Arnaldo's Home Page
I was born on the 5th of April 1922 in Madrid, Spain (yes, it is necessary to mention Spain, as
in Colombia there is another Madrid, just to avoid confusions.).
My parents were Germans but had lived many years in Spain. I went to the German school in Madrid.
By the time when I was 14 years old, the Spanish Civil War started and that was the end of my schooling.
From there on, whatever knowledge I acquired happened on my own, in great part by reading books or taking language courses and of economy, etc.
By now, I think that I was not worse off because having continued to study or learn ever since, I was able to overcome the handicap of my interrupted education.
In Colombia I got my first jobs as a salesman.
They took me on travels over the countryside to know many corners of the country.
Air travel was not common in the late thirties and early forties, although I flew once only for about 30 minutes. (On the forced emigration with my parents from Spain to Germany from Madrid to Alicante).
Since the earliest times I combined travelling with some extra time to get to know the places that I called on.
I kept this up to this day so that when I fly to far away places as from Australia to Europe, Israel or Africa, I choose different locations for the stopovers, which gives me opportunities to accumulate knowledge of other peoples and cultures.
(Most of these places have interesting museums, full of local treasures of history and art).
|I married my wife Ellen in 1948 and our first child, Claudia, was born in 1950. Daniel, the second, followed in 1953. We followed old-fashioned customs by giving the upbringing and education preference over any other consideration. They never returned from school to our home without at least any one of the two parents being present upon their arrival. This may account for the fact that our relationship with both of them has always been very close and continues to be so until the present day.|
When Claudia finished her school years, she went to Stourbridge
in England to learn glass blowing.
There she married her husband and made a 3-year-long trip around the world.
Upon settling down in Australia, they had a two children, Sonia and Richard.
Daniel stayed in Bogot?and studied mathematics.
After finishing his studies, he went to live in a kibbutz in Israel.
There he met his wife but a after a longer period of years they moved to Sydney.
They too have two children, Shira and Eitan.
|I started my own business as a commission agent in
1951 and kept it until I retired in 1998 at the age of 76. In the
beginning I worked alone and used only my name, while my wife Ellen took
care of the bookkeeping and the tax declarations. We sold prime materials
to the Colombian industry. I defined these as ?anything that will be
converted into something else? They included chemicals, plastic resins,
natural and synthetic rubber, even seeds and a lot of other items. In the
course of time, as business developed we incorporated the company as
Arnaldo Buch Ltda. and later, I took first one, later a second partner,
Frank Wallenberg, respectively Rafael Guberek. Later on we founded an
additional company called Buch Asociados S.A.I sold my
proprietary rights to my partners when I retired.
In 2005, at a time when I no longer was a partner, Arnaldo Buch Ltda., the first company I had founded, was awarded by the Bogot?Chamber of Commerce a commemorative plaque. This was in recognition of the fact that it was one out of only 29 companies in Bogot?that was 50 years old and still in existence.
Retirement keeps me at least as busy as when I was
active in business. I work as a volunteer doing translations at the Art
Gallery of New South Wales, take Italian lessons and keep active in a lot
of other activities.
I just finished writing my memoirs(Click here to download a pdf copy) I also have kept up my big hobby of travelling, doing so
at least once or twice every year. Including those where I have stayed
not longer than one or two days, I have visited over 70
countries. (Refer to red area in map to the left. Not shown, but also visited is Antartica!) Although on
the whole I can say that I have led a satisfactory and happy life, this
does not exclude the fact that some darker days have also visited me in
between. The worst of all happened when my dear wife Ellen had
to leave me in 1992 due to an incurable illness, a mesothelioma (cancer of
the pleura). While time has helped to overcome the worst, the pain is
still with me today.
Last update: 13 Jan 2007