“People and environment breathe and pulsate together”
In the past few years a lot of developments have been done in Sukoró, a settlement situated on the north shore of Lake Velencei. We asked Gyöngyi Éva Mészáros Hegyi about the tasks. She said being a mayor is not a job but a vocation.
What goals did You have when You began leading Sukoró five years ago?
I ran the elections with a thought by Albert Einstein in my heart: “Human beings can attain a worthy and harmonious life only if they are able to rid themselves, within the limits of human nature, of the striving for the wish fulfillment of material kinds. The goal is to raise the spiritual values of society.”
Sukoró has wonderful natural resources and cultural traditions, and we have to show it to more and more people and keep it with responsibility for the forthcoming generations. I had only one goal to put this pearl of the Velencei Mountains back to its place and make it an attractive destination for visitors and people who wish to settle here. Meanwhile we would give it back its glamour and keep its authentic character and develop its infrastructure as well.
Several developments have been done in the settlement during the past few years. Among others the buildings of the surgery and the cultural centre were expanded. How did You manage to achieve that?
Certainly, a small settlement like Sukoró has a very low budget and tax revenues. So we listed our resources. With practical plans we set up our financial conditions required for our own contribution to the application. We worked hard while preparing and elaborating the applications, but it was worth it. Now we have a quality surgery, a renovated main square an expanded kindergarten and school, a cultural centre, a library-wine house complex and a renovated Ethnography House. We are very grateful to the decision makers, who found it important to support the renovation of the institutions serving the noble and important basic human needs.
The expansion of the cycle path in the region of Lake Velencei involved Sukoró as well. How does it help people in the area?
The cycle path is not only for leisure activity, but it also makes going to work and school from one settlement to the other easier and safer. In this wonderful environment many can choose this solution. It also reduces vehicle traffic between the settlements. Of course, it is also important for us to be a part of it to attract cycle tourism. This way a lot of people will see the inside our settlement, which they only used to pass.
Which sights would You recommend to tourists visiting the place?
Either way you get into the settlement, you have to see the main square. The historically highly important Calvinist church situated here and the history of the war council take us way back into the past. The brave deeds show the life of the heroes of 1848, and it is completed by the bronze statues of Batthyány and Móga. After having a rest in the silence of the church you should go on to the renovated folk art house on the Szilvássor. The cottar house gives an insight in the hard working days and life of people who lived here. When you touch in the wardrobe shirt that belonged to an old woman who used to live there, tears fill your eyes. Are there still such places? Where everything is original? During the tour you can refresh in the deservedly famous wine cellars and can eat delicious dishes at the Boglyacsárda restaurant on the main square or in the Gémeskút restaurant at the bottom of the Ördög Hill. After lunch you can admire the view of Lake Velencei from the terrace of the Catholic church. When walking to the megaliths of the Ingó-stones you can enjoy the varied beauty of the landscape. Nature comes close with the horses, nice streets and pretty gardens full of flowers. At the end of the day you can have a rest in the Mandula confectioner’s shop or in the Zsuzsi snack-bar.
How can You increase the number of guest nights?
We try to host more and more events, especially programmes based on tourism. We are proud of two cultural events that will both have their 10th anniversary this summer. One of them is the Sukoró Music Summer, a series of concerts held in the historic building of the Calvinist church and in the cultural centre. The other one is Sukoró Contemporary Art Exhibition. In addition, visitors can find many exciting programmes, theatre performances and sports events here. The programme list is to be found on the website of Sukoró and in the calendar of the local paper, the Sukoró Hírforrás.
How do You unwind in Your free time?
Whenever I have a little free time, I spend it with my husband and with my family. Books, good films or theatre performances can give me a break in the everyday rush. Due to my job I am invited to several events. In the next two months I will participate in the above mentioned jubilee events, but I am also happy to attend the programmes in the neighbouring settlements.
At the end of a day or a programme it is good to relax in our garden and enjoy the beauty of the place. That is the time when I can spend more time with my animals who live with us as family members. Being a mayor is not a job but a vocation. There are no set working hours in service for public welfare. People and environment breathe and pulsate together. “A vocation is the backbone of life.” – said Friedrich Nietzsche. I do feel so.
What further improvements do You find necessary in the near future?
First of all we have to continue the development of the road network and the proper sewage disposal. We would also like to setup a local market and a place for events. We would like to renovate some roads in the outer areas through applications, because more and more families live there permanently. People like Sukoró, and whoever visit us once will always love this place.
Gyöngyi Éva Hegyi Mészáros