As far as my line of the Šebek godly clan, that takes a different twist. I’m the 6th and last child of Jaroslav Wladimir Šebek and Hermine Cornelius. The mix is basically Šebek which is Czech, Indonesian, Timorese, Rotanise, Swiss, Papua New Guinea, but primarily Czech, Swiss and Indonesian. Mom’s Cornelius side is Indonesian, Chinese, Italian, Scottish, Prussian, Portugese and French (in fact Mom could trace back to a lieutenant in Napolean’s Army).
I get my musical side from my mother’s side. She was an aspiring classical pianist with much promise but was stalled by the Japanese invasion during WWII. Her father was taken away to a concentration camp and at 13 years old she tended to her baby sister and her mother as she died at 34 from breast cancer. Mom’s family was extremely wealthy primarily from her grandfather who owned sugar plantations and factories in the region of Modjo Kerto on the island of Java. It was her father Theodorus Leonardus (I have his middle name) who was a classical violinist and pianist having played concerts with the Netherlands Orchestra as a young man (a big deal back then). He continued his playing after he got married and had a small chamber ensemble group that played gigs regularly. They would also have old fashioned parlor gatherings singing at the house and would sing French Chansons and my Mom’s mother Cecile Fransisca Vitalis (the Italian side) would sing pieces called German Schlagers (they were contemporary songs of the time). Although the musical side is from Mom’s side the voice is all from my Dad. He had a beautiful voice but again due to WWII and political unrest in Indonesia, could never pursue those sorts of things.
Dad’s Grandmother was Marie Gerere Vola, she was an island princess which makes us royalty. I have a picture of her and she is a beautiful petite woman who is island or aboriginal black from the looks of it. For hundreds of years this clan by the name Vola, must have been taken over by the Portugese at some point, ruled the island of Roti . At some time during the Dutch invasions 400-500 years ago the Vola family was hired by the Dutch to conquer the neighboring island of Timor (the same Timor which was in the news for several years due to civil war trying to break free from the Indonesian Republic into its own government). So going back, The Dutch hired the Vola clan to invade Timor since the Roti folks were known to be fierce warriors. So with the invasion, the clan moved to Timor and became the ruling clan of what is known as West Timor . My father said that they once owned everything from a birds eye view from the city of Kupang (the major port city of Timor ). The Radja or Raja Radjahs (prince or royalty) had the Vola clan as the ruling family until the early 1900s. At this point Oma Vola married a Czech military man who joined the Dutch Army (similar to the French Foreign legion) named Antonin Joseph Šebek and the Šebek clan started to move more towards a European heritage base. Opa Antonin moved the Šebek family over to Java. Eventually his son or my grandpa moved the clan to the town of Bandung where my parents met as neighbors in their early teens or so. When Opa Antonin moved to Java Oma Vola (the princess) left him for unknown reasons and retreated to a convent. When she died in the 30s she was taken back to Roti and carried to her grave by 40 Radjahs with a procession of thousands . . . this demonstrated the real extent of her position as head of the royal clan.
The last connection we had to the royalty was when one of the representative of the council of Radjahs, in 1949 or so, approached my father and asked him to resume the position at the head Radjahs. My mother saw that the country was in such turmoil that she said “she wouldn’t want to be the queen of a bunch of mud-slinging natives”. The Timorese Civil War I mentioned lasted over 50 years and was extremely bloody. I once saw a peace activist on the streets of NY handing out flyers to people, the flyer had a young Timorese man my age at the time (26) holding the heads of three other Timorese men that he had defeated. Needless to say I think Mom’s decision was a good one.
Mom and Dad had my four older siblings on Java but were forced out during the mid 50s due to the transition from the leader Sukarno to the would be leader Suharto’s coup in the early 60s as depicted in the 80s Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt movie “Year of Living Dangerously”. At the time Dad was working for a Dutch company Jacobson Van Den Berg (import exports of everything to textile to beer) who sponsored his Dutch citizenship. The Indonesian Declaration of Independence dictated that all non-Indonesian
citizens were to get out and get out fast. They left as refugees in 1957 and went to Holland . Dad built the crates from teak used to transport their belongings and their teak furniture. The soldiers stole more than half of their belongings but Dad built our dining table from the teak remnants and would proudly display the table since it had bullet holes in it from where the soldiers tried to loot the crates. An other brother of mine was born in Holland in 1962. That same year Kennedy (reprising the Pastor Walter Act of 53 which gave 5000 visas to displaced Indonesians due to the mess the US made down in Indonesia ) our family was allowed to come to the US . They immigrated to the US on October 24, 1962 (during the Cuban missile crisis when Krushef turned his nuclear submarines back to Russia from Cuba ) and were sponsored by the Philadelphia yearly meeting Society of Friends (Quakers). So, there you have it, I am a proud first generation, American, Czech, Indonesian, Swiss, Quaker, Opera Singer born in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. As the American born, the running joke of the family is I’m the one who could still be president—but I never inhaled.