Personalities > John Karlik

John Karlik

John Karlik was born in Prague in 1930. In 1939 he and his sister Vera boarded a train to England. “I didn’t even realise I was saying goodbye to my parents, they just took us to the station” he recalls. They were among the last of 10,000 children rescued from Nazi persecution by the kindertransport scheme. The Moravian Bishop Shawe organised their transport and accommodation in Yorkshire, and a place in Fulneck School. John boarded at the school and enjoyed holidays with school friends. Years later the children learned that their father was killed in Auschwitz, but their mother survived in Belsen. All three survivors migrated to Australia in 1952.

By then John was a food chemist. In Streets ice cream lab his most memorable creation was the paddle pop. When his first marriage ended, in 1992 he met and married Heather Stewart, the poet and musician. When he retired, they moved to Pyrmont, and John began another long and busy career as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels


  • Sydney Morning Herald, 29 November 2015

  • Yorkshire Evening Post, 4 October 2013