Karel and Barbora Premusovi, U Opavice 2, July 25, 2018
“We all did everything together and it was fun. Times are different now– today it just wouldn’t work the same.”
Karel Premus was born to a farmer’s family in the nearby village of Stěbořice. Until retirement, he worked as a lathe operator at Minerva (later renamed Sigma). Barbora Premusová was born in Opava, and she began working as a forklift operator at Minerva at the age of eighteen. At Minerva she also met her husband. The couple first lived for some time separately with their parents but soon after they got married, they were allotted their flat at U Opavice 2. They received the key to their two-room apartment in January 1965 on Mr. Premus’s birthday. The flat was cheap; they paid only 90 Czech crowns per month for 30 years. They raised a daughter and a son here. In the interview Mr. and Mrs. Premus recall how most of the original residents were of approximately the same age; many of them were young couples with small children and soon some of them became good friends. They also recall the work brigades and the annual coop spring cleaning of the apartment blocks vicinity. They remember the collective building of the coop soccer field that was then used by both the dads and the younger generation to play soccer and ice hockey. Their most vivid memories are of the Children’s Days, celebrated by the coop annually for many years throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, and, more recently, of the 1997 flood. They also mention various activities the Minerva plant organized for its employees prior to 1989, including festivities called “hajdamaš.” They find living at U Opavice 2 ideal; the location is beautiful, their apartment is sunny and warm and does not require much maintenance, and they own a small vegetable garden nearby.