Pavel Lyko, U Opavice 2, August 8, 2018

“It’s peaceful here; quite an oasis. Living here is super.”

Pavel’s father, Karel Lyko, a long-time Minerva employee, was one of the co-founders and the first head of the U Opavice housing coop. Pavel spent his early childhood in the neighboring “Minerva block” (U Střelnice 18-20), where the family lived in a two-room apartment with shared facilities. From there they watched the building of the U Opavice 2-4 apartment blocks and took the only known photograph documenting the construction. Pavel recalls how the prospective tenants would visit his father to select their future U Opavice apartment and how his father later worked as the coop head and what that involved. Following in his father’s footsteps, Pavel also worked at Minerva for ten years, although he later left and worked for the associated production Kovo. Always a passionate tennis player, his latest career has been as a tennis trainer. He is a recent widower and is getting ready to move out of the U Opavice 2 flat and join his son in his family house. In the interview he recounts how Minerva took care of and helped its employees in the past before the plant became privatized. He has fresh memories of the 1997 Opava river flood, which he documented with photographs taken from the roof of the U Opavice 2 apartment block.