I remember Michael from the fifties just as David described him (above.) Nevertheless, I do remember his fascination with the (then) latest technologies and gadgets. One afternoon I visited him at his home (I think in Windsor somewhere) and was blown away at seeing his electronics. Beyond a hi-fi amplifier (which I could not afford at that age), Michael had a wire recorder, the predecessor to the tape recorder. Not only that, he had a machine which cut vinyl records. No-one else but the record producers had that type of technology, and certainly not in their bedrooms.
Sadly, the reunion with his Betar friends did not take place - but we see from the photo of Michael and Yvonne a happy man - whom we will miss.
Yvonne and your children:
I was staggered to hear that Michael is no longer with us. It just does not seem possible.
It seems like yesterday when I was best man at your wedding and I will never forget how we laughed and laughed when the glass didn’t break the first time and we had to catch it as it skidded across the carpet..
Michael- a kind man, a generous man, a happy man, who loved you more than words could tell.
Life takes us all in different directions and places. I am sending this email from Israel where I now live.
We had such wonderful rich experiences together at Betar and outside of Betar in our personal relationships.
Thank God you have wonderful memories of a wonderful husband and father.
Sorry Michael, you left us too soon.
It was just over 3 weeks ago that Aaron made contact with Michael. We had not seen him in 50 years and, judging by Michael's response, he was keen to make contact with his Betar friends.
"July 16, 2015
I have been wondering what has happened to the people that I knew from Betar for some time. I am pleased to hear from you and would be pleased to join your group of people, please keep in touch with me and let me know of any event you might be organising in the future. For your information Anna’s mother and my mother were related through family connections. My grandmother and Anna’s grandmother were sisters and thus the connection between Anna’s mother and my mother. Anna was also the bridesmaid at our wedding and we lost contact with her after that time.. I eventually found Anna through her sister whom I met when she was working in a Silver shop in Carlise Steet St. Kilda. We re-estabished our long lost time of not seeing each other and have kept contact ever since.
If you wold like to contact me live in Donvale with my wife Yvonne who you might know. My telephone number is [withdrawn] and you can reach me any time as I am fully retired and enjoy a 7 day week every week. Please feel free to contact me as I would be pleased to hear from you and make up for the lost time. As you have not given me your contact phone number in the email I am unable to contact you.
Best wishes and hoping to hear from you soon best regards
Remembering Michael Neiger
Betar was a very important part of my father’s life. He would often talk about the good times he had there when he was a member in the mid 1950s. Michael fondly recalled the many camps that he attended as well as the fun that he had with his friends, some of whom even attended his 50th wedding anniversary in 2015.
Dad met his wife-to-be at Betar but it certainly wasn’t love at first sight. Mum mentioned that she thought he was an arrogant so-and-so and for Dad the feeling was mutual. Luckily for me, they met several years later when my father was a first aid instructor and Mum was a student. They lived together for over 54 happy years. They had three children, being me, the eldest, my brother Simon and my sister Eleanor.
When we were children, we would go camping as a family. Dad clearly drew on the many skills that he had learnt at Betar as he was an expert at pitching a tent, lighting campfires and was even able to catch trout at Warburton. He bought a boat and loved going fishing on Westernport Bay with his father and children. Mum warned him that his sons would just tangle his fishing lines, and I can proudly say I lived up to Mum’s promise.
My father knew the best fishing spots in the bay and loved gadgets, including this depth sounder that he claimed helped him locate the fish. Either that or his fisherman’s luck was at play because we would often catch hundreds of flatheads. It is just as well that Dad was quick at filleting fish and not at all squeamish. He tried pass down these skills to his children, but despite his best efforts he was not terribly successful.
Dad lived his life to the fullest and, despite not being well for many years, he never let his illnesses stop him. He died suddenly at night on the 11th August 2015. He was a big man, with a big heart and will be sadly missed by those who knew him.
Thanks to Anna Rosner Blay for forwarding.
- August 11, 2015
Michael and Yvonne when I met him for the first time after 50 years.
-Anna Rosner Blay