Odorheiu Secuiesc, Haberstumpf cottage
(Odorheiu Secuiesc, Haberstumpf cottage)
He was a passionate explorer who never gave up, a great scientist, an eminent expert, a reliable consultant, a tireless wanderer, a creative and humorous companion, an unselfish helpmate, an enthusiastic friend, a great expert of Szeklerland, a faithful native of the Harghita mountains and of its neigbourhood, a great lecturer and adult educator.
He was born on the 6th of November 1886 in Târgu Secuiesc. After primary school he graduated from the teacher-training college in Cluj-Napoca and then from the Pedagogical College in Budapest.
In 1908 he taught natural sciences in Abrud. He was a great organizer and he founded the school museum.
In the school year 1912-13 he participated in an educational abroad field trip. (Jena, Miner Academy in Berlin)
In 1913 and later in 1921 he was invited to be an external collegue of the Geological Institute in Budapest and in Bucharest.
In 1914 he was offered a job in Constantinopole and in 1916 he was invited to be a secretary in the School Equipment Museum in Budapest.
He was a teacher in the civil school in Kevevára, he founded the state high school in Odorheiu Secuiesc, he established the museum of the Catholic high school and of the Reformed teacher-training college and he was the administrator of the equipment stores of the state teacher-training college in Cristuru Secuiesc and of the high schools in Târgu Secuiesc and Zlatna.
In 1926 he studied the saline waters in California, Hopkins Marine Station.
In 1927 he was invited to the Hungarian Geographical Society.
In 1929 the Hungarian Science Association awarded him the „Bugat” prize for his work „Geological characteristics of the aragonite area in Corund”.
In 1931 he came to Odorheiu Secuiesc where he was a teacher and he also performed geological activities and he became the chief editor of the „Székelység” magazine that had a total of 14 volumes and it presented Szeklerland and its history according to Balázs Orbán’s theories.
János Bányai had more than 100 original research works and more than 500 essays containing original data.
In 1940 he became a member of the Geological Society.
In 1941 he became the vice-president of the Spa Association in Szeklerland and East-Transylvania and the administrator of the „Orbán Balázs Mineral Water Research and Exploration Institute”.
In 1947 he started the exploration of iron ore. (the exploitable mineral resources of the Hungarian Autonomous Region)
In 1965 the Hungarian Geological Society awarded him a golden prize for his activities regarding science and international relations.
During sixty years of research he studied geology, hydrocarbon, he carried on engineering geological reserach work, he did mineralogical analyses and he carried on metallographic and microchemical research regarding his favourite subject, the reefs.
In 1974 László Vofkori published an article about János Bányai and his scientific inheritance in the „Művelődés” magazine in which he presented him as a gentle, modest and hardworking man who loved science and who tireless enlarged his knowledge, who was perseverant, humane and respectful.
He was interested in botany, in paleobotany, ecology, tourism, public health, spa therapies, politics and all that was public interest. He also wrote some essays regarding didactics and pedagogy.
His essays were published in the Botanical-, Geographical- and Medical Gazette, in the Hydrological-, Science-, Geological- and Touristic Journal, in the Transylvanian Literary Magazine, in the Hungarian Health Magazine, in the „Erdélyi Múzeum”, in the „Pásztortűz”, in the „Vasárnapi Újság” and in the „Székely Újság”.
András Lajos Róth