Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


New Zealand’s First Refugees: 70 years on

New Zealand’s First Refugees: 70 years on

On 1 November 1944, 733 children, mostly orphans or separated from their parents by the war in Poland, arrived in Wellington Harbour aboard USS General Randall. Some 102 adults – teachers, doctors and administrators – accompanied the group to Pahiatua where a camp was established to give a temporary home for the children. It quickly became their little Poland, home away from home until they could return.

For many, it was not to be. Following the Soviet Union’s assumption of control over Poland in 1945, at the request of Polish government-in-exile’s Consul-General, Count Wodzicki, in co-operation with the Polish authorities in London and the New Zealand Government, Guardianship Council for the Polish Children in New Zealand was formed and the children given the option to remain in New Zealand. In 1947 and again in 1948, the communist regime demanded that the children be returned to Poland, but the New Zealand Government refused.

This year marks 70 years since the Pahiatua children’s arrival. Many have since passed, but those who remain and their descendants can look back with pride at their significant achievements. They became good citizens of New Zealand, contributing significantly to the development of economic, cultural and religious life of the country, at the same time retaining their Polishness, their language and sense of their history.

The anniversary celebrations will be held in Christchurch on Saturday, 26th July at the Majestic Church in Moorhouse Avenue, at 4.30 p.m. They will include a Polish Dance Spectacular and Culture Fair organized by the Polish Association in Christchurch.

Marianne Dutkiewicz, a Christchurch lawyer and granddaughter of a Pahiatua orphan, will be the Master of Ceremonies, and a group of Pahiatua children resident in Christchurch and Canterbury - the guests of honour at the event. The programme includes a performance of Polonaise by a local Polish folklore group Polonus, and a colourful and varied display of Polish regional dances by the Poligrodzianie ensemble, visiting from Poland.

As one of the greatest Polish cultural heritage ambassadors, Poligrodzianie has visited 58 countries during its over a hundred foreign tours, performing in front of Pope Jean Paul II, Mayor of New York, Presidents and Ministers of many states. The Group has given concerts on the prestigious stages of Milan and Nashville, for the prisoners in the USA, in Disneyland and in the Tibetan prairie.

Their performance is a dynamic display of colour and musicality, performed to live music played on traditional Polish instruments, and featuring many regional costumes of Poland, some hand-made by the members of the ensemble. Polish Culture Fair offering crafts, books and baking for sale will be held after the concert. The event is a fundraiser for the Polish Association in Christchurch.

Poligrodzianie will also hold a Polish folk dance workshop at the Cashmere Club on Sunday, 27th July, 2-5 p.m.

What: Polish Dance Spectacular dedicated to the Pahiatua Children 70th Anniversary Celebrations

http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2014/polish-dance-spectacular/christchurch-city

When: Saturday, 26th July 2014, 4.30 p.m.

Where: Majestic Church, Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch

Cost: $20 per adult, $40 family pass, child and student discounts available.
Cash door sales only

References: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/1095/polish-orphans

http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-PolFirs-t1-g1-g1-t5.html

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/video/pahiatuas-little-poland-roadside-stories


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news