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The Oldest Known Living Croatian-born Person Validated at 110

On her 107th birthday. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald) On her 107th birthday. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Marija Ruljančić of Australia at age 110. She was born in Vis, Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia on 14 June 1913. Early in Ruljančić’s life, her family’s vineyard was devastated by a disease called phylloxera, destroying their livelihood. They were forced to leave their home and move to a remote village called Lorca. At age 7, she began attending school, walking eight kilometers each way daily. During the Italian occupation following World War I, Italian became mandatory in schools, but in protest, she refused to eat pasta.

At age 19, she got married to her husband. In 1944, during World War II, British forces evacuated thousands of islanders to a refugee camp in Egypt. Ruljančić, her husband, and their two young children were among them. After the war, they immigrated to Australia, arriving on 8 February 1946. Initially aiming for Fremantle, their ship’s course changed, landing them in Melbourne. Their third child was born in 1949 and then became the founder of Melbourne Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

In 1945, with her husband and children in Egypt. (Source: Jutarnji list)
With her husband and children in Egypt in 1945.
(Source: Jutarnji list)

On 16 April 2021, following the death of 107-year-old Marija Bibulić (born 5 June 1913), she became the oldest (known) living Croatian-born person in the world. At the age of 110, she had eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.

For more information, please view Marija Ruljančić’s Directory Profile here.

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