Building a life

Karl Albert Cloos (1928 - 2015)

Karl Albert Cloos was born at the residence of the Power Station in Unteropfingen on the banks of the Iller River, Germany, on 15 April 1928. The Youngest child of Karl Otto Cloos and Maria Theresia Waescher, and brother to Antonia, Gretel (Margarete) and Otto, and had an idyllic childhood protected by his devoutly Catholic parents from the storms of change engulfing Germany into the 1930s. In July 1944, at 16 years of age, he was forced by the Nazi Party into war and sent to France to dig trenches. In the winter of 1944-45 he was initially sent to the Swiss border and then to defend Berlin, ten days before the end of the Second World War.

After the war he resumed a carpentry apprenticeship, combining teenage life with his love of skiing, and choir singing. Soon after the death of his father in March 1950, and with Germany still suffering post-war shortages, Karl was drawn to an advertisement placed by AV Jennings, recruiting young, single cabinet makers for a two-year contract in Australia. He was studying in Stuttgart but with the promise of good wages he bravely set sail on 10 October 1951, leaving his homeland and family, arriving in Australia on 12 November 1951.

After fulfilling his contract of building housing in the nation’s capital, the government offered him a migrant visa to extend his stay. He was drawn to the Snowy Mountains and along with other migrant workers, contributed to the building of the Guthega Dam as part of the Snowy Hydro Scheme. By 1955 Karl has decided to remain in Australia and found work opportunities in Albury. While in Albury he fell in love with an Australian girl, Patricia Guy, and they married on 19 January 1957. Karl and Patrician honeymooned in Germany, introducing his new bride to his family and in later years returning for visits as their own Australian family grew.

Through his love of singing, Karl helped found the Harmonie German Choir, being is President for 25 years.

In 1966 he assisted Fr Kraemer to establish St Boniface’s German-Speaking community, being their first President.

Karl was a true ‘Kolping son’. He was a man of deep faith; a man of integrity, generosity, honesty and hard work. He contributed greatly to St. Augustine’s Parish, Farrer, leading the Parish Council from 1983-84. He was an active member of the Knights of the Southern Cross from 1968 – 2014.

He will be forever loved by his wife, four children, eleven grandchildren and great-grandchild.

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Konrad Dimpel