22 Jun 2016

Small Windows 3: 'The Pines' by Dan Borshevsky

From The Reading, 10:45 am on 22 June 2016

Anathol is reminded of the time he and his young family spent in limbo in Roma, when he fled Russia. But he still treasures the connections he made there all those years ago.

Read by Ken Blackburn

Dan Borshevsky – The Pines

illustration of two pine trees

Dan was born in 1943 in the small Russian town of Djambul, now part of Kazakhstan. He graduated from university with a degree he says was not very practical – he majored in medieval manuscripts. Dan took a government job with the Ministry of Transport, but out of hours he became involved in the dissident movement. In 1974 he was called into the local KGB office and two options were intimated – jail or expulsion. He opted for the latter, of course. Stripped of his citizenship he left Russia for Rome. He considered himself lucky as many of his friends were never given the choice. As stateless refugees Dan and his family were given a new nationality in New Zealand. He worked first in the post office as a linesman. After three years, when his English had improved, he was able to return to his original area of work, as a support officer for traffic research in the Ministry of Transport. He moved through the ranks before retiring in 2008. Concert music, the internet, reading and Skyping with family overseas keep him busy in retirement. He has nine grandchildren. His daughter and three grandchildren live close by and he spends time with them regularly.