Karel Oldrich Hromek was born to French and Czech parents, Christiane Brossier and Oldrich Hromek, on 17 March 1952 in Sydney. With no money Christiane and Oldrich made an epic journey hitchhiking across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Vietnam where they were evacuated from the war, ending up in Carnarvon, WA. From there they hitchhiked to Perth across the Nullabor Plain, which was just a dirt track through the desert. They arrived in Sydney and shortly after Karel was born. They left Paris dreaming they could get rich by picking up the gold that was obviously lying around in Australia and then the USA, but Karel’s birth forever spoiled their onward travel plans, something he and all the family have been grateful for.
Karel’s younger sister, Dominique, joined them and they were a tight unit by virtue of being from ‘somewhere else’. Twenty years later Karel found his soul place at Boogarem, the farm with the waterfall, in the hills of Mullumbimby. He brought with him his new wife, Robyn, whom he met at the UNSW while studying microbiology, and daughter Daniele. The family soon expanded with Siâan and then Michael joining them. Karel discovered the challenges of banana farming, and so went back to university to study medicine in Newcastle.
After his studies, Karel returned to the Far North Coast and established general practice clinics in Byron Bay, then Mullumbimby and Ocean Shores, practising medicine for 35 years. During this period Karel became involved in integrative approaches to health, wellbeing and nutrition. Karel taught, lectured and authored three books, creating the foundations for this knowledge in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India. In 2010 Karel married Ann Mary and was very devoted to her.
Karel was both a deep thinker and a dad jokester with a huge heart. He was arguably The Beatles’ greatest fan and loved playing and singing music. Karel also loved soccer, both watching, playing and coaching, and was a life member of Byron Bay FC.
Sadly Karel’s enormous heart had no beats left and on 14 April 2022 he left this plane for the next. Karel is always in the hearts of his sister Dominique, his children Danièle, Siân and Michael, many treasured friends, and his beloved furry companion, Bentley.