Hunglish: the language of energy, commitment & focus
Inside, you have the greatest gift to be happy: you. But you have to know where you are going.
- Les Erdi
Dr. Leslie Erdi OAM passed away on Saturday, 26th January, 2013 with his loving and devoted wife Eva by his side. His biography, Whatever It Is, This Is What It Is is an inspiring, heartwarming read that gives great insight into a wonderful friend and astute business man who cared so much for everyone that surrounded him. His life story is more than a good read; it’s an inspirational journey through life’s lessons –– hard work, love, ethics, self belief.
Despite having lived in Australia since 1954, Les Erdi speaks “Hunglish” — an English-Hungarian eclectic vocabulary. Like Les, it’s unique. Like Les, Hunglish has lashings of love and loads of colour.
His autobiography outlines his enormous philanthropic contributions, that over many years has earnt him various awards, including:
- a Centenary Medal in 2001
- an Order of Australia medal in 2008 (for services to the community)
- being conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Monash University in 2010
- Victorian Senior Australian of the Year in 2011
The Order of Australia accolade was an endorsement of his philanthropic support of a host of educational, charitable and Jewish organisations. These include the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the International Diabetic Institute, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Emmy Monash Aged Care, Jewish National Fund of Australia and the United Israel Appeal.
Les also was part of Living Trees — an environmental collaboration between experts in Australia and Israel.
On the business side of things, Erdigroup was born in the mid 1980s when Les and Eva bought property in Swanston Street and the hotel collection began. In 1996, came Erdigroup’s crowning jewel — The Grand Hotel Melbourne, followed by the Four Points by Sheraton in Geelong and the Urban Hotel Group collection in the 2000s.
And that is but a sketch of a truly inspirational man. Author Neil Montagnana-Wallace chose the challenging job of chronicling Les Erdi’s life and philosophies into a biography. As Neil says, “When all is said and done, Les Erdi’s life on the printed page still is not enough.
Grab a copy of: “Whatever It Is, This Is What It Is”. By Neil Montagnana-Wallace (with help from Les).