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Christine Berejnitsky

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paddyogorman
Dublin
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1 of 3  Thu 3rd Jun 2021 12:23am  
Member: Joined Jun 2021  Total posts:2

Dear All at Historic Coventry Forum My name is Paddy O'Gorman, born 1957. I live in Dublin. My mother, a Londoner, was Irene Collier (1925-2019). Her father was Robert Clifford Collier (1898-1972). My grandparents separated about 1935, I think. My mother barely ever spoke about her father. My brothers and I never met our grandfather and grew up knowing nearly nothing about him and believing he was long dead. In recent times, we have begun to learn more about our grandfather Robert. We believe he was an honourable man. He served from 1914 to 1920, Sapper WO329 Company, Royal Engineers, 32910. He was gassed in Flanders in 1915. He won a British War Medal & Victory Medal. Having separated from my grandmother, we next find Robert in Coventry in 1939 where he is working in a Rootes Shadow Factory. He was also a senior air raid warden. In the 1939 electoral register and again in the 1939 census Robert is recorded as living with a woman by the name of Florence Berejnitsky (born Gell), latterly on Allesley Old Road at a boarding house (which today is a pub known as The Four Provinces). In 1940 Florence gave birth to a daughter, Christine, at Newton Abbot in Devon. We then lose Robert until 1970 when we find him living in Bishopsteignton, near Newton Abbot. Then in 1972, sadly, we read of Robert's death on the railway line in Bishopsteignton while he was suffering with mental illness. We shall probably never know whether or not Robert, at the time of his suicide, knew that he had three teenage grandsons in Ireland who would wish to have known him if we could. In the post-war years, Florence Berejnitsky and her daughter Christine are living back in Coventry in Spon Street. Robert, on his death certificate, is recorded as a retired car factory supervisor, which makes us think that he also stayed living on in Coventry for at least some years after the war. In the 1960s Christine Berejnitsky excels as an artist. From the local newspapers we know: She attended Coventry College of Art. She worked in Coventry City Architect’s Department. She was involved with the Cathedral restoration. She was involved with the Herbert Museum and Gallery. She presented round-the-world yachtsman Francis Chichester with one of her artistic works when he was honoured in Coventry Cathedral in 1967. Then after 1967 we lose Christine. We would dearly love to find her as she is, if still alive, probably the only person who exists who may have known our grandfather Robert Collier and who may be able to tell us something about him. If Christine is living still she would be approaching 81 years of age. Perhaps someone on this forum may remember Christine Berejnitsky? Perhaps someone from the artistic community of Coventry? I hope so. I'll finish by telling the forum that in Ireland I am a broadcaster with RTE and I have good memories of working in Coventry. In 1999 I made a radio documentary about elderly Irish people in Coventry. I sat by the Lady Godiva statue for a day and met people and followed leads that led me to the Navy Club and the Jaguar pub. About two years later I made a television programme in Coventry using the same tactics. The Jaguar was full of Irish people with moving stories about their lives in Coventry. Thank you for reading this. Paddy O’Gorman
Christine Berejnitsky
Helen F
Warrington
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2 of 3  Thu 3rd Jun 2021 10:17am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

Hi Paddy, welcome to the forum Wave Thanks for telling your story and I hope that you get a response. It's one of those requests that might be answered quickly or you may need to bump it periodically. There was/is a project called Irish Heart, Coventry Home that includes videos and articles about the Irish in Coventry. One that might interest you is this link which mentions the Four Provinces. The poster asked about an Irish club run by by Paddy Healy, aka his stage name Tony (Topps) Cardona, and his wife Florence. I don't think that we identified if it was the Four Provinces but it was an Irish club. Good luck. Smile
Christine Berejnitsky
paddyogorman
Dublin
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Thread starter
3 of 3  Thu 3rd Jun 2021 3:59pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2021  Total posts:2

Thanks Helen. I'll keep watch for any response.
Christine Berejnitsky

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