Šime Žuvić passed away peacefully on September 3rd, 2023, at Vancouver General Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 89 years old. He was strong and healthy until he had a hemorrhagic stroke on September 1st.
Šime was born on June 28 1934, in Luka, Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia). He escaped in 1956 on a 21-foot fishing boat with 21 people. One of them was a young woman named Marija, whom he had sworn to make his wife from the first time he saw her.
They first arrived in Porto Reganata in Italy, where the police were waiting. They brought them to Macerata and questioned them for a few days before moving them to a temporary camp in Cremona for a few weeks. Next, they were escorted to a more permanent refugee camp in Bari.
When Canada opened its borders, they applied and were accepted but had to go in alphabetical order. Marija went first (Letinic), and Šime was last (Žuvić). Marija came on the Saturnija while Šime sailed on the Volkanija. Their ships docked in Halifax. Those were the last voyages for both boats, and they are now in a museum in Halifax.
In Canada, Šime was sent to Chapleau (Ontario) to work on the railway, while Marija was sent to Vancouver. By 1958 Šime had enough money to bring Marija to Ontario to be with him. They married in Toronto in 1959 and had three children: Mladen, David and Samantha. Šime worked as a foreman for a seafood wholesaler until 1993 when he moved to Vancouver with his wife and daughter and retired. David was already there and Mladen remained in Toronto.
Šime is survived by his wife, Marija; his children, Mladen (Joan), David (Marie-France) and Samantha (David); and his grandchildren, Daniel, Izabel, Maya, and Shawn.
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