The great escape to Australia from Bulgaria

Mansfield’s Nicola Vatoff has quite the story to tell of how he wound up Down Under

THE LONG ROAD: Nicola Vatoff led a storied journey to arrive in Mansfield.PHOTO: Jarrah Loh

LOCAL Mansfield resident Nicola Vatoff has had a long journey through life to make it to our humble high country town.

At almost 90, he has seen more than most would in several lifetimes.

But don’t be fooled by his age, he still remembers everything like it was yesterday.

Born in Bulgaria in 1928, he lived through the war, but when communism came to his country, he knew it was time to get out.

“I didn’t like it, but I put up with it for a few years,” he said.

“Then I left in 1947 when I got a legal opportunity to go to Czechoslovakia, because it had become half-empty and they needed hard workers.”

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