Berwick resident Mike Trinacty, centre, has been playing tour guide the last couple of weeks for visitors from Slovakia, some of whom share his surname and are likely distantly related. The visitors include, from right, Dodi Trinacty, his wife Marta Trinacta, their son Misko (‘Mike’) Trinacty and Marta’s brother Rasto Postredny, who have been visiting Berwick and touring Nova Scotia. - John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
By John DeCoste
The past couple of weeks have been kind of a whirlwind – not to mention a ‘family-building’ experience – for Berwick resident Mike Trinacty.
Mike, a Windsor native, always knew his family name was not that common.
“Other than my immediate family and my father’s brother’s children in Ontario, we’re the only ones I know of in Canada,” he says.
“My father knew his grandfather came to Canada from a small village in what was then Czechoslovakia, and is now the Czech Republic.”
About four years ago, Mike was searching on the Internet and found a family named Trinacty in a town in Slovakia. Before he had a chance to follow up, “they found me.”
He and the Slovakian Trinacty family “chatted back and forth on the computer,” and got to know each other long-distance.
Three years ago, Mike and his daughter Jill took a tour of eastern Europe. They included Slovakia in their travel plans, and before they left, “I contacted them and told them we were coming. They invited us to stay with them, so we did, and they showed us around. They’re a lovely family.”
On their departure, he extended an invitation to visit Nova Scotia. The Slovakian family took him up on that offer last week. Josef (Dodi) Trinacty, his wife Marta Trinacta (the female spelling of the surname), their 12-year-old son Misko (which translate as ‘Mike’) and Marta’s brother, Rasto Postredny, arrived Sept. 1 and returned to Slovakia Sept. 11.
Marta is the only one of the four who speaks any English, “and she’s only learning, but we haven’t had any real trouble communicating,” Mike says. “I’m getting an especially big kick out of of the fact that the son’s name is Misko, or Mike.”
Marta told Mike that she got his name from the Slovakian embassy in Ottawa, after she had contacted them looking for Canadians with the same surname.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure there’s any family connection, but we figure we have to be related somehow,” Mike said. Aas Marta pointed out, “the four of us (they also have a daughter), and Dodi’s mother and sister are the only Trinactys we know of in Slovakia.”
Asked their impressions of Nova Scotia, Marta quickly replied, “we like it. This has been a big adventure for us, and Mike has been the best tour guide.”
Marta, who has done some research into the family, said “the Trinacty roots are in Czech Moravia. I figure Dodi and Mike are related. They have the same blood.”
She added, “we hope to come back to Nova Scotia someday. I find it a lot like home.”