 25 years, he had his private practice in München.  There he was also the founding president of the largest western European cultural association, the Széchenyi Kör (Circle).

He branched out from the medical field, and became owner of the Herp Printing and Publishing firm, also in München (1978-2000), and of the Hotel Nóra in GödöllÅ‘ and Budapest.

In addition  to the Chinese-Hungarian dictionary and the volume on Hungarian dogs, he also wrote a history of the Hungarian branch of the Knights of St. Lazarus. 

For his cultural and charitable work, the British government awarded him a hereditary title of nobility in 1980.  The rest of his high civic and religious awards are too numerous to mention.

All this came to light, with a little research, because I was curious about a small caption in a little Chinese-Hungarian dictionary, that mentioned it having been compiled in a hospital founded by Hungarians!  And one thing simply led to another ...


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