Margarita Richmond nee Plenkovich (1898 – 1983)

Margarita Plenković was born in 1898 in Svirče, a village in the centre of Hvar Island, Croatia. She was the daughter of Ivan Plenković and Ana Dobrošić.  When Margarita was born with a defective leg, her family had the foresight to realise that village life and working the field would not suit Margarita. Her grandfather sold land pay for Margarita’s education. She was educated in Škofja Loka and Maribor in Slovenia and in Graz, Austria. She spoke six languages, traveled, worked as a journalist, and for a time, between the two world wars, she was a Ceylon correspondent for the Zagreb newspaper Merkur.

She migrated to Western Australia, arriving in Fremantle on the SS ORSOVA on the 7th January 1930. She became the secretary for the first Yugoslav Consul in Western Australia, Nikola Marich where she was able to use her knowledge of different languages to good use. She continued in the position until 1941, when Yugoslavia fell to the Germans and the government of the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia went into exile in London. During World War Two, Margarita worked as a translator for the WA government.

In Perth, she met her future husband, the London-born mathematician and professor Alan Cecil Richmond

Margarita was an keen art collector, collecting paintings by well-known and lesser-known Croatian painters

Margarita Richmond nee Plenkovich