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The Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust (POHOS)

Established 16th November 1998

NZ Companies Office Certificate of Incorporation No 915548
         Charitable Commission Registration No CC31359

Winner of Trust Power Dunedin Community Award
Heritage & Environment Section in 2001 and 2007

Chairperson’s Report for the Period Ending 31st of March 2000


Throughout the year, the Trust’s activities conformed to the aims described in the Trust’s Deed. We have promoted cultural and spiritual awareness of our heritage, undertook cultural and educational programmes within the broader community, supported cultural and historical research relevant to our heritage, and maintained to our best abilities historical properties of Polish heritage. Further, we have continued to foster links with Poland and Polish communities in New Zealand and have co-operated with other historical trusts and multi-ethnic organisations.

In the effort to promote cultural and spiritual awareness of Polish heritage a number of cultural and educational programmes have been presented by the Trust to the broader community. To mention just a few.

  1. An Art Exhibition titled “Together into the New Millennium” was staged from 2nd to 7th of January in the Dunedin Community Art Gallery. The exhibits included painting, photographs, jewellery and paper mache items produced by artists of Polish origin and others.
  1. Presentation of one of the wining floats at the Dunedin Summer Festival. The Float showed a replica of the Waihola Church and a vivacious Polish cultural group and hardworking railway workers. Subsequently, the group participated in a multi-ethnic concert hold in the Regent Theatre.
  1. Seminars about Poland were held at the Taieri School, Columba Collage, Dunedin Multiethnic Council and in some Rest Homes.
  1. A two-day dance workshop of Polish traditional dances was organised organised and made available to Trust members and the broader Dunedin community.
  1. Participation in the Dunedin Catholic Jubilee 2000 programme organised by Dunedin Diocese.
  1. Special celebration of Easter ad All Saints Day was held again this year and it is now becoming a traditional event of our community.
  1. Polish and Broad Bay communities continued with join, once a month massed in the Broad Bay church. The masses and get together meetings that followed have been spiritual and social events.

To support further research in the history of Polish immigration to New Zealand the Trust, in co-operation with the Otago University, established an annual prize/award for relevant research.

Four newsletters were published by the Trust in which a number of issues were discussed and information on matters relating to the Trust and Poland was presented.

The Trust continued to maintain some properties of historical value to Polish heritage in New Zealand. We concentrated our effort on preserving the Waihola church. At present, work is in progress on the replacement of missing stain glass windows.

The trust maintained co-operation and support of other Polish communities in New Zealand, and continued to maintain very close links with Polish communities in Wellington. With their help and free time given, we were able to conduct the dance workshop and have established our own performing group.  The trust was represented during the celebration of the Polish National Day as organised by the Polish Embassy in Wellington last May.

The trust maintained cultural links with Poland. For example, we were visited by Bishop Stafanek of Lomza. His visit was a highlight of one of our masses at the Broad Bay Church and was made possible thanks to Fr Broniarek.

Our Trust is an active member of the Taieri Historical Trust and the Multi-Ethnic Council. Work and further investigations are in progress on the process of registering the Waihola Church with the Historic Places Trust.

We received funds from the DCC for national folk costumes for our dance group, and from the Community Trust to assist us with the restoration of the church windows. Unfortunately, because the church is not registered with the Historic Places Trust our application to the Lotteries Grants Commission was unsuccessful. A number of founds rising activities took lace, such as selling tickets, art works and recently a public appeal.

Again we wouldn’t be able to achieve all of this without the support of our families, children, friends of the Trust, and local communities of Dunedin, Waihola, Broad Bay and Allanton. We wouldn’t be able to achieve this without the help given by local organisatins, such as DCC, Creative New Zealand Communities, and without support of Bishop Boyle, Fr Malloney and Fr Brioniarek. A big Thank You to all of them. A special thanks goes to Angela Donaldson – the creator of 5 sets of national Polish costumes for our newly established performing group.

Financial report is attached.

All the best for the year 2001


Swava Pociecha


Chairperson .....  Ewa Rożecka Pollard
Phone ......+64 3 477 5552
Secretary ..... Anna McCreath Munro
Phone ..... +64 3 464 0053

Facebook ..... Poles Down South 

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Poles in New Zealand   We would like to hear from Poles or people with any Polish connection, who visited New Zealand and particularly those of you who paid a visit or lived anywhere in Otago or Southland.

Polski  “Poles Down South” jest stroną internetową organizacji polonijnej w Nowej Zelandii działającej w rejonie Otago i Southland na Wyspie Południowej. Siedzibą organizacji jest Dunedin.