Today, we had the pleasure of interviewing a young lady, Ms. Erin McMurray. Erin’s grandparents are both from Burgenland and, together with her parents, were always very active in the Burgenlaender Club of Toronto.

1. Erin where and when were you born?  Who are your parents?

I was born on July 12, 1998 in Mississauga, Ontario.  My parents are Theresa and Kevin McMurray.  My mum, Theresa, is where my Austrian background comes from.  Her parents (my grandparents), Oscar and Maria Stubits grew up and lived in Burgenland prior to their departure to Canada. (note from the editor:  The late Oscar Stubits initiated the scholarship program which may be accessed by descendants of our Club members. Oscar was instrumental in the implementation of the program).

2. Where did you go to school?

I attended Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Oakville, and afterwards, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School. I just recently graduated from Grade 12 and am about to start my first year of University in the fall.

3. What were your favourite subjects?

My favourite subjects in school were easily history and biology.  Though they are very different from one another, they both had a memorization aspect that I enjoyed. I liked learning different facts, whether they were about the Austro-Hungarian Empire or how the human cell functioned.

4. This is quite amazing, Erin and an interesting combination.  What are your future plans?

Well, high school has only just ended for me, but I have a lot of plans for the future.  I am moving to the University of Guelph to study Criminal Justice and Public Policy.  I will spend the next four years there learning about Canadian politics, policies and above all, the Criminal Justice system.

5. What do you think you’ll do after graduation?

After I graduate from Guelph, I hope to be admitted to Law School.  I have not yet decided what Law School I would like to attend, after all, I might even change my mind about going into law.  At this stage though, I am planning to attend Law School and upon completion, I would like to pass the Bar Exam to become a lawyer.

6. What exciting plans you have and what an ambitious young lady you are!  What about your hobbies?

Oh yes, I have hobbies and they include sports and music.  I have played on a variety of sports teams throughout my school years.  I attended many different sports camps among them softball, field hockey, soccer and basketball.  I have also taken piano lessons from a young age. My favourite piece is FÜR ELISE by Ludwig van Beethoven.

7. Have you ever had a chance to visit Austria?

Unfortunately, I have never visited Austria.  The last time when my mother went, I was just too young to join her.  I always wanted to see the country, especially Güttenbach in Burgenland where my family is from.  Many relatives still live there and I would love to meet them.

8. Well, maybe one day you will do just that, you will visit Burgenland and thus Austria. In the meantime, have you gathered any information about the country? 

Oh yes, I have read about Austria and specifically about Burgenland.  I have seen pictures of the land in books about Austria along with the other provinces.  My grandparents told me so much about it.  When I finally visit Austria, Burgenland will be the number one stop on my list.

Thank you so much Erin.  It was wonderful to hear from you, about your ambitious plans for the future and all your other activities.  We would like to wish you continued success in all your endeavours. The Board of Directors would also like to thank you wholeheartedly for the many hours of volunteer work that you and your family have so generously offered to the Burgenlaender Club of Toronto.

Erin on Prom night with her mother Theresa, her grandma Mary Stubits and her sister EmmaErin 6

Erin McMurray

Erin with her mother Theresa and her father Kevin McMurray
Erin 1

Erin with her older sister Emma
Erin 2

Graduation night for Erin
Erin 3

Emma and Erin when they were still a bit younger
Erin 4

Erin and her grandmother, Mary Stubits on the day of her prom
Erin 5

Erin at the Burgenlaender Picnic with her grandma Mary Stubits, her aunt Helen und her mother Theresa
Erin 7