How a 1933 Photograph Boosted Jelsa Tourism in 2015

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With England dominating the early days of the first Ashes cricket test, I am really hoping the boys can have a productive day against the Aussies today, as the prospect of my evening if Australia has the better exchanges is unthinkable. 

For I have dinner with no less than 26 Australians. Even worse, they are all family members, one of the joys this Brit inherited when marrying into a Dalmatian family. 

The story starts in 1933, where a pretty 18 year-old from Jelsa is uncertain what to do with her life. An accomplished singer, others decide that she should be sent to a singing school in Vienna to develop her voice.

Which is when she saw the photograph.

A man in Australia. A spontaneous decision was made, and Katica left for a new life soon after, arriving in Australia a few weeks later, where she not only met the man in the photo, but married him one day later, a marriage that lasted until death did them part. 

Victor was born in 1934, and so began another dynasty of Australian Croats with Jelsa in their blood. 

They are convening tonight at Me and Mrs Jones, all 26 of them, to celebrate a significant birthday of Victor’s daughter, Michelle, and I am sure that the table for 40 will be a lively one indeed. Why Me and Mrs Jones? Simple really. Apart from being one of the finest places in Dalmatia, owner Josipa’s grandmother was the sister of Katica, and would no doubt have looked long and hard at the photograph of her future brother-in-law in 1933. 

Happy Birthday Michelle, and it promises to be an amazing evening. I just hope the English bowlers finish the Aussie tail quickly before the English opening batsmen both score double centuries, so that we will have even more to celebrate… 

Tourism works in weird and wonderful ways, and we should be thankful to young Katica in 1933 for providing this boost in tourism in  2015.


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